If you have your heart set on granite slabs for your kitchen, you've likely thought about every detail from color to slab thickness. But have you overlooked the options for carving details into your countertop to make it unique? Drainage grooves, also known as runnels, are cut sloping towards the sink to create a convenient spot to dry off that stock pot that doesn't fit in the dishwasher. Determine if this addition is right for your granite countertops from the beginning since it can't be added later.
How often do you wash dishes by hand or run out of space in the dishwasher? Busy families and dedicated home cooks can definitely put these drainage areas to good use. Setting a dish on the flat countertop limits how quickly it can dry out, even when you set it on top of a dish mat or kitchen towel. The slope of drainage grooves allows for air flow underneath the dish or pot as well, creating a more hygienic drying environment. If you plan to use a dish rack, the drainage underneath it catches any little drips that spill off of the rack to prevent hidden mold growth.
If you're planning to sell your home soon and are investing in granite countertops to attract buyers, an eye-catching detail like a drainboard is a great idea. Buyers are always looking for unique details that make a home stand out from the rest, and many people associate this kind of high-end detail with European design sensibilities. Having a built-in drainboard also allows you to reduce the clutter on the countertops, giving your home more appeal during open house visits held while you're still occupying the space.
Before you set your heart on having an integrated drainboard, verify that you have a local stone supplier who can accommodate your requests. These grooves must be programmed and cut with a CNC machine connected to a water jet or powerful laser to remove the extra stone. Shipping a slab to a separate company just for the cutting is out of the budgets of most homeowners, so it's better to start your search knowing what special services you need.
Finally, you'll need to install under-mount sinks to use drainage grooves. Cutting grooves into the surface of the counter won't create drainage if the sink rises up over the edge of that counter and creates a lip the water can't pass. Undermount sinks expose the edges of the counter and make it easier to accidentally chip the stone with a heavy pot or pan, so make sure you're happy with under-mounting before deciding that grooves are a must-have feature.