Confused and stressed with the process of selecting right granite slabs for your kitchen countertops?
Given a vast choice of more than 200 granite colors to choose from, most of them naturally beautiful and quite few of those granite colors seem to go well with your kitchen cabinets, it is no wonder that you are confused to the extent of being stressed out. You may feel comfortable to know that you are facing a situation like most first time granite shoppers.
Here are 5 useful tips that you may have not heard of before that will make your granite selection easy, stress free and also help you get to the best possible selection.
Tip Number 1
Your First Granite selection is most likely your best selection.
You might have already visited several, if not all of the granite places in your city in pursuit of finding the granite that best matches with your cabinets and kitchen décor.
You might have seen dozens of granite slabs in various colors and natural patterns. During one of your visits you found one particular granite that caught your attention and you thought ‘Wow this is what I want!”. It seemed to match very well with your cabinet color, floor tile and even complimented your kitchen appliances.
Added to that, the seemingly expert designer who was helping you at that particular granite place endorsed the same granite that you liked the most.
But you had a fear like most of the granite shoppers that you need to see more granite slabs before making your final selection with an idea that you might miss out on something even better than what you have seen at the other place (the one granite you thought “Wow this is what I want!”).
You went on, seeing more and more granite colors in all the granite yards in your area. Your confusion and frustration got even worse by now. In all the places you visited, the same or similar granite slab grabbed your attention. You always went back to the same color and went back to the original place you found the granite that impressed you most. You liked it even more at this time.
It goes without saying this is the granite that deserves to go into your kitchen and that is the one you will keep loving for a long time.
Go with your instinct and go with the First Granite that impressed you the most.
Tip Number 2
All that Glitters may not be Your Granite Choice.
You may have seen several granite colors that were filled with lots of glittery Mica flakes interspersed with Golden and Copper colored glittery crystals. You loved all that glitter in those granite slabs.
But you know that you are a busy mom with school going kids. The kitchen is not a showpiece for you like some other home owners. You cook a lot in your kitchen to meet the demands of your growing kids who love your food and ask for more.
The granite that goes into your kitchen has to be robust and forgiving to withstand the impacts your playful kids will likely make on the granite countertops. It should be hard enough granite to forgive all the spills that your super active kids are going to make.
The glittery granite that you liked may not by your ideal choice.
A lot of times the natural stones that are shining with glittering mica and gold spots may not even be granite stones in strict geological classification. They are known as Schist type of stones by Geologists, but the granite traders tend to use the generic name of granite for all those stones for ease of sale. Not only are they less forgiving and they are super expensive also.
These Schist stones are very brittle, prone to cracking and chipping. So if you are a mom of growing kids and your kitchen is a busy place with your playful kids, avoid the glittery stones that are not true granites. Reputable granite fabricators tend to educate the customers about the disadvantage of using Schist stones in real working kitchens.
They have their own places to be installed like fancy bar tops in the basements or to decorate the counters of an elegant office space that are less prone to impacts.
The glittery granite that is not granite in the true sense, may not be your ideal choice. You are better off selecting hard and forgiving true granite slabs for your kitchen.
Tip Number 3
Falling in the Trap of A, B, C, and D… Grades of Granite.
When you go to the Big Box stores to shop for your granite countertops the first thing you notice is granite being priced with A, B… to F grades of Granite.
You find that the A grade granite colors are less expensive and the price goes higher and higher as the grade reaches to F. It is but natural that you think the F grade granite (the most expensive per Square foot installed) is the best quality granite and ‘A’ grade is the lowest quality stone.
Please remember these A, B, C etc. grades are based on pricing only, nothing but pricing only and not based on the actual morphological or functional quality of the granite varieties.
You may wonder then why this grading is done. By grading the granites with the A, B, C system, the big box home improvement stores have found an easy way to sell the granite consistently across all their stores thought out the United States. It is also easy for them to train the sales associates easily who are otherwise not granite professionals.
So do not think that the F grade granite that is sold at $95 dollars per square foot at the Big Box store is any better in quality than the A granite that is sold at $45.
The pricing is strictly based on the supply and demand of these granite colors. If the color and pattern is very attractive and it is not available in abundant quantities, it tends to be high priced. A good example is Saturnia. It is stunningly beautiful to look at, comparatively less forging in terms of strength and durability.
On the other hand granite colors like Tan Brown which are found in large areas of land and are quarried in India where the labor costs are much less, tends to be less expensive. Another interesting feature about this type of granite colors is that they are easy to extract from the earth because they are strong and withstand the quarrying process easily. Because they are easy to be quarried, they are less expensive.
So Higher Grade granite is not a synonym with higher quality granite. You may choose lot of nicer Lower grade granite colors that are less expensive and more durable.
Tip Number 4
What you see as a Granite slab may not be what you get as an installed countertop.
You might have stunned by the beauty of full granite slabs when you shopped for your kitchen granite countertops. You might have thought some of those granite slabs are like pieces of art.
The granite slab that has movement like a flowing river across and mix of veins flowing crisscross to give the slab an appearance like that of a beautiful painting.
You have to remember that your kitchen has L shaped or U shaped countertops and the cabinet width is 24” from front to back. The granite countertops installed on your cabinets will be 25.5” wide, so what happens to the river like flow across the beautiful slab measures 10 feet by 6 feet which you saw in the granite yard?
It is cut and fabricated into 25.5” wide countertops to fit your cabinets. The flow is cut into fitting pieces, so the beauty of the huge granite slab with a design of flowing rivers is not what you got into your kitchen because it is cut into fitting sizes that cover your cabinets.
You did not get what you saw as a full slab of granite. Kitchens with big center islands or huge peninsulas are the ideal choice for this type of granite slabs with a big flow.
Get a full layout of your kitchen countertops by discussing with your granite fabricator before you finalize your granite selection.
Tip Number 5
Your Granite shopping should not end with the great granite selection.
You have done a great homework on selecting the right granite for your kitchen, you have gone online to see the various contemporary design trends of kitchens and you even took the help of a paid professional designer to give ideas to select the right granite.
Finally, you found a great granite that suits your taste and budget.
And what about the selection of the right granite fabricator to cut and fabricate your beautiful granite into actual kitchen countertops? You are utterly mistaken if you think that any fabricator can make the nice countertops because you have selected a great looking granite.
It is like buying a nice and high end fabric for your custom suit and giving it to any tailor without knowing his level of expertise. A tailor that stitches a custom-made suit can make you look better and similarly an experienced fabricator can install your kitchen by using modern technology, skilled fabricators and installers.
If you live in the St.Louis area and are shopping for granite countertops, take a look at Arch City Granite & Marble, Inc. We will make sure that you get all the needed assistance by our experienced granite professionals.
Arch City Granite & Marble, Inc. is a granite and marble fabricator that follows Marble Institute of America stone fabrication standards. We have been in Granite business since 2006 and have the experience of more than 4000 granite countertop installations in St.Louis and surrounding areas.
Our high customer ratings on Google+, Better Business Bureau accreditation with A+ Rating and our willingness to offer you references from our recent customers may assure you to choose us as your granite fabricator.