Granite is made from natural stones of igneous that originated from volcanic magma. This is how it differs from marble. A marble is a metamorphic rock that forms when layers of sedimentary rock are subject to years of pressure and heat. Granite, on the other hand, originates from volcanic magma that emerges from the earth to cool and harden.
The color of the granite is going to depend on which minerals were involved. Granite color ranges from almost entirely purely white to an almost pure black. Some look a bit pink, red, green, or even blue. There is typically little grains of black called amphibole throughout.
Granite comes in a few varieties of slabs, modular, or tiles. Granite slabs are the classic material used in countertops. Slabs are a solid piece of quarried stone and are usually seamless. Obviously, this is the most expensive type of granite and will require a professional for installation. Modular granite is less expensive and features large segments which have been laid side-by-side to complete the countertop, leaving seams. But, there will not be as many seams in modular granite as there will be in granite tiles. Granite tiles resemble floor tiles and are installed on a counter very much like ceramic or porcelain tiles would be. Of course, tiles will leave a grout seam that makes tile granite harder to maintain for a countertop surface.
Granite remains a very popular choice for kitchen and bathroom countertops even though many are now opting for engineered stone like quartz or a synthetic composite. Still, a granite countertop made out of quarried stone add an intriguing natural look to a kitchen or bathroom, and it stands up to heat and scratches while resisting stains. There are some drawbacks to all of the benefits, however. For one, granite needs to be sealed regularly.
Let’s take a look at all of the pros and cons of granite countertops:
Pros of Granite Countertops
- Granite is durable
- Adds value to any home
- Offers a unique appearance
- Easy to clean
- Resists scratches
Cons of Granite Countertops
- Granite is a premium option which makes it more expensive than some other choices – Granite slab countertops will cost about $40-60 per square foot. Modular granite will cost about $25-40 per square foot, and tiles will run you at approximately $5-15 per square foot.
- Not very DIY Do-It-Yourself friendly – Especially granite slabs are extremely heavy and must be installed by a professional.
- Difficult to repair – Cracks, fissures, or chips can sometimes be repaired using an epoxy resin kit, but usually will leave the countertop looking as though it was broken with a noticeable attempt at a fix.
- Requires sealing from time to time.
Some home builders or remodelers are now choosing to go with a synthetic engineered stone instead of granite, and it is nearly impossible to tell them apart. Upon very close inspection, you will notice that there are crystals that are an uneven size and randomly arranged in the authentic granite countertops.
Granite is a premium quality building material that will no doubt add value to your home but is not for everyone. If you want a state-of-the-art, high-quality countertop then granite may be right for you especially if you are fairly careful not to spill things on the granite and keep up with maintenance.