In our last post, we looked at some important things to know about quartz kitchen countertops before making the choice of materials for your kitchen remodel. Today we’ll cover 7 things homeowners should know about installing granite kitchen countertops, which is right up there with quartz in terms of popularity, preference, and quality.
While quartz recently overtook it as the most popular material choice for kitchen countertops according to Houzz, granite still remains an extremely popular option with homeowners looking to upgrade their kitchens.
Its rich beauty with a timeless look can be the centerpiece of your kitchen. Granite is an ideal material to use near your stove or oven, because it resists heat. You can expect granite to last for a long time, provided it is taken care of.
Here are some additional things to know about going with granite as your kitchen countertop material of choice.
1) Granite has Variety
Granite comes in 20 different colors to fit in with any kitchen. However, exotic color choices can be pricey. The material will easily complement your kitchen cabinets and fixtures. By choosing the right shade, it will blend in perfectly with your floors and walls.
2) Granite is Durable
When cared for properly, granite countertops will last for years. It’s scratch-resistant and won’t easily damage from heat. It will appear modern even 10 to 20 years from now, especially when it’s sealed and installed properly (see below). Some kitchen remodels have natural stone countertops that can last up to 100 years!
3) Granite Requires a Bit of Maintenance
Your granite kitchen countertop is fairly maintenance-free, but there is some upkeep that’s necessary. Wash it daily with soap and water. About every two years, you will need to reapply a sealant. However, you can’t use your granite as a cutting board, nor can you leave water standing on it.
4) Granite is Eco-friendly
Granite is a natural stone that isn’t manufactured, making it eco-friendly. Granite can be recycled and recut if you ever decide that you need to update your kitchen again.
5) Granite Needs to be Sealed
Poorly sealed granite can harbor bacteria and lead to staining. Proper application of granite sealant is critical to avoiding stains, discoloration, etc. Some manufacturers are applying a sealant that will last up to five years. Luckily, the cost of resealing granite is affordable and can often be done on your own.
6) Granite Can Chip
The corners of granite can chip and break if hit by a heavy object. Using care will protect your countertops.
7) Granite Requires Expert Installation
Granite countertops don’t lend themselves well to DIY installation. The labor costs are generally just a small amount of the project. Professional installers can prevent many problems associated with improper installation. If you do your own installation, you will have to cover the cost of repair if it breaks while you’re laying into your kitchen.
How Affordable Is Granite?
Costs of granite will vary due to many factors, including:
- The grade of the material (higher-quality granite does cost more, but it will generally last longer)
- The cost of living and installation in your area
- The complexity of the design in your kitchen, such as whether the granite has to be seamed and edged
Granite countertops will cost about the same as other top materials, such as quartz, stainless steel or recycled glass. Natural marble will probably cost more than granite, but it’s not recommended for large sections of countertops. It requires constant maintenance. If you can afford the moderate-to-high cost of granite, it’s worth the upgrade because you won’t have to replace your countertops for quite a few years.
Determine if Granite Countertops Are Right for Your Home
Here are some considerations to decide if you should invest in a granite kitchen countertop:
- Can you invest in quality granite and installation? Experts recommend that you go for a high-quality granite that will last for years. DIY installation is not recommended.
- How long will you be in your current home? Are you remodeling your kitchen for a future sale or for your own comfort? You probably won’t recoup the investment in granite countertops if you’re going to sell in a couple of years. But if you’re planning on staying for 10 to 15 years, you won’t have to worry about replacing your countertops anytime soon.
- Are you willing to take care of your countertops? Granite is a bit fussy. You’ll have to wipe up stains right away. You can’t leave wet items on the countertop. You can’t cut on your granite countertop. If you have bad habits in the kitchen, you’ll need to be willing to change to keep your granite looking its best. Consider your kids and teens, too.
- How environmentally friendly do you want to be? Granite is a natural material, so it’s extremely eco-friendly, much more so than other less-expensive options.
Granite countertops are an investment. If you decide that granite isn’t for you, you do have plenty of other options for kitchen countertop materials that can fit into your budget and needs. Talking to a professional installer can help you find the right solution for your kitchen that will fit into your overall plan.
Tips To Keep Your Granite Countertops Looking Their Best
Taking care of your granite countertops is the key to longevity. Here are some tips:
- Use a cleaning product formulated for your granite countertop so that the cleaner doesn’t damage the sealant. Don’t use products with scrubbing additives, ammonia, vinegar or citrus on your countertop.
- Wipe up spills right away.
- Don’t set wet items on the countertop. Use coasters or place cans on a tray or plate.
- Place a tray beneath the liquid soap dispenser to prevent staining.
- Always use a cutting board. Granite will dull your knives. Your knives will make the countertops vulnerable to stains. Cutting boards will also prevent cross-contamination.
- Although granite is heat-resistant, use a trivet or hot pad when placing hot dishes on the countertop.
- Use care when working with heavy appliances around the countertop. Store heavy appliances under the counter so they don’t fall out of a cabinet onto the countertop. When moving furniture around, watch the corners of your granite to make sure it doesn’t get chipped.