Posted by Derek
Granite has a long and rich history as a building material. Its incredible durability and distinctive beauty made it a perfect candidate for constructing long-lasting monuments. The Pharaohs used granite to decorate their elaborate burial chambers, and Roman emperors used it to construct everything from roads to the Pantheon.
The fact that the Pantheon, built nearly 2,000 years ago, is still standing today is a testament to the fact that the ancient worlds' architects were certainly on to something.
Since then, granite has been a staple building material for palaces, castles, bathhouses, churches and statues. Today, granite is rarely used to build grand buildings or roads, thanks to much cheaper building materials.
However, granite continues to be used as an excellent material for crafting stunning kitchen worktops. This article will guide you through all the reasons you should definitely choose granite for your next worktop.
We’ll also throw in some top tips for keeping your granite worktop in pristine condition for many years.
Granite is an extremely tough natural material, meaning it will last for a very long time in your kitchen. Think of a granite worktop as a long term investment. Not only will you have a fully functioning worktop for many years to come, but you will also save money in the long-run by not having to replace your worktop after 5 years like you would with less hardy alternatives.
We’ve all been there. You're pulling a piping hot casserole dish out the oven, the dish towel you're using in place of the elusive oven gloves is too thin, and your hands are burning. You thump the dish onto the nearest worktop and... whoops, nasty looking burn mark.
Granite worktops, however, can easily withstand even the hottest dishes you could throw at them.
While granite left untreated would eventually be susceptible to water seeping into it and causing water damage, all granite worktops will be professionally sealed. This sealing process produces a kitchen worktop that is extremely resistant to water seepage.
To keep your worktop in fine working order, you’ll need to reseal it now and again, but we’ll cover that in the maintenance section below.
Other types of kitchen worktops, such as Corian or stainless steel, will accumulate scratches over time, diminishing their aesthetic appeal and creating tiny grooves for dirt and bacteria to build up in.
The great thing about granite is you don’t have to worry about that as it’s just so robust that it will resist scrapes and scratches. The smooth, polished surface of your worktop will be maintained for a very long time, making cleaning and maintenance a lot easier.
There are two great characteristics of granite that make it the perfect choice for any kitchen. No matter if your kitchen is big or small, dark or light, old or new, the wide range of colours and intricate natural markings of granite means there will definitely be granite to suit your specific tastes and design requirements.
There truly is a mind-boggling array of colours to choose from, with everything from black to white, as well as greens, blues, yellows and pinks. Because it's a natural material, the number of subtle varieties in colour are virtually unlimited.
What makes granite truly stunning, however, is its beautiful natural markings. Granite is formed when magma cools and crystallises below the earth's surface, and because it’s a combination of various substances, mesmerising patterns are formed. The different veins and grains found in each type of granite add a unique character to your worktop and kitchen.
The silky smooth finish of your granite worktop makes it as hard as possible for dirt and bacteria to accumulate there. And with how easy it is to keep clean, granite provides the most hygienic area to prepare food for you and your family safe.
As a granite worktop should be thought of as a long term investment, you should do all you can to make sure it is kept in tip-top condition. This will ensure you get the most value for your money. Thankfully, looking after your granite worktop is pretty straightforward.
In terms of regular cleaning, no more than warm water with a little washing-up liquid is required to keep your granite looking its best. A quick wipe down with a soft cloth after mealtimes is optimal as foodstuff, particularly acidic foods like tomatoes, should be allowed to sit on the surface for as little time as possible.
The main thing to keep in mind is what NOT to use on your granite worktop. These include rough, abrasive sponges, strong alkaline soaps, bleach or cleaning products with a high chlorine concentration. These products will damage the surface and leave your worktop susceptible to staining.
Unless you buy from cowboys, your granite worktop will come with a sealant already applied. However, over time these eventually break down, so you’ll need to reseal the granite. There’s no equation for working out how often you should do this, but a yearly reseal a good rule of thumb.
You should be able to tell when the granite needs to be resealed because water spilt on the surface will spread out and darken the area, rather than forming water droplets. When water droplets form, you know you’ve got a nice tight seal.
Whilst it is very resistant to heat, water and scratches, the one thing to avoid is weighty objects landing on the worktop or excess pressure being put on the corners. While still unlikely, granite can be cracked or chipped by heavy objects, and excess pressure will put undue stress through the worktop, straining its structure.
We’ve tried to pack in as much information as we could into this guide to granite worktops, and we hope you've found it useful whether you're unsure of going for granite or just needed some advice for looking after your worktop.
The bottom line is, granite is a superb choice for your kitchen worktops. It’ll handle lots of kitchen work in its stride; it’s easy to clean, simple to maintain and will last for many years to come.
HiF Kitchens using our years of experience are able to offer our customers the best kitchen, appliances, worktops and consumables in Fife, Scotland.
We work with PWS, Burbidge, Blanco, Indesit, Siemens and Hotpoint to provide our customers the very best service.