F.A.Q

Q.  WHAT IS GRANITE?

Granite is an igneous rock having a visible crystal structure. Granite is made up primarily of quartz and feldspar (which are harder than steel). These give granite the lighter colours, like whites and pinks. This background is accented by darker minerals, such as Muscovite, black mica Biotite and the black amphibious hornblende. This is why granite has a salt-and-pepper look.

Granite forms the majority of the earth’s crust and is among the hardest building materials known. In quarries, granite is cut using diamond because that is the only stone sufficiently hard enough to cut it. After granite is quarried, cut and polished, it can be made into vanity tops, sinks, tubs, pedestals, benches, fountains, lanterns, oil lamps, birdbaths, flower pots, shelves, table inserts and other products.

Q.  HOW IS GRANITE FORMED?

Granite is formed under the earth’s surface by the crystallization of once molten material under conditions of extreme heat and pressure over eons. Solid rock melts under very high temperatures, and water acts as a catalyst. During the slow cooling process, the larger crystals grow big enough to be visible.

Q.   WHAT IS QUARTZ

Quartz is an engineered stone. Unlike Granite, Quartz is manmade, by combining 97% Crushed Quartz and 3% Resin. This makes the stone almost as strong granite, but slightly heavier. They are then formed into slabs and sold to retailers. Quartz is one the most popular stones on the market. From these slabs, we then custom cut your counter-tops to your exact measurements.

Q.  WHAT IS MARBLE?

True geological marble is limestone that has been subjected to great pressure and heat, which has changed its structure to a crystalline, sugary texture. It is generally white or whitish, sometimes translucent, with some veining or colour provided by other minerals present at its formation. 

White Carrara, Thasos, Colorado Yule and Bianco Rosa are true marbles. Commercially, the term “marble” applies to any compact limestone that will take a polish, which includes most of the coloured marbles, except some of the greens.

Q.  WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GRANITE AND MARBLE?

Granite is a very dense material made deep in the earth’s core, while marble is formed from calciferous sediments associated with the sea floor. Both materials turn into stone over eons, but the minerals in these two stones make them react differently to conditions in the home and outdoors.

Granite has small flecks and grains of different colours, and it has varying crystal sizes and colours. Granite also has veining, or streaks of different coloured crystals. Marble is crystalline and is made up of white calcite. Marble is made up of far fewer elements than granite and is much softer.

Q. CAN I USE MARBLE ON MY KITCHEN COUNTERS?

This is not recommended because the marble family is calcium carbonate, the polished surface is more vulnerable to household acids including vinegar, mustard, tomato sauce and citrus. These acidic substances cause a chemical reaction which will remove the polish. 

Additionally, marble and limestone can be scratched more easily than harder stones such as granite. Marble is, however, sometimes used in the kitchen as a pastry slab; it’s perfectly smooth, cool surface is ideal for rolling out dough and piecrusts

Q.  HOW RESISTANT IS GRANITE TO HEAT?

Granite will not be affected from exposure to ordinary sources of heat in a household. Granite is easily resistant to heat up to temperatures of 480°F, and can even likely withstand temperatures up to 1,200°F. To prevent possible damage, avoid extreme changes in temperature, such as placing something cold on an area of a granite counter right after placing something hot on that area.

Q.  CAN GRANITE CRACK?

Not with normal use. Transportation, installation, and settling or weathering could possibly cause a crack. Do not stand on or drop anything on granite surfaces.

Q.  CAN GRANITE CHIP?

Only in severe cases of abuse. If a chip occurs, save the pieces and have a professional fix it.

Q.  CAN THERE BE PITS IN A GRANITE SURFACE?

The crystal structure of granite will always have small pits, which are spaces between the crystals. You don’t see them on a larger piece because the overall appearance is polished.   These are always more visible on cheaper, low quality granite’s and some unscrupulous fabricators will fill the pits with epoxy and try to hide the flaws instead of supplying the customer with better quality granite. 

We do not do this under any circumstances. We will always advise you of the best option to protect your interest and our reputation. 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 which formed the granite eons ago. These characteristics are part of the natural beauty of stone and will not impair the function or durability of the material.

Q.  DOES GRANITE STAIN?

Only cheap Chinese Granite’s do this, you can rest assured that by using us we do not fit any Chinese material. Due to its composition, good quality granite is naturally highly resistant to stains. Some colours may show signs of moisture if a spill is not cleaned up right away. 

Water left on a counter for some time may spot when the water is wiped up, but will then usually disappear when the granite is completely dry. Common staining liquids include liquid hand soaps, coffee, red wine and oil. If any of these substances comes in contact with the granite, wipe up the spill as soon as possible. Test the porosity of your granite by placing something wet on it for five minutes and then wiping it up. If the granite changes colour then you should not be using that material in your kitchen.

Q.  SHOULD GRANITE BE SEALED?

Not all granite needs to be sealed, but generally it benefits from a sealing product. Typically, a resin treatment is applied to the granite at time of manufacture. We recommend that you apply a stone sealer after the granite is installed, and then periodically apply sealant after that. Sealing is important for preserving the finish and will not alter the appearance of the granite.

After granite is sealed, it is easy to maintain. Granite can still stain, however, if spills are not cleaned up right away. Sealing and polishing are not difficult, and they help resist the absorption of spills.

The absorbency of the granite — and its exposure to water or weathering — will determine how often sealing is needed. We recommend sealing granite at least every few years, and some areas might need it more frequently. The less you reseal, the more the granite will show an aged look, which some people prefer. Beware of chemicals when purchasing low grade sealers, rather leave it to the professionals.

Q.  DO I HAVE TO BUY THE WHOLE SHEET/SLAB?

Slabs are usually only available to purchase as a whole and are not bought piecemeal. Although you can select your preferred slab at our warehouse, your fabricator is the one who buys the raw material and then sells you a completed installation. The fabricator’s price includes the cost of transport, visiting the site to take measurements, cutting the slab with professional machinery and then polishing it.  

Your fabricator is also responsible for delivering the pieces to your job site and fitting them into place. How much material is needed is determined by the layout and the amount of waste. An excellent fabricator will lay out your job in a way that will minimize the amount of waste material while maximizing the natural beauty of veining and pattern.

Q.  MY LITTLE SAMPLE OF GRANITE HAS PITS ON THE SURFACE – WILL I HAVE THESE ON MY KITCHEN COUNTERS?

Due to its natural composition, granite always has tiny pits – spaces between the various mineral crystals. You don’t see them on a larger piece because the overall appearance is polished.  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 which formed the granite eons ago. These characteristics are part of the natural beauty of stone and will not impair the function or durability of the material.