How to Get a Quality Granite Countertop
Many different factors contribute to this natural stone’s attributes, and selecting quality granite that is beautiful and withstands daily traffic is our top priority. Granite is used throughout the home to elevate the space, and with a high-quality stone, it can remain pristine for years to come.
Granite is a natural stone that forms below Earth’s surface, and each slab is composed of quartz and feldspar, as well as other minerals, for a beautiful, durable, unique stone finish. However, many different factors contribute to this natural stone’s attributes, and selecting quality granite that is beautiful and withstands daily traffic is our top priority.
From thickness and cut to the origin, color, and porosity, there are a lot of factors to consider when learning how to check granite stone quality.
Here are the best ways to ensure you select a high-quality granite.
#1: Consider the Grade of Granite
With no set industry standards to determine the quality of granite countertops, it’s up to the manufacturers and stores to use an in-house method for determining the grades of granite. However, the basic breakdown is usually the same: entry-level, middle grade, and high grade.
- Grade 1: Entry Level – Grade 1 granite, also referred to as entry-level, offers the thinnest stone that typically requires a plywood backing to support it. This grade features simpler patterns and colors with less variation. Plus, grade 1 granite slabs are often pre-fabricated and ideal for use in lower-budget projects.
- Grade 2: Middle Grade – Grade 2 granite, or middle grade, has more colors and pattern variations than grade 1, but won’t have quite as many unique qualities as the highest grade granite. This grade comes in thicker slabs, offering more durability for your renovation.
- Grade 3: High Grade – Grade 3 granite is the highest grade of granite and boasts one-of-a-kind colors and patterns that offer a truly unique finish for your home. With diverse veins and patterns, this granite also features mineral deposits that make it sparkle and glitter for a truly stunning finish.
When it comes to the grades of granite, it’s important to consider what works within your budget. At the end of the day, granite is a durable material so that you will find a quality selection within each grade.
#2: Perform a Thorough Visual Inspection
Sometimes, you can judge a book by its cover, particularly when it comes to finding top-quality granite countertops.
A visual inspection of a granite slab is a great way to get an idea of its quality. When doing this, you’ll want to look for any cracks, discoloration, scratches, chips, or dings that help reveal its durability. Additionally, make sure the edges of the slab are straight. If you’re not sure, grab a straight edge!
On top of the state of the stone, take a look at the colors and patterns . Granite is a natural material and comes in a lot of different shades, so you’ll want to take the time to ensure it matches your home’s design.
#3: Double-Check the Dimensions of Your Granite Slab
To avoid any last-minute mishaps in the installation process, take the time to check that the dimensions of the slab you select fit the measurements you require. You don’t want to use a stone that isn’t cut as you asked, as this will only cause issues down the line when it comes time to set the stone in place.
#4: Watch Out for Granite Thickness
Don’t underestimate the importance of the thickness of a slab. When it comes to a granite stone, the thicker it is, the stronger it will be.
While an entry-level stone will often come in a very thin slab with a plywood backing, mid-grade and high-grade slabs will have a similar thickness that offers more durability. While there’s not a big difference between thicknesses in grades 2 and 3, you’ll want to go for the thickest slab you can within budget for a long-lasting selection.
#5: Mind the Porosity of Granite
Porosity is key when it comes to maintaining the vibrant hue of a granite slab. With higher absorbency, the stone is more likely to fade over time.
To test the porosity of a slab, squeeze a lemon over the countertop surface and see how long it takes to absorb. If it doesn’t seem to be absorbing or takes a long time, it’s a less porous stone. With a less porous stone, the slab will likely last longer and won’t need as much sealant – signs of quality granite stone.
However, if the lemon juice absorbs quickly, it’s a very porous stone and will require regular sealing to keep strong and beautiful.
#6: See If Your Granite Slab Is Well-Polished
Another factor when figuring out how to choose good quality granite is the polish. To test the polish, brush a coin on the surface of the granite to see the polish quality. If it easily scrapes, it’s a low-quality polish.
Additionally, take a look at the edges of the slab. A well-polished granite won’t have any scratches on the edges, and the color will match the top with just as shiny as a finish.
#7: Carry Out a Scratch Test
To ensure your slab is truly granite and high-quality, you can conduct a scratch test.
Choose a discreet area of the stone that won’t be obvious, and use a knife blade to try to make a scratch on the surface. If it’s difficult to make a scratch, it’s a quality granite slab. However, if the slab does scratch, it might not be granite at all but marble or limestone.
Renovating your home takes time and care, and it’s important to upgrade your space with materials that will last. Granite is a durable, long-lasting choice that will instantly elevate your home, but it does take a little extra care and attention to find a high-quality stone built for years of love.
For more tips on finding the best quality granite slab, more on the grade of granite, and how to choose good quality granite, reach out to our team of experts. There’s no need to settle on your stone, and we will work with you to bring your vision to life.