Stone's Many Advantages
Nothing compares with natural stone. For counters, backsplashes and flooring
, stone has the durability to stand up to moisture, abuse from cleaning and personal care products, as well as daily wear and tear. Granite, in particular, is aesthetically pleasing and almost impervious to heat, stains, chipping and scratching.
For use in kitchens, granite boasts definite health advantages. It is easily cleaned and bacteria resistant. Daily and weekly maintenance with warm water and a light, non-abrasive soap will keep the stone looking fresh, as well as clean. Granite-tiled floors are similarly easy to maintain.
Moreover, the stone is one of a kind. The look of granite cannot be replicated - your backsplash will be like no other. It lasts forever – and because of that, makes an incredibly safe long-term investment. Stone does not go out of style; it is timeless, not trendy. Its effect on your home's resale value (though you won't want to leave it) is well documented. In fact, because of its surprising colouration and ability to enhance any décor, granite features are often most-remembered feature when prospective buyers tour a home.
Is Granite right for every kitchen?
There are several questions you should answer before installing granite. First is that cost element – this is not a cheap product and it requires professional installation.
Then, there are questions of décor. How big is your kitchen? Dark granite could make it look smaller, whereas lighter stone will open it up. Designers often suggest that a countertop be a contrast to the cabinets, so consider your wood choice. Finally, how much natural light does a kitchen get? Granite has many surface qualities – it can have a sheen or, in a rougher surface, a sparkle. Good natural light will bring out the highlights that many of the types of granite possess – whorls of colour that fairly dance in the light. The variety in the pieces is infinite and can be a real pleasure to admire in the proper light.
Where to buy granite
Granite is a complex stone, and there is an amazing variance in texture and tone. Visit a dealer
who specializes in granite and who can offer you an array of choice. You need something more than mere samples, as well – a warehouse or showroom environment will give you larger pieces of granite and help you make a suitable choice.
Make sure the dealer has a good variety on hand. Granite is versatile and multi-faceted and there is a colour that is going to be exactly to your taste. A smaller dealer may not have the selection. Some dealers even have "exotic” granite selections, with a jaw-dropping array of colours. Give yourself the luxury of choice! If you haven't seen ‘Arctic Cream', ‘Blue Baha' or ‘Aquarella' – you haven't seen granite!
Look for an established dealer
– the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) has a number – with a track record in granite. This is not a big-box kind of purchase. Not only is the choice of stone complex, but installation is not a job for amateurs. Professional help is definitely needed, right through from selection to installation.