For as long as there have been stone countertops, marble has been a staple in kitchens. Today, that look is still as beautiful as ever, but many homeowners are looking to white granite instead to get that fresh, bright-white look.
Marble can more easily scratch, stain, and etch, while granite is virtually indestructible when properly sealed. Because so many of our clients are searching for the perfect white granite, we created this complete guide to white granite that will help you pick the perfect countertop.
What Makes Granite White
The balance of minerals in a granite determines its overall color. When you see a white granite, you can be sure that the main minerals are feldspar (opaque white) and quartz (milky white). The black specks or larger pieces of black in many white granites are called amphibole.
Because granite is always a combination of minerals, it is never a pure white. Pure white granite does not exist. Instead, there are some granites with darker off-white and some granites that have a bright off-white. The latter often appears to be pure white because of the contrast created by large pieces of smooth, dark minerals (this is the case with Alaska White Granite and Bianco Romano Granite).
All white granite will have at least a small amount of colored minerals. Continue reading for an overview of the different colors and patterns you will see when looking at white granites.
White Granite with Black and Grey Minerals
This is a familiar group that includes stones like Alaska White Granite, Colonial White Granite, Andino White Granite, and Silver Cloud Granite.
Alaska White is what’s called a pegmatite. These types of granite have white backgrounds with clear sections of black and quartz. Juperana Delicatus Granite and Bianco Romano Granite fall in the same category. The large sections of quartz in these granites make them very sought after. Each slab will be entirely unique, and the larger pieces of quartz catch any strong light like direct sun or under-cabinet lighting.
The other three stones have black and gray minerals more evenly mixed into the white background. While these will not have as bright a white as a granite like Alaska White, their gentle patterning is often very beautiful and soothing. Some have a more “sandy” texture than others. For example, Silver Cloud Granite has the appearance of fine grains of white and black sand mixed together in a stunning pattern.
Because this category of white granites rarely have any colored minerals, they are great choices for black and white kitchens, all-white kitchens, and any other designs that require a limited palette of black, gray, and white.
White Granite with Brown and Burgundy Minerals
In your search for white granite, you will come across a number of stones with brown and burgundy minerals mixed in.
White granites with brown elements include White Spring Granite, River White Granite, and New River White Granite. While you will find burgundy and other wine-colored minerals (including garnet, which shows up as small wine-colored dots) in many white granites, the stones that have it most prominently are those that make up the Bordeaux family of granite. These include Monte Carlo Bordeaux Granite and Typhoon Bordeaux Granite.
Granites like River White and Typhoon Bordeaux tend to have longer, flowing patterns. You won’t find as bright a white in these slabs as you will with stones like Alaska White. There will be more mixing of the light colors with the darker accent minerals. But don’t write these stones off; their light palettes and energy will certainly give your kitchen a fresh, bright look.
White Granite with Gray, Black, and Blue Minerals
You will also see white granite that has a combination of gray, black, and blue-tinted minerals. Often with similar patterns to stones like Alaska White, they are less bright-white and more the white of deep ice, that subtle glacial blue.
Significant patterns in this group are Ice White Granite (also called New White Spring in the St. Louis area) and Mystic White granite.
These icy granites are a great choice if you want to use cool tones in your decor or contemporary elements like concrete and exposed metal. They have a high-end look, but their cool palette fits well with clean lines and exposed natural elements.
White Granite with Gray and Green Minerals
We’ve added a whole extra section here to talk about Monte Cristo Granite. This Indian stone has horizontal alternating layers of small and large composite patterns.
The entire stone has black and gray minerals over an off-white background. The smaller composite layers look like flowing sand, while the larger pattern layers look more like Delicatus Granite or Alaska White Granite.
These bold layers would look fantastic when laid out in a kitchen so that pattern flows across a long island or across counters. Monte Cristo is also a great stone to run all the way up the wall with full-height backsplash.
A Brief Note on Pricing
We should stop here to discuss pricing. Many white granites are in the higher-end granite price categories. The white granites we have listed above are no exception. Beautiful white granites are in high-demand!
That said, there are still white granites out there in lower price ranges. The categories below feature a few of these less expensive granites.
Granite with a Small Mixed White and Grey Pattern
You will see this mixture of colors in several entry level granite colors, including White Ornamental Granite, Dallas White Granite, and Ipanema White Granite. Dallas White has a similar small-to-medium composite pattern as the Ornamental family of granite, but it has a brighter white and more contrast. White Ornamental Granite has a very small, open composite with black specks on an off-white background. Ipanema White looks similar to Dallas White.
Another granite in this category is Moon White Granite, which is unique because of its burgundy specks of the semi-precious stone garnet.
When you have a group of similar granites like these, it’s especially important to see actual slabs in person, so you can appreciate the subtle differences in the patterns and colors.
Granite with an Even Mix of White, Gray, and Black Minerals
White Mist Granite has a medium composite pattern with an even mixture of black, gray, and off-white. It has a lot of contrast for this type of entry-level stone, making it a great way to achieve visual impact on a tight budget.
Gran Valle Granite has the large composite pattern of the popular Giallo Fiorito Granite, but in black and white.
A very common occurrence in granite is the presence of gold and yellow minerals in a largely white and black stone. You will see this phenomenon in Delicatus White and Kashmir White Granite, for example.
Delicatus White Granite has more significant deposits of gold minerals, white Kashmir White’s yellow elements are more mixed-in.
The dash of color in these stones gives them a little extra something that adds character to the kitchen.
There are a lot of different white granites out there to choose from! The best way to make sure you find the right one for your project is to work with a fabricator who keeps a wide selection in stock. This allows you to look at full slabs in one place, all with a dedicated stone expert on hand to explain the differences in each granite.
At Arch City Granite and Marble, we keep hundreds of slabs in stock, which ensure you get the best selection and price. You can see our inventory and get a free quote at either one of our two locations in the Greater St. Louis area.