Granite Stars in Today's Kitchens
It's hard not to like granite. It's tough, it's beautiful and it's in kitchens everywhere.
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Larry Smith of Nelson Dye, remodeling specialists, says that yes, granite has grown in popularity, but it always has been used in homes.
"Heck, the cavemen probably had it on their countertops," he says with a laugh. "Granite used to be seen more as a high-end product for the wealthy. Today, we see granite used by more everyday people, people who live in tract homes as well as custom-built. It's gorgeous. Mother Nature knew what she was doing."
Trish Wilson agrees. When she and her husband, Bob, were selecting materials for the kitchen remodel of their 28-year-old tract home, they visited new tract-home models. "We found granite in some of them," she says. "We were trying to decide between Corian and granite. We wanted a solid surface. We chose the granite."
And, she says, they are not sorry. The granite countertops have been in for nine months. "We love them. Sometimes, we just stand back and look at them. Different colors shine depending on the light in the room. Best of all, when they are dirty, all I do is wipe them off. No scrubbing. No grout to clean. I have a wax the installer gave me. He said I could apply that once a year."
Information from the Building Stone Institute, a trade group that promotes building with stone, states that if you look closely at a piece of granite, you can see all of its crystals, depth and variation in color. If you view the same piece from a distance, you will see a homogeneous surface and a solid, even color.
Countertops in monochromatic shades of black, white and gray fit the latest high-tech and high-function kitchens, while warm earth tones are at home in traditional and country kitchens. Some of the granite colors exhibit "movement," or a patternlike wave of color.
This house's age -- more than 100 years -- complicated the remodel because the owners wanted a kitchen that looked...