Today's consumer is offered a wide range of surfacing materials for use in countertop applications. Once in service, these countertop surfaces will be exposed to a variety of contaminative substances. The key safety issue to the consumer is the degree of cleanability of the surface material, that is, how easily any contaminants can be removed using normal and reasonable cleaning practices.
THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF USING A 2 CM VS. A 3 CM GRANITE
Previously, most installations of granite in the Northwest area of our country used stone of approximately 2cm (3/4”) thickness with laminated edgework detail of 4cm (1 ½”) installed over a plywood substrate to ensure strength and durability.
Over the past decade the popularity of stone countertops has increased significantly; as a result many new fabricators have entered the industry with the desire to lower expenses and increase revenues as much as possible. This has created the demand for fast production and installations, eliminating the lamination process by reducing the apparent thickness at the edgework detail to only 3cm (1 1/8”) by using a thicker and heavier 3cm (1 1/8”) stone. In many cases these fabricators are selling these installations without recommending a plywood substrate.
Graniteworx along with many other authorities in this industry do not recommend installations of 3 cm (1 1/8”) stone without substrates at least in the cook top, sink cutouts, and seam areas. Many custom fabricators, including Graniteworx, consider 2cm (3/4”) installations with proper substrates to be superior to 3cm (1 1/8”) installations that are unsupported by substrates for the following reasons:
Common Misbelieves About granite
1. Granite is absorbent. Granite qualifies as impervious to water and is actually less absorbent than some solid surface (plastic) products. Granite is commonly used as building material for high-rise buildings due to its ability to withstand gale force winds and rain.
2. Granite stains easily. Granite is resistant to stains. Generally, any liquid spilled on a granite top, if wiped up within a few minutes, will not stain. However, even water can soak into a granite countertop and leave a dark colored spot but this will evaporate in minutes. Liquids that do not evaporate such as oils will cause stains if left to soak into the stone.
3. Stains in granite are permanent. Most stains can be removed. Even oil stains can usually be removed using a poultice or paste that will draw out the oil from the stone.
4. Granite will lose its polish over the years. While this may be true of marble, granite will shine years from now just as if it was brand new. Granite is highly scratch resistant and will not show wear from daily use.