Granite countertops

Granite countertops were up-and-coming a decade ago, but they continue to be one of the most popular choices for kitchens and bathrooms today. Homeowners considering granite countertops will have hundreds of colours, creative patterns and designs to choose from. What’s even better is that you can even get cheap granite countertops without compromising on look and quality. It is also relatively a simple upgrade in an outdated kitchen that will add value to your home should you choose to sell it. For more insight on granite, read on for some interesting facts that will help you make the right choice before you make the purchase.

WHAT IS GRANITE?

It is a natural, sturdy stone that has better durability than marble and has been introduced for thousands of years.  A geologist might define it as a coarse-grained, quartz and feldspar-bearing igneous rock that is made up entirely of crystals. It is commonly used for construction, dimension, architectural, decorative purposes. It has been used to manufacture for an extensive variety of products as well.

It is often used in buildings, bridges, paving, monuments and many other exterior projects. Whereas the polished granite slabs and tiles are used in countertops, tile floors, stair treads and other design elements to help enhance the appearance of your home.

What is Granite?

It is a natural, sturdy stone that has better durability than marble and has been introduced for thousands of years.

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WHAT MAKES IT SO POPULAR?

Even today, its countertops still remain a favourite for kitchen countertops for consumers from across the globe. Unlike most other countertop surfaces, it countertops are completely natural, extremely durable. It is available in wide range of colours covering virtually every design preference, plus the fact that it conveys luxury.

Over the years, granite has remained as the top countertop choice among many homeowners as it is famed for being one of the hardest materials on earth. Moreover, it is durable, easy to maintain and is available in a wide variety of colours and textures that screams individuality. The colour choices of black pearl and absolute black are extremely popular among consumers for use in the bathroom and kitchen, on floors, walls as well as counters.

Style and Design

In terms of style and design, natural granite slabs are incomparable as there are no two pieces that are identical. Each slab, colours and variations has its own unique charm and appeal that will surely improve the overall look of your living space. Whether you are into rich earth tones, or vibrant shades of green, blue, red and yellow or basic tones of black, gray and white, there is always a type of granite that works for everyone. Many have also compared their granite countertops to a one-of-a-kind priceless piece of art.

While there are many dramatic granite slabs and colours, there are also just as many granite slabs in softer tones, with less dramatic veining. For people that fancy the look of white marble patterns, but are hesitant because of its maintenance, there are various white granite options to choose from. These granite slabs imitate the look of marble, but is accompanied with the superior durability and ease of maintenance.

It has been a preferred choice for many consumers because its countertops are affordable, and is a long-term investment that will last you a lifetime and beyond. It is tough and is resistant to almost anything including staining, etching and won’t scorch if you happen to place a hot pan on it. For homeowners who are concerned with the possible damage and want an extra level of protection can quickly seal their countertops for about ten minutes and have a lifetime warranty against staining.

Type of Granite

Type of Granite(image)

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WHAT ARE ITS PRIMARY CHARACTERISTICS?

Granite is one of the most beautiful natural stone materials you can find. It is available in a rainbow of colours and style options. Many types of the stone feature stunning flecks and veins. Having said that, one of its most desirable features is that, though it comes from the same quarry, each slab is like no other in the world.

It is widely known for being one of the most durable materials you can possibly have in your home. It does not take a significant effort but with proper care, Iy surfaces can stay in great shape and lasts you a lifetime. Because of its durability, it is seen as the ideal countertop material for frequently used areas such as the kitchen and bathroom. Many types of granite can also be used for outdoor surfaces.

Unlike some other countertop options, it is resistant to heat. This means that you will not have to fear damaging the surface if you happen to set down a hot pot or pan, although this practice is not recommended. Other than that, it is one of the best natural stones when it comes to stain resistance. However, this does not necessarily mean that it is completely stain proof, as long as the stone is professionally sealed, granite is extremely resistant to stains.

Moreover, its countertops are also scratch resistant. The natural stone is one of the hardest materials and can damage any knives used on its surface. On top of all that, it does not require much effort for its maintenance. All you will need to do to keep it looking as good as new is simply clean, re-seal and polish the surface. These processes can be achieved without great effort and will not take up a significant amount of time.

Granite vs Quartz

Granite vs Quartz(image)

Image Source: https://stonewizards.ca/granite-vs-quartz-countertops

WHAT MAKES GRANITE COUNTERTOPS DIFFERENT FROM QUARTZ?

HOW IT’S MADE

Granite is a kind of quarry mined rock. Large granite chunks are collected from underground or hillsides, then sawn into slabs or tiles and polished to make them fine and appropriate to be used every day. Since there is a different composition of granite worldwide, two granite countertops will not ever be found that are identical. It comes in different colours, from natural earth tones to vibrant shades, depending on the quarry.

Quartz are known as engineered stone countertops and also provide homeowners with the feel of natural stone. It is manufactured in combination with polymer resin and pigments in crushed quartz to control its colour. They are put under extreme vibration, vacuum and pressure in order to produce smooth and non-porous labels. These slabs are then cleaned, thickened and polished precisely.

DESIGNS

Granite countertops appeal to those who want natural stone in their homes, similar to why people like marble table tops. Both granite and marble have distinctive swirls, veins and speckles which give tables, kitchen counter and bathroom vanities a stunning appearance. Since it is made of completely natural stone, it will not have a homogenous design.

Quartz countertops offer a variety of colours and designs as they are manufactured instead of mined from the ground. Thus producing a more even pattern throughout and allowing homeowners the freedom to choose the colour they want that matches their home colour scheme.

Granite Design

Granite Design image

Image Source: https://stonewizards.ca/granite-vs-quartz-countertops

WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF GRANITE?

There are many factors to consider when selecting a counter-surface for your kitchen. If it has reached the top of your list, read through to determine whether its advantages and disadvantages make it a good choice for you and your family.

SEAMS

Granite countertops must have 2-3 seams in a typical kitchen. The average sheet size will change depending on the granite color you choose. A normal expectation of 9 feet by 5 feet can be set. Typically, larger islands can be done seamlessly. If your layout is L or U, expect seams where the countertops angle in a different direction. The good news is that various manufacturers combine epoxy paint to add the seams to cover them. Seam thickness is approximately 1/8 inch.

UNDERMOUNT SINKS

Undermount sinks are common in granite countertop installations.. This enables crumbs and deposits to be wiped into the sink directly without being caught on the lip of the mount sink surface. The use of many types of sinks may be considered including cast iron, concrete and solid surface. Manufacturers must cut and polish the sink hole to match your chosen sink shape.

REPAIRS

It is highly recommended that only a professional should repair granite countertops. Although the issue of cracking is uncommon in countertops, you are advised to contact the fabricator who installed your countertops. The vacuum can mostly be filled with a color matching epoxy and it is almost invisible. You can use a pinch to fill a chip with superglue. Be careful to put them in your undermounted sink if you use heavy cast iron panels. The edge of these cutouts is the most common place to get chips. However, an increasing number of broken dishes are more likely to be experienced.

SEALING

It is a porous material. Before they are installed, most manufacturers will apply a sealer to a granite countertop to protect them from absorbing fluids. This does not necessarily mean that being porous is bad. If liquids are left on the surface for long periods of time, they will eventually absorb. But they will also evaporate just as they absorb. You can use different poultices to speed up the process, depending on what the substance is to be removed. However, without the use of chemicals or cleaning products, many will evaporate themselves. Other countertop materials are not porous, for example solid surfaces and quartz surfaces. However, there are things that can stain them, like permanent markers that can be removed from granite.

EXOTIC OPTIONS

Consider an exotic granite if you are looking for something truly unique. Like most things in life, price is determined by supply and demand. Some quarries are not easily accessible and/or can only be quartered during short periods of the year. If this happens in a quarry of magnificent stone, the price will be increased.

RESISTANCE TO CHEMICALS

Granite countertops are highly chemical resistant. The material is not easily harmed by acids and bases. Since certain chemicals will wash the sealer over time, which will require re-screening before the recommended time, homeowners are advised to be careful of extensive use.

Granite table

Granite table image

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HOW MUCH DOES A GRANITE COST IN MALAYSIA?

When it was first introduced in the market, granite was expensive, but in recent years it has become more affordable. You can now even add bevel, radius and square edges for a reasonable price to the granite countertops. It is considered to be the best composite material of natural stone as it is cheaper and easier to repair than other countertop materials.

The costs for granite countertops should be as following:

RM 15 – RM 25 psf

Mostly chinese granite. Barry white, Spring rose, Black impala etc.

RM 35 – RM 50 psf

Mostly indian granite. Black galaxy, Black granite, Emerald pearl, Blue pearl etc.

RM 60 and above

Mostly european granite. Volga blue, Blue in the night grand delicatus etc. 

RM 250 and above

Brazilian exotic granite. Blue bahia, Diamond arrow, Oyster blue etc.

When considering where to buy your granite tiles or slabs, it’s important to note that home improvement stores offer a limited supply. Local manufacturers and contractors can take advantage of a wider range and can charge less in bulk for granite than for a retail outlet.

Granite cost

Granite cost image

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WHAT SHOULD YOU EXPECT DURING YOUR GRANITE INSTALLATION?

If this is your first time purchasing a granite countertop in your home, you most probably have never gone through the process before and are curious to know what goes down during the installation. For your peace of mind, we have gathered information on what you can expect when the installation team comes to install your beautiful new countertops.

REMOVING EXISTING COUNTERTOPS

If you have existing countertops and you or your contractor does the removal of old countertops, they should be removed completely before the installation team arrives and ensure that the countertops are removed entirely.

CARRYING YOUR NEW ACROSS THE THRESHOLD

Once the installation team has made sure the space is ready, they will proceed to carry each piece of granite. Because it is natural and very heavy, most kitchens have multiple sections of stone which are professionally seamed during installation.

ENSURING THAT EVERY CABINET IS LEVEL AND SECURED

The walls should be fully secured before the granite is put in place and the cabinets are as level as possible. All the cabinets of the island must be securely anchored to the ground when the islands are free to stand as it avoids the possible tipping of the block.

PUTTING THE GRANITE IN PLACE, SETTING THE SEAMS & CAULKING

Once the cabinets are found to be within the permissible levels, the installation team will lay the granite pieces on the counters. The bits of marble, granite, soapstone or quartz are then cemented by an epoxy on the edges.

BACKSPLASH & COOKTOP CUTOUT

If you have ordered matching backsplash of granite, the team will most likely have to make small modifications to those pieces before installing them and setting the seams in the same way as the decks. If there is a cooktop, they would also need to cut the hole for it out on-site.

WRAPPING UP THE DETAILS & CLEANING UP

Once all the stone has secured in place, the team will remove excess epoxy, caulk and any dust residue from the cooktop or tailload by using acetone or denatured alcohol. The team will polish and properly seal your counters, also cleaning the work site as much as possible. Should you need some guidance on the care and maintenance, the team will give you instructions on how to properly care for your counters.