Granite worktops not only look great in the kitchen, but they have a long-lasting purpose that will be worth every penny that you will pay for them. A granite countertop will provide your kitchen – and your home – the elegance and functionality of nature. You can use it as a contrasting piece to an otherwise modern kitchen. You can do your kitchen chores atop the worktop – prepare, serve and eat meals. It can also serve as a surface to place your stuff on too. But did you ever think how such a big piece of stone is mined and made into a beautiful article of home furnishing? Let’s take a look.
You cannot find granite just anywhere. There are specific sites around the world where you can mine granite. These sites are called quarries. Quarries that have the best types of granite slabs are not found by the side of the road. They are usually in far off places, such as Italy and Brazil.
Granite straight from the earth is not the same as that which we see in kitchen countertops. Its original form is very rough. Extractors then blast the stones to bring them to manufacturing sites to make into elegant pieces of granite worktops. London and other major cities are some of the biggest importers of granite. Millers cut the slabs into pre-determined sizes and polish them to perfection. The typical sizes for slab granite are 9 and 7 feet.
What you buy from a showroom is a pre-cut slab. There are some that offer custom-sized slabs cut to your specifications, but they cost more. Once you are okay with your chosen granite slab, the company will then make it into a countertop. They will measure your kitchen so they can cut the right dimensions of the slab to put onto your existing – or new – worktop.
The installation process only takes several hours. Installers use silicone beads to stick the granite slab onto the counter. They will also coat the surface with a sealant to protect the granite from external factors such as chemicals, food juices, and scratch marks. They will also instruct you not to use the newly installed worktop for a couple of days to allow the slab to set in place. After the required couple of days, you will be ready to put your kitchen countertop to work for many years to come. Clean the surface using a non-abrasive rag to preserve the sealant, and a mild cleanser – water and mild soap will suffice. Using chemical cleaners will diminish the sheen as well as remove the sealant that protects the stone.
Besides granite, there are also other types of stone worktops you can look into, such as quartz and marble. They are as durable as granite, but they have other characteristics different from that of a granite worktop. Stone worktops can last a very long time because they are very durable, as they are natural materials. But with proper care and maintenance, you can prolong their life for more years.