Granite, limestone and marble have been used in buildings for thousands of years. The Ancient Egyptians were on of the first to utalise stone in their construction of buildings and monuments.
Granite is an igneous rock formed as a result of volcanic acticity. Minerals trapped within the rock, mainly quartz, feldspar and mica, are what causes granite to glisten. Consistent granite has a uniform pattern running right the way through it whilst variagated has a labyrinth of colour veins in it's composition which means it hard to match seperate pieces of granite but does create a unique and aesthetic pleasing result.
For homebuyers, and homeowners who are replacing their existing kitchen, granite worktops are often high on their list of priorities. For some people the attraction of granite is that it's a natural product and no two pieces are exactly the same. It is quarried all over the world, cut using diamond tipped tools and then polished to a high lustre finish.
What should buyers of granite worktops be aware of?
Spend some time finding a quality solid surface provider or stonemason. The quality of granite worktops can vary significantly depending on the country of origin and the quarrying methods used. The depth, cut and colour of the stone, the extent to which pitting in the surface has been filled with material other than granite, how the granite has been fabricated and whether it's been sealed or not are all worth investigating.
There will be a difference in price depending on the properties of the granite used in the worktop, for instance some stones are harder than others therefore more expensive to cut and fabricate. There will also be a price differential between having your granite worktops templated, cut and fabricated from a slab verses using a company that buys precut granite blanks, often from India or China, and then cut them to fit on site. in the world of granite worktops the old saying "you get what you pay for" is a truism.
Granite is sold in different price bands. Granite worktop prices are regulated by supply and demand and a factor known as "commercial quality." A slab of granite will be priced according to its country of origin, it's veining,the thickness and density of the stone and it's rarity.
Granite worktops, like other solid surface worktops, are not cheap so it makes sense for prospective purchasers to undertake some reasearch just as you would when puchasing, say, a new car.