Granite is my favorite material to work with when creating a kitchen countertop. I’ve heard some pretty big misconceptions over the years. I’d love to clear those up for folks considering granite. Here is my list of 5 facts about granite countertops everyone should know.
1. Maintenance is key
Granite is an extremely dense and durable material, but as a natural stone, it’s porous. Granite stains are rare, but occur if a liquid gets spilled on the counter and is not immediately cleaned up. The longer a liquid such as juice, oil, or wine sits on the counter, the higher the chance that a stain will occur. We recommend liquids are never allowed to sit for any length of time.
Some homeowners choose to seal their counters once a year. But it may not be 100% necessary. It depends on the sealant you use and the wear-and-tear on your counters. We seal our counters at installation so we can be sure our customers start off protected. A water resistance test is simple. Drop a bit of water or oil on the stone. Wait a 30-60 seconds, if the stone begins to darken and absorb the liquid, it needs resealing.
2. Rumors about its radon levels are blown out of proportion
The truth is granite is slightly radioactive, but not as scary as the rumors make it out to be. The levels of radon in granite are even less so those found in regular garden soil. Its density makes it less likely to emit radon than a more porous stone, according to the EPA. Granite is a very safe material to have in your home, and a safe material on which to prepare food.
3. Variations are common
Do not select your slab from a picture, but rather choose it in person. Each slab will be different from every other slab. Its age, origin, and soil composition will all have an impact on the colors & quality of the stone.
4. Replacing Backsplashes
Sometimes it’s difficult to tie your new granite countertops into an existing backsplash. We usually raise the height of your countertop or replace the bottom of the backsplash. It’s best to plan on replacing the backsplash with a new granite countertop.
5. Granite is strong, but not unbreakable
Granite is extremely strong, but don’t get tricked into thinking it’s unbreakable. If used regularly, a granite countertop will likely earn one or two very small chips in its lifetime. Strong blows, say from heavy metal pans, can cause it to chip. Yet, a well-maintained countertop may last 50 years without a single scratch.
For more information, check out our ebook covering the most popular countertop materials.