Natural stones have been blessed with remarkable characteristics. Natural products lack predictability that architects and designers celebrate. Consumers should expect variations from a picture or sample they were shown. Sample stones are intended to be used for representation; however, stone quarried at one time may differ slightly in color and veining from the sample. In fact, some natural stone slabs will possess a certain amount of color variation from one end to the other. We look at these qualities as some of the beautiful characteristics of natural stone.
Slight irregularities can be pleasing, introducing an element
of the natural into human-designed spaces, whether
residential or commercial.
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
Not with ordinary use. Granite is most susceptible to cracks during
shipping and installation. Normal use will not overstress this durable
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
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
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 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.