When it comes to making a kitchen luxurious, one of the main areas to focus on is the countertops. Basic counters look cheap and won’t last very long, which is why those who are looking to increase the value of their kitchen or create a high-end space use materials such as granite. This stone is a natural rock that is very durable and can hold a good amount of weight. When polished, it looks amazing, and it will hold up very well to extended use in the kitchen. Granite has been used for centuries in kitchens, bathrooms, and other parts of the house.
There are a few reasons why granite countertops are considered luxurious. However, while many people want granite, most don’t realize what it takes to actually get granite countertops installed in their home. If you’re considering granite, here are some of the reasons why it’s a good option and the steps necessary to get these countertops installed.
What Are the Benefits of Granite Countertops?
There are several reasons homeowners have become obsessed with granite counters. While many people love how they look, there’s much more to the stone than just how aesthetically pleasing it is. It’s a very durable material, so it won’t chip, crack, or scratch very easily, depending on the material you use. This is especially true if the granite countertop has been sealed, which is highly recommended. A sealed countertop helps repel moisture and prevents staining.
Another benefit to using granite is that the sealed surface isn’t very porous. This means it’s stain-resistant, of course, but it also means that the counter is actually more sterile than other materials. There’s no place for bacteria to get into the countertop itself, which means it is less likely to get into your food.
For bakers, granite counters are completely flat and have no bumps or dips. They’re perfect for rolling out dough or for kneading bread. Since they’re incredibly durable and not porous, you can use them as a work surface.
Finally, granite is a great way of adding value to your home without losing the ability to make your kitchen reflect your unique style and taste. Granite comes in different colors, plus you will find some granite that is marbled or has speckles and spots in it. Colors range from a deep black to a bright white, too, so you can find the perfect granite piece for your kitchen.
How Is Granite Sold?
Granite is typically sold in square foot sections. This means you will need to carefully measure your counters before you make your purchase. There are other factors involved in the price than just the size, however. Thickness also plays a part. Thicker granite slabs are typically going to be more expensive than thinner slabs. Some colors and patterned slabs may also be more expensive because they are rarer than others. Of course, quality is also important, with higher quality granite being more expensive.
If you were buying your granite from a manufacturer, you would typically have to purchase the entire slab, even if it was more than you need. Fortunately, if you’re going through a granite fabricator, you won’t have to buy any more granite than you need. You will provide the fabricator with the measurements of your counters, and they will cut granite to perfectly fit those spaces.
What You Need Before Buying Granite Countertops
A few important factors you’ll want to consider before purchasing granite countertops for your kitchen are:
Before you begin reaching out to granite fabricators in Denver, you need to gather some basic information about your kitchen and make some decisions regarding your countertops. The first thing you will need to do is measure your countertops to determine how much granite you will need. Keep in mind that you will need to include any overhang and waterfall edges you plan to install. You’ll also need to measure the walls if you want to do a granite backsplash to match your counters.
If you’re having new cabinets or a new island installed, you may not actually be able to measure the space yet. However, you should have the measurements for those cabinets, so you can use them to calculate the size of the counters.
Next, you need to determine how thick you want your countertops. While many standard countertops are around 1.5 inches thick, standard granite is not always that size. If you want thicker counters, you may need to have wooded strips installed on top of the cabinets to build up the thickness.
Third, decide on what color you want. This will impact the cost and availability, so do keep that in mind. Remember that your counters are one of the key features of your kitchen, especially if you have a large island or peninsula. The color of your counters is likely to draw the eye, so you want to make certain you pick a color that looks great with your cabinets and fits with your overall aesthetic.
One important factor to make note of is that if you later decide to add more counters or an island to your kitchen and want the counters to match, it may take some work to find a new granite slab that perfectly matches the older countertops. This is especially true if you use a rare color or pattern. It’s not necessarily impossible, but you may end up importing granite from a manufacturer in another state or even in another country, and that will add to your cost. If you’re thinking about a kitchen expansion later on, do keep this in mind when considering granite that isn’t as easy to locally source.
The Installation Process
Now it’s time to look at how granite countertops are installed. Once you have all of the measurements in and have chosen your granite, the fabricator will cut the slab to the sizes necessary. They also cut out any holes needed, such as the space for your sink and faucets. You then work with the fabricator to select the installation date. Typically, it will only take a few hours to install your counters unless you have a very large kitchen.
The first step in installing your counters is to put down the base. This base is typically made of plywood. It supports the granite and adds the extra bit of height that helps ensure that all of your drawers and cabinet doors can open freely. If you need to have the counters built up a bit to increase the thickness, the buildup wood is then installed on top of the plywood base.
Next, the granite itself is installed. If two pieces need to be joined together to cover a large space, the pieces are connected together using brackets and screws. These brackets are placed on the underside of the granite, so you’ll never see them. A special adhesive is then painted onto the bottom of the slab before it is placed on top of the plywood. Items such as the sink are then put in place and caulking is applied to hold it in place.
The final step is to glue together any seams to prevent debris from slipping into them and then polish the countertop. The end result is a gorgeous kitchen with counters that everyone will love.
Caring for Granite
Once your granite counters are installed, you need to make certain that you take care of them. While the sealant will help protect your counters from damage, including stains, you still want to clean up any spills as soon as you can. Never let any acidic liquids like coffee, soda, wine, or fruit juice sit on the granite for long. While they may not damage granite like they would other stones like marble, they can still stain it. When cleaning the counters, blot up spills using paper towels, then wipe down the surface with a soft cloth or a sponge.
You want to make sure the cleaner you are using is designed for granite and other natural stones. You can use soapy water, but doing so can cause a film to buildup on the counters, even if you carefully dry them. This will eventually make your countertops look dull.
To prevent damage to the granite, always make use of trivets to protect it from heat. While you can place hot pots and pans directly on granite, you should protect the stone. There is a very small chance that granite could experience heat shock and actually crack. For drinks, make use of coasters so no moisture gets on the surface. Of course, you should use a cutting board, too. While granite is fairly scratch-resistant, it’s best to err on the side of caution. Cutting directly on the granite will also dull your knives, so it protects those, too.
Now that you have an idea of why granite is considered such a great countertop stone and how it’s installed, it’s time to decide if it’s right for you. Granite can make your kitchen sparkle, plus the value it adds to your home can be great if you plan on selling soon. If you’re considering remodeling, it’s worth thinking about granite.