Granite Countertops

Characteristics of Granite

Granite is used for kitchen and bathroom countertops because of its beauty and durability.

Polished GraniteWhere does granite come from? Many, many years ago, deep underground, volcanic action melted rock into liquid magma. The magma cooled and solidified, and the result is called igneous rock. Granite is one type of igneous rock. Granite’s crystal structure comes from quartz and feldspars. There are many ranges of colors of granite depending primarily on the feldspars. It may also contain mica or other dark minerals. Granite comes in a variety of patterns from similar grain to multicolored stone with veins or various shades depending on how the minerals are distributed. All of this is what makes granite strong, durable and unique.

Granite is almost always polished to a high-gloss finish when used for kitchen or bathroom counter tops. This brings out the unique features of each piece of stone. Depending on where it was mined, granite can include dull spots, fissures or pitting. These add to the stone’s beauty and one of a kind quality.

As mentioned previously, granite is made up of a different mixture of quartz, feldspars, and other minerals and that is what gives granite its fine appearance. Sometimes, with a high-gloss finish, some of the crystals in the granite do not polish as shiny as other areas. These areas are known as dull spots or watermarks and can sometimes be seen in the darker areas.

Another characteristic of granite is referred to as pitting. Pitting is what happens when there are small spaces between the different mineral crystals in the stone. Sometimes, while the granite is being polished, some of the small crystals are removed, making the pits easier to see. Different steps are taken while finishing the stone to make the pits less obvious, but they cannot be completely eliminated. Just like freckles or beauty marks on a person, pitting makes each granite slab unique and different from any other. Pitting does not worsen over time with normal use.

Yet another characteristic of granite are fissures, which were created during the cooling process when different flows of hot liquid magma came together and became a single stone. These fissures have always been a part of a specific piece of granite and will not increase or grow as time goes on.

Depending on the piece of granite that you get, it may have more or less pitting, dull spots or fissures as each natural stone is unique. How easily each of these characteristics can be seen also depends on the lighting in the room. Lighting conditions definitely affect how the granite appears.

*** Important ***

None of these characteristics, pits, dull spots, or fissures, affect the quality or integrity of the piece of granite in any way. They are naturally caused from millions of years of volcanic heating, cooling and formation. They make the stone unique, add character to each piece of granite, and make it stand out from manmade materials.

Our recent countertop/backsplash installment

My wife and I wanted to let you know how very pleased we are with our new granite countertop and new backsplash. Upon our first meeting with you at your showroom, we knew we would be choosing your company to do the work. One of the many things I appreciated was the fact that you were able to undermount our existing sink (we thought we needed a new one but you told us ours was just fine to use), and remove our existing cooktop and install our new one. This was a great help, as we did not have to hire a plumber or electrician to do this, and try to coordinate schedules to do so. To me, that was a great plus. The young men who did the tearout and installation of the countertop, sink and cooktop were great. Clearly hardworking, polite and professional. The gentleman who did the backsplash the next day was excellent as well. The entire process was done efficiently and with great care. I have told many clients how pleased we were with the work. I don’t know how any of it could have been done better. I am very glad we chose your company.

Many thanks,
Jack & Lynn Folz

Granite Kitchen Countertops Ideas

Get ideas for your granite kitchen countertops by viewing samples of projects we have completed. For more than 15 years Onis Stone has combined knowledge, personal service, and creative design to create custom kitchen areas using travertine, granite, marble and limestone.

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Benefits of Granite Countertops

Granite Kitchen CountertopWhen it comes to decorating a kitchen, one of the more significant things that you will want to consider is the countertops. For years, the work surfaces have been the most functional and useful parts of the kitchen. Given their very utilitarian purposes, these countertops were often devoid of anything remotely fashionable or aesthetically pleasing. Today, thanks to technology and keen decorative eyes, many people are now enjoying the use of granite as a countertop. Not only does this particular form of countertop look beautiful and stunning, the overall visual appeal is only one of the many benefits.

While granite countertops are normally a more expensive option for your kitchen, this natural stone will likely last you a lifetime, if not longer. This is perhaps one of the greatest benefits of granite countertops because, if you take care of them, you will never need new countertops. In addition, if your granite countertop is damaged (very unlikely), most damage can be repaired.

Another of the many benefits of granite countertops is that they are truly unique. Much like a snowflake, there are no two pieces of granite that are alike. Even if more than one countertop is created from the same stone, there will be subtle differences.

Another thing that granite has going for it is that this stone comes in literally hundreds of different colors, so whatever your color scheme may be in a kitchen design, you will be able to find a granite countertop to match.

Lastly, when it comes to safety, a granite countertop far exceeds that of other types of countertops. The long lasting polish that is applied to a standard granite countertop eliminates any sort of porous surface. This means that it is virtually impossible for this surface to harbor the harmful types of bacteria that can be found on a standard kitchen work surface.

The reality is that when it comes to the benefits of granite countertops, the list could go on and on. As stated earlier, these countertops are certainly not cheap. However, given the quality, durability, and beauty of these countertops, the price you pay is an incredible value. If you take care of your granite countertops, they will look as good in twenty years as they do when you first have them installed.

Mistakes Installing Granite

Installing granite countertops is not an easy process. We recommend that a home owner hire a professional for this task. The reason for this is that mistakes involving granite countertops can be very expensive. You don’t want to purchase the counter of your dreams only to damage it and have to do without. As you know, granite is not cheap. Replacing a countertop will set you back quite a bit. Don’t lose this investment due to improper installation. The money you spend to hire a professional will be well worth it in both the short and long run.

Improper measuring is one of the biggest mistakes installing granite countertops. Granite slabs will be cut and fit based on your kitchen. Sink holes and other permanent fixtures may need to be cut from the material. One wrong cut and the slab can be ruined. It’s just not worth the expense. Measure, measure and measure again. Once a cut has been made it is difficult, if not impossible, to undo.

Care must be taken when handling granite slabs. Improper handling can lead to chips, scratches and other damage. When carrying a granite countertop, it must be laid on a flat surface. This is another of the mistakes installing granite countertops frequently seen when home owners try to do the work themselves. Imagine your granite countertop in the landfill as the result of improper handling. Your money will be wasted. Take care when handling this material. Granite countertops are made to last forever so you definitely do not want them damaged.

Installing a granite countertop is not like any job you have undertaken before. Removing a damaged slab is even more difficult. Once a granite countertop is in place, you want it to stay there. Granite will last forever and only requires sealing every few years. If you want this type of fixture in your kitchen, it is best to call a professional. Mistakes installing granite countertops are made every day. Imagine the waste this creates. You will see why it may be best to let trained workers undertake this project for you.

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