Setting the Record Straight about Granite Countertops
One of the biggest drawbacks to easy Internet access is the glut of wrong information floating around. People can claim anything online and few people will check if it is true or not.
Quite a bit of so-called facts has been going around about granite and its use as kitchen countertops that are simply not true. Much of it is due to companies with a vested interest to make fewer homeowners and designers choose granite for their homes. This is a shame, as granite is one of the best materials for kitchen countertops. Setting the record straight about granite countertops will benefit many people.
Granite is heat resistant
Some people claim that placing a hot pan or pot directly on granite countertops will damage it through discoloration. It is true that the sealer, applied to granite to seal any pores it may have, may burn off in contact with direct heat. This may cause temporary marks on the granite, which is why countertop specialists recommend the use of trivets or heat pads.
However, granite itself is extremely resistant to heat. It can withstand temperatures of up to 600°C (1100°F) without visible effect, and that is a higher temperature than any pot or pan can achieve under normal circumstances. It is possible to induce stress cracks in granite with these levels of heat over time, especially in existing weak spots, but it would take a lot of doing.
Another possible scenario for this claim is an unscrupulous countertop company installing kitchen countertops using a non-heat resistant type of stone, and claiming it is granite. These may sustain damage when subjected to direct heat, which would account for some complaints about the heat resistance of granite. This would not happen if you get your granite countertops with a reputable countertop company.
Granite does not require frequent resealing
Most natural stones are porous, although not to a level that you might think. While some granite countertops are not porous at all and do not require a sealer, granite countertops generally have some porosity. This is why installers apply a sealer after installation.
However, it is not true that all granite countertops need a new application of sealer every few months. At most, you may have to reseal the stone once a year. In most cases, true granite may not need resealing at all through its lifetime with reasonable maintenance. You can find out if you need resealing by testing it with water. Dribble a few drops of water on different areas of the kitchen countertops. If the stone absorbs the water, you need to apply an impregnator seal. If the water forms beads, you do not.
Granite is low maintenance
Granite countertops are very easy to maintain. It is heat, stain, and scratch resistant, so you just need to give it a daily wipe down with mild dish detergent, a good rinse, and a thorough drying. Special granite cleaners are unnecessary, and just a waste of money. In fact, using strong chemicals or abrasive cleaners on your granite can cause micro scratches on the sealer of your granite, making it look dull, so you want to avoid them.
Granite does not cause cancer
One of the most popular stories about granite is that it is a dangerous source of radon gas. Radon is a radioactive element in the form of a toxic gas, resulting from the decay of radium, and positively associated with the development of lung cancer in humans. You can imagine how that information will scare people away from granite countertops.
It is true that granite may emit some radon. However, what these stories fail to mention that the amounts are so small that they have no effect on humans. It will certainly not attain such a level that it will cause lung cancer.
Many things in nature such as most rocks and soil emit some amount of radon, frequently more than granite countertops. Radon is also detectable in the ground water and air in some areas. Enclosed areas close to soil and ground water such as a cellar or basement is more likely to have dangerous levels of radon (where it can accumulate) than a kitchen built completely of granite.
Granite can sustain damage
While granite is certainly very durable, it can sustain damage if you try hard enough. Granite producers cut it to slabs and countertop companies make cutouts and edge treatments, so you can crack or break it. For example, if you take a circular saw or sledgehammer to it, you will do some damage to regular granite countertops, which are typically 2 cm or 3 cm thick. It will take some doing, but you can do it. However, with proper fabrication and installation, and under normal use, your granite countertops will probably last longer than the house itself without requiring any type of repair or special maintenance.
Granite is affordable
Granite is a high-end material for kitchen countertops, but it is rather more affordable than others are. It used to be much more expensive, but advances in shipping and technology have made it more accessible to regular folk.
While it is definitely not cheap, it lasts for a very long time, so that justifies the higher price tag. It is about the middle of the road when it comes to cost, which is not bad considering it is a great asset for your kitchen in both looks and function.
These are facts about granite that you have the right to know so that you can make a decision about whether to bring it into your kitchen. Granite countertops are a wise and safe investment for your home, and may be one of the best you will ever make.
That said, the quality of your granite countertops depends significantly on your supplier. Granite ASAP is a reputable countertop specialist servicing Washington DC and the state of Virginia, including the cities of Fairfax, Alexandria, Arlington, Centreville, Falls Church, Chantilly, and Herndon.
We carry a wide range of granite slabs as well as marble and top quartz stone brands in the country. Over 100 colors of granite and marble slabs are available for inspection at our Chantilly, Virginia showroom. If you prefer engineered stone, we can offer you products from the Cambria, Caesarstone, Silestone, and MSI brands, each one carrying the manufacturer’s warranty. You can choose what you want and we will deliver it ASAP!
Get in touch with us today over the phone or through our contact form. We offer free estimates and quotes for any of your kitchen remodeling and bathroom remodeling needs!