If you’ve decided to update the floors/countertops in your home with granite, chances are you’ve already learned about color options, movement, and durability. But how can you tell if you are getting good quality granite? After all, you’re making a big investment in your home, and you want to make sure you’re getting exactly what you expect. As you begin your selection process, be sure to ask these questions and pay attention to detail.

  1. If buying granite for countertops, look for slabs that are a minimum of 10 feet or more in length, as this is one of the key indicators of a quality piece of granite. These will cost more, but they really are the best.
  2. Will granite cut with water or kerosene? While either is acceptable, the highest quality option is granite that will be water cut, as it is better for granite and does not detract from the stone’s stability or strength. If the granite has been cut with kerosene, then latent ferrous and ferrous mineral particles are activated and will eventually cause discoloration and pitting of the polished surface. Kerosene cut granite also begins to show dull spots within 6 to 18 months, giving the granite a dull appearance. Lastly, kerosene cut granite should not be used in homes with radiant heating, as the kerosene will evaporate from the stone, bringing unpleasant odors and health hazards.
  3. Can the seller use granite slabs from the same block for only one job? This will add to the overall look of the finished project. If more than 1 slab will be used, then the material should be a near perfect match in tone and color (an exact match is rare due to the natural coloring and movement of granite).
  4. The finished product should have a mirror-like appearance (ask to see the finished parts in the showroom to know what to expect from the installer/fabricator) as well as a consistent high gloss.
  5. Your granite countertops, once installed, should have seams that are as smooth and nearly invisible as possible. Again, you’ll want to look at showroom samples for this. Check that the edges are slightly beveled and well polished at the top edge of the joints or seams. Edges that are simply cut will have a lighter appearance than those that have been beveled and polished.
  6. Look at the showroom samples and note the edges. Good quality granite countertops will have smooth edges without the wavy, wavy look that occurs when a fabricator uses manual equipment instead of an automatic edging tool.
  7. Do the colors and grains “match”? Although there is unlikely to be an exact match, when the surface finish is applied there should be consistency in the granite, even if seams and multiple pieces of granite are used for the project. Additionally, granite slabs must fit precisely for the countertops to flow smoothly, adding to the overall elegance and appearance of the stone.

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