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 says a granite countertop with a lot of movement can well be the focal point, the showstopper, of a kitchen. "A countertop can be sedate if a pattern is more uniform. I think the Type A personality will pick the screamers."
The Building Stone Institute says granite is a worry-free surface that requires few special precautions. Most granite is impervious to scratches, staining and heat blistering or cracking. Hot pots and pans won't damage it. Warm water and a soft cloth can be used to clean up spills, and a semiannual application of a nonyellowing paste wax will preserve the original brightness and luster.
"Granite, while maybe not as classic as marble, is more durable," says the senior Casaccia. He says polish seals granite about 99 percent. "We also apply a chemical sealer to make sure all the pores are closed," he says. There are various finishes, including highly polished; honed, which is smooth but not highly polished; and flamed, which is a dull finish most widely used outdoors.
He buys slabs of granite, which generally are 4 by 8 feet, polished on one side and 2 inches thick, from South Dakota, China, India, Sri Lanka, Canada, Norway and Brazil. He also buys from a local dealer.