The epitome of luxury, granite countertops add a touch of class to any kitchen, no matter what style or feel you are trying to achieve for the rest of your kitchen. Granite offers a hard, durable, and easy to care for countertop that makes a statement in any kitchen.
Granite countertops come in a wide variety of grains, patterns, and colors. Granite slabs are imported from all over the world, each having its own unique characteristics. The best way to pick out the granite countertops for your new kitchen is to visit a granite importer and sift through their inventory to select the piece, or pieces, that will make your kitchen pop. Once you have the granite slab selected, a granite fabricator will cut the slab to the exact dimensions needed for your kitchen, shape and polish the edges to your specifications, and install the countertops into your kitchen. Because of the nature of any natural stone and the weight involved, the installation is best left to the experts.
You can also buy prefabricated slab granite countertops which offer a wide choice of patterns and colors, but are more limited in length and edge details. You trade less customization for a lower price, and this option may offer you the best value for the elegant look that you want in your new kitchen.
A less expensive choice is using granite tiles for your kitchen. Handy homeowners can install granite tile countertops themselves, and have the look and feel of real granite at a much lower cost than slab granite. The edges can be polished with common tile laying tools or can be trimmed with wood counter edges which match the cabinets, both of which give an excellent finished look to the countertops.
The cost of granite countertops can vary as widely as the look of the granite itself. Granite tiles (12″x12″) can be purchased for $4 to $25 per piece, depending on quality and rarity of the granite. Granite slabs are also sold by the square foot and can run from $25 for common granite slabs to well over $300 per square foot for more exotic granites. In addition to the cost of slab granite there are fabricating and installation charges, which can also be pricey if you desire elaborate edges or contours in your granite countertops.
No matter which type of granite you select for your new kitchen, taking care of it is relatively easy. Granite is very hard and durable, making it hard to chip or crack, but you still need to be cautious not to drop heavy cookware on the surface. Because granite is very hard, items dropped on it are more susceptible to breakage, especially china and glassware. Granite is a natural substance and it is susceptible to staining and needs to be sealed periodically to minimize stains. With minimal maintenance your granite countertops will give you a lifetime of service while retaining its look of luxury.
It is important not to lose sight of the overall look and feel that you are trying to achieve for your new kitchen. You may fall in love with a particular color or pattern of a granite piece, but if the piece doesn’t compliment your cabinet choice or the style of kitchen that you want, you will need to look for something else. The coordination of all of the components is the key to a successful kitchen remodel. Granite can fit this requirement for any kitchen, just take the time to find the right granite countertops for your new kitchen.