When it comes to combining practicality with aesthetic value, granite has an awful lot going for it.
Classic black granite is a mainstay in many luxury or high-end kitchens, and its variegated surface, combined with the bright points of light created by reflective minerals within the granite, are always striking to behold.
However, you aren't limited to the classic all-black look if you choose granite—a wide variety of shades and patterns are available, ranging from dark and relatively uniform slabs to deeply patterned granites available in pale greys and whites. As such, you will have no problem choosing a granite that fits in well with your overall kitchen aesthetic.
Every single slab of natural granite is different, with a pattern, shade and composition that is entirely unique. You can therefore be assured that nobody in the world has a granite benchtop that looks quite like yours, a must if you wish to create a truly distinctive luxury kitchen.
Granite is created in the intense heat and pressure of volcanoes, and as such boasts incredible durability. It will not dent even under the strongest impacts, and it is virtually immune to scratching caused by knives and other sharp kitchen implements, even those made of super-hard ceramics. It is also thoroughly heat resistant, and hot pots and pans can be set on its surface without worrying about marring or shattering its surface.
Natural granite is quite porous, but professionally installed granite benchtops are treated with tremendously durable sealants that waterproof its surface. Granite benchtops are therefore immune to staining as long as this sealant layer remains intact. High-quality sealants, such as those offered by Cabinetry Solutions, can last for many years before they need to be renewed.
The smooth top layer created by this sealing process also makes granite benchtops a breeze to clean, and nothing more heavy-duty than simple soap and water is required to keep them sparkling.
Unfortunately, granite also has a couple of minor disadvantages that can make it unsuitable for use in certain kitchen designs.
While granite is very strong and durable, it can be quite brittle, especially if the slabs you use for your benchtops aren't particularly thick. This is not a problem, however, unless you choose a benchtop design with overhanging corners and edges. If you do, a heavy pot or piece of equipment dropped on one of these overhangs may cause it to chip or crack.
Although granite does not stain, it can be vulnerable to 'etching,' a phenomenon caused when acidic compounds are left on its surface for too long. This etching can leave permanent discolouration if the acid is allowed to sit on the granite's surface for an extended period, which means that certain acidic cleaning compounds (such as white vinegar) are not suitable for cleaning granite benchtops.
Specialised granite cleaning liquids are widely available and are excellent for removing acidic substances without damaging the granite below.
Hopefully, this short list of the pros and cons of choosing marble benchtops will help you decide whether or not this fine material is suitable for your new kitchen. However, if you have any unanswered questions, or want more in-depth advice about the wide range of benchtop materials we offer, feel free to contact Cabinetry Solutions for expert help.