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How Can You Tell Good Quality Granite When Buying Your Countertops?

When you buy granite countertops, you’re making a long-term investment. Due to this, you need to be cautious when making the purchase. To help you out, here is how to tell that you are buying high-quality granite:

Check the thickness of the countertops.

A significant portion of granite’s cost can be attributed to its natural form when taken from the earth. Granite solidifies into enormous slabs. Once harvested, these massive blocks must be transported to a manufacturing plant, where workers chop them into commercially viable pieces.

Many producers cut some parts too thin to maximize their granite yield. When granite is excessively thin, its durability suffers, resulting in poorer-quality granite that scuffs more easily and needs to be replaced years sooner than thicker pieces.

High-quality granite countertops must be 1 to 1 ¼ inches thick. So, you should measure the thickness of your countertops when buying and ensure they are the right size.

Find out the origin of the countertops.

No location can claim a monopoly on the granite industry. It can be found worldwide, from China to Europe and the Americas. Granite’s provenance does not always define its quality. However, the country of origin influences its pricing.

Granite slabs from China, for example, are sold at a lower cost due to reduced labor costs. Higher-cost countries, such as Italy and Brazil, demand more for quality.

In addition to labor costs, shipping charges significantly impact the price of granite. Granite is expensive to transport due to its heavy weight. This means that you can receive the best deal on granite sourced near home.

How does the granite look like?

To assess granite quality, you must inspect it closely. Do you notice any dings, dents, scratches, or uneven surfaces?

Any imperfections indicate low-quality granite. Good granite can sustain everyday household use; therefore, if yours has wear and tear, the quality is likely substandard. Also, exercise caution while acquiring any blemished granite. High-quality components are free of scratches and dings.

When making the purchase, look for cracks. Remember that even little fissures can expand into enormous chasms over time, so avoid them.

Determine the porosity of the countertop.

Top-grade granite is resistant to liquid absorption. If a chunk of granite is overly porous and allows liquids to seep inside, it is a low-quality slab with a short lifespan. In addition, extending the life of porous granite necessitates the regular application of costly sealants.

To test porosity, squeeze a drop of lemon juice onto the surface. How long does it take for the granite to absorb the liquid? If it absorbs quickly, the porosity is high, and you don’t want this. Slow or no absorption implies high-quality granite, and this is the one you should get.

Consider the grade of the countertops.

Granite countertops typically come in three grades. Before you spend your hard-earned money, buy the greatest granite for your needs. The primary grades are:

Entry-level granite: This granite is regarded as commercial grade, but it is of lesser quality. Typically, it is thinner than other grades and comes from China.

The granite is strengthened with a cardboard backing. While thinner than the other classes, it is also less expensive, making it a popular apartment option. This granite is available in various attractive colors and is quite durable. It is important to note that it is unsuitable for regularly used rooms.

Mid-grade granite: This granite is usually imported from India or Brazil. It is approximately ¾” thick and far more durable than grade 1. This option is most commonly used in homes due to its hardness and lower cost than Grade 3. It comes in a variety of distinctive and striking colors.

High-grade granite: This granite is the most expensive, ranging between $60 and $100. It is of the highest quality and contains the most unique colors and designs. High-quality granite is widely utilized for kitchen surfaces and around fireplaces.

Assess the polish quality.

The polish quality is critical to ensure you receive a high-grade granite. Low-quality polish will not withstand prolonged use. There are several ways to assess polish quality.

The first option is to use the lemon drop or water test, as described above. This test allows you to examine the porosity and polish quality at the same time.

You can also scratch the surface with a metallic material such as a coin. If the coin leaves a mark, the polishing is poor, and the granite will tarnish soon, and you don’t want this.

Work with a countertop professional.

With a bit of research and effort, you can ensure that you purchase high-quality granite countertops, which most people want.

Many people think they only need the highest-grade countertops, but this isn’t always the case. If a lower grade is appropriate for your needs, go for it.

You only need to ensure that it’s well-made and it will withstand the test of time.

Remember that the countertop industry has plenty of shady people who might try to exploit you.

Simply because you assume you are paying for a high-quality countertop does not imply that you are. Always work with a trustworthy granite countertop dealer to obtain the best value for your money.

Even after installing the countertops, you should note that you must take good care of them. This calls for you to avoid placing hot items on the countertops.

You should also seal the surfaces at least once a year. You can do the sealing yourself, but for the best outcome, let experienced granite contractors Durham help you out.

Why Is Granite So Popular?

If you have been searching for kitchen countertops, you must have realized that everyone recommends you go for granite countertops.

Why is granite so popular? You must be wondering, right? Well, there are plenty of reasons for this. The most common ones being:

Granite is durable

Granite is one of the most popular countertop materials, and if you take good care of it and protect it from cracks, chips, dings, and scratches, it will last for years.

One way to keep your countertops in good shape for a long time is to seal them. You should seal the surfaces the first thing after installation, then once every one year. You can do the sealing by yourself but for best results, let a professional help you out.

The key to getting the most from the sealing is to use a high-quality-sealing product, preferably specifically designed for granite countertops.

Granite stays clean

No, we are not saying that granite will self-clean itself. Since granite is tough, it easily shields itself from mold, mildew, and bacteria, so as long as you have taken good care of the material and there are no cracks, and you routinely seal it, you won’t have to worry about mold growing on the surfaces.

Every piece of granite is unique.

Given that granite is a natural stone, all the granite pieces are unique, meaning that you won’t find any two similar slabs when you go to a countertop store.

The unique nature of the countertops means that when you buy a given slab, you are sure that there is no one else in the world with an exact similar slab. This makes you feel unique, doesn’t it?

The distinctive nature of granite also means that you can find all types of countertop colors you might be interested in. So, whether you fancy black, pink, silver, white, or even green countertops, you will find them in the countertop store.

Granite countertops are form-fitting.

This means that granite easily attains your intended shape without you having to put in a lot of work. Using wood countertops as an example, to attain your intended shape you have to sand down the edges after cutting them, which can be a lot of work.

This isn’t the case with granite countertops that don’t have a lot of imperfections after cutting. Since the granite edges are much smoother after cutting, you don’t need to put in a lot of work to attain your desired shape.

The result is a better-looking countertop that is easier to install.

You can repair granite counters.

It’s true granite is tough, but this doesn’t mean that it’s indestructible. Now and then, granite will develop cracks and chips that give the countertops a beaten-up look.

Should you remove the countertops and dispose of them due to tense imperfections? Absolutely not, as you can fix them using DIY granite epoxy resin.

All you need to do is to buy the resin from your local store and apply it. The beauty is you don’t need to hire a professional to help you apply it—you can easily do it by yourself, even with no home improvement experience.

Granite instantly increases your home value.

If you have been house shopping lately, you must have realized that houses with granite surfaces tend to sell at a higher price. This is because these houses have a higher perceived value. And you can justify it as the kitchens and bathrooms look stunning.

While the countertops will increase your home value, don’t go at it blindly. If you are simply revamping your house to sell, don’t install premium and unique granite countertop colors such as red and others, as you won’t recoup your money. The reason for this is because the unique slabs go at ultra-high prices than the potential house buyer is willing to pay for.

To ensure you don’t lose your money, work with experienced and knowledgeable granite contractors Durham to advise you on the best slabs to install.

Granite countertops are a great choice.

If you are looking to install new countertops in your home, seriously consider granite. The material is classy, timeless, natural-looking and a perfect fit for any home.

Wondering What To Do With Leftover Granite Countertops? Here Are 9 Genius Ways To Give Them A New Life

After installing your countertops, you are left with granite remnants that many homeowners don’t know where to take them. Most homeowners toss the remnants in the dumpsters, which is wrong. Are you wondering what to do with leftover granite countertops? Here are 9 genius ways to give your pieces a new life:

Make a granite cutting board.

If the leftover piece is large enough, why not make a cutting board out of it? Although tough, granite is easy to shape and finish giving you cutting surfaces that match the rest of the kitchen.

If considering making a cutting board, you should note that it will be much heavier than your traditional cutting board. It also might be tough on knives. If creative, you can add a rotating bottom to the cutting board and make a lazy Susan.

Make earthly coasters

The remaining pieces aren’t large enough? No problem as you can make earthly, unique coasters with them. While most of the coasters are squares, it doesn’t have to be the case with you. Make circles, triangles or even irregular shaped coasters that will look cool when stacked on your tabletop.

Design a tabletop

If a relatively large granite slab remains, you can pair it with a good-looking base and convert it into a tabletop. You can use a stump for legs, curve an iron base, or install any other material. Like a glass tabletop, ensure you have bevelled edges for an attractive, safe finish.

You should note a granite slab is heavy so you should be creative in how you place it, so it doesn’t topple over. Ensure the top is 1/3 bigger than the base’s surface area. Remember, the less the tabletop overhangs, the more stable it is. To increase stability, glue or screw 1-inch plywood to the base.

Turn the slab into a shelve

If you have a long slice of leftover granite, you can create a shelve from it and give your kitchen, bathroom, mudroom or any other room a modern look. When installing the shelve, remember granite is heavy so have the work done by an experienced technician

Make a mosaic patio garden

Have many leftover pieces? You can lay them on your garden and use them as a patio. You can use slabs of the same pattern or different patterns. It’s up to you to create the design you want. For a great look, ensure an expert does the work with the right amount of experience.

Make a piece of furniture.

If the pieces are large, you can make an entire table or chair from them. Wouldn’t it be fun to have a lovely round table to sit out on your balcony, patio or kitchen? A table made from leftover pieces is unique, giving your living areas an interesting look.

When it comes to the legs, choose thin metal or cast iron. To complete the look, get matching chairs.

If the remaining piece isn’t large enough, you can make a wooden side table from it. If you are creative, you can do the work by yourself but if you have no experience, let a professional help you out.

Create a serving platter

Whether you are a loner or love entertaining, you can’t go wrong with a serving platter. If you have a moderately sized slab, you can convert it into a serving platter and use it as an accompaniment to cured meats, cheese, fruit, artisan bread and many others.

The cool thing is making the platter is easy—you don’t need to hire an expert. With minimal creative skills, you can get the work done.

Make a house number sign.

Irritated with the constant peeling off of your door numbers from the plastic? You can be the envy of your neighbors with a creative and unique granite number plate. You can engrave or paint the number of the leftover slab.

Like the serving platter, you can do the work by yourself—you don’t need to hire a professional to help you out.

Sell the remnants

Dont have a plan to repurpose the pieces? Approach the local granite contractors Raleigh and find out if they can buy the pieces for their projects. If the remnants are of significant size and good design, you will find contractors that will be happy to take them off your hands and put them into better use.

Tricks On How To Extend The Life Of Quartz Countertops And Other Countertop Materials

best quartz countertop

Granite, solid surface or quartz countertops are designed to last for decades. If you don’t have money to replace the countertops after this time, you should take good care of the countertops so that they last for a long time.

There are plenty of things you can do to extend the life of your countertops. Some of these things include:

Get rid of spills

Countertops are constantly being exposed to spills and splashes from tipped can of soda to poured milk. When spills happen, you should get rid of them immediately. This is because granite and solid-surface countertops tend to stain when exposed to wine, and coffee.

You also should regularly clean the countertops even if no spills have happened. When cleaning, use a mild solution of water and a few drops of dish soap in a spray bottle. To do it, spritz the countertop, then run a clean damp piece of cloth over it, then dry the surfaces with a soft dish towel.

Drying the damp countertop prevents hard water stains that form as a result of letting the water droplets dry on their own.

Seal the countertops with a quality sealant

Granite and marble countertops are porous, which makes them prone to absorbing oils and spills. They also tend to accumulate stains easily. To prevent this from happening, seal the countertops.

Remember to use a high-quality sealant that will last for a long time and give excellent results. You also should hire a reputable contractor who understands how the process is done.

You should note that improper sealing tends to weaken the stone, making it dull and also increases the risk of the countertop developing mold and mildew.

Protect the surfaces

While they are heat resistant, natural stone countertops aren’t designed to hold hot items such as hot pans and pots. To give them long life, always use a trivet, mitt or towel to prevent direct contact of the hot plate and the countertop.

If you have a sink molded out of solid surface material, be cautious when draining the boiling water as the sinks are also prone to damage. To protect the surfaces, run cold water when pouring the hot water to temper the boiling water and protect the solid surface sink.

You also should always use a cutting board when chopping onions, vegetables and other products.

When you are in the kitchen, it’s normal to sit on the countertops chatting with a family member or friend. Don’t do this as you will damage the countertops.

Quartz is tough and less likely to crack, but granite can easily crack due to the natural fissures running through the stone. Sometimes the fissures are too weak in certain areas and crack on excess weight.

Use recommended cleaning supplies

Cleaning the countertops is one of the ways of giving the countertops a long life, but if you use the wrong products, you will be destroying them. You want high-quality products that will maintain the natural shine of the countertops.

As a rule of thumb, avoid products containing acids as they will etch the countertops and destroy them. For best results, use products recommended for the specific type of countertop you are looking to clean.

Repair the minor flaws

It’s the minor issues that get worse over time, and when you go for a long time without giving them any attention, you will eventually have to undertake countertop replacement. To avoid this, you should repair the minor scratches as soon as you notice them.

Luckily you can get rid of them by sanding the surface down or using a soft type of a scrubbing product that will smoothen down the edges of the scratches. To ensure that you are doing the right thing, follow the instructions that came with the countertops.

You can also ask a contractor to help you out.


These are some of the tricks you can use to extend the life of your countertops. To have an easy time, ensure that you buy high-quality countertops. You also should ensure that the pieces are professionally installed by experienced granite contractors Raleigh or any other experts.