Getting started with granite and marble

1. What do I need to consider when buying marble or granite?

Because it is a natural stone, marble – and more recently granite has been blessed with a remarkable natural beauty that has captivated humans throughout the ages. Inherent in such natural products is a certain lack of predictability that sophisticated architects and designers celebrate. Consumers who are less acquainted with the material expect the marble ordered to be identical to the picture or sample they shown. Although sample stones are intended to be representative of the quarry’s product, the material quarried at one time may differ slightly in color and veining from the sample.
Moreover, even a single marble or granite slab will process a certain amount of color variations from one end to the other. Interior designers and architects have come to view this tendency of natural stone as an advantage. Slight irregularities can be pleasing. Introducing an element of the natural into human-designed spaces, whether residential or commercial.

2. What’s the difference between marble and granite?

Although both are stones and both are quarried from the earth, marble (and marble’s relatives – limestone, onyx and travertine) and granite are very different from each other. Granite is formed deep in the earth’s mantle at extremely high temperatures, and is very hard, resistant stone made of crystallized minerals. The marble family – limestone, travertine, marble, onyx – starts out as sediment – animal skeletons and shells, plant matter, silt – at the bottom of bodies of water. After millions of years this solidifies 9lithifies) into stone. Because its main component is calcium, it can be affected by acids such as vinegar and citrus beverages.

3. Should I use granite or marble for my kitchen countertops?

Although typical application of marble is for the bathroom vanity tops, Jacuzzi tops and flooring, it is possible to use it in the kitchen. However, due to the fact that is easy to scratch and is affected by acidic substances, such as vinegar, ketchups etc, we don’t usually recommend it. Moreover the high–gloss of the marble countertop can be partially lost as many chemicals etch its surface. Granite in turn is considered the second hardest stone, its polish is not subject to etching by household acids, or scratching by knives and pots and pans under normal use. It is also not affected by typical kitchen heat such as hot pans.

4. Is it necessary to seal stone?

Since mineral surfaces are quite porous they absorb liquids, which may result in discoloring and staining. Although there are many commercial grade products available on the market which may bring the stone to its original luster, taking simple precautions and regular maintenance can save a lot of trouble and cost. All marble and granite tops are sealed immediately after they are installed. The impregnating substances penetrates the stone clogging most of its pores making its quite impervious to alcohol, juices, soft drinks, cosmetics, cleaners, coffee, food and even oil. With course of time, depending on how heavily the tops are used, the sealer gets washed out. The clear indication of this happening would be the fact the liquids are easily absorbed into stone Leaving temporary (if promptly wiped off) stains.

5. What is the best way to clean marble and granite and other stones?

The old rule of thumb is never to use anything you wouldn’t use on your hands. Never use powdered cleansers or abrasive pads to clean your stone. Even ”soft scrub” type cleaners contain pumice, which is powdered volcanic stone, and might damage your stone countertops or floors. Never use any product which is acidic, this includes substances like ammonia or many common liquid cleaners such as Windex. You should always use sealers and cleaning products designed specially for natural stone.

Granite questions

1. What do I need to consider when buying a granite countertop?

Granite is a natural stone. It is very hard and durable, heat and scratch resistant as well as easy to maintain; in all sense it’s the material of the future. Aside from the practical aspect, granite is very versatile in the design field. It comes in various colors and structural compositions. All stones are not exactly the same; each lot will have unique characteristics attributed to the specific granite.

2. Can I cut on my granite countertop?

Granite is harder than your knife blades and will dull them very quickly, if you use the countertop as a cutting surface. Always cut and chop on a wooden or plastic cutting board.

3. Can my Granite top be damage?

Like any solid surface, high impact blows can harm granite. Because of its crystalline structure, it can chip if subjected to sharp objects. Unsealed, granite can absorb stains such as oil, which can ultimately cause dark spots or discoloration. Heat from pots and pans or burning liquids will not affect granite under normal circumstances.

4. Does granite stain?

In general, no. All stone, however, is porous to some stone extent, but granite has very little porosity. Most colors will never show any moisture. A few colors may show some moisture if exposed for a period of time. For example, a puddle of water left on the counter for 30 minutes for some colors, may show a dark spot when the water is wiped away. This spot will then dry up and no evidence will show. Only a few colors demonstrate this trait. Our granite has a sealer applied by the fabricator, however we prefer to apply a stone sealer after the granite is installed.

5. How do I clean my granite tops?

Polished granite is a very durable stone. Much harder than marble. Granite has been used in the past in the commercial industry. Some of the obvious applications have been panels on the outside of buildings, walls, and floors of “high traffic” areas. Granite will withstand almost any element it comes Up against including heat or cold. Granite itself is approximately 95-98% stain resistant but, we use a stone sealer on all our natural stone products. This will insure lasting life and beauty. Polished granite should receive the same cleaning care as polish marble, using a mild phosphate-free, biodegradable liquid dish-soap, soap flakes or powder which contain no aromatics. Followed by a through rinsing and drying with cotton-flannel or chamois.

6. Will my granite look the online sample?

The sample you see on the computer have been scanned and saved as digital images. The color tones may not be absolutely correct due to variations in computer systems, monitors and compression algorithms. Also, granite is a natural material with naturally occurring variations in color, tone, granularity, pattern, etc. these variations are expected and are the source of its natural beauty.

7. Can I set hot pot on my granite countertop?

Granite is formed by extreme heat and pressure combined beneath the earths crust. It cannot be affected by heat from a cook top or frying pan. A lit flame placed under the granite will have no melting effect and will not leave any burned or scarred marks.

8. Can granite chip?

In only cases of severe abuse with a hammer or impact tool. A chip can be filled with an epoxy mixture and polished.

9. How are seams made?

Seams are done where the granite joins with a smooth, straight cut during installation, a small bead of silicone is placed along the seam to seal it. Occasionally, in areas of stress or without sufficient support, the seams will be joined with epoxy mixture matching the color of the stone, which must be supported temporally until the epoxy cures.

9. Can granite crack?

No with ordinary use. Granite is most susceptible to cracks during transportation, shipping and installation. Normal use will not overstress this durable material.

Marble questions

1. Is marble suitable for a kitchen countertop?

No, marble is not a good choice for a kitchen countertop. Although it can be sealed, it is not dense as granite and therefore it is more porous and susceptible to being stained in a highly used area like a kitchen. It is much softer and it will chip and crack under frequent use.

2. What is the difference between granite and marble?

The main difference between granite and marble is that granite is a highly dense material composed deep inside the earth’s core while marble is formed from sediments under the seabed. Both solidify into stone after millions of years but the mineral composition of the two stones makes marble and granite react different to various chemicals and household cleaners.

3. Can I seal marble?

Just like granite, marble is sealed after the fabrication process; unfortunately due to its porous nature sealing marble is insufficient for everyday kitchen use. Marble is ideal to use in living and bathroom areas and other areas.