Geologists categorize granite as an igneous rock. In fact, it’s the most common igneous rock on the planet. Granite contains a large amount of quartz and feldspar. It also has small amounts of amphibole, mica, and other minerals.
Various amounts of minerals determine if it looks pink, red, grey, or white. When you look at this rock, you’ll see darker grains caused by the slow crystallization of magma.
Now that you have a better understanding of granite, let’s look at why it’s a good option for countertops.
1. Heat Resistant
In the past, Formica was often used for kitchen and bathroom countertops. Formica often melted, cracked, and stained. Granite offers one of the most heat-resistant surfaces available. Choosing this stone helps you satisfy your design concepts and daily functionality.
Granite can resist heat up to temperatures of about 480 degrees Fahrenheit. Yet, some experts caution against placing very hot items on the surface. They state that focused areas of heat might cause cracking.
2. Scratch Resistant
Granite resists scratches because it’s one of the harder stones. While you may use it as a cutting surface, it can dull your knives and leave a metal residue.
To understand how hard granite is, you need to know about the Mohs Hardness Scale. The geologic definition of “hardness” is how resistant it is to being scratched. They test materials by putting a sharp point of one mineral specimen on another. Then they try to create a scratch.
Based on the findings, they rank the minerals from softest to hardest on a 10-point scale. Granite has a Mohs Hardness Scale rating of 7. Thus, it’s at the high end of scratch resistance.
3. Stain Resistant
No materials are 100 percent resistant to staining. Granite’s hardness and minimal pores increase its stain resistance. These properties make it hard for substances to get into the stone. Proper sealing of the stone helps reduce the chances of staining.
4. Reduced Bacteria Retention
Studies have looked at granite’s retention of bacteria. The results show that this material offers superior bacteria resistance. It’s not impossible for germs to get into the granite. Yet, its natural properties do prevent bacteria collection. Proper sealing of the granite ensures that bacteria won’t reach any tiny pores or crevices. It’s still important to clean the countertop on a regular basis to remove germs on the surface.
5. Easy to Care For
Granite countertops have proven to be a low maintenance option. Properly sealed countertops may last over ten years before they need re-sealing. Since the stone resists absorbing spills, they’re easy to keep clean.
Experts recommend avoiding acidic cleaners such as vinegar, lime, lemon, bleach, or ammonia. Using these chemicals on a regular basis can weaken and dull the sealant.
Simply use gentle dish soap and warm water. Microfiber cloths or nubby washcloths are great for daily wipe-downs. If you need to disinfect the countertop, use 70 percent isopropyl alcohol. You don’t need to dilute it. Just spray it on and let it sit for about three to five minutes and then rinse and dry.
You may also choose to use an all-purpose cleaner that’s safe for use on granite. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, commercial cleaners are often hard to find. The Center for Disease Control recommends 60 to 90 percent rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol to kill germs.
6. Part of the Green Building Movement
It takes the earth thousands of years to create granite. While this is a renewable resource, the planet can’t keep pace with the industry. Yet, the stone industry has recently adopted eco-friendly quarrying and production practices.
Since granite counters have prolonged durability, this reduces the need for frequent replacement. It also doesn’t emit harmful gasses, chemicals, or radiation. Thus, it’s considered part of the green building movement .
7. Variety of Colors and Patterns
Choosing granite for your countertops is a fun adventure. The colors and patterns produced by mother nature mean that you have a world to choose from. Solid patterns and bright colors do exist, but you will need to spend more time on your search.
You can find single slabs that continue a wide range of colors and patterns. Thus, it’s important to look at the whole slab when possible and not only a small sample. This helps ensure that you get what you're expecting.
Are you the type of person who likes to make a subtle or dramatic impression? Granite options are available for both ends of the spectrum and in between.
If you want an exotic countertop, look for slabs with big waves of color. These slabs may be harder to find because some quarries can only operate for a short time. This often depends on the weather at the quarry’s location.
Many times it's easier to find granite with small veins and patterns. The most common colors include pinks, greys, reds, and whites. Take your time in making your choice since this decision can last a lifetime.
Are You Interested in Countertop Renovation?
Granite countertops make a great choice when upgrading kitchens, bathrooms, and other counters. Surprise Granite, located in Arizona, provides quality, certified home renovations. We renovate kitchens, bathrooms, room additions, home accessibility modifications, and more.
Our team is excited to help you make your dreams come true. We offer over 250 granite and quartz slabs to choose from. Our certified kitchen and bath designers offer expertise in helping plan your renovation. Contact us today to get the personalized experience you’ve been looking for.