Can a granite countertop outlast other materials, or is it only just an aesthetic choice? Granite is one of the most popular and trendy materials for counters on the market today. You have probably seen granite kitchens on your favorite home decorating shows or magazines. However, is granite durable enough for it to be worth the cost?
You might have a lot of questions that you want answered before investing in a granite counters. In this guide, we’ll have a thorough look at how durable granite really is, and how it stands up to marble , which is another trendy counter material.
What is Granite and Where Does it Come From?
Granite is a type of igneous stone. Igneous stones are one of three major rock types, and they’re made when magma or lava cools down and solidifies. Granite, in particular, is made primarily from a mix of marble, micas and feldspar and other trace minerals.
This mixture is what makes granite preferable for counters. It has a magnificent appearance that mixes different colors and patterns together, so each piece is unique. The longer it takes for the magma or lava to cool into granite, the larger the crystals of minerals become. When it is formed, it’s buried beneath several layers of sediment and rock, which creates enough heat to melt all these different elements together.
Although, the granite used for countertops has been elevated near the surface of the Earth, where it can be extracted from a quarry and installed, eventually, in a kitchen. When the granite moves from high pressure and temperatures below the Earth to the surface, it sometimes expands and can even crack. These cracks could make a countertop weaker. Changes in temperature throughout the seasons could also weaken a piece of granite. These pieces are not preferable for counters.
Granite vs Marbles Kitchens
Since granite actually has marble in its elemental make up, the granite vs marble debate can get confusing. However, marble countertop does have some notable differences.
Many people tend to think of marble as the pink or white bits of sand that you might find on the beach. Marble is a really strong mineral that stands up well to weather. In places where the rock sees a lot of weathering, for example the beach, marble tends to be dominant. That’s due to the other rocks not holding up to the weather as long as marble can.
However, marble used for counters cannot simply be gathered from quarries the way granite can. If you purchase a marble countertop, you’re actually buying an inorganic, man-made item. It will be comprised mainly of marble , although there are also some polymers, resins, and pigments mixed in. This type of engineered stone is extremely durable and has no pores or cracks. Also a pigment that naturally comes from marble grenite is used, not from artificial sources, which results to colors that are accurate to what you’d see in nature.