Whether you’re remodeling certain rooms of your house — breakfast nook, outside bar, kitchen or bathroom — or building your house from scratch, you’re going to have to consider countertops. Specifically, you’ll want to consider what material or kind of countertops you want. Certainly one selection that goes though many people’s minds is granite countertops.
What do you know about granite? It’s nice to be sure, but what more information exists beyond the aesthetic? Here we’ll guide you to a firm and well-informed understanding of granite and granite countertops, including benefits like easy cleanability and its resistance to stains, mold and mildew.
Granite Countertops: What Is Granite?
According to Geology.com, granite is a light-colored rock that is formed from the solidification of molten rock material that has crystallized below the Earth’s surface. This is known as igneous rock. Because of the slowly cooling of the rock, that is why you see large crystalline structures in granite countertops.
Mostly made up of quartz and feldspar, granite is one of the most common rocks on Earth. It is popular in a variety of building applications, especially in countertops and flooring.
Properties of Granite
Granite is extremely hard, scratch-resistant and heat resistant. Additionally, it is very stain resistant if it is properly treated. These characteristics position granite as highly desirable for a number for building applications, especially in kitchens where hot pots and pans, sticky doughs and deeply colored wines and fruit juices abound.
The overall durability is one of the reasons why granite is so coveted in the construction and renovation world and why many people choose to build their homes with granite countertops.
The aesthetic properties of granite deserve a paragraph all their own. Granite has many practical properties as listed above; however, it is the aesthetics, or the look and feel of the material, that make granite so widely desired. In short, granite countertops look good!
These surfaces will not develop mold or mildew in humid environments and are easy to keep clean. The beauty of granite countertops can serve to create a focal point of a room and tie it together with beauty and flourish.
Part of what makes granite so beautiful is its property of having large crystals visible within it. These visible crystals exude luxury and are highly sought-after.
How Granite Is Made
How is the raw rock out of the ground turned into a beautiful granite countertop? Well, HowStuffWorks.com has the answer for that question.
Essentially, granite is drilled, blasted, chiseled or excavated in any number of other practical ways from quarries in large blocks, and these blocks are then cut into manageable slabs. Typically, a slab of granite is around four to five feet wide and between seven and nine feet long. After the granite is cut, other machines polish the material into a uniform thickness, usually about three-quarters of an inch to 1-1/4 inches thick.
Once the raw materials have been processed into a more manageable size, they’re shipped to suppliers who work with companies like us to turn it into countertop form.
Caring for Your Granite Countertops
Most fabricators will apply a coat of sealer after completing your countertop installation. Re-sealing may not be required for some time and is dependent on the quality of the product used and how well it was applied.
A simple way to determine whether or not your countertops need to be re-sealed is the “water test.” The water test is a quick, simple way to determine if your countertops are adequately protected.
All you need to do is pour a small amount of water (about 3 inches in diameter) onto various sections of the counter and wait approximately 20 minutes. Wipe away the water and see if the area has darkened. If so, then it is time to consider re-sealing.
How to Clean Your Granite Countertops
Cleaning your granite countertops is actually very simple. While you can find specialized granite cleaners in most flooring stores and online, you already have all that you need to clean them in your home.
According to the famed Bob Vila, renovation and construction extraordinaire, your best bet is nothing more sophisticated than mild dish soap that’s been diluted with water. Wet a sponge with water from the tap and squirt dish soap into its center and gently wipe across the entire countertop in small, circular motions (dried-on food splatter might require a little more elbow grease).
Finally, dry completely with a soft cloth, a chamois towel or microfiber cloth to prevent streaking and spotting. It’s just that easy!
Your Granite Countertops
So you’ve decided to take the plunge and start doing some construction or remodeling in your house. How much will it cost to renovate your kitchen? We have a blog post that dives deep into that exact question! However, in terms of just your granite countertops, that is another issue.
How much you spend on granite countertops really depends on how much space you’re trying to cover as well as the labor and the installer that you’re working with. Granite is considered the upper crust of countertop materials. With that being the case, granite will tend to be a bit more expensive than other materials.
Granite Countertops with AGS Stone
AGS Stone is a family-owned and operated business that supplies American made quality countertops with a variety of finish options to suit your taste.
Here at AGS, we welcome the opportunity to assist you with the planning, preparation and purchase of new countertops for your home. We believe that a well-informed customer is more likely to be a satisfied customer when our work is done.
We specialize in the planning, selection and installation of countertops and floors in a number of different materials, including granite.
Remodeling your kitchen or bathroom doesn’t have to be daunting. AGS Stone will work closely with you each step of the way. We are committed to helping you create the kitchen or bath of your dreams in a reasonable amount of time. Download our countertop profile options here to learn about our style and craftsmanship.