We take a look at what it is exactly that makes granite such a great material for kitchen worktops.
If you’re just remodelling your first kitchen, you’ve probably come across a lot of arguments for and against granite countertops. Those campaigning against it will say things like: “Granite will soon be out of fashion and considered passe, along with avocado bathroom suites and shag rugs”.
Well, we’ve been in the business for nearly a quarter century and demand for granite worksurfaces has certainly not declined. Love it or hate it, granite has certain qualities that makes it a fantastic material for any work surface.
Granite is a highly durable surface
Put plainly, granite is low maintenance. It is one of the very few counter options that you won’t have to worry about absent-mindedly putting a hot pan on. Unlike wood and composite stone which will scorch, granite is heat resistant.
It’s also largely scratch and ding resistant. You may have noticed that quite a lot of chopping boards are made of granite. For good reason. Granite is a type of igneous rock, formed when magma cools slowly, deep underground. It consists largely of grains of the minerals quartz and feldspar, giving it a speckled “salt and pepper” look.
Because granite has no internal structures it is extremely durable and tough. Aside from making great countertops, this makes granite a reliable construction material. See our post on the Top 5 Granite Structures in the UK for more on this.
Its durability also means that your granite work surface will last for decades. So whilst it may seem fairly costly compared to cheaper wood and veneered plywood alternatives, in the long run a granite countertop will almost always work out more cost effective.
It’s also great to look at
In its natural state granite doesn’t look particularly impressive. If you’ve been out in the countryside you may have scrambled up a granite boulder and not given it much more thought. But once cut and polished, granite takes on an unmistakable lustre.
Because it is a naturally formed rock, granite occurs in a surprisingly large array of shades, from the dazzling nearly white Kashmir Granite in India to the virtually black granite of China and a mind-boggling array of shades in between.
Having a browse through the different granite worktop options on our site, you would have noticed that some types of granite also appear to glitter more than others. This is the result of accessory minerals which were present in the magma when it cooled to form granite. Choose these for a touch of glamour, or stick to the more earthy hues.
And it requires very little maintenance
Don’t be put off by extensive and detailed cleaning instructions for granite. Like all worksurfaces, you will need to keep it clean and a certain amount of maintenance is required. But granite still needs less pampering than most surfaces.
As granite is a natural stone, it is porous which means it will soak up spillage. So if you do spill something on the worktop, wipe it up as soon as you can to avoid discolouration.
Granite is easily cleaned with a bit of soap and water. Try to stay away from using harsh chemicals on your granite work surface.
We usually recommend getting a granite sealer when you first get your worktop. It adds an extra layer of protection from stains and acidic substances and enhances the beauty of your granite worktop.
Wherever you decide to get your worktop from, we suggest discussing sealant and care with the tradesperson.