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All About Granite Countertops

Last modified: 2022-05-10 | Approximate reading time 7 mins

Léa Plourde-Archer

If you're thinking about changing your kitchen countertop, you may quickly realize that there are many options available. Amongst these, we can't forget to consider granite. Known for being elegant as well as original in terms of design, granite deserves your attention. 

What you need to know about granite countertops

Where does granite come from and how is it made?

fleurs sur un comptoir en granit_flowers on granite countertop

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 its natural form, granite is cut using a diamond saw in order to respect the desired width, which is often 1 inch and ¼ or  ¾ of an inch.

After it's been cut, an epoxy resin product is 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 to the granite following its installation. 

The pros 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's sold in the form of slabs of varying lengths between 7 and 10 feet. This renders it unnecessary to create joints on its surface except in one or two spots. It should also be noted that the joints are generally hardly discernible.

Granite countertops are a green material, meaning it’s 100% recyclable and durable. It is important to remember that the granite supply is not as abundant as quartz and other man-made minerals used for our countertops.  It’s also worth mentioning that this material is an excellent choice for backsplashes. When paired with a granite countertop, the look and feel are seamless and uniform.

Secondly, granite is known for being heat-resistant, which makes it particularly adapted to the needs of amateur cooks. In this regard, it must also be mentioned that granite is fireproof. Moreover, it's very resistant to scratches and corrosion. However, to avoid unnecessary risks, we do recommend that you avoid using any acidic cleaning agents, as these have the ability to remove or degrade sealants. Also, make sure to continue to use use a cutting board if chopping anything, and never cut fruits and vegetables directly on the counter.  

In conclusion regarding the benefits of this type of countertop,  we should mention that this material works best when paired with an under-mount sink. What does this mean exactly? An under-mount sink allows you to easily clean and wipe the surrounding area directly into the sink, without any excess liquids ending up in its lip.

The cons of granite for countertops

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 $48 to $180 per square foot, which corresponds to the general price range of a stone countertop. 

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Secondly, 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 be aware that if the breakage is minor it can be repaired. Do bear in mind that these repairs should always be completed by an expert. 

Also with regard to disadvantages, it must be said that light-coloured granite will have less resistance than dark-coloured granite. As for granite with a satin finish, its resistance to grease stains is less.

Granite countertop maintenance

comptoir en granit_Soumission Rénovation_granite countertop

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 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 $60. 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, be sure to 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 protection. 

For the daily cleaning regime of your granite countertop, you should use a non-abrasive cloth, water, and a mild pH cleaning solution. We’d recommend diluting any cleaning solution you’re using with water. Do be certain that no soap solutions are left behind on this countertop, as this can leave permanent marks on your granite. 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 grain pattern. Its lines create a random pattern, which can make it hard to perceive the complete look of the countertop based on a sample alone. You can expect variation when it comes to the countertop's final looks, so be ready to accept the unknown. If this aspect doesn't suit you, black granite is an option you should consider instead.

Edge styles 

When selecting your granite slab, you’ll be asked to choose an edge style. Here is a breakdown of the different types of edges:

  • eased edge: this edge has a slightly rounded top edge with a squared-off profile ;
  • bullnose: this is a half-circle and you may have the choice of thickness to complete the look ;
  • bevelled edge: this style will have an angle cut along one edge or more. Do bear in mind that if you’ve chosen a granite that tends to chip, this edge has a tendency to chip more than others ;
  • ogee edge: not only is this the most traditional edge option, but it’s also the most expensive. When you view this cut from the side it will resemble an “s” shape ;
  • chiselled edge: this raw style will make your granite slab look like it’s been chiselled directly from the Earth.

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 right colour and design to best suit your kitchen.

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

If properly loved and cared for, a granite countertop can last more than 100 years. But with further maintenance, this material can last even longer. The lifespan of granite can be attributed to the strength of this material and its resistance to heat and chemicals.

comptoir en granit_Soumission Rénovation_black granite countertop

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 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.

Dial 1-844 828-1588 to speak with one of our customer service representatives.

 

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