When choosing countertops for your kitchen, Granite is one of the first things that come to mind. But how to choose the right granite can be intimidating. What is the best thickness? What are my edging choices? How do I clean granite? Here are answers to five commonly asked questions regarding granite:
1. What are the different levels or grades of granite?
The levels of granite denote how common or exotic the granite slab. Your more common and readily available granites usually carry a level of 1-3. The more exotic granites carry a level of 3 and higher.
The grade also can describe the quality of granite. Higher grades should have fewer flaws and a tighter design.
2. Edge Design?
Half Bullnose and waterfall are the most common edging and preferred to the Full Bullnose to prevent water from trailing under the countertop and wetting the cabinet.
Full Bullnose is fully rounded and adds a nice finished look to islands and peninsulas.
Ogee is perfect for a more refined finish but is also more costly.
Beveled edging looks great on more modern interiors.
Chiseled edging is completely done by hand and adds a designer flair. The most expensive of the edging styles, cost can be cut down by chiseling only on the island.
3. 2CM or 3CM?
Light weight cabinets are better topped with a 2 cm granite slab, and heavier cabinets that are sturdy enough to hold more weight are topped with a 3cm slab.
There is no difference in the wear or durability of the two sizes. The difference between the 2 or 3 cm is the thickness and weight of the slab.
The design and style of the kitchen also plays a large role in which thickness you select.
For breakfast bars with an overhang of more than six inches the 3cm slab is recommended.
4. Sealing Your Granite?
Using an oil base sealant once a year to seal your granite is recommended. These can be found at many of your local home stores.
There are companies that promote an extended seal on granite but they must come out and seal the granite themselves.
5. Cleaning Your Granite?
A non-abrasive cleaning product such as antibacterial dishwashing soap is best used to clean your granite. Abrasive and harsh chemicals with bleach or ammonia will strip the sealant from the granite.
One last quick tip. Countertops are not cutting boards. You wouldn’t chop vegetables on a $5000.00 painting nor should you use your new granite countertops as a cutting board. Cutting boards and trivets are readily available at many stores and are far less expensive than a new granite countertop. With proper care and low maintenance your new granite will provide you years of beauty and enjoyment.