Types of Granite Counters
There are three main types of granite that can be used for kitchen countertops: tile, modular, and slab.
At less than half the cost of slab and modular granite, tile is a very cost-effective way to introduce stone countertops to your kitchen. Tiles come in many sizes – including 12″ x 12″, 18″ x 18″, and 24″ x 24″ – and are typically 3/8″ thick. Although they offer the same aesthetic and performance qualities that solid granite does, granite tile counters do have one drawback: seams. Countertops are typically made to limit seams (or grout lines, in the case of tile), which can harbor bacteria and mold. The use of epoxy in grouting hinders the growth of harmful organisms, but you’ll still need to take care to clean and maintain grout.
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As their name implies, modular granite countertops are installed in modules, or pieces. Prior to installation, manufacturers take measurements of your kitchen and pass them along to a stone shop which then custom cuts granite pieces to form the new countertops and backsplashes. While this type of countertop is made from real granite (albeit not a solid slab) it does, like granite tile, have seams.
A granite slab – consisting of a single, solid piece of stone – is THE premier choice for kitchen countertops. To create a seamless counter surface, kitchen sink holes and corners are factory-cut. Backsplashes are caulked in order to ensure that water, mold, mildew, and food particles don’t gain a foothold.