Granite countertops are one of the most astonishing features you can have in your kitchen or bathroom. It has both elegance and functionality which most homeowners are willing to invest and install.
Aside from its classic look, it is truly admired by its innate trait of being highly resistant to scratch and stain. Likewise, is solid and very easy to clean or wipe off. Its natural design and color crafted by nature is mesmerizing and gives a strong sense of fashion.
If you are one of those lovers for granite countertops, good thing you are here as we are going to share with important details about it. Moreover, at the end of this discussion, you will have a more solid idea and greater love for it.
Benefits of Granite Countertops
Aesthetics: This material elevates the beauty and quality of your bathroom and kitchen. Its unique mineral designs and color gives that classic and elegant impression in your home atmosphere.
Tough and Durable: It is taken from stone mines of igneous rocks. These rocks are the magma that has solidified already. It is highly rich in minerals which give its durable properties. Despite that, you still need to have extra care in handling it to preserve its form.
Maintenance-free: Granite countertops have smooth surfaces which have high resistance to scratch and stains. It is also resistant to any scratches or marks coming from the bottom of hot pans or tools. Likewise, you can easily wipe off a spill or stain on its surface.
Sanitary: Granite has a natural antibacterial property which makes it highly sanitary. It has very small pores that allow fluids to pass through but to a very minimal range. Most manufacturers will seal its surfaces to improve their sanitary function.
Adds Economic Value: The value of a granite countertop does not depreciate over time – either it stays the same or appreciates. Likewise, if you plan on reselling your house, remodeling your kitchen with granite countertops will add around 80 to 100 percent to the overall value of your house.
Variety: In general, the variety of designs and colors these materials are around 20 options. This gives you a sufficient amount of options to work on until you find the right which complements your home.
How Much Do Granite Countertops Cost
There are several things you need to consider which affects the cost of installing a granite countertop. These factors include details of the project, craftsmanship of the installer, and grade or quality of the granite used.
The price of granite per square foot can vary from different suppliers. The best price for granite countertops you can get with a discount is around $29 to $35 per square foot. Others offer it around $40 to $60 per square foot. If you want to have the highest grade quality, the price can range between $125 to $200 per square foot. $15 is a cheap price to have this kind of material.
We are done with material cost, now let us move to the labor cost for installing this material in your home. If you really want to save, then go for a DIY installation which can cost you nothing as you will be the one to install it. But if you want to hire a skilled installer for it, that would cost you around $6.50 to $10 per square foot.
Moreover, you will be buying other supplies for the installation such as braces, grout, fasteners, and sealers. For this, you need to have a budget of around $100 to $150 for every 50 square feet or $2 to $3 per square foot of this material installed in your kitchen countertop.
Granite Countertops for Kitchen
There are many ways of customizing your kitchen and countertops. Below are some of the means of customizing it.
You can install granite laminates on the sides of your cabinetry or on the kitchen wall.
You can replace your existing tile floors with a granite tile to complement the countertop.
You can also play along with your tile backsplash as it covers a smaller area compared to the kitchen wall. You can do mosaic or classic design for it as long as it complements the whole kitchen ambiance.
You can use granite material for the overhang of your island or peninsula countertop. The standard overhang you can have is around 1 to 1.5 inches. If you plan to make that overhang a permanent table, then you need to install a brace or frame at the edge to have extra support on the weight.
Granite material is a good option for your built-in sink in the kitchen. Aside from giving a good classy accent, it has antibacterial properties and very easy to clean or wipe off.
A granite material also looks great for your kitchen corners as round edges so to avoid scratches to people’s skin.
Granite Countertops for Bathroom
Why granite? Take note a vanity top serves two purposes: (1) provide a sturdy and wide area for your vanities, and (2) it is constantly exposed to liquids like water and other chemicals from your cosmetic products. Consequently, you need a material which can withstand these conditions and granite is a good option.
Granite used for bathroom countertops provides better water-proofing abilities, easy wipe off from stains, and has an antibacterial feature. Moreover, you get that elegant and exquisite atmosphere from this material which complements beauty and vanity.
Granite Countertop Colors
In the market, there are several color options for granite countertops but the ones mostly chosen are black, white, and blue. The black and blue colors are easy to find but pure white is very challenging to acquire.
Black Granite Countertops
Most clients choose this color as it creates a sense of depth and emphasizes other bright colors inside the kitchen or bathroom. Likewise, if you love stars in the night sky then black pearl best suits you. It creates that starry night design with the silver mica as the stars in the night.
In addition, black granite countertops are very easy to clean and maintain compared to white ones.
White Granite Countertops
Like the black granite color, this one has strong versatility which can blend and complement various things inside your kitchen or bathroom. Nothing can go wrong from choosing this color. Here are some of the important reasons for choosing a white granite countertop:
Wide Versatility: Nothing can go wrong with this color as it has wide compatibility with almost anything in your home. Like black, it does not compete with other colors and aesthetics that you want to add in your kitchen or bathroom.
Lighter Ambiance: White color creates a sense of serenity and calmness in your place. Moreover, it lightens up the room so you consume less electricity and makes it appear bigger in size.
Ageless Beauty: White color is undoubtedly a pure symbol of beauty and elegance which is independent of time. Since the middle ages until today, it has been widely used by cosmetic and beauty industries to connote beauty and purity.
Blue Granite Countertops
Generally, its patterns can be grouped into two: veined and homogeneous designs. If you are looking for even distribution patterns of minerals, then choose the homogeneous type. Meanwhile, if you like interesting patterns and combination of swirls, then choose the veined type.
Like other colors, this one comes in an array of options such as persa blue granite, azule granites, navy blue, ice, blue, and blue flower granite. Among these, the azule granites have the highest demand from clients due to its constant pattern and color intensity.
How to Clean Granite Countertops
Prepare the materials needed:
Mild strength dish soap
Optional: Spray bottle
Here are the simple steps on cleaning a granite countertop:
Prepare the soap solution using the dish soap and warm water.
Dip your clean cloth into the soap solution.
Squeeze the cloth and wipe it on top of the countertop.
Use another clean cloth to wipe dry the countertop surface.
Optional: Prepare a 50:50 alcohol solution and place it inside the spray bottle.
Spray the surface of the granite countertop with this alcohol solution for enhanced sanitation. Let it sit for 1 to 3 minutes.
Wipe dry with a clean cloth.
To further maintain your granite countertop, here are a few simple tips you need to observe:
Avoid using acidic liquids such as vinegar, ammonia, and citrus on your granite countertop as this will decrease its luster and destroy the sealant of the material
Avoid using cleaning pads or cloths that are highly abrasive to avoid scratch marks
When using dish soap, make sure to rinse it with a wet cloth and wipe dry after to retain the luster of the surface
Always use a cutting or chopping board when slicing or cutting ingredients on the countertop
You can use a little bit of mineral oil on a clean cloth to wipe the countertop and give it a nice shiny look
How to Install Granite Countertops
Prepare the materials needed:
The first option is DIY or you will be the one to install it to save labor cost for a professional installer.
The second option is to hire a professional installer and pay them per square foot of granite countertop installed. The average labor cost for installing granite countertop is around $5 to $15 per square foot.
Do-It-Yourself Installation of Granite Countertops
You need to order first the granite materials from a reliable supplier. The delivery process takes around 3 to 4 weeks. You also need to prepare ¾” plywood which will be placed on top of the cabinet to have extra support on the granite.
Remember that the standard overhang for countertops is around 1 to 1.5 inches from the face frame of your cabinet.
Measure the base of your cabinet and cut an exact dimension from the ¾-inch plywood. The plywood provides a vertical clearance for the bull-nose edging. It must not overhang from the face frame of the cabinet. You can attach the plywood to the cabinet base using screws.
These granite slabs can be quite heavy, weighing over 200 lbs, so you can ask for help from a friend or family when you will be installing it already. Be very cautious in handling this material as it is also breakable.
You can store the granite slabs in an upright position if the installation process has not yet started. In creating various shapes from the slab, you can use kraft paper for it.
If you are ready to cut the shape, use a circular saw with a diamond blade so it will be smoother and faster.
For granite countertop installation on your kitchen sink, use kraft paper in tracing the shape of the sinkhole. After, place the kraft paper on top of the granite slab and trace the shape of the sinkhole. Use a jigsaw to cut the traced pattern drawn onto the granite slab.
Next step is gluing the granite slab down on the plywood screwed on top of the cabinet base. Use a sufficient amount of silicone along the sides of the cabinet, then slowly place the granite slab on top of it.
The last step is gluing and securing the seams. Mix a polyester-based resin and a coloring agent to match the color of the granite slab.
Mix around 3 percent hardener into the polyester-based resin mixture. Place gradually small amounts of this mixture into the seams. Then let it dry for around 30 minutes.
Once dried, you can smoothen the surface using a steam stone.
Sealing Granite Countertops
You can use commercially sold sealants in the market such as Tenax Hydrex Impregnating Stone Sealer. This product has long-standing credibility in the field of sealing pores from various stones.
Here are some few easy steps you can follow in sealing your granite countertops with Tenax Hydrex Impregnating Stone Sealer.
Clean the surface of your countertop with a wet cloth and then wipe dry with another clean cloth.
Use a lint-free towel or rag and place a sufficient amount of the stone sealer into it. After, wipe this fabric on your countertop surface. Make sure to cover all side and edges of your granite countertop.
Let the first coat dry for around ten minutes. After, you can apply a second coating and then let it dry again for 10 minutes.
This sealing action can last up even beyond 24 hours after it has dried from the granite countertop.
Quartz VS. Granite Countertops
There are several factors to compare from these two materials and we are going to show you these comparisons below. In terms of scratch resistance, the weaker resin making up the quartz provides less resistance to scratches and marks. Granite countertops can still be scratched but not that easily under normal conditions.
Granite is Tougher than Quartz
In terms of scratch resistance, the weaker resin making up the quartz provides less resistance to scratches and marks. Granite countertops can still be scratched but not that easily under normal conditions.
Further, accidents are inevitable to happen in every kitchen and sometimes the countertop gets chipped off. For granite countertops, the chips are easily repaired and glued back to the surface. In contrast, chipped off quartz are almost useless to put back.
Maintenance is easier for Granite
Likewise, if you want to enhance the scratch- and stain-proof abilities of your granite countertop, it will only take ten minutes. You only need to apply two coatings of the stone sealer and it can already give a decent one year of protection. Further, accidents are inevitable to happen in every kitchen and sometimes the countertop gets chipped off. For granite countertops, the chips are easily repaired and glued back to the surface. In contrast, chipped off quartz are almost useless to put back.
Granite is more economical than Quartz
When you buy a granite countertop, you can save around $35 per square foot compared to having quartz.
Granite production is Energy-Efficient
The two minerals are acquired through quarrying from various places in the United States. However, further production of quartz consumes more energy and inputs. Meanwhile, granites are just cut and polished after acquired from the quarry mines.
Hopefully, we were able to give you enough insights on the details and benefits of a granite countertop. The last choice rests upon you so take enough time to think and rethink.