Crazy for Granite

Granite island and perimeter surfaces

Granite island and perimeter surfaces

Frequent questions:
Q: How do I select the type of stone or granite that’s best for my kitchen?
A: Each and every natural stone has very unique characteristics. Maintaining your choice of granite could be the key. If you have a busy house with many people using the kitchen, I would steer you away from really dark stone. Every smudge, waterspot and crumb will show up on a dark surface and constant maintenance would need to happen. There are also gorgeous granite slabs that simply have more natural fissures, and that could also be an issue for certain applications.

Q: Why are some granites much more expensive than others?
A: Prices of granite are based on its’ availability. If it is a rare color, the price is always higher. More common granites have actually come down in cost.

Q: Are more expensive granites better?
A: The price of granite depends on the capacity of the quarry and the quarry’s production volume. So the higher the production, the less expensive the cost.

Q: Will I see seams?
A: Yes, unless you have an island that is one level, less than 9.5 ft. long and less than 3 ft. deep. The common standard in the natural stone industry is a seam width of 1/16 inch.

Q: Can I cut on my granite countertop?
A: My personal opinion is that you should always use a cutting board, although the industry rates the hardness of granite between 6-9 (10 being the hardest) and therefore is very resistant to scratching. A kitchen knife ranks at 5.5 and so I always tell homeowners the knife will get dull really quickly if they cut directly  on the granite top.

Q: Will granite stain?
A: Most granites are resin treated at the quarry. When hiring a fabricator for your granite, make sure they include sealing the granite. I’ve rarely seen a stone that stains …. if it does, it can be removed. You can always check with a qualified stone fabricator for more information.

Enjoy your granite tops …. it’s a great investment, and you’ll enjoy the beauty excellent function of natural stone. By all means, include natural stone in your kitchen remodel.


Before & After photos

The anticipation of a completed kitchen remodel in time for the holidays was high on the list for one Ohio couple this year. When visiting their home to take these photos, two things they said stood out.

AFTER the remodel

Basically, they complemented their kitchen designer, Sarah Simpson at Studio 76 Kitchens and Baths for her creativity AND patience in helping them through the planning process, and sticking with them through the installation. This is the most time-consuming part of any kitchen remodel project, but a good kitchen designer can really save a homeowner lots of “headaches”!!

BEFORE the remodel

The second topic we talked about was the quality of workmanship. No matter how gorgeous the new cabinetry, granite or floors, the tradesmen are in your home and leave the last impression.

Here are a few things that happened for this marvelous makeover:

  • A re-design of the floorplan that eliminated a peninsula to make room for a two-level island. This kitchen is open to the family room and Sarah included places to sit and gather around her island design. The two levels made it convenient to “hide” the kitchen sink from the adjoining open room and also the cooking area.
  • A major change in the products and materials , including warmly stained cabinets and natural granite counters. Hickory pre-finished hardwood flooring ties in the look of a traditional kitchen. The line of cabinetry is from Custom Cupboards, made in Wichita, Kansas.( The stone was purchased from Mont Granite ( and fabricated by Bradley Stone Industries.(
  • New appliances were minimized in this design and included a refrigerator with custom cabinet door panels, an over-the-range vented microwave and gas range in updated stainless steel. The dishwasher also includes a cabinet panel for a continuous look.

I will write a separate blog on the storage improvements in this kitchen re-do.

I wish I was going to Thanksgiving dinner at this house and kitchen this year… don’t tell my family!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!