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The Different Types of Granite Countertops
Granite has been prized as a favorite countertop for its hard-as-nails natural beauty. Granite comes in a wide variety of colors and sizes. It can even be combined with other stones to add variety and beauty to the granite piece, offering something for every style of home.
No matter what kind, granite makes cleanups easy; especially those with a smooth polished surface. Messes can be gently scraped and scrubbed with hot water off the countertop without worry of damaging. Granite countertops are most often paired with undermount sinks to make the cleanup process even easier.
Pricing on natural granite is generally based on how clear the color is, whether it’s treated, and the thickness of the slab. For reference, granite generally averages around 2-3 centimeters thick. Thinner granite tends to be less durable but less expensive.
When it comes to granite types, granite and quartzite are often referred to interchangeably. While they have a similar composition, quartzite contains a higher percentage of quartz than granite, allowing it to be harder than true granite. Other rock forms, such as gabbro and basalt, may be blended into granite countertops.
Granite Finishes: Honed vs. Polished
Your granite’s finish will determine the amount and frequency of maintenance that you will need to perform on it. Different finishes allow for different textures, polishes, and sheens, to further customize its appearance to your personal taste. Two of the most common finishes are honed and polished, which determine the appearance of the countertop surface.
Granite finishes come from a process of abrading the surface of the granite to expose its grain and beauty. Honing refers to a buffing process which ends before the stone gains its more shiny and polished appearance. This allows the texture to appear more matte; giving the granite a softer, more natural appearance with a dressy casual vibe. While you can achieve some sheen this way, the actual texture and depth of the grain stone will not be as apparent.
Honed granite requires more maintenance than polished granite; including frequent sealing (about every few months) to prevent staining and etching from acidic liquids. Dust and grease could become more apparent on a honed surface, and it tends to be more difficult to clean. Water spots may appear if water has sat too long on the stone, which can become problematic without an undermount sink and faucet that minimizes splashback. At the same time, the less polished look of honed granite helps to disguise and naturalize any stains that do happen.
Polishing granite means extending the buffing processes until the surface has a sheen or reflective quality. Polished granite will have colors that appear darker with more contrasts in the patterns and veins. The polishing also allows you to see more of the stone’s depths and layers.
Polishing seals off the granite’s porous surface, allowing it to feel more solid, while also making it easier to clean and resistant staining. Polished granite requires less frequent resealing. And can be used directly as a meal prep surface.
Black Granite Countertops
While sold as granite, many black granites are made of other stones; including gabbro, diabase, and basalt. Since these stones share a lot of characteristics with granite, including their beauty and durability, they are harmlessly lumped together. Black granites tend to have veins that blend white, gold, silver, and grey.
Black granite might show fingerprints and dust more than brown or white granite would. When it comes to black granite, a honed finish is a common option for a satiny, contemporary finish.
Uba Tuba Granite
Uba Tuba granite has become iconic for its rich variegated dark shine. On top of a beautiful appearance and extreme durability, Uba Tuba is limited and can be hard to find. This marks it as a premium feature for home value. This granite offers the home a saturated intensity, keeping the space modern and warm at the same time.
Check out these other black granite varieties to start your search:
- Black Galaxy Granite
- Absolute Black Granite
- Cosmic Black Granite
- Black Marinace Granite
- Agatha Black Granite
White Granite Countertops
White granite is rarer than brown or black granite; it offers a very distinctive option for a beautiful gleaming-white kitchen. Many white granite variations have distinctive strains of blue, grey, and black flecks, and marbling that add interest to the countertop and set a tone for the kitchen space.
River White – River White countertops have distinctive black and grey veining that appears to travel in one direction like the flow of a river. This pattern can help an otherwise shorter counter space to appear longer.
Princess White Quartzite – Also known as White Fantasy, this granite-style countertop gives you a much more durable alternative to marble countertops.
Check out these other white granite countertop varieties while you search:
- Super White Granite
- Alaska White Granite
- Arctic White Granite
- White Galaxy Granite
- White Ice Granite
- White Tiger Granite
- Fantastic White Granite
Brown and Tan Granite Countertops
Brown and tan granite covers a wide range of colors and textures, and it has varied primary and secondary color that range from deep and saturated to light and calm. The neutral tones of these color profiles can give a kitchen a warmer appearance while still emphasizing the stone’s natural beauty and patterns. Brown granite often contains a large percentage of quartz, which allows it to have a sparkling or crystalline appearance.
Santa Cecilia – Santa Cecilia granite may also be known as “Venetian Gold.” This popular granite style is very popular for its extreme durability and strength, as well as its soothing coloring, which displays deep brown and black veining throughout a lighter cream base.
New Caledonia – New Caledonia is also known as “Graphite Brown” granite. This variety offers a cooler tone with colors ranging from blue-grey to graphite, brown-grey, white and black. While it has a complex, non-uniform pattern, its distinctive and sparkling surface makes an easy statement that looks great with any cabinet color.
If you’re still looking for the best brown granite for your home, check out these other popular varieties:
- Brown Pearl Granite
- Coffee Brown Granite
- Bordeaux River Granite
- Fantasy Brown Granite
- Giallo Farfalla Granite
What Granite Is Best for DIY?
DIY installation is not often recommended when it comes to granite. Most people will opt for professional installation to honor their investment and make sure that everything is done right. Professional installation will raise the cost of the countertops, but it means bespoke cutting so that the granite perfectly fits the kitchen surface.
For those who are really handy, many granite slabs are available for DIY installation, which allows granite to maintain a lower price. However, since granite is a porous rock, it can be very fragile to cut. Nonetheless, the granite look has become so iconic when it comes to sprucing up a kitchen that some homeowners have taken to painting their own granite designs directly onto existing countertops.
The rich shine of granite countertops allows them to offer you a rich, polished look at all times. They are unlikely to show splashes around the sink, and they can hold up to hot pans and heavy pots. Picking a granite type can be a lifetime investment for homeowners. It will enhance the vibe of the kitchen space and bring long-lasting elegance to the home.