We all love stone countertops. Not only are they mostly timeless (unless you count the different styles of trim and backsplash coming and going from popularity), they’re durable, they’re easy to keep sanitary, and they’re just downright classy.
There’s a wide variety to choose from, including marble, travertine, quartz and of course, that old favorite, granite. When people think of granite, unless they’ve done a kitchen or bathroom before, they picture a reddish or brownish stone, which is admittedly more commonplace in a lot of regions of the world. However, granite actually comes in a very wide variety of colors and combinations thereof, depending on the combination of various minerals that composes it.
White granite, which is often mistaken for marble or “quartz” does indeed have a lot of quartz in it. You may be surprised to hear that white granite exists, but it’s a guarantee you’ve seen it before, and simply not realized it was granite.
Despite being a “generic” color technically, looking at pictures online of white granite countertops shows that they can look quite striking and luminous. It’s pretty tempting to instantly go “oh yes, I’ll have that”, but before you commit to any color of granite, it’s best to weigh the pros and cons, because it’s an investment you’ll need to be happy with for many years to come.
Today, we’re going to talk about the positives and the drawbacks of white granite countertops, because nothing is perfect, right?
So, first, let’s talk about the strengths of this hue of granite, which do, mostly, outweigh the downsides in all honesty.
Obviously, as we said, they’re very attractive with an almost glowing look which captures and amplifies sunlight, or takes the dingy edge off of artificial lighting. It also conveys a sense of newness, sterility and cleanliness. White gives this impression, which is why a lot of sterile environments such as hospitals, restaurants and other places use a lot of light colors and white in various ways to convey this.
This amplification of light also creates a strong sense of scale, which can help make smaller, otherwise more claustrophobic kitchens feel more open and spacious. Perception is an odd phenomenon this way, with brighter colors always conveying a stronger sense of scale and volume. Of course, this doesn’t artificially enhance the quantity of counter space.
Finally, while “white” seems like a generic and base color, there are a wide range of shades of white, as well as grain patterns for white granite. It can have off white and pure white in swirls, speckles or wavy patterns, it can sparkle like gemstones if there’s enough quartz crystal in it, you name it. There’s a lot of room for uniqueness and creativity there. White, being a neutral color, also pairs well with various cabinet and appliance trim and color styles, where other shades of stone can be more restricting in this manner.
The biggest issue with white anything is keeping it clean. White cars show every speck of dirt and every scratch, white clothes show every stain under the sun. White granite can have similar problems. While granite doesn’t usually stain, and it can’t be easily scratched, these can still happen, as acidic/abrasive substances etch the stone, and a few compounds can actually penetrate the stone.
Soap scum, water residue and food splash also show readily, meaning you’ll be all the time cleaning them.
Another issue is that white can be a bit polarizing. Not everyone actually appreciates the “sterile” sense of white surfaces, calling it “hospital-like”, as we said, though with negative connotations. Others associate white stone with macabre scenarios like mausoleums and tombstones as well, though that’s usually marble and rarely pure white.
The sense of scale, which can be great for small kitchens, can also work against things. It can make the counter tops seem too large in a medium-to-large kitchen, and it can make modern, open kitchen plans feel like a vast cavern. While a spacious, well-lit kitchen is something to be desired, too much of a vast, overlit sensation can work against the cozy, hominess that you still want in a personal kitchen.
If you’re not a fan of brighter environments, and some people aren’t, hence earth tones and minimalist lighting being a popular style in many cultures, then white also isn’t going to be for you, and perhaps something middle of the road, with black, white and purple will be more suited for you.
It all comes down to whether or not you like the bright, spacious sense of white, and value it more than the mild nuisances that come with it. It’s far from the only choice – fill out our contact form today to learn more!