What You Need To Know Before Putting Granite Counters In Your Kitchen

Granite counters are a common choice for kitchen remodels these days. They're available in pretty much any neutral rock tone you want, and some have more veining than others, meaning you can get quite specific when it comes to your preferred design. And while they look beautiful once fitted, there are a few things to know before taking the plunge and installing them in your kitchen.

In its simplest form, granite is a porous rock. It goes through a lengthy process before arriving as your countertop, so it needs to be properly installed, sealed and maintained to keep it in its best condition. The most important thing to know is that these counters aren't a "one and done" process; you'll need to reseal them regularly to keep them pristine. Along with that, you should be aware of the cost and the work it takes to install them if you want to attempt to do it yourself.

Granite countertops require regular maintenance

Granite is a popular choice for kitchen counters because it is literally rock hard — meaning it can handle everything that comes with humans using a kitchen: spills, hot plates, and heavy use. But granite is also porous, so it has teeny, tiny holes hardly visible to the naked eye but that allow liquid or air to pass through the rock. If you install granite, it has to be sealed to prevent moisture from getting in and causing damage. If that moisture gets in, it will stain the granite in that area.

Once those countertops are sealed during the initial installation, they need to be resealed at least every 18 months, but preferably every year. To seal them, you'll first thoroughly clean the counters before coating them in a store-bought granite sealant and then allowing them to dry and wiping them down.

Granite's color impacts how frequently it should be resealed: Lighter granite can be more porous and might need to be sealed sooner than brown or black granite. You can reseal the granite yourself, but if you're unsure how it's best to call a professional. Expect to pay a couple hundred dollars for the job.

Granite cost, installation, and other things to consider

Besides resealing the granite, there are other things to know before committing to new counters; the biggest one is cost. There is no one-size-fits-all cost: Prices are ever-changing, and factors like stone thickness, stone quality, and countertop square footage make it difficult to predict. But if you're working with a relatively small space and want an average thickness and quality, you can expect to pay close to $2,000. A larger project could run well into the $6,000 range, but possibly more depending on those aforementioned factors.

If you're trying to save money, you can install your own countertops, but of all the things to DIY in your kitchen, this probably isn't one of them. Granite is extremely heavy and can be difficult to maneuver. Plus, you have to make sure the stone has been properly sealed, the measurements are accurate, and you properly connect the slab to the counter.

Finally, color does matter. If you have a small kitchen, go with a lighter granite. Light colors make small kitchen spaces appear bigger, so a dark countertop might close in the space. Consider how messy you are, too. A light countertop with little veining will show every crumb, whereas a darker countertop with speckles or veining will hide any mess with ease.