Frequently Asked Questions
Marble and granite, both natural stones, have remarkable characteristics that have captivated humans throughout time. Inherent in such natural products is a certain lack of predictability that architects and designers celebrate. Consumers who are less acquainted with the material expect the stone ordered to be identical to a picture or sample provided. Although sample stones represent the quarry’s product, the material quarried at one time may differ slightly in color and veining from the sample. Moreover, even a single marble or granite slab will possess a certain amount of color variation from one end to the other. Interior designers and architects have come to view this tendency of natural stone as an advantage. Slight irregularities can be pleasing, introducing a natural feel to designed residential or commercial spaces.
Although both are stones and quarried from the earth, granite and marble (and marble’s relatives – limestone, onyx, and travertine) are very different. Granite is formed deep in the earth’s mantle at extremely high temperatures. It is a hard, resistant stone made of crystallized minerals. The marble family – limestone, travertine, marble, onyx – start as sediment – animal skeletons and shells, plant matter, silt – at the bottom of bodies of water. After millions of years, this solidifies (lithifies) into stone. Because its main component is calcium, it can be affected by acids such as vinegar and citrus.
Although the typical application of marble is for the bathroom vanity tops, Jacuzzi tops, and fireplaces, it is possible to use it in the kitchen. However, we don’t usually recommend it because it is easy to scratch and is affected by acidic substances, such as vinegar, ketchup, etc. Moreover, Using chemicals can cause marble countertops to lose their glossy exterior. In contrast, granite is considered the second hardest stone, and its polish is not subject to etching by household acids or scratching by knives, pots, or pans under everyday use. It is also not affected by typical kitchen heat such as hot pans.
Yes, it is necessary to seal stone. Mineral surfaces, like granite, are generally porous and can absorb minor amounts of liquids which will result in discoloring and staining. In 99% of cases if you clean up after meals you will never have a stain. All marble and granite tops are sealed twice in our shop before they are installed. The impregnating substance penetrates the stone deep below the surface, making it quite impervious to alcohol, juices, soft drinks, cosmetics, cleaners, coffee, food, and even oil. Over the course of time, and everyday use, the sealer wears out. We recommend sealing once a year or upgrading to a sealer with a 10-15 year warranty.
Generally, you are only paying for the square footage used. Like a seamstress or tailor, your fabricator buys the raw material and sells you a completed installation. The price includes the transportation cost, making field measurements and templates, cutting, polishing, bringing the pieces to your job site, and fitting them into place. The fabricator takes time to lay out your job to minimize the amount of waste material while maximizing the natural beauty of veining and pattern.
The old rule of thumb is never to use anything you wouldn’t use on your hands. Never use powdered cleansers or abrasive pads to clean your stone. Even “soft scrub” type cleaners contain pumice, which is powdered volcanic stone and might damage your marble countertops. You should always use sealers and cleaning products designed for natural stone. Clean your stone with lukewarm water and dry with a cotton cloth.
Like any solid surface, high impact blows can harm granite. Because of its crystalline structure, it can chip if subjected to hard blows with sharp hard objects. It is best not to stand or sit on your granite countertop. The heat from pots and pans or burning liquids will not affect granite under normal circumstances. Also, granite can absorb stains such as oil if unsealed, which can ultimately cause dark spots or discoloration. If you have a stain on your countertop, contact your stone supplier. They can supply a plaster that you can apply to the top to remove the stain.
We can cut any sink or surface unit cutout with CNC technology with computer-aided design files. Undermount sinks (sinks mounted under the countertop so as not to show any rim) are entirely cut out, then the inside edge of the cutout is polished. The countertop is also fitted on the bottom surface of the top with unique cutouts that accept a steel anchor that will allow us to attach your sink to the top mechanically. Top-mount cutouts are only scored 6″ into each corner, leaving some of the material to be cut in the field to facilitate safe shipping.
Granite is much harder than your knife blades and dulls them very quickly if you use the countertop as a cutting surface. Always cut and chop on a wooden or plastic cutting board.
Yes, granite being crystalline in structure, always has tiny pits – spaces between the various mineral crystals. Some granites pit more than others when being polished; we suggest you take a closer look at the slab you choose for your job. Chances are, if you look at it across the light, you will notice the natural pitting of that stone. Remember, this is natural and should not be considered an imperfection of the stone. Granite sometimes has natural fissures, which may look like cracks, but are not structural defects and are a naturally occurring result of the immense heat and pressure which formed the granite eons ago. These characteristics are part of the natural beauty of stone and will not impair the function or durability of the material. A product of nature cannot be expected to look manmade
Polished granite is a very durable stone, much harder than marble. Granite has been used in the past in the commercial industry. Some obvious applications have been panels outside buildings, walls, and floors of “high-traffic” areas. Granite will withstand almost any element it comes up against, including heat and cold. Granite is approximately 95-98% stain resistant, although we use a silicone impregnator sealer on all natural stone products to ensure lasting life and beauty. Polished granite should receive the same cleaning care as polished marble, use lukewarm water and dry with a cotton rag. When needed, spray glass cleaner (i.e., Windex) and paper towel dry. Do not let window cleaner sit on the granite surface. Clean right away.
The sample images on our website are scanned and saved as digital images. We have taken every step to make these sample representations as accurate as possible. We do not recommend relying on website images to make your final selection. We encourage you to visit our showroom where we have slabs in stock. Nothing can compare to viewing and selecting your slab in person to ensure that the color, veining, and other characteristics of any specific material are to your satisfaction.
In general, no. All stone, however, is porous to some extent, but granite has very little porosity. Most colors will never show any moisture. A few colors may show some moisture if exposed for a period. For example, a puddle of water left on the counter for 30 minutes for some colors (significantly lighter) may show a dark spot when the water is wiped away. This spot will then dry up, and no evidence will show.
Granite is formed by extreme heat and pressure combined beneath the earth’s crust. It cannot be affected by heat from a cooktop or frying pan. A lit flame placed under the granite will have no melting effect and will not leave any burned or scarred marks.
In only cases of severe abuse with a hammer or impact tool. A professional can fill a chip with a granite dust and epoxy mixture.
Because granite is a natural material mined from the quarry in blocks, usually no more than 9′ to10′ in length, you will end up with seams. Also, because granite is sold in rectangular pieces, you may want to use seams to reduce your costs, such as in an ‘L’ shaped corner. The visibility of seams will depend on the granularity, color, and pattern. A small, uniform grain will not be as apparent as a larger, varied grain. A dark color will be less noticeable than a light color. A dramatic pattern with swaths of color will show more seams than a uniform pattern. Most customers have found that the beauty of natural granite outweighs the concern of seams.
Seams are created by joining two pieces of granite together with a knife-grade epoxy color matched to the background tone of the granite countertops. Suction cups and seamers are then used to join the pieces together tightly. Any excess bonding material is then cleaned off the surface with razors to leave a smooth and sleek bead of epoxy between both pieces. Occasionally, silicone replaces epoxy in areas where expansion and contraction are predominant.
No. You can’t burn it with everyday use. Granite does not stain. The only caveat is that a few colors may absorb some moisture with prolonged contact. Usually, no evidence remains when the liquid is removed and the granite dries, but it could be a problem with dark pigmented liquids.
Not with everyday use and common-sense precautions. Granite is most susceptible to cracking during transportation and installation. Regular use will not overstress this durable material. We recommend you do not stand or sit on granite countertops.
Yes. Marble, since ancient times, has been used in all areas of homes, from furnishings to floors. Marble has proven as durable as materials traditionally considered sturdier, with the added benefit of creating a warm, welcoming atmosphere.
You can cantilever granite up to 12″ with sufficient support on the fixed end and a large enough piece. Never cantilever unsupported granite where it might receive excessive stress, like someone sitting on a counter or stepping on a counter to change a light bulb. You must have support underneath for these situations.