Granite countertops: tile, modular and slab
Granite countertops are popular because of their natural, distinctive beauty. Hundreds of colors and designs, from solids to whirls, are available. Top brands include Granite Certified by DuPont, Mystic Granite and Rembrandt Countertops. The stone is hard, durable and relatively heat resistant. Sealing--which should be done annually--can keep these surfaces lustrous, nonporous and stain free. These fashionable countertops can raise a home's value. However, if they are improperly installed or stressed, possible consequences include chips, cracks and pieces breaking off, which may not be easy to repair.
If you are considering this material for countertops, it's important to research the cost. Granite tiles run from $4 to $15 per square foot--for the tiles only. With modular granite, a manufacturer cuts and ships you large squares that fit your existing counters. The cost is about $25-plus per square foot installed. Slab granite, available in large pieces and, therefore, seamless, is roughly $60-plus per square foot installed.