Kitchen with Granite Countertop

5 Things to Know When Choosing a Granite Kitchen Countertop

Updating your kitchen fixtures, appliances and countertops is exciting and fun, but it can also be confusing and stressful.

It can be easy to become overwhelmed with all of the excellent options to choose from, and that’s especially true when it comes to countertops.

There are so many quality materials, colours and finishes to choose from, and at all different price points and with different features to consider.

If you’re looking for a great overall kitchen countertop option in terms of beauty, quality, cost and durability, then look no further than granite.

But why choose granite over all other countertop materials?

Read on and we’ll let you in on 5 things you should know before upgrading your kitchen with granite countertops, and discover all of the pros of this luxury material for yourself.

Durability

Due to their natural stone composition, granite countertops are inherently durable, you could even say solid as a rock!

Compared to most other natural stone surfaces, granite is highly resistant to scratching and etching.

In fact, granite is so tough that you’ll want to be sure to resist cutting directly on counter surfaces to avoid dulling your knives.

This is especially important because bacteria and other yucky stuff can easily hide in unseen scratches.

The corners of granite slabs can be easily chipped, however, so consider rounding the edges of your granite countertops to help avoid this problem.

Darker granite countertops are also resistant to staining from juices, coffee and wine, though as with all surfaces, you’ll want to clean up spills right away.

Granite is also chemical resistant, but leaving acids or detergents on the surface could wear away the protective sealant over time, so be sure to wipe them up right away.

Granite, like most natural stone, is also heat-resistant, making this a perfect option for absent-minded cooks.

If you often find yourself forgetting to use a trivet or pot holder for hot pots and pans, then granite counters are the perfect option for you.

One of the other things to consider about granite countertops before you install them, is that they do require a certain amount of care.

Since natural stone surfaces are porous, they need to be sealed regularly to prevent damage and to preserve the overall look.

Some granite counters will come pre-sealed, which could last for as much as 10 years.

Even high-quality factory sealing won’t last the lifetime of your slab, though.

You may even have to regularly re-seal your granite surfaces, every six months to a year, either professionally or with an at-home kit.

Beauty

There’s no denying the beauty of granite countertops.

The range of colours and patterns available in granite isn’t as dramatic and bold as some other natural stone finishes like marble or engineered stone (quartz), and that can be disappointing if you’re looking for something flashy.

However, if you’re looking for a classic, natural beauty with clean lines to compliment your decor, then granite is an excellent choice for you.

Some exotic colour ways and patterns are available in granite slabs, but in general you’ll find about 20 available neutral tones to choose from like gray, beige and black motifs.

All in all, homeowners and interior designers find themselves reaching for granite countertops again and again simply because the grains in the natural stone perfectly compliment high-quality wooden cabinets.

Sleek Modern White Kitchen

Quality

Granite is considered to be one of the higher-end countertop options that homeowners can use to update their kitchens, and for good reason.

The graining and natural patterns found in granite can be mimicked, but not perfectly duplicated for a look that’s unique.

In fact, every slab will have a unique pattern of its own to help you create a look that’s truly custom.

Its high-end look paired with durability make granite a true home decor powerhouse material.

Looking to sell your home in the near future?

You’ll see an excellent return on investment when you upgrade your kitchen with granite as well. Home buyers are always on the lookout for high-quality features in kitchens, and granite countertops always impress.

Even if you don’t plan to sell for 5, 10 or even 15 years, with proper care, your granite countertops will look just as good when you are ready to sell your home some day for one less thing to worry about when it’s time to put your home on the market.

In a competitive home seller’s market, a home with high-end fixtures and finishes always sells faster and for more than outdated homes with inferior materials, so upgrading your home with quality pieces is always a smart choice.

Cost

When it comes granite countertop cost expectations, there are a few factors to consider when figuring out the price range.

For starters, the material grade will determine how expensive your granite slab will be, with finer grades being the most expensive.

The more exotic the material, the more expensive your overall project can expect to be.

The skill level of your installer will also determine the final cost, as well as the complexity of the job.

This is also an area where you won’t want to cut corners, as installing a heavy granite slab countertop on your own is practically impossible, and using an inexperienced contractor could leave you with bangs, chips or even a broken slab.

Marble.com says that in all, you can expect to pay around $30-$50 per square foot, or in the $3000-$4000 range for a new granite kitchen countertop.

Sustainability

If you’re looking for a way to spruce up your decor without harming the environment, granite is your go-to material.

Granite is considered to be an eco-friendly material since it doesn’t emit harmful gases or contain chemicals as it’s a natural stone that comes right out of the earth.

Plus, production and quarrying practices are more responsible than ever, making this a renewable resource that you’ll feel good about having in your home.

And since granite countertops are so durable, you’ll probably never need to replace your countertop again, meaning less landfill and overall waste.

Many Hands Reaching Out to Young Woman

Loving an Addict or Alcoholic: How to Help Them & Yourself

Addiction is a vicious disease, and it often strikes the most sensitive of souls.

It forces people to relinquish their autonomy, it occupies their every thought, and dictates their every action.

To make matters worse, it’s rarely an isolated problem, and mostly stems from much deeper psychological, physical, and spiritual issues one cannot cope with without resorting to some form of self-destructive behavior that leads to long-term addiction.

However, as someone who loves an addict, you cannot be judgmental or dismissive of the person’s health crisis.

On the contrary, you need to make sure that they find their way back to self-care and self-love through your own kindness and care.

However, the journey of helping a loved one recover from addiction and hopefully never fall back down the same self-destructive path is a complex one and it requires patience and love.

When you decide to stay alongside the person you love struggling with addiction or alcoholism, both of which are two faces of the same wicked coin, you need to stay true to your decision.

Here are a few pieces of advice that can help you on this journey towards sobriety.

Recognise Symptoms of Addiction

When someone you love becomes addicted to any substance, by the time they even recognise the problem, they will hardly be inclined to just walk up to you and admit to having such a deep-rooted health problem.

Addicts and alcoholics often try to justify their behavior and they often live in denial for as long as their condition will allow it.

That is why the very first act of sobering needs to come from you, and a genuine conversation you will have with them when the time is right, before they do any permanent damage to themselves.

If you are not sure whether someone you love is truly suffering from addiction, here are a few signs to look out for:

  • Frequent lack of energy, exhaustion, and lethargy
  • Cognitive and memory troubles in everyday situations
  • Intoxication happens more frequently
  • Stealing and asking for money more often
  • Lack of emotional control, emotional outbursts
  • Lack of ordinary self-care habits and poor hygiene

Couple Holding Hands Bicycling at Sunset

Seek Professional Help

Sometimes it’s difficult to reconcile with the fact that addiction is a very common problem.

And yet, close to 50% of the American population has a loved one addicted to drugs.

The same study showed that over 15 million people suffered from alcohol addiction alone, not to mention the youth dealing with opioid substance abuse.

The severity of the issue shows that we are not equipped to tackle such a health problem at home, on our own, with conversation and emotional support alone.

In response to such a crisis, rehab centres have created diverse programs to provide inpatient and outpatient support to all forms of addiction-based issues.

From medical assistance all the way to behavioural counselling, your loved one truly needs all-around support and guidance, and an intensive drug abuse treatment program to rehabilitate properly and prevent relapsing.

So, as soon as the problem is identified and you manage to address the issue in a conversation, take your time to find a reputable institution with a perfect program for your loved one.

Find a Local Support Group

Just like when you’re battling any other long-lasting disease, handling addiction requires a future-oriented mindset.

Since your loved one is perhaps still not ready to think ahead and they need to handle their condition one step at a time, you should look for local support groups devoted to helping people cope with their specific condition.

The goal of a support group is so much more than to provide weekly meetings and a safe place for addicts to share their experiences, fears, emotions, and all of the burden of addiction.

They also exist to provide a more optimistic outlook on their future, as they’ll be able to meet people who have found life outside of addiction and managed to stay sober for years on end.

This gives them hope and strength to fight through all of their temptations.

Man Sat on Jetty Overlooking Mountain Lake

Support Their Healthy Life Changes

Addiction is typically followed by a slew of other self-destructive behaviours, such as irregular sleeping patterns, poor nutrition, erratic behaviour, and as mentioned earlier, poor hygiene.

As soon as you find the right professional program for helping addicts and you manage to help your loved one admit to having an issue, you can also help them build and stay true to a different lifestyle, one based on health.

In order to heal, they need to provide their mind and their body with self-care practices that nurture and cherish their wellbeing, their body as well as their mind.

They can take up a physical activity such as jogging or a yoga class, start meditating, and meal-planning to ensure proper nutrition.

Your role shouldn’t be one of “policing” their behavior, but one of support and guidance, and you can be a “health buddy”, just like you would be a training partner to someone just starting out at the gym.

Finally, addiction is a lifelong battle, and if you notice someone you love is having such a problem, first make sure you are prepared to be there for them every step of the way.

And take care of yourself during the process, as addiction takes an emotional toll on everyone involved, and you need to protect your own wellbeing in order to be able to help an addict recover.