Pros and Cons of Granite Countertops

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Are you considering installing granite countertops in your kitchen? You may have heard that granite countertops can improve the overall value of your home, making it stand out in the competitive real estate market. Before you drop thousands of dollars on new granite countertops it is essential that you do the due diligence research.

In this guide to granite countertops, we are going to take an in-depth look at the pros and cons of granite tops, which can give you a better idea of whether or not granite countertops are a good choice for you.

Benefits of Granite Countertops

There are some advantages of granite countertops which is why they are a popular choice for modern homes. Here is a list of the main pros of granite countertops.

Heat Resistance

In homes where there is a lot of cooking going on it is likely that hot dishes or pans will occasionally be set on the countertop. With laminate and other materials, there is a chance of heat damaging the countertops. Granite and natural stone countertops are highly resistant to heat which is part of what makes them such a great choice. While granite countertops have much better heat resistance than many other materials, it is important to note that even granite will crack if the heat gets too hot.

Scratch Resistant

Scratches on the countertop can be very unsightly. When food and liquids come in contact with the scratches they can darken and become stained. One of the benefits of granite countertops is how resistant to scratches the material is. If the granite has been sealed properly then it will be resistant to scratches and damage for many years to come. Some people even use the granite countertops as a cutting board, but we do not recommend this. The scratch resistance is due to the extremely high durability of the stone. Granite makes for a very hard and strong surface for countertops.

Water Resistance

There is a big chance that your kitchen countertops will get wet at some point from washing dishes or accidental drink spills. Having water resistance countertops is very important to prevent mold and water damage from occurring. Granite is highly resistant to liquids which helps to prevent stains. Instead of soaking it into the counter’s surface, water will roll off the top of granite countertops. Water will never ruin a granite countertop, but it does leave behind some spotting. Luckily, water spots can be easily wiped away.

Cons of Granite Countertops

There are a lot of benefits to granite countertops, but there are also some downsides. Here is a list of the cons of granite countertops to keep in mind when you are deciding which countertop material is right for you.

Staining

One of the main cons of granite countertops is that they can stain. The lighter the color of the granite is, the more likely that stains will be visible. White and light grey granite can be easily stained by things like coffee, dyes, and oils. Depending on your lifestyle, this can be a problem. If you have children who might try to draw on the counter with permanent markers or are constantly spilling juice and soft drinks, then light colored granite is probably not the best option for your household.

Replacement

Granite countertops can be super pricey. Natural granite has one of a kind and unique patterns, textures, and colors. It will require multiple slabs of granite to cover most kitchen counters, so in order for the slabs to be matching in color and texture they will need to come from the same “batch” at the same rock quarry. If part of the counter becomes damaged, such as cracked, and you need to replace it you will have a hard time finding a granite slab that perfectly matches the rest.

Seams

Because it takes multiple slabs of granite to cover most countertops, there will likely be some visible seams in the material where the slabs come together.

Cracks

If your granite countertops crack you will be stuck with paying for a replacement slab. Improper installation or stress on the granite can create a crack in the granite. Cracks cannot be fixed which means a difficult replacement for you. Another downside to granite countertops that should be mentioned here is that granite does not come with a warranty in most cases. This is because granite is a natural stone and there is no “manufacturer”, so there is no manufacturer’s warranty either.

Maintenance

Cleaning granite countertops is simple with a specialized granite cleaner or with a mild soap. Granite requires sealants, usually in multiple layers, to reinforce the surface for protection. Sealing granite is not a one time process. Granite countertops need to be sealed once or twice a year. Other materials such as laminate or quartz countertops do not require any maintenance. Here is a good article to read more about quartz countertops and how they compare with granite and other materials.

Conclusion

Now that you have all the info on the pros and cons of granite countertops you can make a better decision about whether they are right for your household. There are some benefits to granite such as the unique natural beauty, durability, and natural heat and water resistance. There are also some downsides, in particular, that replacement is expensive and difficult. It can be hard to match the color and texture of a natural granite countertop for a replacement because the natural stone can vary so much.

If the cons of granite have talked you out of making the investment, but you still want the appearance and performance of granite then you should consider engineered stone countertops. Quartz (engineered stone) countertops are a great alternative to granite. To most people the difference between natural and engineered stone is indistinguishable, but the benefit of quartz is that it does not require sealants like granite and it also can be custom designed to the color and texture you want. It is true that upgrading your countertops can boost the value of your home. Keep checking our website regularly for more tips on home renovations and countertops.