The title of this blog post probably sounds odd considering we sell granite countertops (in addition to other materials, like quartz and solid surface). But it would be dishonest of us (and of any company, for that matter) to insist that granite (or any other surfacing material) can be all things to all customers.
The truth is granite might not be the best choice for your home or for your customers (if you’re working on residential and commercial projects). Here’s why:
1. Granite requires sealing.
Go online, and you’ll find lots of debate over this point. Some people even withinthe stone industry claim you don’t need to seal granite counters. Do not listen to these people!
Facts are facts folks: granite is a porous material, which means it can absorb all sorts of unpleasant things, like germs, bacteria, and mold, not to mention stains. Sealing granite is necessary if you want a hygienic countertop, and who doesn’t want that?
So how often should you seal your granite countertop? Again, go online and you’ll find lots of debate. Some will say it depends on the stone, since no two granite slabs are alike. We’ve even seen some folks say that you can “test” whether your slab needs sealing by putting water on it and seeing if the water is absorbed. This is not an accurate test! As we said, facts are facts and granite IS a porous material. This is why we recommend sealing granite countertops once a year (at a minimum).
Now, let’s get back to the issue at hand: why would needing to seal the countertop make granite a poor choice? Well, consider these scenarios:
- What if you’re not good about upkeep and you get lazy and miss a year (or two) when it comes to sealing? Do you want to take that risk, especially if you use the countertop for food prep?
- What if your countertop sees an unusual amount of “action” and, as a result, a lot of cleaning? Cleaners can weaken the sealant, so even if you’ve sealed the countertop on schedule, rigorous cleaning (and cleaning agents) could compromise the sealant in spots without you even knowing it.
- What if you’re building a residential community and you’re looking for a low-maintenance countertop material to install in multiple units? A material that requires yearly sealing probably isn’t the best choice.
2. Granite doesn’t offer color consistency.
Mother Nature is all about uniqueness, which is why you’ll never see the same sunset twice, two identical snowflakes, or multiple granite slabs in the exact same color. Being unique is usually considered a good thing, right? Right. Unless, of course, your goal is to create a uniform look (e.g. think kitchen countertops in a group of luxury apartments).
Designing with granite can prove challenging as well, since you need to remind clients that whatever sample they see might not be what they end up getting. Sure, the final result will likely be beautiful, but the color and look of the granite might not be what they envisioned or what they saw in your designs. This could prove problematic for finicky customers.
3. You can’t hide seams, especially if your stone has veins or directional movement in the pattern.
In other words, granite doesn’t offer a lot of design flexibility. This, of course, might not be an issue for you, but if you’re interested in creating counters with more curves and fewer corners, you shouldn’t choose granite. Again, it goes back to the look you’re trying to achieve with your design. This isn’t to say granite can’t look modern, but if you want a material that offers design flexibility (as well as color consistency), you’ll do better with quartz or solid surface.
It’s important to state again that the purpose of this post isn’t to “beat up” on granite. We’re fans of granite (we wouldn’t sell it otherwise!), but we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out some of the *potential* cons. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments or contact us directly.