Choosing the right granite for your worktops is often not an easy task!
Here are some valuable words of wisdom from our Director, Molly Fisher.
Molly, why is it imperative to see whole granite slabs before choosing your worktop material?
I always tell people even if you see a granite in a showroom which you love and immediately think ‘yes that’s perfect I’m happy with that’… in reality your worktop will not look exactly the same as the sample. Why? Because every single granite block is different! Yes, the basic colours will remain the same, but the texturing and patterning of every block that comes out of the ground is ‘unique’ and that is is why you really must view whole slabs before making your decision.
I can’t tell you the number of people I walk around the yard with, that say “oh no that’s too busy, I’m so glad I came. I don’t think I could have lived with that!”.
Of course, some customers are actively looking for a very characterful material with dynamic swirls and prominent striation and these granites can look simply amazing, especially as wow-factor kitchen islands.
Increasingly, we’re seeing a rise in customers opting for a striking granite material for a central kitchen island which they then pair with a quieter material for the surrounding worktops. There’s so much choice these days, and there is absolutely no reason why you can’t combine a neutral white or grey quartz around your working area with a statement natural granite island as a focal feature.
These day the choice of striking engineered quartz materials is huge. Especially with our marble ‘look a-like’ materials, we often we get customers who say: “yes I love that, but I’d like to just have that for the island and then stick to something more muted for the rest”.
It is so important to remember that with engineered quartz, you are guaranteed ‘uniformity’ and so you can tell from a reasonable sized slab what you’re going to get. With natural stone, unfortunately, you really can’t!
Should you take granite samples home to view?
I would always recommend taking your granite sample home with you. Why? Because lighting makes such a difference and it’s crucial to see how your granite will look in situ. These days you can get multiple different types of lighting with LEDs – you can go warm, cool, mimic natural daylight, the list goes on!
Do not allow yourself to be panicked or bullied into making a decision when it comes to choosing the granite for your worktops.
If you rush your choice, you will only be waking up at three in the morning thinking, is it too light? Is it too dark? Is it going to clash with my cabinets?
My advice is always: when the material is right for you, you will know. If you have the slightest element of doubt, don’t go for it, come back to the drawing board and start again. At the end of the day, granite is not cheap, and you really do want to be happy in your kitchen!
What if you really don’t have a clue which granite material you’re after?
So, for example, if we get a customer that is looking for a light coloured granite but is unsure of exactly what they’re looking for, we will always start by showing them all the possible options. At Landford Stone, we have a fantastic array of light coloured granites and always get our customers to take an array of samples home with them at the end of their visit.
I always advise our customers, don’t be narrowed down on your first visit. Take a sample home of every material that caught your eye. Then, contact whichever kitchen company you’re using and ask them for a sample of your kitchen door material to take home. This way you can begin to compile a picture of exactly what you’re going to get in your own home. Again, a word of caution, don’t just put samples together on the table of a showroom and think: “yes that’s it”. Paint colours, in the same vein as stone can look entirely different in differing lighting.
Next, it’s time to consider you flooring. You need to be able to see the big picture, and then most crucially, live with it! Keep creeping up on your sample. If it’s raining, take a look. Early in the morning and late at night, take a look. Keep checking in, until you really think, “yes this works for me”!
Then, and only then, it’s time to come back to the yard to take a look at whole slabs and select the one that’s just right for you. Once you’ve hand-picked the winner, we will ensure the slab is reserved for you and set aside for project.