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Countertop Spotlight: Granite

When it comes to a natural stone countertop, granite is a solid choice. Born of fire, granite is an igneous rock meaning it was created from liquid magma deep underground, slowly cooling over thousands of years. The domes that create the iconic landscape of Yosemite National Park are made of granite as is the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

Due to how granite was formed, a wide variety of countertop colors and patterns are available. The presence and ratios of the mineral compounds quartz, feldspar, mica and other minerals will determine color. Granite can range from black and white, to reds and pinks.

As a countertop material, granite is hard and durable. According to Josh, senior designer of Cabinet Creations, “A lot of colors can be cost effective and there is a  huge selection. Granite can be repaired, and it’s not as heat sensitive as quartz.”

It’s true that different variations of granite will have different price points. Some slabs can include interesting features such as veins of blue, bold colors, or striking patterns. These varieties are known as exotic granite and will cost more per square foot. Mined in Brazil, the most rare and expensive form of granite is and is known as Van Gogh or Blue Louise. This gorgeous granite is mostly composed of blue labradorite.

Not all granite is created equal. Rarity, availability, grade, and place of origin will factor into each type of granite’s pricing. One of the most cost effective forms of granite is Uba Tub because this dark green/black stone is so plentiful. A mid grade option is Kashmir White in which some variations can have a marble look, while others offer splashes of rich browns. It’s important to keep in mind that not only plentiful varieties are more cost effective, but those with higher content of softer minerals or imperfections will also be less expensive. If you are shopping for a lower cost granite, be sure to investigate what factors are determining the price of that specific slab.

Unlike marble, granite is resistant to scratches, chips, and staining. It is also less susceptible to acidic chemicals. Although granite is resistant to these, it is not immune. Like marble and other forms of natural stone, applying a sealant to your granite countertops is well advised. The industry standard is to reseal your granite countertops at least once per year. Because granite is a porous stone, applying a sealant will further protect it from staining and etching.

Another similarity between granite and marble is that they are both heat resistant and tend to keep cool. That doesn’t mean that you should forgo using a trivet. This attribute of granite makes it ideal for either kitchens with active use or bathrooms where heated hair tools are used.

Regardless of the variety of granite you choose, your new countertop can last well over 100 years. Granite countertops are among the most beautiful and with a range of price options available, it can be an economic solution to adding natural stone to your new kitchen.

Kirk Richardson
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