Friday, April 3, 2015

A Guide To Granite Countertops

Quality Kitchen and Bath
Whether they are buying a home or remodeling their kitchen, consumers almost always choose granite counter tops over those made from any other material.

With good reason.

Granite countertops not only have an extremely hard and naturally non-porous surface that resists staining, heat and scratches, but are available in an endless assortment of patterns and an array of colors that range from almost pastel to very vivid and striking. Considering its durability, versatility, and easy maintenance, it is little wonder that leading consumer magazines consistently rate granite as being the ultimate material for kitchen counters. In other words, although most materials have their advantages and disadvantages, granite countertops are head and shoulders above ceramic tile, stainless steel, butcher block and other manufactured surfaces.

How We Use Them

Granite is not only used for indoor and outdoor kitchen counter tops, but also for bathroom counter tops, shower and floor tile, patios, etc.

A Few Facts About Granite

Formed by volcanic activity, granite is primarily made up of quartz, mica, and feldspar... minerals that determine the color variations and movement in a block of granite. Granite is first blasted from quarries in large blocks and then sliced into slabs. It is then taken to a facility where the slabs are cut into thinner pieces, treated and polished. These slabs eventually make their way to your home to be a beautiful counter top.

Granite being one of the hardest and strongest materials in nature, is quite impressive in its ability to withstand constant use and wear and tear. Thus, the comparison to diamonds. Granite countertops are almost impossible to scratch and, as an added bonus, are heat and bacteria resistant. Additionally, stains don't pose a problem under normal use. Although it is scratch resistant, it is recommended that homeowners use a cutting board to avoid blunting kitchen knives. However, it should be noted that as a stone, granite is inflexible, and can be chipped or cracked if hit with a very heavy object so you should still treat it with care.

Choosing A Granite Counter Top

Because of the vast array of options available when considering granite counter tops, coordinating your counter top with your kitchen cabinets, faucet, appliances, walls and flooring to achieve the look and feel you desire, has never been easier. The vast array of colors available in granite is quite remarkable. You have your pick of soft beiges, golden browns, pale pinks to corals, deep plums, romantic reds, sleek and modern blacks, rich blues, exotic greens, stark whites and many, many other shades. No two granite samples are alike, because each block will have a flecked or pebbled appearance that varies in size, shape, and density, depending on the composition of quartz, crystals, and minerals in that particular stone.

After you have chosen (from a few thousand possible combinations) the color and pattern that best meets your design needs, you then pick the texture and finish you desire. Granite countertops come in honed, flamed and brushed finishes, with the most popular being a polished surface.  Granite is naturally beautiful, durable, and elegant, and no other natural stone can match the many unique features it offers. Granite countertops are an excellent choice for any remodel project you may be planning, one that you will enjoy it for many years to come.