FAQs for GRANITE

FAQs for MARBLE

Q.What is Granite ?

Granite is a coarse grained crystalline igneous rock composed primarily of quartz and feldspar. It forms from slowly cooling magma (silicate melt) that is subjected to extreme pressures deep beneath the earth's surface.  With public awareness increasingly turning to the use of natural materials in the home, Granite has become the countertop of choice for today's kitchen designer. Synthetic solid surface materials are no match for the richness, depth, and stellar performance of real granite. Unlike laminates and solid-surface materials, a hot frying pan has no effect on granite's mirrorlike finish. The diamond-like hardness of granite makes it virtually impervious to abrasions, stains, and extreme heat.  Most important: by choosing a granite countertop and island, you not only give your kitchen timeless performance and beauty, you increase the value of your home.

Q.Why choose Granite ?

Granite Countertops are made from natural rock and are naturallybeautiful. It is considered a substantial upgrade for your kitchen countertops and bathroom vanity countertop when compared to products such as Cultured Marble and Corian.  Granite is harder than steel so you are not able to scratch it with a knife. The process of fabricating granite is very difficult. It must first be extracted from a mountain in a large block form, then cut and polished with diamonds and water. Lastly, it must be delivered in the form of kitchen countertop and other complete products. Natural Marble is another beautiful product. But we don’t recommend Marble on kitchen counters, because it is sensitive to chemicals and softer than a knife.  Should granite be sealed? Though some choose not to seal their granite, we recommend that your seal your natural granite countertops at least once a year. We believe granite is the best choice for today’s home countertop surfaces because it is durable, naturally beautiful and the industry’s #1, first-class product.

Q.Where does granite come from and how is it quarried ?

Granite, is quarried at different locations throughout the world. Hundreds of colors and patterns are available from such countries as Brasil, Italy, Spain, Norway, India, USA and Canada, Typically, blocks are extracted from the granite quarry located high in the mountains on the outskirts of a major city. These blocks, averaging 9 feet by 5 feet by 5 feet deep in size are transported down the mountain to the fabrication plant in the city. Once at the plant, these blocks are either cut into tiles or slabs. Slabs sizes usuallyvary depending on overall block size. Average slab sizes are usually 9 feet by 5 feet and are typically 3/4" (2 cm) or 1 1/4. (3 cm) in thickness. After the slabs are cut, they are sent through a large multi-head polishing machine, which puts a natural shine on the face of the stone using abrasive compoundbricks or diamond polishing discs. Several other finishes can be applied to the slabs at this time such as a honed finish or, on some granite, a flamed finish. By far, the most popular finish tends to be the high polish.

Q.What should I know about color variation & veining ?

When granite is purchased within the same lot or bundle, variations in color and veining should be expected and considered. In this situation, each slab when viewed overall will look like it belongs with the remainder of the lot. In most cases, bundles of slabs are cut consecutively from the same block so as to keep color and veining consistent.When granite is purchased at different times or from different lots and bundles, extreme variation in colour and veining can occur. As quarrying continues, materials from different sections of the quarry or from different depths of the quarry can vary greatly. In certain cases, quarries have run out of certain shades or the veining has changed so drastically that current lots no longer match previous lots. Forthese reasons, it is important to purchase sufficient quantities at the same time or verify that additional material of the same lot is indeed available for a later purchase. Being a natural stone, variations from shipment to shipment or lot to lot cannot be controlled or predicted.

Q.What can granite be used for ?

Due to it's high density, acid resistance, low absorption rate, and scratch resistance, granite can be used for a wide range of applications including floors, fireplaces, furniture and kitchen counter tops. One of the leading uses of granite is for kitchen counter tops. Hundreds of colours and patterns are available as well as numerous edge details to allow granite to fit in with any kitchen design scheme.

Q.Will there be seams in my kitchen counter tops ?

Granite is a stone and because of this, seams cannot be "melted" together. There will of course have to be seams in a typical granite project but if a quality fabricator and installer is used, these seams will be minimized. The location and quantity of seams depends on the project design and slab sizes. It helps to have some idea of typical slab sizes during the design stages of a kitchen. Seams are normally filled with a colour matched polyester adhesive to blend as close as possible. If seams are cut and filled properly, they will not stand out and be an eye sore.

Q.Are seams noticeable ?

Luxury Countertops, give you the least number of seams possible.This varies depending on the size of the slabs and your particular counter top or island design. Seams are approximately 1/16" in width. They are done with epoxy mixed with color pigment to match stone color.

Q.Is the shine and surface appearance of all granite alike ?

Not all granites are alike. Different minerals polish out differently. Some minerals will not shine as much as the quartz and feldspar found in granite. When shopping for granite, take a close look at the shine and surface texture. Some granites have minute fissures in between the various granules which is normal and will not trap liquids or food particles. If this is a concern, please direct questions to the stone salesperson or your fabricator/installer prior to fabrication and installation.

Q.Isn't granite porous? What about sealers ?

Granite is the next hardest material to a diamond. There are some granites that are more porous than others however, all of our granite countertops are sealed after installation. The rule of thumb is that when the water no longer beads up, it's time to re-seal. For some folks that's 6 months, for some it's one year. It depends upon usage.

Q.It's granite scratch easy ?

No. Granite is a very durable work surface and has proven itselfover the centuries. The only things that can scratch granite are carbide, diamond or another piece of granite.

Q.How long is the process to get granite installed ?

A deposit is required to order your slab material. Installation is approximately 7-10 business days from time of deposit/template/final measurement. If you are having new cabinetry installed, all of the new cabinets must be in place in order for us to template.

FAQs for GRANITE

Q.Can I cut on my granite countertop?

We do not recommend using your countertop surface as a cutting board. because granite is harder than your knife blades and will dull them very quickly. Always cut and chop on a wooden, glass or plastic cutting board.

Q.Can granite chip or crack?

Granite will not chip or crack with normal usage. Only in cases of sever abuse with a hammer orimpact tool. A chip can be filled with a color epoxy mixture. If a chip occurs on your countertop, do not throw out the chipped pieces. We can use them to fix the countertop.

Q.Does granite have any pits or fissures?

Granite has natural pits and fissures that are part of the stone’s natural structure & beauty. Some types of granite have more of these characteristics than others.

Q.Can granite be repaired?

It really depends on the severity of damage. Consult your installer/fabricator.

Q.How do I clean my granite countertop?

Polished granite should receive the same cleaning care as polished marble, preferably using a specially formulated daily granite cleaner or using a mild phosphate-free, biodegradable liquid dish-soap, which contains no aromatics, followed by a thorough rinsing and drying. If you are going to go with just plain soap and water, keep in mindthat this can lead to soap build up. This, in turn, may dull your countertop’s finish. We recommend using a prescribed daily granite cleaner. When using a daily granite cleaner, let it sit for about 30 seconds and then wipe it off well using a soft cloth.

Q.Does granite stain?

All stone, is porous to some extent, but granite has very little porosity. The only caveat is that a few colors may absorb some moisture with prolonged contact. For example, a puddle of waterleft on the counter for 30 minutes for some colors, may show a dark spot when the water is wiped away. This spot will then dry up and no evidence will show. Only a few colors demonstrate this trait. Your countertop will be sealed after they are installed. Also if a daily granite cleaner is used you may find that you don’t have to re-seal the counters as often because granite cleaner contains some sealer and every time the countertops are cleaned they are also being sealed at the same time.

FAQs for MARBLE

Q.Is marble suitable for a kitchen countertop?

Marble is usually not the best choice for a kitchen countertop. Although it can be sealed, it is not as dense as granite and therefore it is more porous and susceptible to being stained in a highly used area like a kitchen. It is much softer and it will scratch, chip and crack under frequent use.

Q.Where can I use marble?

Ideally it can be applied to a number of projects in the bath area like adult-bathroom countertops, tub deck surrounds, and shower paneling. Generally you can safely use marble in low-traffic areas.

Q.Should I use marble or granite for my kitchen countertops?

Although typical application of marble is for the bathroom vanities, it is sometimes used in kitchens. Marble is not used as often in kitchen environments like granite simply due to the fact that it is easy to scratch and is affected by acidic substances, such as vinegars, ketchups, etc. Moreover the high-gloss of the marble countertop can be partially lost as many chemicals etch its surface. Granite in turn is considered the second hardest stone, its polish is not subject to etching by household acids, or scratching by knives and pots and pans under normal use.

Q.Is it necessary to seal stone?

Since mineral surfaces are quite porous they absorb liquids, which may result in discoloring and staining. Although there are many commercial grade products available on the market which may bring the stone to its to its original luster, taking simple precautions and regular maintenance can save a lot of trouble and cost. All marble and granite tops are sealed immediately after they are installed. With course of time, depending on how heavily the tops are used, the sealer gets washed out. Theclear indication of this happening would be the fact that the liquids are easily absorbed into the stone leaving temporary (if promptly wiped off) stains. You should seal your marble every six months and your granite everyyear.

Q.What is the best way to clean marble?

The old rule of thumb is never to use anything you wouldn’t use on your hands. DO NOT use powdered cleansers or abrasive pads to clean your marble. Even "soft scrub" type cleaners contain pumice, which is a powdered volcanic stone, and might damage your marble countertops. Never use any product which is acidic; this includes substances like ammonia. You should always use sealers and cleaning products designed specifically for natural stone.