Granite is one of the most popular materials for kitchen countertops and has become the standard of quality. Kitchen remodeling experts recommend granite counters and homebuyers want nothing else for kitchen countertops.
Granite is an expensive material for kitchen countertops but still a popular choice since it offers all the qualities required for a kitchen countertop. It has the beautiful and natural look of stone which matches seamlessly with the décor of the home and kitchen. The beauty of a granite counter makes it ideal for both traditional and contemporary kitchens. As many readers like to compare different countertop material, find more info on granite countertops here.
So how did granite become the standard for kitchen countertops? Granite is a relatively new material for kitchen counters having come into the kitchen décor and remodeling scene in the 1980’s. Granite is now the most popular material for kitchen countertops having become affordable and readily available. Previously, granite was a preserve for high end homes. However, with global market forces, endorsement by interior designers and builders, and change in consumer taste, granite has dominated as the material of choice for kitchen countertops.
Let’s have a look at some of the factors that have contributed to granite becoming the de facto standard for kitchens.
Granite became Global
Where does granite come from? Granite is mined though quarrying and processed in many countries across the world. You will most probably buy finished granite that has been landed from places such as China, Brazil and India who are the biggest producers and exporters of granite.
How are granite countertops made? Countries that quarry and process granite the fastest to reach local and international markets have been able dominate the market. Other countries such as Italy, USA and Canada produce granite for their domestic markets as well as specialty dark colored granite slabs that are the most expensive granite.
Market forces of demand and supply have ensured that global prices of granite remain competitive. Having more countries that quarry and process granite have made granite prices fall considerably and make it readily available for builders and homeowners. Supply is never the problem with homeowners able to buy granite slabs from a local supplier or from offshore suppliers at affordable prices.
In the initial years, homeowners could only purchase domestic granite from a local supplier with prices largely dictated by local factors. In the later years, granite could be moved around the globe through containerized shipping. Granite slabs can be pre cut and packed safely to reach you irrespective of your location. Where does granite come from? You will probably be purchasing global granite from local suppliers shipping from far away countries such as China and Brazil. Ease of shipping has made granite affordable for builders and homeowners.
Easy to Cut
How are granite countertops made? After granite arrives at the local supplier, it will get cut into appropriate sizes according to the size of your kitchen and countertops. Granite countertops are cut using computer guided saws and bits ensuring precise sizes of slabs and sink cutouts. Everything now can be controlled using a computer which makes granite cutting and finishing easier.
The home construction industry is characterized by different trends that come and fade away. The granite counter became the standard in the 2000’s and was helped by the housing bubble at the time.
Granite soon became a must have in the kitchen as more homeowners and builders installed it in new homes. Older homes were getting renovated and fitted with granite countertops in line with the trend that it was the material of choice for new homes. Granite has remained a popular option as it provides a luxurious look and has become affordable with technology and globalization.
Notable Characteristics of Granite
The following are characteristics of granite that make it the countertop material of choice in the kitchen.
- Availability in different patterns which makes it impossible to match one granite slab to another. Granite like countertops have a unique texture and grain structure making your kitchen unique.
- Granite is durable and will maintain its beauty for many years. With regular sealing, the granite slab retains its shine for many years and looks just like it is new.
- Granite is resistant to scratching meaning that you can use cutlery such as knives and spoons on the surface. In fact, using knives on granite will dull them. Resealing will get rid of any scratches that form on the granite countertop surface.
- Properly sealed granite slabs are resistant to staining meaning spillages in the kitchen will not spell doom for the countertop. Always have the granite countertop sealed to prevent staining material from reaching the porous surface.
- Ease of cleaning and maintenance of granite countertops make them ideal for the kitchen. Countertop surfaces can be easily cleaned using a wet cloth. Available sealing technologies ensure that the surface can last over a period of ten years without need for resealing.
- Heat resistance is yet another top quality of granite which makes it ideal for the kitchen where there are hot pans, hot pots, boiling kettles and baking crockery. Granite will not suffer heat damage such as blistering or melting. However, exposure to heat for extended periods of time such as when using trivets and crockpots may cause cracking of granite since it is a solid material that heats unevenly.
- Sustainability of granite makes it a good choice for builders and homeowners who are conscious of environmental wellbeing. The stone industry has adopted rules and measures to curb wanton quarrying and harmful production processes and practices. Granite like countertops don’t release harmful chemicals, gases or radiation making it a healthy choice for members in the home and for the environment.
- Resistance to household chemicals makes granite a good material choice for kitchen countertops. Sealed granite is highly resistant to chemicals, acids and bases that may spill or come into contact with the surface.
In conclusion, there are no pointers to indicate declining demand for granite or its sidelining as countertop material of choice. Granite is still a hit despite the rising popularity of other natural stone options. Granite is here to stay as the standard material for kitchen countertops and has widely become affordable and readily available luxurious option for homeowners. Additionally, there are the most expensive granite slabs to serve high end market segments.