Countertops make a huge difference in the look, function, and wear of a kitchen. They can also be a great change artist to spruce up an existing home for resale.
Do you want to rest hot pots and pans on your surfaces?
Are you in danger of spilling acidic salad dressing or red wine?
Will kids run toys across them?
There are also the more traditional considerations to weigh in: color, pattern, thickness, durability, source material quality, and budget.
Still popular for its cachet, natural colors, patterns, movement, and reputation for durability, Granite also offers another perk: It has come down in price due to improvements in extracting and processing and the availability of more imports.
A word of caution: Granites vary greatly and it’s tough to find slab-to-slab consistency. “The best sources sell stone that is harvested deeper and has more vibrant, richer color; inferior sources sell shallow, younger stone and colors may look painted on.
Since granite is a natural stone, its porosity and absorbency also vary so test samples. Home owners should buy granite from a supplier with a slab warehouse, since it’s best to see a slab rather than a small sample, and ensure that similar slabs exist if a problem occurs.
Granite can be cleaned using the same process as marble. If your stone becomes scratched or etched, many services are available in the entire North Jersey / New York area which can restore, polish and seal your granite countertops, vanities or floors back to their just purchased condition.
Polished for a shiny look, honed for softer appeal (fingerprints show more on darker, solid colors), or antiqued or leathered for a more novel look. Some granites come with a sealer applied, which can be reapplied every few years, but some are naturally dense—virtually stain-proof—and don’t need to be sealed. In addition, granite can almost always be repaired.
In July 2008, the New York Times published an article that raised public concern over potential health hazards of living around granite countertops and floors.
At issue is whether granite emits dangerous amounts of radon, a colorless and odorless gas that is known to cause lung cancer.
Most radiation experts who have tested samples of granite for radon feel that the risk is minimal. The amount of radon emitted by most types of granite is quite low and perhaps insignificant when compared to the radiation that all of us are exposed to every day from the sun, the earth’s crust, and electrical appliances, to name a few sources of “background radiation.”
But some researchers like William Lope, professor of physics at Rice University, have tested some samples of granite to emit radiation at levels that are a hundred times greater than what’s generally considered to be safe.
Granite Restoration Requires Specialized Skills
While granite is much harder than marble if and when granite needs restoration you need to call a professional that has the specialized knowledge to work on your granite. Many stone restoration contractors won’t touch it. Stone Makeover is qualified to restore your granite.
The key to keeping your granite looking new is the proper cleaning, polishing and sealing of the stone.