The right piece of granite can take any kitchen to the next level and do it for many years to come. That is one of the reasons homeowners now so often insist on granite countertops for their own kitchens.
Of course, it can never be taken for granted that the granite chosen for a home will suit it as well as possible. Granite is a natural material subject to astounding amounts of variation tied to factors like source, quarrying technique, and subsequent treatment.
Working with the right supplier should always make it easier to identify and obtain a piece of granite that will fit a given kitchen perfectly. Experts at selecting granite have secrets that make their work simpler, a look at five of the best of which follows.
1. There are Dozens of Varieties of Granite
Most pieces of granite look fairly nondescript when pulled from underground. The granite that ends up being used to construct kitchen countertops, on the other hand, is almost always chosen for its interesting, appealing looks, among other qualities.
Those visual characteristics span a wide range, with one midwest granite supplier listing eleven distinct colors and quite a few more patterns. Given that granite slabs can also be finished in many ways, this translates into dozens of options for homeowners to consider in even the most common cases.
Just what a piece of granite looks like will depend largely on its chemical composition and how exactly it was formed. Even though the mineral silica makes up the bulk of all granite, other components contribute to each slab's distinctive looks.
2. Granite Grades Never Tell the Whole Story
Unremarkable pieces of granite are most often used in applications where plainness will not be a problem. Granite slabs that end up being offered for use in residential projects tend to be among the most interesting and attractive.
Suppliers often try to make things easier on buyers by grading granite slabs and pricing them accordingly. Grades can simplify things a bit, but they can just as well make some of the most important issues more confusing.
It will normally not hurt to look at the grades that suppliers have assigned to particular pieces of granite. Experts never emphasize these inherently reductive assessments all that heavily, however.
3. More Expensive Granite is Not Necessarily Better
Prices for pieces of granite can range widely even within particular grades. While a piece of granite's grade is meant to be a proxy for its quality, its price will reflect its scarcity and the level of demand for it, as well.
Truly beautiful pieces of granite that can be quarried in large quantities often cost less than unusual ones that are less attractive. It still might make sense to pay a premium for the latter type of granite to achieve a set design goal. This does not mean the more expensive piece will be the better one in any general sense, however.
4. Showroom Looks Don't Always Translate to the Kitchen
Every interior designer is familiar with the problem of visualizing how particular pieces will look in a yet-to-be-finished room. A slab of granite that calls out from across a crowded showroom can end up looking out of place in a home's kitchen.
There are some simple ways to make such problems less likely to arise. Even taking a picture of a piece of granite and bringing it home will provide a better idea about what the slab will look like in its intended setting.
5. Patience Pays Off
Some granite suppliers sell dozens of slabs every day and are always restocking their showrooms. Setting aside some time when shopping for granite will make finding the perfect piece more likely, given all this turnover.
Choosing a piece of granite for a new countertop should always be fun and rewarding. Shoppers who are aware of the five closely guarded secrets above tend to be among the most successful.