Granite countertops are a beautiful addition to any home or business. Nothing says strength, stability, elegance, and grace quite like granite. Whether it is a small bathroom vanity or large kitchen island, granite can cover it beautifully. Granite countertops come in an amazing array of colors, finishes, and profiles. By mixing and matching these three elements, you can come up with an almost infinite variety of choices. A granite countertop can be truly one of a kind.
The choice of colors is so vast that any taste can be satisfied. From the subtle to the spirited, granite countertops can completely transform or define a room. Granite colors such as black galaxy provide a more or less consistent color. While granite colors such as mascarello seem to blaze with contrasting bursts of light and dark. A granite countertop can be as unique and individual, as you are.
Granite Countertops Are Natural Stone
Granite is a natural creation. It is not man-made. Not produced in a factory, or a mixture of laboratory chemicals. It is a natural stone, formed in the depths of the earth, hundreds of thousands, if not millions of years ago. An igneous rock primarily composed of quartz, feldspar, and mica, granite was formed by the cooling of magma. This process happened far below the earth’s surface with intense heat and tremendous pressure. A unique piece of art created by the earth.
The cooling of the magma used in the creation of granite is relatively slow. As a result, the grains in granite are large and easily visible. In fact, granite comes from the Latin word for grain. The size of the grains will vary. Size variance is based on the type of mineral, how slowly the magma cooled, and the specific pressure at the depth that the granite was formed. Grain size and mineral composition provide granite countertops their unique characteristics.
Granite Countertops Are Durable
Looking for a very durable countertop? Granite fills the bill! Heat resistant, scratch resistant, and when sealed properly, stain resistant. Don’t fear scratching your granite countertop by using it as a cutting board. Even your sharpest kitchen knives won’t faze it. You will, however, need to replace your knives soon. Granite will dull their edge quicker than anything. Cutting boards are advised, but for the sake of your cutlery, rather than your countertop.
Granite is a very hard stone, but it isn’t indestructible. Your countertop is susceptible to chips, cracks, and breaks if hit with great enough force. You will want to avoid high-velocity encounters with hard and heavy objects. This is especially true along the edges, which are naturally more prone to chipping.
At sea-level, granite melts at about 2250℉. You can take a pot straight off the range and set it directly on your countertop without worry. Spilling a pot of boiling water over your granite countertop will likewise have no effect. Granite is a porous stone, but it has a very low permeability. This basically means that liquids, or gases for that matter, do not easily enter the stone. This facet of granite’s durability helps resist internal invasion from moisture and corrosives.
Granite Countertops Are Low Maintenance
Keep your granite countertops looking their very best with a daily cleaning. Spend a few minutes every day or two caring for your countertops. It is time well spent. As a result, they will stay beautiful for years and years to come.
Wipe your countertops with a damp cloth, with a little dishwashing detergent, then rinse with clean water. Next, dry with a soft cloth, buffing slightly to bring out the shine. No need to use specialized cleaners on a daily basis.
Each week, or after big messes, you will want to do a deep clean. For deep cleaning, use a ph neutral cleaner specially made for granite countertops. Never, ever, use bleach, ammonia or vinegar! Please, don’t use Windex.
Every 6 or 7 months, you will want to seal your granite countertop. A good granite sealer will help prevent stains, by filling the small cracks and fissures in the surface of the granite. First, you should thoroughly clean the granite with denuded alcohol, this removes most oils and grime that may have accumulated. Most granite sealers are impregnator type sealers. These sealers penetrate the surface of the granite and create a protective, repellent barrier.
Granite Countertops Are Affordable
Natural stone is not inexpensive, sad fact of life. But, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be affordable. A beautiful granite countertop is a good investment, and there are ways to shave the costs! Below are a few rules of thumb.
- Not all colors are created equal! Rarer colors cost more, simple economics. Gold costs more than copper.
- Some granite edging profiles cost more. More elaborate edging, such as Versailles will cost more than a simpler edge.
- Granite countertops usually come in two thicknesses: 2cm (3/4″) and 3 cm (1-1/4″). A thicker slab is able to span greater distances, such as a kitchen island. Thicker slabs will cost a little more than a thinner slab.
- Another price changer ia complexity of design. An intricate design, with numerous cutouts for plumbing, appliances, etc., will add to the final price of your granite countertops.
Granite Countertops: The bottom line.
Granite countertops add beauty and value to your home. They add a sense of prestige to a business. Granite has been used for centuries and will be used in the foreseeable future. Styles and tastes change over the course of time. However, granite countertops seem to be timeless, and yet radiate the feel of age. The combination of colors, patterns, and edging can produce granite countertops that are unique.
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