Granite countertops deliver gorgeous aesthetics in kitchens and bathrooms and have other good qualities. However, there are some potential weaknesses to keep in mind as you consider granite countertops for your home. Here is a look at both sides of the issue.
Reasons to Consider Granite Countertops
Granite has a rich beauty that few other countertop materials can match. It is a natural product with a timeless aura and appeal. Granite countertops take a high-quality kitchen to the next level visually and often become the centerpiece of the room. With more than 20 shades of granite to work with, you’ll find one that blends perfectly with your kitchen cabinets, flooring and walls.
Granite is a very hard substance and is not susceptible to scratches. While not ideal to work on because it will dull knife blades, it will take normal wear and tear very well. Granite resists heat too, so its use near a range or cooktop is ideal. When you have to set down a hot pan fast, granite can take the heat without being damaged or weakened. In the bathroom, placing a hair tool on it that is still warm won’t be a problem.
Granite can be very resistant to stains and won’t absorb liquids when it is properly sealed. A good professional installer will be able to seal it correctly so that it maintains its attractive good looks indefinitely, or you can do it yourself.
Reasons to be Cautious about Granite Countertops
For all their beauty and durability, granite counters do have a few weaknesses. The most concerning problems can occur when the countertops are not sealed correctly or the sealant wears off without the counters being resealed. Granite is porous. This means that unsealed or poorly sealed counters can absorb wine, juice or oil, producing a stain that might be impossible to remove. A poorly-sealed countertop can also harbor bacteria in its pores.
Some treated granite can go 10 years without being sealed, but many countertops will need to be resealed on a yearly basis. When this is overlooked, it won’t take long for granite countertops to begin to show signs of staining.
While these counters are very durable, a heavy object dropped on a corner might crack or chip the granite. This isn’t common, but it can happen under the right circumstances. The final caution is that granite countertop prices are very high. Expect to pay more than $100 per square foot of countertop, and prices as high as $250 are not uncommon.
Are you good about home maintenance projects including keeping up with regular granite countertop cleaning? Are you careful with juice spills and similar events? If so, there is no good reason not to consider granite countertops. On the other hand, if you’ve got a busy lifestyle and would do better with a no-maintenance countertop, you’ve got plenty of good options there too. See our other Pros and Cons articles to compare countertop materials you want to learn more about. Also check out great cleaning products in our store; it is very important to use cleaning products designed for your type of countertop to keep them looking great for years to come.