Chicago Granite Counter Tops

by Jon Nunan

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When it comes to classic appeal, you can't go wrong with granite counters. Chicago residents looking to install new counters can rest assured that choosing granite will not only give a room a luxurious look, but a sense of authenticity and value, as well. Though there are many options out there with various appealing characteristics, Chicago granite counters are one of the finest for many reasons. If you've been thinking about replacing your existing counters, or are in the process of building a new house (or rebuilding an old one), there are some things you should know about granite as a material before you make your decision.

Reasons to Install Chicago Granite Counters
Opting to install granite counters is often a purely aesthetic choice. There are, however, many other reasons why this material is perfect for your Windy City home. They are extremely durable; while no material is impenetrable, granite holds up well when exposed to common kitchen conditions. It is difficult to stain or burn (this is especially true of darker, high-quality granite), and is virtually immune to knife work of any kind. Additionally, your granite counters can literally last a lifetime as long as you make good on the maintenance stipulated by the manufacturer.

In Chicago, granite counters are also popular for a reason that is just as practical as the ones above, but has little to do with the physical properties of the stone itself. Homeowners looking for home improvement projects that will increase resale value and make their property more marketable need look no further. When prospective buyers see quality material like granite counters, they are more likely to find your home desirable. If well maintained, granite counters actually increase in value over time!

Special Concerns for Chicago Granite Counters
Natural materials like granite and quartz are highly prized and can look good in almost any setting. There are, however, some considerations with natural stone that are simply not a factor with other materials. For example, while there should be little problem installing materials such as acrylic solid surface or laminate in just about any kitchen or bathroom in Chicago, granite counter tops are much heavier than these synthetic materials and might require structural reinforcement in older homes where this kind of weight was simply not anticipated by the builders. Also, natural stone is a porous product. Opting for the highest quality granite can reduce the degree of porous-ness your counter will have, but no natural stone will be completely impervious to pooled liquid on its own. You'll have to have your granite counters sealed periodically to prevent stains.

Another aspect of installing Chicago granite counters that is worth considering is the overall appearance of the setting it will be placed in. As granite and other natural stone are generally considered "luxury" materials, placing them in a kitchen or bathroom that is full of lower quality or outdated materials can actually detract from the look of the room. This is especially important if you are planning on selling the property in the future.

Prices of Chicago Granite Counters
Don't expect to find low prices when shopping for granite counters. Chicago residents are likely to pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $3,000 or $4,000 for slab granite counter installation (though we have seen prices go as low as $1,500 and as high as $9,000 in the Chicago area). When you compare this to the national average cost of laminate counters, which is less than $1,500, the difference is pretty significant. Repairs for granite counters in the metro area usually run a few hundred dollars.

Jon Nunan is a freelance writer who draws on his experience in construction, ranging from landscaping to log home building, for his articles on home improvement.