Frequently Asked Question

Frequently Asked Question

Where does natural stone come from?
Natural stone comes from quarries. A quarry is an open excavation or pit in a mountain from which stone is obtained by digging and cutting. This produces large blocks of stone, which are then sliced into sheets called slabs. Slabs are then polished on one side, which brings out the colour in the stone. Slabs coming from one block will be quite similar in colour and veinage. Slabs are a standard 20 or 30mm thick, however thicker slabs can be ordered.

Is marble more expensive than granite?
There is a wide range of prices for marbles, limestone and granites with a lot of overlap. Cost of stone is determined not by type of stone or the look. Cost is mostly determined but by availability of material from quarries, accessibility and shipping costs. As a guide, mid-ranged priced granite and marble are similar in price.

Where does natural stone come from?
Natural stone comes from quarries. A quarry is an open excavation or pit in a mountain from which stone is obtained by digging and cutting. This produces large blocks of stone, which are then sliced into sheets called slabs. Slabs are then polished on one side, which brings out the colour in the stone. Slabs coming from one block will be quite similar in colour and veinage. Slabs are a standard 20 or 30mm thick, however thicker slabs can be ordered.

Is marble more expensive than granite?
There is a wide range of prices for marbles, limestone and granites with a lot of overlap. Cost of stone is determined not by type of stone or the look. Cost is mostly determined but by availability of material from quarries, accessibility and shipping costs. As a guide, mid-ranged priced granite and marble are similar in price.

What should I know about color variation & veining?
When granite is purchased from the same lot or bundle, variations in color and veining should be expected and considered. In this situation, each slab or tile when viewed overall will look like it belongs with the remainder of the lot. In most cases, bundles of slabs are cut consecutively from the same block. When granite is purchased at different times or from different lots and bundles, extreme variation in color and veining can occur.  Materials from different sections of the quarry or from different depths of the quarry can vary greatly. In certain cases, quarries have run out of certain shades or the veining has changed so drastically that current lots no longer match previous lots. For these reasons, it is important to purchase sufficient quantities at the same time or verify that additional material of the same lot is indeed available for a later purchase. Being a natural stone, variations from shipment to shipment or lot to lot cannot be controlled or predicted.

What is a "high-movement" stone?
The variety of available granite has increased dramatically over the past 5 years with the introduction of new technology and opening of new mines and factories.  Different Granites have different patterns or veining. Some stones rarely change in their tight quartz-like, speckled, appearance, while others have veins that swirl and change irregularly. Since samples cannot give a good overall picture of a high-movement stone, it is wise to see the selected slab prior to fabrication. For some, the unique pattern is intriguing, art-like and adds to the beauty of the stone. For others the effect can seem somewhat chaotic and non-uniform.  It can create a dramatic, art-like look on counters, but it may be difficult to match seams if the counter is longer than the slab of granite.

How is engineered stone made?
Many different companies around the world make their own blend of stone. Each uses a combination of quartz, binding agents and colours. Please see Engineered Stone for more information.

Will adding granite countertops increase the value of my home?
Yes. Experts say that whatever improvements you do in your kitchen you will get back at the time you sell your home. Plus in real estate, granite is a "Hot Button" with prospective buyers. It is becoming common for customers to ask us install granite in their homes to make it more saleable.

If my granite does stain how can I get it out?
Even if you don't do a thing yourself to try to get the stain out, many times it will eventually dissipate thru the stone, especially if it is oil based, but there are stain removers out there that would be able to get it out.

Do I have to pay extra for angles and radius?
No! We don't charge extra like many hand work shop, since our equipment doesn't care if it cuts and polishes along a straight line or a radius edge or corner.

Are there other finishes for Granite besides the high polished surface?
There are several finishes that you can have with Granite. The highly polished surface is the most popular but there is a process called "honing" that gives the stone a smooth feel but a more matte finish and reveals fewer fingerprints.  Another surface that is well liked is a "leathered" or "antiqued" surface.  The stone is brushed in a manner that slightly raises the grain with a matte finish.

Is the shine and surface appearance of all granite alike?
Not all granites are alike. Different minerals polish out differently. Some minerals will not shine as much as the quartz and feldspar found in granite. When shopping for granite, take a close look at the shine and surface texture. Some granite has minute fissures in between the various granules which is normal.

What is the difference between an under mount sink and a drop-in sink?
A drop-in sink sits on top of the cutout while an undermount is completely under the granite slab.  An under mount sink sits beneath the polished rim of the cutout. The undermount is more popular because it eliminates caulk lines above the counter  and makes cleanup much easier by wiping directly into the sink. Also, there are no visible caulk lines.  Most customers find the small additional charge to be reasonable since the undermount look clearly defines stone apart from laminate or installations that take numerous "shortcuts".

Will there be seams in my kitchen counter tops?
Granite is a stone and because of this, seams cannot be "melted" together. There will of course have to be seams in a typical granite project but if a quality fabricator and installer is used, these seams will be minimized. The location and quantity of seams depends on the project design and slab sizes. Seams are normally filled with a color matched polyester adhesive to blend as close as possible. If seams are cut and filled properly, they will not stand out and be an eye sore. Quality fabricators like Marble Tec will ensure the number of seams and the appearances are minimized, even when additional material may be required.

How do I maintain my granite?
Soap and water! Windex or other basic household cleaners can work. Marble Tec seals all of the slabs after installing and this protects your stone from staining.

What's the best way to clean marble and other softer 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 specifically for natural stone.

Does granite stain?
In general, no. All stone, however, is porous to some extent, but Granite has very little porosity. A few colors may absorb some moisture with prolonged contact compared to others. For example, a puddle of water left on the counter, for some colors, may show a dark spot when the water is wiped away. Usually, no evidence remains once the liquid is removed and the granite dries. A stone sealer is highly recommended for all granite after installation.

Is it necessary to seal stone?
All stone, even granite, is porous to some degree, and will absorb moisture over time. Some stones are more porous than others, so it is important to use a penetrating sealer to prevent stains from oil, wine, or other liquids from soaking into the surface.  Oil spills can be problematic so, if you spill oil on your counters, clean it up as you go and do not allow it to sit on the stone for any length of time.

How careful do I have to be with granite?
Granite is scratch resistant and heat resistant. You can take your pots right off the stove and place them on the granite and take things right out of the oven and place them on the granite. Do not cut on the granite because you run the risk of dulling your knives! Other stones such as marble and limestone do not perform as predictably and we discourage their use in several places, especially the kitchen.

Can I set hot pans on my granite?
The darker the material the more dense and therefore the more heat it will hold. The biggest issue with putting a hot pan on granite is that if you touched the spot it could be as hot as the pan itself and therefore cause you an injury.

Why is granite good for kitchen counters?
Granite adds elegance and style to kitchens, baths and other areas of the home with a richness that cannot be duplicated in synthetic materials. Granite is highly resistant to scratching, cracking and staining. Impervious to heat: daily kitchen activities pose no problem and it can take a hot pot without the use of a trivet. Thus, making granite an ideal choice for countertops.

Can granite crack?
Not with ordinary use. Normal use will not overstress this durable material. Normal use does not include standing on the counter tops.

Can you scratch granite?
Granite is one of the hardest stones in the world. It is highly resistant to scratching in ordinary use. A knife blade will not scratch granite. It can only be scratched by another piece of granite or with specially sharpened tools designed to work with granite like tungsten and diamond blades.

Will my granite look like the sample?
The samples you see on the computer may not be absolutely correct due to variations in computer systems, monitors and software compression. Marble and granite are natural stones created by the forces of nature. They are composed of various minerals and are susceptible to wide variations in color, texture, spotting, veining and cracking. These variations are expected and are the source of its natural beauty.

Will my kitchen have seams?
Due to the limitation of slab size, seams on a granite countertop are necessary and sometimes unavoidable. A good place to incorporate seams is near sinks or cook tops. This will help to cover most of the seam-leaving a minimum amount in view. You may also want to consider putting seams where cabinets change direction or using forty-five or ninety-degree angles. This application often works well because the human eye has to adjust to the change in direction making the seam less noticeable. The visibility of seams will depend on the granularity, color and pattern. But relax. Our sales associates will help to explain the seam process in further detail to you. Also for clarification, take a look at the kitchen displays we have throughout the showroom. Most contain seams and most of these are close to unnoticeable.

Do granite countertops overhang the cabinets?
Most counters overhang by 1 1/2", which is standard. This may be changed for whatever reason due to cabinet configuration, cabinet installation, and/or personal tastes.

Can granite cantilever?
You can cantilever granite up to 12" with sufficient support on the fixed end and with a large enough piece. Never cantilever unsupported granite where it might receive excessive stress like someone sitting on a counter or stepping on a counter to change a light bulb. You must have support underneath for these situations.

Can I use marble on my kitchen counters?
We do not recommend the use of marble as kitchen counters because marbles (and limestone and travertine) are calcium carbonate, and their polished surface is more vulnerable to household acids including vinegar, mustard, catsup, citrus and a host of other food-related products. 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 can be used in a Kitchen, and is used extensively in Europe, but is recommended for people with very clean habits.

What is etching?
Etching happens when acid in some form comes in contact with a polished marble or limestone surface. This causes a chemical reaction, which removes the polish, or roughens the surface of honed marble or limestone. Green marbles, such as the "jades" from China are resistant to etching, and granite is impervious to any common household acids.

Does green marble require special treatment?
Some green stones, such as the "jades" from Taiwan, are not truly marble, but a different material called serpentine. Serpentinites, or serpentines, as they are sometimes called, do not etch or react to acids the way limestone and marble do, and are somewhat harder. Green tiles of this family must always be installed with an epoxy adhesive to prevent the curling that can take place if a water-based setting material is used.

I've noticed some granites have pits on the surface - will I have these on my kitchen counters?
Granite, which is crystalline in structure, always has tiny pits - spaces between the various mineral crystals. 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 that 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. A product of nature cannot be expected to look man-made.

My granite kitchen counter top doesn't look exactly like my sample. Why?
Granite is an organic substance and just as no two people are exactly alike, no two samples of granite will be either. The composition of minerals and the deposit it was quarried from all play a part in the appearance of granite.

How much is a granite benchtop per square meter?
We sell natural stones by slabs. Some of our products are available in tiles. Please send your enquiry.

Can I use marble on my kitchen counters, or should I use granite?
Yes, you can use marble, so long as it is sealed. The concern here is that because marbles (and limestone and travertine) contain calcium carbonate, the polished surface is more vulnerable to household acids including vinegar, mustard, citrus and a host of other food-related products. Additionally, marble and limestone can be scratched more easily than harder stones such as granite. However marble is still a very strong surface when compared to other materials. This said, marble is still an excellent hygienic surface for kitchens. The choice is a balance between aesthetics and practicality. If you seal and take care of your marble kitchen, then there is less of a chance of damage. The other choice is a engineered stone, giving choice of marble looking stone, with a very durable surface.

Can I use limestone in my kitchen?
Like marble, polished limestone is subject to surface changes or damage from kitchen acids including citrus juices, vinegars, mustards, and so forth. Unsealed, some of the more porous limestones can be subject to stains.

Why is granite good for kitchen counters?
Because granite is a very hard stone that is formed at very high temperatures deep in the earth, its polish is not subject to etching by household acids, or scratching by knives and pots and pans. It is unaffected by typical kitchen heat such as hot pans, or spilled liquid.

Can granite be damaged?
Like any solid surface, high impact blows can harm granite. Because of its crystalline structure, it can chip if subjected to sharp hard 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.

Are Granite stains permanent?
Most stains can be removed. Even oil stains can usually be removed using a poultice or paste that will draw out the oil from the stone.

Is limestone soft and chalky?
No, not at all. There are some limestones that are very hard and dense, nearly as hard and resistant as granite, and extremely non-porous. Keep in mind, though, that these very hard limestones are still calcium-based and, if polished, are subject to damage from household acids.

Is it necessary to seal your stone?
Natural stone has been formed over millions of years but improper care can ruin nature's beauty. Although we usually think of stones as a hard material, it is a porous material that can absorb spills and stains if untreated. Sealing your stone with a quality impregnating sealer, will minimize the chance most spills from damaging your investment. However note that sealers are not a permanent means to preventing potential stains.

Does the sealer change the surface or look of the stone?
A sealer such is a penetrating impregnator, meaning the sealer is absorbed by the stone and sits below the surface of the stone. It therefore does not effect the surface, unlike lacquer treatment.

How do I clean and take care of my stone?
Keeping your stone free of dust and sand will minimize any scratches and wear-patterns that can develop from everyday use of some natural stone, such as marble and limestone. Sweep or dust all natural stone surfaces regularly to remove loose soil and dust. Clean your natural stone on a regular basis with warm water and a clean, non-abrasive cloth, sponge or mop. In addition, using a pH neutral cleaner specially formulated for natural stone will help remove soils that normal dusting or damp mopping leave behind. A quality cleaner can be used at full strength or diluted depending on what level of cleaning is required. Do not use general purpose cleaners or you may damage your stone. Do not use products that contain lemon, vinegar, or other acids as these may etch the stone surface and damage the polish. Do not use scouring powders or creams; these products contain abrasives that may scratch the surface.

In general, is the use of stone considered a good value for the money?
All surface finishes, whether they be timber, stainless steel or stone will range in costs. Regardless of its finish or shine, marble creates an immediate impression of elegance. Today, the presence of marble or other stone anywhere in a residential or commercial property is a plus on the real estate agents checklist. A marble foyer or bathroom makes a tangible contribution to the value of one's property.

 

top
Copyright © 2015 J Stone World.
© 2015, All Rights Reserved
Translate »