The popularity of granite kitchen countertops has increased dramatically in recent years, with the media focus on kitchen remodeling and personal incomes rising. Originally the choice for granite countertops was limited to wealthy individuals. Today, homeowners of moderate means choose granite countertops for their durability as well as beauty. In addition to their utility and longevity, granite kitchen countertops are one of the few home improvements that maintain their value. Typically, any appliances, flooring or cabinetry decisions will only add about twenty-five percent of their retail value to the appraisal value of a home. In addition to long term value, the beauty and warmth of granite makes it an ideal material for aesthetic appeal among homeowners and interior designers.
The natural beauty of a granite kitchen countertop complements any style of cabinetry, from French country to the sleek lines of cosmopolitan styles. This ancient stone adds warmth and character to any kitchen, whether it's a new build or a remodel. Granite is found worldwide, and is available in hundreds of colors. Brown and beige tones are the most popular, as they work well with a variety of kitchen color schemes and offer a great deal of flexibility. Some granite colors exhibit "movement," or a noticeable design within the color, while others have very small patterns. The combination of color and movement means that no two countertops look exactly alike.
Opinions regarding the color that is best for a kitchen will vary. Dark cabinets can be warmed up with a light colored stone, while light colored cabinets can be anchored with a dark stone. When choosing the granite that will be added to a kitchen décor, it is best not to make selections from “chips” that the decorator or major retailer has on hand. There is too much variation in the color and movement in each slab to be captured in a single chip. Rather, it is better to go to the stone supplier and look at each slab. The slab needs to be reserved at the time of decision, or it may not be available at a later time. Granite countertops are a favorite choice for their beauty and durability; however they are not impervious to damage. Regular care includes proper cleaning and the use of sealers to prevent staining. Granite can also easily be chipped, although a professional can perform “invisible” repairs.
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