The Pros and Cons of Granite Countertops: Your Expert Guide

Granite countertops in a kitchen.

Granite countertops have long reigned supreme in the world of kitchen design, captivating homeowners with their natural beauty and enduring strength. For decades, this natural stone has served as an effective way to elevate the look and feel of cooking spaces

But as with any major home renovation, the decision to install granite countertops requires careful consideration of both the advantages and potential drawbacks. 

A Snapshot of Granite Countertops

Granite's undeniable charm stems from its distinct patterns and rich colors. Its durability is also a major selling point, as the stone is resistant to scratches, heat, and stains when properly sealed and maintained

Yet the cost and installation process can be significant factors for some homeowners. Additionally, though granite is less porous than some other natural stones, it is still relatively porous and requires cleaning to prevent the absorption of liquids and the growth of bacteria.

Before investing in granite countertops for your kitchen, it's crucial to weigh these considerations carefully. Understanding the full scope of benefits and potential challenges can help you make an informed decision that aligns with your design preferences, budget, and lifestyle needs.

As the stone care experts at Granite Gold, we know granite inside and out. In this comprehensive guide, we'll discuss the key pros and cons you should consider to determine if granite is the right choice for your kitchen remodel.

The Pros of Granite Countertops

Granite countertops have numerous benefits that make them a popular choice among homeowners. Let's take a closer look at some of the key advantages of granite.

Unmatched Visual Appeal 

One of the top reasons homeowners choose granite is for its one-of-a-kind, natural beauty. No two slabs of granite are exactly alike, with each containing its own unique blend of colors, patterns, and mineral inclusions. 

Whether you prefer a subtle, neutral look or a bold statement piece, there is a granite color and pattern to suit every design aesthetic. Granite effortlessly adds a touch of luxury and elegance to any kitchen.

Exceptional Durability 

In addition to its beauty, granite is also prized for its superior durability and longevity. As an incredibly hard, dense natural stone, granite is resistant but not impervious to scratches, chips, and cracks

In fact, the only materials capable of scratching granite are diamonds and other pieces of granite. When properly sealed and maintained, your granite countertops can easily last a lifetime while still looking as stunning as the day they were installed.

Heat Resistance

If you cook frequently, a heat-resistant countertop material is essential. Granite is an excellent choice, as it can withstand heat from hot pots, pans, and dishes without damage. Therefore, you can safely place hot items directly on your granite counters.

Adds Value to Your Home 

Installing granite countertops is not only an investment in your enjoyment of your kitchen but also in your home's resale value. Granite consistently ranks as one of the most desirable features for potential home buyers. 

Even if you're not planning to sell anytime soon, you can take comfort in knowing your granite counters are a lasting, value-adding amenity.

Stain Resistance (When Sealed) 

Another benefit of granite is its resistance to staining–as long as it is properly sealed. 

Granite is naturally porous, so it does need to be sealed to prevent liquids from penetrating and discoloring the stone. When you get your counters professionally sealed on an annual basis, you can enjoy the look of your granite without fear of stains from spills, splashes, and everyday kitchen messes.

The Cons of Granite Countertops

Potential for Higher Cost 

The main downside of granite countertops is the cost. Granite is a premium material and is priced accordingly. 

While the exact price will vary based on factors like the color, pattern, thickness, and size of slabs you choose, you can generally expect to pay anywhere from $30 to $175 or more per square foot, including installation. Some rare colors may cost significantly more. While granite is a worthy investment, the higher upfront cost is a consideration for many.

Needs Regular Sealing 

As mentioned above, granite is naturally porous. If left unsealed, it can absorb liquids, leading to stains, discoloration, and potentially even bacteria growth within the stone. 

To keep granite countertops looking their best and safest for food prep, they must be resealed with a reliable granite sealer about once per year. Failing to maintain the protective seal is one of the most common mistakes homeowners make with granite.

Can Be Difficult to Repair 

While granite is very durable and resistant to damage, it's not indestructible. If a heavy object is dropped on a corner with enough force, the granite could chip or crack. 

Unfortunately, granite cannot simply be patched or repaired in most cases. Damaged granite may need to be replaced entirely, which can be quite costly. The good news is that cracked granite is very rare.

Can Feel Cold 

Some people find that granite feels cold to the touch, especially compared to wood or laminate. If you live in a cool climate or simply prefer a warmer feel, you may not like leaning against a granite counter. 

At the same time, this coolness can also be refreshing in hot weather!

May Have Visible Seams 

Because granite slabs are only so large, your granite countertops will likely have some visible seams where slabs meet, especially on larger islands or long stretches of counter. 

A skilled fabricator can minimize the appearance of seams, but they may still be noticeable upon close inspection. If you prefer a totally seamless look, granite may not be for you.

Granite Maintenance and Care Tips

To enjoy your granite countertops for years to come, it's important to care for them properly. Here are some expert tips from the Granite Gold team:

  • Seal your counters annually. Apply a high-quality granite sealer to maintain the protective barrier against stains and etching.
  • Clean counters regularly. Wipe up spills immediately using Granite Gold Daily Cleaner and soft cloth or paper towel. Always avoid harsh or acidic cleaners.
  • Use trivets for hot items. While granite can handle heat, it's still a good idea to use trivets or mats under hot pots and pans to avoid thermal shock.
  • Avoid cutting on granite. While knives won't scratch granite, cutting on it will dull your knives faster. Always use a cutting board.
  • Don't sit or stand on your counters. Granite is strong, but not flexible. Too much weight in one spot could cause cracking, especially near under-mounted sinks.

If you have any other care questions, check out our blog from the experts at Granite Gold!

4 Tips for Choosing the Right Granite Countertops

With so many different granite colors and patterns available, selecting the right slab for your kitchen can feel overwhelming. 

Here are four final tips to help you choose the right granite countertops for your home.

1. Consider your cabinet color

If you have white or light-colored cabinets, you can go bolder with your granite selection. For dark cabinets, stick with lighter granites for contrast.

2. Think about maintenance

Lighter colors may require more frequent sealing and cleaning to maintain their look compared to darker, busier patterns.

3. Look at large samples

Granite can vary a lot from a small sample, so be sure to view large slabs before making a decision. The overall pattern and color mix may look very different on a larger scale.

4. Go with your gut

At the end of the day, the right granite for you is the one that speaks to you. If you love the look of a particular slab, don't be afraid to go for it!

Protect Your Granite with Granite Gold®

If you're considering investing in granite countertops for your kitchen or bathroom, partner with the stone care experts at Granite Gold for all your cleaning, sealing, and protection needs. Our line of stone care products is safe and effective for all-natural stone.

Visit our site to view our full range of cleaning, sealing, and polishing products.


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