|Overview: Granite as a kitchen countertop|
Granite is an igneous rock made up of several other types of crystal rocks such as feldspar, mica, obsidian, quartz, and silica. It is quarried from countries all over the world like the United States, Italy, Brazil, China, and Sri Lanka. Granite is sold as slabs in different lengths and widths.
No two granite slabs are alike. Because of the unique crystalline structure formed in each slab, granite slabs have different color variations. They are sold per square foot, depending on the size of the kitchen countertop to be made. Each square foot weighs around 25 pounds to 30 pounds, depending on its desired thickness.
Granite is one of the materials to use for countertops because it is naturally resistant to extreme temperatures. It is also cut- and scratch-resistant and is attractive in design. It comes in different marbled colors like black, brown, white, gray, blue, and red. Granite countertops can be made with additional features like backsplashes or fancy edges.
Size and seam limitations in granite countertops
Granite slabs are typically sold in 10-foot long pieces, depending on size of the kitchen countertop to be made. Because of their length and weight, the seams are usually placed in between the slabs for connectivity and support.
Seams are the joints of granite kitchen countertops. They are especially needed for L-shaped kitchens that require the same shape and size of granite countertop. The seams are always made along a straight edge. They are also always visible because of the marbleized nature of granite slabs.
The seams are sealed in by inserting a small silicone bead in between two granite slabs. These silicone beads are usually 1/16 inch wide and are placed to accommodate the natural contraction and expansion of granite slabs during the changes in temperature.
Remember that no two granite slabs are alike in appearance and in width. Sometimes, they do not even have the same thickness. These imperfections can cause the seams to be uneven and the granite slabs to crack or break.
Things to consider when choosing the right size of granite slab
- Determine the size of your kitchen countertop. This is done by measuring the size of your kitchen and knowing how much space to allot for your kitchen countertop. This is going to be easy since most granite slab manufacturers can take the measurements for you. Be sure to take the sizes of all other kitchen equipment and accessories such as refrigerators, stoves, ovens, and other massive kitchen equipment into account. Leaving them out can give you an inaccurate size of your kitchen countertop.
- Determine the shape of your kitchen countertop because it determines if seams are needed. L-shaped countertops need seams. Make sure that the seams are applied properly and if possible, by professional builders. This prevents incorrect installation and subsequent breaking and cracking of your granite countertop.