How to Choose a Granite Worktop? (Colours, Sizes, & Costs)
Granite is a remarkably durable stone with amazing looks, which is why it is consistently one of the top choices for kitchens. It’s a 100% natural product and when you have a granite worktop in your kitchen, you have a totally unique stone formed over thousands of years before being mined, cut and prepared for your home. See more about how granite worktops are made.
We are granite specialists – that’s why we called ourselves County Stone when we started in business over 20 years ago! We are experts at sourcing the best stone, and cutting it with absolute precision. We finish granite countertops to perfection, and when we install them we make sure they fit perfectly.
The question is, which granite worktop will you choose?
Which type of granite will go with the rest of your kitchen?
For a wonderful kitchen, your worktop needs to be in harmony with all the other fixtures and decor. A new or refurbished kitchen is quite an investment, and it’s likely to last for some ten years or more, so it really is worth thinking about the overall design.
What comes first – a granite worktop or the rest of your kitchen?
If you are absolutely set on a particular piece of granite, you might go so far as designing the rest of your kitchen around it. Even though we’re among the world’s biggest fans of granite, we concede that that’s probably the wrong way to go.
Generally speaking, when you choose a granite worktop, it’s best to take account of the other colours and materials in the rest of your kitchen. That includes cabinets, floors, walls and ceilings and main appliances, especially cookers.
A light or dark granite worktop?
Are you aiming for a light and airy look, or something darker and more dramatic? Light colours create a sense of space, while darker tones close things down. For smaller kitchens, keeping the look light is always a good move, but the more space you have, the better darker colours work.
Another consideration is the amount of natural light in the kitchen from windows and doors, and the amount of direct sunlight that comes in. The electric lighting in your kitchen can also have a bearing on your choice.
Light colours work well together in virtually every context, but especially in smaller kitchens with small windows. By contrast, a lot of dark colours can make a small room feel cramped and even gloomy. However, for most kitchens, combining dark and light colours will rarely let you down – for example a black granite worktop with pale coloured cabinets. Similarly, a white or pale granite slab will go exceptionally well with dark cupboards.
Which granite colours work best?
Granite comes in a fascinatingly wide range of colour. Subtle variations on black and white are timeless and always popular, and plenty of shades of grey also come into the reckoning for many homeowners. One of the huge plus points for these monochrome shades is that they are a very comfortable match for cabinets, flooring and walls of any colour.
Granite worktops feature glittering speckles or flowing veins, or a combination of both. Most will have a dominant colour, and that’s the main thing to consider for the look of your kitchen. You’ll find granite which is predominantly brown, gold, yellow, ivory, blue, purple, green, pink or red. The colours all depend on the minerals found in the natural stone deposits. Deeper colours can be harder to track down, but they do exist.
Complementary colours give a sense of composure to any room, while contrasting tones can add a touch of drama and extra pzazz. If you want a surefire attractive look, opt for a brown countertop with cabinets in a tasteful orange or natural wood. Blues work well with shades of green, as well as with yellow. For higher impact, you could explore punchy contrasts such as brown or blue with reds and pinks, or blues with browns.
However, combining different colours is a braver move than colours with monochromes or neutrals. When it works, a mix of colours can be stunning, but you have to pay a lot of attention to specific shades and the lighting too. Colour choices can be very personal, so it’s very much up to you which you choose. The only caveat is that when it comes to selling your home, the less mainstream your choice, the more it can be off putting to potential buyers.
Which pattern of granite?
The other consideration for your granite worktop is the way speckles and veins have been formed in the stone. Speckles of bright, reflective minerals are part of the signature look of granite, and some stones feature only speckles and stone particles, without any swirls. These types of stone are frequently in one dominant colour which you can match with the rest of the kitchen.
Other stones feature sweeping swirls and veins, and add a sense of drama and rhythm to your kitchen. Colours vary as with all granite, with the most eye-catching stones standing out with dark hues and light highlights. These are stones to match with cabinets in calm colours in the search for beautiful combinations.
What details need considering for granite worktops?
Aside from shade, colours and patterns, a range of other details which have a bearing on your choice of granite worktop.
The finish can be highly polished and shiny, or matt which is just as smooth but with a more mellow look. The surface of the stone can also be specified with a hammered-like texture, achieved by sand-blasting.
Your plans might also include extra surfaces for kitchen islands or breakfast bars. You need to decide whether you use the same granite throughout, or whether you go for variations in colours and materials.
Edges too are important to the look of your kitchen. Sharp edges might look clean and neat, but can damage people, especially small children bumping their heads, and are easier to damage if you drop tins, bottles and pans on them. Mitred or curved edges soften the look, and are be less susceptible to damage. Further details such as draining channels by the sink need some thought, as do splash backs and risers.
Why is seeing granite samples so important?
When choosing the colour of granite for your kitchen, make sure to take samples home and view them at different times of day, in different lights and in different places in your kitchen. It’s surprising how the appearance can change according to position and the amount of light.
This way, you know exactly what the colours will look like in your home, instead of simply what it looks like when it’s on show, and you can decide which one you like best. When you get in touch with us, we’ll let you know about samples as well of the stones we keep in stock for customers to review.
We supply our granite worktops with a once-only invisible seal which will protect the surface of the stone from any stains. While granite is not particularly porous, the seal is a barrier to any spilled liquids and oils, and potential stains from foodstuffs such as strongly coloured spice powders.
The sealant helps to keep the surface hygienic too. Your granite surface will benefit from a daily wipe down with a non-abrasive cloth and warm water, and if anything is spilled it’s best to wipe it up straightaway. It’s also advisable to give a regular deeper clean with a specialist cleaner such as STAIN-PROOF Daily Countertop Cleaner. Just beware of spilling anything acidic on a granite surface and not cleaning it up quickly – this could corrode the stone after a period of time.
What do granite worktops cost?
Keep your budget in mind when considering granite options. While it can be tempting to consider everything available and then narrow it down, you run the risk of falling in love with a material that may be way out of your price range. We can help you find the right granite kitchen worktop, you can start by checking granite worktop pricing.
If you really do want to use a particular granite option but you can’t stretch to using it for all your kitchen worktops, why not consider using it just for a bar or kitchen island? Then you can use another material for the other surfaces to create a contrast or statement piece in your kitchen.
Contact us now for a quote. Our friendly and helpful team will be on hand to guide you through the process to help you find the perfect fit, size and design for your granite kitchen