FAQs

FAQs

Is granite expensive?

Today granite is often priced lower than many engineered stones such as quartz. considering its durability and natural beauty, it is today’s best value among countertop choices.

Will Granite stain?

Granite is exceptionally stain resistant, for years architects have used granite as an external surface in commercial buildings because of its ability to withstand nature’s elements and retain its original beauty.

Will granite lose its shine?

Household activities simply do not cause sufficient abrasion to granite to dull it. Your granite countertop will maintain its brand new shine for decades to come.

Does granite need to be sealed frequently?

Good quality granite does not need to be sealed more than once every three to five years. Sealing granite countertops is a relatively easy job and no special skill or knowledge is required to apply the sealants. It takes 10-15 minutes to reseal an average size kitchen and is simply wiped on and buffed by hand.

Is granite difficult to maintain?

Maintenance for granite is virtually non-existent. It can be routinely cleaned with mild soap and water, or you can purchase inexpensive granite countertop cleaners from your grocery store. Your granite is sealed before cutting even begins and this protects your stone from staining. You should re-seal every three to five years as needed. Oil spills can be problematic so, if you spill oil on your counters, clean it up as you go and do not allow it to sit on the stone for any length of time.

How careful do I have to be with granite?

Granite is scratch and heat resistant. It can withstand very high levels of heat, allowing you to move dishes from your oven or stove directly to the countertop without a problem. Heat from pots and pans will not cause any damage to your granite. Granite, in fact, will not scorch even when exposed to direct flame. You can cut or slice on your granite, but you will run the risk of dulling your knives! Other stones such as marble and limestone do not perform as predictably and we discourage their use in several places, especially the kitchen.

Does granite harbor bacteria?

Records maintained by The Center for Disease Control confirm that there is absolutely no evidence of granite harboring bacteria or of anyone getting sick from bacteria in granite.

Additionally, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, as well as the Hospitality Industry, give granite a clean bill of health. In a recent study, granite countertops provided the greatest reduction in bacteria count of all materials tested. Six countertop surfaces were contaminated with E.Coli bacteria, then washed and rinsed using dish soap and “normal and reasonable” cleaning practices.

(*Source: “The Reduction of E.coli on Various countertop Surfaces”, by Dr.O.Peter Snyder, Jr., PH.D., of the Hospitality Institute of Technology and Management, March 1999)

Does granite contain harmful radon gases?

The Marble Institute of America’s study, conducted by the University of Akron, analyzed 52 samples of granite used most frequently in homes and found that the vast majority added “almost immeasurable amounts of radon to the house” The highest level emitted by any stone studied in that research as 0.27 Pico curies per liter (pCi/L), far below the 4 pCi/L that the Environmental Protection Agency says warrants corrective action. In actuality, radon gas emissions are more harmful from surfaces such as concrete, cement and gypsum which surround us on a daily basis. It is an unstable gas that quickly breaks down and dissipates in the air.

Radiation in granite is not dangerous.

From what we know, there are two ways in which countertops, tiles and other finishes made of granite might emit any level of radiation. The first is by the release of tiny amounts of the radioactive gas radon which can be inhaled. The second is by direct radiation from the surface itself to the homeowner. In both cases the radiation emitted is from the same process – natural radioactive decay of one element into another.Compared to other radiation sources in the home and outside, the risk to the homeowner from radioactivity remitted from a granite countertop or tiles is practically non-existent. In fact, the amount of radon gas emitted by a granite countertop is less than one millionth of that already present in the household air from other sources. If you have further questions about radon and granite, contact the Marble Institute of American at 440-250-9222, send an email to [email protected] , or visit www.marble-institute.com.

Care and Maintenance of Granite

For long lasting beauty of your granite countertops, we apply sealer after the installation and recommend that you re-apply sealer once a year, or when water spots become difficult to remove.

Care and maintenance of natural stone is very easy – simply wipe with warm water and a little mild soap. Do not use chemicals that may affect the high polish of the stone. Due to the natural porosity of granite, the surface my be susceptible to damage from certain liquids such as grease, oil, and citric acids when left for abnormal periods of time.

Don’t use vinegar, lemon juice or other cleaners containing acids.

Don’t use cleaners that contain acid such as bathroom cleaners, grout cleaners or tub & tile cleaners.

Don’t use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleansers or soft cleansers.

Do not stand, sit or walk on your granite countertops

Difference between Quartz and Marble

Quartz is an engineered stone which contains resin binders and pigments. It is a very hard surface and will last a lifetime, with no variations and predictably safe patterns with many colors to choose from, including vibrant colors not found in nature. It is a perfect fit for contemporary settings. Quartz does not need to be sealed, but prolonged exposure to high heat can cause damage to quartz.

Marble is a sedimentary stone whose main ingredient is calcium. It comes in beautiful colors and patterns and is very elegant and beautiful. Like granite, it is individually chosen by slabs due to the variation in colors and patterns. It is softer and more fragile than granite. It is a porous material that stains very easily, and may contain pits and fissures. It is best suited for bath vanities and some tabletop projects. Quartz and marble are usually more expensive than many granite choices. We are an authorized Quartz fabricator for Silestone, Caesarstone, and Cambria.

How to care for Marble Countertops

Marble is a calcium-rich stone, porous and susceptible to expansion. When spills are left on a marble countertop, they seep into the pores. Over time, this leads to cracks. It’s important to wipe up any spills immediately, then wipe the area with a little water and dry immediately. Never allow wet dishes, glasses or water to stand on a marble countertop for any length of time. Water will seep into the stone and leave a permanent ring to remind you where the water was. This is caused by a permanent change in the marble’s composition and can only be removed by professional polishing. Cleaning Agents Matter

You’ll need to select a cleaning solution that is made specifically for cleaning marble. Most regular household cleaners contain acid, which can damage the finish. Cleaners with citric acid must be avoided. Neutral cleaners, such as phosphate-free solutions or dishwashing liquids, will work in a pinch. The trick to using any cleaning agent on your countertop is to rinse the soap off immediately with warm water to avoid drying out the marble.

If your marble countertop is stained, you may need to choose between living with the stain and living with an etched surface, as most cleaners that can do the job will also do some damage to the finish. For stains from oils in foods, spread dry corn starch over the stain and let it sit for 24 hours. This should absorb most of the oil from the stain.

How to Care for Quartz Countertops

Virtually maintenance-free, quartz is a hard, non-porous surface that requires no sealing to renew the luster and is simple to clean. In most cases, soap and water or a mild detergent is enough to keep your quartz countertop looking like new. If necessary, use a non-abrasive soft soap along with a non-scratch or delicate scrub pad. Afterwards, thoroughly rinse with clean water to remove residue. For Stubborn Stains or Dried Spills apply a non-abrasive household cleaner (a non-abrasive cleaner will not dull the surface shine) and rinse to remove residue.

To remove adhered material such as food, gum, nail polish or even dried paint, first scrape away excess material with a plastic putty knife and then use a damp cloth to remove any marks or residual dirt.

For extra-stubborn stains, a no-scratch Scotch-Brite® pad is recommended along with the non-abrasive cleaner recommended by your local quartz distributor.