Explore photos of various new countertop styles to inspire your next renovation
Our love affair with granite has been passed down to us through the ages; as far back as ancient Egypt, where granite was used extensively within the pyramids; in fact, the inner burial chambers of some of the Pharaoh's were entirely built of massive slabs of granite! Further on in history, the greatness that was Greece and the grandeur that was Rome was also majestically built on granite, mainly for its durability, beauty and strength!
Granites can range in the hundreds of colors and hues, from variations of white through browns, reds, greens, blues, pinks, and even different shades of black. That is why no two counter tops are ever exactly the same piece of granite; and, as they are generally composed of 20% quartz by volume, they all contain unique veins and patterns of colour running through them; almost like a slithery snake, making its way along the desert sands. It's a designer's dream come true! Most granite counter tops come pre-polished by the factory before installation; giving them that glorious sheen.
Nowadays, brown and beige tones are currently the rage. The remarkable thing about these quartz inlayed stones is that they gracefully glisten in the sunlight and make for an ideal counter top, resting just below a kitchen or bathroom window. Being stone they are very heavy, and can easily weigh a few hundred pounds. Despite their weight, they can always add that special air of elegance to any kitchen, bathroom or home.
Cost of the granite counter top and its installation can vary by hundreds of dollars, especially, if sourced independently; how much it will cost depends on the company, and the quality of the quarried stone you desire. With some companies, they do it all; from as low as $33.00 a square foot to over $100.00 for both; including, the cost of the material and installation!
Design dictates that you must decide which style of counter-edge looks best for you. Your basic choices are square, mitered, waterfall or bull-nose; all defining the style of edge you would like your counter top to possess. They can be manufactured to have sharp edges, exact corners, or beveled and slightly curved edges. Please keep in mind, people, especially kids, can easily get bruised by sharp corners!
Where granite is quarried should be of particular interest to every home owner; as there have been some concerns that some materials that have been sold as granite countertops or as building material, may in fact be hazardous to your health. If there have been radioactive rock near a quarry where the granite was dug, the stone may be radioactive!
According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Granite, "Dan Steck of St. Johns University has stated that approximately 5% of all granite will be of concern, with the caveat that only a tiny percentage of the tens of thousands of granite slab types have been tested. Various resources from national geological survey organizations are accessible online to assist in assessing the risk factors in granite country and design rules relating, in particular, to preventing accumulation of radon gas in enclosed basements and dwellings".