Why You Should Choose Granite for Countertops…or Should You?

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granite for countertop

Why You Should Choose Granite for Countertops

The first step to determining if granite for countertops is the best choice is to understand the material.

Welcome to Granite 101!

Granite is comprised of four central minerals known as:
  • Quartz
  • Feldspar
  • Hornblende
  • Mica
The hardest mineral of the four is quartz, which can be identified by its near transparent qualities and whitish-gray colour range. Feldspar comes in at a close second in strength when compared to quartz.
Granite and granite slabs when chosen as counter material are marked by their imperviousness to water and their resistance to stains, although proper care of granite dictates that spills should be cleaned up right away. In general, granite can be cleaned with regular soap and water, while cleaning products such as ammonia and other products high in citric acidity should not be used on these types of surfaces. Resistant to scratches, granite countertops eliminate a previous need for cutting boards. Additionally, one no longer has to worry about placing a hot frying pan on the counter since granite is also resistant to heat.

Speaking of Heat Resistance…

Recently, an experiment was conducted to dispel the myth of granite used for countertops cracking under heat. Two different samples of granite for countertops were placed in a hot oven under high heat and left for an hour to bake in the highest setting. After an hour, the granite samples were removed from the oven and examined. Not only did they display no evidence of cracking, but there was no discolouration either. To add a further test, these samples had water poured on them, and then had a propane torch introduced to dry off the water and to see if further heating would cause any damage. None was witnessed; in fact, the surface was completely unchanged and remained perfectly smooth.
Now, it is extremely unlikely that granite for countertops would, with regular kitchen use, undergo this type of abuse, but it should be extremely reassuring to know that if a hot pot or dish was put down directly on a granite countertop, there would be no adverse effects. Bathroom counters can sometimes see a little more exposure to hot items, especially since many hair styling tools can heat up in excess of 400 degrees and are almost always put down directly on the counter.
Should a hot pot, dish or styling tool be placed on another type of countertop material in the kitchen or bathroom, this would likely not be the case, and the damage might even be so extensive that the entire countertop would need replacement.

Is Granite for Countertops the Best Choice?

If the most important rooms in your house are the kitchen and bathroom, then you will want a material that is attractive and durable.  When choosing materials, there are a number of options, but only a couple of these stand out as being able to keep up with the demands of high traffic areas.
If you plan on replacing your countertops every couple of years than, granite for countertops might not be your wisest choice. Granite is a premium material and will last a lifetime, so naturally, it has a premium price. Also, if you anticipate renovations or redecorations to occur often, you may want to consider a cheaper alternative. Keep in mind though that cheaper alternatives are much more prone to scratching, staining and other damage just from regular use, so your planned renovation may end up being a necessary one, and maybe ahead of schedule, in order to replace spoiled counters.
However, if you only plan on doing your renovation once to get yourself the kitchen or bathroom of your dreams, granite for countertops is the best choice for you.