Positives and Negatives of Granite Countertops
ARTICLE BY: Jessica Herring –EDITOR marble.com
If you’re thinking about investing in a granite countertop for one or more areas of your home, it’s best to consider the prospect from all angles before taking the leap. After all, we’re talking about more than a financial investment—you’ll be living side-by-side with this craftsmanship on a daily basis. As such, you should make absolutely sure that it’s something you’re willing to take on.
Discover the positives and negatives of granite countertops in detail, so that you can make an informed decision.
There are many different types of granite that can be used in countertop construction, with colors that range from ice-white to pearly pink to deep night-sky black. There are also plenty of other natural stone alternatives available for your consideration: quartz, marble, soapstone and slate, to name just a few. With so many options out there, it should be easy to find one that suits your needs.
When it comes to home décor, appearance plays a huge role. A shabby or outdated countertop—whether it’s in the kitchen or the bath—can have a negative impact on the entire room. Granite, by contrast, has an appeal that’s both modern and timeless. When properly treated, it seems to glow beneath the lights, drawing the eye to follow its crisp lines. In addition, no two pieces are ever exactly alike, which adds an enticing degree of contrast and texture. There’s a rich and luxurious aspect to granite that no other type of natural stone can quite match. Since it’s also more durable than other stone alternatives, it’s likely to retain its unique character for much longer. If you want to give your home a clean modern upgrade without sacrificing character, then granite is the ideal choice.
As granite is created through a combination of heat and pressure, it stands to reason that it can hold up to a great deal of punishment — in the kitchen especially. People who love cooking won’t need to worry about damaging the countertop with hot pots and pans, or even with knives.
Note that this durability can be a double-edged sword if you’re the type of person who likes to switch up the décor on a regular basis. A granite countertop will last forever, so you should be prepared to live with it for as long as you own the home—or risk a sizable renovation bill later on.
There’s little risk of bacterial contamination where granite is concerned. The material itself is exceptionally bacteria-resistant, and it can be easily cleaned with soap and warm water. While this comes in especially handy in the kitchen, bathroom environments will benefit from the easy cleanup as well—and so will you.
If you have your heart set on a stone countertop, granite is one of the most affordable alternatives on the market. It has a far lower cost per square foot than marble and is easier to maintain. Since granite is also extremely durable and will last for the life of the property, it can be considered a real bargain in the long term.
Overall Home Value
While you might balk at the initial investment, time will cushion the blow—especially if you intend to sell the home eventually. The lifetime guarantee that comes with these countertops adds to the property’s overall value. Furthermore, prospective buyers will take immediate notice of the warmth and sophistication that granite brings to a room, and may be more likely to make an offer as a result.
Granite is relatively easy to care for in the short term—spills clean up easily, and it’s unlikely to be permanently marked or scorched by the heat of the kitchen. However, it should be treated regularly in order to maintain its naturally luminous appearance.
You can care for your countertop by applying a solution of baking soda, dish soap and a little bit of water to a stain intended for granite. Once you’ve applied the mixture to your countertop, cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit overnight before removing it thoroughly with warm water.
You should also apply a seal regularly—twice a year or as needed—to ensure that the countertop is able to resist damage due to water retention. To determine whether a seal is needed or not, splash a few drops of water on an area that sees a great deal of use. If the water beads up, the seal is still working effectively. If the drops seep into the counter, then it’s time to add a coat.
While natural stone is beautiful in its own right, the look isn’t suited to every decorating style. It may not be the best way to showcase the charms of an old Colonial-style farmhouse, for example. Think carefully about whether it will increase the visual appeal of your home before making a final decision.
Granite is a very durable stone however, it’s still susceptible to damage. It can crack if it’s hit hard enough with a blunt object, such as a meat tenderizer. If the granite cracks it can be extremely costly to repair it. You’ll either have to live with the crack, or replace the entire slab depending on where the damage is on the countertop. This is one of the negative aspects of granite since it can be expensive to repair if it ends up getting damaged.
You will need to think carefully before choosing granite countertops for your home and decide whether it’s a good investment. This natural stone is gorgeous and has a reputation of being able to withstand high traffic areas without any issues, which is why it’s become popular in many homes. In the end it depends on your budget and well as your personal design preference.