What to Look For in a Granite or Marble Countertop

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What to Look For in a Granite or Marble Countertop

Submitted by: Lorne W. MacInnes

Shopping for a countertop can be a bit daunting: there are both scientific and aesthetic conditions to keep in mind. Your countertop can make or break the functionality and the homogeneity of your room, so selection isn?t a task that is made lightly. It?s important to start with a specific purpose and location for your new classy marble countertop or elegant granite countertop, to consider your options with the keen eyes of a professional. Knowing what to look for when you are shopping will help to ensure your satisfaction with the final product at the end of the day.


The location will make all the difference when it comes to selecting your new countertop. When you?re weighing the benefits and drawbacks of granite and marble countertops, think about the types of chemicals, food and household items it could be subjected to during regular wear and tear. The general rule of thumb is that granite is the better choice for kitchen countertops, and marble is the best way to add that touch of luxury to your bathroom vanity top, fireplace and Jacuzzi top.


Granite is the second-hardest stone around, and creates a beautiful impression in any room, while ensuring durability, hardness and resistance to household acids such as those found in vinegars and citrus fruits. It also generally avoids scratches, stains, water and heat damage. One area of concern that you?ll want to keep in mind is that granite is a very heavy stone, so if your cabinets are not made of a strong material or built very firmly, the weight of the stone slabs could be too much for your kitchen. If you think this might be a problem, try to have a thin slab of granite installed, rather than a thick one.


Marble, on the other hand, is a gorgeous stone, but will not hold up as well under normal kitchen conditions, due to its porous structure. Still, marble is fabulous for beautifying low-traffic areas and for creating artistic masterpieces.


Once you?ve decided which material you wish to use, consider the format of the stone, too. Granite or marble slabs can be polished to a mirror finish or smoothly honed, while tiles can come in a variety of sizes and be used to create a mosaic pattern or to simply tie elements in the room together. Honed pieces generally require less maintenance, and mosaic tiles held prevent slipping if used in flooring.


Depending on the statement you wish to make, you might also wish to add other details to your countertop order. Choices can include curved corners, intricate edge details, extra cuts and joints in the stone, to create nearly any look imaginable, from homey and economical to rustic and hand-carved.


Another important thought: when you are shopping, remember that any images you are shown will not depict the exact product you would receive. Each piece of granite or marble countertop is entirely unique, due to naturally occurring variations in the color, tone and texture, and will have a slightly different pattern than that shown in any photographs you see. Variations in computer screens and photograph-processing systems can also cause the coloring in the final product to slightly vary from what you saw.


Countertops might not be your area of expertise, but they can still be your place to shine. Look for the right touch with the right grasp of what you need, and you?re sure to discover the perfect piece for your home.


About the Author: Scott Tucker is a stone fabrication expert in Kamloops, British Columbia. You can learn more about granite countertops and kitchen countertops on his website.


Source: www.isnare.com

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