An introduction to granite
There are many elements to consider when designing a new kitchen. Worktops are a crucial element in the design and function of your kitchen. Not only do you want something that looks beautiful but it needs to work hard too. Granite worktops could be your best option. Here’s our expert guide on granite to help you out.
When it comes to choosing the kitchen worktop of your dreams, granite is a classic choice.
If you want a kitchen work surface that is super durable but also has the wow factor, granite fits the bill. It gives a feel of timeless beauty to a kitchen. As it’s already millions of years old, this incredibly tough surface is almost guaranteed to last longer than most other surfaces. By hand selecting your slab you ensure your surfaces are unique to you.
What is granite?
Granite is a completely natural stone that is formed deep in the Earth’s crust from large masses of cooling and solidifying magma that never made it to the surface.
The geologic process that occurs to create granite happens slowly over millions of years. The slow cooling process from intense heat makes granite both heat and scratch resistant.
Granite is generally a light-coloured rock due to its mineral composition – granite contains quartz and feldspar, as well as amphiboles, mica, and other minerals. Each slab of granite has variations in colour over its surface due to its unique mineral compositions. The same mineral compositions make granite a strong and high-performing material.
Granite is a full-bodied material, meaning patterns run through the worktop and can be seen at the edges, unlike a porcelain or ceramic material. Each slab of granite is unique.
Granite is an eco-friendly choice
Granite is a great sustainable material to use for your kitchen worktops. No other resources or materials are necessary to create granite worktops. There are no harmful toxins or chemicals used to quarry and finish granite and it’s also a long-lasting choice and creates less unrecycled waste.
The benefits of granite worktops
Granite is one of the lowest-maintenance types of natural stone and once they’ve been polished and sealed, granite countertops can last indefinitely. This is also an added bonus when it comes to selling your home as your new granite worktops will not only enhance the appearance of your home but boost the value too. According to sellhousefast.uk a kitchen renovation can add 5.5% on to the value of your home. With a durable and stylish worktop being in the top 60% of desirable kitchen features.
Granite is a heat-resistant material, which is a perfect element for the kitchen. It is resistant to stains, chipping and doesn’t crack under pressure, so you can relax knowing you have a beautiful worktop for years to come.
Unlike Quartz, Granite is porous. So, our granite is also sealed with particular products that ensure your surfaces are resistant to the day-to-day spillages that most kitchens see.
Whilst for best practice we advise you clean away any spillages as quickly as possible, our sealers are designed to protect your surfaces for a period of time, so no need to panic about that odd glass of red wine spilt on the surface. A simple wipe of a cloth and you will never know it happened.
Which colour granite is best for kitchen countertops?
With Carrara Marble being in fashion at the moment, white granite for kitchen worktops is a great choice. Not only do you get the beauty of real stone, using granite has a lot more
advantages than marble in a kitchen. Choosing an elegant white granite worktop will mean not having to worry about permanent stains despite the light colour.
Of course granite comes in many colour variations and individual patterns which allow you to tailor your kitchen to your own interior style. Some examples of these colours can be found here.
Granite Vs Marble
Marble is made of calcite crystals which is a salt of calcium which makes it prone to staining especially from liquids which are acidic in nature. Marble is an elegant and luxurious stone. It is also highly versatile as it can be used in flooring, ornamental furnishings, fireplace and bathrooms.
Granite is mainly composed of quartz and feldspars and is coarse grained. It has been in use extensively since ancient times for both indoor and outdoor applications.
Comparing Granite and Marble
- Longevity: Granite is stronger and harder than marble. Although we recommend customer to still use a trivet matt for best practice, Granite is known to withstand heat making it the perfect kitchen surface. Marble is susceptible to fading of colour and becoming duller overtime. A dulled marble has no way of getting its shine back. It is an irreversible process and a major drawback of marble.
- Reactivity to acidic substance: Marble is easily stained from spills especially from liquids that are acidic in nature like fruit juices and wines. Granite is much more resilient towards stains and as long as an effective sealant is maintained on the surface liquid spills will not permeate into the surface.
- Appearance: The appearances of both marble and granite are quite different from each other. Granite’s colour variation appears as freckling throughout the stone. Marble has a greyish or cream colour with veins running through it.
- Applications: The durability of granite makes it perfect for kitchen worktops and high traffic areas. Marble is more suitable for low traffic areas like bathrooms.
Granite Vs Quartz
Quartz is a non-porous material that is made up from 93% natural Quartz minerals. Mixed with 4% colour pigment and 3% polymer resin, Quartz surfaces are extremely tough ready to withstand a kitchen environment. These manufactured slabs have many colours, designs and textures. You will certainly be spoilt for choice.
Comparing Granite and Quartz
- Longevity: It is likely that both Quartz and Granite will outlive the life expectancy of the kitchen units they are sat on. Quartz will need extra care with hot pans while Granite will need to be kept clean from spillages. Both materials are easy to care for and will keep their high polished finish for many years.
- Reactivity to spillages: So long as it is maintained, Granite is resistant to the spillages expected in a kitchen environment. Some simple care and a bit of common sense will ensure that these surfaces still look good 20+ years from the day they were installed. Quartz is non porous, so will with stand most spillages. We advise you wipe away any overspill from your Quartz surface to make cleaning quick and easy.
- Appearance: Appearances are different from Quartz to Granite. Granite is a natural product that will have many different colours and patterns in just one slab. Quartz surface are specifically designed and can offer anything from a pure white slab to something that is made to look like Natural Marble.
- Applications: Both surfaces are suitable for the high traffic areas such as kitchen surfaces. Quartz is also a material suitable for bathrooms due to it being non porous. Whereas Granite is better suited for fire hearths as it will withstand high temperatures better.
Designs ideas for granite worktops
No matter what style of kitchen you choose, there will be a granite worktop to suit. There are so many shades of granite you’ll be able to find the perfect fit. Plus, profile edges allow you to add a finishing touch to your dream kitchen.
Cool grey tones of granite work well with white washed woodwork and white cabinets. Steel appliances and scandi style are a perfect match.
Classic shaker cabinets in white never go out of fashion with black granite and wood floors.
Want something a bit warmer? Pair warm white granite worktops with warm off white cabinets for a calm and relaxing feel in your kitchen.
Love the modern farmhouse style? Use a neutral colour palette, shaker cabinets, luxury white granite worktops and gold accents to complete the look.
How do you clean granite in a kitchen?
Granite is also one of the easiest worktop surfaces to take care of. The hard-wearing material is like a workhorse in the kitchen. The smooth surface of granite means that cleaning is quick and simple. You can clean the surface by using just warm soapy water to get it sparkling like new.
You should never clean your granite countertop with harsh cleaners, such as vinegar or bleach as it could damage the stone and the polish.
With the right care, granite can last for many years and look as good as the day it was installed.
How easy is it to fit granite in a kitchen?
It’s not an easy job and should be left to the experts. If you are investing in a beautiful piece of stone, it is worth investing in experienced and highly skilled craftsmen to make sure your installation goes without a hitch and looks beautiful for a lifetime.
How cost effective is granite for kitchens and bathrooms?
As with most things, there are many factors that can affect the cost (e.g. How much material you need, What material you choose, etc) An average cost for stone surfaces is around £2,900 but this price also includes the cost of fitting.
By visiting our showroom (link for contact us/book a viewing), we can complete a bespoke quotation and provide a range of prices on different materials. There is no obligation and the coffee is free!
Looking for a quick quote to help cost out your project?
Simply send us your plans, and we’ll get back with no obligation bespoke price to help you understand the options.