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Granite Countertop Basics

Granite countertops are, for many of us, one of the top high luxury items we can add to our kitchen. About the only more luxurious material we could use would be marble, but that feels a little unnecessary. Sure, the veins and colors in marble are pretty, but the level of expense makes marble a little less than worthwhile. Granite seems like a much more financially achievable and still beautiful countertop option for either a kitchen or a bathroom. At the same time, you may be feeling a little unsure about granite. What does it really cost? What are the pros and cons? How do you care for it? Well, here are some basics for you.

Variety of Form

First of all, granite is not only available in slabs, as tends to be true of marble. Granite also comes in tiles, which is a huge relief for most of us. Unless you happen to be living with the Incredible Hulk, the prospect of lifting an enormously heavy slab of granite is not just intimidating, it's downright terrifying without first consulting our granite countertop learning resources. Here you've spent a significant chunk of money purchasing a gorgeous countertop, and you're suddenly facing the risk of destroying it with one slip of the fingers or ropes that could send it crashing to the ground. A crash like that would probably also cause significant damage to your floor, adding to your frustrations. Having granite tiles gives you all the beauty of granite with a nifty pattern and without the potential risks to your back, hands, and home.

An important factor to note with granite slab countertops is that the larger the amount of counter space you are trying to cover, the less able you will be to have a seamless slab to cover it. Given the immense weight of each slab, lengths generally run no more than seven feet. Some believe that the seven feet limit is actually imposed by nature, considering that harvesters rarely find granite pieces longer than that. Others feel that even if nature hadn't created such a limit on granite sizes, humanity would out of sheer necessity.

Variety of Options

With granite countertops, you have a huge array of colors to choose from. There are basics like grey and blue and reddish brown, but then there are also some really cool varieties. Granite is a natural rock, and so experiences some of the same benefits of appearance that marble does. It makes sense that granite should come in a large variety of colors and patterns, considering that granite itself is harvested from all over the world. Much the way a person from Spain looks different than a person from Italy, so will each country's granite.

After nature has decided how your granite will be colored and patterned, you get to choose how it will look as a finished product. With options like edging, tiling, back splashes, and so forth, you have a dizzying number of ways you can customize your granite countertop to be exactly what you envision for your kitchen.

Variety of Costs

You should remain aware that the more complicated your granite countertop design is, the more expensive it will ultimately be. Granite is a very tough material. It is, in fact, a rock. So, creating a cool design along the edges of your granite slab will require specialized training and great care, which will increase the cost. Having a solid slab may be your preference, but that is also the more expensive route to take. One way to have all the beauty of a granite countertop without the immense cost of a solid slab would be to choose a tiled design and create a mosaic.

Some colors of granite are only available from foreign countries, which means that purchasing them will involve transportation costs and that means a larger bottom line. Ultimately, you may not be able to make all of the choices that you want to for your granite countertops. To get the color you want the most, you may have to get it in tiles rather than a slab. The color that you actually want may not be available at the time you are trying to purchase your countertops, so you may have to settle for a color that is a shade or two off.

The benefits of basic granite countertops are abundant. Granite is very durable, very beautiful, and often unique. The biggest consideration will likely be what you can afford. It's also important to remember, though, that granite is an incredibly durable material. Once you have chosen and installed your granite countertops, they will be with you for as long as you own your house. Not even the Incredible Hulk in the midst of fury would want to destroy the beauty of a granite countertop!

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