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Granite leads the countertop industry

Granite’s many colors are the result of different minerals that have formed together over millions of years. PHOTO/MICHAELA SCARSELLA

BY MICHAELA SCARSELLA
OU News Bureau

With its high-end appearance and low-maintenance upkeep, granite has found itself leading the countertop industry.

Often featured on HGTV, granite is a natural stone that is quarried from below the earth’s surface. It is formed from molten, mica, feldspar and other minerals that have been compacted for millions of years.

Phil Kraft

Phil Kraft has worked in the granite industry for three years. He is a granite warehouse manager at Tile & Stone Works in Macomb County’s Sterling Heights.

“Everyone likes the beauty of natural stone,” he said. “You can get economical costs or you can get expensive, elaborate costs.”

The 2017 Houzz Kitchen Study found that granite is still the top choice for countertops in homes.

  • Granite was the countertop choice for 41 percent of homeowners who updated their countertops in 2017.
  • Quartz followed granite closely behind at 40 percent.
  • Butcher block or wood slabs made up for 9 percent of countertop renovations.
  • Quartzite was used for 6 percent of countertops.
  • Marble was the fifth most-popular countertop at 5 percent.

Those planning on buying granite countertops can expect to pay $40 to $50 a square foot, on average. For those seeking more high-end granite work, the cost can be up to $200 a square foot. The price usually includes installation.

In addition to its affordability, granite is prized for its sustainability. Over time, quartz, a man-made stone product, can discolor in direct sunlight. Marble, another popular stone countertop option, is more porous than granite. This often results in scratching and staining.

Since it is a natural product of the earth, no two slabs of granite are the same. Each individual piece is the result of different minerals forming together with feldspar, mica and quartz. These minerals give granite its unique colors.

Granite quarries are found all over the world. Some of its largest exporters are China, India and Brazil. Since each region has differences in minerals, certain colors are unique to them, too.

Pastor Maldonado

Pastor Maldonado works as a granite supervisor and slab handler at Tile & Stone Works. Throughout his several years of working in the industry, one granite color, which comes from Brazil, has stood out among the rest.

“I like Verde Peacock. It has the color green and a bluish tint,” Maldonado said.

While the most popular granite colors change, the busiest time for the granite countertop industry remains the same.

“The month before Thanksgiving,” Kraft said. “Everyone wants it done before Thanksgiving and Christmas.”

Installation often is lengthy because of all that it entails. It starts out with templates for exact measurements. If applicable, sink dimensions are included in the template.

From there, the granite, which arrives from suppliers in slabs, is fabricated to fit these dimensions. Granite is either cut by machine or by hand, with the use of a saw.

Desired edge profiles are then applied and the countertop is polished. This gives granite its characteristically shiny appearance and smooth feel.

Once installed, granite countertops are low-maintenance. If needed, they can be cleaned with mild soap and water.

It is important to avoid acidic chemicals. Should they come in contact with granite countertops, it is best to wipe them off immediately.

 

 

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Posted by on Nov 20 2017. Filed under Featured article, Macomb C.. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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