Whenever you consider re-doing your home entirely or just parts of it, the essential part is to choose a company with a team of professionals who understand the delicacy of the situation and approach each complex task with care and responsibility. Since granite/quartz countertops are amazingly beautiful, they often are the central piece of the room, making the whole space look different. This is why it is of true importance for the granite/quartz piece to be manufactured, cut and installed properly and without breaking your bank. To help you make your decision on this, here are some of the countertop and materials related most frequently asked questions:
Material details & specifications:
Granite is a very hard stone and 100 percent natural. It’s mined from quarries all around the world, cut down to a manageable size, and then polished to a fine finish. Quartz is slightly different in that it is not 100 percent natural. Instead, countertops are manufactured using 95 percent ground natural quartz and 5 percent polymer resins. So, let’s see how they compare against each other.
Granite comes in many different colors and patterns due to the way it’s formed (cooling and solidifying of molten materials). Whether you’re looking for a subtle complement to your kitchen or a standout slab with unique mineral inclusions, there is an almost limitless selection to choose from and no two granite countertops are the same. And when it comes to quartz, one of the main reasons why it has exploded in popularity is due to appearance. Quartz has the look of stone while also allowing homeowners to customize the design. As granite offers many options in terms of appearance, you may have to search for the right piece that matches your color scheme. With quartz, the selection process is much easier.
The average cost to purchase granite and have it installed can vary between $2,000 and $4,000. You can save money by purchasing the material from a wholesaler and doing some of the preliminary work yourself but the actual manufacture and installation of the countertops should be left to a professional. With quartz, depending on the quality and style of edging, the average cost to install quartz countertops fluctuates between $1,500 and $5,500. You can do some of the preliminary work to save money, but because engineered quartz is heavier than other stone surfaces, a professional installer needs to make sure the space is structurally sound.
The only way granite ends up in your kitchen is if it’s quarried and that uses a lot of energy. If you opt for a high-end slab from Italy, for example, there will be considerable transportation involved. So try using local suppliers for pieces that can be cut to fit your needs.
Since quartz is engineered, it can be more environmentally-friendly than granite if you use regionally manufactured stone and local manufacturers. This cuts down on the distance the material needs to be transported.
Granite countertops should be cleaned daily with soap and water or a mild household cleaner. Some oils and acids can stain so get info on this first to avoid stains. To ensure the longevity of your investment, consider having your countertops resealed once a year. Just like with granite, you’ll want to clean any spills on quartz countertops with soap and water or a household cleaner, but that’s about it in terms of maintenance. The solid surface means that there is no need to have your countertops resealed.
Granite is a durable material that’s resistant to heat and many other kitchen elements. Due to its porous nature though, there can be some staining if spilled liquids are left sitting and damage can be done if your counter receives a high impact blow.
Quartz on the other hand, is harder than granite and thus, more durable. In fact, quartz is nearly indestructible, and because it isn’t porous like granite, it’s easy to keep your countertops relatively bacteria-free. Be careful with cooking pans though: Quartz can be damaged by excessive heat, so use heating pads at all times.
We do our best to accurately depict our wide variety of stones online using high-end photography and editing. However, the color tones may not be 100% correct due to differences in computer systems, monitors, and compression algorithms. Also, granite is a natural material with naturally occurring variations in color, tone, granularity, and pattern, etc. so each sample is more of a guideline of what the stone will look like. These variations are expected and desired as evidence of its natural beauty.
Why choose Granite countertops?
Granite has a rich beauty that few other countertop materials can match. It is a natural product with a timeless aura and appeal. Granite countertops take a high-quality kitchen to the next level visually and often become the centerpiece of the room. With more than 20 shades of granite to work with, you’ll find one that blends perfectly with your kitchen cabinets, flooring and walls.
Granite is a very hard substance and is not susceptible to scratches. While not ideal to work on because it will dull knife blades, it will take normal wear and tear very well. Granite resists heat too, so its use near a range or cooktop is ideal. When you have to set down a hot pan fast, granite can take the heat without being damaged or weakened. In the bathroom, placing a hair tool on it that is still warm won’t be a problem.
Granite can be very resistant to stains and won’t absorb liquids when it is properly sealed. A professional installer will be able to seal it correctly so that it maintains its attractive good looks indefinitely, or you can do it yourself.
Why be Cautious about Granite Countertops?
For all their beauty and durability, granite counters do have a few weaknesses. The most concerning problems can occur when the countertops are not sealed correctly or the sealant wears off without the counters being resealed. Granite is porous. This means that unsealed or poorly sealed counters can absorb wine, juice or oil, producing a stain that might be impossible to remove. A poorly-sealed countertop can also harbor bacteria in its pores.
Some treated granite can go 10 years without being sealed, but many countertops will need to be resealed on a yearly basis. When this is overlooked, it won’t take long for granite countertops to begin to show signs of staining.
While granite counters are very durable, a heavy object dropped on a corner might crack or chip the granite. This isn’t common, but it can happen under the right circumstances.
Although some quartz countertops are actually made of quarried slabs of the natural stone, the new engineered material is actually created through a manufacturing process that mixes approximately 95 percent ground natural quartz with 5 percent polymer resins. The result is a super-hard, low-maintenance, natural stone-look countertop available in a dazzling array of colors. And for many of the homeowners choosing quartz, those virtually unlimited color options are the main point.
Quartz is generally resistant to heat, but if the temperature gets too high, you can damage your quartz countertop. The reason is in the resin (see how are quartz countertops made). The resin can only withstand temperatures of around 150 degrees Celsius (302°F). That means if you are taking a pan out of your oven or a hot pot from your stove, you cannot set it down directly on your quartz countertop. The resin will burn and may cause permanent damage. The way to avoid burning your countertop is simple. All you need to do is set hot objects on a hot pad or a metal trivet. This removes the risk of burning your countertop.
Quartz is man-engineered material, featuring an enhanced durability and colour pallet. Moreover, due to its physical structure, it has a low permeability, thus contributing to protecting itself against natural elements. On the other hand, granite boasts a deciding heat tolerance, thus preferred as an optimal choice for cooking environments.
Please bring your measurements alongside samples of the cabinet door, floor tile, paint colours to help establish a quote on the perfect fit. Should you require, product samples can also be checked out and brought home. If you are unable to visit us, consider using the online tool, to pick and match a countertop of your dreams.
Most quartz and granite countertops are 1 ¼” which is about 3cm. Countertops thicker than that will require additional reinforcing, usually a piece of plywood on top of the cabinets.
It means that pieces come pre-cut with the aim to fit standard kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Since there are no measurements involved, it saves money and time. Several drawbacks appear when trying to acquire a prefab countertop: small color diversity, reduced quality control, any cutting will result in additional polishing, tough to achieve seamless transitions between pieces.
Maintenance and usage:
Because of its rich natural color pattern, durability and ease of upkeep, quartz is highly sought after as a finish for kitchen countertops. Once installed, the sumptuous material usually only requires a simple wipe down to keep it clean and maintain its elegant appearance. Knowing which cleaning methods and products not to use on your quartz countertop, however, is just as important as knowing which to use. Perform everyday cleaning tasks with a mild soap solution and a soft cloth or sponge, and steer clear of harsh scrubbers and cleaners that may mar the sealed surface of the quartz. Wipe with a soft cloth daily to remove any fingerprints or light dust.
Daily cleaning with a warm soapy rag will do the job. For a deeper scrub, use a special granite cleaner or make your own by combining dish detergent and rubbing alcohol. Ammonia, vinegar, or lemon-based cleaners are to be avoided at all costs, due to being acidic and may deteriorate the surface. Lastly, don’t forget to include annual resealing into your routine, to keep your countertop healthy and shiny.
If you use large force, then yes, it can chip. However, only in cases of severe abuse with a hammer or impact tool your granite kitchen countertop can chip. If a chip does occur, it can be fixed using a granite dust and epoxy mixture. If a chip occurs on your countertop, do not throw out the chipped pieces. Our team can use the pieces to fix the countertop so that no one will be able to tell it was ever chipped.
Yes, it can absolutely be fixed. If you face such an issue, just call us today and our team of specialists will come to your home and assess the damage to your granite. It is very hard to damage granite, so if any damage occurs it can usually be fixed with a mixture of epoxy and ground up chips of granite.
Yes, you can cut directly on your kitchen granite countertop and no, you do not have to use a cutting board. Granite is extremely hard and can withstand even the sharpest of knives. However, it’s not a good practice for your knives as it can cause them to dull in as little as one use. We do recommend using a wooden or plastic cutting board to protect you knives and assist in clean up.
To clean granite countertops on a daily basis, wipe them down with a warm soapy rag. For a deeper clean, use a special granite cleaner or make your own by combining dish detergent and rubbing alcohol. Do not use ammonia, vinegar, or lemon cleaners, which are all acidic and may eat away at the surface.
Sealed granite is above stainless steel on the MOH (durability) scale, that means you won’t be able to leave a single scratch on the surface with an ordinary knife. Cutting on a sealed granite countertop will only dull your knives, so just give in on the idea, and use a wood or plastic board. However, substances left on your blade such as: lemon juice, vinegar soaked meat and other acidic based liquids will eventually find their way about deteriorating your favourite granite surface.
Yes, as long as you’re using a hot pad or trivet to dissipate the heat. Otherwise, consider using a granite based countertop, due to its amazing heat tolerance properties (short term), you won’t have to use any pads, when working in the kitchen.
Details about the installation process and technicalities:
A countertop should be installed before the backsplash is put on the walls, due to restrictions in design that come up with setting the tiles first. Make sure to consult on the availability of selected design in case you have your kitchen backsplash already set up.
Yes you can. We will try to combine your feedback with our expert’s opinions to the best of our ability, after we double check on the measurements. You know what they say, “measure 7 times, cut once”.
We seal the countertop at the time of installation. It’s advisable to reseal your countertop annually, so as to preserve the granite surface and prolong longevity. The seal barrier protects against water, specified chemicals, bacteria etc.
Silicone glue is an excellent sealant, boasting a strong binding formula, which allows it to be applied to almost any surface. You face no trouble even in dealing with plastic, metal and glass. Moreover, it supports temperatures high as 570F or 300C (short term exposure) as well as impermeability to chemicals and foreign elements.
A minimum of 24 hours is required for the silicone to cure. Any pressure applied before that time will cause issues like unfilled spots at best, and a shattered countertop at worst. Installing drains and faucets come thereafter.
Seams in granite countertops are glued together using two-part epoxy. Clamps are used to hold the blocks together till the glue curates, while also removing any extra when pressure is applied.
If your granite installation requires at least one joint, there will most likely be visible seams, no way about it. Prior to installing, we try to achieve a seamless experience, through various tools and design. You won’t notice them with the naked eye.
You will have to employ plumbers and electricians or disconnect them yourself before our arrival. Should you inquire about having your old top removed, but keep the old faucet or sink, the detachment of the appliances falls on you. However, if you are content with us recycling the materials, we will do so without a charge.
Yes. Assuming you choose an undermount sink, it will be mounted to the underside of the stone slab with clips. Note however that we won’t take care of your plumbing, you will have to call a certified plumber or do it yourself.
Countertops use cabinets as support pillars, unless it’s a cantilever portion. Therefore, it’s essential to have the flooring and cabinetry done prior to the final phase of installation. We use exact measures to template your perfect countertop, as such having more variables into the equation, will obscure the installation and bring about additional charges for necessary changes.
Glueing countertops comes in two steps. First, you apply a bead of silicone caulk or construction adhesive, whichever you prefer, along the top edge of all cabinet parts that act as support and the countertop itself. Second, you set it up as you see fit. Don’t forget to insert shims under a mitered countertop to negate breaking the glue joint.
The perfect choice for bonding granite is epoxy, while silicone glue suffices to cover up caulking joints between a sink and a granite counter. However, some glue manufacturers have developed silicone-based adhesives to be used for granite. Another point to consider is applying the adhesive correctly. Thin layers and mounted pressure should give the desired results.
Averaging at about an hour, the process of template making may range between 30 minutes and 2 hours, depending on the peculiarities of your project. From laser measurement tools to complex designing software, we got you covered on all fronts.
The cantilevered portion cannot be more than ⅓ of the total width of the countertop, due to physical limitations. Exceeding this limitation will put additional strain on the glue joint resulting in additional costs needed to review the project.
The cabinetry acts as support pillars for your countertop. While many factors come into play when templating your countertop, various tests have shown that an overhang of 1 to 1 ½ inches from the cabinet bases is desirable.
There might be slight changes in regard to the project, as such we advise the decision-maker to be present at all times. Being granted clearance speeds up the installation process.
If proper working space is not provided off-site cutting is available. The installers will, however, have to schedule an additional day for this step, before proceeding further. Depending on the location, supplementary charges may occur. Customers take it upon their self to check if there are any HOA restrictions as well as provide clarity on any other restriction present.
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