Countertops are essential to every kitchen, both aesthetically and functionally.
While there’s a range of countertop materials, granite countertops have long been a top choice among homeowners thanks to their versatility, durability and range of colours.
Of course, they have their share of disadvantages, too. So if you’re thinking about investing in a granite countertop, it’s important to clearly understand both their pros and cons.
Granite Countertops: Advantages and Disadvantages
Although granite countertops offer many strengths, they do have weaknesses. Let’s look at both sides to figure out whether they’re the right choice for your home.
They’re Beautiful and Unique
Like any natural stone, granite adds a timeless aura and appeal to any space. And since every granite slab is unique, with individual swirls, specks and colours, you’re sure to find a unique countertop to fit in with your decor.
Although not resistant to cracks and breakage, granite is extremely hard and resists chipping and scratching. The only (relatively) common materials hard enough to scratch granite are another piece of granite or a diamond. This means you won’t have to worry about repairing scratches or resealing the surface repeatedly. However, you still need to be careful when using sharp knives, meat cleavers and other sharp objects. Always use a cutting board; never the countertop.
They Resist Heat
One of the biggest reasons why granite countertops are useful in kitchens is they are heat-resistant properties. With granite, you won’t have to worry about your worktop blistering or melting when exposed to high temperatures. If you’ve just taken a hot pan off your stove, for instance, you can place it directly on a granite countertop without worrying about damaging it.
However, countertop experts recommend the use of a trivet when placing utensils or appliances that emit heat for a long time, such as a slow cooker, on granite. Since granite is highly dense, there is a possibility of the hot object heating one area of the countertop instead of the entire surface, potentially causing it to crack.
Although not as porous as other natural stones, like marble, granite requires annual sealing to prevent stains and bacteria from seeping into the surface.
If you allow the sealant to wear away, granite can be easily stained by juices, wine, oil, or anything acidic. In such cases, you’ll need to hire a professional to remove the stains. This problem can be solved by using high-quality sealants.
They Have Seams
Granite slabs typically measure about 115” long and 70” high. Depending on the size and design of your countertop, you’ll probably need more than one slab which means more seams, more labour, more adhesives and a longer installation time.
These seams are also often difficult to clean and interfere with the beauty of your countertop.
They’re Not Easy to Install
Installing a granite countertop is tricky as the slab is heavy and can be damaged without proper support. It’s always best to have it done professionally so it’s under warranty if anything happens. Additionally, it requires specialized equipment and extensive experience to be installed efficiently.
If you want a premium kitchen countertop material and can be careful about avoiding spills, granite countertops are a great option. They add a timeless value to your home and last a long time. Although costly, they’re less expensive than other options like engineered stone and composite countertops. Consider their pros and cons to determine whether granite countertops are right for your home.