In today’s blog we are going to talk about how granite for kitchen and bathroom counters are graded. Granite is very desirable natural stone for counters because it is very hard, smooth, and looks beautiful. It is mined in several countries and imported. There are typically three grades: low (builder’s grade), medium, and high. However, there are some companies that still grade granite based on a 7-level system. The characteristics that separate grades of granite are thickness of the stone, veining and porosity, and color.
This is an easy concept to understand. The thinner the granite, the lower grade it is. Granite that is three-quarters of an inch thick or thinner is the lowest grade. The thickness combined with the veining can make granite more likely to crack, and thinner pieces may need additional support with plywood over long runs to prevent damage.
Veining and Porosity
The veining and porosity are the next defining characteristics. Certain types of veins are desirable, and others just make the granite more likely to crack or fail. Experts can tell the difference. In addition, granite that is more porous is less desirable than denser slabs. More porous slabs will require sealing regularly, maybe once a year. Denser slabs will rarely if ever need additional sealant. For obvious reasons, it is not good to have a porous stone in an area where it will receive high traffic and frequent use. Sometimes the granite veins contain materials that are more porous than the other parts, which is why these two characteristics are related.
Color and Pattern
The next consideration in grading is color. Some colors are rarer and more sought after than others. The most expensive granite is blue or contains considerable blue highlights. Pattern of the stone also plays a role, with complex swirl patterns usually being a higher grade than smaller, finer patterns. That said, a very even small pattern is usually more desirable and a higher grade than an irregular pattern.
Aside from the thickness, the other considerations for grading granite usually require a trained eye to recognize them. For this reason, you will want to source your granite from a reputable outfit with considerable experience handling granite.
If you need help choosing granite for your kitchen, give us a call in Langley, BC, at (604) 533-4541.
Elite Kitchens and Bathrooms, based in Langley, BC, is your source for everything custom cabinetry related. As the 2019 winner of the Vancouver Consumer Choice Award, they pride themselves on stellar customer service to match the quality of their cabinets.
If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about cabinets, we encourage you to contact us at [email protected].