Granite countertops, created by nature and fashioned by hand and modern technology, are an investment homeowner’s will not regret.
Granite is an igneous rock, meaning it was once molten and formed as it cooled deep within the earth. Minerals within granite typically appear as small veins and flecks throughout the stone. Granite is amongst the hardest stones on earth. As a countertop material, it is durable and enduring, resistant to scratches, acids, stains and heat. It is an elusive, one of a kind beauty, available in a wide variety of deep iridescent colors, textures and unique crystal patterns. It creates a warm and inviting environment for your kitchen or bath.
Many people think granite is too expensive; however, it is in the same price range as the man-made materials that try to emulate the same look as granite.
The absorption rate of the average granite is less than 1%, making it stain resistant and easy to maintain.
Granite is extremely heat resistant. Hot items can be placed directly on its surface without causing damage.
Granite is over 150 times more resistant to bacteria than laminate, concrete, wood or tile. Hospitality Institute of Technology and Management studies show granite is second only to stainless steel in terms of cleanliness.
The Investment Choice:
Granite is the only investment grade countertop that which actually increase the value of your home.
Marble is a beautiful and exciting material available in a wide variety and broad palette of colors. Marble achieved metamorphosis from limestone during intense pressures and high temperatures inside the earth, altering its crystalline structure and introducing other minerals that produce its unique look. The abstract variety of colors, mottling, clouds, swirls, shading, streaks, and veins are derived from the added minerals. This stone communicates permanence, integrity, quality and elegance. Marble works beautifully especially in a bath where the veining patterns create extraordinary designs.
There is a reason why granite and marble have variations in their surfaces. The complex formation of these stones took millions of years under great pressure and heat producing a blend of materials. Each material accepts surface polishing or honing differently. Tiny indents and texture variations are perfectly natural and are what give the stone its beauty. Being a product of nature the variations in veining, color, shading and surface conditions are what make each piece the only one of its kind.
Travertine can be considered the classic decorative stone, as its popularity is timeless. Travertine is a product of geologic reactions, essentially dissolved limestone, that have been precipitated in calcium carbonate rich waters, generally found in hot springs. It was the popular choice of the ancient civilizations. It was the principle building material used to create Rome.
Limestone has unique characteristics, subtle beauty and a great versatility, making it a well-liked option for kitchens or vanities. Many different kinds exist, yet the mineral composition of all limestone is similar. Most are oceanic in origin, formed in ancient shallow seas from the life processes of marine plant and animal organisms. It is a wonderful choice for any design style.
Honed stone is a smooth satin finish with little or no gloss. Once it is sealed, it can have the same stain repellency as polished surfaces. However, it may require a bit more attention to maintenance since it is a more abraded surface.
Polishing creates a reflective surface giving the material brightness and a mirror-like effect. This intensifies the colors and enhances the pattern. It also reduces the porosity somewhat, thereby increasing resistance to chemical agents.
An acid washed finish is very similar to a honed surface, but has a slightly rougher or grittier texture. This process will work on limestone, travertine or marble but will not do anything to granite.
What Determines Cost
There are many variables that will determine the cost of stone installation. Some of these are: price range of cost per square foot, edge detail, type and number of sinks, amount of hand work and special instructions.
Kitchen countertops, backsplashes & islands
Bathtub & showers surrounds
Entryways & thresholds
Moldings & Baseboards