white dr marten boots Grade Differences and Quality of Counter Granite
Home Guides Home Home Improvement Grade Differences and Quality of Counter Granite Look for thicker slabs with a polished finish for a durable countertop.
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Unlike other materials, granite’s cost isn’t the best indicator of its quality. Comprised of quartz, feldspar and mica along with other minerals, this rock’s value is determined by how many soft minerals are present, its color and how it is cut. Learn the basics of how granite is categorized and have a thorough discussion with a reputable supplier to find the best quality counter for your home.
Grading There is no set industry wide grading system to reflect the quality of individual granite slabs; however, retailers typically group slabs by grades set in house. Low grade granite, referred to as commercial or second choice, has excess soft minerals mixed into the stone and less color variation than higher rated products. Mid grade granite features clear colors and somewhat interesting patterns, yet it doesn’t deliver much uniqueness. Exotic or high end labels are reserved for stones with one of a kind colors, variations and patterns. The most marked difference in durability, and thus quality, occurs when comparing low grade granite with higher grades, as the excess soft minerals in the stone make it more prone to damage. These labels vary drastically between suppliers: a high end retailer’s lowest grade granite can be on par quality wise with the highest grade carried by a discount store.
Origin and Cost The cost of a slab is not the best indicator of quality. The country of origin drastically alters the price of granite, even when comparing two slabs of equal caliber. China tends to produce the cheapest stones due to reduced labor costs,
while granite from Italy and Brazil is more costly. The distance from where you’re purchasing the stone is also a factor because granite is heavy, thus expensive to ship. The same rare blue granite from Italy will cost less when purchased in country than it would if you buy it from a supplier in the United States.
Color Granite comes in numerous colors, yet some shades are in higher supply than others, contributing to both the cost and perceived quality of the stone. Blue, purple and red are the least common and therefore have a higher price tag, while beige and green are more readily available. Some colors are considered more durable than others: reds and browns tend to be harder, even taking longer to cut than other colors, while grays and whites are softer. However, with a residential countertop application, properly cared for granite of any color is durable.
Thickness Thicker granite is of higher quality than thinner slabs. One and a quarter inch granite is preferred for counters, providing the durability most homeowners are after along with the visual “heft” that many expect from a natural stone. Granite is extracted in huge chunks and then moved to a production facility where it’s cut into slabs. To get more counters out of one stone, some manufacturers cut thinner sections. This reduces durability, especially if the slab is less than an inch thick.
References (3) Seibert and Smith: What are the Costs of Granite CountertopsModern Haven Interiors: Tips and Tricks: Choosing Granite CountersDesigner Granite and Marble: The Color of Granite
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