Center islands have been a mainstay of North American interior design since before the 1980s, and they continue to be the most sought-after residential kitchen upgrade in 2019, second only to walk-in designer cabinetry. When they’re topped with natural-stone counters, kitchen islands tend to become the heart of the home. This is where friends gather to enjoy wine and hors d’oeuvres before dinner parties, and also where you can relax with loved ones as you finish your last cup of coffee before heading to work in the morning.
Homeowners who are considering natural-stone countertops for their kitchen islands should think about the following.
Creating an Attractive Focal Point
The history of center islands dates back to the earliest cooking shows on television. Long before the Food Network offered culinary programming around the clock, the 1937 British series Cook’s Night Out featured an improvised kitchen island that made it easier for camera operators to do their work. By the time The French Chef with Julia Child made its debut on American TV, the center island was considerably upgraded because that’s where viewers focused their attention. Anyone who has watched a TV cooking show will be naturally attracted to a kitchen island, especially if it features natural-stone counters.
If you’d like to know how to properly care for granite and other types of natural stone, here’s a quick video explaining the 3 most essential steps:
Boosting Property Value
As previously mentioned, kitchen islands are still in demand, and this translates into interest from prospective home buyers. For example, residential appraisers know granite countertops in the kitchen can have a positive influence on the equity valuation of a house, certainly much more than laminate or ceramic countertops.
Choosing the Right Stone for Your Kitchen Island
Granite is popular because of its looks and durability, which makes it resilient enough to withstand daily food preparation, and marble is a popular option for kitchen islands as well. Both options require care and maintenance with heavy food prep volume. Chefs who run catering services from home may want to look into slate, a stone that resists heat and moisture even better than granite. For even greater protection of the stone surface, you can install a wooden butcher’s block in a section of the counter or off to the side.
Keeping Your Kitchen Island Looking Like New
Frequent cleaning and sealing of your natural-stone countertops will help your kitchen look as if it’s been recently renovated. With the right granite cleaner and sealant, countertop maintenance becomes a task you can easily manage. Cleaning should be a regular activity. As for sealing, check the surface of the counter periodically by using this simple water test. Pour water about 3 inches in diameter in several places on the surface of the stone. If the water has left a dark mark or ring after 30 minutes, it has penetrated the seal, which means it’s time to reseal your countertops.
In addition to cleaning and sealing your kitchen island countertops, you should also polish them regularly with a specially formulated granite polish to enhance the shine and luster of the stone. If you have any questions about caring for granite, marble, travertine, limestone, and other types of natural stone, reach out to the Stone Care Experts at Granite Gold® at 1-800-475-STONE (7866).
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Lenny Sciarrino (aka Lenny S) and Lenny Pellegrino (aka Lenny P) grew up in the family business and are co-founders of Granite Gold®.