What should I consider when purchasing granite or marble?
Granite and marble are creations of nature that have a unique natural beauty that has been used in architecture thoughout the ages. Since granite and marble are made by nature, each piece is unique and matchless. Customers who may not be familiar with these materials may expect the granite or marble they order to be identical to pictures or samples they have seen. Although sample stones are intended to be representative of the material, the granite or marble quarried at one time may differ slightly in color and veining from the sample. Moreover, even a single granite or marble slab will possess a certain amount of color variation from one end to the other. These slight irregularities are what will make your project unique and different from any other.
Should I use granite or marble for my kitchen countertops?
Marble is typically used for bathroom vanity tops, Jacuzzi tops and fireplaces. It is not usually recommended for kitchen countertops due to the fact that it is easy to scratch and acidic substances such as vinegars, ketchups, citrus beverages, etc. can affect it. Also, the high-gloss of the marble countertop may be partially lost as many chemicals etch its surface.
Granite, however, is considered the second hardest stone. Most granite is not subject to etching by househould acids or scratching by knives and pots or pans under normal use. It is also not affected by typical kitchen heat such as hot pans.
Is it necessary to seal stone?
Since stone surfaces are quite porous they will absorb liquids, which may result in discoloring and staining. Although there are many commercial grade products available on the market that may bring the stone back to its original luster, taking simple precautions and regular maintenance can save a lot of trouble and cost. All granite and marble countertops are sealed during fabrication. This impregnating substance penetrates the stone clogging most of its pores making it quite impervious to alcohol, juices, soft drinks, cosmetics, cleaners, coffee, food and even oils. Over time, depending on how heavily the tops are used, this sealer may wear off. It is recommended that your marble should be sealed at least once every six months and your granite should be sealed at least once a year. If the countertops are heavily used, it is recommended to seal them twice a year.
What is the best way to clean granite and other stones?
Granite is sealed before it is installed. This will ensure lasting life and beauty. Granite may be cleaned with a mild phosphate-free, biodegradable liquid dishsoap, soap flakes or powder, which contains aromatics. Granite should always be cleaned and sealed with cleaning products specifically designed for natural stone.
Can I cut on my granite countertop?
Cutting on your Granite countertops will not harm your granite. Granite is actually harder than your knife and will quickly dull your blade.
Can my granite countertop be damaged?
Granite is a very durable stone. It is much harder than marble. Granite has been used in the past in the commercial industry and will withstand almost any element it comes up against including cold and heat. High impact blows can harm granite just like any other solid surface. Because of its crystalline structure, granite can chip if subjected to sharp hard objects. A chip can be filled with a granite dust and epoxy mixture. Granite that is not sealed properly may absorb stains such as oils, which may cause dark spots or discoloration. Heat from pots and pans or burning liquids will not harm granite under normal conditions.
Will my granite countertop have pits on the surface?
Granite, which is crystalline in structure, always has tiny pits (spaces between the various mineral crystals). You do not see them on a larger piece because the overall appearance is polished and mirror-like. Granite sometimes has natural fissures as well, which may look like cracks, but are not structural defects and are a naturally occurring result of the immense heat and pressure that formed the granite ages ago. These characteristics are part of the natural beauty of the stone and will not impair the function or durability of the granite.
Can I set hot pots on my granite countertops?
Granite is formed by extreme heat and pressure combined beneath the earth's crust. It cannot be affected by heat from a cook top or frying pan. Granite will not burn with ordinary use. It is perfectly ok to set hot pots or pans directly from the stove or oven onto granite.
Does granite stain?
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 absorb some moisture with prolonged contact. For example, a puddle of water left on the counter may show a dark spot when the water is wiped away. Usually, no evidence remains once the liquid is removed and the granite dries. Our granite is sealed before installation and with proper maintenance staining should not be a problem.
Are seams necessary on granite countertops?
Because granite is a natural material and is mined from the quarry in blocks usually no more than 10 feet long, you may have a seam. The visibility of seams depends on the granularity, color and pattern of the granite. A small uniform grain will not be as apparent as a larger varied grain. A seam in a dark color will be less apparent than a seam in a light color. A dramatic pattern with swaths of color will show more seams than a uniform pattern.
How are seams made?
Seams are made where two pieces of stone are put together. The seams are joined with an epoxy that is mixed with the color that matches the stone. Then the joined area is smoothened, leaving only a very thin line visible.
What is etching?
Etching happens when acid in some form comes in contact with a polished marble or limestone surface. This causes a chemical reaction, which removes the polish, or roughens the surface of honed marble or limestone. Green marbles, such as the "jades" from China are resistant to etching, and granite is impervious to any common household acids.
Can granite crack?
Not with ordinary use. Granite is most susceptible to cracks during shipping and installation. Normal use will not crack granite.
What is limestone?
Limestone is sedimentary rock consisting mostly of organic material such as skeletons and shells of marine creatures and sediments. It is formed by material that settles to the bottom of bodies of water, and over millions of years, solidifies into solid rock. Earth movements over extremely long periods of earth's history can lift limestone miles into the air. The summit of Mount Everest is limestone that started out on an ocean floor.
Can granite cantilever?
You can cantilever granite up to 12″ with sufficient support on the fixed end and with 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
Does granite harbor bacteria?
Granite continues to be used and approved in food and medical applications. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has no records of granite harboring bacteria, and has no reports of people becoming ill from bacteria in granite. With regular cleaning, granite is far less likely to support bacteria than butcher block or even laminated materials.
What is the appropriate thickness for a granite countertop?
A countertop should be 1 1/4″ thick.
Why should I choose granite counter tops over synthetic materials?
Granite has become today's countertop of choice for architects, cabinetmakers, kitchen designers and contractors. A granite countertop is virtually impervious to abrasions, stains and extreme heat. Additionally, the inherent qualities of granite — its color, patterns and shades — compliment any décor.
Can granite be repaired?
It is very hard to damage granite. If any damage occurs it can be sealed with a mixture of epoxy and ground up chips of the granite.
What do I need to consider when buying a granite countertop?
Granite is a natural stone. It is very hard and durable, heat and scratch resistant, as well as, easy to maintain. It is also very versatile in the design field.
Are granite countertops expensive?
Improved stone-working technology has made granite countertops very affordable compared with manmade hard surface materials. With granite, the resale value of your property will also increase.