Take It For Granite

by Lisa Stewart 11 Nov 2011

No longer a luxury item, granite countertops in kitchens and baths have become standard with builders and the expected norm with homebuyers. In less than a decade granite went from being opulent to ubiquitous.

This sudden shift can be attributed to lower prices due to globalization and new technology. Granite is more affordable because of the easy access to many sources around the world. And granite is easier to work with because of computerized saws and other technology advancements. 

Are you convinced that granite is the best choice for you?  Like many things it has advantages and disadvantages:

Advantages
- Is easy to clean.
- Can take the heat of hot cookware.
- Will last forever with its extremely hard and durable surface.
- Has a natural finish with a deep, luminous look when polished.
- Comes in many beautiful colors and character traits. 
- Can be the room's focal point because each piece is unique like a piece of art.
- Adds resale value to your home.

Disadvantages
- Has natural cracks and inclusions, and can stain permanently.
- Is considered high maintenance, with annual sealing required. 
- Can crack when hit by a hard, sharp object like a meat cleaver.
- Creating a uniform look is difficult because each slab is different.
- Is very heavy and often requires additional structural support.
- Has higher installation costs. 
- Is difficult to remove if changes are desired in the future.
- Creates hazards to workers and the environment during quarry operations. 
- Uses large amounts of energy as it is quarried and transported.

So, is granite truly the best choice for you? Only you can decide after carefully weighing the pros and cons.

Lisa Stewart is an Interior Designer in Raleigh, NC.