Since ancient times, humans have used natural stones for different purposes. From the creation of tools to the construction of great empires, stones have been present at every stage of human history.
Among the natural stones, there’s a type that stands out for its undeniable beauty, elegance and resistance. This special stone is granite. Since always, granite has been considered one of the most versatile construction materials.
Every time you add a piece of granite to your decoration, you’re increasing your property’s value. Therefore, granite countertops can easily be a part of your kitchen remodel plans.
In this article you’ll learn why thousands of people recognize the benefits of granite countertops. You’ll also find interesting information about this valuable material and its origin.
What is granite?
Granite is an igneous rock of granular appearance. According to its composition, it can have white, gray or pink tones. Much of its structure is composed of quartz, which provides its characteristic bright and crystalline appearance.
Granite rock is the product of magma solidification. Some granite types are formed in the mantle, while others form on the surface.
The use of granite during history
It’s known that granite was used in prehistoric times to manufacture spearheads and knives. Ancient empires such as Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome used granite in the construction of their most important structures.
Before the industrial revolution, granite pieces used to be cut by hand. Therefore, obtaining a solid block of this material may require weeks or months of hard work. So, only rich people could pay its high cost.
However, everything changed when Alexander McDonald invented the first steam-powered cutting tools in the 18th century. This invention was a gigantic advance for the granite industry.
With the increase in granite production, costs decreased and more people could have access to this material. During that time, the production of granite gravestones became a trend among the high social classes of Great Britain. This same trend is common in many countries of the world in modern times.
Today, along with marble, granite is one of the favorite materials for making sculptures, luxury coatings and structural elements. For example, granite countertops, which are very common in hotels, bars and restaurants.
Benefits of Using Granite Countertops
Certainly, granite countertops offer many advantages, including a significant increase in aesthetic and monetary value. Let’s see why implementing these decorative elements in your home is always a good idea.
1. Provide a perfectly flat surface
Granite is a hard and inflexible material. Therefore, it’s virtually undeformable at room temperature. So, it’s ideal for the manufacture of perfectly flat surfaces. For that reason, granite countertops are preferred by bakery enthusiasts.
On a perfectly flat surface, flatten a portion of dough with a rolling pin is a piece of cake.
2.Resistant to pathogens
Granite also provides health benefits. After application of a sealing agent, granite surface becomes non-porous and nonstick. This prevents the accumulation and proliferation of pathogens such as fungi, viruses and bacteria.
This feature makes sealed granite a safe material for sanitary uses and food preparation. In addition, this material is very easy to clean. By applying a solution of water and chloride, you can eliminate up to 99% of pathogens on the surface.
3.Durable and resistant
Without a doubt, granite is a highly durable and resistant material. Granite sculptures that are exhibited in museums are the best proof. Some of these pieces of ancient art are over 2,000 years old and still retain the same beauty and majesty.
Granite hardness can vary between 5.5-7 on Mohs’ scale. This means that its surface isn’t scratched so easily with a metallic object. So, an element as abrasive as a steel sponge could hardly wear its surface.
Only few materials in nature are so hard to wear the hardest granite. Comparing granite vs quartz on Mohs’ scale, it’s clear that a piece of pure quartz can scratch the surface of granite, as well as other natural stones such as topaz, corundum and diamond.
Granite is also resistant to high impacts and high temperatures. So, during a great fire, granite countertops in kitchens and bathrooms would remain intact.
Granite countertops add a slight touch of luxury and elegance to any space in your home. In ancient times, only the noble and powerful had access to this material. Although these days any person can have a granite countertop, the material retains its aesthetic value as in the past.
Therefore, if you want a house with luxury finishes, you can’t choose a inferior material for your bathrooms and kitchen.
5.Add extra value to any property
Any real estate agent knows that properties with granite countertops are more popular. Therefore, if you invest in new granite countertops for your bathrooms and kitchen, the monetary value of your property will increase over the years, while granite prices will also increase.
Granite pieces are formed naturally by nature’s action. So, the intervention of human labor is limited to the cutting, polishing and sealing of each piece. Therefore, you won’t find two equal granite pieces. Each granite countertop has a unique pattern, which makes it an exclusive piece.
7.Blend with any home decor
Not all materials are as versatile as granite. In fact, granite fits all countertops ideas. Its colors and patterns highlight the beauty of each space, providing comfort, elegance and harmony. Granite countertops can even enhance the beauty of your kitchen being compatible with different types of essential kitchen appliances.
8.Require low maintenance
In contrast to other materials, granite can maintain its beauty for long years, requiring low maintenance. While other people should replace their hardwood or stainless steel countertops 2-3 times during their lives, granite countertops will only require a simple touch up.
9.Natural and non-toxic
Some synthetic materials become dangerous and release toxic residue while they degrade. Some kinds of plastics, for example, release toxic gases during combustion. Synthetic materials are very cheap, but they aren’t the best option for countertops.
It’s better to choose natural and non-toxic materials such as granite. Granite doesn’t degrade over time and doesn’t burn during a fire. It’s the perfect material to guarantee the health and well-being of your family.
10.Easy to repair
If for some reason your granite countertop breaks, a trained professional can easily repair it and restore its original appearance. First, all the pieces are joined together using special dyed mastic. Then, the surface receives a fine sanding. Finally, the countertop receives a new layer of sealant.
The color of the dyed mastic matches the natural color of the stone, which makes the crack almost imperceptible. You would have to pay close attention to the details to notice the difference.