According to Popular Mechanics, the average cost to renovate a kitchen is between $18,500 and $54,000. If you're considering upgrading your outdated kitchen, one of the biggest expenses is often the cost of cabinets – which includes your countertops. Far and away, granite is one of the most popular, attractive and durable options available. If you're considering granite countertops for your dream kitchen, here are a few questions you might have:
What Are the Typical Dimensions of a Granite Slab?
Like all types of stone, your future countertops' journey began in a massive quarry. The granite is mined in the quarry in extremely large pieces and then transported to a facility where it is cut into smaller, more workable slabs.
Typically, by the time the granite slabs are sent to the display room, they are finished and cut into pieces that are approximately nine to ten feet wide and five to six feet long. However, these dimensions can vary, depending the product's availability and where it was mined.
Additionally, a granite slab is typically available in two thicknesses, 2 cm and 3 cm. The thickness of the product will impact the price and the finished look. In some cases, you will need to special order the 3 cm granite slabs from your local retailer.
What Finishes Are Available?
Typically, granite is available in four different finishes. The type of finish you choose will depend on the color of your cabinets, the overall style of your kitchen and most importantly, your personal preference.
Here are the four finishes of granite you will be able to choose from:
- Polished – A popular option for many homeowners, stone polishing a granite slab creates the glossy, elegant appearance many people desire. However, be aware that although polishing granite allows the stone's natural beauty to shine through, it also means you will see more of the flaws, as well.
- Leathered – When a granite slab is "leathered" it is typically finished with a rougher texture, which provides it with more character. This type of treatment is usually reserved for darker slabs of stone.
- Tumbled – If you want to achieve a warmer, more aged appearance, consider a slab of tumbled granite. The process of tumbling entails finishing the slab's surface with pebbles, sand and even metal bearings.
- Honed – Another highly sought after finish, honed granite has a more matte, subdued appearance. Honed granite isn't as glossy as a polished slab, but it does require more sealing because it is porous.
Is Granite Really That Easy to Care for?
Finally, many homeowners considering granite often wind up choosing a different material because they believe this stone is too difficult to care for. On the contrary, granite is typically very easy to care for and with the proper cleansing products, your granite countertops will remain beautiful for several decades.
Cleaning granite is rather simple and in most cases, all you will need is a rag and some soapy water. There are specialized cleansers available and these will help prolong the surface of your countertops. However, if you're in a pinch, soap and water will work just fine.
Be careful to avoid setting your drinks or anything hot on the granite. These can leave behind water and burn marks that can impact the look of your countertops. Additionally, it is important to never expose your granite countertops to anything acidic, such as an orange or lemon-based cleaner. These products can wear down the sealant used on the granite and can damage the porous granite, as well.
Granite is available in a wide variety of colors and finishes. If you're considering utilizing granite in your renovation project, don't hesitate to shop around to find the exact color and price you're after.