Granite is a popular choice for kitchen countertops in the US and many parts of the world when it became much more affordable to more people. However, many people know very little about granite, so they are more likely to believe the lies, or at least misleading statements, that circulate online about granite countertops.
Some homeowners want to use granite for their kitchen countertops, but hesitate because of misconceptions about granite. If you are in this situation, this article will help you make the right decision. Here are some of the common lies people still believe about granite countertops.
Granite will kill you
One of the worst lies spread about granite is that it emits high levels of radon gas, and therefore a health hazard in the kitchen as countertops. Radon is a radioactive chemical resulting from the decay of radon and uranium that gives off a toxic substance linked to the development of lung cancer.
While granite does emit small amounts of radon gas, it is at such low levels that it poses no type of health risk to humans. A higher source of radon gas is the soil and groundwater around the home, especially when these are in enclosed areas such as basements where the gas tends to accumulate. You should worry much more about ventilating your basement than putting in granite countertops in your kitchen.
Granite is vulnerable heat
Anyone with any knowledge of granite would know that this is a lie. Granite forms over millions of years under great amounts of pressure and heat. It would not be an exaggeration to say it was born in heat, as the base material of granite is magma, which is the same as lava, but underground. No amount of heat generated in a regular kitchen could damage granite.
That said, this belief might be an honest misconception. Most installers apply an impregnating sealer on granite countertops to protect them against stains. Sealers are not heat resistant, so contact with direct heat such as from a hot pan might burn them off, leaving a mark on the granite. However, this is not damage to the granite itself.
You can damage granite with heat if you try hard enough. It will take about 600°C (1100°F) to do it, though. The hottest a frying pan can get is about 400°C.
Granite is not food safe
Another popular misconception about granite is it is not food safe because it is porous. Food and liquids can get into the pores and breed bacteria. The truth is granite is porous like most natural stones.
However, porosity has many levels, and for granite, it can be as low as 0.02%. In such cases, a sealer may not even be necessary to keep stains out, and it will definitely not breed bacteria. When degree of porosity is a bit higher, a sealer will help keep granite countertops stain-free and food safe.
Granite requires TLC
Granite is an extremely durable, scratch-resistant, heat-resistant, and acid-proof material. It does not need any type of extraordinary care to keep it in good condition. In most cases, all you need is water to keep it clean, and the occasional spray of hydrogen peroxide or isopropyl alcohol to sanitize it.
You can use special granite cleaners if you want, and these are readily available online and in retail stores. However, it is an unnecessary expense. Anyone that tells you otherwise is misleading you.
You should avoid using anything abrasive on granite countertops, however. Most people like their granite polished to a high sheen, so abrasive cleaners and materials can dull the surface.
Granite is unbreakable
Not all lies are to the detriment of granite countertops, but they are still lies. Some people say granite will never break. That is not true. Granite is very tough, but it can break if you try hard enough.
Granite has a hardness rating of 7 on the Mohs scale, and that is very high. Diamonds rate a 10, and that is the hardest mineral on Earth. If you take a thick piece of granite, you will need heavy machinery to break it. However, granite slabs for kitchen countertops are only 3 cm (1-3/16 inches) thick. If you sit on an overhang that has not support, you are likely to break it. Use a sledgehammer to it and it will definitely break.
That said, under normal circumstances and using some common sense, granite countertops can last a lifetime.
Granite costs the earth
Granite is not cheap. It is a highly durable material quarried from blocks of stone, and getting it from there to your home is a long and expensive process. Back in the day, only the rich could afford it, which is why it was such a desirable addition to any home. However, that is no longer the case.
Granite countertops can go for as low as $35 per square foot, installed, and it is far from the most expensive countertop material available today. Concrete countertops, for example, are surprisingly much more expensive. Even considering that other materials such as laminate are more affordable, there is no comparison when it comes to return on investment. Granite lasts much longer, and improves the value of the home to a higher degree than cheaper alternatives.
It is important to separate the lies from the truth when choosing the right materials to bring into your home. These lies about granite countertops keep people from reaping the benefits of this beautiful and highly functional material for their kitchens.
Now that you know the truth about granite countertops, you should have no hesitation in getting them for your home. Cabinet Land Kitchen and Beyond can help you with that.
We are a local remodeling company with a showroom located in Schaumburg, Illinois. We have a large inventory of granite and marble slabs for all your countertop needs. We also offer better free consultation services and quotes, so you know exactly what to expect from your purchase.
We also specialize in delivering quality cabinets to your home. We work only with the best cabinet brands at the best prices compared to our competitors such as Advance Cabinets and Handsome Cabinets.
Visit us today to see what we have to offer. We have the expertise and resources to complete virtually any request for kitchen upgrades– ON TIME and ON BUDGET with top quality craftsmanship that will exceed your expectations.