Granite Kitchen Worktops : Pros & Cons
Granite Kitchen Worktops: Pros & Cons
Granite worktops have risen in popularity due to their unique appearance and their ability to make a statement in your kitchen. This appearance can’t be matched by any synthetic material, which is why many homeowners opt for this material.
However, granite worktops are a huge investment so it’s important to be aware of the pros and cons of the material before you buy a granite worktop for your kitchen.
In this guide:
- What is Granite?
- Pros of Granite worktops
- Cons of Granite worktops
What is Granite?
Granite is a crystalline igneous rock that is mostly made up of quartz. The quartz gives granite its signature hardness and unique look. Granite is formed at huge depths and under extreme pressure from magma beneath the earth’s surface. The material can occur in different colours depending on its mineral composition so there are a huge number of options to choose from.
The rock is drilled and blasted from a quarry and then cut into blocks and polished on one side. The slabs are then sent off to be cut down to size and prepared to be placed as a worktop in a kitchen.
Pros of Granite worktops
Granite worktops provide a number of benefits for your home when compared to other materials.
Let’s have a look at the main benefits of granite worktops for your kitchen.
Granite surfaces are the perfect addition to any kitchen and provide a natural beauty that is unmatched by any other materials. Every slab of granite is completely unique with individual lines, colours and patterns so no two granite worktops will look the same. Granite is also available in a number of different colours too there’s something to match every decor style.
Adding a granite worktop to your kitchen can provide a high quality look and feel to your kitchen and will often become the focal point of the room.
One of the biggest benefits of granite is the huge number of colours and patterns available. Every piece of stone is different and it is available in light and dark colours with veins, flecks and grains in different patterns.
Granite is one of the hardest rocks available, second only to diamonds in terms of the hardness of natural materials. When treated carefully, granite countertops can last for decades. They’re not completely unbreakable and can be scratched but it takes a huge amount of force and effort to scratch or scuff granite worktops.
When properly installed, granite worktops shouldn’t need to be replaced for a long period of time. If you scratch or crack your worktop, a professional should be able to fix it, depending on the severity of the damage.
Stain and heat resistant
Adding to the durability and practicality of granite worktops, they are resistant to heat and stains – two problems that are common in a family kitchen. If you need to put a hot pan down quickly, granite is able to withstand the heat without being damaged.
If properly sealed, a granite worktop will resist staining which makes cleaning them with soap and water or a granite worktop cleaner much easier and will ensure your worktop lasts much longer.
When the granite is sealed properly, it becomes non-porous which means bacteria and moisture cannot harbour within the materials. Materials such as wood and marble are extremely porous so bacteria can sit inside the material, making them much harder to clean properly.
Boost home value
The kitchen is the heart of the home and is something that potential buyers will look at when viewing your home. According to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), a new kitchen can add up to 4% to the value of your home.
Granite worktops can make your kitchen look more attractive and show that you have invested in a high quality makeover. Worktops can impact the look of your kitchen, making it more appealing to potential buyers and could play a part in selling your home.
Due to their durability and long-lasting nature, granite worktops are a long-term investment. When they’re installed properly, you shouldn’t need to change your worktops again (unless you change your kitchen), for decades. On the other hand, a laminate worktop will need to be replaced every ten years and a wooden worktop twice, as well as being refinished.
Granite worktops provide a more sustainable choice than other engineered materials. A single quarry can provide stone for thousands of commercial and residential projects over a long period of time.
Granite is also very near complete as a countertop material in its natural state so it does not require too much work or additional materials to get it ready for use as a worktop. In contrast, engineered materials have a much more complicated production process which includes toxic chemicals and releases harmful emissions into the atmosphere.
Cons of granite worktops
Whilst granite worktops offer a number of benefits, there are also disadvantages to consider to make sure you choose the right worktop for your home.
Can be porous
Granite worktops are highly resistant to stains, but only if they have been sealed properly. If it’s not sealed properly, it will absorb liquids such as wine, oil or juice easily and will stain your worktop over the long term. If you have a lighter coloured worktop, this can be a huge problem and can ruin the overall look of your worktop. It’s recommended that you have the worktop resealed regularly to maintain its stain resistance.
Can be cold
Particularly in the winter, granite worktops can be cold to the touch. So, when preparing your breakfast or coffee on a cold morning, the cold countertop can be a surprise. If you leave a warm mug of tea or coffee on the cold granite work surface, it may cool down more quickly.
When compared to other worktop materials such as laminate, wood or acrylic, granite can be an expensive option. However, it’s a luxury worktop that requires professionals to mine, shape and install it so a higher cost is expected.
Seams may show
If you opt for an L or U shaped layout in your kitchen, the slabs of the worktop will need to be cut and joined together. As a result, you will be able to see seams where your worktop joins together. A good installer should be able to minimise the appearance of seams but they won’t be able to completely get rid of them.
Granite is an extremely heavy material so, if you want to install it yourself, you may need additional help. You will also need to ensure that your kitchen cupboards are sturdy enough to withstand the weight of the worktops.
Prone to cracking
As we have already mentioned, granite kitchen countertops are extremely durable but they can still be chipped. If you drop a heavy object on the corner or overhang, the worktop may chip and a granite repair specialist will be required to repair the damage.
The good news is, the worktop should be easy to repair.
As you can see, granite worktops provide a natural, durable and low maintenance option for your kitchen which is available in a number of colours and designs.
If you’re looking for a worktop that will add a focal point to your kitchen and last for years to come, granite is worth the cost. However, if you prefer a lighter worktop with a solid pattern, a quartz countertops or another material may be more suitable.