There can be many different arguments made for virtually any type of stone countertop as they all have their ups and downs. Generally a homeowners decision to improve their kitchen or bathroom comes down to look vs cost.
Granite Countertop Costs
Between the durability of granite and the amazing natural stone look and feel, there really is no better bang for the buck upgrade than granite countertops or custom granite bathrooms or showers. With so many different colors and variation of granite to choose from there is a look and feel for everyone. Next time you think about upgrading your kitchen or bathroom, make sure to call Granite Solutions and we will surely provide the luxury your home deserves!
Granite Countertop Benefits
Granite is naturally resistant stone to the types of wear countertops or vanity tops are likely to endure on a daily basis:
- Heat resistance
- Abrasion resistance to cutlery and other common kitchen items
- Moisture resistance
- Overall durability
- Sense of permanence
- Higher resale value for properties
Installing a granite counter adds strength in both performance and as a notable design feature. Being a natural stone material, each of our granite countertops feature patterns and colors that make them one of a kind. For a countertop surface that offers a level of elegance that is often imitated but never equaled, granite counters are the surface that raise the bar for all others. We've been in the granite business over 15 years; deliver top quality granite countertops, the most uniform color selection in a natural stone surface, and the best pricing you'll likely see anywhere.
Granite Fabrication Process
It's important to remember when you're getting a new stone countertop that this product is being made just for you. The exact slab you choose, the size and shape of your kitchen, and the sink and faucet you've chosen to complement it, are all personal and unique to you – not something you can simply choose off a shelf. Therefore, the process of making your new stone counter will take time to ensure that you get the perfect fit.
Step 1 -The Estimate:
Every new countertop begins with a professional estimate where we take a look at the area we're producing the stone for, and speak with you about what it is you want done. During this time, we'll provide you with a free, no obligation, accurate estimate of the cost, so you know exactly what it is that you're getting.
Step 2 - Stone Selection:
No two pieces of stone are ever exactly alike, which is part of what makes them so beautiful. It also makes it difficult for you to get an accurate idea of what your new installation will look like from small showroom samples. That's why we invite you to come visit the stone yard and take a look at the whole slabs. You'll be able to see the color, veining, and movement of the stones, and choose just the right one for your home. Bring along a sample of your cabinet color, wall paint, or backsplash tile when you come to get the perfect match for your kitchen.
Step 3 - Templating:
While we measured your counter to give you an estimate previously, those measurements need to be redone in a process known as templating before we can create your counter, fireplace surround, or other fabrication. During the templating, thin pieces of wood are glued together to form an accurate representation of the size and shape your stone needs to take. Things like sink cutout placement or edge treatments are marked right on the template to ensure that your stone gets done right. We'll also discuss with you where the seams between slabs should be, and help you find the right positioning whether it's an angled miter cut in the corners, or you want to abut to slab ends together in a straight line.
We ask that you have your new sink, faucets, or cooktop chosen at this time, and that they be ready on the day your stone is to be installed. You'll also need to let us know what edge you want, and if your new sink is a drop-in, undermount, or apron-front. Most sinks come with a paper template; if you have one, we will use it to make the cutout.
Step 4 - Fabrication:
Fabrication is the process of taking the slab you selected and cutting and finishing it to match the template we took. During fabrication we'll take the time to look at the stone's veining and color, and make decisions that will result in the best possible appearance for your new installation. We'll leave final minor adjustments for when the stone is installed.
Step 5 - Tear Out:
Before your new counter or surround can be put in, the old one needs to come out. This will take place on the day of installation, and will involve disconnecting your sink and faucet from the plumbing and removing the old material. We'll do our best to leave everything in great shape so you can focus on your new stone.
Step 6 - Installation:
Once the tear out is complete, we can install your new stone. We ask that the old counter or surround be cleared and ready to be removed, and that you clear a path to the door to allow us to bring your new stone in. Remember that these slabs are large, and have little room for maneuverability. We'll fit and seal your stone into place, and vacuum up any stone dust that may be generated during the process. We'll finish the installation and clean up after ourselves when we're done. You'll be left with your beautiful new stone - without any other indication that we were there.
Granite vs Quartz
An option you'll frequently hear about for kitchen countertops is quartz. These counters are made of about 93% natural stone – quartz - mixed together with a resin binder and pigments. Quartz counters do have some benefits, but so do granite counters, and not everything you may have heard about either one is necessarily true. A quartz counter top is considered by most the primary rival to granite as the top performing kitchen countertop. When researching luxury kitchen remodeling ideas most homeowners will consider and compare quartz vs. granite countertops.
There are several good reasons why someone may want to choose quartz over natural stone:
- Quartz counters are usually fairly uniform in color and grain. If the possibility of a counter that is varied in tone, or that has things like fissures, wild veins, or other natural anomalies bothers you, a quartz counter can be a nice alternative.
- Quartz counters are also available in colors that you can't find in natural stone. If you want a bold blue counter, quartz will give you a more consistent counter and for a lesser price than a piece of blue granite.
- Quartz may require less maintenance than some types of stone. It can stain, but this is fairly unlikely with darker colored counters and compared to some types of natural stone it may be less maintenance.
- Quartz is fairly uniform in strength; you won't find weaker pieces that require more support than others over time.
- Silestone also states their product resists bacteria while granite "harbors" bacteria. This is totally false. Countertop "cleanability" studies prove that both granite and quartz are among the safest and cleanest counter tops materials on the market today, but one isn't superior to the other.
Many of the same pros that quartz has, can also be considered cons:
- Quartz is very uniform in color. While some people may enjoy this, others who like the natural variation of granite may not feel the same about the uniformity of quartz. This is a question of taste, and there is no right answer.
- There are dye lots in quartz counters just like in tiles. So the sample you see in a showroom may not accurately represent what you'll get when you order.
- Quartz is not as low maintenance as it is sometimes billed. It can stain, particularly the lighter colors, and may sometimes scratch or dull if it comes in contact with highly acidic materials like vinegar. People who are looking for a very low maintenance option may find that quartz isn't the best one out there.
- The resin that holds quartz together may sometimes be heat susceptible, and therefore counter overhangs may sag over time if overheated.
Natural stone is often the most popular choice among homeowners, and for good reason:
- Granite has a lot of beauty and natural variation that can enhance the looks of any kitchen from formal and traditional or wild and contemporary.
- Granite can be found in numerous natural colors and patterns, many of which cannot be recreated by manmade materials.
- Some granites, like Absolute Black, are actually non-porous and some of the hardest types of stone out there. They don't require sealing and never scratch or etch.
- Granite can be finished with numerous surface types including polished, honed, flamed, and leather to give you options for the way your counter will look.
- Granite's natural appearance can mean that you'll sometimes find a section of color, veining, or fissure that you don't like the look of. While sometimes these pieces can be used as cuts or cutouts, sometimes they also end up in areas of the counter that are highly prominent.
- Many lighter colors of granite do stain and etch very easily, and they do require regular sealing. This higher maintenance can be off putting in a busy household.
- Some granites may be softer or weaker than others. These stones may not be able to be used as overhangs without significant support to stop them from bowing or cracking over time. Others may need a plywood support beneath them when used as a counter, particularly if the stone is only 2cm thick.
Both counter tops materials are excellent, but neither is significantly different from the other regarding performance or any meaningful, practical matter.
Granite does have the edge when considering repairs. All types of natural stone can almost always be repaired; however, damage to quartz countertops is usually permanent. The good news is that it is very difficult and rare to stain or damage quartz countertops, so this is not a major issue either.Get Your Free Quote!