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Nature’s Beauty for Your Home: Granite Countertops

When home decorating and building professionals talk about “high-end finishes,” usually at least one of those is granite on kitchen or bath countertops, backsplashes, or islands. Arizona kitchen and bath companies like Diamond kitchen and Bath understand that granite has become a “given” in upscale homes. Being a natural material, granite comes in all the colors of nature, from sea-blues and cloud-grays to the greens and browns of forest and flora. Its veined patterns have infinite variations, making it a visually interesting surface no matter your color scheme. Its fine patina imparts a touch of class to a center island, breakfast bar, or vanity.

But what else contributes to the beauty of having granite countertops in your home beside the sheer visual impact and an endless variety of pattern? Granite boasts more than a few attributes that make it a great choice.

IT’S DURABLE.

Once you’ve installed a granite countertop, you will have it forever! That may sound like an exaggeration, but when you pick your granite finish, be prepared to love it for a long time…because it lasts and lasts. Some of the most enduring structures on earth use granite as a component, such as the Ancient Egyptian Pyramids which were built using a mixture of Limestone and Granite. That should give you a clue as to how long you’ll be living with that beautiful surface.

You don’t have to worry about heat damage on granite: you can put a hot pan on it without fear of scorch marks or burning, and you can even operate appliances such as tabletop griddles or grills on your granite counter without harming it. It’s true that granite is not totally indestructible — it can be chipped by impact with a sharp edge, such as a butcher knife, however, such damage is relatively easy to have repaired.

IT’S “COOL” – ON MANY LEVELS.

Different types of tiles

Besides being available in myriad colors and patterns, granite also offers different surface “shine” levels to complement any décor or style. Go with unfinished granite for an earthy, elemental look in a rustic farmhouse or cabin kitchen…or have it buffed to a subtle glow for extra light reflection in darker spaces. Whether you want your granite to be an eye-popping accent or a warm “cocoon,” the material will do its magic all year round.

And, for the gourmet cook and baker, granite surfaces offer a distinct temperature advantage: they’re cool to the touch. This helps immensely in delicate operations as rolling out dough or making candy; the countertop won’t “hang onto” heat and create problems for chilled pastries or truffles that need to “set up” quickly. On the other hand, if you don’t like that chilly feel, ask your installer about putting in radiant heat beneath the countertop. It’s yet another option granite offers than other surfaces don’t.

IT’S EASY TO CARE FOR.

Sometimes you hear that granite (like marble and other specialty finishes) is tricky to maintain, but that’s not entirely accurate. True, it does merit some specific precautions, such as avoiding acid-based cleaners like lemon or vinegar. They’re among the very few things that can leave spots, stains, or “clouding” on a granite surface. But otherwise, maintaining granite is a pretty simple endeavor. You can clean it with a touch of baking soda and water, isopropyl alcohol and water solution, or a damp cloth with a few drops of basic dish soap.

Because it’s a non-absorbent surface, you don’t have to worry about excessive disinfecting or “sterilizing” it. Bacteria won’t grow on granite surfaces, making it one of the safest food-preparation areas you can have. Maintain your granite with a couple of treatments: once a year, treat it to a good rub down with a non-abrasive granite polish and use a granite sealant on it at least every six months. This basic upkeep will help prevent stains from setting and preserve both its color and shine.

IT DOESN’T HAVE TO “BUST THE BUDGET.”

Dreaming of granite, but convinced it’s too expensive? Think again. Now, granite veneers (usually ¼-inch thick or so) can be bonded to wood or other composite materials for terrific countertops without a huge price tag. Try granite tile in a kitchen, or a granite remnant for a small vanity top, and you can enjoy the luxury of the look without breaking the bank.

Are you beginning your kitchen remodeling in Phoenix Arizona? Diamond Kitchen and Bath offers a huge selection of natural and engineered stone tops at affordable prices. Over 3,000 patterns and colors of this enduring, classic natural material are out there — so don’t be afraid to explore them. Visit one of Diamond Kitchen and Bath’s locations to get more information and speak with someone about finding the perfect countertops for you. Your dream granite kitchen or bath may be closer than you think!

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