What You Will Know About Granite By The End Of This Article:
When it comes to choosing granite countertops, there are six things to consider:
- Thickness – Granite comes in varying thicknesses and some make more sense than others.
- Color/Porosity – Porosity is important when determining which color granite will be the easiest for you to maintain
- Seam – Unsightly seam work can ruin the look of a fabulous granite countertop. Make sure you know what to ask for when designing your countertop layout.
- Edge – Different edge styles go better with certain kitchen designs. Choose the edge that best reflects your kitchen design.
- Backsplash – You have a variety of backsplash options – granite/tile/glass/etc. The right choice will enhance the look of your granite. selection.
- Sink – Make sure you select a sink carefully in order to enjoy a streamlined and stylish finish. (hint: never choose a drop-in/top mount sink).
Once you understand the basics of these six granite countertop features, you will be ready to choose the perfect slab for your kitchen.
You will be asked whether you prefer a ¾” , 1 ¼”, or 1 ½” thick slab. The problem is the last selection is technically non-existent. In “real life,” granite comes in two different thicknesses:
- Option 1: 3/4” thick – this is the thinnest slabs can be while providing the durability they are known for.
- Option 2: 1 1/4” thick – this is the thickest option available.
- Option 3: 1 1/2” thick – having a 1 1/2” thick slab is actually a misnomer. To create the effect of a 1 1/2” slab, granite fabricators use a powerful adhesive to attach a 3/4” strip of granite on the exterior edge of a 3/4” slab, creating the illusion of a 1 1/2” thick slab.
NEVER SELECT A 1 1/2” SLAB! There’s no way to attach two pieces without creating a visible seam on the horizontal edge. The seam looks terrible and can come apart over time.
Our Recommendation: In order to ensure your slab maintains the high-quality look it is known for, select a 1 1/4” thick granite slab:
- There is no visible seam on the horizontal edge.
- Heat dispersion is increased.
- It’s more impact resistant (although we don’t recommend using a hammer to test this point!).
As you may have noticed, granite comes in an incredible array of colours. Each color and pattern has its own unique properties. One of the most important properties to consider is porosity. The term porosity refers to the amount of pores, or empty spaces, in the granite material. These pores are susceptible to staining, etching, and mold/bacteria growth. The lower the porosity, the less you will have to seal/maintain your slab in order to prevent permanent damage.
Here are some tips for choosing granite with a lower porosity:
- The more uniform the color, and the tighter the vein pattern, the fewer the pores.
- Look on the tops and the sides of the slab to get a good look at the grains. The tighter the grains, the lower the porosity.
- “Exotic” patterns and colors usually have a higher porosity, making them harder to maintain.
- In most cases, darker colours have lower porosity compared with lighter ones.
Poor seam location can ruin the overall look of your granite countertop. Use an experienced granite fabricator to ensure your seam(s) are as invisible as possible. We can discuss your countertop layout and seam location on estimate day to ensure it is done correctly.
EDGE PROFILES SELECTION
You will also be asked to select the edge profile for your slab. Take your cues from your cabinet style:
- Modern: If your cabinets have square/linear appearance, we recommend a “bevel” or “flat” edge.
- Traditional: For a more traditional look, try a “bullnose” or “ogee” edge, which has a softer look.
- For Children: Make sure the bottom side of your edge is finished to minimize sharp edges.