Considering granite countertops for an updated look in your kitchen or bath? Granite offers a highly durable and low maintenance option guaranteed to bring the beauty of your home to the next level.
Let’s answer some questions you may have about granite and granite countertops.
How is granite made?
Granite is a natural product that forms from the slow crystallization of magma below Earth’s surface. It is composed mainly of natural quartz and feldspar with subtle amounts of mica, amphiboles, and other organic minerals. In short, your granite kitchen countertops were molten lava at one point. The mineral composition of granite usually gives it a red, pink, grey, or white color with dark mineral grains visible throughout the rock, although there are many types of extraordinary granites that include colors like blue, green, black, and gold.
Where does granite come from?
As an igneous rock, granite is found in mountains across the globe, however, there are some particular spots that manage to produce the quality that is fit enough to be kitchen countertops. The majority of the world’s granite countertops are quarried in Brazil, Italy, India, and China with each region claiming its own unique characteristics in the stone’s appearance.
Why are there color and pattern variations in granite?
Because granite is a natural product, it is created by the whims of Mother Nature. No two slabs of granite are identical. Granite is a combination of interlocking mineral crystals, such as quartz and feldspar. Each piece of granite is different from the next, as other minerals can be mixed in with the feldspar and quartz. You will notice different flecks of color in each piece of granite which comes from the different minerals that have bonded together over the centuries. For instance, mica is the material that forms black flecks and veins, while quartz produces light gray veins and feldspar is responsible for the white component of a slab of granite.
Unlike some other countertop options, granite will never fade or change color over time.
Can granite countertops have different finishes?
These days, there are several finishes to choose from including polished, honed, leather, satin, antique, and thermal or flamed finish.
A polished finish is the most popularly chosen finish among homeowners. It offers a reflective, mirror-like glossy appearance and has the best rating when it comes to protecting your countertops from scratching and staining.
The honed finish provides a matte look, which is more dull and not reflective. Although this is a relatively popular choice, it is more susceptible to scratching and staining. Similar to a honed finish, a satin finish is smoother, and softer but has a more vibrant appearance.
If you’re looking for a smooth, soft look that gives off a more polished appearance than a honed finish, you should choose the leather finish, which also provides a little bit of a texturized appearance. Similar to a leather finish, the antique finish offers the small sense of texture, but with a dull, brushed appearance.
Lastly, you can choose a thermal finish, which is also referred to as a flamed finish. With this option, you have a rough textural appearance with a bit of varying depth throughout the granite.
Is granite durable?
Granite is widely considered to be one of the most durable natural stones because of its creation process. It takes thousands and thousands of years of extreme pressure for granite to reach its final state, making it incredibly dense. The strength of granite is said to rival that of diamonds, which are actually used to cut the stone into slabs at quarries.
How much maintenance is involved for granite countertops?
When properly cared for, your granite countertops can look brand new for a lifetime. Following the installation of your new countertops, ask the installers to apply a professional-grade granite sealer. This will help prevent staining and provide scratch resistance protection. To keep your granite countertops looking like new, you will need to conduct regularly scheduled sealings to help maintain the durability and overall appearance. Be sure to ask our installation team what you should use and how often, as it is possible to over-seal, which could create a cloudy appearance.
When it comes to cleaning, you’ll want to use a soft cloth, warm water and a non-abrasive soap. Wipe the counter surface with warm, soapy water and rinse thoroughly. You can also use a 50:50 solution of isopropyl alcohol and water. Don’t use vinegar, lemon, Windex or bleach on granite as frequent uses of these acidic substances will dull the granite and weaken the sealant. Don’t use abrasive cleaner or pads, either, because granite can be scratched.
Granite countertops take a high-quality kitchen to the next level visually and often become the centerpiece of the room. With more than 20 shades of granite to work with, you’ll find one that blends perfectly with your kitchen cabinets, flooring and walls.
Talk to our professionals for more information on granite countertops.