A new kitchen is a serious investment, and can greatly increase the value of your home. Granite worktops provide the ultimate finish to any new kitchen, turning the ordinary into something rather special.
Granite colour and patternation is affected by the environment in which the granite formed, and the mineralogy of its makeup. In simple terms this means that granite is available in thousands of different patterns and colours. Despite the huge selection of granite available, most UK customers tend to choose darker colours such as Absolute Black or Star Galaxy. It is worth pointing out that in the industry the word granite covers a variety of stones, some of which are not actual granites. If you require the actual classification of the stone you are purchasing ask your fabricator.
When deciding on a granite colour, firstly contact your fabricator and visit any showrooms to see the granite worktops in situ and ask how the colours you like perform as work surfaces. As a general rule of thumb, darker colours are usually more dense and strong, whereas lighter colours are weaker and can be more prone to breakage across weak points such as cut outs for cooker hobs and sinks.
Consider the design layout of your kitchen very carefully as granite is rarely produced in sizes over 3.2 metres. In fact, some colours are unstable over 2.6 metres and may require joins over longer runs.
At this point it's wise to consider your sink. An inset sink is a simple cut and is usually less expensive than an undermount sink cut. These special cut outs are best cut using a computerised cut system (CNC) which allows a perfectly beautifully polished finish to be produced. Usually five drainage grooves are etched into the granite, providing a very sleek and attractive look to the worktops. Some companies will try to cut an undermount by hand, but in our experience this is the incorrect way and is classed as a second rate cut due to the wobbly effect of the finish.
Ask your fabricator to give you samples of the granite which you can take home and do some experimenting on. Try scratching the surface with a butter knife, you should find that your granite is tougher than steel, and as such will not scratch.
Make sure your fabricator is contactable by a landline telephone and is not likely to disappear overnight. The last thing you want is a problem with your worktops that cannot be resolved because the company you are dealing with has gone out of business.
When ordering, it may be worth considering opting for a company who does not ask for deposits, which may leave you to part with your hard earned cash when you are satisfied.
To summarise, find the worktop which suits you, use a reputable supplier, see the worktops in situ, ask for samples, insist on a CNC cut for your undermount cut out and finally don't leave a deposit. If you follow these simple steps you should have beautiful granite worktops which give your kitchen that touch of class it deserves.