Granite is an igneous rock, which means it was once molten and formed as it cooled deep within the earth. Minerals within granite typically appear as small flecks throughout the stone. Granite is one of the hardest materials on earth. Used as a countertop material, it is resistant to scratches, acids, stains and heat. It is long lasting, durable and available in a wide variety of colors, textures and unique crystal patterns that create an inviting environment for your kitchen or bath. Marble was once limestone that achieved metamorphosis from intense pressure and temperature within the earth. This altered its crystalline structure and introduced other minerals that produced the characteristic colors and veining. The complex formation of these stones over millions of years produced a look that is unlike any machine-made products. Marble works beautifully especially in the bath where it’s veining patterns and color create exquisite designs. Marble is sensitive to acidic foods such as vinegar, lemon, tomatoes, wine, as well as some tile cleaners, mildew removers and other harsh cleansers.
2. Why is granite good for kitchen counters?
Because granite is very hard stone that’s formed at very high temperatures deep in the earth, its polish is not subject to etching by household acids, or scratching by knives and pots and pans. It’s unaffected by typical kitchen heat such as hot pans, or spilled liquid.
3. What is the difference between Quartzite and Granite?
Granite is an igneous rock found more abundantly than quartzite, deep in the earth's crust, providing the base for the many continents' sedimentary rock, quartzite consists of a larger volume of quartz than granite; under heat and pressure combined, quartzite is formed from sandstone and quartz, and with the amount of pressure undergone, empty grains of sandstone are stuffed with quartz. This means quartzite is actually harder. On the Mohs scale of hardness, from 1 to 10 with 10 being the hardest, granite measures in at around 6-6.5, and quartzite measures in at approximately 7.
4. What do I need to do in order to care and maintain my new countertops?
Using coasters under glasses and placing hot items on trivets or pot holders will help to keep your natural stone looking like it did the day it was installed. Many food items and drinks may contain acids that could etch or dull your stone. Countertops should be cleaned with a mild liquid dishwashing detergent and warm water. Do not use any household cleaning products as this may break down the sealer on granite and may actually damage the surface of marble, limestone or travertine.
5. What is a sealer and how do I know when it is time to apply this to my countertops?
Natural stone can be dense or porous and is absorbent to some degree. Stones that have more swirls or veins tend to be more porous and absorbent. A sealer is like a coat of armor for your countertop. Sealer will decrease the opportunity for something to stain or harm your surface. A protected stone will be easier to clean, resist staining, and provide a safer and healthier environment. Also, by sealing your stone, you will retain the natural beauty of the surface. To test your countertops sealants, apply a drop of water at least ½-inch in diameter to the stone and let stand for at least 15 minutes. Cover with a glass to reduce evaporation. If the stone does not darken then it is probably sealed against water-based stains. To ensure the beauty of your stone, we recommend sealing your stone yearly.
6. What are seams?
Seams are the joints where two pieces of stone meet. Seams in slab countertops are usually dictated by the slab size or the cabinet design of the project. In all cases where seams are necessary, the fabricator includes the customer in the decision as to where the seam is located. You can work with your fabricator to try to minimize the number of seams and to locate them in a less conspicuous area.
7. How are granite countertops priced?
If you are planning a kitchen makeover, or even just considering it, one of your first priorities will be the budget. Your design, layout and selection of materials will almost always be dependent on the cost. Perhaps you are considering a granite countertop, but you’re afraid it won’t fit your budget. Fabricators play an important role in the installation process. This process begins with the template and ends with the final details of the installation. Our website offers a wide range of colors to help you find the right product for your budget. Our selection of great quality natural stone products is sure to have a product to fit your design at an affordable price, often very competitive with other conventional – and less attractive – products. We offer great competitive prices to fabricators and contractors. You can browse our complete line of products and get in touch with us for detailed pricing.