Is Granite a good investment?

Yes. A survey of 2,021 U. S. adults was conducted for the Marble Institute of America by Harris Interactive and the majority of consumers in the U.S. say that they prefer granite over any other countertop material. Ninety percent of those surveyed said they felt that granite countertops increase the resale value of a home. Over three-quarters of those surveyed felt granite countertops were among the safest, most durable, and beautiful countertop material of all. The results were found to be the same in all regions, age groups, and socio-economic groups in the country.

How soon before I need my new counter tops should I start looking?

You can start looking at any time but if you find granite or marble that you love, you should go ahead and pay a deposit so it can be held for you until you are ready for it. If you want the countertops to be the focal point of the room, it’s best to pick out your countertop material before choosing your cabinets, flooring, and paint.

What makes up granite and marble?

Granite is a metamorphic rock formed under high pressure and heat. It is a composite of quartz, silicon, feldspar, mica, and other minerals. Granite is not only beautiful, but also very durable. It is a product of nature and each slab is unique in character, veining, and consistency.

Marble is also a metamorphic rock. It is formed from calcium and is softer than granite. It will scratch and is more easily stained than granite. It is a beautiful choice for surfaces, but application should be taken into consideration. It is ideal for low traffic areas.

What makes up manufactured tops like Hanstone, Zodiaq, Caesarstone, or Silestone?

These are all branded manufactured quartz materials. The composition is roughly 93% quartz and 7% resin. The resin is added to the quartz to give to make it non-porous and keep it from having to be sealed. In general, quartz is a more consistent in pattern and can be purchased from a sample.

Where do granite & marble come from?

Granite can be found throughout the world, but the majority of it comes from granite quarries in Scandinavia, Spain, Brazil, India, and several African countries.

Which is better: manufactured quartz or granite?

It depends on your individual needs and taste. Quartz does not need to be sealed and granite (does although sealing is very easy). The other difference is the look of each. Manufactured quartz tends to be more uniform in color and pattern. Granite can also be uniform and consistent or it can have a large variety of color and irregular but beautiful patterns called movement.

Is marble a good choice for a kitchen?

This depends on what your expectations of the marble are. Marble is softer and more porous than granite. Marble tends to scratch and stain more easily. The other important thing to know about marble is that if it is polished and an acidic substance such as orange juice, lemons, limes, tomatoes, vinegar come in contact with the finish the countertop will become etched. Marble is best suited for individuals who like the look of something that has “aged” and can enjoy the imperfections it may acquire.

I’ve been told that I will be without a working kitchen for an extended period of time. Is this correct?

Generally you will be without a fully functional kitchen for only twenty-four hours. We can measure for the new countertops with the existing countertops in place. The day of installation we will also disconnect your plumbing, remove the existing countertop and replace it with the new granite, marble or quartz. You need to wait twenty-four hours before having your plumbing reconnected preferably by a licensed plumber.

I keep hearing the term “movement”. What does it mean?

Granite has two looks. One look has a consistent and fairly tight pattern. The other look is called movement. Movement found in both granite and marble is the unique pattern of crystals and patterns that flow through the piece of stone. Movement in natural stone is something that consumers may or may not like depending on whether they want a look that is more natural or more man-made.

Is it okay to set something hot on my new granite, marble or quartz countertop?

It is always better to be safe than sorry. It is safest to use a trivet under hot pans and pots. Sudden exposure to heat expands the surface which creates stress in the cold non-expanding areas. This stress can cause cracking.

I am confused about sealing granite and marble. Is it necessary?

Most granite countertops do not need to be sealed but many tops may receive additional benefits from sealing. Stone by nature is a moisture resistant surface and sealing it may further reduce moisture migration. Marble will benefit from sealing because it is more porous in nature which allows chemicals and acidic substances to etch the surface. If homeowners clean their countertops after each meal it is very unlikely that they will ever have a stain.

What causes “pits” in granite?

Pits are found in most granite due to mica minerals being plucked from the slab as it is being sawn. Mica minerals are softer and more flaky than most of the other minerals surrounding it. Pits are normal and should not be deemed as a defect nor do the pits make the stone unsuitable for countertops.

Why is it important to view the actual granite or marble slabs being installed in my home?

Often countertop materials are chosen from relatively small samples. Granite and marble can look quite different in a large piece and may even look different from the sample you viewed. Viewing the granite or marble slab allows you to point out any areas on the slab that you might especially like or dislike.

Where do you recommend using marble?

Marble is suitable around a fireplace or in a bathroom as a vanity. Bathrooms tend to have alkaline based products instead of acid based so etching is less of a concern.

Do all granite, marble and quartz products have a polished finish?

No. There are many finishes to choose from. Polished is still by far the most common.

What determines where seams are placed in a countertop?

The size of the slab factors into where the seams can be placed. The location of the sink, cooktop and dishwasher can also determine seam placement. It is important to know that seams will be visible and can be felt in your new granite, marble, or manufactured quartz countertops.

What about Radon?

Granite, like all natural materials and some man-made materials, is composed of natural materials that contain minute minerals that have the potential to be radioactive. The real questions about granite and radon is does granite emit radon gas levels high enough to be harmful? According to scientific studies performed the answer is NO.


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