A: Using coasters under glasses and placing hot items on trivets or pot holders will help to keep your natural stone looking like it did the day it was installed. Many food items and drinks may contain acids that could etch or dull your stone. Countertops should be cleaned with a mild liquid dishwashing detergent and warm water. Do not use any household cleaning products, as this may break down the sealer on granite and may actually damage the surface of marble, limestone, or travertine.
A: A sealer is like a coat of armor for your countertop. Natural stone can be dense or porous, and is absorbent to some degree. Stones that have more swirls or veins tend to be more porous and absorbent. Sealer will decrease the opportunity for something to stain or harm your surface. A protected stone will be easier to clean, resist staining, and provide a safer and healthier environment. By sealing your stone, you will more easily retain the natural beauty of the surface.
To test your countertop's sealant, apply a drop of water at least ½-inch in diameter to the stone and let stand for at least 15 minutes. Cover with a glass to reduce evaporation. If the stone does not darken then it is probably sealed against water-based stains. To ensure the beauty and longevity of your stone, we recommend sealing your stone yearly.
A: Most of the time, marble and granite can be identified by visible particles at the surface of the stone. Marble has veining, and granite has a flecked or granular appearance. Natural stone is categorized into two general categories according to its composition: Siliceous stone is composed mainly of silica- or quartz-like particles and tends to be very durable and easy to clean. Included in this category are granite, slate, and sandstone. Calcareous stone is composed mainly of calcium carbonate. It is sensitive to acidic cleaning products and frequently requires different cleaning procedures than siliceous stone. These types of stones include marble, travertine, limestone, & onyx.
A: Granite is an igneous rock found more abundantly than quartzite, deep in the earth's crust, providing the base for the many continents' sedimentary rock. Quartzite consists of a larger volume of quartz than granite—under heat and pressure combined, quartzite is formed from sandstone and quartz, and depending on the amount of pressure to which it is subjected, empty grains of sandstone are stuffed with quartz. This means quartzite is actually harder than granites.
Q: Will my stone have visible seams?
A: Most stone installations will require a seam. During design & layout, you can work with your fabricator to try to minimize the number of seams and to locate them in a less conspicuous area.
For more advice on how to maintain your granite countertops, or if you have any further questions regarding this issue or others, please feel free to contact us.