According to a 2012 survey on behalf of the Marble Institute of America, 75% of homeowners who plan on remodeling their kitchen intend to purchase granite countertops. They understand that the beauty and durability of granite natural stone increases the resale value of their home while providing them an exquisite workspace in their kitchen in the meantime.
Granite is naturally heat resistant, bacteria resistant, and is easy to care for. Granite countertops can be purchased in slab form, modular pieces or granite tiles. Budget and counter shape, and personal preference usually dictate what type of granite surface is best for your kitchen countertop.
Granite countertops Slabs
Granite slabs are a high end option for countertops for two reasons – they are a very large, solid, heavy piece of natural stone and they must be professionally installed. However, because they are so large (ranging from 4–5 feet high and 7-9 feet wide) they cover a significant portion of a kitchen countertop or island, so when they are installed they result in very few, if no seams.
The patterns of swirls, streaks and speckles remain unbroken creating a visual continuity across the entire surface. Arizona Tile carries granite slabs in thicknesses of ¾″ and/or 1¼″ depending on the type of stone. Granite slabs are one the most elegant choices for a kitchen or bath counter.
Modular granite is a granite slab that has been cut down to a more manageable size – usually 12 inches in width. Designed specifically for counter tops with a focus on convenience, it includes a built-in backsplash piece and bullnose edges. Modular granite is pre-sealed and could be installed by a homeowner with some experience. Modular granite will create a seam every foot across the countertop, so while a more affordable choice than slab (especially if installed by the owner), it is ideal for a small area like a bathroom rather than a large expanse of kitchen countertop.
Granite tiles are available in 12″ x 12″ squares. While granite tiles are primarily designed for floors and not kitchen countertops, someone looking for an affordable granite countertop who wants a DIY option can indeed install granite tiles on the kitchen counter. The appeal is the price. The drawback is the lines of grout that can stain, gather bacteria and will definitely break up the look of the beautiful, natural designs that define granite.
However, high-end granite tiles are always a better choice than a low-end granite slab which can be riddled with fissures that will eventually crack. Also, grout can be dyed to match the shade of the tile so that the grout lines are less apparent.
Regular cleaning and sealing of the grout will help prolong the beauty while keeping the counter clean. An Arizona Tile team member can help you chose the best granite tiles and grout for your kitchen counter that will look good and be functional in your home.