Granite countertops have always been popular among interior designers and homeowners for its flexibility, durability, and beauty. However, common misconceptions continue to persist about granite that put off people with no personal experience with granite countertops. This is understandable because granite countertops are a significant investment, and they want to make sure they make the right choice.
The thing is, granite is the right choice in many cases, and homeowners miss the opportunity to have these natural stones in their own kitchens because of bad information. Here are some of the most common misconceptions people have about granite countertops put right.
High heat damages granite
This misconception is compelling because all materials have a melting point, the temperature at which it will, well, melt or sustain permanent damage. You have to qualify what you mean by “high heat.” The melting point of granite is between 2219 and 2300 °F (1215 and 1260 °C), which makes it extremely resistant to very high heat. This is much hotter than anything can get in a kitchen, even an industrial one.
What might happen is that a very hot object placed directly on an existing defect in the stone may result in stress cracks, but that object would have to be at least 1,100°F or 600°C. The exposure would also have to be over a long time.
One aspect of this misconception is that high heat will discolor granite. This is not true. It is possible that very high heat will burn off the sealer, leaving a temporary mark on the stone. It will not discolor the granite itself. In fact, the biggest reason you should not put a hot pan directly on granite is the heat transfer. The granite can get hot enough to burn you, and you will not know it until it is too late.
This is not to say that people that say this has happened to them are necessarily lying, however. The most likely reason they claim this is that the supplier said their kitchen countertops were granite, but they were not. They were some other material with low heat resistance, and did indeed discolor or sustain some damage when subjected to high heat. This is why it is important to deal only with reputable suppliers to ensure you get the real deal for your kitchen.
Stains are common and permanent with granite
Stains are extremely uncommon with granite, even though it is porous to some degree. All natural dimension stones are porous, which is why reputable suppliers make a point of sealing kitchen countertops after installation.
However, the porosity of granite is greatly exaggerated, and the sealer is simply erring on the side of caution. Most owners of granite countertops agree stains are rare, and easy to remove when they do occur provided they are true granite. Unscrupulous suppliers pass off cheaper and much more porous stones as granite, and these will definitely stain quite easily.
Even if you do have true granite in your kitchen, it is still a good idea to keep it free of spills of any kind, and clean it regularly with mild dish soap, water, and a soft cloth. You may also want to reapply sealer after a year or so, just to be on the safe side.
Maintaining granite is hard
Most people today know that granite is low maintenance, yet quite a few sources online continue to insist that granite requires special cleaners and considerable TLC to keep it in good condition. It is time to set the record straight: granite is one of the hardest wearing, lowest maintenance natural stone available for kitchen countertops.
You do not need to buy special cleaners for granite. You do not need to be extra careful when using it. Ordinary dish soap and water keeps it clean. Occasional disinfecting with 3% hydrogen peroxide will satisfy your inner germophobe. Anything else is just a waste of money and time. In fact, you should avoid any type of cleaner with abrasive actions or strong chemicals, as it will not do your granite any good.
Radon gas and granite
This is a particularly misleading misconception about granite. The caveat is that granite gives off high levels of radon gas, a toxic substance linked to lung cancer.
Most things in nature contain radon, which is a radioactive material that gives off uranium and radium as it decays. While it is true that granite does emit extremely small amounts of radon gas, the same is true for almost anything around you, including the air. You might actually get higher exposure to radon gas by staying in an enclosed space such as your basement, surrounded as it is with much richer sources of radon than granite such as ground water and soil.
The bottom line is granite countertops do not pose any danger to human health due to radon gas emission. You would be in more danger of developing lung cancer by using your barbeque pit in the summer.
Granite costs a lot
Granite is a high-end material for kitchen countertops. There was a time when it was so expensive that only the rich could afford it. Fortunately for many homeowners, that is no longer true. You can get granite countertops for as low as $30 per square meter, installed. It is not the cheapest countertop material available, but it is one of the most durable ones. The return on investment is assured, as it will last for a very long time.
You may have heard of these common misconceptions about granite before, and have caused you to second-guess your decision to get granite countertops. The facts before you should assure you that you have made the right choice.
Another fact is that your choice of supplier will have a significant effect on the excellence of your granite countertops. Silver Marble Granite has the best reputation in the areas of Washington D.C., Alexandria, Arlington, Falls Church, Fairfax, Chantilly, Herndon, Centreville, among others.
We are your ONE-STOP SHOP for home improvement. We specialize in providing you with the best granite countertops in Northern Virginia. You can visit our showroom in Sterling, VA to see the actual slabs before you buy.
We work only with the best brands in the business, and can offer better prices and faster turnarounds than big box stores. Aside from granite and marble, we also carry top brands in engineered quartz, including Silestone, MSI, Cambria, and Caesarstone.
Check out our website for some of the best deals in kitchen countertops and other products to make your home a better place. While you’re at it, take advantage of our free quote offer. You will be amazed!