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Natural Stone FAQ's

Natural Stone FAQ's

Quartz Surfacing FAQ's 

Solid Surface FAQ's 

Natural Stone

Although both are stones and 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. It is a very hard,  resistant stone made of crystallized minerals. The marble family - limestone, travertine, marble, onyx - start 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.


Although typical application of marble is for the bathroom 

vanity tops, Jacuzzi tops and fireplaces, it is possible to use 

it in the kitchen. However, due to the fact that it is easy to 

scratch and is affected by acidic substances, such as vinegars, 

ketchups etc, we don't usually recommend it. Moreover the 

high-gloss of the marble countertop can be partially lost as 

many chemicals etch its surface. Granite in turn is considered 

the second hardest stone, its polish is not subject to etching 

by household acids, or scratching by knives and pots and pans 

under normal use. It is also not affected by typical kitchen 

heat such as hot pans.


No, it is not necessary to seal stone; however, we do it 

to all countertops because the sealer provides great benefit at 

little cost. Sealers should not take the place of performing 

regular cleaning and can save trouble and cost. All marble and g

ranite tops are sealed before they are installed. The impregnating 

substance penetrates the stone deep below the surface, making it 

quite impervious to alcohol, juices, soft drinks, cosmetics, 

cleaners, coffee, food and even oil. We recommend that natural 

stone tops are sealed once a year for normal use. It will take 

about one hour to do this on an average kitchen countertop. 


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 marble vanity tops or floors. You should always 

use sealers and cleaning products designed for natural stone. 

Clean your stone with lukewarm water and dry with a cotton rag. 


Slabs are always sold intact. Buying random slabs is similar to 

buying fabric. Like a seamstress or tailor, buy the raw material 

and sell you a completed installation. In the price is included 

the cost of transporting the material, making field measurements 

and templates, cutting, polishing, bringing the pieces to your 

job site and fitting them into place. How much material the job 

needs is determined by the layout and the amount of waste. 

We 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. 


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. Always cut and chop on a wooden 

or plastic cutting board. 


Like any solid surface, high impact blows can harm granite. 

Because of its crystalline structure, it can chip if subjected to 

hard blows with sharp hard objects. Unsealed, granite can absorb 

stains such as oil, which can ultimately cause dark spots or 

discoloration. Heat from pots and pans or burning liquids will 

not affect granite under normal circumstances. If you have a 

stain in your top contact us and we can help you remove the stain 

by supplying you with a poultice that you can apply to the top 

to remove the stain. 


Yes, granite being crystalline in structure always has tiny pits - 

spaces between the various mineral crystals. Some granites pit 

more than others when being polished, we suggest that you take a 

closer look at the slab you choose for your job. Chances are, 

if you look at it across the light you will notice the natural 

pitting of that stone. Remember, this is natural and it should 

not be considered an imperfection of the stone. 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 which 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. 


Granite is an organic substance and just as no two people are 

exactly alike, no two samples of granite will be either. The 

composition of minerals and the deposit it was quarried from 

all play a part in the appearance of granite. These variations 

are to be expected and are the source of its natural beauty. 

That is why we encourage any of our customers to visit our 

wholesale locations to actually be able to select the slabs to 

be used in your job. This is the best and only way to ensure 

that color, veining and characteristics are to your satisfaction. 


Granite is formed by extreme heat and pressure combined beneath 

the earths crust. It cannot be affected by heat from a cook top 

or frying pan. In fact, it will withstand temperatures up to 1200 

degrees Fahrenheit. A lit flame placed under the granite will have 

no melting effect and will not leave any burned or scarred marks. 


In only cases of severe abuse with a hammer or impact tool. 

A chip can be filled with a granite dust and epoxy mixture. 


Because granite is a natural material and is mined from the quarry 

in blocks usually no more than 9' to10' in length, you will end up 

with seams. Also, because granite is sold in rectangular pieces, 

you may want to use seams to reduce your costs, such as in an 'L' 

shaped corner. The visibility of seams will depend on the granularity, 

color and pattern. A small, uniform grain will not be as apparent as 

a larger varied grain. A dark color will be less apparent than a 

light color. A dramatic pattern with swaths of color definitely will 

show more seams than a uniform pattern. Most customers have found 

that the beauty of natural granite outweighs the concern of seams. 


Seams are created by joining two pieces of granite together with a knife 

grade epoxy that is color matched to the background tone of the granite 

countertops. Suction cups and seamers are then used to tightly join the 

pieces together. Any excess bonding material is then cleaned off the 

surface with razors to leave a smooth and sleek bead of epoxy between 

both pieces. Occasionally, in areas where expansion and contraction are 

predominant, the use of silicone replaces the epoxy. 


No. You can't burn it with ordinary use. Granite does not stain. 

The only caveat is that a few colors may absorb some moisture with

prolonged contact. Usually, no evidence remains when the liquid is

removed and the granite dries, but could be a problem with dark

pigmented liquids. 


Not with ordinary use. Granite is most susceptible to cracks during 

shipping and installation. Normal use will not overstress this durable 

material. 

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. Marble has been used as a flooring material for more than 6,000 

years, and continues to be a popular choice for bringing beauty to 

entry foyers furnishings, and other areas of the home. Marble has 

proven as durable as materials traditionally considered to be sturdier 

with the added benefit of creating a warm welcoming atmosphere. You 

need only take some simple precautions to protect your investment. 

Use a non-slip mat outside the entrance to your foyer and a carpet or 

area rug inside to capture the abrasive grit and dirt tracked in from 

outdoors. Dust mop your marble floor frequently to remove dirt and 

dust particles, which also can scratch the surface. Use warm water 

and a small amount of mild detergent to wash. Then rinse and dry 

thoroughly. 

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.

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.

Not at all. In fact, you'll wish everything were this easy. 

Just use a common non-abrasive commercial product, such as a 

glass cleaner, to wipe it down to keep its finish shining.

No, there are several different finishes you can order; the highly 

polished finish is just the most popular. There is a process called

honing that gives the stone a more matte finish yet retains its

smooth feel.

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, magnetite, hematite, pyrite, zircon, garnet and corundum.

Many people find this flow of blending colors to be the most attractive

and compelling quality about granite.

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. 

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.

We charge by the square foot and that price includes the material,

the fabrication work (including cutting and polishing), the templating

process, and the installation. Free quotes are available to all

customers. You may fax, email or drop your layout off at one of

our showrooms for a free no obligation quote.


Many people create a dramatic look by using granite on an island piece.

Consider that your island is a gathering place, and that granite will

make a bold statement no matter what's on top of the other cabinets.

Other options include using less-expensive granite or omitting granite

backsplashes or other details, which add to the total cost. Granite has

become more affordable over the years, and can be less expensive than

manufactured solid surfaces.


Bring in or fax a drawing, even a hand-drawn sketch, of your new or

existing kitchen with countertop measurements. We will ask many questions

and let you view full slabs of stone appropriate for your job. We can then

give you an accurate quote.

There are hundreds of colors of granite, but no supplier carries all the

colors. We have several suppliers in three locations from Detroit ,

Grand Rapids and Chicago . You are always welcome to visit those

suppliers and tag the slabs of your choice. It is recommended that you

call ahead to schedule a visit. We can provide you with visitor cards,

which include hours of operation and maps to their facilities. 


In the process of fabricating hundreds of countertops over the course of a

year we find ourselves with left over material. We call this material

remnants; pieces of granite that are too small to use in the fabrication

of counter tops. These pieces maybe small, but still are of the highest

quality material with a unique individual beauty.   


We cannot use remnants on other projects because of the characteristics of

granite, where due to grain configuration and color variance, a match

cannot be made. So we collect many remnants that are ideal for the use

of finishing around a fireplace, creating that island in the kitchen,

replacing the bath vanity, or creating a beautiful and unique cocktail

or coffee table at a real bargain.


Yes, as you should be about any surface. Regardless what your countertop

is made of, bacteria will be present. We suggest that your granite

countertops be cleaned with anti-bacterial cleaner from time to time to

kill any lingering bacteria. However, we would like to point out that

studies show only stainless steel surfaces are less conducive to germs

and bacteria; granite is more sanitary than Corian, butcher blocks and

plastic laminates. We would suggest that you use common sense concerning

what is safe and what is not.

There could be as many as 1,000 different colors available at any given time.

No supplier will carry all the colors. We have several suppliers in three

locations from Detroit , Grand Rapids and Chicago . You are always welcome

to visit those suppliers and tag the slabs of your choice. It is recommended

that you call ahead to schedule a visit. We can provide you with visitor cards,

which include hours of operation and maps to their facilities.

Most solid wood cabinets can easily support granite. Granite, when spread out

over the surface, distributes its weight so that it doesn't require any special

support. If your kitchen floors can support a refrigerator, they can handle

granite counters.

Granite is not for everyone. "Engineered Quartz Surfacing" is now readily

available and its strong suit is its ability to be consistent. For those 

customers who want a guarantee of consistent color and pattern, this product

is made for them. 

No, we only bring in new material for jobs that will use at least ½ of a slab.

This generally comes to about 25 square feet of material. We have a huge inventory

of remnants that will usually meet the needs of our customer's smaller jobs. 

Absolutely! We always have current slab samples available for you to take home

and we don't require them to be returned. 

As the saying goes, imitation is the greatest form of flattery. Countertops

made from acrylic and other manufactured materials may have the "look" of

granite, but the similarities end there. For resistance to bacteria, heat,

scratches, stains, and overall performance, granite is unsurpassed. Some

marbles with honed or matte finishes also make high-quality kitchen countertops.