Granite is a beautiful, durable material that can bring your kitchen or bathroom to the next level when installed as a countertop. The strong, marbled rock material looks beautiful, stays strong and clean, and doesn’t conduct heat on stuffy days. It’s no wonder why tons of homeowners are choosing granite for their home improvement projects. However, if you’re buying granite, you want to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible. Even if you know nothing about granite but love the look of the material for your countertop on a new home addition, you’ll want to do your research before deciding to peruse the best granite countertops richmond va has to offer. If you’re in the market for a stunning granite countertop and don’t know where to begin, here are some basic pointers to help you out.
Choose a Drop-In Sink
Granite countertops can be an expensive option for homeowners looking to redo their kitchen. While the overall cost is worth it for the longevity and beauty of the material, there are a few easy ways you can find to cut cost before buying. For example, if you’re doing a full kitchen renovation project, choosing a drop-in sink, rather than an under-mount sink, will help you save money in the long run. Since granite is “cut” in a slab and shaped due to your specific requirements or the pre-existing elements of your kitchen, the less cutting you need to do on your countertop, the better. Choosing a drop-in sink will allow you to keep your granite countertop largely in one piece so that you don’t have to pay extra for cutting and shaping. In general, try not to purchase your countertop before you know the basic layout of your new kitchen. That way, you can consult with your contractor about other ways to keep costs low, as well as ways to better organize your new kitchen and keep everything flowing easily.
Don’t Choose a Thin Layer
Granite is impressive for the thick, strong layer of protection it gives when installed as a countertop. It can be cut on directly and wiped down easily, making it an ideal surface for prep cooks and home chefs. However, the key to getting a truly sturdy countertop is to buy a thick, durable layer rather than a more delicate, thin layer. While it might seem like you’re saving money by purchasing a thinly-cut slab, you might end up paying more to repair or resurface the damaged granite after awhile. If you’re planning on using your kitchen countertop for a lot, consider buying a thicker slab to save yourself time and money in the long run. Try getting a slab that’s at least 1-inch thick. That way, you won’t need to buy any additional supports or protective layers for your countertop.
Check for Damage
Granite comes with natural “imperfections” in the stone that can look like small dips or cracks in the face of the slab. While these do look beautiful and add to the character of the stone, they can also cause damage later on. This becomes an even greater problem when you have a thin layer of granite. Although the stone is famously durable, that doesn’t mean that it’s totally impervious to damage, especially if it’s already showing signs of wear. Not all divets or veins mean that your granite countertop is going to end up breaking, but you don’t want to run the risk, especially when you can invest in a countertop that’s going to be completely solid and free of blemishes. To be safe, inspect your slab for signs of wear and try to find something that looks as blemish-free and clear of indentation as possible, even if it takes slightly longer to find. You should also be sure to get a countertop that’s sealed. This will allow you to do work directly on top of your countertop without worrying about bacteria getting sucked into the porous surface of the stone. Sealed countertops are way less hassle to clean and take care of, and can be easily wiped down after contact with food.
Some slabs of granite come with seams, which are exactly what they sound like: A beginning and end line that shows where two separate pieces of granite were connected. While some homeowners may like the look of these seams, they generally don’t tend to age very well. Ideally, you’ll have a slab that’s continuous without any breaks in form. Having a granite countertop without seams installed will look cleaner, wear better, and will have a better chance of increasing your home’s value should you ever decide to sell.