Scott J. Binsack, CEO of Mansions and Estates International Consulting

Granite countertops can add a very distinctive element of class and sophistication to your home’s kitchen and bathrooms. But as with any element of your home, there’s more to consider than just looks and aesthetics. It’s important to consider the pros and cons of granite countertops so you can decide whether this type of stone countertop is right for you and your new home.

Granite is one of the most abundant stones on the planet. Comprised of feldspar, quartz and an array of other minerals, granite has a shimmering, three-dimensional appearance and you can find granites in more than two dozen different colors and patterns. This igneous rock is formed by volcanoes and it’s extremely hard. In fact, only diamond blades can cut granite, which is just one of the factors that account for its significant cost.

The hardness of a granite countertop can be both a pro and a con. The hardness of this counter surface means it will resist many forms of damage, but the hardness and lack of flexibility leaves granite counters prone to other forms of damage. For instance, you cannot stand on a granite counter as there is no “give” or bend. This can result in a crack or fracture, so it’s essential to avoid placing significant weights in one area of the counter. It’s also essential that you avoid dropping heavy objects on the counter, as this may cause a fracture or chip, which can be virtually impossible to mend.

Granite counters do require a bit more maintenance than other options, such as Corian counters. In order to resist staining, while maintaining a beautiful sheen, you must seal and polish the granite on a regular basis. If you fail to invest the time or money into sealing and polishing your granite counters, this will leave them prone to staining. Some specially-treated varieties of granite can go several years without re-sealing and polishing, while others may require maintenance every 6 to 12 months.

Even with its incredible strength and tremendous density, granite is slightly porous, so it may absorb liquids, resulting in stains and discoloration which can be virtually impossible to remove due to the fact that it seeps down into the granite (instead of remaining on the surface.) Granite counters can even harbor bacteria, resulting in contamination and even odors that are virtually impossible to eliminate.

Granite is extremely durable when it comes to heat, so there is no worry about placing a hot pan or pot on the counter surface. This is, of course, more convenient than other counter surfaces which require the usage of a trivet.

If your counter space has a unique shape or dimensions, then you will need to invest in a custom-cut granite countertop, which can run you several thousand dollars, making this is an important consideration. But this is also an investment that can add significant value to a home, so there is a good ROI so to speak.

Granite counters are also very versatile in terms of styling, as they can work with many different kitchen styles and decors. Granite countertops, like stone flooring, are a timeless element in a home. Stone counters can literally last a lifetime (and much longer), which is a major benefit. In the long term, the cost of a single granite countertop can be equal to what you might spend on multiple countertops since they require periodic replacement.

Cost is a major consideration when purchasing a granite countertop. Stone counters tend to be significantly more expensive than other countertop options, but the beauty is simply unmatched and a custom-cut stone counter can serve as the centerpiece of the room.

If you’re building a new home, turn to Construction Consultant “Scott Binsack,” CEO of Mansions & Estates International. He’ll serve as a liaison between you and your builder, architect and others to ensure that your project progresses on time, on budget and without a hitch. Call 800.956.3855.

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