Kitchen Makeover – is Granite the Right Choice?
It is time to give your kitchen a makeover.
You want to install new appliances, perhaps a central food preparation island –
and use granite or marble from Ontario. You have friends who have talked up
granite’s great qualities both as flooring and countertops. But the cost is
daunting and you need to be sure…
Granite can indeed be expensive but that
initial purchase and installation cost will be recouped with the value added to
your home. However, it is not a project for a do-it-yourself expert. You will
need professional help and, when you are factoring in costs, don’t forget the
preparation for the installation itself. You will have to remove furniture from
the room, strip away the old floor cover and quite possibly do some subfloor
Other things to consider include the size
of your kitchen – if it’s small, then dark granite will reduce its appearance
of space even more. Light stone will open it up. What colour are your cabinets?
If they are dark, again consider light granite – and reverse that if the
cabinetry is light. Luckily, granite comes in a startling range of
colours. They generally fall into six
categories, determined by its base colour, patterns and shades. They are azul,
black, gold and copper, green, rose and white. That diversity gives you great
latitude in your colour design.
What is the room’s natural light? Granite’s
surface is idiosyncratic – no two pieces are the same. Natural light highlights
its sparkle and quirks. Granite’s lack
of uniformity can be a drawback, though, if you are hoping to match the stone.
And finally – decide if you want tiles or
slabs. The former is more versatile as far as fitting into your kitchen
configuration, and there is a cost advantage. But the greater prestige lies
with the granite slabs.
does Require Maintenance
Granite requires care. It is slightly porous, which means that
spills can permeate the surface and mar the appearance. It needs to be
professionally sealed annually or every other year in order to protect the
Although it is a tough stone, granite can
be damaged by citric acids, oils and abrasives. Good old-fashioned, mild dish
or hand soap – not detergents – are adequate for the cleaning task. It is best
to use a clean, microfiber cloth. Warm water can wash away any residue. A
poultice made of flour, baking soda and household dish soap is sufficient to
clear any stains.
the Right Dealer
With any purchase of stone – granite,
marble or limestone – it is essential to find a dealer you can trust. Don’t
forget, you will likely be using that dealer both for purchase and
installation. As mentioned, it’s not a do-it-yourself job and a bit of
instruction by an "expert” at a big box store is going to result in disaster.
Find a family-run company with a good,
established reputation. Make sure that you can see your proposed purchase in as
large a sample as possible, to get the best idea of its eventual shading. Take time beforehand to educate yourself
about granite and the types you can purchase. A good dealer will appreciate
your interest and welcome the chance to explore your options with you.