Granite CounterTops Pros and Cons
Written by: Stephanie Stevens
If you are looking to add a touch of the outdoors to your home, then nothing does this better than granite countertops. While commonly considered the material of choice for bathrooms and kitchens, granite countertops can be cut to order to replace other surfaces as well. You can use granite for fireplace mantles, basement bars or even desktops and window sills. Before you go to the expense of having new countertops installed, educate yourself on the pros and cons of owning granite. This will help you to decide whether or not granite has a place in your home.
The advantages of installing granite countertops go beyond how good they look. Granite is durable and comes in a multitude of natural color combinations. Since no two slabs of granite are exactly the same, you can rest assured that your kitchen or bathroom will never look exactly like someone else's. Other advantages include:
Since granite does not depreciate, it will add lasting value to your home.
Daily maintenance of granite countertops is as easy as cleaning with soap and water and a nonabrasive cloth.
Unlike tile countertops where bacteria can build up in grouting, granite does not act as a breeding ground for bacterial contamination.
Since granite is naturally formed through the constant pressure of rock formation and heat, it is resistant to the heat of hot pans. That means that you can safely set warm pans on the countertop without worrying about finding a tray, pot holder or cutting board to set the pan on.
Like all countertop materials, the advantages of buying granite are offset by the disadvantages. First of all, frugal home buyers who hate the thought of replacing something that is not worn out may get tired of having the same countertop for a long time. Also, keep in mind that trends in home décor change with time. A long term investment in granite may not be ideal if you plan to keep your home for a decade or more. Other disadvantages of granite include:
Granite is more expensive than other countertop options.
While granite is a heavy duty material, it may crack if a heavy object is dropped on it.
The installation of such a heavy material may require extra support. This means that during renovations, you may need to replace or add special supports to existing cabinets before installing granite countertops.
Once a granite countertop is installed, it doesn't come up easily. If you are a frequent renovator, then you may end up having to replace expensive cabinets as well as the countertop if you want a new look in your kitchen or bathroom.
Granite counter tops require regular maintenance against staining and scratches that you would not have to worry about with other countertops. Without proper sealing and resealing, your granite can stain and show scratches
Since no two slabs of granite are identical, you may find it difficult to create a uniform look. This is especially true if you want granite across a large space.
While granite will stand up to warm pans, you can damage the surface with hot pans.
As you can see, there are a number of pros and cons that come with owning a granite counter top. It is up to you to decide if the visual appeal of granite is worth dealing with the disadvantages. Discuss your concerns with your countertop provider and compare the value and durability of granite to other options. You may find there is no acceptable replacement for the beauty of granite.