Granite is a natural stone. It is very hard and durable, heat and scratch resistant, as well as, easy to maintain. It is also very versatile in the design field.
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. The greatest difference lies in the porosity, softness and durability of marble when compared to granite.
Quartz, on the other hand, is an “engineered” stone, meaning a manufacturing plant uses various grades and sizes of quartz crystals and mixes them with resin and pigment (for color) in a ratio of 93% quartz to 7%. Fabricators create quartz countertops in much the same way as they do granite countertops: by cutting the shapes from the slab and then profiling and polishing the edges.
Marble is typically used for bathroom vanity tops, Jacuzzi tops and fireplaces. It is not usually recommended for kitchen countertops due to the fact that it is easy to scratch and acidic substances such as vinegars, ketchups, citrus beverages, etc. can affect it. Also, the high-gloss of the marble countertop may be partially lost as many chemicals etch its surface.
Granite, however, is considered the second hardest stone. Most granite is not subject to etching by household acids or scratching by knives and pots or pans under normal use. It is also not affected by typical kitchen heat such as hot pans. It can be used for outdoor kitchen or BBQ area.
Quartz countertops are stronger and more flexible than granite. This makes them easier to work with during the fabrication and installation process. Quartz surfacing is non-porous and doesn’t require any sealing. Expect uniform colors, what you see in the showroom or from a sample is what you can expect to see in your home.
Quartz can discolor over time when exposed to direct sunlight. For this reason, we don’t recommend quartz surfacing for use outdoors, since you’ll see the difference in color over time.
The fairest answer is it depends. While the amount of stone required for your project is significate to the price, there are other variables. For this reason, we prefer to first understand the variables of your project and then give you a prompt accurate estimate. We are careful to avoid any appearance of “bait and switch” marketing that can occur on the low end of our marketplace with square foot pricing. The pricing variables include the complexity of your project, the type of stone selected, the edging design, the number and types of sinks, faucets and cook tops used, and the removal of existing tops to name a few.
Availability, locations of quarries in the world (due to transportation expenses), the rarity of the color, and the amount of labor required to extract the stones all affect the price of natural stone. Higher price doesn’t mean higher quality.
Granite and quartz especially, are very stain resistant, but that does not mean it is indestructible. If you allow a stain to sit on your stone overnight, you are most likely to wake up with a permanent stain.
Since stone surfaces are quite porous they will absorb liquids, which may result in discoloring and staining. Although there are many commercial grade products available on the market that may bring the stone back to its original luster, taking simple precautions and regular maintenance can save a lot of trouble and cost. All granite and marble countertops are sealed during installation. This impregnating substance penetrates the stone clogging most of its pores making it quite impervious to alcohol, juices, soft drinks, cosmetics, cleaners, coffee, food and even oils. Over time, depending on how heavily the tops are used, this sealer may wear off. Quartz countertops doesn’t require sealing.
For daily cleaning, use water and dish soap. For tough stains, Soft Scrub Gel, usually gets the job done. Stay away from high chemical products such as Windex.
Cutting on your Granite countertops will not harm your granite. Granite is actually harder than your knife and will quickly dull your blade.
Granite is a very durable stone. It is much harder than marble. Granite has been used in the past in the commercial industry and will withstand almost any element it comes up against including cold and heat. High impact blows can harm granite just like any other solid surface. Because of its crystalline structure, granite can chip if subjected to sharp hard objects. A chip can be filled with a granite dust and epoxy mixture. Granite that is not sealed properly may absorb stains such as oils, which may cause dark spots or discoloration. Heat from pots and pans or burning liquids will not harm granite under normal conditions.
Granite, which is crystalline in structure, always has tiny pits (spaces between the various mineral crystals). You do not see them on a larger piece because the overall appearance is polished and mirror-like. 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 ages ago. These characteristics are part of the natural beauty of the stone and will not impair the function or durability of the granite.
Granite is formed by extreme heat and pressure combined beneath the earth’s crust. It cannot be affected by heat from a cook top or frying pan. Granite will not burn with ordinary use. It is perfectly ok to set hot pots or pans directly from the stove or oven onto granite.
In general, no. All stone, however, is porous to some extent, but granite has very little porosity. Most colors will never show any moisture. A few colors may absorb some moisture with prolonged contact. For example, a puddle of water left on the counter may show a dark spot when the water is wiped away. Usually, no evidence remains once the liquid is removed and the granite dries. Our granite is sealed during installation and with proper maintenance staining should not be a problem.
Seam placement is determined by the countertop layout and size and/or fabrication limitations of each surface. We try our best to prevent and minimize seam placements whenever possible, however, depending on the size of the slab that was chosen and the structure of your kitchen, a seam will be our only option of getting your counter installed without cracking.
Seams are made where two pieces of stone are put together. The seams are joined with an epoxy that is mixed with the color that matches the stone. Then the joined area is smoothened, leaving only a very thin line visible.
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. Granite is impervious to any common household acids.
Not with ordinary use. Granite is most susceptible to cracks during shipping and installation. Normal use will not crack granite.
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
Granite continues to be used and approved in food and medical applications. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has no records of granite harboring bacteria, and has no reports of people becoming ill from bacteria in granite. With regular cleaning, granite is far less likely to support bacteria than butcher block or even laminated materials.
It is very hard to damage granite. If any damage occurs it can be sealed with a mixture of epoxy and ground up chips of the granite.
Granite, Marble, or limestone that is honed has a matte or satin finish, rather than a high reflective polish.