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If you’re looking for a countertop that is going to give you strength and durability, you can’t go wrong with granite. This is the strongest of the natural stones on the market, and one which is going to last you for many years to come. Shop around to find a fantastic deal and you’ll also benefit from a warranty, giving you extra peace of mind.

When you are investing in something so expensive and such a large part of your kitchen space, it’s important to check out your options in detail before you make any firm decisions. Of course, within the granite decision umbrella, you also need to know what colour to go for, what finish, and what type of pattern. The options are quite wide-reaching, but one option which is very popular, is white granite.

Before you cover your eyes in horror, white is not a terrible colour to go for, and it’s not ultra-high maintenance either! Yes, you will need to clean regularly to keep it looking great, but you’d have to clean anyway, so you have no excuse there!

To convince you further, let’s check out seven advantages of white granite countertops.

White granite countertops look ultra-stylish

What more stylish colour is there than white? You don’t have to go for bright white if you want to dull it down a little, as there are countless different shades of white within that group, so you can find something to suit your needs. There are also many different patterns available, so you could even find a white granite slab which mimics the opulence of white marble, without the higher maintenance and higher price tag.

White granite countertops are flexible in terms of what they ‘go’ with

White goes with most other colours, so you will be able to redecorate around your countertop a few times before you decide to replace it. Whether you want a contemporary style or something more traditional, white is a great choice, and it also helps reflect the light and make your room look bigger too – ideal for small kitchens.

White granite countertops are low maintenance

Granite needs to be sealed yearly, because it is a porous stone, but aside from cleaning regularly, that is the only maintenance it will need. Buff your surface after you clean it to keep it looking shiny and new, but no other maintenance will need to take place.

White granite countertops are easy to clean

Provided you avoid anything harsh, e.g. bleach or ammonia, and you don’t go down the route of abrasive cleaning cloths, you will find cleaning your white granite countertop very easy indeed. All you need is warm, soapy water and a soft cloth – nothing else required!

White granite countertops are strong and durable

We mentioned that granite is the strongest stone available, so that means you are going to have a long-lasting countertop for many years to come, and one which will stand up to a lot of pressure before any sign of damage occurs.

White granite countertops are highly scratch and heat resistant

Nothing is 100% scratch or heat resistant, but granite is very highly heat resistant and very highly scratch resistant. This means you don’t have to be too careful, although using heat pads and cutting boards is a good idea.

White granite countertops are widely available

You really won’t struggle to find white granite anywhere, so you can shop around for great deals!

If you have made a decision on granite stone for your new kitchen countertop, you have made a very hard-wearing, cost-effective, and attractive choice. Granite will certainly stand the test of time, and provided you stick to routine maintenance and cleaning, you will look forward to many years in the company of your new countertop!

granite-countertops-1The next decision you need to make is which colour to go for. This is not an easy choice, because there are literally hundreds to choose from, and it all depends on your personal preference, as well as the décor you are choosing for the rest of your kitchen space.

If you need a little in the way of inspiration, here are ten beautiful and adaptable shades to choose for your new granite kitchen countertop.

African red – This warm shade is great for small kitchens, especially when paired with lighter cabinets to create space. If you are going for a black and red shade, this is best for larger spaces. The colour itself is almost terracotta, but has tiny shades of grey and even blue running through it.

Blue pearl – Again, great with cream, white, black, or grey, blue pearl has flecks of blue and grey running through the slab, and is adaptable. This is great for a cool colour palate, and will have a calming effect.

Emerald pearl – This particular colour of granite slab is actually black, even though the name may be slightly misleading! The black background has charcoal and darker grey veins in the slab, and small silver flecks peppered here and there.

Ivory fantasy – This is somewhere between a cream and a beige, with large natural swirls across its length. This is a flexible choice, as it goes well with most other colour schemes, including cream, white, black, grey, or brown.

Boss blue – This is a very luxurious choice, and one that almost looks like the slab is arranged in a diagonal pattern. The background is a mixture of blue, grey, and lilac, with mismatched lines of the same shades running in a diagonal pattern through it. Ideal with creams and whites, this will give a very cool and calming feel to your kitchen.

Black marinace – By choosing this colour and pattern of granite you will have almost a pebble pattern to your countertop. The main colour is of course black, as the name would suggest, but the pattern is white and grey oval pebbles.

Giallo fiorito – Another pebbly pattern, although entirely naturally formed, this particular colour is a mixture of greys, light oranges, browns, and beiges, all swirling together to give a kitchenundermount1delicious colour palate for your new kitchen countertop. Again, this is a very adaptable and would look fantastic with many other cabinet colour choices.

Rosso marinace – Reds and oranges swirl together, with an undertone of white in this particular shade. The pebble design comes in mismatched sizes, so no one slab will ever be the same as another, and in terms of what other colours this shade would go well with, you could choose browns, greys, whites, or creams. Black would also look great, if you wanted to create an individual appearance.

Labradorite Madagascar – This rather wonderfully named slab colour is blue and grey with flecks running across its length. The flecks almost form large swirls, which when polished up shine in the light. Fantastic with white, grey, black, or cream cabinets.

Absolute black – Finally, we have a classic jet black slab choice, with tiny white flecks running through it. Black looks fantastic on granite countertops, and can be paired with many other decoration choices; the obvious one would be monochrome style, paired with black or cream.

When it comes to manufacturing a countertop, there are no many materials to put aside granite and quartz. Let’s have a brief rundown of how quartz and granite worktops become the most important element in the house-owners kitchens.

Brief rundown over Granite vs. Quartz Countertops

kitchen-granite-countertopsQuartz countertops composition is the most complicated one, as it is an engineered stone. Containing 93% crushed quartz and 7% pigments and binding resin, the worktops resulted can be shaped in almost every forms, and may have every color the customer requires. These things, however, cannot be said about granite.

The countertops from this natural stone are quarried naturally from the earth as huge chunks of stone. Their shape is given after they leave the quarry and end up in a fabric. Here, they are cut in the popular countertop shape.

Regarding the resistance and durability of a countertop, both quartz and granite ones are very similar, with a slightly advantage for quartz for being more flexible, allowing the installation process to be executed more easily.

Different Types of Surface

One big difference between these two materials is the type of surface they poses. Quartz has a non-porous surface, fact that brings him a lot of advantages. From stain resistance to virtually no-maintenance time required, all of these are granted due to the strong texture and fortified atom bound inside the material. Talking about granite in this context requires us to look on the opposite direction. Granite is a porous material, thing that for some clients is a pro, and for some is a con.

Due to its natural behavior, granite countertops are not heat resistant, and can easily be chopped or broke. The only benefit can result from sealing properly the worktop, thus conferring a stain resistant property. If not cleaned and sealed at a regular basis, nasty stains from oil, wine or juice may penetrate into the texture, making them impossible to be removed.

Looking at the various colors of modern kitchens makes us wonder what material is best to be considered in producing a worktop. Well, both granite and quartz have their drawback when it comes to shades. For the natural stone aspect of the granite, there are not many things that can be done in order to change its color, so here we have a more fixed milestone.

Style, Color and Installation Process for Granite vs. Quartz Worktops

quartz-countertopsOn the other hand, quartz products can come in almost every color required, but they also have some specifications. If exposed to direct sunlight, the color may disappear overtime, so you may notice a difference if a part of the worktop is exposed to UV rays, and the other part no.

The installation process for Granite and Quartz Countertops needs to be done by a professional employee. Don’t even think of hiring your neighbor to save a few dollars. Due to the fact that these countertops are extremely heavy, they need to be carried with a high precision. Hitting even the corner of your table may chip the worktop, making him inappropriate to be used anymore.

Considering the related statements about the granite and quartz tops, it remains up to you to choose the best one that suits your house. If you are a more natural guy and love to make a quick daily cleaning on your house, then granite would be your first choice. But if you are a busy man, and travel a lot, try to opt for the quartz countertop, as it requires less maintenance and it also empowers your house with a modern look.

During the last years it has been an incredible battle for which material is best to be used when manufacturing a countertop. Initially, granite took the lead for being very cheap and in abundance in the nature.

Slowly, marble worktops cut their way to the top thanks to the extreme beauty and natural outfit of the stabs, but also due to the beautiful colors available to be purchased. Finally, the man put its mind at work and came with engineered stone, called quartz, available in almost endless number of colors and shapes, taking the lead in the kitchen worktops market.

Engineered Stone vs. Solid Stone

All three types of materials have different properties that make them unique. While granite and marble countertops are produced exclusively from natural stone, that can chip, and its color can slightly be modified, the quartz countertops are man-made, resulting in a 92% – 94% quartz composition and a 7% pigments for coloration and resin binders.

Talking about the issue of durability, being natural and beauty doesn’t guarantee you strong properties. While natural stone top can be sealed at installation, the quartz ones do not require this level of care. Compared to granite and marble, quartz worktops are easy to be maintained clean due to their strong texture and non-porous surface. All you need to do is to take a clean towel, some simple cleaning solutions, and weekly wipe out the eventual stains on the surface of the top.

Durability: Granite vs. Marble vs. Quartz Countertops

When it comes to granite, the things are a little bit different. Even if it has a non-porous surface, its texture is not that strong. Extreme heat from pots or pans can easily break or chip the stab, making it impossible to be used. Compared to marble, granite has a lower maintenance time. Being a porous material confers marble a very natural and beautiful look, but this comes with some huge disadvantages. Liquid spills like oil, juice, vinegar or wine can easily penetrate into its texture, leaving nasty stains that need to be cleaned right away. From this point of view, the maintenance time required to be reserved for cleaning and sterilizing the marble countertop kitchen is quite high.

It’s all about price! Considering the properties of each material, here are the sums you may need to take out from your pocket if you want to purchase a worktop:

  1. Granite : £75 – £175 / installed m2
  2. Marble : £100 – £200 / installed m2
  3. Quartz  : £80 – £140 / installed m2

Available Designs for Granite, Marble and Quartz Worktops

colonial-cream-granite-with-a-standard-eased-edgeThe styles, colors and patterns available for each material have also been changed during the years. Granite worktops have the most fixed designs from all three of them. The grains contained in the composition might be slightly improved with hues of green, blue, orange, pink or red, typically in shades of medium to dark. The marble countertops have a wider area or colors than granite. The veins that run into their texture confer them a very beautiful and natural look, allowing the customers to associate the stabs with a wide range of environmental elements in their kitchen.

Resuming the quartz, as it is a man-made, engineered stone, the countertops created from this material can have almost every color the client requires. By just adding the right pigments into the composition, it can be obtained gorgeous models and designs and every taste can be satisfied.

traditional-kitchen-countertopsHands down, granite is one of the most popular kitchen countertop materials, being also used intensively in bathrooms and exterior house decorations. The main reason, why homeowners all around the world love to choose granite as their worktop, is the extreme hardness and the fact that even if decades pass by, it never loses its shine.

Installing Granite Countertops

Having to install a kitchen worktop is not something that everyone can do, especially when we are talking about granite. Here are some tips to be taken care of every time you want to refresh your kitchen look.

  • Transit from warehouse to kitchen:
  • Even though granite is recognized as being a very hard rock, it may break or chip during transportation, and this is not what we want
  • In this spirit, a wooden A-frame has been constructed in order to support transition of the 500 pounds granite slabs
  • Cutting the granite:
  • Scaling the dimensions of your countertop needs to be done in your kitchen or bathroom, to fit perfectly around the sink
  • Special saws:
  • Being a hard rock, not every saw can cut it; circular or standard saws can only cut thin tiles
  • For thicker and larger pieces of granite countertops, water-cooled blades are needed to be used, or for easy cutting, some prefer diamond blades.
  • Sealing your granite countertop:
  • It has a porous surface, making him sensitive to liquid spills and acidic solutions
  • It is not stain resistant, since fluids like wine, juice, oil or vinegar, can easily penetrate into its texture and leave unwanted marks.
  • The solution to avoid these problems is to seal your worktop once every year, but keep in mind that the sealant doesn’t make your granite waterproof; it only gives you extra seconds to wipe out that spill.

Radon Level and its Proportion in Granite Worktops

countertopsDue to the fact that it is a natural stone, it may also slightly contain radioactive elements, like radon and uranium. But don’t be afraid! The media blew out of proportion this fact for marketing and commercial reasons.

The truth is that even a regular garden soil contains radon in a more proportion than granite, and the low density makes it even unlikely to emit harmful gases, according to EPA. For sure this is one of the most interesting fact about granite, but definitely not a crucial purchasing point to take care of. Despite rumors that you may hear looking on the internet, granite countertops are extremely safe to be used in your home and it is for sure a safe material to prepare food on it.

Colors and Decoration Motifs for Granite Kitchen Countertops

Granite may come into 3 main types of color. From light tints to dark black shades, it remains only up to customers preferences to select the most appropriate motif that fits in with his cabinet.

Light Granite Colors:

  • Autumn Leaves
  • Bainbrook Peach
  • Desert Sand
  • Giallo Topazio
  • Golden Beach
  • Imperial White

Dark Granite Colors:

  • Absolute Black
  • Bamboo Yellow
  • Brazilian Black
  • Blue Perola
  • Volga Blue
  • Spectrolite Brown

Sum up, granite countertops must be taken into consideration when redesigning your kitchen and bathroom because of their extreme hardness, shiny look, and last but not least, its low purchasing price.

GraniteCountertopsIf you are looking for a stone countertop which does not have any of the upkeep and brittleness of real granite there are some good, affordable granite alternatives. The best of which is to look at quartz, a manufactured and non-porous stone which has a lot of the beauty of granite but many brands have none of the upkeep.

Two of our suggestions for hassle-free alternatives to granite are Silestone and DuPont’s Zodiaq. They both offer many different colors and variants to choose from and are a type of quartz crystal which give them the depth and beauty of natural stone without its flaws. The countertops made of these materials have the durability and performance of quartz. They also have a greater flexural strength than granite, which makes them perfect for countertops.

Real Granite Has Many Drawbacks

First, many people have the idea that buying granite is an ecologically sound and responsible thing to do because it is a natural stone. This is far from the truth. Granite used for countertops is mined in overseas locations, in unsupervised mines. They are then shipped to the U.S. This wastes both time and energy. It also does not support the American economy, nor does it protect the environment. There is no way to know how the unsupervised mines operate or how the granite countertops are manufactured.

Second, granite is a brittle and porous stone. It needs regular maintenance once installed. This means that twice per year dangerous VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, are in your kitchen. The fact granite is porous also means that liquids can seep through to the underside of the granite, causing mold and mildew to grow. This means the granite will most likely need to either be repaired or replaced at some point do to the damage created. There have also been some concerns about radon voiced with regards to granite.

Advantages of Zodiaq and Silestone

silestone-Zodiaq and Silestone are both non-porous stones which are incredibly low-maintenance and do not need any periodic sealing as granite does. All that is needed to clean them is a damp cloth or paper towel. Also a non-bleach, non-abrasive cleanser will work if needed.

With Zodiaq you get a product which is more heat- and scratch-proof than most other non-porous stones. It is great for the kitchen with a person who loves to cook.

Silestone is the only engineered quartz which comes with a Microban bacteriostatic protection. The Microban is an anti-microbial protection which helps discourage the growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria on the surface of the countertop. The Microban helps it to stay cleaner during routine cleanings and makes it easier to clean and keep clean during its lifespan. It’s wonderful for extremely high-traffic area kitchens where your kitchen is the center of attention.

The only small drawback with these stones is they are not as heat- and scratch-proof as granite. When cooking (or any other related project), it is always recommended to use heating pads and cutting boards.