Grade Differences and Quality of Granite Counters

Many homeowners swear by their granite countertops. That’s not surprising, since granite makes a beautiful and long-lasting addition to any kitchen or bathroom. However, that doesn’t mean that all granite slabs are created equally. Learn about the differences in grading so you can make an informed choice for your home.

How to Grade

There is no set, industry-wide standard for grading granite. The grades are set in-house, so each time you stop at a supplier you could be looking at a somewhat different grading system. There are some commonalities, though, which can be quite helpful for assisting you with making the best selection. Granite is generally graded by how many soft minerals are present, as well as by its color and cut. Rarer colors are given a higher grade, and granite that has fewer soft minerals will also be given a higher rating.

The cost of the granite is not always a good indicator of its quality. Granite that’s imported or especially rare can be quite expensive, yet it might not be of the greatest quality. You’ll also need to keep the supplier in mind. High-end granite at a discount store may be roughly equal in its quality to low-end granite at a high-end retailer. Since grading varies from location to location, you can’t make blanket assumptions.

What Grades Mean

The biggest difference you’ll find in terms of durability is between low-end granite and high-end granite. The low-end slabs contain significantly more soft minerals, and that results in the material being more likely to chip, ding, or become discolored over time. Because high-end granite has few soft minerals, you can rely on it to be more resilient and stand up to wear and tear much better.

The other big difference is coloring. You’ll notice that low-end slabs have little variation in colors, and the coloring isn’t always particularly bright or clear. With mid-end granite, you’ll discover more vibrant coloring, but there’s still a limited amount of variety. High-end materials can be green or red, which tend to be both durable (containing few soft minerals) and rare. In Suwanee, quartz countertops and granite slabs can make for excellent selections. You should be quite pleased with the finished product.

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