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Granite is a natural stone and one of the most preferred materials for countertops. The stone looks stylish, sleek and very attractive. Besides, it has commendable strength and resistance against extreme temperature variations. This means that the countertop does not develop cracks if you place a steaming utensil on it. It does not undergo any damage if you place a bag of ice on it either.
Good quality granite is very strong and durable. However, not all granites are the same. There is a wide difference in their quality arising out of the process by which they are cut and polished into the finished product. For instance, a long crack could develop in a stone block when it is blasted out of the mountain. As a result, most of the slabs that are cut out of this damaged block of stone have cracks. Since extracting stone blocks from the mountain is an expensive process, quarry owners do not discard damaged blocks, but sell them at lower costs to factory owners who then use different techniques to camouflage defects. Moreover, granite slabs can also be damaged during transportation or storage.
So, while choosing granite for your countertop is a great idea, you could end up making a poor bargain if you don’t pay attention to the quality of stone. The problem here is that it is very difficult to identify defects in polished stone because manufacturers use several tricks such as application of epoxy adhesives to cover up cracks. For a layman, it is almost impossible to find out whether the stone is of the best quality, unless you know exactly what to look for. Read on below for certain parameters that will tell you that the stone could just be defective.
During the polishing process, cracks present in the stone are covered up. So, it is tough to identify cracks on the polished side. In order to identify cracks, the trick is to check the unpolished reverse side of the stone slab. If you look closely, you can make out cracks on the reverse side. This is one of the basic checks that you need to do when shopping for granite bench-tops.
Good quality granite has uniform colors and patterns. However, colors and patterns are not always even. This happens because of the uneven concentration of certain minerals in the stone. For example, the presence of excess quartz content shows in the form of white patches on the slab. Such stones are of poor quality because quartz makes the stone brittle and it breaks easily. These stones are therefore rejected by good quality slab manufacturers. Polishing process does not entirely cover up this fault. So, when you shop for granite bench-tops, study the surface in order to ensure that the color and patterns on it are even.
Uniformity in thickness
You can easily identify unevenness in the thickness of the slab. Study the side of the slab and look closely all along the edge to see if the thickness is uniform. You should not buy an uneven slab because the slimmer portions become the weak links in the slab and break easily.
Be a smart customer and make the right choice.