Natural stones make great countertop materials. And one of the most common and loved stones is granite. It is naturally formed underneath the earth’s crust, which results in stunning varieties of colors and patterns that make any kitchen pop out. Not to mention, granite countertops can also last you for a long time because they are durable as well.
However, before you start shopping and choosing a color and pattern, what are the things that you should know about granite countertop designs?
How to Select Granite
Slabs and Edge Styles
Selecting granite can be overwhelming. Shopping alone shows you different colors and patterns that it might take a whole day just to choose one. But more than the designs, one of the things that you should do is inspect the slab of granite. For starters, it should be free from any cracks to make sure that what you’re getting is good quality.
But first, what are slabs? They are basically a ¾-inch or 1 and 1/4-inches thick cut from a huge block. Depending on your preference for your countertop, the thickness would mean more edge options for you. On the other hand, the thin slab would require a plywood subtop.
Now, you might be tempted to get a dyed slab because they look good. However, over time, a naturally colored slab will look better in the long run. At the same time, don’t get a glittery granite because it may not be as durable since the glittery pieces are not even granite.
What are the edge styles? When you’re shopping for a granite slab, you will also be choosing an edge style.
- Eased: The simplest style that gives off a square profile with a rounded edge.
- Bullnose: If you like to make the slab look thicker, a bullnose style is a good choice.
- Beveled: This style has another angle cut along the edges.
- Ogee: Although expensive, this design looks great, making a slight S-shape at the side.
- Chiseled: If you want a rustic look, this makes the slab looks freshly cut from earth.
Are you familiar with the ABCDs of granite? We’re talking about the grading system. This is quite significant because shops usually price their granite depending on their grade. The higher the grade is, the pricier the slab gets. However, do not be fooled to think that you have to get a high-grade pricey granite to get the best quality.
So what’s the point of this grading system? Well, it is related to the supply and demand of the granite colors. It will also make it easier for stores to sell their granite consistently throughout the country. Therefore, while a grade F granite color is rare and beautiful, this doesn’t always mean that it is more durable than a grade A granite.
Installing a Granite Countertop
Sometimes, the granite slab that you imagined to be the best piece in your kitchen is not the same slab that you will get. What we mean by this that just because a granite slab looks good, it doesn’t mean that it will fit well in your existing countertop.
Your countertops can be L-shaped or U-shaped, and you also have to consider the width of your cabinetry. The design might not look exactly how you imagined it when it is cut to fit onto your cabinets.
If you want a granite slab that has a flowy design, you will need to get a huge center island for it. This way, you will appreciate the design more. Discuss with the granite fabricator the layout of your kitchen so that you’ll have an idea of what will the finished installed granite looks like. Other than cutting a granite that will fit, it is also better to talk about the seams. You don’t want it to be obstructing on your countertop.
Maintaining a Granite Countertop
One of the things that people often think about when purchasing a granite countertop is its maintenance. According to DiligentChef.com, while a countertop should look amazing, it should also be able to withstand your kitchen duties.
The good news is that granite is a durable stone. It can resist heat, stains, and scratches. However, this doesn’t mean that you can abuse it and not make any effort in maintenance. This means you still can’t risk cutting ingredients without a cutting board or put hot pots and pans directly on the countertop.
The wear and tear and changes in temperature may not immediately damage your granite. But it will make some changes to the finish on your previously good-looking countertop. And over time, you might see some cracks where liquid can seep in and cause more damage to the granite.
Different types of granite also have different durability. Some might chip faster or stain faster, but regardless, make sure you are not skipping in maintenance and repairs. Consult with the shop on the best way to maintain your countertop.
This can mean simple cleaning to polishing and sealing regularly. Each time you use your countertop, even if it seems unnecessary, grab a soft cloth and wipe the surface. As you can see here, sealing can also lengthen the lifespan of your granite, so don’t cheap out on granite sealers. Good quality ones will last you longer before you need to reseal again.
How to Take Care of a Granite Countertop
Simple mild soap or granite sealer and water can keep your granite looking new. Of course, skip out any abrasive cleaners like acid or alcohol, so you don’t damage your countertop. You can also do a quick water test by sprinkling some water on your granite.
The quicker it gets to form dark spots, the more porous your stone is. This means you have to seal it to prevent staining from kitchen liquids. However, if this lifestyle isn’t for you, you can consult your store about granite that wouldn’t need sealing.
Overall, granite countertops are not just aesthetically pleasing. They are also not as intimidating as it seems when it comes to maintenance. But like with any kitchen area, it is your duty to maintain its cleanliness to prevent damage and keep it looking pristine.