Replacing your countertops is a big decision. There are many quality materials to consider, and the choices can be overwhelming, especially when you don’t have all the facts.
If you are looking for a natural stone, granite countertops are timeless and becoming more accessible. Common misconceptions about their upkeep, durability, or cost may keep you from choosing granite. Let’s separate fact from fiction to help you select the best countertops for your space.
1. Marble and Granite are the Same
Although both stones are naturally occurring, they are formed in different ways. Marble is a metamorphic rock formed when limestone is exposed to heat and pressure, while granite is an igneous rock formed when molten rock cools slowly within the earth’s crust.
While both stones are the result of extreme temperatures, the differences in their formation leads to differences in patterns, colors, and durability. For example, marble is more porous and thus a softer material. Compared to granite, marble can wear more over time. Because of this, their maintenance requirements are very different.
2. Granite Is High-Maintenance
Standard precautions to keep granite countertops looking pristine may be frightening if you have not had natural stone countertops in the past. Whether your countertops are granite or another material, wiping them down daily with a warm, soapy cloth is all your countertops need.
Follow the recommended sealing guidelines for your countertops every few years, and you do not need to worry about much else. Depending on your finish or preference, you may need to polish your granite from time to time. Polishing is absolutely an option you can forgo if you find it too much of a hassle.
3. It Can Stain Easily
Granite is more difficult to stain than you might think. If you happen to stain it, you can return it to its original state. Stains need to be treated depending on the culprit. For example, cooking oil stains need to be treated with a poultice or paste to draw them out of the stone. However, if you stay on top of cleaning up spills on your worktop, you can avoid most common stains.
4. Granite is a Bacteria Magnet
Granite is a porous material. Because of this, some homeowners believe that granite holds onto bacteria in its pores, making it an unsafe work surface for food preparation. However, granite is no less antibacterial than any other countertop surface. Practicing safe food handling techniques in your kitchen and regularly sealing your granite countertops will go a long way towards keeping your kitchen work surfaces safe and sanitary.
5. It Dulls With Age
Granite is extremely hard and rarely shows signs of aging. Softer stones may wear with frequent use, but as granite ages, it will not lose its shine. If you are noticing a distinct lack of shine, an at-home polish will quickly restore its sparkle.
6. Granite Is Too Costly
New countertops can be costly, depending on the size of your kitchen. You may think granite won’t fit the budget. However, granite is a similar price to any other natural stone countertops. Granite is abundant compared to other naturally occurring stones. It is one of the cheaper stone options due to its availability, making granite competitively priced when compared to its stone counterparts.
Speak with your natural stone supplier to compare prices. If the price tag still seems too steep compared to tile or laminate, remember you will be repairing or replacing those countertops every few years. Granite is cost-effective because it is durable and can last for decades when cared for properly.
7. Granite Is Indestructible
Granite is resistant to stains, heat, scratches, and chemicals. Before your countertops are installed, you should know that it is possible to damage granite. You should treat it with some care.
Extreme heat, substances harder than granite, and abrasive cleaners can still damage it. Although, the sealant is more likely to be damaged than the actual granite. For example, heat can discolor the sealant, making your granite appear cloudy. The type and extent of the damage will determine if you can easily repair it or if you need to call in a professional. But in terms of a natural stone countertop, granite is a durable choice.
If wear and tear is a significant concern for you, granite containing more quartz, typically the lighter colors, is even harder to damage.
Beautiful countertops reinvigorate any room and are worth your investment of time and money. Assessing the specific needs of your room will help you make the best-fitting choice for your home. Combating common misconceptions about granite should help put your mind at ease and help you make the important decision about your design materials. Despite these myths, granite countertops could be a beautiful and durable addition to any room in your home.