How Granite Countertops Work

Granite Countertops: Pros and Cons

Like many things, granite countertops have their advantages and disadvantages.


  • Granite countertops don't d­epreciate in value.
  • It's a one-of-a-kind, natural surface that has an almost luminous look.
  • Granite adds value to your home.
  • It's sanitary -- bacterial contamination is not a problem with granite.
  • Formed by heat and pressure, it can take the heat of a pan.
  • It's easy to clean with warm water and a mild detergent.


  • Granite countertops last forever. If you get tired of the color, you'll either need to learn to live with it or rip out the entire counter, because you can't change the color.
  • Each slab of granite is different, so it may not be a good choice if you prefer a completely uniform look.
  • Granite itself is expensive, and the labor-intensive installation can run three times more than the cost of the material.
  • Granite can be permanently stained if you seal it with a preexisting stain.
  • It can crack when hit by a hard, sharp object like a meat cleaver.
  • Because it's so heavy, granite often requires additional structural support, especially in spans and cantilevers.
  • Once glued onto the cabinets, granite is quite difficult to remove, and may result in damage to the cabinets.

Now that you've read about how to install, cut and seal granite countertops, as well as granite's pros and cons, you might want a few more details before you begin your project. To learn more, visit some of the Web sites on the following page.


Related HowStuffWorks Articles


  • Carter, Tim. "Granite Countertop Stains." Ask the Builder. (Accessed 12/14/08)
  • Everlife Memorials. "Choosing a Headstone for a Family Member." (Accessed 12/16/08)
  • Hart, Tim. "Granite is Hard, but Sealing it is Not." Washington Post, March 17, 2007. (Accessed 12/14/08)
  • Keidel Supply Company. "Granite Countertops and Surfaces." (Accessed 12/14/08)
  • Larson, Travis. "Granite Tile Kitchen Countertops." Readers Digest, from The Family Handyman. October 2002. (Accessed 12/14/08)
  • Marble Institute of America. "MIA Statement of Position on Sealing Natural Stone Countertops." Consumer Resources. (Accessed 12/14/08) (Accessed 12/14/08)
  • Marblemaster. "Granite Countertops Frequently Asked Questions." Feb. 16, 2007. (Accessed 12/15/08)
  • Walton, Larry. "Installing Granite Countertops." Extreme How To. (Accessed 12/14/08)