How do I maintain my granite?

Soap and water! We will provide you with detailed instructions, but the bottom line is just soap and water. Before cutting, granite slabs are sealed, and this protects your stone from staining. You should re-seal after the first year, and then every three to five years as needed. Granite should always be cleaned and sealed with cleaning products specifically designed for natural stone. Oil spills can be problematic. If you spill oil on your counters, clean it up 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 and heat resistant. You can take dishes, etc. right out of the oven and take your pots and pans right off the stove and place them on the granite. You can cut directly on the granite surface, but we recommend not to do so because you run the risk of dulling your knives! Other stones such as limestone and marble do not perform as predictably and we discourage their use in several places, especially the kitchen.

Can I set hot pans on my 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.

Why choose granite for a countertop?

Granite is known for its extraordinary natural beauty. With the ability to choose from a variety of granite colors you are assured your countertop will be unique. Granite is, by far, the most durable of all surfaces used in counter top construction.

What’s the difference between marble and granite?

Although both, marble and granite 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, and 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 into stone. Because its main component is calcium, acids such as vinegar and citrus beverages can affect it.

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.

What is “honed” stone?

Granite, Marble, or limestone that is honed has a matte or satin finish, rather than a high reflective polish. Stone Brokers of Texas has special equipment to hone all types of stone in our shops, by removing the factory polish. Honed marble doesn’t show etching as easily and has a less formal, softer appearance than polished stone.

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, making granite an ideal choice for countertops.

Can granite crack?

No, not with ordinary use. Granite is most susceptible to cracks during shipping and installation. Normal use will not overstress this durable material.

Can you scratch granite?

Granite is one of the hardest stones in the world. It is highly resistant to scratching in ordinary use. 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.

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.

Can I cut on my granite countertop?

Only if you want to ruin your good knives. Granite is harder than your knife blades and will dull them very quickly, if you use the countertop as a cutting surface.

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.

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 taste.

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, ketchup, 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.

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.

What’s the best way to clean marble and other 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 a 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. You should always use sealers and cleaning products designed specifically for natural stone.

What is limestone?

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.

Can I use limestone in my kitchen?

Like marble, we recommend avoiding the use of limestone in kitchens. 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 limestones 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.

Does granite harbor bacteria?

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 with top-mounted sinks.

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 manmade.

Why choose granite countertops over synthetic materials?

Granite has become today’s countertop of choice for architects, cabinetmakers, kitchen designers and contractors. A granite countertop is virtually impervious to abrasions, stains and extreme heat. Additionally, the inherent qualities of granite — its color, patterns and shades — compliment any décor.

Will my granite kitchen countertop look exactly like my sample?

Granite is an organic substance, and no two samples of granite will be the same. The composition of minerals and the deposit it was quarried from all play a part in the appearance of granite. At Stone Brokers of Texas our customers are encouraged to select the exact slab of stone from which we fabricate their surface.

What’s the difference between a drop-in sink and an under mount sink?

A drop-in sink sits on top of the cutout in your granite counter while an undermount sink sits beneath the cutout. There is generally an extra polishing charge required in preparing a granite countertop for an undermount sink.

I’ve heard of “high movement” stone. What is it?

Sometimes called “grain in the stone,” “movement” is veins that swirl and change irregularly in granite due to the massive forces at work on it beneath the surface of the earth during the eons it took to form. “Movement” is also affected by trace amounts of other minerals such as hornblende.

Will I know where my granite is from?

Probably not since granite is quarried all over the world, including Africa, Brazil, Egypt, India, Italy, Norway and Spain, to name a few. There are also some very lovely veins of granite mined in the United States and Canada as well.

Does the origination of granite affect the price?

Very little. Prices are more affected by the supply and demand placed upon the quarry. You’ll find that red and blue tones are a bit higher priced than other colors due to their lack of abundance.

Are granite countertops expensive?

Improved stone-working technology has made granite countertops very affordable compared to manmade hard surface materials. With granite, the resale value of your property will also grow with time.