Granite, Marble, Quartz & more…what do I need to know?
The experts at Regent Granite and Marble answer your most commonly asked questions about their installation process, granite countertops and products, marble countertops and products and more! If you have a question that isn’t covered, please contact us today and we’ll get back to you with the answer you need.
Regent Granite and Marble makes it a point to have the quickest turnaround time for our clients. From the time of template creation, we aim to install your marble or granite countertops within 5 business days.
All stone countertops (granite, marble, quartz, etc.) are carefully inspected by our senior technician before they leave the shop. The inspection ensures that there are no chips or rough patches on the surface, and also ensures that the underside of all finished edges are smoothed out so that the cabinetry does not get damaged when we complete the installation.
Buying slabs is similar to buying fabric. Like a seamstress or tailor, Regent Granite and Marble buys the raw material and sells you a completed installation. How much material needed is determined by the layout and the amount of waste. Regent will lay out your job in a way that will minimize the amount of waste material while maximizing the natural beauty of veining and pattern.
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. Keep in mind that a higher price doesn’t necessarily mean higher quality. All natural stones that Regent carries, regardless of price, are of the same high quality.
Granite, marble, or limestone that is honed has a matte or satin finish, rather than a high reflective polish. One feature of honed marble is that it doesn’t show etching or wear patterns as readily on floors. It is preferred by some because honed stone has a less formal, softer appearance than polished stone.
Granite is highly resistant to scratching, cracking and staining, and is impervious to heat. Daily kitchen activities pose no problem and it you can even rest a hot pot on it without anything underneath of it. This makes granite an ideal choice for countertops.
Like any solid surface, high impact blows can harm granite. Because of its crystalline structure, it can chip if it is subjected to sharp, hard objects. However repairs are possible and often easier to do than with other solid surfaces – a chip can simply be filled with a granite dust and epoxy mixture.
Not with ordinary use. Granite is most susceptible to cracks during shipping and installation. Each granite kitchen countertop we install will be free from any cracks because of our quality control inspection before a product installation. Normal use of the granite countertop will not overstress this durable material. (Normal use does not include standing on the counter tops!)
In general, granite countertops are very difficult to scratch. Granite is one of the hardest stones in the world and is highly resistant to scratching in everyday, ordinary use. A knife blade will not scratch granite. It can be scratched by another piece of granite or with specially sharpened tools designed to work with granite like tungsten and diamond blades.
You can cut on your granite countertop but we don’t recommend it. Granite can’t be easily scratched but your knives would wear out very quickly if you were to make a habit out of cutting on your granite counters. 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 to ensure your knives stay in good shape for a long time.
All stone 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. Just to be safe, we highly recommend a stone sealer for all granite countertops after installation. 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.
No. You can’t burn granite with ordinary use. It is perfectly okay to set hot pots or pans directly from the stove or oven onto granite without worrying about damage.
Warm soapy water will do the trick when it’s time to clean your granite countertops. You can also use cleaners that are specifically formulated to help clean and protect stone surfaces.
Granite is quarried from the earth and is 100% natural. For this reason, no two slabs are the same. Patterns are typically beautiful and interesting, making them one-of-a-kind.
Quartz countertops are manufactured. They may look natural but the truth is that quartz has been crushed and mixed in a resin or another bonding agent. Patterns or colours that are produced are typically consistent and may appear natural when in fact they are man-made.
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.
Due to the limitation of slab size, seams on a granite countertop are necessary and sometimes unavoidable. On average, granite slabs are approximately 110″x66″, though in some colors, 120″ slabs are not unusual. Extremely large islands may either require a seam, or color selections will be limited to those slabs that have longer lengths or widths. 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. The visibility of seams will depend on the granularity, color and pattern of the stone. 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 our London, Ontario showroom. Most contain seams and you’ll be able to get a good idea of how their appearance can be minimized.
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.
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.
Yes, but be aware marble (and limestone and travertine) are calcium carbonate, and their polished surface is more vulnerable to common household acids including vinegar, mustard, ketchup, citrus and a host of other food-related products. These acidic substances cause a chemical reaction, which will remove the polish altogether. Additionally, marble and limestone can be scratched more easily than harder stones such as granite and quartz.
However, marble makes a perfect pastry slab. Its perfectly smooth, cool surface is ideal for rolling out dough and pie crusts. Please speak to one of our London sales associates to help you determine how large a marble slab should be for your countertops.
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.
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.
Limestone is sedimentary rock consisting mostly of organic material such as skeletons and shells of marine creatures and sediments. It is formed by material that settles to the bottom of bodies of water, and over millions of years, solidifies into solid rock. Earth movements over extremely long periods of earth’s history can lift limestone miles into the air. The summit of Mount Everest is limestone that started out on an ocean floor.
Like marble, polished limestone is highly susceptible to surface changes or damage from kitchen acids including citrus juices, vinegars, mustards, and so forth. Unsealed, some of the more porous limestone can be subject to stains. If the limestone is polished or semi-polished, you will see a rough spot where the substance sat on the stone. Limestone can scratch easily as well.
Have a question that we didn’t answer? Contact us today and we’d be happy to help you out!