Buying new worktops for your kitchen can be a real headache. Do you go for quartz, laminate, hardwood or even stainless steel? In a recent post, we discussed whether or not laminate worktops are worth purchasing, but what about using granite? Is a granite worktop the way forward?
Is a granite worktop for you?
Granite worktops have risen in popularity, with many households now use this material in their kitchen. In this blog, we are going to answer the question: ‘Are granite worktops worth the cost?’ to find out if you should choose this material for the worktops in your home.
Everything you need to know about granite countertops
The aim is to give you all the information you need so that you can decide if a granite countertop is the right choice for you. There are obvious advantages and selling points of a quartz worktop – and marble worktops also attract much attention.
So, what is it about the heat resistant granite surface that draws so many homeowners into granite countertops?
Read on to find out more from our expert team.
Slab Granite v Pre-Produced Granite
There are two types of granite than you can buy for the worktops in your kitchen. Slab granite is the more traditionally used form of the material and it is essentially what its name suggests. It is a slab of granite that is imported into the UK, cut and polished and then fitted into your kitchen. The problem for many people is that this form of granite comes at a high price.
Pre-produced granite, or ‘pre-fab granite’, is mass-produced and comes pre-cut into specific sizes. It is generally a more affordable option than slab granite and it is surprisingly difficult to tell the difference between the two.
Granite – the alternative to quartz worktops
That being said, many people prefer the slab version as it tends to look more natural and it is easier to accommodate custom dimensions with slab granite. The market for natural stone continues to grow.
Ultimately for a lot of consumers who are aiming to upgrade their kitchen worktops, the choice comes down to the price and pre-produced granite is usually a lot more affordable.
What are the advantages of granite worktops?
The big advantage of granite worktops is that granite is not porous (if it is sealed properly). This means that liquids and air cannot soak or pass through the material which results in less dirt, grime and bacteria forming.
It results in a cleaner kitchen worktop that is resistant to the dirt that many other materials suffer from. Granite itself can last decades and still look as good as it did when it was first installed. In fact, cleaning your granite worktops is a very easy process, just have a look at our blog post on how to clean your granite worktops.
Granite worktops also come perfectly flat which can be a big bonus depending on what food you are preparing for. It’s eco-friendly nature and appearance will add a little bit of value onto your home too, which is always something consider when thinking about the cost of granite worktops.
What are the disadvantages of granite worktops?
Of course, there’s no such thing as ‘perfect’ when it comes to the home.
Even though granite worktops are highly durable and look great, they do have some drawbacks. As with quartz worktops, marble, or any other worktop materials, it’s a good idea to know your stuff when it comes to granite.
If granite simply isn’t the right material to choose for your kitchen countertop in your home – fir whatever reason – you need to know to this before you purchase a granite countertop.
Do granite surfaces need regular maintenance?
They require regular maintenance as they need to be sealed regularly to preserve their non-porous nature. You will need to do this once or twice a year although it is only a mild inconvenience as it does not require a lot of expertise to seal your granite worktops.
Other than that, general day-to-day cleaning often requires little more than warm water, a damp microfiber cloth. This is really all you need to clean granite. Specialist granite cleaner products are also available. Alternatively, you can just us a ph neutral cleaner.
The material is also generally not something you can install yourself and usually requires a professional to do, which should be factored into the cost of your kitchen worktop.
How do you clean granite and make it shine?
It’s always reassuring to know that you don’t need specialised cleaners and chemicals on a granite surface. In fact, harsh chemicals often do more harm than good.
Despite the fact granite is igneous rock and a porous material, the general day-to-day upkeep should be simple and straightforward.
Wipe up spills immediately. Also, you should always avoid placing hot pans or any other heat source directly onto the surface.
Use only the water you need to clean granite
Be For most day-to-day cleaning, you don’t need to use a lot of complicated or specialized chemicals on your granite counter. Wipe up spills as soon as you can, and avoid placing any stain sources onto the granite.
Although water can discolour granite and leave marks behind, washing your granite with water is still the best way to clean it. The key is to use only as much water as necessary (don’t flood the stone) and make sure to wipe and dry your granite countertops as soon as you’re done cleaning. Water will only affect your granite if it remains on the surface long enough to soak in.
Just as hot pots and pans will leave marks and stains on the surface if you leave them on the countertop, so too will water.
What is the best thing to clean granite worktops?
That’s simple, really – it’s water.
Yes, we realise we’ve just been explaining the potential dangers of using too much water. It can cause stains.
But this doesn’t mean that you have to avoid water altogether. In fact, washing granite with water is definitely the best way to clean granite. The trick is to only use just enough water as is necessary and dry and wipe down your countertop surfaces as soon as you can.
How do you avoid the risk of etching?
Etching can be a problem with granite surfaces. This is why a ph neutral solution is always best to use as a cleaner.
You should avoid alkali and acidic cleaners as both can cause damage to a worktop surface of granite. It can make it look dull and dark – and definitely as if it has lost its shine.
That’s definitely something you don’t want to happen to your work surface.
Why is the chemical make-up of a granite countertop important?
Naturally, most people are much more concerned about the look of a granite worktop than its chemical qualities – and so they should!
However, it does pay to know a thing or two about the variations that you can get with granite. These will have an effect on the ways you should clean your worktop.
There are a lot of myths and misconceptions around when it comes to granite.
For instance, some people believe that darker granite is harder than lighter granite. This simply isn’t the case. Minerals in granite are so varied that you cannot tell how porous or non-porous a granite surface is just by looking at its colour.
Is it a good example to do a stain test?
In a word… ‘Yes!’
Try, if you can, to get a sample piece of the granite you are thinking of buying. This is worthwhile as some types of granite are more durable than others. Meanwhile, some stain more than others.
A simple test with lemon and water can easily be carried out.
What is the lemon and water test on granite?
The lemon and water test is a simple way to find out how your granite worktop will react to stains and different cleaning solutions.
Obviously, this is only something that should be carried out prior to purchase. It should never be attempted on a worktop following installation.
Place some water on the stone. If it darkens, it means the surface is porous. Essentially, if you have a porous worktop, you run the risk of discolouring the surface if you get it very wet.
If the lemon juice causes the granite to dull, this suggests it has etched by the acidity of the lemon. This will mean that the surface will be susceptible to acidic products.
Are granite worktops worth the cost?
So, when everything is considered – are granite worktops worth the cost?
In our opinion, we would say – for the most part – yes!
Of course, as with everything kitchen-related and home-related, in general, a lot depends on your particular needs and tastes. It’s true to say that granite worktops will not be the best option for all.
Granite worktop prices might put a granite worktop out of reach of some homeowner budgets. But despite what granite worktops cost, it still could be worth it in the long run to shell out for granite worktop prices.
Do granite worktops cost too much?
Why? Because there are so many advantages to a beautiful light granite or dark granite surface.
The cost of granite worktops might seem high but the thing with worktop materials is that you pay for quality such as this. When you look at things in these terms, granite worktops cost every penny of what they should.
The durable option that can last for decades
They provide a durable option to have in your kitchen and if installed correctly and sealed regularly they can last for decades.
It goes without saying that durability has to be a major consideration with any worktop installation. Obviously, it is important that you seal granite worktops effectively. But when you can be left with a major element of your kitchen that you know will stand the test of time, it’s hard to argue that granite worktops cost too much.
A granite countertop gives a sense of something unique
Their natural look means that every granite worktop has a sense of uniqueness about it, which is something that has proven popular as people look to more quirky, individual kitchen designs in more modern times.
They do have some downsides and generally cost more than other materials; however, their durability does make them worth the cost overall.
Still undecided about whether a granite worktop is for you? Contact us via telephone on 0176 564 0000 or email us on to discuss further how much granite worktops are. We can also talk you through our selection of kitchen units and kitchen doors.