Kitchen Granite Countertops

The natural color and beaty of granite makes it a very popular countertop material.No material is perhaps better suited to kitchen countertops than natural granite.

From the perspective of kitchen function, granite offers durability and resistance to chipping or scratching.

And from the perspective of kitchen design and form, with thousands of colors, textures and patterns, every kitchen granite countertop is completely unique!

At one time, granite was used only in very high end custom homes; a sign of elegance and expensive “designer-only” decadence. But thanks to increased production and supply, prices have come down. People now recognize granite as a good value in kitchen countertop materials that adds to the overall value of the home.

Thus, granite has become the countertop material of choice in a wide range of kitchen styles, from country to modern, ornate Victorian to elegant Tuscan or nearly any theme you choose for your kitchen.

Smooth and hard, granite is well suited to meet the demanding functional needs of ktichen countertops.Granite is extremely durable, strong, chip and scratch resistant; you can cut and dice, roll out cookie or bread dough, and set your hot pots down without fear.

Since natural stone is a porous material, a special sealant is required, but granite absorbs less than many other types of stone and resealing is needed only once a year or less, depending on the specific granite and sealant used.

You can use granite tiles to cut materials costs versus choosing the more expensive slabs countertops; but the seamless surface of countertops cut from solid granite slabs really sets off any kitchen décor with natural beauty and easy-to-clean surfaces.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Granite Countertops

Advantages and Benefits:

  • Second highest only to diamond in hardness!
  • Durable natural material, resistant to scratching and chipping
  • Withstands high temperatures, perfect for handling hot pots and pans
  • You can select your granite slabs from a range of some 3000 colors
  • Feels and looks solid and substantive
  • Improved sealers are very low maintenance
  • Adds value to your kitchen and home’s overall appeal and value

Disadvantages and Negatives:

  • Expense higher than other countertop materials such as ceramic tile and laminates
  • May crack if installed improperly or overly stressed
  • Can require maintenance
  • Absorbs stains unless properly sealed
  • Can dull knife blades if you cut on it!

No two granite kitchen countertops will be the same; you have limitless possibilities to create your own unique design.Unique Characteristics of Granite

Granite comes out of the earth’s core as liquid magma, where extreme heat and pressure forge quartz, mica, feldspar and other minerals into a very dense structure.

Over a period of millions of years, additional heat and pressure continue to alter the stone, creating the amazing variety of colors and patterns!

Granite’s innate ability to stand up against constant abuse is impressive; extremely scratch and chip resistant; fine for setting down hot pots and pans, and repelling bacteria and stains with normal use and care.

Since granite is naturally porous, the stone can absorb stains, but once sealed, is easy to maintain. Regular cleaning and maintenance it is not a great concern and certainly not as much hassle as some people mistakenly believe.

Every Countertop is Unique!

Perhaps the greatest virtue of granite is that no two countertops are the same. You can mix multiple colors, textures and even other materials to add interest and contrast to your countertops.

Colors and patterns should, of course, be chosen to match the overall color scheme of the kitchen. Visiting showrooms and looking for the right stone colors and patterns to use in your kitchen is one of the best parts of using granite; hunting for your “perfect” countertop slabs is about as fun as shopping gets in my book!

Pattern and movement, or lack of repetition are key elements in your selection of granite. Features like the inlaid tile backsplash in this kitchen add interest.Pattern and Movement

Granite varies to at the extreme ends of a pattern scale, from tight grains, high contrast and repeated patterns, to swirls and movement without repetition.

The surface patterns of granite countertops often have a flecked or pebbled appearance that varies in size and shape pattern, dependent on the particular combination of quartz, crystals and minerals in the stone.
Patterns can be highly structured, with a fairly uniform appearance or may change continually and with no repetition, which is referred to as "movement" in the granite.

Granite Countertop Color Schemes
Granite exists in hundreds of colors, from earthy browns and reds, to a range of greens and blues to monotone blacks, grays and whites.

To brighten things, go with lighter colors and less dense patterns. Some granite will have flecks of metallic that produce a wonderful sparkle when lit correctly with accent lights. With all the colors of the rainbow and then some, you are sure to find a pattern that complements any kitchen color scheme.

Dark granite countertops create visual interest and contrast in this modern style kitchen design.Granite with darker colors or monotone blacks, grays and white will look great in your modern kitchen, providing strong contrast and geometric shapes. If you have clear finished cedar cabinets, the darker colors can be especially important to achieving enough contrast in your countertop design.

Use care and consult your kitchen designer if you are considering mixing different granite patterns together or with other materials in your kitchen countertops; the wrong choice of movement and grain can cause the different surfaces to clash.

Kitchen Granite Countertop Installation

Care must be used in properly laying out and cutting granite slabs for use in kitchen countertops. The goal is to create as seamless a look as possible, so selecting the proper size slabs and making cuts along concealed lines is critical. This is not a do-it-yourself job; use only a reputable installer and purchase your materials from a shop that stands behind its granite countertop materials.

Proper slab selection, stone cutting and installation are critical when purchasing granite kitchen countertops.When using granite tiles, use larger sizes for ease of cleaning and maintenance. Choose a tile grout that either matches the primary color of your tiles or else choose something that creates natural contrast; a neutral white or off white grout often works best if you want to create contrast without having grout lines distract the eye from the natural beauty of the granite tiles If you have tile setting skills and the tools, installing a granite tile countertop will not be an overly difficult do-it-yourself project.

Add decorative touches such as rounded bull nosed edges, decorative borders and inlay patterns and the creative possibilities to create kitchen granite countertops that are “uniquely your own” can be literally endless!

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