What‘s Granite made of?
Granite is a natural rock, found most commonly in mountainous areas. It forms deep underground, from volcanic activity. Before it’s refined in a factory, it’s had to withstand super-high temperatures for thousands (if not millions) of years. This natural process makes it very durable.
Is it right for your kitchen? Let’s explore the pros & cons to find out:
The Pros of Granite
1. Low Cost Material
Choosing granite over other materials such as Quartz or Dekton can lower the overall cost of your kitchen remodelling.
This applies to most granite worktops, however – the cost of granite can rise depending on whether you’re after a more exotic slab as these may be in lower supply.
Traditionally, granite has been a premium material for wealthier homeowners, however it’s popularity over time has made it more affordable.
2. Looks Expensive
The fact is, no one piece of granite is alike. Every slab has its own unique pattern.
Whether you’re after a modern, or traditional kitchen, granite is ideal because it gives off a premium vibe, which can help with the resale value of your property.
3. Exotic colour options
Granite comes in a huge range of colour options, from the traditional whites & greys to some interesting blues, greens and reds.
Here are a few examples below:
If you want to see a full list of colour options we can offer for granite, our sister company (Zen Stone) has a granite library page – once you’re there just scroll down and you’ll see a range of different options.
4. It’s an environmentally friendly material
Because it’s formed by mother nature, granite is seen as a more environmentally friendly material. It takes less energy to make than something like quartz (which needs to be crushed & then glued back together during the manufacturing process).
The Cons of Granite
1. Harder to see stains & messes
Sometimes, stains & messes might be harder to see. Let’s say there are some bread crumbs on the surface – well, they won’t be that easy to spot because of the granite styling. Things tend to ‘camouflage’ into the surface.
2. Requires more maintenance
Granite is a porous material, meaning that stains and liquids can make their way into it unless it’s sealed.
However, when sealed, it’s best to reseal it regularly (some recommend every 3-6 months) if there’s very heavy usage of the worktop and you’re concerned about longevity.
Other manufacturers will suggest resealing every 12 months. However, this is something you should ask your kitchen installer if you’re considering granite because they’ll be able to advise depending on your specific needs.
This is a simple process that can be done at home, but it does require leaving the sealant to dry for 24 hours.
Exposure to acidic substances (e.g. vinegar, lemon juice, etc) should be avoided, as this can cause scorching on the material over time.
3. Need to be careful with hot objects
Granite is unlikely to crack. Under normal conditions, cracks shouldn’t form – but a head pad is recommended if you’re going to place piping hot utensils (e.g. a frying pan) on the surface right after use.
However, granite does resist higher temperatures better than Quartz.
Some other important points about Granite:
Granite can chip, but it’s (typically) easy to repair. Low cost DIY repair kits (for around £20-£30) do well to fix small cracks & chips.
How does granite stand up to UV light? Granite does well against direct sunlight. However, it’s not quite like Dekton (which doesn’t fade under UV light at all). If under direct sunlight, Granite can fade but it would take years for this to happen. If you have longevity in mind, and you need a worktop for outdoor purposes, it’s probably best to use granite if it’s under a cover. How quickly it fades depends on the dye used to colour the granite. Some dyes can cause rapid fading and (if this is a concern) it’s best to chat with a professional over this to confirm if that’s the case for your desired worktop.
What about cleaning a granite worktop? Most manufacturers recommend using warm soapy water, so it’s quite simple. However, you should avoid bleach, ammonia or scouring pads. Single, one-off uses of strong cleaning agents shouldn’t be a big deal but over time, these can fade and damage the worktop and break away the sealant.
If you’re considering to choose a granite worktop, or you’re not quite sure if it’s the right one for your kitchen, get in touch & speak to one of our professional designers to get an expert opinion.