A Guide To Choosing Granite For Your Kitchen Countertops

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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So, you’re planning to update your kitchen countertop soon and want it to look luxurious. With this in mind, marble’s the obvious choice. But it’s costly; thus, you turn to the next best thing: granite. However, granite kitchen countertops are not well known to the average homeowner, who’s used to being around wood or cement.

Granite is a versatile natural material used in most home renovation projects. It’s durable enough for food preparation and beautiful enough to accent your kitchen. Many interior designers swear by the stone, and you’ll see luxury homes sporting granite on their kitchen countertops. Plus, granite comes in different types, colors, and cuts. You might find choosing the perfect one a challenge.

If you’re looking for helpful information to help you pick granite for your kitchen countertop, this post is for you. Keep reading to learn more.

1. Granite Types and color

Granite is composed of different rocks that give it various colors. It naturally consists of quartz, feldspar, and sometimes mica. When looking for granite slabs, you may notice that no two are the same. The natural composition of rocks gives each stone its uniqueness, like how humans have different fingerprints.

Your preferred countertop installer should assist you in choosing the granite countertop type that’s best for your kitchen design. But before you visit one, it’s best to review the colors, which you can find here:

  • Black Granite 

Black granite countertop, in reality, is gabbro rock –  a stone similar to basalt. Most kitchen granite countertops made mainly of black granite or ubatuba granite are usually composed of minerals and rocks like diorite, diabase, and norite. They may contain basalt and gabbro as well.

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If your kitchen follows a monochromatic palette, black granite countertops should fit in well for your countertop. It’s a glossy rock, perfect for a dramatic contrast against white cabinets, and it suits spacious, well-lit kitchens.

  • White Granite 

This type is a popular choice for countertops. Curiously, natural white granite is veiny, slightly discolored, and has different shades. If you see pure white granite countertops, they're probably made of quartz.

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White granite is your best option if you want a fresh and elegant material for your kitchen countertop. It complements almost any theme or color.

  • Gray Granite 

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Gray is another favorite granite color among homeowners. It has a neutral color with spots of reds, blacks, and silvers. Gray granite is as classy as white but not as intense as black.

  • Brown or Gold Granite 

Image Source: marble.com

People often forget that granite also comes in colors and shades of brown and gold. Brown granite is the perfect choice for homeowners who prefer earthy tones for their kitchens. It’s as beautiful as the other colors but brings a homey touch to any interior. Homes with rustic or traditional designs will benefit from brown granite countertops.

  • Red Granite

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Red is the rarest granite color and is not typically chosen for kitchen countertops because of its intensity. It’s difficult to make red granite work in your kitchen unless the rest of the interior is colored neutral. But if you find red granite with white, yellow, blue, or silver specks, it may be easier to incorporate than pure red.

2. Granite Edges

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Granite used for interiors comes in different edges. The edge you choose determines the shape of your countertop, so choose wisely as the design may affect your overall kitchen layout. Here are the most common kitchen granite countertop edges for your reference:

  • Beveled Edge: a classic, elegant style with 45-degree flat-cut corners.
  • Bullnose Edge: a rounded cut that’s great for those who prefer thin-looking countertops.
  • Eased Edge: a popular edge style with a balance of roundedness and sharpness.
  • Ogee Edge: a design that has an extended, rounded bottom groove fit for larger kitchens.
  • Straight Edge: a simple, slightly rounded style perfect for contemporary interiors
  • Waterfall Edge: a cut similar to the ogee except for its multiple ‘waves,’ hence the name.

As you can see, there are various edge styles to choose from that will match any kitchen interior. Coordinate with a reputable installation service to pick the one that best suits your kitchen.

3. Factors That Influence Price

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Granite is an affordable stone used for interior and kitchen design. But as inexpensive as it is, the higher its quality, the more money you’ll need to pay. Aside from the color, pattern, and edge, its grade and complexity also determine its price.

Granite grades come in three levels, and each tier corresponds to its quality.

  • Level 1, or low-grade granite, is an entry-level stone suitable for commercial structures. It’s often prefabricated for residential buildings. It also has the thinnest cut at around 3/8 inches. Level 1 granite typically has simpler designs and colors.
  • Level 2, or mid-grade granite, has various markings and more colors than Level 1. Its average thickness is around ¾ inch. Brazil and India import most of the Level 2 granite available worldwide.
  • Level 3, or high-grade granite, is also imported from India or Brazil and is of the finest quality. Level 3 granite stones have rarer colors, patterns, and veining and can be cut up to ¾ inches or more.

The other factor is labor complexity. An inexperienced granite installer may also provide a cheaper but lower-quality service. Therefore, you must weigh the pros and cons and list all the details to make your kitchen look larger or more beautiful with a countertop on your budget.

4. Finishes

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The best finishes for granite countertops fall into three categories.

  • Polished. Its surface's smoothness and reflection bring out the color and texture for a rich appearance. The least porous coating is best for spills because of this. Yet, the dazzling surface also draws attention to any flaws (and crumbs). The most preferred finish is polished, maybe in part because it is easy to clean.
  • Honed. This finish is still smooth but isn't glossy or reflective. A honed polish reduces glare and hides flaws, even if it doesn't emphasize color as much. It has a significantly more porous surface.
  • Leather. This finish mimics the texture of textured leather by being applied by fabricators using brushes with diamond tips. It is less porous and accentuates the color, similar to a polished surface, whereas a honed surface hides crumbs and stains.

Granite Kitchen Countertop Ideas and Designs You Can Use in Your Kitchen

1. Granite Countertops in Modern Kitchens

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For modern kitchens, think about emphasizing the natural beauty of plain granite counters. Use clear edges, neutral hues, and sparse patterns for a robust, elegant surface. Here, the earthy, light material counterbalances the multicolored backsplash and rich woodwork in this modern kitchen.

2. Granite Countertops in Traditional Kitchens

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Granite countertops give the color and texture necessary to complement vintage furnishings in traditional kitchens. The black and silvery hues of the granite countertop in this kitchen go well with the gleam of the glass-front cabinets and polished nickel hardware. The Ogee edge adds to the sophisticated appearance.

3. Contrasting Granite Countertop

Image Source: decorpad.com

When selecting materials for your kitchen, think about employing granite countertops to balance the cabinet color and hardware. The black color gives off an opulent appearance that quickly elevates the interior design of your kitchen. The white cabinetry and reflective cabinet knobs stand out against the black granite. The rich hue and delicate texture of the stone provide visual emphasis to the otherwise plain room.

4. Granite Countertops and Backsplashes

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Granite is a naturally long-lasting and clean-up-friendly material, which makes it perfect for backsplashes. For a seamless appearance, think about running a granite countertop halfway up the wall. This countertop style looks modern when used with a white or colored cabinet, but it also works well in rustic settings when coupled with wood cabinets.

5. Creative Granite Countertop Design

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Granite may be cut and installed specifically to suit the demands of your kitchen and your style preferences. This granite countertop forms an apron that guards the island against everyday damage and provides aesthetic appeal. The natural stone top and wood base go well together.

6. Curved Granite Countertops

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Curved granite worktops are a practical choice for busy kitchens due to their larger application of edge details. Stone, especially granite, has rough edges and sharp corners. Curves soften the edges and make cooking and gathering in the kitchen more pleasant for chefs and visitors.

7. Marbled Granite Countertop

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Marbled granite has color and texture streaks that run throughout the stone. A light-colored granite with this pattern can have a high-end feel akin to genuine marble. Darker colors
make the veins and swirl pop, creating a dramatic impact.

Advantages of Installing Granite Countertops

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Granite countertops are naturally beautiful, strong, resistant to scratches and stains, and simple to maintain. Because of these advantages, granite is a great material for your home.

1. Durability

Granite is a beautiful and widely used countertop material. It doesn't scorch or leave stains when hot pots are placed on it. Granite is perfect for kitchens where you require your surfaces to maintain their aesthetic over time since it is stain, chip, and scratch resistant.

2. Attractive Appeal

This smooth, strong natural stone is also visually appealing. If you want to give your kitchen some class and sophistication, granite is the material of choice. You may choose from a variety of hues and tones to create a genuinely one-of-a-kind kitchen since they are all accessible.

3. Effortless Cleaning

Granite is a stunning, long-lasting countertop that requires little upkeep. The kitchen countertop materials are highly resistant to stains, scratches, etching, and heat, so they can handle the heavy traffic typical of busy houses. Granite also has a lower likelihood of fading over time. Avoid using chemicals or cleansers that aren't particularly made for granite surfaces and instead clean your kitchen counters with a soft cloth or sponge.

4. Simple to Repair

Granite countertops are extremely durable and simple to maintain. Granite may withstand damage without scratching as long as a sealant is expertly applied. You can reseal a scratch or chip on the surface by using putty dye to match the hue.

5. Ideal Surface for Preparing Food

Granite countertops are ideal for cooking because they are heat- and stain-resistant. Similar to quartz countertops, granite countertops won't be harmed by hot pans being placed directly on them. Also, a granite countertop is exceedingly simple to clean with only warm water and mild soap. These surfaces are perfect for a kitchen island since they won't grow germs.

Conclusion on Granite Kitchen Countertops

Although upgrading your kitchen countertop is exciting, you must take things slowly. Rushing may leave you with a low-quality granite slab that clashes with the interior. If in doubt, don’t be shy about asking your countertop installer for advice. Your countertop is one of the first things people will see in your kitchen, so it has to look amazing.

Frequently Asked Questions About Granite Kitchen Countertops

Image Source: xclusivekitchens.co.uk

1. Is granite good for kitchen countertops?

Granite is a remarkably durable stone, making it an essential feature in any high-traffic kitchen. Because the material is heat-resistant, placing it near a cooktop or temporarily laying a hot pan on it will not damage it. Granite, as an exceedingly hard material, will not scratch easily. Other than that, it is really simple to clean and maintain.

2. What is the downside to granite countertops?

Although granite countertops are the most popular choice among homeowners, they can be expensive to buy and install. Additionally, granite is prone to staining if not sealed; therefore, caution ought to be exercised, especially when using acidic foods and beverages.

3. Which is better, quartz or granite?

Granite and quartz are both high-end countertop materials that increase the value of a property. Granite is a natural, solid stone, whereas quartz is a manufactured stone composed of crushed quartz and other stone leftovers.

When compared to granite, quartz requires less maintenance since granite requires a sealer upon installation to protect it from stains, whereas quartz does not.

4. What type of granite countertops are best?

The most popular choice among homeowners right now for kitchen worktops is white granite. The pure white stone is flecked with additional color combinations in these slabs, but they are hidden by the surface's brilliant reflections. Despite the light hue, there won't be any stains that will last forever. Your kitchen will also seem brighter with the white granite countertops!

5. What is the best way to maintain granite countertops?

Though most granite is easy to clean, certain granite countertops, particularly those that have not been sealed, can discolor and absorb hazardous bacteria. We prefer using a cleaner particularly developed for granite, but if you can't locate one, any pH-neutral soap will suffice for everyday cleaning." It's crucial to avoid cleansers that include excessive amounts of chemicals or vinegar, since they have the potential to scrape away the protective sealant put on during production.

Whenever spills occur, clean them up as quickly as possible to avoid long-term harm. To remove grease, juice, and alcohol streaks without damaging the stone, use a stronger combination of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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