20 Apr GRANITE: Critical Countertop Characteristics
You need to know these before choosing your countertop
It’s a trend that’s been developing for years and is currently in full bloom. It seems like nearly every new kitchen is equipped with beautiful granite countertops. And despite all of the look-alike alternatives, Granite remains king. It is a natural stone and it’s available in a wide range of patterns and colors, each slab unique unto itself. What’s not to love? It doesn’t matter if you don’t care for the shininess typically affiliated with granite, you may also get it with a subdued matte finish. And that’s just scratching the surface (pun intended). There are edge choices, too, with designs befitting every kitchen motif. You are not confined to a single style, the colors you choose for your kitchen can be completely different than what you may want for your bathroom. But there is always something to work perfectly even with the oddest of rooms. Often confused with quartz, learn to identify real granite here.
Granite requires the installation be done by a professional, so you shouldn’t have a big problem with seams. But to be safe, ask about them. You want to know where they will be and if they will be at all visible. There’s no way around it, granite must be cut to fit your room. It’s an intensive process that the installer must undergo for the most seamless appearance possible. He’ll measure the original space, cut the stone to fit, and install it with a keen eye on detail. Unfortunately, seems are unavoidable. There is advanced technology available that can make a granite counter appear completely seamless. It’s a bit more expensive but it doesn’t hurt to simply ask.
There’s no question as to how powerfully durable granite is. It endures a multitude of uses and is a favorite among related professionals worldwide. It is counted on by chefs, bakers, etc… not to mention the growing number of homeowners who have selected the beloved stone material. It’s tough, but don’t use that as an excuse to abuse it. For instance, don’t cut vegetables on it directly; you still need to break out the cutting board. And don’t put hot pots and pans from the burner directly upon the surface. Just as common sense probably informs you, such extreme temperatures can damage the finish of the countertop and may even lead to some serious cracking. Luckily that can be avoided with the simple use of a potholder. Also, the surface can be chipped so avoid plopping heavy items down upon it. If you happen to be doing work on your cabinets above, don’t be careless with your tools – lay a towel to set them down upon.
The truth is, the most robust stones in the world can be cracked under certain pressures. Granite counters are tough, but they are still vulnerable to accidents and over years may be chipped, dinged or scuffed. You can do your part to protect it of course, and that can be as easy as cleaning, polishing and sealing it. The better you take care of it the more rewarding it will be. General maintenance like this can prevent mishaps the result in stains or accidents that cause such scuffs and chips, and other unforeseen causes of minor damage.
THE MAINTENANCE IMPERATIVE
It doesn’t matter what type of countertop you ultimately pick for your kitchen (or bathroom), it becomes your responsibility to care for it properly. In fact, be proactive and talk with your fabricator or installer about how to best care for the product. The varieties of granite and natural stone surfaces have certain care requirements inherent to each, using the correct one from the beginning will help preserve the finish for a long time. In fact, you don’t need to do much as long as you have the right tools on hand. As far as granite is concerned, it’s all very simple really. There are products specially designed to clean, polish and seal the luxurious countertops. Apply the formulas as needed, like when there is a spill. Polish them weekly to ensure they look their best and seal them as recommended to keep them in prime condition throughout the years.