Do you appreciate the splendid look that granite countertops can add to your home, not to mention how they can increase its value? There are so many choices, and discount granite countertops can make the project one which requires little investment but is guaranteed to bring maximum returns.

The Basics of Granite Countertops

If you are considering changing out your kitchen or bathroom countertops, you might want to consider granite. There are so many choices to consider when it comes to countertops. Granite is quite literally cut directly from the ground, so it is easy to see why each piece varies in color, consistency, and texture. Yours will have a character unlike any other in the world. The majority of granite comes from Brazil, although there are some types of brown granite which originate in China, and other types of granite can come from places like Italy or India. When the granite is mined, the slabs are saw-cut, resin is applied to fill any pits, and the slab is cured in a huge oven. Following the curing process, granite slabs are polished and buffed to bring out their natural beauty.

Many believe nothing can really compare with the beauty of real stone. When you look at the unique veining of granite, it’s the only piece in the world that’s like that. If you are looking for an aesthetically pleasing kitchen or bathroom countertop, granite could be the best choice. Granite has a deep, rich beauty, unmatched by most other countertop materials and can take a kitchen or bath to an entirely new level, visually.

There are countless shades of granite so you can find a color which complements the room, adding warmth and depth. Granite’s natural veining is a part of its beauty. Since granite can vary considerably, it is usually a good idea to personally choose your slab rather than looking at photographs. If you’ve decided on granite countertops, the Cincinnati Countertop and Cabinetry by Design team can assist you in choosing the perfect slab.

What are the Advantages of Granite Countertops?

Perhaps one of the biggest “pros” regarding granite countertops is that each and every granite slab is unique in some way, with its own colors, patterns, and individual lines. This means your granite countertop won’t look exactly like anyone else’s countertop. The uniqueness of each slab piece means there are so many shades and colors you can choose from, making it easy to find one which blends perfectly with your kitchen or bath décor. Granite countertops also can add considerable value to your home and are a big plus should you ever want to sell.

Granite is an extremely hard surface and is much less susceptible to scratches, meaning it can take your normal wear and tear of kitchen use better than most countertops, while also resisting heat fairly well. Granite is very resistant to stains when properly sealed, repelling liquids rather than absorbing them, as long as your granite is properly sealed. We want your granite countertops to maintain its beauty indefinitely, so call one of our professional granite countertop installers from Countertops and Cabinetry by Design to ensure your granite countertop is installed correctly and properly sealed.

What are the Disadvantages of Granite Countertops?

Although granite countertops are considered one of the very best counter surfaces, well-known for their beauty and durability, there can be a couple of disadvantages to granite countertops. If your granite countertop is not properly sealed, the porosity of the surface can be a problem. An unsealed granite countertop—or a poorly sealed granite countertop—will absorb liquids such as juice, wine or oil, creating a permanent stain. Bacteria can also be harbored in an unsealed or poorly sealed granite countertop. Some people feel granite—as well as other stone countertop materials—are “cold.” The mass of the stone pulls heat away from the skin, leaving behind the perception that the surface is cold—a phenomenon not everyone is happy with.

Real granite can also break during fabrication, although this is not common. Unlike solid surface (man-made) countertops, a typical granite countertop may have seams, although an experienced West Chester Countertops and Cabinetry by Design professional will avoid seams whenever possible. Granite countertops may also cost more than some other types of countertops, usually between $100 and $250 per square foot, but is also the top countertop material to add value to your home.

Granite vs. Solid Surface or Quartz Countertops

Let’s look at the differences between granite and quartz countertops first. Granite is extremely hard and is 100 percent natural, mined from quarries, cut to size, then buffed and polished. Quartz countertops are 95 percent ground natural quartz and 5 percent polymer resins. Although granite comes naturally in many colors and patterns, quartz has the look of stone, yet allows homeowners to customize the design.

The price of quartz and granite is roughly equal, with an installation of granite countertops ranging from $2,000 to $4,000 and an installation of quartz countertops ranging from $1,500 to $5,000—all dependent, of course on the amount of countertop you need, and the specifics of your choice. Quartz is widely considered a bit more environmentally friendly than granite since it is engineered using local fabricators and regionally manufactured stone. This means there’s much less distance to transport quartz than granite.

Granite is often quarried out of the country, requiring considerable transportation, which makes the substance less environmentally friendly. Granite countertops should be cleaned daily with soap and water to avoid stains and ensure the longevity of the product. Quartz countertops do not necessarily need to be cleaned daily, although any spills you make should be immediately cleaned to avoid staining. Quartz is actually a bit more durable than granite because of the non-porous surface, but quartz countertops are more likely to be damaged by heat. In the end, there is simply no duplicating the dramatic mineral deposits, streaks, and veins in slab granite.

When comparing solid surface countertops with granite countertops, solid surface countertops are 33 percent manmade polymers and 66 percent minerals and are not nearly as dense as natural granite slab. Solid surface countertops can be less expensive than granite, and remain a functional, reasonably priced material for those whose budget does not stretch to quartz or granite countertops.

What Things Should I Consider Prior to Choosing My Granite Countertop?

Budget

It can be difficult to shave costs on slab granite countertops—granite is a premium product, but it can be less cost prohibitive than some expect. In fact, wholesale and discount granite countertops can be placed in a home with little investment in comparison to the value it could bring to your home. Another way to hold down the cost of granite countertops lies in minimizing edge treatments since complex edge treatments increase the price of granite countertops.

Dimensions

The “average” size of a natural slab granite used for countertops is about 9 feet six inches long by 5 feet, six inches wide and are about 1.25 inches thick. In some cases, the thickness of the granite will vary slightly from one area to another, leaving the Countertops and Cabinetry by Design installer to “shore up” parts of the slab so the entire slab is properly supported.

Décor and Style

Granite countertops colors are so varied and unique that you are certain to find colors that complement your cabinets, walls, and appliances perfectly. Granite from China tends to be cheaper than granite from Italy or Brazil. Blues, purples, and reds are the least common colors in granite, therefore are typically more expensive. Beiges and greens are more readily available, therefore come with a lower price tag. Among the choices of colors are Kashmir Gold, Crema Bordeaux, Toasted Almond, Golden Beach, Golden Cascade, Galaxy Black, and many more! What’s the most important is to select a granite countertop that will complement the aesthetic of the rest of your kitchen or bathroom. If you’re going for a more modern design, consider sleek colors like white, black, or grey. The selected edging of the granite will also play into the aesthetic of your room. You may want a straight edge, a beveled edge, a bullnose edge, a knife edge, or an ogee edge. With all the different coloring and edging options at your disposal, it can seem like there are a lot of big decisions to make. That’s why we’re here to help.

How We Can Help You

If granite countertops are your vision, the Countertops and Cabinetry by Design team can guide you through the selection process. When you arrive at Countertops and Cabinetry by Design, you will hand-select the perfect granite slab for your remodel. We will then create a kitchen or bath template for your installation, using your countertop dimensions to rough cut the granite into more manageable pieces, then cutting the granite to the exact dimensions of your countertops.

Edges and sink areas are hand-polished by our skilled professionals, then the finished product is delivered and installed. At Countertops and Cabinetry by Design, we understand what an important decision choosing the perfect granite slab for your home is, and we will work hard to ensure you are happy with the final product. Our approach to your countertop replacement is vastly different than that of our competitors; our goal is to customize your project, while providing a fast turnaround time, minimizing the amount of time your home is in disarray. Most of all, we will do everything in our power to simplify changing out your kitchen or bathroom countertops, making the process as painless as possible, so be sure to reach out to our experienced design team to discuss your project today.