Kitchen Counters: Granite for Incredible Longevity
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
This natural stone has been around for thousands of years, and it comes in myriad color options to match any kitchen.
Granite, the same stone that portions of ancient Egyptian pyramids are composed of, is ubiquitous in the kitchen for good reason. This stout stone that can weather millennia easily stands up to kitchen use and abuse. Is granite right for your kitchen? Have a look.
Granite is a natural stone, composed of at least 20 percent quartz as well as mica and feldspar. Colors choices span the rainbow, from a monochromatic slab to bold patterns. Counter top finish options include:
- Polished: The most common finish; it’s mirror-like, stands up well to stains and is the least porous
- Honed: A matte finish that is typically not recommended, as it can stain and scratch more easily
- Brushed/Satin: Similar to a honed finish, though less matte in appearance and better performing
- Leather: More polished than a honed or matte finish, but with a little texture
- Flamed/Thermal: Created by running a flame over the slab surface; has a rough, textured appearance and a varying surface depth
- Antique: Has a brushed, dull appearance that is slightly textured
- Cost: $50 to $100 or more per square foot installed
Granite’s durability means this product can outlast you and even your home. However, mining stone does disrupt local ecosystems and depletes finite, nonrenewable resources. Eco-friendly granite can be had with salvaged slabs. Also, you can choose granite that’s mined in your region to reduce transportation-related energy costs.
Limit routine care to a soft cloth and warm water or cleansers made specifically for granite. You’ll want to seal your slab every year or two with an impregnating water-based sealer made for granite.
You might have heard questions about radon content in granite. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has concluded that there is little or no health threat from granite counters, due to their relatively low radon content.