Buyer’s Guide to Granite Benchtops

Available in a variety of colors, from browns to grays, pinks and purples, granite has to be the most beautiful options when it comes to kitchen benchtops. Its grainy, mottled texture makes it both warm and welcoming. Being heat, scratch, stain and impact resistant, it is economical and stylish. And these are the reasons which allow some fabricators to trick their customers wood planer. You can be sold low quality granite benchtops without your ever finding out.

To save you from trouble here’s a short guide on how not to be fooled when purchasing granite benchtops:

1. Tiles or Slabs

Your first decision should be whether you are interested in buying granite tiles or slabs. A granite slab is solid granite. It is carved from a large block of granite and has same pattern and color throughout the slab. It is slightly expensive compared to tiles but requires less care. Granite tiles, on the other hand, are crafted from multiple left-out pieces. They are less expensive but require more cleaning especially the grout between the tiles.

2. Granite Direction

Once you know the difference between tiles and slabs, there’s another important thing that you should be careful about when purchasing slabs. Granite benchtops have unique patterns. There are some which have a wavy or flowing pattern. When buying these make sure all the benchtops flow in the same direction. Not only does it save your kitchen from an ugly look but also prevents you from being tricked. Some fabricators use left out pieces from a previous job. It saves them money but gives you an eyesore. So beware and insist on same pattern.

3. Polish

Polish gives a finishing touch to any surface. It instantly enhances the appearance of the object. Granite benchtops require polish as well. It gives them a mirror-like quality. However, some fabricators polish the surface and leave out the edges. The edges are covered by wax which will come out within six months. To gauge the quality of polish of the benchtop that you select, run your hand over it. It should be smooth to the touch and should not have any stains or prints. Run your hand on the edges. Do you feel anything rough? If so, it may be an indication of low quality craftsmanship.

4. Sealing

Sealing offers protection from stains, spills and scratches. If you spill anything on the surface, your granite benchtops will still look their best. Simply wipe off using a moist sponge. A good sealant provides sealing that lasts almost a decade. Lighter granite may require sealing a little early. So do make a note of this when selecting granite benchtops.

Do conduct a market survey before finalizing a fabricator. Request quotes from different companies and make a comparison, not only on price but also on the services and warranties that they offer. Granite being a natural stone doesn’t chip easily. Insist on inspecting the stone physically before spending any money. It will help you identify potential faults before installation when you can’t do anything about it.

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