Granite Countertop Review
Granite countertop material is a natural stone defined as a crystalline, granular rock consisting of quartz, feldspar and mica. It is formed from the rise of molten magma deep beneath our Earth’s crust. Many of these stones were formed and hardened as the Earth cooled billions of years ago. It is mined from around the world in large blocks that are cut into slabs. These slabs are polished and distributed to fabricators to create a multitude of products like kitchen and bathroom countertops.
Granite and other natural stone products are typically considered premium, or “high end” products. One of the biggest benefits of using a natural stone is its unique and beautiful appearance. Granite is highly scratch resistant, and is typically resistant to etching caused by acidic substances. However, other natural stone surfaces like polished Marble are not etch resistant. Hot pots and pans can also be placed on granite without fear of burning the surface.
The drawbacks to using a natural stone like granite are that most granites are porous to some degree and do require annual sealing. Even with a good penetrating sealer, lighter colored granites do have a tendency toward staining. Depending on the size of the project versus the size of the stone slab, your countertops may have visible seams in the deck and backsplash.
NOTE: Granite needs to be sealed. Some granite material is more stain resistant than others, but it is highly recommended you apply a high quality sealer a least once a year.
Granite countertops can be used in both residential and commercial applications. However, granite can not be used in commercial food prep areas or in the health care industry. The porosity of the material can cause it to harbor bacteria, making it an unsuitable choice for such applications.
If damaged, granite is a very difficult product to repair, if it can be repaired at all. A professional specializing in stone restoration would be required for this type of work.
GRANITE COUNTERTOP MANUFACTURERS:
- Local granite fabricators
- Dupont Granite
- Sensa by Consentino
PROS – Every slab is unique, extremely scratch and heat resistant, durable.
CONS – Expensive, high maintenance, porous.
CARE & CLEANING – Mild soap and water for daily cleaning. Stay away from strong, abrasive cleaners that can strip the sealer. Applying a quality sealer at least once a year.
WARRANTY – Dupont, Formica and Consentino offer a product warranty. Most local fabricators do not offer a product warranty. Check with your fabricator of choice for what their warranty covers.
COST – The cost to fabricate and install slab granite varies greatly depending on the color selected. Range from $70 – $100 square foot.