Luxury living comes to mind when you think of granite countertops, chandeliers, and hardwood floors. It’s just something about granite countertops that helps bring out that modern, minimalist and luxury feel to your kitchen or any other workspace.
But what are the pros and cons of granite countertops? And why not substitute granite countertops with other materials such as concrete or quartz?
The surprising answer is that it mainly comes down to personal preference. Buyers can easily make an informed decision about the right countertop material with a clear understanding of the benefits and drawbacks of granite countertops.
Continue reading to find out why granite is one of the most sought-after and luxurious kitchen countertop materials.
What Is Granite?
Granite has a smooth, textured hue to it. It is one of the reasons why granite is one of the most popular choices for countertops. Granite is a real stone that is available in a range of colors. You need to know where granite comes from to understand why it is so durable and has such a wide range of colors.
Believe it or not, granite is a form of igneous rock (from the Latin word igneous that translates to: on fire or burning). As lava flowed over the earth’s surface it formed dense layers of heavy rock. As the lava cools and compresses, it molds into a smooth rock with a glass-like texture. A slab of granite can be anywhere from hundreds to thousands of years old.
Granite has a colorful texture because it contains many different minerals such as amphibole, feldspar, mica, and quartz. All of these elements combined were once part of a flowing stream of lava. Nowadays, we mine granite that is closer to the earth’s surface. The slab of granite is proportioned, cut to meet the dimensions of a countertop. But it must be polished first to give it a glass-like finish.
Pros Of Granite Countertops
Each slab of granite is unique because it features a distinct pattern that includes different shades of colors and sequences. A one-of-a-kind slab of granite can help you decorate your kitchen with matching or contrasting colored kitchen cabinets and walls. Natural granite has an exquisite look that will make your kitchen look spacious. Let’s take a deeper look into some of the specific advantages of granite countertops.
Pro: Heat Resistant
The melting point of granite is 2,210°F to 2,300°F (1,210°C to 1,260°C). The melting point of steel is 2498°F (1370°C). Properly sealed granite countertops can easily withstand temperatures between 480°F (249°C) up to 1,200°F (650°C). In comparison, quartz countertops can withstand temperatures of up to 150°F (66°C) before melting.
It is important to use coasters when handling hot pans because granite is a porous material. This means that a sudden extreme change in temperature (more than 480°F) can cause the granite to crack. Safe cooking temperatures in a home kitchen can range anywhere between 145°F to 180°F (63°C to 82°C).
Pro: Scratch Resistant
Granite has been used in memorials and buildings for centuries because it is a durable stone. It is so durable that it is recommended to use a cutting board on a granite countertop so that your knives don’t become blunt. Granite can crack if an extremely heavy pointed object is dropped from a height on it. Polished granite countertops are shiny surfaces.
A properly polished and sealed granite countertop is extremely scratch-resistant in comparison to other materials such as wooden or glass countertops. But dropping heavy objects on the granite countertop can cause it to chip or crack.
Pro: Stain Resistant
A granite countertop can easily be cleaned with a block of mild soap if you spill juice, sauce, wine, vinegar, or ketchup. A sealed granite countertop is almost stain-proof as long as you clean up the spill right away. Letting a spill sit for hours or even overnight on a granite countertop can eat away the sealant on the granite and etch it permanently. It is recommended to clean up spills and splashes right away to help keep the granite countertop in the best condition for a long time to come.
Cons Of Granite Countertops
All luxurious materials require proper care and maintenance to preserve their original value. Granite countertops are no exception to the rule. Granite countertops also have some drawbacks that consumers need to be aware of before installing a granite countertop in their homes.
In the winter, granite countertops can be cold to touch. A warm mug of coffee sitting on a granite countertop can get cold quickly. Setting a warm bowl of cereal on the granite countertop in an early winter morning can make it cold. This is not something to worry about if the area around the granite countertop is not cold most of the time.
A granite countertop can be extremely heavy because it is made of stone. You want to make sure that the framework that supports the granite countertop is sturdy enough to handle the weight. Always make sure that the company you purchase your granite countertop from will also install it in your kitchen.
Con: Needs To Be Sealed
Granite is a naturally porous material and this is why it must be protected. There are options for long-term protection at some extra cost that are best discussed with your stone fabricator. A regular sealant needs to be applied periodically. How often depends on the porosity of the stone but every 1 to 2 years is a good rule of thumb so you do not risk the granite countertop absorbing liquids on its surface.
Finding A Granite Countertop Supplier In Nova Scotia
Once you have weighed the pros and cons of granite countertops, you can look for local companies that sell and install granite countertops. Remember that a professionally installed granite countertop can add value to your property and bring new life to the interior of your home.
StoneWrights granite countertops provide consumers the luxury of choosing a granite countertop to match their kitchen design. We have qualified professionals that can help you meet all of your cutting, sizing, polishing, or installing granite countertop needs.
Visit us at Lower Branch Road in Nova Scotia, Canada to get free personalized estimates for the right granite countertop solution for your home!