What are the benefits of a granite countertop?

What are the benefits of a granite countertop?

Deciding to upgrade your kitchen or bathroom with granite countertops is both exciting and daunting. No matter the reason for the upgrade (remodel, damage, new home), granite is a surface that can bring value and beauty to whatever space you choose. 

What is granite?

Formed when molten rock erupted from the Earth’s core, granite’s patterns and colors are determined by many things. The veins and fissures and swirls of sparkling brilliance and the density of the granite are all random. 

Depending on what part of the world the granite was formed, it is possible to have different mineral “additions” to the once-molten rock. The swirls were created by the twisting and lifting of tectonic plates during the cooling process. 

When the slabs are mined, the tops are generally polished before countertop fabricators receive them. This allows for the true, finished color and pattern to become apparent. 

Selecting a granite slab

There may be 10 slabs at a showroom, all from the same quarry with wildly varying characteristics. This is why it is so important to view a slab in-person before making a decision on your project. 

The little sample piece you pick up in the showroom is usually not going to be representative of what is going into your countertops. There may be a small swirl of some color in one crucial part of the slab that isn’t like the rest of the slab. 

While some purchasers may consider this to be a fabulous asset when getting granite (it is natural, after all), others may be irritated by the extreme variation.

Fissures aren’t cracks

Fissures are often mistaken for cracks and are simply a natural feature of a material that was created completely independently of human intervention. When there is a visible “void,” yet there is no compromise of the stone’s integrity, this means the crystalline compounds (quartz) within have separated during formation. 

They are still crystalline and the fissure’s hardness is equal to that of the granite. Fissures may be visible only near the surface, with the base color of the slab shining through. They may also appear like empty cracks, meaning the fissure is through the entire cut piece of slab—top to bottom. 

Again, some buyers love the unpredictability of fissures and swirls and flecks of shiny iron bits. Others will cry, “That’s a crack! Replace my countertop!” Any anxiety about the potential variations in your kitchen should be relieved by a visit to view your slab.

The benefits of granite

Some slabs come pre-sealed, while others must be sealed annually. Spaghetti sauce, oils, red wine and other such liquids can indeed stain even the most stringently-sealed granite; especially if the granite is lighter in color. A professional can help you remove tough stains, or answer any questions you may have about the maintenance of your new addition. 

Pits and chips can be filled and modifications can be made if you switch out appliances or cabinets (in most cases). The important thing to remember when purchasing granite is that Mother Nature made it and sometimes you never know what you’re getting. 

Home improvements should be as stress-free as possible. Be sure to have realistic expectations, and your granite countertops will bring you joy for years to come.

About this Angie’s List Experts: Billie Ball represents Countertop Visions, Inc., providing countertops in Panama City, Fla. Since 2002, Countertop Visions has specialized in fabricating countertops from solid surfaces such as granite and engineered stone and quartz.

As of April 9, 2014, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.

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