When you think of luxurious living, you probably think of chandeliers, hardwood floors, and granite countertops. It’s not surprising! Granite carries a certain respect here in America. But what are the pros and cons of granite countertops?
Why not choose other materials such as quartz or concrete?
The answer won’t surprise you: personal preference is the main factor. However, by exploring the pros and cons of the material each interested buyer can gain a better idea of the demands and payoffs.
Continue reading to gain a better understanding of this luxurious kitchen material and whether or not it’s a right fit for your home.
Exploring the Pros and Cons of Granite Countertops
Making the move to granite seems like an obvious choice if you have the funds to do so. However, if you’re unaware of the nature of granite and details like upkeep and ‘do-nots,’ we’ve got you covered.
Below we’ll explore some of the most notable aspects of granite, helping you determine if it’ll make an appearance in your kitchen.
What is Granite and Where Does it Come From?
Granite is one of the most sought-after countertop materials in the world. There’s a smooth, textured hue to granite and it’s available in various colors. But where does it come from?
Granite is a type of igneous rock (from the Greek word for fire), which means that it once was a type of lava. When lava runs through the earth and over its surface, it pacts down in dense layers to form heavy rock.
When the hot layers cool and are pressed together by nature, it produces a smooth, almost glass-like texture. Granite slabs can be hundreds of thousands to millions of years old.
Granite gets its colorful texture from the various amounts of ingredients; these include feldspar, quartz, amphibole, and mica, which at one time were all apart of a flowing river of lava.
Today, we mine the age-old granite that has either reached the surface or is very near to it. Sectioned in large slabs, the rock is then cut to fit the dimensions of a customer’s kitchen counter.
The Cost of Granite Countertops
This depends on a range of factors, such as where you purchase a slab from and whether or not the cost covers any installation or cutting fees.
While you may be able to find granite for around $20 a sq. ft., you’ll likely pay something closer to $50 for it. From there, you have to determine if cutting the granite down to the dimensions of your counters will cost you extra.
The installation will certainly raise the price. Some companies tack on an installation fee as steep as the cost of the granite itself. Make sure to shop around and find a provider that offers some sort of deal or discount.
In certain circumstances, you may be able to find a cheaper slab at one supplier that you can pay a different company to cut and install for you.
Quartz vs Granite
You may have heard of the debacle homebuyers have of granite countertops versus quartz countertops. As we mentioned above, granite has a small amount of quartz in it with other mixed rock that gives its distinct textures and hues.
Quartz is found in the earth and then compiled with other materials (such as resin) to make a very durable material. Quartz is about as strong as granite and less likely to take damage, but it lacks a little in the visual beauty.
Quartz countertops are made up of about 90% of quartz with a few other additives to enhance strength and appeal.
You have to make your own choice whether or not you can compromise on your quality. Quartz does have a similar look to granite, but its subtle differences may seem glaring to some. The price is cheaper, but again, it compromises quality.
Pros of Granite Countertops
Why choose granite when there are so many options available to homebuyers and remodelers today?
Beauty: You can’t find another material as subtly textured and appealing to the eye as granite. It sparkles like crystal around your kitchen, catching the light at odd angles. Each slab is uniquely pearled and colored that gives individual character.
Durability: You’ll be hard-pressed to find another material that has the natural strength of granite. Unlike marble, it’s resistant to a lot of the acid in our everyday foods.
Hygenic: Its porous material can be sealed so that crumbs and moisture don’t settle into the surface (or left raw, as some people prefer). Once it is sealed, it repels any form of bacterial growth or algae so counters stay clean.
Cons of Granite Countertops
Granite is a definite beauty that can withstand regular active use. However, it does have a few cons that could be enough to sway your decision, namely:
The Potential for Chipping: Because granite is so strong and rigid, heavy pressure or a severe impact may break or chip it. Knocking an appliance against an edge while remodeling could be enough to snap off a corner of the slab.
And once the damage is done, it’s done. You may be able to find adhesives to secure a broken piece back in place, but there may still be a seam.
Uncleanliness if Left Unsealed: if you choose to go the more natural route, then know that all the pores in granite can fill with food. This leaves room for bacterial growth if not cleaned extensively and frequently.
The Pricetag: Again, you may be able to find discount slabs, but granite is likely to cost you a lot more than any other counter surface.
Helping You Find the Perfect Countertop
Once you’ve weighed the pros and cons of granite countertops, you can start an internet search for local companies offering it. If you need a little more guidance, though, we can help you explore your options!
At International Granit and Stone Countertops (IGS), we offer plenty of insightful articles to help you find the perfect countertop for your home.
Check out the IGS blog today to learn more!