When it comes to kitchen worktops, there is a wide choice of different materials that one can use. Some are relatively cheap, such as laminates, while others such as marble and granite are more expensive, so obviously your budget has to be taken into consideration. However, the cheaper options may not be as long-lasting as natural stone products or man-made stone such as quartz.
Not only that, but natural stones can have some amazing colours and different veining and swirls caused by all the various minerals which were present, or not present, at the time that the stones formed. What this means is that every single slab of natural stone is unique: there is no other piece the same anywhere in the world, so if you choose natural stone for your work surfaces you will know full well that you have the only piece of stone like it.
Many natural stones have amazing beauty and depth of shine to them and can become a considerable talking point for guests and friends. Today, more than ever, the kitchen has become a room where we entertain our friends to dinner, so it needs to look as good as the lounge/drawing room/sitting room or whatever that is being called this week. Gone are the days when the kitchen was purely functional.
Furthermore, even when not entertaining guests, the whole family gathers in the kitchen for dinner and then will often sit and watch TV afterward – the early evening programs such as Strictly and Great British Bake Off. So the kitchen is a room that needs considerable thought when having a refit.
Many families have extended their kitchens in the same way as one would add a conservatory as an extension, in order to make that extra space that is now needed. Kitchen floors are often tiled today since tiles are very easy to clean and come in a huge range of different patterns. And of course, one can also use natural stone for the flooring.
The worktops themselves are not just for the show. The name is a bit of a giveaway. But natural stone such as the granite we use at Marble & Granite has many benefits because, provided it is sealed, nothing is going to stain it. So all those normal kitchen spills won’t harm granite worktops in Bishops Stortford if that happens to be your town, or anywhere else for that matter.
Granite is a lot tougher and more hardwearing than other stones such as marble or limestone. The magazine Consumer Reports has tested granite worktops and found that they are all but impervious to cuts, scratching, and heat. That said, you should never chop foods directly on any kitchen work surfaces, but always use a chopping board. Equally, you shouldn’t put hot pans straight off the cooker or out of the oven on them but use a trivet. Nonetheless, granite worktops will not come to any harm when surrounding a built-in cooker.
Certainly, the granite worktops we provide at Marble & Granite do need sealing and occasional re-sealing. Granite is made up of different interlocking mineral crystals and the combination can be incredibly varied from one granite to the next. This is what produces the almost infinite range of colours and veining, and also porosity. In addition, some granite slabs have extremely fine cracks in them caused by stresses when the stone was formed. Fruit juices, fats, grease, cooking oils, red wine, and so on can get into these and are extremely hard to remove. That is why granite needs sealing.
Granite sealers come in different forms and some last longer than others. Life expectancy should be marked on the product packaging, and some can last as long as ten years. However, it is better to re-seal sooner rather than later. You can test if your granite worktops need sealing by putting a few drops of water on the surface near to the sink or other area that gets a lot of use. If the granite doesn’t need sealing, the water will stay in a bead.
Our granite worktops certainly have a lot going for them and will form a major part of your kitchen makeover. No, they are not “cheap”, but they are worth every penny.