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Selecting Granite or Stone for Your Home
Choosing granite for your home is a very personal decision, much like selecting wallpaper or artwork. You have many options when it comes to beautiful, long-lasting natural stone or granite for your home. While there is a complete spectrum of stone colors and grades to consider, some are better suited than others for particular uses in and around your home. This guide can help you explore your options and offer guidance on choosing the best granite countertop for your home project.
Factors to Consider in Selecting Granite or Stone
Granite and Stone Colors
- Natural granite stones are available in a beautiful spectrum of colors.
- Colors in granite and marble can range from soft beiges and pinks to classic black-and-whites. They are also available in rich corals, greens, and multi-colors.
- Marble traditionally features swirls and “veins” of colors, while granite has a flecked or pebbled appearance.
- Unlike artificially manufactured stone materials, natural granite has a naturally varied appearance and has wonderful character.
- Granite stone creates a one-of-a-kind effect everywhere it’s used.
Granite and Stone Finishes
- Natural stone can be polished, honed, or flamed for a distinct appearance:
- A polished finish has a glossy surface that reflects light and emphasizes the color and marking of the stone. This finish is typically used on walls, furniture tops, and floor tiles.
- A honed finish is a satin-smooth surface with relatively little light reflection. It is generally preferred for floors, stair treads, thresholds, and other areas where heavy traffic will wear off a polished finish.
- A flamed finish is a rough-textured surface used frequently on granite floor tiles.
Granite and Stone Hardness
- The harder the stone, the more it resists abrasion.
- One measure of a natural stone’s strength it its Measurement of Hardness (MOH) rating, of which 1 is the softest and 10 is the hardest.
- On the MOH scale, most marbles rate “3” and quartz-based granites rate “7.”
- Using a softer stone requires the homeowner to use gentler cleansers and more frequent dusting to prevent scratching (see our page on Granite Maintenance).