A granite slab provides the perfect mix of beauty, durability, and strength for your kitchen countertop. Granite is nearly as hard as diamond. The countertop manufacturing space in the U.S. grew by 7.4 percent from 2011 to 2016. The industry’s 2016 revenue stood at $2 billion. Granite slabs embody all the essential qualities a kitchen countertop needs; the daily abuses of spills, knife-scratches, hot pots and other kitchen casualties. At 49 percent, granite is the leading material used for kitchen countertops in suburban homes. If your home is joining the 64 percent of new homes using granite countertops, you should know certain things.
Six Tips for Choosing the Perfect Granite Slab
You want countertops that can stand the harsh realities of a kitchen environment, without sacrificing your style and taste. Here’s how to balance style and functionality.
Determine Your Taste
Having one with high quality is excellent. What’s wrong is having a granite slab that you hate, or one that doesn’t suit your personal need.
- Do you want it stable or moving?
- Do you want a light color or a dark color?
- When you think of that perfect granite slab, what picture comes to mind?
- Do you like straight lines and right angles? An under-mount, top-mount or a drop-in sink?
- Do you prefer more details on it?
- How about the vein style?
Evaluate what’s pleasing to you before going to your fabricator. When considering samples, your taste is a priority. It helps your selection from the full range of options thrown at you.
Consider the Size of Your Kitchen
Is yours a small kitchen or a large kitchen? The size of your kitchen is a significant factor for picking a perfect granite slab, and it’s pattern. For a small kitchen, go for light-colored granite (such as Giallo ornamental). It makes your kitchen look spacious. With little natural light, your kitchen will look smaller. You’d correct this effect by using light-colored granite. Dark granites with light veins running through will also work for this purpose. As for large kitchens, it is safe to experiment with dark colors. Also, pick the patterns based on the size of your kitchen. The three primary patterns are–solid, speckled, and marbled. Solid granite makes an excellent choice for smaller kitchens. A busy pattern makes a small kitchen look cramped. For large kitchens, speckled and marbled forms are perfect. Two granite colors also go well with larger kitchens.
Take Samples of Your Finished Cabinetry Along
Match your granite slab with your cabinet and floor. There are two ways of choosing. You could have a contrasting the color to your cabinet with veins of color matching your cabinet. On the other hand, pick one with the color of your cabinet and use a darker color for the veining. In the case of a two-colored cabinetry, select one that has shades of the two colors. Gray and black granite produce a dramatic effect that fits in for contemporary kitchens with a white or light cabinetry. Also, brown and beige fits in best and does great with any kitchen style. The cabinet sample is an essential factor in choosing the kind of granite to use. However, other factors considered are–the flooring (a piece of it should be taken along as well), the tile and the lighting to be used in your home. These considerations are usually done to compare how the colors of the materials will interact.
Keep a Camera and Notepad Handy
Getting a perfect granite slab for your kitchen would take you to many yards. During your visits, move around. The fabricators will expose you to various granite options. This situation means there would be many details you would like to refer to after your visits. You’d have options, so saving the features of the granite types you see, will save you a lot of stress. Jot the crucial details in a notepad and keep the images for reference purposes. You could lose memory of your perfect granite slab during the selection process by forgetting how it looked. A camera and notepad save you the stress. When you choose a color, take pictures of the slabs as well. Every slab is unique, therefore taking photos for a reference purpose is very important. Taking pictures with a camera is better than tagging a slab (which is an option).
Know the Quality of the Stone
Choosing a pretty piece is excellent. Beyond that, you need to find out the inherent qualities of the stone in question. Factors that tell of its class are:
- Surface pitting
- Color concentrations
- Inclusions and
- Shade variation
These are all part of the natural qualities of the stone. Fabricators classify into price groups. There are also five levels, with level one being the least expensive and level five being the most costly. This grading is the customary method of classifying granite in the industry.
Put Your Favorite Granite Slab on Hold
During your search, if you find a granite you love, put it on hold! Many fabricators will not let you take their pieces home. Fabricators would usually refuse to give you a price until you’ve made a final selection. Some fabricators could give you a grade and a general price tag for a granite category. But, they withhold the figures for specific granite types. Holds come cheap. They are free in some cases. Imagine a situation where you fall in love with a slab, then you return to find out it has been sold off, or it’s on hold. As you move on to other yards, nothing else may please you as the first piece did. Always put your favorite pieces on hold!
Wrapping It Up
Customers should have a good knowledge of what they are getting(including the quality) when trying to remodel their kitchen, but many fabricators do not address consumer-education. For some, it’s because they are new to the industry. People tend to think alterations in the quality of granites result from natural defects, but this isn’t true. This knowledge gap begs a need for consumers to research before making a final decision. After making a choice, do a thorough investigation of your choice of a slab for your kitchen. Do you want to remodel your kitchen? Visit International Granite and Stone for more information on granite countertops and kitchen trends.