Granite is one of the most popular options on the market today. There’s a good chance that you’ve seen granite on TV, in magazines, or even in the homes of your friends and family—but the question stands: Is this stone as tough as everyone says?
New countertops of any kind are a big investment that involve plenty of thought. Before you go with granite, you probably have a lot of questions that you’d like answered. In this article, we’ll take a look at the durability of granite and how it stands the test of time.
The Rundown on Granite
Granite is a type of igneous rock formed when magma cools down and becomes solid under the earth’s surface. Granite is composed of feldspar, quartz, mica, and other trace minerals that give each slab its unique look.
Every piece of granite is different thanks to the varying types and amounts of minerals found inside. This is a big reason why people love this stone—it has a beautiful appearance, and every slab is one of a kind.
The speed of the magma cooling decides the size of the mineral crystals within the stone—the longer it takes to cool, the bigger the crystals. When granite is formed, it’s buried underneath many layers of sediment and other rock, which allows enough heat for all of its elements to melt together.
When granite is used for countertops, it’s moved from deep within the earth to somewhere shallower where it can be taken from a quarry and eventually moved into a kitchen. When the granite slab moves from the high-heat, high-pressure area to someplace cooler, it may expand or even crack. These cracks can threaten the integrity of a granite countertop, just as temperature changes throughout the seasons can. The weakened pieces are less desirable for countertop use.
Granite vs. Quartz
When deciding between granite and quartz, you will most likely look at your budget first. But beyond the desired price, you should also ask yourself whether you’re passionate about having a natural material in your home or if you wouldn’t mind a man-made stone.
Quartz is stronger than granite when used for countertops because it’s man made. Quartz slabs don’t have any seams, and they are less likely to crack. But if you’re dead set on installing a natural material, these details likely won’t sway you.
Many people are drawn to the aesthetic of granite, and they love how unique it is. With quartz, the options tend to be more predictable and uniform. But if you’re looking for something that’s low maintenance and hard to stain or damage, then quartz is your best bet.
Granite is a durable material, but it is not indestructible. It is possible to damage this stone.
What Damages Granite?
Even though granite is one of the toughest materials that exists for kitchen countertop use, there are still ways it can be damaged. But if you’re worried about scratching your countertop with a knife—don’t be. Granite countertops are so hard that they’re more likely to dull a knife than to get scratched by one.
But what granite can’t handle, in many cases, is high impact. Since granite is made of many crystals pressed together, it can be vulnerable to chipping. You should also make note that it’s necessary to seal granite, because if you leave this porous material unsealed, it will soak up liquids that can lead to stains.
But regarding heat resistance, granite is good to go. Since granite is formed under intense heat within the earth, heat doesn’t bother this stone at all. If you set a hot pan down on its surface, it won’t scorch.
Make Granite Your Choice
There’s no such thing as a perfect material when it comes to kitchen countertops, but many people think granite comes close. It is well-loved for its toughness and natural beauty, which is why it’s such a popular choice among homeowners. It’s extremely durable and will last for decades if it’s maintained properly.
To learn more about granite countertops and their durability, contact Marble Unlimited today.