We receive lots of questions regarding countertop installation, service, and maintenance. Below is a list of the most common questions we have received through the years. You can click on the question to reveal its answer and get all the advice you need. If you have a question that isn’t covered, please feel free to contact us any time!
Does granite have to be sealed?
Yes. We seal our countertops at the time of installation. There are a few stones that may need to be resealed once every 12 months, and some stones never need to be resealed. We have an inexpensive product to clean the granite that has sealer in it and we suggest using this product once ever 3-4 weeks.
How can I tell when my granite needs to be resealed?
If you notice water absorption into the countertop or darker areas around the sink that is an indicator that it is time to re-seal.
My natural stone is polished. Does that mean it is sealed?
No. The polish of the stone has no bearing on whether it has been sealed or not. Though the polish on any given natural stone definitely closes the structure of the stone, making it less porous. It is till advisable to seal all natural stone upon installation and then re-apply as needed.
Why are some stones more expensive than others?
Availability, locations of quarries in the world (due to transportation expenses), the rarity of the color and the amount of labor required to extract the stones all affect the price of natural stone.
Can I use vinegar to clean my stone?
No. Vinegar is an acidic cleaner. Typically most household cleaners are either acidic or caustic. Though vinegar may not affect granite, it will definitely etch marble. Ideally all natural stone should be cleaned with cleaners specifically manufactured for natural stone. There are many of these on the market now.
Will my countertops have seams?
Not necessarily. A typical slab size is somewhere between 7 and l0 feet. Therefore, your countertops may not require a seam. How and where it is seamed should be discussed with the fabricator. Often the seams are so tight that are diffcult to notice, however communication with the fabricator is essential in order to avoid confusion or disappointment regarding seams.
How can I have as few seams as possible?
On average, granite slabs are approximately 110″x66″. Though in some colors, 120″ slabs are not unusual. When planning your kitchen, keep these sizes in mind. Extremely large islands may either require a seam or color selstions will be limited to those slabs that have longer lengths or widths. Inquire about slab sizes when making final color selections and communicate with your fabricator to avoid any surprises.
Can I select my granite by looking at samples online?
The photographs of granite that you see online can be a helpful tool when narrowing down your granite selection. However, the reflective surface of the stones, the lighting of the image and variations in the computer and monitor will alter the colors that you see online. The only truly accurate way to see the color and pattern of a stone is by viewing it in person.
At first glance, a fissure may look like a crack. However a fissure is not a structural defect. Fissures are a result of the immense heat and pressure that formed the granite eons ago. Fissures are one of the natural characteristics that are part of the beauty of natural stone and will not impair the function or durability of the material.
My sample of granite has pits on the surface. Will I have these on my countertops?
Granite always has tiny spaces or “pits” between the various minerals that comprise its crystalline structure. most of these pits are barely visible to the naked eye, especially on a large expanse of granite because of its polished, mirror-like finish.
Can granite be used outside?
Yes. There are a handful of granites that can change in color when exposed to UV rays, but it is very durable and can be used outside. Granite is often used for outdoor kitchens, as pavers for driveways and walkways, as stair treads, and as exterior caldding on commercial buildings.
Hones granite is granite that has not been polished to a shine. It is a smooth, matte finish.
If my granite is honed, will it be more likely to stain?
The honing process slightly changes the porosity of the stone. However, use of the proper sealer will prevent any additional staining that may occur due to the honed finish.
Can I put a hot pot directly onto granite?
Yes. Placing a hot pot on granite will not effect it.
Yes, you can cut directly on granite. However routinely cutting on a granite surface will dull your knife.
Can you use marble in the kitchen?
The short answer is yes, you can use marble in a kitchen. However because marble is susceptible to staining, scratching and etching, the use of marble requires careful consideration.
Can marble countertops be refinished once they become scratched?
Yes. Marble can be refinihsed through a process of grinding and repolishing. The process will vary depending on the damage or wear. This is not a do it yourself project and requires a professional refinisher.
What is soapstone and what kind of maintenance does it require?
Soapstone is quarried like granite and marble. Its primary components are magnesite, dolomite, chlorite and talc. Talc in soapstone is soft to the touch, which gives the smooth feeling of rubbing a piece of dry soap. Thus the name was derived. For maintenance, mineral oil should be applied to the stone, which darkens the color and works as a protective sealing layer. The mineral oil will need to be re-applied to the stone periodically, especially when the countertops are first installed. Over time, a patina will develop and the mineral oil can be applied less often. Soapstone will scratch. Scratches can be sanded out and re-sealed with mineral oil.
Are textured granites more porous?
No. Textured granites are created when the slabs are flamed and then brushed, machining the abrasive surface to a low sheen with an evenly textured finish. Though the granite has been enhanced through this process, the stone retains its superior durability over alternative countertop suraces.
How long will my natural stone last?
Take care of your natural stone and it will last for generations. Some natural stones are as old as the earth.
Remnants are the smaller remaining pieces of stone from a previous job. They can be used in any stone application, size allowing.
What is a difference between quartz and granite?
Quartz is a man made material and granite is extracted from the earth.
Is one more durable than the other?
No, it’s personal preference. There are more solid colors in quartz, whereas granites will always have more pattern and color. Prices on both vary, according to color and availability.
What is the pocess of ordering countertops?
Contact us via e-mail, fax or phone and provide us with a drawing of your layout. We can then give you an installed price using your choices of stone, sink, and edges. If the price is in your budget, you would then sign your contract, pay a deposit and approve your stone. When your cabinets are installed, we would then be able to come out and make templates. You would provide us with your faucets and sinks at which time the cutting and fabricating begins.
From start to finish, the process usually only takes days to install. Final payment is due on completion.
You can then begin enjoying your beautiful new countertops!