Granite countertops are an excellent choice if you’re thinking about replacing your kitchen countertops. Granite is also a great materials for bathroom vanities, floors, and any other heavily used surface. Quarried from the mountains of Italy, the U.S., India, and dozens of other countries around the world, granite is one of the most popular natural stones on the market for countertops. It’s available in a variety of colors with several options sure to match your home.
While some synthetic surfaces scratch easily and melt under hot cookware, granite resists heat. Granite is also one of the most bacteria-resistant kitchen surfaces, and is not affected by citric acid, coffee, tea, alcohol, or wine. Granite is also nearly impossible to scratch, and with proper cleaning, will not stain under normal use. Sealants are available to further improve stain resistance.
A leading consumer magazine recently compared granite with engineered stone, ceramic tile, laminate, butcher block, and other manufactured surfaces. Granite received the highest overall performance rating as a kitchen countertop material. Because of its exceptional strength, granite is also well suited for exterior applications such as cladding, paving, and curbing.
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Granite Color Groups
Click on the pictures below to see our selection of granite grouped by color.
What is Sensa granite?
Granite Countertop Colors and Patterns
Properties of Granite
Granite Pros and Cons: Pros
Granite Pros and Cons: Cons
Granite Fabrication and Installation
What about sinks?
What about cooktops?
What about a backsplash?
Granite countertops edges and overhang
Care and Maintenance
Do’s and Dont’s of Granite
What is Sensa granite?
A: Each slab of SenSa granite is one-of-a-kind and carefully quarried by Cosentino using state-of-the-art equipment to provide the highest quality stone. Strength, durability and uniqueness make SenSa Granite the ideal choice for kitchen countertops as well as other surfaces in the home.
You will find that SenSa Granite offers an array of colors to match any decor or project. Every SenSa Granite slab has SenGuard technology applied in Cosentino’s modern fabrication facilities. This SenGuard protection allows Cosentino to offer an industry leading 15-year warranty against staining. It ensures that the natural beauty of your SenSa Granite countertop will remain intact for years to come. Back to the top.Granite Countertop Colors and Patterns
Granite is a primordial stone with naturally occurring variations in color and pattern. These variations which are completely natural and expected are referred to as “Movement”, and are the source of Granites natural beauty. In addition, the veining that occurs in granite can affect color persception, so make sure that you always come visit us to view your granite slabs before installing them in your kitchen or bathrooms. Sometimes two different grain sizes occurring in the same slab will appear to be of a different color. Mineral concentrations may cause patches that appear darker or lighter.
Every slab of granite varies somewhat within any given color and pattern, which is why every granite kitchen countertop will be unique. If you are unfamiliar with granite, a granite slab ordered may not be identical to a sample you are shown. While the samples are intended to represent the quarry’s product, each slab may differ slightly in color and veining. Indeed, even a single granite slab will have color variations from one end to the other. This lack of predictability gives the product its unique character and adds an element of nature into human-designed spaces.
For this reason, Capitol Granite recommends that you take the time to select the granite slab intended for your countertops. While granite color options are numerous, it’s usually best to choose a granite slab color we have stocked on site to save cost. If a slab has to be special-ordered, the freight would be prohibitive and the lead-time could be several weeks. In addition, the customer would have to agree to accept the color and markings sight unseen.
Additionally, please consult our granite countertop color gross reference chart to make sure that you are selecting the right color choice. Many colors go by additional names, so make sure you check the reference before counting out Capitol Granite. We have access to over 300 colors of granite.Back to the top.Properties of Granite
The different properties of granite, and what makes it a popular choice for kitchen countertops:
Hardness of Granite Countertops: With a density of around 2650 Kg/m3 and an average compressive strength of 180 N/mm2, granite is probably the hardest known building stone. No wonder then, that it is a preferred stone for a variety of applications such as kitchen countertops, bathroom countertops, bathroom vanities, flooring, roofing, tiling, buildings, and many other uses.
Durability of Granite Countertops: Granite is extremely resistant to both air and water. It has a near negligible rate of wear and tear which makes it extremely long-lasting. This is primary reason that homeowners choose granite for kitchen countertops and bathroom vanities.
Colors of Granite Countertops: Granite is an igneous rock that is available in a plethora of colors. This makes it suitable for a number of applications, some of which have been mentioned earlier. Capitol Granite has access to over 300 granite colors, and can fabricate them for a variety of purposes such as granite countertops, granite bathroom vanities, granite flooring, etc. Please contact Capitol Granite for more great granite surface ideas.
Availability of Granite: Granite is a rock that is found in almost all parts of the world. Therefore, it is easily and widely available and this makes it all the more popular. This popularity is why granite is one of the most widely used stones for kitchen countertops and bathroom vanities. Granite is also one of the most beautiful stones for kitchen countertops, bathroom vanities, and nearly anything you can imagine. Capitol Granite can help fabricate the kitchen and bathroom of your dream. Contact us or set up an appointment to learn more. Back to the top.
Pros of Granite Countertops:
The most common reason that people buy granite countertops is that granite countertops look awesome. Granite kitchen countertops are extremely elegant looking and will take your kitchen from average to extraordinary.
Granite is available in a variety of colors, patterns, grains and designs. Actually, the word ‘variety’ would be an understatement. With over 300 granite countertop designs available, one would have to say there is a wide variety available. This can help to make sure that your kitchen countertop or bathroom vanity is one of a kind, and guests will to your house will be in awe when they see your specialized granite countertops.
A granite countertop can have a polished finish or it can be left as it is to give it a more natural and unfinished look. An unfinished countertop is a good option if you prefer to have your kitchen nice and simple, whereas a polished one adds a bit of class and does enough, to give your kitchen design the modern and contemporary touch that it needs.
Durability is one of the biggest advantages of granite countertops. Once you have finished installing a granite countertop, you can just forget about it. Its longevity and low maintenance requirements make it a favorite among homemakers. You can clean a granite countertop with normal soap or by using a strong detergent too. Most granite countertops are resistant to chemicals so you shouldn’t have any problems in using a chemical based detergent. Just make sure to seal your granite countertops yearly to guarantee they stay in that pristine state.
With granite countertops, you will not have to worry about water or other liquid spills affecting your granite countertops because granite countertops are very resistant to liquid. However, you should make sure to clean up any spills and dry your granite countertops to guarantee that no damage is caused. The reason for this, is that any liquid that is left on a countertop including granite countertops can cause staining if left there long enough.
Granite countertops are heat resistant and can withstand high temperatures. At the same time, they are also resistant to a number of bacteria. This makes them an ideal surface for kitchen countertops, bathroom tops, and vanities. Back to the top.
Cons of Granite Countertops:
Probably, the only real complaint against granite countertops is that they a expensive, and depending on the types and style, can cost a pretty penny. However, the beauty of granite countertops far outweighs the price for most, and they feel it extremely beneficial to use granite when updating their countertops and bathroom vanities. This is because of the value that granite countertops and vanities can create for the homeowner. It has been shown that houses having granite countertops and vanities will sell for higher prices than similar houses without granite countertops.
Granite countertops require sealing from time to time. This is somewhat necessary to protect the countertop from absorbing liquids and developing stains.
As they say, “every advantage has a corresponding disadvantage”. The same holds true in case of granite countertops as well. Each slab of granite is totally unique i.e. there are no two slabs which are exactly the same in terms of color, pattern and grain. This seemingly great property has a disadvantage in the sense that, if you fall short of granite or if you need replacements for your granite countertops, there is little chance that you will get the exactly same pattern once again. Therefore, it is better that you purchase a surplus amount of the selected pattern at the time of buying itself. Back to the top.
The cost of fabricating your granite countertops is the greatest impact on the cost of you countertops. Generally, the more complex the shape of the project and particularly the shape of the finished edges, the higher the price will be. Fortunately, a single thickness plain polished edge makes an excellent appearance and most customers choose this standard. However, Capitol Granite can fabricate any edge that you desire with our state of the art fabrication tools. Usually, granite is polished to a high gloss finish. Capitol Granite does sell some already finished pieces, but slabs are always sold intact, unless you wish to buy from our remnants list. Please get a free estimate here if you wish to know what the cost may be for your custom granite countertops.
All ordinary cabinets with frames that are securely fastened to the wall will easily support granite countertops. The weight of an average person standing on the cabinet puts more strain on the cabinets than a granite countertop.
Granite counter tops are measured in much the same way as other solid surfaces. First, a template must be made to use as a pattern. For this reason, base cabinets must be permanently anchored in place before measurements can begin. They are to be installed only by the fabricator who will assume responsibility for a proper fit. Improper installation of kitchen countertops may void the manufacturer’s warranties and result in damage to your fine surface or other areas of your kitchen, such as cabinets, drawers, sinks, and fixtures. Capitol Granite fabricates and installs all of its countertops so you will never need to worry about this.
Because granite is usually sold in slabs no more than 10′ long, most countertops will require at least one seam. And since granite is sold in rectangular pieces, using seams may also reduce the costs, as in an ‘L’ shaped corner. Sometimes a seam can be placed at a sink bowl to make it less conspicuous.
Seams will always be visible in granite. Their visibility is affected by the granularity, color and pattern of the stone. Seams on a small, uniform grain or dark color will not be as noticeable as they will on a larger variegated grain or lighter color. A dramatic pattern with swaths of color will similarly highlight seams more than a uniform pattern. However, Capitol Granite does the best job at minimizing seams through the use of new fabrication tools and procedures to minimize seams. Back to the top.What about sinks?
A: There are two types of sinks used with granite countertops, referred to as drop-in and under mount. Sinks may be stainless steel, composite, or a number of other materials. When choosing a sink, it is vitally important to make certain that the sink will fit in the cabinet in which it is to be mounted. Keep in mind that the cabinet must always be wider than the sink, i.e. a 30″ sink will not fit in a 30″ cabinet. There must also be ample room available for the faucet of your choice and any other accessories you may select. Back to the top.What about cooktops?
If a cook top is to be mounted in the granite, be sure that there is room inside the cabinet to hold the top and any pop-up vents that will be installed with it. If the top is replacing an existing top, be aware of the differences in thickness of the two materials. Any upper cabinetry that currently rests on the existing top will probably not reach the granite, so adjustments will have to be made. Allowances must be made for the thickness of a back splash when measuring for the placement of these fixtures. If thicker granite is used, a wider space will be needed.
The sink and kitchen appliances built into the countertops like a cook top or drop-in range must be on the job site before a template can be made. Back to the top.What about a backsplash?
The back splash is usually made from the same granite used for the counters, but it can be ceramic tile, or some other product. It may be attached to the counter or to the wall, but in either case the seam between the counter and the back splash will be sealed with caulk. The standard height for a back splash is 4″ although they’re frequently made higher if the customer desires. A tall back splash is sometimes used behind the kitchen range or sink to protect the wall from grease splattering or other stains. This may be modified to suit personal taste, but it must be stipulated before the template is made.
Granite can be cantilevered up to 14″ if it’s a large piece with sufficient support on the fixed end. It should never be cantilevered where it might receive excessive stress, however, such as where someone may be tempted to sit on it or use it as a step stool to change a light bulb. In these cases, it must always be supported. It’s always best to assume the worst and add proper support on any extension over 6″. An unsupported span of no more than 36″ is usually acceptable as long as the stone is supported on both sides of the span. Back to the top.Granite countertops edges and overhang
Most counters are installed with a standard overhang of 1″ with a standard or custom edge. A special edge creates an additional installation challenge and usually results in extra cost. Please contact Capitol Granite or fill out the free estimate to find out the cost of custom edges.
Dishwashers should not be attached directly to the granite countertop, but be side-mounted to adjoining cabinets. Special brackets are available from the dishwasher manufacturer for this purpose. Drilling into the bottom of the stone can cause stress cracks and discoloration in the surface of the stone. Back to the top.Site Preperation
On new construction, the base cabinets must be permanently anchored in place before a template can be made. On a remodel project, existing tops may be removed prior to measurement. Any sinks, faucets, cook tops, or any other item that requires a cutout or a hole in the top must be on site and readily available at the time the template is made. Capitol Granite can make this easy for you because we offer turnkey service including tear-outs, plumbing reconnection, electrical & gas reconnection, and tile backsplash services. Back to the top.
Problems with Granite
Granite countertops may be the strongest and most durable countertop material available in the market today, however, they do have some drawbacks. Most people are not aware of the problems involved with this material and get them installed in their houses. Back to the top.Expense
Granite is the most expensive countertop material available today. Granite slabs have to be selected, matched, cut, polished, sealed and installed with little room for error. These granite countertops have to be sealed on a yearly basis to maintain their shine and luster. Neglecting sealing on a regular basis can cause the granite countertop to become cloudy and stained. Kitchen sinks have to be carefully purchased, because replacing the sink installed in-between the granite countertop will prove expensive, as it will require the removal of the entire granite slab. Back to the top.Acids
When acidic solutions are brought in contact with the granite countertop, the surface can become dull or even etched. Various acidic liquids are used as ingredients in daily cooking, such as vinegar, orange juice, lemon juice, wine, coffee, alcoholic beverages, soft drinks and several other liquids. These items are used commonly in cooking, and happen to be spilled on the countertop on a regular basis. However, such accidents can prove to be costly. The expensive granite you invested in, can lose its sparkle and shine. Make sure you clean up an spills as soon as possible to avoid any damage to your beautiful granite countertops Back to the top.Hot dishes
Though granite countertops can withstand tons of abuse, its surface can get chipped if steaming hot pots and pans are placed directly onto the granite. This is because the hard granite stones comprises some soft, thin strips of granite, which cannot absorb all the heat applied to its surface. Thus, one must be careful to place hot dishes on trivets and hot pads instead of directly on their granite countertops. Back to the top.Harsh chemicals
Harsh cleaning agents such as bleach, kitchen degreasers and glass cleaners can strip the granite surface of the sealer, and can permanently stain the surface. This is because these common household cleaning agents contain acids, alkalies and other chemicals, which can harm the granite countertops. One must be careful to only use mild soap and water to clean it. Even frequent use of soap can make the granite surface dull. Back to the top.
Granite is one of the most popular natural stones on the market for countertops and bathroom vanities. Whether you are remodeling your kitchen and need new granite countertops and granite backsplashes, or you are remodeling your bathroom and are looking to match your granite kitchen countertops with granite vanity tops, Capitol Granite can help you with all of your granite needs. We are located in Richmond VA and Williamburg VA and service all of the surrounding areas. We are a quality custom fabricator and have been name Fabricator of the Year by Stone World Magazine. Capitol Granite offers hundreds of granite colors, so you will be able to find the perfect color for your kitchen or bathroom counter top needs. Contact us or visit us, and let Capitol Granite design your dream kitchen today by providing you with the best granite countertops in Richmond VA, Williamburg VA, and Virginia Beach VA.
To give you a further understanding of the benefits of granite, we have listed some key facts about granite countertop below:
Granite is available in a striking array of colors. Capitol Granite carries over 300 different colors of granite for all your countertop needs.
Granite’s durability and longevity make it ideal for kitchen countertops and other heavily used surfaces, including table tops and floors.
While some synthetic surfaces scratch easily and melt under hot cookware, granite resists heat, and makes it an ideal surface for kitchen countertops.
Granite is also one of the most bacteria-resistant kitchen surfaces, and is not affected by citric acid, coffee, tea, alcohol, or wine. Granite is also nearly impossible to scratch, and with proper cleaning, will not stain under normal use (ask us about sealants available to further improve stain resistance). These properties only add to the reason that granite is one of the most popular surfaces for countertops and bathroom vanities.
Additionally, because of granites exceptional strength, it is well suited for exterior applications such as cladding, paving, and curbing. Back to the top.
Care and Maintenance
Granite is an excellent material for kitchen countertops. The heat and scratch resistance makes it the most long-lasting alternative, even if hot items are placed frequently over it. Below are some tips for how to clean and maintain your granite countertops.
Dust Mop Granite Regularly
Use an untreated dust-mop to clean the surface of a granite countertop. Even though you can vacuum clean the surface, it is not recommended as grains (if present) or any hard particles stuck in the machine can result in scratches. Instead, purchase a microfiber soft cloth to clean the granite surfaces. Know more on cleaning and caring for granite countertops.
Apply Stone Cleaners to Granite Countertops
Daily wiping of the granite countertop with water is sufficient to keep the surface clean. A mild soap can also be used for regular cleaning of a granite countertop. Or else, you can opt for a superior quality stone cleaner to wipe and clean your countertops. Nevertheless, do not forget to examine the ingredients and pH (preferably neutral pH) of the product prior to applying it over the granite countertops.
Cleaning with Hydrogen Peroxide
In the kitchen, occasional cleaning of granite countertops with hydrogen peroxide will help in removing accumulated oil and grease. Never indulge in applying harsh cleaning chemical products, as they can etch and pit the surface of a granite countertop.
Make Use of Coasters and Hot Pads with Granite Countertops
Using coasters is not a necessity for properly installed granite countertops. Unlike marble, the surface of granite does not etch with regular usage. However, to protect the surface and increase its longevity, you can make a habit of using coasters under glasses and cans. Also, do not forget to use hot pads while placing hot pans and utensils over the granite countertops. Know more on problems with granite countertops.
Clean Spills Immediately off Granite Countertops
In case of hot beverage spills or any other spillage such as fruit juices, sodas, tomato sauce, etc, make sure you blot them up as soon as possible. Otherwise, allowing them to dry stains the granite surface. You can use an absorbent paper or washcloth for blotting up the spills. Wiping the spills is not preferable, as it will spread them and result in large surface stains.
If possible, reseal the granite countertops once a year to get rid of permanent stains and dullness. No doubt, installing granite countertops is more expensive than other choices, but, the durability of granite countertops is incomparable to others. That is why many people have seen a well-maintained granite countertop lasts for more than 20 years. Follow the above mentioned granite countertop care guidelines and your countertops will gleam for a lifetime. Back to the top.
Do’s and Dont’s of Granite
The easiest way to keep your granite surfaces as amazing as the day you got them is to avoid bad habits that may damage them. Granite, marble, travertine, limestone, soapstone, quartz and solid surface are similar in many ways, but their differences require varying degrees of maintenance.
Please use the following Do’s and Dont’s to make sure that your granite countertops stay in pristine condition.
Do’s of Granite Countertops & Granite Surfaces
- Clean up spills immediately. Acidic substances like wine, coffee, fruit juices, tomato sauce and sodas will not etch granite like they do marble, but they could potentially stain the surface. Cooking oils may also leave a stain if not wiped up.
- Make sure that you clean your granite countertops & granite surfaces with a sponge or soft cloth. Using a specially formulated stone cleaner like Stone PLUS is recommended to keep your tops in the best condition and protect the sealer, but hot water will do for quick clean-ups. Dish soap won’t hurt your granite, but repeated or excessive use of soap will cause build-up and dull your countertop’s shine. These cleaners can also prematurely reduce the effectiveness of the sealer that prevents water and oil penetration.
- Make sure to use coasters when placing glasses, bottles and cans on your granite countertops. Again, granite won’t etch and using coasters on dense and/or properly sealed granite is not an absolute necessity like with marble, but using coasters is just a good practice to protect all surfaces.
- Always use trivets and hot pads when placing hot pots, pans and dinnerware on your granite counter tops. Yes, you can take a hot pot off the stove and put it right on granite, quartz or soapstone without any problems. Not true for all other surfaces. But you must consider other issues as well. Grit that gets trapped between the pot and the granite countertop may scratch the surface. Granite is very hard and can take tons of abuse without any damage, but it does contain some softer minerals that could be chipped or scratched. The likelihood is pretty slim, but it is possible. If it does happen, don’t fret too much. Most chips and scratches can be easily repaired, but it’s best to avoid them by following the granite counter top care tips. If you do scratch or chip your granite countertops, please contact Capitol Granite ASAP. Also, once you remove the hot pan from the countertop the surface will be very hot and may burn.
- Always use cutting boards when cutting on your granite countertops. Again, avoid the possibility of scratching the surface and protect your knives. Cutting on granite stone will dull and damage your knives’ edges quickly.
Don’ts of Granite Countertops & Granite Surfaces
- Don’t use generic cleaning products such as bleach, glass cleaners or degreasers. These products that you buy at your local store contain acids, alkalis and other chemicals that can etch marble and degrade the granite sealer leaving the stone more vulnerable to staining. Trying to save money by using these chemicals only ensures that you’ll spend a lot more time and money on you granite countertop care in the long-run.
- Don’t use vinegar, ammonia, lemon or orange based cleaners to clean your granite countertops because they are acid based and can damage your countertops.
- Don’t use bathroom, tub & tile or grout cleaners to clean your granite countertops. The powders and even the “soft” creams contain abrasives that will scratch and dull surfaces.
Don’t sit or stand on your granite countertops. Unlike laminate countertops, granite, marble and quartz countertops are very hard, but not flexible and they do not have plywood backing so too much weight in one spot could cause a crack, or even worse cause your overhang to break.
- Do not place toiletry products directly on your granite countertops and granite surfaces. Hair products, perfumes, colognes, nail products, creams, lotions and potions may stain granite or etch the polish (on marble) leaving a ring. Protect your granite countertops by placing these products on a decorative tray. Back to the top.