How Granite Countertops Became a Kitchen Staple
If you plan to upgrade your kitchen counter or achieve a more superior-looking kitchen, granite is one of the most preferred natural stones to use for your countertop.
Continue reading to learn how granite countertops became the high-end luxury item for kitchens.
Granite Countertop’s History
Granite was a relatively new concept for kitchen counters until the 1980s. It only gained popularity later in the decade, with only two colors available. It wasn’t considered a good countertop material back then because of its price.
People eventually understood the importance and value of granite and started to use it as a kitchen countertop material for their homes. It later became the most famous and preferred kitchen countertop material worldwide. Today, it is available in a wide range of colors and can be customized to nearly any shape and size.
What Makes Granite Unique?
Granite is composed primarily of quartz, feldspar, mica, and amphiboles, along with other minerals. Its value is determined by how many types of minerals and colors are present and how they are cut.
The minerals that make up granite give it the unique colors we see in different granite types, from pink and white, to different variations of gray and black. The most popular granite color is Alaska White Granite, and with its outstanding color, you can achieve a stunning kitchen countertop.
Compared to marble, granite is more resistant to the acids found in vinegar products, lemons, and other kitchen cleaning products. And because it is also resistant to staining, scratching, cracking, and heating, it is the most durable choice for kitchen countertops when it comes to natural stone.
Granite’s Origin and Cost
The cost of a slab of granite is not the most reliable indicator of quality. The country of origin drastically affects granite’s price, even when you compare two similar caliber slabs. China tends to produce the most affordable stones due to reduced labor costs, while granite from Italy and Brazil is more high-priced.
The distance from where you’re purchasing the stone is also a factor because granite is heavy, making it expensive to ship. The same rare blue granite from Italy will cost less when purchased in-country than if bought from a United States supplier.
Retailers or sellers typically group granite slabs by grades set in-house. Low-grade granite has excess soft minerals mixed into the stone and less color variation than higher rated products. Mid-grade granite features transparent colors and exciting patterns, yet it doesn’t deliver much uniqueness. Exotic or high-end granite is reserved for stones with one-of-a-kind colors, variations, and patterns.
These labels change drastically between suppliers. For example, a high-end retailer’s lowest grade granite can be on par with the highest grade carried by a discount store, quality-wise.
The most marked difference in durability and quality is when comparing low-grade granite with higher grades. The stone’s excess soft minerals make it more prone to damage.
While granite comes in various colors, some shades are available in higher stock than others. This affects both the stone’s quality and cost.
The least common granite colors are blue, purple, and red, making them more valuable and expensive. Beige and green are more readily available.
Some granite colors are considered more durable than others, such as the red and brown ones. Being so, they are more difficult to cut than others. Meanwhile, gray and white granites are softer. It’s because they contain iron and can oxidize or rust easily when placed near wet areas.
Granite is extracted in huge chunks and then moved to a production facility where it is cut into slabs. And to get more counters out of one granite, some manufacturers cut thinner sections. However, this process reduces durability, especially if the slab is less than an inch thick.
Thicker granites are more valuable compared to thinner slabs. The most preferred thickness of granite for counters is one and a quarter inches, providing the durability most homeowners want along with the luxurious visual appeal that many expect from a natural stone.
Granite Countertops for American Kitchens
As time passed, people realized that granite is strong enough to bear any strain and remain intact. And now, this natural stone is the most popular countertop material for American kitchens. Using granite for countertops adds an instant visual appeal to kitchens and gives residential homes lasting value, making it a wise investment.
If you wish to get beautiful and robust material installed at your house as a kitchen countertop, contact your nearest granite countertop supplier today.