Granite, formed within the Earth's molten core, develops when liquified minerals (including quartz and feldspar) combine. By the time this liquid reaches the surface, it has cooled into a uniform, crystallized mass and developed a striated or variegated appearance. Granite counter tops are among the most sought-after surfaces for homeowners due to their high-end appeal and classic beauty. Their desirability in the real estate market directly increases a home's market value during resale.
Timeless Aesthetic Appeal
The patterns in a slab of granite can be veined, mottled and any color. When polished, granite shines like glass but also is very strong and durable. Granite has retained its popularity as a surfacing material because of its combination of strength and beauty. It appeals to many homeowners because it provides an updated and luxurious touch to any area where it is installed.
Although not totally indestructible, with proper maintenance, granite will retain its beauty for many decades. It withstands the demands of even the most active of households. Sealed granite is relatively easy to clean, making it both "kid-proof" and "pet-proof." Scratch-resistant granite is second only to diamonds in hardness. It will resist heat up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a water-based sealant once annually, and avoid caustic or abrasive surface cleansers. A stone cleaner is recommended for daily care.
Granite is available in a wide range of tones and textures, making it able to harmonize with different types of decor styles. There are varieties of granite to suit nearly every taste. This means installing a new granite counter top doesn't have to mandate changing the entire room to create a cohesive new look.
Enhances Property Values
Professionally installed granite adds well beyond the average 25 percent of its retail value to a home than other quality additions such as floors and cabinets. In home refinancing, special consideration is given by lenders who view granite as a chief indicator of a worthy investment. On the open market, a home with granite surfaces consistently commands a higher sale price than comparable homes being sold in the same area.
Genae Valecia Hinesman, former banking executive, entrepreneur and fashion model, began writing professionally in 2002. She is a Cum Laude graduate of the University of Southern California where she studied business, finance and exercise physiology. Her articles featured in Living Healthy: 360, Life 123, the American Chronicle and Yahoo Voices.