When you cook and do other regular activities in the kitchen, you need the countertop to be hard enough, resistant against pressure, high temperatures, and scratching.
The maintenance must be quick and easy and at the same time. It must also maintain its good appearance. If you choose stone for your kitchen countertop, you can be sure that you put your money on the right horse. Stone can withstand almost anything. At the same time, thanks to its unmistakable appearance, it gives your kitchen a mark of originality and luxury. There isn’t just “stone”.
According to the experience of experts and our ancestors, the best material for stone countertops proved to be granite. Not only for its appearance but also for its characteristics. Marble or sandstone are also used from time to time. The only disadvantage of stone materials is higher porosity of their structure and therefore higher liquid absorption.
What are the advantages of granite?
A board made of granite cannot be damaged by any common kitchen utensils. It cannot be scratched or cut even with the sharpest knives. You can cut or pound food directly on the countertop.
Granite can withstand temperatures up to 250 °C. Pots with boiling content or pans with heated oil can be taken from the cooking stove placed directly on it.
Even though the initial investment in the stone countertop is higher, it is a one-time payment – up to several decades.
It has a unique variability – “each piece an original.” It is a one hundred percent rule. You can choose an approximate colour or shape from the sample books of the stonemason companies (grey, bluish, pink, red, olive green, goldish etc.) but the delivered slab will still be certainly an original that you will not find at any of your neighbours.
Water or moisture do not leave any negative traces on stone.
The maintenance of granite is quick and easy just with water. Aggressive chemical cleaning products, which could be absorbed by stone over time, are not recommended.
Are there any cons? How to solve them?
The coldness and porosity of stone are the only less-advantageous qualities of this natural material. Especially granite boards in dining or bar tables are often heated, so that even longer time spent at a granite bar or dining desk is not uncomfortable.
The porosity of stone, which can over time lead to the absorption of grease and dirt, is then solved by special impregnation which creates a steam-permeable layer. It stops the penetration of oils and acids into the stone while allowing it to breathe.
You want granite. What now?
If you decide that you want a stone countertop and you contact a specialized stonemason company, you do not have to fear any limitations. The kitchen countertop is going to be made as a turnkey project. Thank to the size of the imported slabs of granite, you can choose any atypical size and shape of the kitchen countertop. Traditionally, the kitchen sink is put in the granite slab from above, but it can also be installed from bellow. Any other cut-outs – for example for the water tap, cooking stove, or disposer, and others are not a problem.
The rules for the height and manner of placement of the countertop are the same as for the other materials on the market. The countertop should exceed the lower cabinets by 2cm, to prevent any dirt from flowing down. The height of the countertop is normally recommended to be at 85 – 86 cm. In general, it should be adjusted to the comfort of height of your figure, so that you do not have to stoop or rise up during cooking. Of course, in the case of people in wheelchairs, the countertop will be arranged atypically. In this case the height of the countertop should not exceed 75 cm.