Many people choose granite as an alternative to marble for their kitchen countertops, and for good reason – it is less prone to staining than marble. The following guide can answer some of your questions about granite so you are an informed consumer when you go to pick out your countertop.
How durable is granite?
Granite has relatively tight pores, which means it is less prone to chipping and stains compared to more porous stones. It doesn't easily develop water stains and even acidic foods, like tomatoes, won't damage the counter if they are cleaned up promptly. It isn't completely without pores, though. Oil stains can occur relatively easily.
Are there ways to prevent stains?
Yes. The single best option is to choose a darker color of granite. Pale gray, white, and paler pinks tend to show stains more easily. The next task, which should be performed on all counters, is to have the countertop sealed. This is when a penetrating sealer is applied over the surface to seal off the pores. This minimizes absorption of stain-causing materials.
What color options are available?
You can find granite in nearly every color imaginable. White with black or other colored flecks is relatively common, as are cream with black flecks and black with white flecks. Pink and red granite varieties, with flecks in various hues, can also be found. Rarer are the blue and some of the green granite varieties. These often cost more than other colors. Each slab of granite is unique, so you will need to visit a showroom to examine the variety of options available.
How is granite purchased?
You will go to a granite showroom and view the available slabs. Once you find one that you like, you will then schedule to have your cabinets measured. The dealer or installer will then cut your slap to fit your cabinets, bevel the edges, and prepare the countertop for installation. You will then pay for the square feet of the portion of the slab you use. For this reason, it's a good practice to have all counters done at the same time so you can ensure they all come from the same slab. Otherwise, the counters may not match well, especially if you opt for a relatively unique slab for the initial installation.
Contact a stone countertop dealer, such as Artisan Granite & Marble, or a renovation contractor for more help in picking out the best counters for your kitchen.