What's all this discussion about sealing the granite or marble?
Both granite and marble are somewhat porous by nature meaning they have the propensity to absorb liquids which may lead to staining or discoloration if not properly sealed and maintained. Silestone© is completely non porous meaning that it will not absorb liquids and therefore is naturally resistant to staining and discoloration. When we install your granite or marble countertop, the last step we take is to install a liquid sealant that is absorbed into your countertop and provides a barrier against liquid absorption much as a coat of wax applied to your cars finish does. Depending on how heavily your countertops are used and which products are used to maintain them, this sealant can either be washed out or enhanced. Frequent use of common household cleaners will tend to wash out the sealant while use of our 3 in 1 cleaner, polisher and protector will enhance the stain barrier. If you notice that liquids are being easily absorbed into your countertop, wipe them off immediately and call us to schedule a service call to apply a new coat of sealant.
Can I place hot pots and pans directly on my countertops from the stove or oven?
Placing a very hot object directly on top of a cold surface results in a condition referred to as thermal shock. Imagine what happens to a glass of ice cubes when you pour boiling water into it. Under most conditions found in the kitchen, your countertops will be fine if you take a hot pan off the stove or a casserole out of the oven and place it on them. However there have been instances of countertops cracking when the conditions are just right. For this reason we always recommend the usage of a trivet or thermal pad between the pot and countertop. Furthermore there have been instances of cracking when counters are exposed to prolonged periods of low heat such as when cooking with a crock pot. We recommend placing a trivet or thermal pad between your crock pot and countertop.
Will my countertops ever crack on their own?
Under normal household conditions this is not a concern. There have been instances of houses shifting and settling where countertops have cracked.
Will I see the seams on my countertops?
In short, yes! It is necessary to put seams in your countertops for a variety of reasons such as the layout of your project relative to the size of the slab, the access to the jobsite and the work area, the ability to physically carry the material due to its weight, and the necessity to minimize waste in the fabrication process in order to deliver the product to you at a reasonable price. The fabricator always reserves the right to determine the placement of the seams based on the above considerations. When we come out to make a template of your project we will discuss seam placement with you. Also in certain materials seams will be more visible than in other materials. Variations in color and pattern in certain granites and marbles will make seams appear more obvious than other materials.
How thick are my countertops?
Granite is produced in various thicknesses of 1cm, 2cm and 3cm. These correspond roughly to 3/8", 2/3" and 1". In the mid atlantic market 3cm material is the accepted standard. Other thicknesses are available by special order.
What happens if I chip, scratch or break my countertop?
Repairs can be made using a variety of techniques involving ground up chips, resin or polymer fillers, wet sanding with various grit polishers, and bonding with two stage adhesives. In most cases you will be able to find the repaired area however it will be a marked improvement over the original damage.
What goes into determining the price of my project?
Every project differs in some respect. Therefore we quote individual jobs by a proposal. The following information will need to be provided in order to obtain a proposal: a drawing showing the dimensions of the project, the color of the material chosen, the edge profile chosen, the type and height of backsplash chosen, the number and types of cutouts for sinks, stoves or other appliances, the radius of any corners, and any dimensions of diagonal base cabinets. Once we have the information we will provide you with a quote within 48 hours. This free quote is an estimate only and is subject to change based on the actual measurements we take at the time of template.
Caring For Your Stone - how to look after your marble or granite work top
Granites differ in their texture but they all have similar properties such as their resistance to the invasive action of most substances found in the house. Unlike marble and limestone, granite is the least affected by acids or alcohol. It shouldn't be damaged from standing hot utensils on it or by sharp knives (having said that, the new fusion edge knives claim to be able to cut anything) All stones, due to their granular construction, are porous to a greater or lesser extent and most granites fall into the latter category. To reduce the slight ability of granite to absorb liquids we treat the surface with a proprietary sealer that penetrates the surface and fills the microscopic voids between the crystals. This process is first done in the factory at the completion of manufacture and again when installed. However, you should be aware that with the lighter colored granites you may experience slight darkening of the stone in areas where water has been allowed to stand, but this should fade away as it dries out. Beetroot, wine and cooking oil, particularly when hot may cause a stain on your marble or granite work top, and you should always clean this up immediately with kitchen roll. Marble and Limestone are susceptible to the aggressive action of acids and alcohol. Care should be taken to remove spillages of fruit juice, particularly lemon, wine and vinegar, beetroot etc. e.g. the residue of red wine on the base of wineglasses will leave its mark. Nail varnish and any other solvent or oil based products will stain if not wiped up immediately.