Granite is one of the most versatile stones and widely used in both interior and exterior design.
It comes in variety of colors and patterns and is very hard and durable stone, which makes it appropriate to be used for kitchen and bathroom tops, wall applications and flooring.
In this article we will address the usual questions regarding the use and inherent qualities of granite, particularly as it refers to granite tops.
QUESTION: Where does granite come from?
ANSWER: Granite is quarried from the earth with specialized equipment and machinery. It is found all over the world. A few parts of the world where granite is quarried: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, Finland, India, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Ukraine, USA, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
QUESTION: What is the difference between granite & marble countertops?
ANSWER: The look first and foremost. The maintenance and care of the stones will also vary. Marble is softer and more porous and it will etch and stain easier. Marble is more delicate natural stone when compared to granite.
QUESTION: How strong is granite?
ANSWER: Granite is a very strong and durable natural stone. The actual strength of a specific piece of granite will vary depending on the stone and where it was quarried from.
QUESTION: Can granite break?
ANSWER: Yes, with heavy abuse. With normal every day wear and tear, no.
QUESTION: Do I need to seal my granite countertop?
ANSWER: This depends on the granite you choose. Most granites need to be sealed, although the rule of thumb is that, “The lighter stones need to be sealed and the darker ones don’t”. Consult with your fabricator while choosing your stone.
QUESTION: What is etching? Will my granite countertop etch?
ANSWER: Etching is when acids from items such as lemons, alcohols, and even some cleaning products leave dull spots or rings on a stone. Granite is a siliceous natural stone and not highly reactive to acids like a marble or a limestone. If your granite is sealed, the sealer may etch.
QUESTION: Can I cut directly on my granite countertop?
ANSWER: Although granite is very hard and will actually dull your knives and little slivers of the knife may become embedded in your countertop, we do not recommend cutting directly on the countertop – granites vary, use a cutting board.
QUESTION: Will granite chip?
ANSWER: It can, although it happens rarely. If it chips, it is usually around the sink or near an edge. The chip is usually small and not visible, but you can feel it. This is easy to repair. A colored epoxy is used to fill in the small area. If you did get a larger chip, save the chip so it can be used to repair your countertop.
QUESTION: Will granite scratch?
ANSWER: No, not usually. the only things that may scratch it are diamonds, other pieces of granite, and some green kitchen scrub pads. Granite can only be scratched by materials, which are harder than granite.
QUESTION: Will granite burn?
ANSWER: No, it can withstand heat up to 1200F. You can set hot pots on your granite countertop without worrying about charring or scorching your granite. It is not recommended to place hot pots near seams or joints.
QUESTION: Will my granite have seams? What are seams?
ANSWER: Seams are joints where two pieces of stone meet or join together. Granite slabs are very big but larger kitchens may need a seam or two. If you have curves, arches, or really long spans of granite you will usually need seams. They are located in out of the way places. Hire a good fabricator and the seams are barely noticeable.
QUESTION: How much does granite weigh?
ANSWER: The weight of granite depends on its density. The average 3/4″ thick granite weighs 13 pounds per square foot, 1 1/4″ thick granite weighs around 18 to 20 pounds per square foot, and 2″ thick granite weighs about 30 pounds per square foot. The darker stones are usually heavier than the lighter stones.
QUESTION: How thick is a granite countertop? Do I need underlayment?
ANSWER: 2cm =3/4″, 3cm =1 1/4″, 3cm is the preferred thickness for granite countertops. Not with 1 1/4″ granite. If you plan to use 3/4″, you may. It depends on the type of granite you choose. Ask your fabricator.
QUESTION:Will my cabinets support the granite countertop?
ANSWER: Most cabinets will as long as they’re sturdy. Granite spreads its weight out like a waterbed does. Your cabinets may need to be reinforced if they are not sturdy enough. Ask your granite fabricator.
QUESTION: WHAT IS GRANITE USED FOR?
ANSWER: It is used on exteriors and interiors of homes and commercial buildings. The most common uses are for headstones and kitchen countertops. Some other examples include: fireplaces, bars, vanities, sinks, cabinet handles, outlet switch plate covers, tables, walls, benches, fountains, shower surrounds, flooring…. If you can imagine it, you can use granite.
QUESTION: Is it necessary to see the actual slabs my granite countertop will be made of?
ANSWER: This isn’t mandatory but it is wise. Each and every piece of granite is unique. The color tones may be lighter or darker from one slab to the next. The pattern of the stone will also vary. It’s actually pretty fun to go to the “stone warehouse” and pick out your stone. You never know, another one may catch your eye.
QUESTION : How do I match granite to cabinets?
ANSWER: If you’re unsure of how well your granite countertop will match your cabinets, use granite color charts or samples. Look at the stone samples in different lighting and in different areas of your kitchen. If you are unsure please visit our
QUESTION : How do I clean granite countertops?
ANSWER: A mild dish soap and water will work. But, a soap build up may occur over time if you don’t rinse your countertops well. It’s best to use products made specifically for stone.
QUESTION: How much does a granite countertop cost?
ANSWER: Granite countertop costs will vary depending on your region and also the type of granite you choose. Exotics, hard to finds, and blues are usually more expensive. Sink cut outs, outlet holes, arches and curves, as well as special edgings and tear outs of old countertops add to the cost.
Disclaimer: Please note that the information on this page is a general summary of industry-accepted tips in stone care that we have compiled to help you in your stone selection and care. Please note that natural stone varies substantially. Ask your stone specialist what works best for your particular stone.
Marble & Granite Supply of Illinois, Inc. will not be responsible or liable either in tort or contract for any injury or damage, loss of direct, consequential, punitive or accidental, or any similar damages including, but not limited to loss of profits damages, arising out of the use, or inability to use the information in this article.
Marble & Granite Supply of Illinois, Inc. does not make any warranty, representations or guarantees, express or implied, with respect to the information provided in this article.