Granite Countertops are the traditional and timeless favorite. Nearly maintenance-free and durable, they are the ideal choice for both kitchens and bathrooms. This popular natural stone is so versatile it can be used in almost any applications. Fire place surrounds, decorative exterior applications and steps are additional ways of adding granite to a home to compliment the look of granite countertops.
Granite retains its luster over a longer period of time compared to other work surfaces because it is hard wearing, stain and heat resistant, and doesn’t easily scratch. It won't react with acid making it less likely to etch and second only to stainless steel in ability to resist bacteria. Composed of quartz, feldspar, and mica it comes in an amazing variety of mineral-rich natural colors and unique patterns. Its proven durability, ease in cleaning, undeniable beauty and lasting value make it unequaled as a surface material.
Because it's a natural stone, it can transform the look and feeling of your home by presenting a unique organic design element. Whether you prefer the warmth of traditional styles or the cool clean lines of contemporary home decor, granite and other natural stones are available in a multitude of colors and patterns to choose from. Used for centuries, it has a beauty and durability that withstands the test of time.
When choosing a stone like granite, marble, onyx and quartzite keep in mind that these products are 100% natural. Therefore, variations in color, shading, marking, tone, natural fissures and pitting are common characteristics. As a fabricator, we custom cut your stone to size and polish the edges, but the face of the slab is left as nature designed it.
The following naturally occurring cosmetic elements are qualities to be aware of when selecting your stone slab. They may or may not be avoidable on some selected natural stone countertops.
- Rough Spots- The face of the stone slab will not be uniformly smooth, it will feel rough in some areas. These areas are not removed during the fabrication process.
- Fissures- These have the appearance of fine lines or cracks but do not impact the integrity of the stone, they are naturally occurring in the stone and you may be able to feel them with your nail or rag when wiping your counter.
- Pitting- This is another texture felt on the surface of the slab. There is no need for concern as the pitting will not get larger.
- Reflection- This can show pits, porosity, dull polish, voids or other inconsistencies when looking against the stone.
- Motion and Color- The flow and changes of color within the slab should be considered when determining the amount of material to purchase. Extra material may need to be purchased to ensure the proper directional change or color match at corners or seams.
- Refraction- Refraction is the ability of an object to capture light and reflect it back in any direction. When placing pieces at different angles, such as 45 and 90 degree angles common in kitchens and bathroom vanity layouts, pieces can look like different colors. Some examples of natural stones that have this quality are Labrador Antique, Blue Pearl, Emerald Pearl and Volga Blue.
Upon request we offer our customers the opportunity to trace their template on the slab to see where each piece will be cut.
There is another nuance to granite countertops and natural stone you need to be aware of prior to making your selection. Dying stone or adding a resin coating has become a resource for factories located outside of the United States to sell slabs that may not be considered highly desirable by consumers. By adding color to the resin coat that covers the stone, factories are able to produce and provide local distributors with a smoother texture and wider range of desirable, consistent colored stone slabs through their engineering process. When the slab is cut during the granite countertop fabrication process, the raw edge is exposed. The edge can be a completely different color than the treated surface area. Only from costly experience have we learned that no matter which brand of product purchased, or fabrication method used, the edge color will never appear the same as the surface color.
Natural stone is going to have variations from slab to slab and within the same slab. During the fabrication process, pieces are cut out and seamed from different sides of the slab. An extra slab on some projects can go a long way in improving the flow of your seams. The general rule of thumb is that you need 15-25% more stone than the square footage of your surface area, and even more material may be needed when choosing slabs with movement. We consider this percentage “waste” because it is not able to be resold as a remnant.
Every person sees color and shades differently, what is acceptable to one person may be completely unacceptable to another. For those who find the difference in edge to surface color or the naturally occurring surface characteristics in granite and other natural stones less than appealing, there are other options to consider, like Quartz Countertops or Recycled Glass Countertops.