White granite countertops can be a beautiful addition to any kitchen. With their bright, crisp coloring, white granite counters create a clean, elegant look. They also provide all the durability and easy maintenance that makes granite one of the most popular countertop materials. Here is an in-depth look at white granite countertops, including the pros and cons of using this material in your kitchen.
What is White Granite?
White granite is a type of granite stone that has a predominantly white background with gray, black, and sometimes gold veining. It gets its bright white appearance from high concentrations of quartz and feldspar minerals. The white color can range from an icy grayish-white to a warm ivory white.
Popular white granite varieties include:
- White Spring – A very bright white with faint gray marbling. One of the most popular choices.
- Venatino – More consistent white coloring with thin brown and gold veining.
- Colonial White – A warmer white tone with gold, gray, and black flecks.
- White Ice – Bright white background with heavy charcoal and gray marbling.
- River White – Grayish white with a mix of dark and light veining.
No two white granite slabs are exactly alike due to the natural variations in the stone. This gives white granite counters a unique, one-of-a-kind look.
Benefits of White Granite Countertops
There are many reasons why white granite is a top choice for kitchen countertops:
Bright, Crisp Appearance
The light coloring gives kitchens a clean, airy look. White granite reflects light well, helping small kitchens appear larger. It provides contrast with dark cabinetry and flooring. The white stone creates an elegant, sophisticated aesthetic.
Durable and Easy Maintenance
Like all natural stone, white granite is very hard and scratch resistant. It stands up well to heavy use and heat. The polished surface resists staining and is easy to keep clean. Most spills can be wiped up with a damp cloth. Resealing the granite 1-2 times per year will keep it looking like new.
Adds Value to Your Home
Natural stone countertops like white granite are a top selling point for homes. Remodeling with granite countertops can greatly increase your home’s value and make it more competitive on the real estate market. The bright white color has broad appeal to home buyers.
Variety of Finishes
White granite can be finished with a smooth polished surface that has a glossy shine. A honed finish provides a soft matte look. White granite also pairs well with unique finishes like leather, mirrors, metals, and glass tiles for the backsplash.
Disadvantages of White Granite
While white granite has many benefits, there are a few potential drawbacks:
Can Stain or Etch
The light color shows oil, grease, and hard water spots more readily than darker granite. Acidic foods and drinks can also etch and dull the surface over time. Extra care is needed to avoid stains and etching. Using sealers and prompt cleaning helps protect white granite surfaces.
Needs Frequent Resealing
Due to the porous nature of natural stone, white granite needs to be resealed more often than other colors. Reapply sealer every 6-12 months to limit absorption and prevent staining. Let new counters cure fully before using sealers.
Shows Signs of Use Easier
The bright white finish shows dirt, water marks, and wear more easily than darker granites. Pans and appliances can leave behind metal marks. Daily cleaning and prompt attention to spills reduces signs of use.
Can Have Variation in Color
Since natural stone varies, white granite slabs within the same variety can show some differences in veining, shades of white, and concentrations of minerals. Inspect each slab carefully before selecting countertops to ensure the desired uniform look.
White granite averages $80-$150 per square foot installed. The light color and popularity comes with a higher price tag in most cases. However, white granite offers an excellent return on investment in home value.
Should You Choose White Granite Countertops?
White granite ultimately offers an attractive, luxurious look that is perfect for those who appreciate the elegance of lighter colored stone. If you are willing to provide the extra care needed for white surfaces, granite countertops can be an excellent choice. White granite works well in a variety of kitchen designs from modern to traditional.
Those with small children or accident-prone cooks should be aware of the need to clean up spills and stains promptly before they have a chance to set on white granite. If you prefer a lower maintenance surface, darker or less porous stones are likely the better option. For most homeowners, though, white granite countertops are a dream choice that will enhance kitchen beauty for many years to come.
Costs of White Granite Countertops
White granite countertops are one of the more expensive natural stone options, with total installed costs averaging:
- $80 – $120 per square foot for materials only
- $120 – $200 per square foot installed
Exact white granite prices depend on the specific variety chosen, thickness, and edge styles. Here are some of the factors that affect overall costs:
Rarer white granite varieties with more dynamic veining patterns or consistent white coloring tend to be pricier. More common options like White Spring are generally the least expensive.
Granite tops come in 1 1/4″, 1 1/2″, and 2″ thicknesses. Thicker slabs are recommended for kitchen counters to provide durability and structural support. Most homes use 1 1/4″ thicknesses to help keep costs down.
The edges of the countertop can be left simple or dressed up with ogee, chamfer, bullnose profiles. Decorative edging adds $10-$30 per linear foot to the overall fabrication costs.
Any cut-outs needed for sinks or cooktops add to fabrication time and costs. The more cut-outs required, the higher the installation price.
Polished white granite is standard, but luxury finishes like leather, glass tiles, or intricate edge details can increase prices $50 or more per square foot.
Fabrication and installation rates averaging $40-$70 per hour drive up total costs. Simple countertop layouts require less time than large, complex designs.
Material and labor rates can be higher in some regions like the Pacific Northwest or major metro areas. White granite costs slightly less in most Midwest or Southern states.
Get free estimates from 3-5 local countertop suppliers to find the best value on your white granite project. Be sure to get complete breakdowns of material, fabrication, and installation charges.
How to Care for White Granite Countertops
While durable, white granite requires some special care to keep it looking pristine:
- Use cutting boards and trivets. Protect surfaces from knives, hot pans, and heat damage.
- Clean spills promptly with a damp microfiber cloth. Avoid harsh cleaners that can dull the finish.
- Disinfect granite periodically with a natural stone cleaner. Avoid excessive moisture and liquids that can seep into seams.
- Reseal every 6-12 months using a granite sealer to limit absorption and staining.
- Use a gentle granite polish monthly if needed to maintain the glossy shine.
- Avoid using cleaners containing lemon, vinegar or other acids that can etch the surface.
- Keep granite free of dirt and dust with daily wiping to prevent buildup in the pores.
With proper care and prompt attention to spills, white granite countertops will stay beautiful and functional for decades. Keep sealing and cleaning supplies handy for easy ongoing maintenance.
FAQs About White Granite Countertops
Is white granite prone to staining?
White granite is more prone to oil staining or etching from acidic foods and liquids. Prompt cleanup and sealing reduces absorption and staining. Darker liquids like red wine cause more permanent discoloration.
Does white granite need to be sealed?
Yes, white granite is porous and sealing it is highly recommended. Sealers prevent absorption of liquids and oils that can lead to difficult stains. Most experts advise sealing white granite every 6-12 months.
Is white granite hard to maintain?
White granite requires some extra care – daily wiping down, prompt attention to spills, trivets for hot items, and frequent sealing. But the extra effort pays off for the beautiful white finish that elevates kitchen design.
What edge style looks best for white granite?
Softer eased or rounded edges complement white granite’s crisp look. Half bullnose or small chamfers also work well. Decorative ogee edges provide an elegant upscale appearance.
What colors look good with white granite?
White granite pairs beautifully with light and medium wood cabinetry, gray walls, black metal fixtures, and white subway tiles. Bold pops of color in tile backsplashes or accessories give contrast.
Does white granite etch or discolor easily?
Porous white granite is prone to discoloration from oils, acidic liquids, dyes, or moisture staining if not sealed properly. Etching appears as a hazy dull spot. Keep surfaces sealed and cleaned to prevent etching.
Is white granite affordable compared to other countertop options?
White granite is on the higher end for natural stone countertops. More affordable options are granite remnants, marble, soapstone, and engineered quartz. Tile or laminate counters also cost less for the budget conscious.
Is white granite sustainable?
Granite is an abundant natural material and can be a sustainable option if locally sourced. Some white granite is imported from countries like Brazil or Italy which has higher carbon costs from transport. Look for local granite suppliers.
Does white granite add resale value?
Yes, white granite is a premium material that increases home value. Surveys of realtors consistently rank granite kitchen counters, especially in white, as a top selling point. The bright color and elegance has wide appeal to buyers.
Is white granite good for busy kitchens?
With extra care, white granite can work in busy kitchens. Immediately wipe spills, avoid abrasive cleaners, use trivets, and reseal regularly. Darker granites like Ubatuba or Santa Cecilia hide signs of use better.
alternatives to White Granite Countertops
While beautiful, white granite countertops also come with some maintenance requirements. Fortunately, there are other appealing options that provide the look of white granite with lower care. Alternatives to consider include:
Engineered quartz counters like Caesarstone or Silestone come in bright, crisp white hues. Quartz resists stains, etching, and heat damage better than natural stone. It never needs sealing either. The downside is that it lacks the natural variation of real granite.
Brilliant white Carrara or Calacatta marble gives an elegant, timeless look. Marble needs sealing but stands up better to acids. The soft stone can scratch and stain easier than granite, however. Honed marble hides use while polished amplifies etching and markings.
A soft talc-based stone, white soapstone has a smoother matte finish. It is heat resistant and needs occasional mineral oil sealing. Soapstone develops a patina with use that some homeowners appreciate. The softness can lead to scratches though.
Affordable and easy to install, white laminate counters resemble luxurious granite at a fraction of the cost. The plastic-coated surface resists most stains but can be prone to chipping or peeling over time. Avoid cutting directly on laminate.
Glossy white ceramic or porcelain tiles create a seamless countertop look. Grout lines need sealing to avoid staining. Individual cracked tiles can be swapped out easily. The surface is not fully smooth and tile edges may be sharp.
Poured and polished concrete makes a durable and heat-resistant option. Concrete stains easily though and needs careful sealing every 3-6 months. The mottled whitish-gray look has an industrial vibe.
Recycled Glass Countertops
For an eco-friendly choice, recycled glass counters contain up to 75% crushed recycled glass in a concrete mix. Offering a glittery surface, glass counters come in many colors including white concrete variations.
Take time to consider all your options before deciding on new kitchen countertops. Inspect stone slabs in person to get a true sense of the coloration and patterns before finalizing your investment.
White granite countertops provide a timeless, elegant look in any kitchen. The bright white stone makes spaces feel open and airy while adding a luxurious, upscale feel. While white granite requires some extra care, routine sealing and cleaning allows you to enjoy the beauty of this premium natural stone for decades. Pay attention to wiping spills promptly before they have a chance to soak in or etch the surface.
Choosing the right white granite variety, professional installation, and properly caring for countertops helps ensure long-lasting durability and function. For homeowners who appreciate the crisp, dazzling appearance, white granite is well worth the investment. With an abundance of natural variation, no two white granite countertop slabs are exactly the same. This gives your kitchen a one-of-a-kind custom look and feel.
White granite countertops not only elevate the design aesthetic, they also add resale value and appeal when it comes time to sell your home. Keep white granite properly sealed and maintained, and you can enjoy worry-free, beautiful counters that will last a lifetime.