Granite is one of the most popular solid surfaces to choose from when remodeling your kitchen – amongst other commonly used materials like marble and quartz.
Most homeowners feel it’s their best bet to use granite countertops in their remodels, even though the prices do lean towards the expensive side.
Which brings us to the general standpoint behind this article: What do we need to know about granite countertops when we’re remodeling our kitchen?
We know that it’s a common choice. We know that it’s a little more expensive than other options on the market. But what else do we know?
We’ve gathered some need-to-know facts for you to read into before making your choice. Now, none of the facts are considered ‘bad,’ they’re just pieces of information you should be aware of that may or may not sway your decision.
After some research, we dug up eight facts that we found to be important. Let’s get this show on the road.
Fact #1: Granite is a natural stone.
Granite comes directly from the earth. Therefore, it cannot be manmade. In fact, many companies have tried to replicate natural stone before – the strength and durability just aren’t there in the final product.
Granite is extremely strong. The rock itself is known as an igneous rock, created directly from volcanoes. If you’re looking for a stable countertop, you’ll find it in your granite endeavors.
Fact #2: Granite is one of the hardest substances in the world.
This is a true statement. What’s stronger than granite? Diamonds, and that’s pretty much it.
Would you like to know another fun piece of information regarding how hard this material is? The pedestal that the Statue of Liberty stands on is made from granite – that’s how sturdy and durable the substance really is.
Fact #3: Granite is not necessarily heat resistant.
It’s true; granite does form in a volcano, which ultimately means that it forms under conditions of great pressure and heat. Doesn’t that mean the substance should be resistant to both pressure and temperature?
Setting a hot pan down on granite itself is not going to damage or discolor the surface; however, the sealer that is applied to granite after install is NOT heat or stain resistant.
That’s okay, though. There’s an easy fix to the matter at hand. If you do damage your granite countertop by applying too much heat or by staining it, all you have to do is remove the sealer and apply a fresh coat. That’s technically why many manufacturers suggest re-sealing granite countertops at least once a year.
You should keep in mind that granite can also develop what’s known as stress cracks if sudden high heat is applied to it. This is not common; as sudden high heat temperatures range around 600 degrees Celsius; that’s hotter than any pan you’ll ever place on the countertop.
Fact #4: Granite can still break – even though it’s extremely strong.
Granite is NOT flexible. It will not bend and wield according to the pressure you put on the surface. It can be broken, especially if it’s dropped on the ground. It can also chip and crack if heavy objects or large objects fall on it.
Be careful not to hurt your granite before install by dropping it. And, be careful not to hurt your granite after install by dropping heavy pots and pans on it.
Fact #5: Each granite slab is not entirely the same.
Slabs that you find in stores come in all different ages. Slabs that you find in stores are formed in different volcanoes throughout the world. And, slabs that you find in stores are created with different soil compositions.
The combination of age, location, and soil can affect things like hardness and color of the slab.
We recommend that you go in-person to a granite company when it’s time to select a slab; pictures will not do the material any justice – and you might not get what you thought you’d be getting.
Fact #6: Blue and red granite is the rarest granite to find.
Blue and red granite is also the most beautiful granite you can find. It will be more expensive, but some homeowners genuinely enjoy the look and feel of the material so much that they don’t mind paying the extra fees.
Fact #7: You should always use a cutting board when cutting food on granite.
Granite is an extremely hard surface, which means that your knife will not win the fight when put to the test.
In other words, cutting food on your granite countertops is not a good idea – mainly because the granite is 10x stronger than any knife you choose to use. And, if you like the knife sets that you own, we don’t suggest testing them out on your granite countertops without a cutting board.
Fact #8: Granite countertops need to be sealed.
Absolutely. Granite is a natural product, which means it inherently has pours. If a surface has pours, that means it’s susceptible to stains through foods and chemicals. It needs to be sealed, so these substances do not make their way into the crevices of the granite countertops.
Our recommendation? Seal the countertop at least once a year, depending on how frequently you use it.
If you’re looking to find more information, please visit here.
Now that you know all the major facts about granite countertops, it’s time to see if this material the right material for your kitchen. If you do have any specific questions regarding these facts or any information you may have found elsewhere, head on over to the site or visit your local granite market shop.
Per usual, we wish you all the luck in your granite countertop shopping endeavors. If you keep doing your research, you’ll be in the clear, and you’ll understand the best options out there in no time.
Remember, granite is a super hard surface, but you may pay an extra penny for it!