Happy Fall Equinox! Yes, summer is over, but the coming months of shorter days and pumpkin spice lattes also herald a chance to tackle those home improvement projects that keep us indoors! Whether you just want to freshen up your space or give your kitchen a new look for the holidays, fresh kitchen countertops might be just what you need. But sorting through the choices and trends for countertops can make even the most dedicated remodeler just give up and turn on Netflix. With that in mind, we’d like to revisit a favorite kitchen countertop material that wears well and always looks terrific: granite.
WHAT IS GRANITE?
So exactly what is granite and where does it come from? Technically, granite is a type of igneous rock composed mostly of quartz and orthoclase feldspar. But if you’re not a geologist, the simple answer is: Mother Nature creates granite by slowly cooling and hardening magma that has just the right amount of silica content, allowing you to see the grains and crystals with the naked eye. (You read that right — your kitchen countertops were once molten lava!)
Granite quarries or mines cut and extract massive granite blocks from the landscape. Production facilities prepare the blocks by slicing them, baking them in resin, filling, buffing and polishing them. The slabs are then laser cut into custom dimensions; usually for kitchen islands, countertops or bathroom countertops. (Fun fact: Colorado historically was a major granite and marble producer in the 1800s and 1900s — and today the town of Granite, CO still exists, though it’s no longer a granite mining camp.) The US still produces its own granite — mostly grey, pink, and brown, and the granite-savvy can spot the materials in both contemporary commercial buildings as well as historical structures, like the steps of the Colorado State Capitol, or Larimer Square’s famous Granite Building (obviously!). But the most colorful and unique granite slabs — highly sought after for interior home kitchen countertops — are sourced mostly from Brazil, India, Spain and Italy.
SHOULD YOU CHOOSE GRANITE?
Here’s a handy list of pros and cons to help you decide:
- Speckled appearance hide flecks of food and stray fingerprints (our customers probably love this the most)
- A completely natural material; eco-conscious
- High return on investment
- Virtually limitless patterns let you find what works for your home and color scheme, while still being completely unique
- Extremely hard and durable; heat–resistant and scratch–resistant
- Low-maintenance and non-porous (if sealed properly)
- Always looks good and will last for decades if properly cared for
- Needs to be resealed, but initial sealing lasts approximately 10 years
- Can crack or chip if you drop something heavy on it
- Very heavy material — professional installation advised
The color selections for granite are as varied as the Vermont landscape in Autumn. From white to black, elegant pinks, greens, golds and browns — Mother Nature paints a unique color sure to satisfy every homeowner’s mood and style.
Classic Cabinets & Design in Louisville, CO offers a large selection of granite countertop samples and suppliers to choose from. Visit our showroom today and one of our many talented designers will help you choose the perfect countertop to (literally) make your kitchen glow and shine.