When you are deciding what type of countertops to put in your kitchen or bathroom, there is a huge selection of materials to chose from: Granite, Laminates, Plastics, Glass, Quartz, Marble, Polished Concrete…the list goes on and on. Yet, for all the options that are out there, granite remains one of the perennial favorites. Why is that?
One of the big selling points of granite is simply what it represents: Style and Quality. Historically, granite tended to be found in more upscale homes, and has come to be seen as a sort of status symbol. The great news is that granite is more affordable than ever, and along with being visually appealing, it is a durable working surface that adds overall value to your home!
One of the other great things is that because it is naturally occurring, it comes in an incredible variety of colors and patterns that will match and enhance almost any decor you can imagine. Granite is a mixture of commonly occurring elements such as Feldspar, Quartz, and Mica, and different environmental factors in various areas around the world bring those elements together in different ways to give us all the types of granite we see.
Different regions of the globe specialize in different types of granite: White granite with Gray specks often comes from China, Blue granite is usually found on the African coast, Green granite can come from Brazil, and Red granite is usually found in the sands of Egypt. The United States also produces different types of granite especially in the Southeast (lighter colored) and Southwest (Red and Black).
Along with the different colors, there are also varied patterns that can be found. Some granite is predominantly one color with small colored specks, some granites are equal amounts of speckling, while others contain wavelike patterns throughout a slab.
A quick search of the web will offer you endless options for colors, patterns, and cuts of granite. One site I like to look at when I am thinking of ideas is www.houzz.com. They offer lots of great idea for projects in general, and their granite slideshows do not disappoint!
However, while doing a little research online is great to generate ideas, nothing beats getting out and looking at it in person. Check around with some local granite installers to see if they have a showroom, or better yet, see if they will let you come look at their inventory. There are so many different patterns and colors to choose from that your best option is often to go pick out a slab yourself! The added benefit to this approach is that you can sometimes find a piece that is left over from another project, and has been discounted to help sell it.
In the end, there are many pros and cons to using granite as a counter surface. While it adds value and is very durable, it is also naturally porous and there is a certain amount of regular maintenance that is required to keep it clean and beautiful. Also, because it is natural, there will always be different pattern variations that you will find, and it can take work to match up different patterns within the same style of granite. Make sure you study up on its benefits and drawbacks before deciding!
(Note: The website “How Stuff Works” is a great resource for any home project you may be doing. Check out their “Granite: Pros and Cons” for more info.)
For more information about how granite can add value to your home, check out #2 on our seller tips!
(Egyptian Statue image courtesy of Wikimedia)