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Granite Countertops: Pros and Cons

Granite Countertops: Pros and Cons

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November 5, 2009

Granite countertops are prized for their natural beauty and durability. They can give your kitchen a rich and unique look, and add to the value of your home. But there are also drawbacks to granite countertops. So as you plan your new or remodeled kitchen, consider both the pros and the cons of granite.

Granite Countertops: Pros

  • Granite countertops, because they are a natural material, have a unique look
  • Granite adds value to a home, and doesn't depreciate over time
  • Granite is sanitary, does not harbor bacteria
  • Granite is easy to clean
  • Granite is durable

Granite Countertops: Cons

  • Granite is heavy, and may require extra structural support
  • Granite is expensive, and installation is even more so
  • Because it is a natural material, an exact uniform look to all your countertops may not be achievable
  • Granite must be sealed to prevent stains
  • Granite can crack if struck with a hard, sharp object
  • Once installed, granite is very difficult to remove
  • Some types of granite have been shown to emit radiation

Dealing With Kitchen Remodel Problems

The most disconcerting is the radiation issue, which was addressed in detail in a New York Times article on July 24, 2008. Certain types of granite have been found to emit moderate levels of radon and radiation, because they contain uranium, thorium, and other radiation sources. The solution is to have the granite you select tested and only use granite with low radiation levels.

Also, since granite is porous, it is imperative to have your granite countertops chemically sealed to prevent stains. There are a number of commercial sealant products on the market that work quite well, but it is important to seal the granite before stains occur, or you could seal the stain permanently into the surface.

To prevent cracking or chipping, always protect your granite countertop with a cutting board when chopping with a knife or cleaver.

Finally, if your sense of aesthetics requires a uniform look throughout your kitchen, or if you like to change the look periodically, then granite may not be for you.

Granite Countertops: Installation Options

Granite countertops can give your kitchen years of beauty and utility. If you are doing a kitchen remodel and have decided on granite, you have two options. You can tear the tops off your old cabinets and replace them, or you can have prefabricated granite countertops made to fit over your old countertops. Specialized contractors are available to provide either option.

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