WHAT IS GRANITE?
Granite rocks are igneous rocks also known as “fire rocks” which were formed by slowly cooling pockets of magma that were trapped beneath the earth’s surface. Granite is the hardest of all building stones with a very close grain, making it almost impervious to stain and uniquely applicable for any interior use. If polished, its high-gloss finish will endure even the harshest environments. These characteristics are ideal for counter tops and flooring applications.
Granite is natural, porous material that needs to be sealed at least once a year to prevent bacteria from growing. Over time, granite may get one shade darker or lighter and will change its hue slightly. Granite can crack from a strong heat source such as extremely hot pans or dishes.
WHAT SHOULD I CONSIDER WHEN SELECTING GRANITE?
Since Granite is hard and durable. When it comes to the design aspect, granite is known for its versatility. Its unique characteristics and varied look make it a popular choice for many homes. No two pieces of Granite are exactly the same making it an interesting option for sophisticated designers and architects to work with.
DOES GRANITE STAIN?
For the most part, granite does not stain. While it is true that stone is a porous material, of all the natural stones, Granite is the least porous. A sealer is also applied to the stone when it is installed to further protect it from absorbing stains. Granite tops are sealed after installation, to close the pores. It is recommended that granite be resealed every 1 to 2 years.
WHY DOESN’T MY GRANITE LOOK EXACTLY LIKE THE SAMPLE?
As the Granite is quarried, differences in the stone’s shading and pattern will appear. Since Granite is a natural material and subject to such changes, we recommend that clients view the actual granite slab prior to fabrication to ensure complete satisfaction.
WILL MY GRANITE HAVE A VISIBLE SEAMS
Most granite installations cannot be cut in one continuous piece. They will require at least one or more seams. Machined edges fit together very tightly and help to lessen the visibility of seams.
WILL MY GRANITE COUNTER TOP CHIP OR CRACK?
Most flaws in stone are detected during transit of the slab. If it can withstand the fabrication process, it will never break under normal kitchen conditions. You would have to assault it with something like a hammer and even then, you’d have to work at it. However, granite is brittle and not flexible and will break under certain stresses. You should not drop heavy objects such a pot, large pan, vase or other heavy, hard objects onto the countertop. Although it may seem obvious, you shouldn’t stand on granite countertops. Too much pressure in the wrong place can cause granite to break or crack.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN UNDERMOUNT SINK AND DROP-IN SINK?
A drop-in sink sits on top of the cutout and adds small cost to your project. Those that are more cost conscious may opt for this choice. An undermount sink sits beneath the polished rim of the cutout. The benefit to this option is that it provides an attractive, smooth surface from counter to sink and makes clean-up much easier. Because there is additional polishing involved, there is an additional charge for undermount sink cutouts.
WHAT IS LIMESTONE?
Limestone is made from calcite and fossils. Like granite, it is porous, but there are several types of limestone and not all are equally as porous. Some limestone formations are dense, which means liquid has a hard time penetrating the surface. There is also special sealer that is available to prevent staining the countertop. If staining were to occur, you can easily remove them with oxygen bleach. Acidic foods and vinegar can etch the limestone if left on for a long period.
WHAT IS MARBLE?
Marble is a non foliated metamorphic rock. It is mostly composed of calcite. Marble is available in a large range of colors, the most popular being: white, tan, blue-gray, and black. It is very porous and needs to be sealed often. It can be very hard to protect your marble countertop from staining, especially by colored liquids. Marble is ideal for baking and kneading bread, but is not heat resistant, so it’s best to use hot pads or trivets while cooking.
WHAT IS ONYX?
Onyx is now becoming a popular choice for kitchen countertops. It is a natural stone that is considered to be semi-precious. It is available in white to deep, dark colors and has a translucent appearance. In fact, many can be back lit. Onyx is used in kitchen backsplashes as well as sinks, wash basins and tiles. It is a soft stone similar to limestone and can scratch and stain easily. It requires a sealer like many other natural stones. It tends to be an expensive choice.
WHAT IS ENGINEERED STONE?
A product that is man-made, but created with 93% quartz stone and 7% resin. Engineered quartz is more than twice as strong as granite and is maintenance free. It is also heat resistant, stain resistant, non-porous, and mold and mildew resistant. It has an even pattern and more color options than natural stone. Natural quartz is found in great abundance in the Earth- it is second only to water as the most common mineral-based form on our planet. It is naturally hard and scratch resistant. Only diamonds, topaz, and sapphire are harder than quartz. The raw quartz crystals used to create quartz countertops range in size from coarse grains to the size of rock salt. Once they are selected and ground, the crystals are combined with bonding agents and color, then heated and vibrated to form an impenetrable surface. The resulting slabs are quartz matrix that will not develop fissures or cracks and does not require sealant. This creates a beautiful and maintenance free countertop.
WHAT IS Q QUARTZ?
Q Premium Natural Quartz is a natural quartz surface made by an optimal fusion of more than 90% quartz and resin materials. Q is naturally beautiful yet incredibly durable. Treated and pressed, natural quartz stone is one of nature’s hardest minerals.
Q combines sleek contemporary styling with demonstrated strength and performance. Q is scratch-resistant, stain-resistant, and is offered in an array of modern colors providing a beautiful and discerning countertop solution for Homeowners, Architects, and Designers alike. Backed by a Residential Lifetime Warranty, Q’s extreme durability makes it ideal for today’s kitchen and bathroom surfaces. Q Premium Natural Quartz surfaces are the ultimate integration between natural and manufactured materials giving it superior function over granite.
Q does not require sealing, re-polishing or reconditioning. Keeping your Q countertop clean is easy. Simply wipe down with warm water and a mild detergent. Q is 99.93% solid and resist stains from coffee, tea, wine, grape juice, food coloring, nail polish and many other agents that permanently stain or ruin more vulnerable countertop surfaces.
Q’s smooth and impervious surface is unsuitable for bacteria and microorganism to harbor and grow. If safety and hygiene are a part of your countertop purchasing decision, Q is the perfect choice for your kitchen.
WHAT IS SILESTONE?
Silestone is a compound made of natural quartz, which makes it extraordinarily hard and resilient. This is the one and only countertop made of quartz with bacteriostatic protection, giving it hygienic properties that are not to be found anywhere else on the market. It is an excellent surface for kitchen countertops, bathrooms, floors and wall cladding using the minimum number of joints.
In addition, it comes in a variety of different shades of color, offering a number of decorative possibilities from a single kitchen countertop to projects throughout the home. Silestone is an investment for the future. Silestone is forever.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF SILESTONE?
Silestone is a dense, non-porous stone that delivers unsurpassed reliability and performance – scratch-resistance and stain-resistance with no sealing required in a large variety of naturally beautiful colors.
WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE SILESTONE?
Silestone is the smartest choice for homeowners as it delivers both unique beauty and extreme durability. The unsurpassed professionalism of Silestone’s team is backed by more than 70 years experience in the natural stone industry, and a mature distribution network makes the product readily available throughout North America.
HOW DOES SILESTONE COMPARE TO OTHER NATURAL STONES,LIKE GRANITE?
Silestone offers more color consistency than granite, making it easier to pick colors from samples without having to visit a stone yard. Plus, Silestone is virtually maintenance-free – it doesn’t need to be sealed and cleaning is a cinch.