Can I install marble in my kitchen?
Yes, marble is an option. However, this requires special consideration since marble is disposed to staining, scratching, and etching.
Is polished marble too slippery to be used on a bathroom floor?
All polished surfaces are slick when wet. Therefore, use caution when exiting the shower, tub, and all other wet areas.
When building my new home, when is the best time to choose natural stone flooring?
Get your shopping started, but don't make your final selections too early. Colorations and veining patterns can vary from one shipment to the next. Just three to four week before your cabinets are installed, finalize your selection based on current stock.
Will my countertops have seams?
It all depends on the length of your countertops. A typical slab size is somewhere between 7 and 10 feet. Therefore, your countertops may not require a seam. Early on, discuss with your fabricator how and where it will be seamed. Although seams are so tight they are difficult to notice, communication is essential in order to avoid any confusion.
Should I choose under mount or drop-in sinks for my granite countertops?
It all depends on your preference. When properly installed, both types of sinks are sanitary and safe. Under mounted sinks are very popular for their aesthetic appeal. It is also nice to be able to wipe crumbs directly into the sink. But keep in mind, there is generally an additional fee to install under mounted sinks.
Does granite cost more than manmade materials?
Many types of granite are available at prices compatible with manmade materials. The cost of each variety is dictated by such factors as availability, color, and the country of origin.
Is granite too heavy for my cabinetry to support?
Most cabinetry is built strong enough to withstand the weight of even three-centimeter (1¼-inch) granite. However, many islands will require additional corner bracing for support. So be sure to tell your cabinet installer that you are using granite so they can factor sufficient support into the construction.
Will my granite sample match my actual slab?
Since granite is a natural stone, color and veining will vary from slab to slab, especially with each shipment. We suggest our customers view the actual slabs prior to fabrication. These are available both at our shop and your local G&L Marble showroom.
Is it okay to use natural stone of different colors?
Absolutely! You can even mix and match different stones within the same room. Just consider which material would be the most practical for the intended space. When using both granite and marble, know that granite is the more durable material. This makes it ideal to use as a range surround, island, or dining table.
Should I approve my slabs before they are fabricated?
Viewing your stone before it is fabricated is always a good idea. This allows a final opportunity to modify your decision, just in case you are not satisfied with the exact piece.
Can granite be used outside?
Yes. Granite is a very durable material. Granite is often used for outdoor kitchens, as driveway and walkway pavers, and as stair treads. They are also used as exterior cladding on commercial buildings. Just be aware that there are a few varieties that can change color when exposed to UV rays.
Is it safe to put a pot from the oven directly onto my granite countertop?
Yes. Hot items will in no way damage your granite.
How far can granite extend beyond the cabinetry without additional support?
According to the Marble Institute of America, structured support called corbels should be used when an overhang exceeds 10 inches for three-centimeter granite, and six-inches for two-centimeter thickness.
What is involved in pricing a countertop?
There are many factors that will affect your final estimate. The fabricator will primarily consider the cost of materials, amount of slabs, and selected edging. This will require either an accurate drawing or a field visit.
How can we have as few seams as possible?
On average, granite slabs are approx 110" x 66". Though in some colors, 120-inch slabs are available. Keep these dimensions in mind when planning the layout of your kitchen. Since the color selection is more limited with larger slabs, very large islands may require a seam.
Is marble more expensive than granite?
With both marble and granite there is a broad spectrum of pricing. Origin, availability, and yield of a given quarry determine the price of all natural stones.
How much does granite weigh?
Three-centimeter granite weighs approximately 19 pounds per square foot. So an average-sized kitchen measuring 80 square feet will weigh approximately 1,450 pounds. Typical cabinet construction is sufficient to handle granite's distributed weight. However large, freestanding islands may require extra corner bracing.
What are remnants??
Remnants are small pieces of stone left over from previous jobs. If the size permits, they can be used in any stone application.
Can I install my own countertops?
Fabricating and installing natural stone countertops really is a job best left to a skilled tradesman. The cutting, polishing, and installation of natural stone require specific tools and machinery. More importantly, working with natural stone also calls for extensive product knowledge.
Can stone tiles be used for countertops?
Definitely. Stone tiles have the same beauty and durability as a slab. One exception is that the grout joints may require additional long-term maintenance. We recommend Epoxy grout for granite tile.
Will bacteria grow on granite?
Like all living organisms, bacteria need food to live. Granite itself is not edible. However, any countertop surface left unclean can host bacteria. But you will be happy to know that granite ranks second only to stainless steel in its ability to resist bacterial growth.
Is granite a natural product or is it manmade?
Granite is a natural product. This stone is quarried directly from the earth and then cut and processed by machine. Because of its extreme hardness and mineral content, granite can be polished to a mirror-like finish.
What is honed granite?
This refers to granite that has not been polished to a shine. It retains its smooth, matte finish. Honed granite is naturally lighter in color than when polished. Yet the color can be deepened by using a color-enhancing sealer.
What is patina?
This refers to the smooth sheen that is produced over time by the aging and use of natural stone.
Are veins weak spots in the stone?
Not necessarily. Generally, veins are just color variations within the stone. However, natural flaws may occur within the vein. Structurally, thanks to modern technology, these materials are still strong enough to meet the necessary strength requirements.
Why do some stones have a mesh backing?
Mesh backing improves the stability of the stone during shipping, fabrication, and processing. This ensures natural stone will meet the strength requirements for countertop use.
What is antiqued granite?
Antiqued granite has a satin textured finish. Fabricators use abrasive brushes instead of polishing bricks to create this finish.
Can you cut directly onto granite, or do you have to use a cutting board?
Cutting directly on granite will not harm the surface. However this may in time dull your cutlery.
What is a "pit"? Will I have them in my countertops?
Pits refer to tiny craters in the granite's surface. Most granite has some degree of pitting, although generally only microscopic. With today's advanced processing, pitting is greatly reduced. These natural pits pose no concern to maintenance or wear.
Can granite crack or chip?
Yes, it is possible. However severe settling, excessive impact, or abuse usually is the cause. A specialist can repair most minor cracks or chipping in natural stone.
What is the difference between sanded and unsanded grout?
Sanded grout is recommended for a joint width greater that 1/8-inch, and unsanded grout is best for joints 1/8-inch or less in width.
Are there granite formations or quarries in the United States?
Yes, granite can be found in places such as Georgia, North Carolina, Maine, the Dakotas, California, and New York.
Is textured granite more porous?
No. Texturing is an enhancement produced during the machining process. Slabs are flamed and then brushed, creating a low sheen with an evenly textured finish. Through this process, the stone retains its superior durability over alternative countertop surfaces.
How long will my natural stone last?
When properly cared for, natural stone will last for generations. Many of these stones are as old as the earth!
If my granite is honed, will it be more likely to stain?
The honing process does slightly alter the porosity of the stone. However, using the proper sealer will prevent your stone from staining.
How often must granite be sealed?
Traditionally, homeowners have been told to seal their granite every year. However, advancements have been made in granite sealing products. There are now sealers that only need to be reapplied every three to five years. Be sure to follow the recommendations for your sealer.
Must I hire a professional to seal my natural stone?
No. Sealing natural stone is easy. Simply use a clean, dry cloth to generously apply liquid sealer to your clean, dry countertops. Next, remove any excess with a dry cloth. Allow the countertops to dry thoroughly. Drying times can vary from 24-72 hours. Check the back of the sealer to determine how soon your countertops will be ready for normal use.
Will the sealer wear off with use?
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. This repels food and liquid. Over time, cleaners do reduce the effectiveness of the sealer. Therefore, re-sealing is necessary every one to five 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.
Will granite stain?
No. However, granite porosities vary. If not properly sealed, some granite can absorb liquid into the pores. This may first appear to be a stain. However in many instances, a dark area on the countertop will eventually dry and disappear. If permanent discoloration occurs, products are available to remove them. Consult your stone professional or specialty retail store.
Will the polish on my countertops wear off over time?
That depends on whether you have granite or marble. With normal wear and tear, granite will not dull. Of course, if your granite is attacked by a belt sander, there may be an exception! However, items typically found in a kitchen will not scratch or dull granite. Marble, on the other hand, is a calcite that will react with acidic liquids, and can etch the polish. This makes proper sealing and maintenance most crucial for marble countertops.
If marble countertops become scratched, can they be refinished?
Yes. Marble can be refinished through a process of grinding and re-polishing. The procedure will vary depending on the damage or wear. This process will require a professional refinisher.
What should I use to clean my granite?
It is best to use a cleaning product made specifically for natural stone. Consult your local stone professional for particular product recommendations.
Isn't polished stone already sealed?
The polishing process does close the structure of the stone, making it less porous. Nonetheless, it is still advisable to seal all natural stone upon installation.
How can I tell when my granite needs to be re-sealed?
Many recommend an annual re-sealing of your stone. However, many types of granite are especially hard and may never require re-sealing. If you notice water absorption into the countertop or darker areas around the sink, you know it is time to reseal!
What is color enhancer?
A color enhancer is used to deepen the stone's natural color. The color that a stone becomes when wet is a good indication of the color it will be once enhanced. Enhancers may need to be re-applied periodically. Always test on a small area or a sample piece of the stone prior to application.
Does a color enhancer double as a sealer?
Yes. Most color enhancing sealers do retain the same properties of other sealers. They just provide the added benefit of enhancing the granite's color.