7 FAQs About Granite Countertops
There are many reasons people choose granite countertops for their kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and more. They are durable, easy to maintain, beautiful, and they can even increase your home’s value.
If you’re like many of our customers here in Flagstaff, AZ, you probably have a few questions about what’s involved in upgrading your countertops to granite. As the area’s leading source of kitchen remodeling and granite countertop installation, we’re here to help get your questions answered.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at the seven most frequently asked questions the team at Outlook Construction & Remodeling gets about granite countertops.
Most Asked Questions About Granite Counters
As a member of the Northern Arizona Building Association (NABA) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), our customers have trusted us to install a lot of granite in the Flagstaff, AZ area.
Read on to find out what you need to know about installing granite countertops in your home.
How much are granite countertops?
The cost of granite countertops can vary depending on several factors but can usually run between $2,000 to $4,500. The national average for granite countertops sits at $3,250.
The cost per square foot of the material itself can run around $40 to $60 per square foot. And the installation cost will typically run from $35 to $85 per hour. Of course, the final price of the granite will depend on the color, pattern, texture, and quality of the slab. Similarly, the cost for installation will depend on where you are located and the company you choose for installation.
Those prices represent an average across the country. Of course, your total cost may differ from the national average based on the size of the project, the number of countertops needed, the configuration of the installation space, and the materials needed. Granite countertops typically do cost more than other options. Still, they make up for it in appeal, durability, and overall value.
How easy is granite to clean and keep clean?
According to the cleaning pros at Molly Maid, if you want to keep your countertops looking great for years, you can follow these tips to keep them clean, provided your countertops are appropriately sealed:
- Avoid harsh chemicals, such as bleach, vinegar, and other cleaners. You also want to avoid using abrasive scrubbing tools such as steel wool, nylon brushes, and scrubbing sponges. The best thing is to use simple soap and water with a microfiber cloth.
- Get a microfiber cloth damp and apply a bit of soap to the countertop itself or the cloth you are using and wipe the surface once to clean it. Make sure to rinse your cloth in warm water now and then to avoid spreading grease, food, and dirt. Then, once you are finished cleaning, rinse the cloth and wipe with fresh water to eliminate any soap left behind.
- After washing, if you want to avoid water spots, you’ll want to take a clean, dry microfiber cloth and dry the countertop.
- While it’s true that granite is not porous like marble — so it won’t soak up oils and stains as easily — it’s still a good idea to wipe up spills as soon as they happen with a soft cloth.
Of course, if you want, you can purchase a special granite cleaner, but soap and water really do work just fine. Another option is to make your own cleaner with a 1:1 ratio of rubbing alcohol and water with 20 drops of your favorite essential oil. This will not only help with cleaning, but it is also a quick way to disinfect the counter. Plus, your kitchen will smell great!
How many different colors does granite come in?
Granite countertops come in a wide variety of colors and names. Somewhat paradoxically, however, the names typically do not describe the color. This is because the mining companies typically name their materials according to where they were mined, after food, a region in a country, the word for a color in a different language, or even just a random term they pick out.
The worst part is that these colors and names are sometimes discontinued due to a lack of available material.
That being said, to make things easier, all granite countertops fit into ten general color categories: red, blue, gray, burgundy, yellow, black, beige, white, and brown. Keeping this in mind will help you find your ideal material and finish regardless of the actual name.
How do I care for granite counters?
Caring for your granite countertops is easier than you might think. To keep them clean, you should only need a wipe down with water, and if you have a particularly bad mess, a bit of soap.
Even if you feel like a stain or mess needs it, try to avoid using harsh and abrasive cleaners because they will only cause permanent damage to the surface. If you have an oily, soaked-in stain, you can combine a cup of flour or baking soda with five tablespoons of dish soap to pull it out. Add enough water to make it the consistency of yogurt and place it on the stain overnight, covering with plastic wrap. The following day, rinse and dry thoroughly.
You will need to seal your granite from time to time. You can find out if it needs to be sealed again by splashing a bit of water on the surface. You probably don’t need to reseal it if it sits on top. However, if the water doesn’t sit on top, you’ll want to call in a professional to reseal it.
It would be best to inspect your granite once a year to ensure there is no cracking or shifting at the seams. Also, you’ll want to look for stains or scratches. If there are any, it’s essential to call in a professional and have it repaired as soon as possible This isn’t something that will just go away if you ignore it.
How does granite compare to other materials?
Granite has been the material of choice for countertops for many years. This material became the epitome of elegance, even in a small kitchen. There are lots of advantages to choosing granite for your kitchen countertops.
These advantages include:
- Granite is heat resistant
- It’s strong and durable
- Granite countertops add value to your home
- There are around 3,000 types and colors available.
- Granite is almost maintenance-free when sealed with newer sealants and adequately maintained.
That being said, there are some disadvantages to granite as well:
- Granite is porous — it must be sealed to avoid stains
- It can be expensive
- Slabs often have imperfections
- It may not be suitable to install yourself
- It may crack if installed improperly or stressed
- Your knives can be dulled when you cut directly on granite
Of course, all countertop materials like dolomite, soapstone, marble, onyx, quartzite, limestone, natural quartz, travertine, and porcelain have their own sets of advantages and disadvantages as well. It all comes down to personal preference and lifestyle.
Are granite countertops worth the investment?
As the area’s leading installer of granite countertops, of course, we feel that they are an excellent investment. But we’re not alone in that opinion. Many sources say that granite countertops are worth the investment and provide data to back up the statement.
Every piece of granite is unique, and it does add a luxurious feel to the space it is installed in, such as a kitchen. While granite countertops can be expensive, they are still less expensive than marble. That being said, you must weigh the cost versus added value.
If you are a flipper or you own rental property, granite can be a great way to garner a higher sale price or higher rent. As a landlord in a higher-end rental, granite is a great way to create a luxurious feel while still having a surface that is resistant to heat, scratches, and stains. As long as they are cared for properly, they will last for many years. Therefore, granite could actually pay for itself in the long run.
Naturally, you want to create that “wow” factor if you are a flipper. Granite gives the look of a luxury listing while still being highly durable. There’s no wonder why it’s been the stone of choice for a very long time.
How long do granite countertops last?
Granite has earned the distinction of being a material that lasts for a long time. This is because it is hard and resistant to scratches. In fact, it falls between 6.0 and 7.0 on the MOHS Scale of Hardness. The discrepancy exists because some slabs are harder than others due to their minerals. Since it’s so hard, it’s also resistant to scratches and damage to a degree. Other countertops can’t promise that.
As you can see, granite is an excellent choice if you are looking to have new countertops installed in your kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, or any other area of your home. Contact the experts at Outlook Construction and Remodeling if you live in Flagstaff, AZ, and you have any other questions or are interested in learning more about granite countertop installation. We’re here to help and guide you through every step of the process!