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Léa Plourde-Archer
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Léa
Plourde-Archer

All About Granite Countertops

Last modified: 2019/05/14 | Approximate reading time 4 mins

If you're thinking about changing your kitchen countertop, you will quickly realize there are many options available. Amongst these, we must not forget to look into granite. Known for being elegant as well as original in terms of design, granite deserves your attention. 

What you need to know about concrete countertops

Where does granite come from and how is it made?

Granite is a natural stone made of feldspath, quartz, and mica, resulting from a cooling of the earth's magma. It's extracted directly from the mountains found in Canada or elsewhere in the world. Following its recuperation from in its natural form, granite is cut using a diamond saw in order to respect the desired wild, which is often of 1 inch and ¼ or  ¾ of an inch.

After it has been cut, an epoxy resin product will be applied in order to fill in the stone's natural cavities. Polishing will flatten the surface and remove most of the resin in order to achieve the desired finish.

Once the granite has been cut according to the needs of the client, a sealing product is applied to the stone to make it water and stain proof. To optimize this protection, a second coat is applied on the granite following its installation. 

Morceau de granit

Photo: Wikipedia

The pros and cons of granite for countertops

In addition to the wide array of colours in which granite is available, this material has the advantage of not requiring a large number of joints. Granite is a type of stone that is sold in the form of slabs whose length varies between 7 and 10 feet, rendering it unnecessary to create joints in its surface except in one or two spots. It should also be noted that the joints are conceived to be hardly discernible.

Secondly, granite is known for being heat-resistant, which makes it particularly adapted to the needs of amateur cooks. To this end, it must also be mentioned that granite is fireproof. Moreover, it is very resistant to scratches and corrosion. However, to avoid unnecessary risks, you should still use a cutting board.

Regarding the drawbacks associated with granite countertops, we must mention that it can be hard to combine two sections due to the fact that each piece is different and irregular in size and shape. Furthermore, granite is not necessarily accessible to all budgets, as its price averages $40 to $150 per square foot, which corresponds to the general price range of a stone countertop. 

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Granite countertop maintenance

To ensure that your countertop remains in good shape for years to come, you'll need to apply a sealant product once a year. If your countertop seems to retain stains over a short period of time, this is a sign that sealant needs to be applied in order for the surface to be protected. To preserve the granite's beauty and to avoid stains, it's absolutely necessary to apply this product. You can find a full set of products including sealant and cleaning products for approximately $50. You can also find in store a kit including a product to make your countertop shinier.

Let's take a moment to mention that a big difference exists between the various sealants on the market. If you're not familiar with these substances, you should ask for help when it comes to choosing your sealant. This is because when choosing a lower end sealant, it may compromise the protection of your countertop. Further, it's important to note that it's wrong to believe black granite doesn't require any protection. 

Concerning regular maintenance, it's advised to use a soft cloth soaked in soapy water. If your countertop is stained, never use an abrasive cleaning product. Take a trip to the store and look for a product that is specially made to clean granite. 

The characteristics of granite

Irregular designs

As a natural stone, granite doesn't have a uniform graining pattern. Its lines create a random pattern, which can make it hard to perceive the complete look of the countertop when based on a sample alone. You can expect a difference with regards to the countertop's final look and accept the unknown. If this aspect doesn't suit you, black granite is an option you should consider instead.

A large number of colours and finishes

Granite is available in a wide array of colours. Depending on your supplier, you'll probably be able to choose between 120 and 150 colours, which leaves you with a good margin to find the colour and design that will best suit the colour scheme in your kitchen.

With regards to the finish of your granite countertop, you'll be able to choose between a matte, an antique or a satin finish. Each of these has their own particularities. The glossy finish, which is also available, will need more polishing.

comptoir en granit

Photo: Pixabay

Can granite break?

If your granite counter suffers a major shock, it may crack or crumble. Know that this risk is accentuated if the damage occurs on the side of the counter. However, it's good to know that the breakage, if minor, can be repaired. Do bear in mind that these repairs should always be completed by an expert.

How to choose your countertop?

Since renovation projects imply following certain steps and respecting a specific budget, you should take into consideration our recommendations concerning the criteria to take into consideration when choosing a kitchen countertop.

You're looking for more information on countertop materials, renovation projects, and maintenance? Read our RenoQuotes.com Countertop Renovation Guide.

Get 3 renovation quotes for your granite countertop renovation project

RenoQuotes.com will put you in contact with 3 reliable contractors for your kitchen countertop renovation project. Fill in the form on our homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will receive quotes from trusted professionals.

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