The Ultimate Granite Countertop Buying Guide: Benefits, Cost, Installation, And Maintenance

March 11, 2024


Granite countertops have become a staple in modern kitchens and bathrooms, offering durability, beauty, and longevity that few other materials can match. If you're considering granite for your next home renovation project, this comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about granite countertops, including their benefits, cost, and maintenance requirements.

Benefits of Granite Countertops

nero-mist-graniteNero Mist Granite

Durability: Granite is renowned for its hardness and resistance to wear, making it an excellent choice for kitchen countertops with a lot of use.

Heat Resistance: Granite can withstand high temperatures, making it ideal for kitchens. You can place hot pots and pans directly on the surface without damage, a feature many other countertop materials lack.

Unique Aesthetics: Each slab has unique patterns, granite colors, and natural beauty. Your countertop will be one-of-a-kind, adding luxury and sophistication to your space.

Home Value: Granite countertops are desirable for many homebuyers, potentially increasing your home's resale value.

Low Radiation Risk: Although there has been concern about radon emissions from natural stone, studies have shown that the risk with granite countertops is very low and insignificant compared to the average home’s background radon levels.

Cost of Granite Countertops

The cost of granite countertops can vary widely based on several factors, including the rarity of the granite, the complexity of the installation, and the thickness of the slab. On average, you will pay $10 to $75 per square foot for the product. More exotic varieties can cost significantly more. Also, consider the long-term value granite adds to your home when evaluating its cost.

Choosing the Right Granite

moon-white-granite-double-bathroom-vanity-topMoon White Granite

Color and Pattern: Granite comes in numerous colors and patterns. Consider the overall design of your kitchen or bathroom when choosing a granite countertop. Do you want it to stand out as a statement piece or blend seamlessly with your existing décor?

Finish: Granite can be finished in several ways, including polished, honed, or leathered, each offering a different look and feel. Polished granite is glossy and reflective, honed granite has a matte finish, and leathered granite features a textured surface.

Thickness: The thickness of your granite countertop can impact its cost and appearance. Standard thicknesses are 1.25 inches (3 cm) for kitchen counters and 0.75 inches (2 cm) for bathroom vanities.

Edges: The edge profile of your granite countertop (e.g., beveled, rounded, or square) can significantly affect its overall look. Some edge profiles may cost more, so consider this in your budget.

Maintaining Your Granite

gray-nuevo-grantiteGray Nuevo Granite

Granite countertops are relatively low maintenance but require some care to keep them looking their best.

Sealing: Granite is porous, meaning it can absorb liquids if not properly sealed. Most countertops need to be resealed every one to two years, depending on the level of use. Sealing is a straightforward process you can do yourself with a quality sealant.

Cleaning: Daily cleaning with warm, soapy water is sufficient. Avoid using acidic or abrasive cleaners, which can damage the sealant or scratch the granite.

Avoiding Stains and Scratches: While granite is resistant to heat and scratching, it's important to use trivets or mats under hot dishes and avoid cutting directly on the surface to prevent potential damage.

Granite Countertop Installation

bianco-antico-graniteBianco Antico Granite

Granite countertop installation is a precise and meticulous process that goes beyond the capabilities of most DIY enthusiasts. Due to the weight, complexity, and need for precise cutting to ensure a perfect fit, professional installation is highly recommended. Here's a deeper look into the installation process and why professional expertise is crucial:

Measurement and Templating: Precision is key. Professionals take exact measurements to create a template, ensuring the granite fits perfectly around fixtures and appliances.

Fabrication: Specialized tools cut and polish the granite according to the template, including spaces for sinks and faucets, with edges finished to your preference.

Reinforcement and Installation: Granite is heavy and fragile. Experts know how to support, lift, and place the slabs without causing damage, ensuring they're level and secure.

Sealing: Once installed, the granite is sealed to protect against stains. This step is crucial for longevity and is often included in professional services.

Final Inspection: A thorough check ensures everything is correctly installed and provides an opportunity to address concerns.

Opting for professional installation ensures your granite countertops are beautiful and correctly and safely installed. Professionals bring years of experience, precision, and attention to detail to the project, qualities that are crucial for handling such an expensive and heavy material. By entrusting this task to skilled installers, you ensure your investment is protected and your countertops will be a lasting addition to your home.

A Timeless Investment in Beauty and Durability

Granite countertops offer a timeless beauty and durability that can enhance any kitchen or bathroom. While the initial cost may be higher than other materials, the longevity and value they add to your home can make them a worthwhile investment. By understanding the benefits, costs, maintenance, and installation process, you can make an informed decision that will satisfy you for years. Choose the right granite to match your home's style, maintain it properly, and work with professional installers to ensure your countertops are a highlight of your home's interior design.

Ready to explore the options granite offers? Chat with us online, visit one of our nationwide MSI showrooms, or contact a local authorized MSI retailer for more information.


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