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Advantages of Granite and Quartz Countertops

Caring and Maintaining Your Countertop

Whether you’re a homeowner eager to make improvements or a construction contractor working your way around a specific budget, superior-quality building materials will always matter. Custom Granite Kitchen & Bath in Panama City, FL offers solutions that allow you to:

  1. Enjoy the natural beauty of stone
  2. Increase the value of your investment
  3. Create impressive bath and kitchen interiors
  4. Avoid costly repairs and replacements

Long-Lasting and Low-Maintenance

The kitchen is considered by many to be the heart of the home. It's the room that gets messy a lot, experiences the most daily activity, and takes in the most visitors. This makes having countertops that are long-lasting and hard-wearing absolutely necessary.

Resilient Surfaces

Luckily, granite is resistant to scratches. It is the perfect material for a room where you place appliances on top, drag things across the counter, and move pots and pans around. You also work with knives, glass, and sharp pieces of metal in the kitchen, so you need material capable of absorbing the impact of repeated use.

No Damage Worries

If you decide to chop up a carrot on a hard stone surface, you'll ruin your knife before you can damage your granite countertop. Stone won't scratch or show any wear and tear unless you take a sledgehammer to it. Granite lets you enjoy your kitchen or bathroom without the worry of damage.

Heat-Resistant

What makes granite even better is that it's resistant to heat. Be sure to follow fabricator recommendations for care to ensure your granite can retain its like-new appearance.

Organically Strong and Fabulous

Naturally formed as an igneous rock with a holocrystalline structure, the crystals in the stone don't fully develop but instead grow into each other. This unique interlocking structure makes granite an extremely sturdy material. This creates a grainy texture that becomes even more fascinating when polished.

Blends Well With All Other Elements

Because granite countertops come in so many colors, it's easy to match them with your kitchen floor, cabinets, and furnishings. It also perfectly complements many tile patterns. For example, try pairing countertops made of granite with a Granite Radiance backsplash to create an amazing overall kitchen look.

More Design and Color Options

Since it is made up of many different types of crystals, the color of granite varies depending on the number of dominant particles to be found on any given piece of stone. The most common colors include:

Each Slab is One-of-a-Kind

Granite draws its beauty from the way the crystals combine naturally to fuse colors that define any particular slab. This makes every slab unique and visually spectacular.

Quartz

Quartz is the most common crystal in granite. It fills in any gaps around other materials and is responsible for its best qualities. Colorless, apparently clear, smoky, or reflective of the colors of the crystals around it, quartz makes granite resilient to impact, heat, and exposure to the elements.

Feldspar

Feldspar is the second most common substance in granite and is responsible for most of the colors you see in any slab. It creates yellow, orange, pink, and blue hues. Darker feldspars make black granite.

Mica

Mica has a metallic luster that adds to granite's ability to hold that just-polished look. It brings silver, black, brown, violet, and pink shades to granite.

Express and Impress With Color

With so many colors to choose from, it is easy to select granite that can make your kitchen or bathroom interior designs pop. This allows you to play favorites and express your design preferences more freely.

More Value

Any realtor will say that updated kitchens and bathrooms help to sell homes, and granite is often one of the biggest selling points. As soon as you install granite countertops in your kitchen, you boost the overall value of your home.

Investment by Design

Because granite lasts so long and ages so well, it is truly a beneficial long-term investment to make. You'll be able to enjoy the modern vibe that granite brings to your space for years. If you decide to sell your home, you get higher appraisals and bigger returns on your investment.

Exciting Patterns

Some granite patterns look like marble, while others resemble sand. Various vein patterns, swirls, and specks can be found across different types of granite. These versatile characteristics make it easy to find a slab of granite that will work perfectly with your overall design scheme.

Whether you go with Verde Peacock, which is dark and features fine specks, or Lapidus, which is a lighter shade and has a more marbleized pattern, you'll end up with a stunning countertop. Find one to complement a wide range of backsplashes and appliances.

A Stylized Variety of Finishes

When it comes to the benefits of granite, colors and patterns are just the beginning. You can also have your countertops finished in a variety of ways, depending on your personal preference. Polished granite is the most popular option for kitchens because of its high-gloss, mirror-like surface.

You can also opt for a honed or matte finish achieved through a sanding process. If neither of these 2 options appeals to you, try going for a specialty leathered finish. This offers a naturally rugged appearance.

Easy Countertop Care Tips

Since natural stone is an investment, you can preserve or increase its value by taking care of your countertops properly. Through regular maintenance, granite surfaces remain strong and lustrous for decades and can even last a lifetime.

Dos and Donts

Your daily habits could spell the difference between a dulled countertop and a bright shiny one many years from now. There are important things that you need to do and not do to preserve its luster:

  • Wipe counters off frequently to remove debris 
  • Don't use harsh cleansers like bathroom cleaners or grout cleaners
  • Remove spills as quickly as possible 
  • Avoid using abrasive substances to clean surfaces
  • Wash with stone soap or a pH neutral cleaner 
  • Don’t use vinegar or lemon juice to wipe surfaces
  • Dry countertops thoroughly after cleaning or spills

Best Practices

Developing the proper maintenance approach is essential to granite surface care. It also helps to be aware of the best practices:

  • Use coasters under drinks so that water left on your countertop does not seep into the porous stone and leave behind a stain
  • Place trivets or mats under anything that could potentially scratch the surface
  • Keep away non-pH neutral alcohol to avoid making granite countertop surfaces dull
  • Never place hot items directly on polished stone surfaces
  • Select a heavy-duty stone cleaner that removes grease from the counter and gets rid of surface sealants
  • Choose stone cleaners specially formulated to deep-clean stone without damaging it
  • Mix cleaning agents with water according to manufacturer directions before applying to stone surfaces
  • Allow cleaning solutions to sit on the stone for the amount of time recommended by manufacturer
  • Agitate the countertop cleaner with a sponge or soft bristle brush
  • Mop up the soap and water then dry thoroughly
  • Polish or buff surfaces to a brilliant shine with a soft cloth

Stain Removal Tips

To get rid of stains, try regular and deep-cleaning solutions first. If you find your countertops still in need of some extra care, try this:

  1. Select a stone poultice that’s fine, non-acidic, and clay-powered
  2. Mix the poultice to the consistency of peanut butter
  3. Wet the stained area with water
  4. Put a ¼ to ½ inch layer of poultice on the stain
  5. Cover with plastic and tape the edges to seal it to the countertop
  6. Let the poultice dry for 24 hours, then remove the plastic and let dry for another 24 hours
  7. Gently remove the poultice, rinse with water, and dry with a soft cloth
  8. Always refer to manufacturer directions before using cleaning agents
  9. If surfaces become dull after applying poultice, use a stone-polishing agent to restore shine

Annual Care

To make countertops stain-resistant, have them sealed regularly. There are 3 types of sealers that you can use:

  • Topical 
  • Stone Enhancer
  • Penetrating/Impregnating

Topical Sealers

This coats the surface of the stone but doesn’t seep into the stone like other options do. You can use permanent or strippable varieties.

Permanent sealers are very difficult to remove once they are applied. Strippable alternatives are meant to be removed and can be applied again.

Stone Enhancers

Stone enhancers do everything that a penetrating sealer does while also providing a cosmetic luster by darkening the stone. This brings out the natural colors and patterns in the stone the same way wetting a stone does.

Enhancers brighten up older countertops and keep newer ones as beautiful as the day they were installed. Select a sealer that is rated to protect surfaces for long periods of time. Most stone experts suggest resealing annually or every 2 years.

Penetrating/Impregnating Sealers

Let the natural beauty of your polished or honed stone surface shine through. This kind of sealing agent does not add any extra shine to your countertop. Some are water-based and others are solvent-based.

Select a penetrating variety that is designed to shield hard surfaces longer from potential damage. Though most coatings provide counters with ample protection, natural stone experts recommend sealing every year or two.

Applying Sealer

Before applying sealers, always check manufacturer directions for proper use. Here are the general usage guidelines:

  1.  Give the countertop a deep cleaning
  2.  Dry it thoroughly
  3.  Apply sealer with a soft cloth
  4.  Work in small areas
  5.  Allow the sealer to dry on the counter for 24 hours (or as the manufacturer recommends)
  6.  Apply a second coat of sealer
  7.  Double-check manufacturer recommendations for additional instructions
  8.  Always follow the manufacturer’s directions

Granite and Quartz Compared

Quartz surfaces last long, are easy to care for, are available in many fashionable colors, and similar in appearance to granite. Granite is beautiful, long-lasting,
natural, and is the most popular countertop material. Learn more about these 2 options so you can choose which one you like better.

Quartz

The quartz used for countertops is not a solid stone, like granite. It is composed of more than 90% quartzite and other additives with a resin binder and coloring. The result is a countertop material that will last a long time and is able to resist stains and corrosion.

Quartz is impervious to scratches, bacteria, food stains, and scorches. It's also stronger than natural granite and available in many fashionable colors to suit most design needs.

Granite

Granite is an igneous stone mined in large slabs. It offers heavy-duty strength and is extremely pleasing to the eye. When properly sealed, granite can hold up to daily wear and tear with an inherent toughness that makes it impervious to scratches and cracks.

Because it's a natural stone, no 2 slabs will ever be identical. Like most items in your home, stone tops require a bit of maintenance and upkeep. However, it is not a difficult or time-consuming process.

Although such engineered materials are available in a full range of beautiful colors, nothing can top nature's creations. Polished stone offers more richness, depth, clarity, and enhances creativity in terms of color and allowing artistic expression.

What’s More Popular?

You may be wondering why granite enjoys an edge over all other countertop materials. With a certain degree of prestige, it has always been considered classier than other finishing materials.

For many years now, every design magazine has featured beautiful granite components in to-die-for kitchens and bath areas. This is why it is the preferred finishing of many homeowners and builders.

We recommend granite for traditionally styled kitchen interiors. Quartz, on the other hand, goes well with modern and contemporary designs.

When deciding on what’s ideal for your kitchen, choose one that you feel offers more benefits in terms of quality, maintenance, and style. As always, form and function must meld wonderfully in any material and design choice you make.

Consult us for design and fabrication recommendations that match your countertop requirements. Call us at 850-913-0904 for complete information about countertop installation service inclusions. You can also send us an email.

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