What do I need to consider when buying granite?
Consumers who are less acquainted with the material expect the marble or granite ordered to be identical to the picture or sample they were 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 possess a certain amount of color variation 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 by introducing an element of the natural into human-designed spaces, whether residential or commercial.
I have been using my personal granite tops for 20 plus years and have never needed to do anything to them but wipe them clean. After 20 years of raising children, thousands of diners, many family gatherings and just everyday use. My granite counters look nearly as perfect as the day they were installed. I may have a few very minor chips near the sink, dishwasher, and oven. These chips cannot be seen, but can be felt by running your fingers along the edge and then by visually looking very close. I know you, as a customer, never want to hear of anything changing with your tops, but this is the truth of natural stone countertops. Minor chips or cracks can be filled by a stone professional, please feel free to call Stonewood Granite if you ever need a repair to your countertops.
What's the difference between marble and granite?
Because of Marble's more porous properties, it is not recommended for kitchens or bar tops. Marble applications include bathroom vanities, shower and fireplace surrounds. Granite applications include kitchen countertops, bath room vanities, bar tops and fireplaces.
Although both are stones and both are quarried from the earth, granite and marble (and marble’s relatives – limestone, onyx and travertine) are very different from each other. Granite is formed deep in the earth’s mantle at extremely high temperatures, and is a 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 (lithifies) into stone. Because its main component is calcium, it can be affected by acids such as vinegar and citrus beverages.
How is quartz different from marble and granite?
Quartz countertops which are sold under brands names such as Silestone™, Cambria™, Ceasarstone™, Zodiaq™, and Hanstone™, are man-made stone surfaces. Quartz products offer consistency in patterns and colors that natural stone cannot. Quartz surfaces do not offer the uniqueness and varied random patterns of natural granite and marble. Quartz is a beautiful and durable (but not indestructible) product. Costs vary greatly from brand to brand, but the cost is usually 25% to 50% higher than most granites.
Quartz products are a great surface for countertops; HOWEVER, quartz is not indestructible! While most quartz is scorch resistant (not scorch-proof), again, is it important to note that quartz countertops are notindestructible. Always use a trivet or hot pad between any quartz product and a heat generating device including but not limited to crock pots, deep fryers, hot pots and pans or electric skillets. Sudden or rapid change of temperature or sustained heating, especially near edges and cut outs, may create enough thermal expansion energy to cause your countertop to crack. Damage caused by thermal expansion is typically not covered under the any quartz warranty.
Is granite safe to use in a kitchen?
In a word, yes. There has been some misinformation circulated by competing industries attempting to raise concerns about issues such as staining, bacteria and radon. We would be pleased to share the research that shows that these concerns are not only unfounded but granite actually ranks second to stainless steel in a study measuring the bacteria resistance capacity of six common countertop materials. Staining of granite is nearly unheard of. The machining and resin polishing done at the quarries where we get out granite, is technologically amazing and gives you a worry-free and beautiful surface that will last a lifetime with very little maintenance. Ask a friend how they like their granite.
Can I cut on my granite countertop?
Yes, but granite is harder than your knife blades and will dull them very quickly. Wooden or plastic cutting boards are suggested.
Can my granite countertop be damaged?
Like any solid surface, high impact blows can harm granite. Damage rarely happens, but if it does, our fabricators can work their magic and beautifully restore it. A person should get to know their granite. If you notice it absorbing water, then it is time to seal it. Not all granites are made equally, so yours may need more or less maintenance than others. Ask us and we will tell you which ones are better than others. Heat from pots and pans or burning liquids will not affect granite under normal circumstances.
Are stone surfaces difficult to maintain?
Not at all. It is easier than putting on your make-up. Please visit our granite care and instructions page for more information.
How do I choose a stone fabricator?
The process of purchasing custom stone is more detailed than, for example, buying carpeting. As with any purchase, you need to determine what criteria are most important to you. Are you searching for the absolute lowest price or looking more for overall superior value? Is timely completion important? How heavily do you weigh the quality of materials and workmanship of both the fabrication and installation? Do you value responsive service, integrity and the caliber of people that you deal with and will have working in your home?
What questions should I ask a fabricator to make a more informed decision?
How do you stand behind your work?
Our Answer: If it is not right. We fix it.
How current are your fabrication techniques? Why does that make a difference?
Our Answer: We are one of a few shops in the area that uses computerized equipment. Our equipment delivers perfectly straight and curved edges.
Who will be working in our home and how long will it take?
Our Answer: Our installers are honest, conscientious, and in and out of your home in just hours.
Will your quoted price include everything we need?
Our Answer: We are very clear on what we are providing and what measures you need to take to prepare for the installation of your granite countertops. We avoid any and all deceptive pricing practices.
When it comes to seams, what do you do to assure minimum visibility?
Our Answer: Our stone cutter spends painstaking time matching the grains and color variations to make your seams as unnoticeable as possible. Upon installation, we use state of the art vacuum presses to assure a perfect fit.
What do you charge per square foot?
The fairest answer is: It depends. While the amount of stone required for your project is a significant part of the price, there are other variables. For this reason, we prefer to first understand the variables of your project and then issue our prompt and best priced estimate. Please be careful with the bait and switch marketing that can occur on the low end of our marketplace with square foot pricing. For more information about getting an estimate, please visit Our Process page.
What are the pricing variables?
They include the complexity of your project, the type of stone, edging design selected, the number and type of sinks, faucets and cook tops used, and the removal of existing countertops. We also offer services that can make your project unique: fancy cuts, special features, scalloped corners, clips and corbelled corners, radius arcs, additional installation and removal services.
Doesn’t granite require seams?
If your surface exceeds the length of a granite slab and if it cannot be safely installed in one piece, it is necessary to seam the joints where two slabs are joined.
What if I can't find the color I'm looking for?
For unique and hard to find stone colors and patterns, we will assist you by working with our affiliated local distributors that give us access to thousands of slab choices. So if we do not have the color you are looking for, we know someone who does. To help you visualize the slab choices we have on hand and what we are able to access for you, please click on the link below to see one of our distributors beautifully maintained websites.