Gloria Graham, AKBD
Brendan Donovan Furniture & Cabinet Co.
3685 Investment Lane, West Palm Beach, Florida
Phone (561)254-7736,

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


This beautiful green granite brings the outdoors inside. Photo from Kitchen by Archipelago Hawaii

I must apologize for having been off the radar for too long!  It certainly doesn't mean I've forgotten about you.  In fact, I'm always thinking of things to write that will have value and interest to you.  The good news is I have been very busy.  People are suddenly ready to get serious about their projects.  It's a regular springtime flurry of activity!  One question that comes up often during the process of planning a new kitchen or bath is what type of counter top to use.  There are tons of choices including the old standby, laminate, which incidentally is enjoying great popularity in Europe.  This is not your grandma's Formica but a rejuvenated product with new and improved colors, textures and innovative applications.  My friend, and fellow blogger, Paul Anater of Kitchen and Residential Design writes about it here.  Then there are the new cutting edge "green" materials made out of recycled products such as Vetrazzo, a beautiful product with a mid-century feel made out of recycled glass.  Definitely worth a look but for most of my clients it comes down to granite or quartz.  Here's what I've learned in my experience  working with both options.  Today we'll take a look at granite.

As I write this, I hoped to once and for all dispell the myth about granite and radon.  Well I can't.  I can tell you that radon is a radioactive substance generally found in the soil and levels vary according to location.  Granite, being a natural substance, can emit varying amounts.  I personally am not worried nor have I heard of this to be a problem in my area.  If you are concerned there are very inexpensive kits you can purchase that will test for the presence of radon in your home.

A great example of the natural variations inherent in granite.

One of the benefits of granite is all the beautiful colors and patterns it comes in courtesy of Mother Nature.   This is a pro for some and a con for others.  If you want your counter top to be visually consistent with an even pattern, granite could drive you crazy because many of them are  just not like that.  For this reason it is reccommended that you personally select the slabs to be used in your job.

Colors like blue and green are usually more pricey. This one is called Louise Blue

Granite, although less porous than marble, can still stain, show water spots and scratch, depending on the type of granite and the color.   I must confess that I cut on my granite,  subject it to hot pots  and have  had no problem.  I reccommend that my clients get a sample, take it home and abuse it.  If  your selection stands up to the test you should be good to go.  Your granite installer should also include a sealer which can be easily re applied about once a year or so.

Granite with fossils offer unique natural beauty.

Depending on where you live and what type of granite you like price could be an advantage over quartz.  It is for us in Florida as we are close to the ports that receive the stone which saves a considerable amount in transportation.  Also, in general, the more plentiful the stone the lower the price with rare selections being more expensive.



  1. I like granite a lot, but it's pretty pricey. Plastic Laminate actually has a lot to recommend it, starting with price. The one fear people have is the durability of it, but if you're careful, this is not a problem. My wife and I hada Formica countertop for five years, and at the end of that time it still looked brand new. We did have to use a hot pad when we set down a hot pan, but truth to tell, we do that with our current tile countertop. And we had to use a chopping block, which again, we do with the tile. It will scratch, but if you are reasonable careful, it's just not a problem. And now with the many types of stuff they're coming out with... well, what's not to like?

  2. Thanks for the comment, Joseph. Yes, granite can be pricey depending on where you live. Even in the best of cases it's going to be more than laminate. The new laminate offerings are great because they can come in on budget without compromising the look.

  3. Thakns alot - your answer solved all my problems after several days struggling