is the second hardest natural stone
ranking only behind the diamond. It is primarily composed of 4 minerals
(quartz, feldspar, mica, and hornblende) but does vary in composition
depending on its geographical location. The properties of these
combined minerals allow prefabricated granite to outperform man-made stone, ceramics,
stainless steel, and many other manufactured or synthetic products.
Granite is extremely hard, yet possesses bending
strength making it easy to work with for many applications. It is
abrasion resistant (perfect for the traffic that countertops see), has
an extremely high temperature tolerance level and is resistant to many
chemical acids (making it difficult to stain).
So since granite sounds like a great choice, the
question is ... what to think about when considering a granite
countertop or granite flooring. You should consider the following
*What kind of installation will this be ... a floor or countertop and in what room(s)?
*What is my budget? Stick to your budget!!
*What kind of traffic will the surface be exposed to?
Usually, after you have created these base
parameters and then researched both price and characteristics of the
various countertops as dictated by their stone compositions, your
options will become very clear and if you are lucky, the right choice
will be shining brightly during the shopping process as well as many
years after the installation.
Here are some key tips to shopping for and owning granite:
*Seams may be visible in some installations
depending on a number of factors such as type and size of application.
Much of this visibility though will be dependent on the granularity,
color and pattern of the stone. These are all factors that you can
control (and reduce seam visibility) by making smart shopping
decisions. Look for granite with small uniform grain as opposed to
large varied grain. Dark seems always show much less than light seems,
so try to buy dark granite for large applications. Uniform patters
blend seams better than dramatic patterns. Keep these factors in mind
when matching multiple pieces of granite to large applications.
*Seal your granite prior to installation. This
will make the process of cleaning up any grout much easier after any
*Re-seal your granite every 3 to 5 years depending on use and climate.
*Any staining of un-sealed granite can usually be removed using a poultice.
*Since granite is primarily imported today, a
resourceful shopper can find granite slabs for very competitive and
even discounted pricing.
With all these significant upsides, you can see
how granite is the single most popular choice for kitchen countertops
today. Granite offers rich colors and unique patterns that accent these
rooms beautifully. In addition, the durability demands that counters
require (whether it be the bathroom or kitchen) make granite a perfect
choice due to its overall durability and strength. Lastly the low
maintenance demands of granite makes usually seals the deal for most
homeowners looking for a stone option. Don't get excited just yet! When
shopping for a granite solution for your floor or countertop, you must
carefully consider many factors to ensure that granite is the right
choice for you.