Tips & Advice
Types of granite
The most common form of granite for countertops is slab granite. Other types are modular granite (pre-cut) and tiled granite. As far as colors and veining combinations, there are thousands of types of granite, but they are divided into broad color categories, including white, black, pink, red, green and gold. Other specific compositions of granite are given names because they’re very common--for example, Baltic Brown, Venetian Gold and Uba Tuba (from Brazil).
Are granite countertops heat resistant?
Yes, granite countertops are generally very heat resistant, although the sealant top layer of the countertop may not be.
How long does it take to install granite countertops?
Although the physical work of installing granite countertops can be completed in 4-6 hours, the entire installation process, including choosing the stone, measuring the surface areas and fabrication, usually takes 8-10 days. If you are given a time of more than 4 weeks, it probably means that fabricator has a backlog of jobs.
How much do granite countertops cost?
The cost of granite countertops varies widely, with pricing variables including how thick the slab is, the color and pattern (veining) of granite and how rare it is, and the complexity of the installation. Per square foot, including installation, granite countertops can cost anywhere from $50-$200.
Are granite countertops safe?
There is no consensus as to whether granite countertops are entirely safe. Many scientists have found that certain types of countertop granite emit a small level of radon gas, which some people find a cause for alarm because radon in high levels causes cancer. However, many other natural materials, including soil, emit more radon than the types of granite typically used in homes. That said, a few types of granite have been found to emit unsafe amounts of radon, so if you’re concerned, it’s best to make sure the granite that may be in your home has been tested and shows no to low levels of radon.
Cork flooring is manufactured from the bark of trees (usually oak), and usually made in squares that can be glued to the ground, or left unglued. Cost-wise it averages about $5 a square foot and is generally pretty inexpensive to install. Cork is naturally water resistant, but to ensure total water resistance, cork floors should be finished and sealed to prevent leaking into cracks, as well as scuffing or wear and tear. It’s not going to be as nice or stylish as hardwoods or tile, but is great in outdoor areas and work spaces. It is comfortable to walk on and a great sound insulator.
As you might suspect, bamboo flooring is made from actual bamboo and is usually manufactured in bamboo plants. It is ecologically friendly and very water resistant. It is also considered one of the sturdiest types of ‘wood’ flooring (even though it’s really a grass). In fact, on the Janka scale (an industry standard system that ranks the hardness of different woods), it is ranked in the top three strongest available wood floorings). Its price point is near wood flooring at roughly $3-$10 a square foot. While generally easy to maintain, bamboo can be susceptible to scratching or scuffing, which can be a problem in high traffic areas. Although it is very water resistant, it is not 100 percent, and humidity can affect it so it’s not ideal for bathrooms or humid environments. Overall bamboo is a viable option for flooring in most areas of the house and is affordable and durable.
Where you live and the type of room you are covering, not to mention your budget and aesthetic preferences, are all factors in finding the right flooring to fit your needs. Vinyl, vinyl plank, laminate, hardwood, bamboo, tile (ceramic and porcelain), stone, marble, cork, and carpeting are the most popular types of flooring available. There are more than a dozen options just for wood alone. If you want a pure industrial look you can always go with straight cement floors.
What is the best type of flooring for a kitchen?
When considering kitchen flooring, think durability and water resistance first, and style second. Quality vinyl (don’t go cheap, get a quality product – there are differences between brands) is durable, fashionable, and completely water resistant--making it a top choice. Wood is visually appealing, but not 100 percent water resistant. Tile (porcelain tile, not ceramic) is a great choice for style and durability and is completely water resistant. Laminate is a great option - especially on a budget (ceramic tiles and wood are cost more). It is durable and easy to clean, but not 100% water resistant. As with all man-made products, be sure to skip the low quality products and shoot for at least a mid-range product.
What is the cheapest type of flooring?
The most inexpensive flooring options are going to be laminate, vinyl plank, and bamboo flooring. Each of these options will give you durability and variety, and can even be found for less than $2 a square foot if you shop around.