Whoever coined the phrase “hard as a rock” might very well have been thinking of granite. Formed over millions of years from compressed molten rock under the Earth’s surface, granite is extremely hard and durable.With its heat-resistant qualities, granite doesn’t blister; it’s also unlikely to scratch or chip. When used for kitchen countertops, it’s far superior to marble, synthetic and laminate. It’s also better-looking and has a luminous, dimensional quality when polished.
Granite is made up of interlocking mineral crystals, the most common being feldspar and quartz. But an array of other minerals can be included, and these make each piece of granite unique. Feldspar is the white mineral you see in granite; the light gray veins are quartz; and the black is typically mica.
Turning raw granite into countertops requires special tools. Granite can be custom-made and professionally installed, but it’s also available in precut and edged countertops. The kitchen’s design, the shapes and sizes of the available precut material and the location of the seams will help determine if you can use precut and edged granite or if you need a custom installation.
Granite countertops are so durable they can literally outlast the building in which they reside.Like many things, granite countertops have their advantages and disadvantages.
Granite countertops don’t depreciate in value.
It’s a one-of-a-kind, natural surface that has an almost luminous look.
Granite adds value to your home.
It’s sanitary — bacterial contamination is not a problem with granite.
Formed by heat and pressure, it can take the heat of a pan.
It’s easy to clean with warm water and a mild detergent.
Granite countertops last forever. If you get tired of the color, you’ll either need to learn to live with it or rip out the entire counter, because you can’t change the color.
Each slab of granite is different, so it may not be a good choice if you prefer a completely uniform look.
Granite itself is expensive, and the labor-intensive installation can run three times more than the cost of the material.
Granite can be permanently stained if you seal it with a preexisting stain.
It can crack when hit by a hard, sharp object like a meat cleaver.
Because it’s so heavy, granite often requires additional structural support, especially in spans and cantilevers.
Once glued onto the cabinets, granite is quite difficult to remove, and may result in damage to the cabinets.