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If you have shopped for a home in recent years you will probably have noticed that certain home features always seem to be played up as selling points in the listings. Hardwood floors. Wood burning fireplaces. And more and more often these days, granite kitchen countertops.
Granite kitchen countertops really are the ‘hot’ countertop material at the moment and that has been the case for some time now. And for some very good reasons. They really are stunning and add an air of luxury to any kitchen. But are they really as great as they are cracked up to be?
Why are Granite Countertops So Popular?
There are many different choices available when it comes to choosing the material that will be used for countertops in a kitchen so what is it about granite that has made it so popular, even seeming to add perceived value to a home?
The main reason for granite’s popularity as a countertop material for use all over the house (granite bathroom counters are increasingly popular as well) is its sheer beauty. As it is a natural stone, real granite (as opposed to engineered granite) comes in many different, rather unique colors and no two real granite countertops will ever be quite alike because each will have its own swirls and patterns and color changes that make it different than any other.
Durability is a big factor in granite’s popularity as well. If granite kitchen countertops are taken care of properly they will usually outlast their owners. That means that although granite is one of the single most expensive counter materials you can choose – there are really only some marbles that are more expensive – you will certainly get your money’s worth in terms of longevity. It’s maybe something to factor in as a homebuyer. You’ll be able to be fairly certain that replacing kitchen counters won’t be a future expense to meet and should you ever decide to sell you’ll have them as a selling point yourself (they are unlikely to go out of style)
Cooking ease is the final reason that most people find themselves drawn to granite. The surface does not stain easily and it will remain cool, which is especially good for those who like to make cakes and pastries, as rolling dough straight onto granite produces wonderful results. So if you are a budding amateur chef, it’s another advantage to factor in.
Do Granite Countertops Add Value to a Home?
Yes, and no. Is the fact that your home has great granite countertops in the kitchen justify pricing it higher than you might otherwise have been advised by your real estate agent? No, very rarely. Do they increase perceived value in the eyes of a potential buyer? Sometimes, although not so much these days, as buyers now often almost expect to see such things.
If your only reason for adding granite into the mix is to try and up the value of your home then it is unlikely to give you the ROI you want. If, on the other hand, you are doing so to add function and style to the space that will likely also appeal to any future buyers go right ahead, granite is a great choice.
On a daily basis granite kitchen countertops are actually quite easy to take care of. To remove crumbs and dust all you really need to do is give your counters a quick dust off with a lint free microfiber cloth. Simple spills can be cleaned up very easily with plain warm water and a once over daily with a mixture of lukewarm water and a mild dish detergent should be more than adequate most of the time.
Granite countertops do require occasional sealing to keep them in the very best possible condition. Opinion does tend to vary quite a great deal on just how often this needs to be done though.
Some stone care professionals recommend you do so once a year while others will say that every two to three years is more than adequate. The best way to decide for yourself if your granite kitchen countertops need sealing is to do a simple water test.
Sprinkle a few drops of water onto the surface. if the water does not begin to bead up, which it should, then that is usually a good indication that it is time to call in a stone care expert and have them seal your countertops for you. That may however be a little hard to do when viewing a home as a potential buyer, so it’s probably easier – and far more polite – to simply ask the seller if they have ever had the counters sealed.