3 Top Benefits of Granite Countertops | Charlotte NC

Okay so you are thinking of getting granite countertops, but you want to know — what are the real benefits of granite countertops? What makes getting granite countertops so great? Well, you are at the right place for your answers.

First off, what is granite?
Granite CharlotteGranite is an igneous rock formed from magma, that can be found in many different types of colors, ranging from dark granite to light granite colors. It is a very hard and tough rock that can be found all over the Earth, in many different countries and places. Granite comes from the Earth. It is mined from the ground all over the Earth at granite quarries. (Granite Quarry pictured left) After it is mined, one side is polished, the rock is sliced up into “granite slabs” — and we take those granite slabs and custom cut them to fit your countertops.

Benefits of Granite Countertops | Charlotte NC

1) Durable – Granite Countertops are one of the best types of countertops for any home. The abuse from children, heat or other elements found in the kitchen or bathroom will not be able to harm your granite countertops. Granite is a hard, durable surface that has already survived many of the elements on earth today. It is very hard to scratch granite and granite will not burn.

2) Uniqueness – Granite Countertops can easily update or freshen the look of any home. Each granite countertop slab is unlike the next. Although there are many granite slabs of the same granite color — slab color can still vary in pattern, lightness or darkness of color, or veining. Your granite countertops will be unique to your home, easily matching your decor and being the envy of your guests.

3) Affordable – With us, we are not just a granite countertop installer — we import, distribute, custom fabricate and install the granite countertops for your kitchen. This entire process cuts out any middle man or subcontractor, allowing us to give you the most discounts on your granite countertops. Granite Countertops used to cost many thousand dollars for just one simple kitchen remodel, but as the times have changed, the average granite countertops kitchen costs around or under $2000.

Still not convinced you need granite?
Here are even more benefits of granite countertops:

  • Granite countertops are very affordable.
  • Each and every granite stone is unique.
  • Granite counter tops are beautiful.
  • Comfortable in any decor.
  • It is impossible to duplicate the true beauty of granite.
  • The sunlight dances off the small crystals and changes the appearance of your stone throughout the day.
  • You will still admire the beauty of your natural stone five years down the road.
  • There are hundreds of color choices.
  • Many different patterns… veins, specks, and swirls.
  • There are many sink style options including farm sinks, vessel sinks, under mount sinks and drop in sinks.
  • A few different sink finishes available to compliment your granite countertops include ceramic, copper, stainless steel, granite, onyx, marble, sandstone, limestone….
  • Granite is colored all the way through.
  • This natural stone is readily available.
  • It’s easy to clean.
  • Granite is a sanitary countertop material. It does not harbor bacteria.
  • Granite can usually be repaired if it’s damaged.
  • It’s not a trend.
  • Kid Friendly.
  • It is strong.
  • Granite is hard to scratch.
  • You can cut on it.
  • It’s a hard stone to polish and finish. It’s even harder to wear off the polished finish.
  • Granite is durable,it will last your lifetime and more.
  • Hot items such as griddles, fryers, and toaster ovens won’t burn or leave char marks on your granite countertop.

    Contact us today for a free estimate!

Granite Countertops Lake Wylie SC

All Charlotte homeowners are saving more on their granite countertops with our new financing program, including all South Carolina areas like Lake Wylie and Fort Mill SC. Just recently, a new location of ours has opened up in the Lake Wylie area. This new location will help us serve our South Charlotte homeowners including our South Carolina border residents in the cities of Lake Wylie SC, Fort Mill SC, Lancaster SC and more!

Granite Countertops Lake Wylie SC

Granite Countertops are a great addition to any home. Some benefits of installing granite countertops are:

* Granite Countertops add value to your home INSTANTLY
– This is great for reselling your home. If you need to find a way to increase the value of your home to increase the sale price, adding granite in the bathrooms and kitchen is a very easy option. Granite is simple to install and some installations take only one day. Realtors of North and South Carolina alike will tell you that you most always get 100% or more back on your investment with granite countertops.

*Granite Countertops are easy to install!
– Granite Countertops can be installed in just one day usually. This includes removing your old countertops too.

*There are many choices with Granite Countertops
– Choose from a wide selection of granite colors. Depending on your budget, you can always find a color that fits your home or decor.

*Bragging Rights!
– After you have custom granite countertops installed in your home, you deserve all the bragging rights that come with it. People LOVE granite — its great for cooking and for showing off. Watch as your house guests feel the surface and “ooh!” and “aah!”

Want granite countertops? It doesn’t matter where you live in North or South Carolina, from Lake Wylie SC, Fort Mill SC, Lancaster SC, Columbia SC, Ridgeway SC to Concord NC, Charlotte NC, Greensboro NC, or even Gastonia NC — we can come to you!

704-721-0001 – 803-328-3737

Countertops Charlotte

Mainstream countertop options can be summed up into one of four popular countertop choices:

Laminate

Solid surface

Quartz (engineered stone)

Granite

Laminate Countertops

Laminate countertop, with such brand names as Formica, is the least expensive surface available and is usually done in one of two types: Preform and Custom. The perform countertops are prebuilt, usually in 8 ft lengths and are simply cut to size and installed. Custom laminate countertops are slightly more expensive as the wooden top is constructed and a laminate veneer is then applied. The cost is probably the best feature of this product. Entire laminate countertop kitchens can be done for several hundreds of dollars. The look of a laminate countertop is usually dull and basic, not to mention the visible seams that can be found. It is also not very durable. Laminate countertops cannot be cut on and no heat should be applied.

Solid Surface Countertops

The originator of solid surfaces is Dupont. They created the popular brand called Corian over 40 years ago which they patented. Nowadays there are many solid surface countertops available, some popular brand names are: Formica, DuPont, Staron Surfaces, Wilsonart, Avonite and Karran. This type of countertop costs more than laminate countertops. This is due to the way it is glued together. Solid Surfaces use color matching adhesive so it is easy to make the seams disappear.  The seam material is also the same has the surface material. The main features of a solid surface countertop are the seamless applications and the cost is less then granite and quartz countertop materials. The problem with this countertop material is that it is softer and scratches easily. You should also avoid contact with hot surfaces because it will melt.

 

Quartz (Engineered stone) Countertops

The most common brands for Quartz Countertops are: Zodiac, Silestone, Hansstone, and Cambria. Quartz Countertops have only available in the US for less than 10 years. It is one of the most durable countertop surfaces available. It looks and feels similar to Granite and it has over 100 colors available. (Granite countertops have thousands of color options). It is comprised of 93-97% ground up quartz and a balance of glue. The glue makes this material a more maintenance free countertop surface, just like solid surface material, as the colors are man-made and it is easier to get the seams to blend in. Quartz is more chip resistant and does not contain any fissures or cracks as a natural surface countertop.The upsides of quartz countertops are low maintenance and more consistent colors, while the downside is higher costs. Most entry level quartz countertop materials cost as much as upper level granite countertop colors.The other downside or upside (depending on your perspective) is the uniform color. This perhaps is the biggest difference between natural and “engineered surface” materials. If you want a very uniform countertop, then you may want engineered stone countertop. If you want a unique countertop, then let mother-nature take you there with granite countertops.

 

Granite Countertops

An average size kitchen for granite used to cost over $10,000 dollars, but came down in price due to high demand and is now a very cost effective surface for most homeowners. Since it is a natural material each countertop is unique. Ever granite slab has a different color and appearance. Even if you are looking at two granite slabs of the same granite type, the color or pattern in the slab may be different. It could bea different shade of the same color or one slab could have more veining then the other. We encourage our customer’s to pick the granite slab that we will be using to cut their countertop from. It is best to pick your slab because although a small color sample may give you an idea for the color of the granite, but since the granite is coming from a different slab than where the sample came from, there may be a difference in the actual color of your granite countertop. Granite slabs range in a material price from $8/sq ft to as high has $75/ft and therefore is a large range in the installed pricing of this surface. Granite is a very hard surface which will not be scratched by anything other than more granite or diamonds, but could have some issues with chips if it is hit with a hard surface such has a pot or pan. Some Granite’s, being a natural material, do have some hairline cracks called “fissures” and some surface pits are common in some stones too. Most granite should be sealed periodically as well to prevent staining. There are sealers now that are guaranteed for 15 years to “Lifetime” which may give you more peace of mind with your investment. Maintenance and chipping are probably the biggest downside and with natural materials making seams disappear is difficult. Granite has a relative cost and an exceptional natural beauty, which makes it one of the best choices for countertops, currently available.

Natural Stone | Engineered Stone

Are you a “natural stone person” or are you an “engineered stone person”?
Written By: Bob Faust

Granite Rock
Actual Photo of a Granite Boulder Rock

Many people have asked me the differences between natural and engineered stone. Both are great choices for your kitchen countertops as they are both hard durable surfaces that should give you a Lifetime of service. Compared to other options, such as Formica or laminate tops, which may only last has little has a couple of years. Even “solid surface ” tops do not last long. Solid Surface countertops are easy to hide the countertop seams, but will appear dull or plastic like and do not hold up to heat and or cutting (which last I checked happen quite often in a kitchen).

Quartz Countertop

Quartz Countertop

Between the  premium surfaces, (Granite or engineered stone and quartz), the costs can be a non issue as some engineered stones are both higher and in some cases lower then exotic granites. The maintenance aspect ,which is almost always highlighted by the engineered and quartz people, can easily be neutralized by the addition of “Lifetime sealer” application which makes both materials comparable.

The biggest difference between the materials is the cosmetic differences. While all engineered materials are uniform in appearance and are manufactured to engineered specifications, natural stones are almost always different. Even from the same block of  granite stone, you will have many different shades and patterns as well has colors.

So when selecting the crowning glory of your kitchen, decide first “What kind of person are you?” If you want uniformity and consistency then perhaps the engendered stone or quartz materials best suited for you. But if you embrace the diversity that only Mother Nature can provide, feel free to consider natural stone, such as granite, for your countertops.

Granite Counter tops vs Concrete Countertops

Recently I had a customer ask about the difference between using granite for her counter tops vs concrete counter tops.  After some research on my part, I found there are quite a few differences between granite countertops and concrete countertops, the biggest difference being cost.  The upkeep with concrete counter tops requires a lot of work as well.

 

Concrete countertops:

 

The biggest advantage I can find in using concrete is the wide variety of colors to choose from.

 

The concrete can be tinted to any color you choose to use in your countertop. There are a few textures to use as well.  After these two advantages, I could not find any other advantage over using concrete rather than granite.

 

Concrete is one of the most expensive types of countertops you can use. The average cost is $100 per sq. ft.  Compare that to the average granite installation at $45 to $55 per sq. ft., you can see the big difference.  The other biggest disadvantage is the up keep.  You must seal the concrete on a regular basis.  Depending upon your time spent in the kitchen, you may have to seal it every month.  This can get costly depending upon your sq. footage.  Concrete countertops are not usually a few days process.  After the template and molds are made, they must be poured and cured before being brought out to your home for installation.  As far as cleanliness, concrete is the middle of the road.

 

Granite countertops:

 

The number one reason for using granite is the look.

 

If you are selling your home, the fastest way to impress the buyer is with granite countertops.  Besides tile, granite is the oldest material used in building to date.  There are many different types of granite to choose from.  Most granite comes from Brazil, India, and Italy.  Other countries with granite quarries are Africa and China.

 

The cost of granite varies depending upon the rarity and supply and demand.  The average cost of granite installed is between $45 and $55 per sq. ft.  There are a few texture techniques available for granite.  Leathering, river rocked, honed, brushed, and of course, polished are a few of the finishes available with granite.

 

Another advantage of granite is that granite is virtually scratch resistant.  You can cut and prepare food right on the surface.  The only two things that scratch granite are granite and diamond.

 

Remember, if you ask for a piece of granite to use for a decorative piece, you must put some type of protective covering on the underside of it to protect your granite countertops. Granite is also heat resistant.  Hot plates and skillets could be placed right on the surface without damage.  Granite is the most durable and best looking source for your countertops.  The most important advantage, I think, in using granite is that no two slabs are exactly alike so, your granite countertop is a one of a kind countertop.

Granite Charlotte || How to sell your charlotte home

Next time you think of it, pick up a newspaper or magazine advertising homes. Take a look for a phrase you won’t find: ‘Synthetic Stone countertops’ or ‘Engineered Stone countertops’. Why not? You’ll certainly see the words Granite Countertop or Marble or Natural Stone. I wonder why?
Oh, that’s right. They add value to your most expensive investment.

I often get phone calls from people selling their homes; they want to do something to make their Charlotte home sell quickly! This market is difficult for anybody to sell and sell profitably. Are you in the right location is one of the questions to ask yourself. If you are lucky enough to answer yes to that question, than will granite countertops be the key to selling their Charlotte House?

Granite Countertops are “in” and people love to see that you have taken care of your Charlotte house by updating a kitchen or bathroom. To help you sell your Charlotte home quicker granite would be a perfect upgrade and it help to increase your asking price by as much as 10%.  Quick and easy upgrade, granite countertops can be installed in your existing Charlotte home in 1 day. The decision on color, edge treatment and sink configuration will be an easy choice with pictures of current jobs recently completed as well as taking a good look at the entire slab of granite to get your perfect piece of the earth.

If you want to put your hard earned money into giving your Charlotte home an edge over the competition on the housing market than kitchen and bathrooms are the places to get the biggest bag out your buck. And Granite Countertops will help you go that extra mile towards selling your Charlotte Home.

Granite Charlotte | Charlotte Homes

Charlotte Homes Need Granite!

Granite Countertops are becoming a must-have among Charlotte homes. Charlotte homeowners and builders alike are starting to see that Granite Countertops do not cost as much as it used to.

Charlotte HomesWhile your builder may have tried to charge you thousands for granite in your home — a typical Charlotte home owner can also purchase new countertops for one, low, whole sale price.

Charlotte homes are now typically being built with granite countertops and what is called a “gourmet kitchen”. Inside this gourmet kitchen, the charlotte home owner can enjoy a custom tile backsplash with 3CM granite counters.

If you have a charlotte home, now is the time to remodel!
Charlotte Homes Need Granite!

Just check out these photos of Charlotte homes!
Charlotte Homes

Charlotte Homes - Granite

Granite Countertop Bar Tops, Island Overhangs

Granite Countertop Corbel CharlotteIf you have a granite countertop installed that has an overhang, most likely you will need some type of reinforcement or support underneath it. This reinforcement will help support your countertop on your cabinet or bar area. A rule of thumb for overhang reinforcement is that a support is needed anytime when you have more than one-third (1/3) of the overall countertop space as an overhang.

There are many different types of supports that can be used, such as wall brackets (which stay hidden) , T-brackets, or corbels.

Many people choose corbals because corbels are designed to be more appealing to the eye and come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and colors. Corbals are a more decorative option rather than brackets that remain hidden beneath the countertop space.

Granite Countertop Installed on Island CabinetI recently had a customer that had installed a center island cabinet in their kitchen. When I measured for their countertop, they explained how much they wanted the countertop to extend over the cabinet.

I measured the length, and it turned out that the granite was going to overhang more than 21″ over the cabinet (more than 1/3 the overall countertop space). This was the first time I had encountered something like this, so I suggested the use of wall brackets. That was not right. When the granite installers came out, they could not install the wall brackets because there was no wall in the cabinet for the wall brackets to connect to! This is a very common mistake that is made with overhangs — some people do not even realise they need a support to be installed!

We supported their island with a temporary support before coming back out again to install a T-bracket support.
Granite Countertop Island - Concord, NCThis was definately a learning expirence for myself and my customers as we discovered why we needed to use a T-Bracket. Our T-Brackets are specifically designed to support longer overhangs. The T-Bracket is 24″ long and is mounted to the cabinet and countertop. Its strong material can carry the weight of the granite and support their island properly.

Here is a final photo of their granite countertop island in their kitchen — supported by a T-bracket:

Uba Tuba Granite Island Countertop - Concord, NC

When you have any kind of overhang, you always need to be sure there is a support underneath. Granite weighs about 18lbs per square foot. It is a very heavy material and if not properly supported, it can cause damage to your home, cabinets, floors, or to anyone near it.

Here are some additional photos of granite bar tops, overhangs, supports and corbels:

Granite Countertop Corbel

Granite Countertop Supports

Granite Bar Top & Tile

Granite Countertop Bar Steel Gray Granite

Granite Countertop Support

Granite Countertops Charlotte NC

How to Measure a Countertop | How to Figure Square Footage | Granite Square Footage

My daughter is a Junior in High School. One of her projects in Math class is to interview someone who job is impacted on a daily basis with Mathematical skills. Who better to interview but her own mother! The question might be raised did she take the easy way out or was she really interested? I thought I would give her the benefit of the doubt. It seems that because I have a small business that I use math every day, but one of the questions that I run across consistently is how do I figure out the square footage of my countertop?

I am in the granite countertop business in Charlotte, NC. Although math comes easy for me, I must say some kitchen configurations are more complicated than your basic length times width.

Measure Countertop Space
To start figuring out the square foot of a countertop take measurements of the total length of each piece of countertop you want granite on. This measurement should be along the back where the top meets the wall.

Make sure your measurements are in inches, (FYI 1 foot = 12 inches). Typically, I multiply the length by 25.5 inches since most cabinets are 24 inches and the granite will over hang the cabinet by 1.5 inches. Once you get that figure divide that by 144 to give you square feet of granite. Example total length (102 + 60 + 18) x 25.5 = 4590 /144 = 31.9 sq ft
If you want to include a back splash multiply the length along the wall by 4 inches. Divide that number by 144 and that should give you square feet of granite backsplash needed. Example Total length (108 + 126 + 25.5) x 4 = 1038 / 144 = 1.8 sq ft
If you have an island or a bar top you need to measure the length times the width in inches and divide that by 144. Example (78″ x 48″)/144 = 26 sq ft

Once you have all the square feet just add them up and you have the total square foot of the kitchen! It as easy as (length x width)/144! Example 31.9 + 1.8 + 26 = 59.7 total square feet of granite is needed for this kitchen!

granite countertop columbia sc
My math skills have improved as I use math every day. I can honestly say that I realize how important mental math is and how much I rely on my calculator. It is probably one of my most used tools.

Granite Countertop Prices

When choosing a granite company to buy from, this is why the best price might not always be the best value.
Written By: Bob Faust
Fireplace & Granite Distributors

There are many factors that go into creating a quote for granite countertop prices. Factors such as 1) Material cost 2) overhead 3) Labor cost 4) Specialty tools and equipment 5) advertising and service.

These should all be evaluated when you are considering the “Risk vs. Reward” scenario when choosing the right company for your granite needs.

Lets consider one of factors: Material Cost

All granite slabs are sold at different levels of quality or “grades”. Just as diamonds are graded from “commercial grade” all the way up to to “FL” (flawless), granite slabs prices vary the same way. Granite is available in commercial grade, fabricator grade, second choice, and first choice. The cost range of these materials are considerable.

A granite slab of Santa Cecilia commercial grade has a cost as little as $4.00 per sq ft whereas a similar slab of first quality material could easily cost $8-$10/ft. (NOTE: these are direct prices from the stone Quarries)

How is granite graded? What is the difference in granite slab grades?

Just some of the factors that go into this grading process are color, clarity, fissures or cracks, and pocked (pitted) slabs. Fully 80-90% of the granite fabricators locally to our area (Charlotte and surrounding) buy there materials from slab distributors. They then in turn add on their overhead and profit. After that, they then add wholesale these slabs to fabricators for $7-8 for commercial and as high has $12-14 for first quality slabs. Many Charlotte companies advertise first choice materials but sell lesser grades.

Granite Countertop Grades
(The photo above shows the same granite: 3CM Baltic Brown Granite  — The same granite but in different grades can appear different in color, have more granite fissures or cracks, and an overall difference in quality)

We, at Fireplace and Granite Distributors, buy directly from quarries overseas, thus insuring the best price and best quality materials.

This allows us to provide a premium quality material at wholesale prices or “Builder price levels”. (Passing all the savings and discounts onto you, the customer)

I am sure you can see why the best price may not always be the best value. If you pay a lesser price, you may very well get a lesser material. After all when the job is said and done and you are showing off your new tops to your friends and relatives, would you rather say “Look at my beautiful granite tops!” or “Look how little I paid for my granite tops!”

A low per sq ft granite price, a cheap granite countertop price still gets you a cheap granite countertop. Sometimes the lowest price will not offer you the best granite countertop and best overall value.