Because natural stone has variations, it is not a good idea to select a stone too early. Colorations can vary, and the veining from one shipment to another can be quite different. Once the cabinets are 3-4 weeks away from being installed it is a good idea to finalize your selection based on current inventory.
Not necessarily. A typical slab size is somewhere between 7 and 10 feet. Therefore, your countertops may not require a seam. Many people do not have a problem with seams, but if you are concerned about them, you should discuss this with your salesperson prior to fabrication. How and where it is seamed should also be discussed with the installer at the time of templating. Often the seams are so tight they are difficult to notice, however communication with the fabricator is essential in order to avoid confusion or disappointment regarding seams.
This is a matter of personal preference. If installed properly, both types of sinks are sanitary and safe. The ability to wipe off the counters directly in to the sink and the aesthetic appeal make under mounted sinks the most popular.
It depends on the granite. Availability, color, and country of origin are major factors that affect the price of granite. If the supply of a particular stone is short and the demand is high, the price will reflect that. Given that stone is a natural product imported from all over the world, the price spectrum is wide. However, many granite colors are offered at the same price or sometimes less than man made products.
3cm (1 1/4″) granite weighs approx. 19 lbs per square foot. Typical cabinet construction is more than adequate for most installations. However, large, self-standing or furniture style islands may require additional corner bracing. It is advisable to let your cabinet installer know that you are using granite to ensure proper support.
Because of the movement and veining in natural stone it is difficult to accurately represent stone with a small sample. Also, stone varies from shipment to shipment, so if you have a sample from a previous shipment, it may not match the current supply. It is advisable to view the actual slabs prior to fabrication.
Absolutely. It is not uncommon to mix colors or types of stone within a room. When mixing stones, it is a good idea to consider which material would be the most practical for the space. For example, when mixing granite with marble, the granite would be best suited for the area around the range because it is the most durable. The marble could be used on the island or as a dining table.
Yes. There are a handful of granites that can change 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 cladding on commercial buildings.
Recommended stones for pools are light in color to protect bare feet from hot temperatures and textured to prevent slipping on the wet surface. The denser the stone and the darker the color, the hotter the surface will become in the sun. Limestone, travertine and quartzstones are perfect surface for pools due to its light color and natural texture.
Stonse that are tumbled, cleft or textured would also be recommended.
There are many factors involved in pricing countertops: material cost, quantity of slabs, design and edge profile are primary considerations. Once you have chosen a particular stone, the fabricator will need either an accurate drawing or a field visit in order to clarify all the details. The fabricator will then provide you with a finished installed price.
On average, granite slabs are approx 110″ x 66″. Though in some colors, 120″ slabs are not unusual. While planning your kitchen, keep these sizes in mind. Extremely large islands may require a seam or the color selection in unusually large slabs will be very limited.
Yes, sealers or impregnators designed for natural stone add the same protective qualities to the grout as they would the surface of the stone. When applying a color enhancing sealer, the grout color will also be affected.
3cm granite weighs approximately 19 lbs a square foot. An average kitchen of 80sf will weigh approximately 1450 lbs. Typical cabinet construction is sufficient to handle the distributed weight of your granite, however large free-standing islands may require extra corner bracing.
The cutting, polishing and installation of natural stone not only require specific tools and machinery, it also requires extensive product knowledge. Fabricating and or installing natural stone countertops really are not “do it yourself” projects.
Stone tiles have the same beauty and durability as their slab counterparts. The only difference is that there will be grout joints which may require long-term additional maintenance. Epoxy grout is recommended for countertop installations.
No. Many slates have a uneven surface or “cleft” which may cause discomfort on bare feet, but if properly installed should not be a hazard. However, the cleft of a slate can vary greatly and should be considered when deciding which type to use. If an uneven surface is cause for concern, there are honed ( smooth ) slates available. There are some slates that naturally have a smoother surface such as slates from Vermont and Brazil.
Bacteria, like any other living organism, needs something to eat in order to live. Bacteria cannot eat granite. Unclean, unkempt countertops can harbor bacteria regardless of what countertop is used. Granite has performed extremely well in testing; performing second only to stainless steel in its ability to resist bacterial growth.
Granite is a natural product. Granite is quarried in its natural form directly from the earth and is cut and processed by machine. Because of its extreme hardness and mineral content, granite can be polished to a mirror-like finish using proper machinery.
Honed granite is granite that has not been polished to a shine. It is a smooth, matte finish. Honed granite is lighter in color than its polished counterpart; however the color can be deepened with a color-enhancing sealer.
umbled marble is quite literally, marble that has been loaded into a tumbler and knocked against each other in order to achieve rough, worn edges and surface. Some materials that are referred to as “tumbled marble” are actually tumbled limestone or travertine, the process is the same and aesthetically they are difficult to tell apart.
Not necessarily. Some veins are strictly color variations in the stone. However in some materials natural flaws can exist within the vein, which enhances the color and is characteristic of that stone. Structurally, with today’s processing, these materials do meet the strength requirements for countertop use.
Mesh backing improves the stability of the stone for shipping and fabrication. Many exotic materials would otherwise not remain intact during processing. Once these materials are installed however, they do meet the strength requirements for countertop use.
Cast stone is made up of finely ground stone mixed with resins or cement-based products, then poured into a mold to create either a slab of cast stone or to create sinks, mantels, etc. Natural stone is strictly cut from the earth then cut and polished in its original, natural form.
Most granite has some degree of pitting, whether microscopic or visible to the naked eye. With today’s advanced processing, the natural pitting or tiny craters in a granite finish are greatly reduced. These natural pits pose no maintenance or wear issues. The depth of these pits is virtually immeasurable.
Yes, granite can crack or chip. However this is usually caused by severe settling, excessive impact or abuse. Most minor cracks or chipping in natural stone can be repaired by a specialist in the stone renovation business or by a qualified fabricator.
Marketers contend that quartz surfaces contain 93% quartz. However, this number is calculated by weight, not by volume. Therefore the true ratio of quartz is approx. 67 – 73%. It is also important to note “quartz” refers not only to natural quartz but glass and mirror particles as well.
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 – “Soap” stone. 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.
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 surfaces.
Traditionally, homeowners have been told to seal their granite annually. However, with the advancements that have been made in sealing products, some sealers only need to be reapplied every 3 – 5 years. Check the information on the back of the sealer and follow the recommendations.
No, sealing natural stone is something a homeowner can easily do. The product is a liquid that is applied to a clean, dry countertop with a soft cloth. After the sealer is generously applied to the surface, the excess is removed with a dry cloth, and the countertops should be allowed to dry. Check the back of the sealer to determine when the countertops will be ready for normal use. Drying times can vary between 24-72 hours.
No. The sealer is not a coating on top of the stone, it is an impregnator, which is absorbed by the stone and fills the pores in order to repel food and liquid. Over time, cleaners do reduce the effectiveness of the sealer, requiring re-sealing of the stone. Re-sealing could be necessary every 1-5 years, depending on the material and sealer used. In order to increase the life of your sealer, use cleaners that are intended for natural stone.
No. However, granite porosities vary. Some granite if not properly sealed can absorb liquid into the pores. This may appear at first to stain; however in many instances a dark area on the countertop will dry and disappear over time. If discoloration occurs, there are products on the market to remove them. Consult your stone professional or retail store specializing in stone.
That depends on whether you have granite or marble. Granite, with normal wear and tear, no. That doesn’t mean that if you attack your granite with a belt sander it won’t dull the finish. The only things that could scratch granite are typically not found in the kitchen. Marble, on the other hand, is a calcite which will react with acidic liquids, etching the polish. Proper sealing and maintenance is more crucial with marble countertops. Treat marble as you would fine wood furniture. Use coasters or trivets to protect the surface.
Yes. Marble can be refinished 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.
Many people in the industry recommend an annual re-sealing of your stone. However, many types of granite are harder than others and may never need to be re-sealed. If you notice water absorption into the countertop or darker areas around the sink that is an indicator it is time to re-seal.
A color enhancer is used to enrich existing color in the stone. The color that a stone becomes when wet is a good indication of the color it will be once enhanced. Enhancer may need to be re-applied periodically and should be tested in a small area or on a sample piece of the stone prior to application.