It has become really popular over the past 5 years to have granite counters. But do people really know what they are getting and all the different kinds of granite and what the different grades mean? The most common granites are your grade one granites. These are the ones that you see at places like Homes Depot. They are usually called Ubatuba, Saint Cecelia, Tropic brown, and New Venetian gold. These are common and affordable granites. They tend to be very consistent in color and design. This can be a good thing if you want a simple, classic look. However, if you are looking for a statement it will be very hard to find a level one granite that makes a statement. The “statement granites” are what we call exotics. Exotic granites have very little consistency in aeach slab and from one slab to another. These are the granites that have veins, which create beautiful designs. These veins look like rivers and bring the granite to life. There is a large variance in colors, patterns, and price in these granites. They are also well worth the price tag in my opinion. Some of my favorites of the exotics are splendor and Persia blue.
I have found over the years that the more unusual and higher quality granites are coming from Italy. They are not always mined from there but when they are shipped through Italian companies they tend to have a better inspection process leading to better quality.
Granites can be made into countertops as solid slabs or tiles. The solid slabs are more expensive for two main reasons. There is more material being used and more fabrication needed. The granite tiles are an affordable way to get the look of granite without the high fabrication costs. The tiles are thinner pieces of granite and usually your average tile installer can do the installation. However, with slab granite you will need a specialist in fabrication and installation. The major visual differences between slab granite and tiles are the thickness and the grout lines or joints. In slabs you should have very few seams in the granite, while the tiles are installed like tiles with many seams, even when laid groutless.
One draw back to granite counters is the maintenance needed to keep them looking good. Granite needs to be sealed on a regular basis. This is because it is a natural product. And just like all natural products (like leather) granite is porous and germs and food can soak into it if not properly maintained. It is not a hard thing to seal your granite and it is worth the little effort.
So all in all granite counters can really change the way that your home feels and can be done at all price ranges. They are a great investment in a home and can be the focal point. Before you decide what kind of granite person you are look around at your local stone yards and see what is available. There is propbably a lot more out there then you first thought, or if you are only looking at you local home improvement store. If you really want to see all the specialty things being done in granite contact and interior designer.