Granite Kitchen Tops
This blog post in our series of Kitchen Worktop posts, talks about Granite. What it is, where it comes from, pros and cons. Please do also check out our other posts about Quartz kitchen tops, solid wood kitchen worktops and laminate kitchen worktops.
Granite is often referred to as marble or quartz, these are three distinctively different products and not to be confused. Marble is a natural product like granite but generally speaking is far more expensive and although rarely used in kitchens, can be seen in the bespoke industry. Quartz we have spoken about more on this blog post here.
Granite is a natural volcanic rock that is quarried from the earth’s core, templated, cut to size and shape, then polished or finished and sealed before fitting. The colour, texture, grain and pattern on granite vary depending on two main factors. The location and, from how deep in the earth’s core it is quarried. These two factors also affect the cost of the product as some are much harder to extract and more costly to transport. Any joints on granite have a water repellent compound installed during installation, which is finished flush with the surface of the worktop. Although discreet, the joint will normally be visible post installation.
As granite is a natural product, no two slabs are exactly the same and there are a wide variety of colours and patterns on the market depending on the customers needs. Some granites are very consistent in the graining and colour and will have a very uniform feel to them, others however will have a much more open grain and this will give a very unique feel to each slab with each looking distinctively different.
Scratches are much less obvious with paler colours as with matt or textured finishes.
Granite is a very dense material and as a result very hardwearing and generally supplied 30mm in thickness. Due to the weight of the product, granite slabs are limited in their maximum size. Generally speaking, lengths of worktop are limited to 3 metres and widths of worktop limited to 1.2 metres but this will depend on your supplier. Up stands and splash backs are available in varying sizes and widely used to match and compliment the worktop.
Edge profiles can be formed into a number of different shapes and drainer groves can be moulded into the worktop to allow for an under mount sink to be incorporated. Although under mount sinks are frequently used with granite, most types of sink could be installed to compliment a granite worktop and holes bored through the surface to enable fitting of taps or pop up power docks.
Granite worktops will only ever be available in template and install form, never as self-fit. Your worktops will be templated on or around the 4th – 5th day of the fit; most suppliers will then install your new worktops 7 –10 days after templating. Only once your worktops are installed can the final connection of any surface mounted appliances be completed. Reputable installers will leave you with a temporary worktop and sink and possible hob for the interim period. Do check with your installer though as there may be an additional charge for this service.
Granite Kitchen Tops Pro’s, Con’s and More Tips
- Extremely hard wearing.
- Ideal for bakers as is a solid material all the way through and stays cool to the touch.
- Natural product so the grain and pattern on each slab is totally unique.
- Wide range of colours and finishes, definite ‘wow factor’.
- Long guarantee’s generally 10 years or more.
- Available in varying thickness up to 30mm.
- Matching splash backs, up stands and window cills.
- Different edge profiles available.
- One of the more expensive forms of worktop.
- Requires templating leaving a time delay between kitchen installation and worktop fitting.
- Gloss surfaces can be prone to scratching and can show mug rings.
- Worktop joins, although discreet will be visible.
- Always use mug mats and trivets.
- Never place hot pans or mugs directly on surface.
- Check that your installer will fit temporary worktop, sink and hob in between templating and installation.
- Scratches are much less obvious with paler colours as with matt or textured finishes.
We hope you have enjoyed reading this blog post and that you now have a better understanding about Granite Kitchen Tops. If you are still unsure if a Granite Worktop is for you, then we suggest you read this post here, entitled “What is the best kitchen worktop”. This will help you identify what type of kitchen worktop will suit you and your lifestyle.
If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment section below, or get in touch with us, we will gladly answer them and give you any advice you need. Also come and see us on Facebook and say hi, we regularly give tips and advice you will find helpful when it comes to kitchen design and installation.
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