Granite countertops are one of the main features that are found in quality custom built homes. This countertop material has been popular for several years and looks to continue being popular for the forseeable future. It has an elegant appearance and is a very reliable and functional material to use in your kitchen or bath. However, in order to be an educated consumer, there are several things to know and several myths to dispell about this building material. Several basic things to know about granite are:
Granite comes in two basic thicknesses, 2 cm and 3 cm. It is my opinion that 3cm is worth the extra money. It's less than a 10% upgrade in cost but it has a much more substantial appearance. When thinking resale value, most consumers are impressed by the thicker granite, even if they don't quite realize what is contributing to the kitchen having a more upscale appearance. The thicker granite also holds a better edge, meaning that a bullnose, bevel, minature bevel, etc finish on the edge will have a better feel and appearance than with a 2cm countertop.
The price of granite has become more affordable during the past few years. The average kitchen has 70 sq ft of countertop. This would put the average 3cm granite in the $3000-$3500 price range. Comparably, the same kitchen in laminate would cost 50% less, but the price difference now puts granite as an upgrade for only an additional $1500-$1750.
Granite remnants are perfect for smaller bathrooms and are usually sold at an affordable price from the local granite distributor.
The most popular misconception about granite is that granite is high maintance and needs to be sealed periodically. This is completely not true. Although granite can be sealed (the process is similar to waxing a car and the sealant can be purchased at any Home Depot or Lowe's) most quality granites are now resin-coated. This means that structurally, the granite is no longer a "porous" material and does not need to be periodically sealed in order to keep the stone's integrity or appearance. And, yes, resin-coated granite will prevent water marks from forming......just in case you were wondering!
The best website I have found to do research about granite (as well as debunking misconceptions about granite) is the Marble Institute of America (MIA) website at www.marble-institute.com.
Craig Williams is owner and custom home builder in residential construction for J. Craig Homes. J. Craig homes builds custom homes in Mobile, AL, Daphne, AL, Spanish Fort, AL, Fairhope, AL, Semmes, AL and West Mobile, AL and other areas located inside Mobile and Baldwin Counties of Alabama.
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