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Here is a list of common questions when selecting and working with stone and solid surfaces. If you do not see the answer to your question, please contact us and let us know. Our team of experts are always happy to help.

What is Granite?

Granite is an igneous rock having a visible crystal structure. Granite is made up primarily of quartz and feldspar (which are harder than steel). These give granite the lighter colors, like whites and pinks. This background is accented by darker minerals, such as muscovite, black mica biotite and the black amphibole hornblende. Therefore, granite has a salt-and-pepper look.

Granite forms the majority of the earth’s crust and is among the hardest building materials known. In quarries, granite is cut using diamond because that is the only stone sufficiently hard enough to cut it. After granite is quarried, cut and polished, it can be made into vanity tops, sinks, tubs, pedestals, benches, fountains, lanterns, oil lamps, birdbaths, flower pots, shelves, table inserts and other products.

How is Granite Formed?

Granite is formed under the earth’s surface by the crystallization of once molten material under conditions of extreme heat and pressure over eons. Solid rock melts under very high temperatures, and water acts as a catalyst. During the slow cooling process, the larger crystals grow big enough to be visible.

What is Quartzite?

Quartzite is an increasingly popular countertop option for homeowners. it’s a naturally strong, heat-resistant stone that can appear similar to marble but is sturdier and less prone to scratching and other damage. the durability of quartzite varies, however, and heavy use can cause etching, staining or scratching. quartzite is ideal for countertops, bar tops, fireplace surrounds, and nearly anywhere that granite could be used.

What is soft quartzite?

Soft quartzite has a similar appearance and characteristic to calcite-based marbles, but it is a harder material, making it more suitable for countertop use. The striking effect of the design’s movement makes it perfect for a kitchen island or tabletop, where the stone can be displayed in a large piece to showcase its veins and variations.

What is marble?

Can I use marble on my kitchen counters?

Yes, but be aware marble (and limestone and travertine) are calcium carbonate, and their polished surface is more vulnerable to household acids including vinegar, mustard, catsup, citrus and a host of other food-related products. These acidic substances cause a chemical reaction, which will remove the polish. Additionally, marble and limestone can be scratched more easily than harder stones such as granite.

What is the difference between granite and Marble?

Granite is a very dense material made deep in the earth’s core, while marble is formed from calciferous sediments associated with the sea floor. Both materials turn into stone over eons, but the minerals in these two stones make them react differently to conditions in the home and outdoors.

Granite has small flecks and grains of different colors, and it has varying crystal sizes and colors. Granite also has veining, or streaks of different colored crystals. Marble is crystalline and is made up of white calcite. Marble is made up of far fewer elements than granite, and is much softer.

Can granite crack?

Not with normal use. Transportation, installation, and settling or weathering could possibly cause a crack. Do not stand on or drop anything on granite surfaces. If needed, a crack can be repaired using some ground granite and an adhesive.

Can granite chip?

Only in severe cases of abuse. If a chip occurs, save the pieces and have a professional fix it by mixing the ground granite with epoxy.

Can there be pits in a granite surface?

The crystal structure of granite will always have small pits, which are spaces between the crystals. They are not apparent because of the polishing that is done to the surface. Applying sealant will help lessen any appearance of pits.

Can granite be etched?

Etches are rings or dull spots caused by an acidic liquid coming into contact with the surface. Due to its composition, granite is naturally highly resistant to etching. If needed, clean the granite surface and reapply sealer and polish. Common liquids that can cause etching include glass cleaners, alcohol, juice and coffee.

Granite will dull with age and from contact with acids, abrasives, or coarse cleaning pads. In this case, refinish. Test the porosity of your granite by placing something wet on it for five minutes and then wiping it up. If the granite changes color in that area, then apply sealant.

Should granite be sealed?

Not all granite needs to be sealed, but generally it benefits from a sealing product. Typically, a resin treatment is applied to the granite at time of manufacture. We recommend that you apply a stone sealer after the granite is installed, and then periodically apply sealant after that. Sealing is important for preserving the finish, and will not alter the appearance of the granite.

After granite is sealed, it is easy to maintain. Granite can still stain, however, if spills are not cleaned up right away. Sealing and polishing are not difficult, and they help resist the absorption of spills.

The absorbency of the granite — and its exposure to water or weathering — will determine how often sealing is needed. We recommend sealing granite at least every few years, and some areas might need it more frequently. The less you reseal, the more the granite will show an aged look, which some people prefer.

How resistant to heat is granite?

Granite will not be affected from exposure to ordinary sources of heat in a household. Granite is easily resistant to heat up to temperatures of 480°F, and can even likely withstand temperatures up to 1,200°F. To prevent possible damage, avoid extreme changes in temperature, such as placing something cold on an area of a granite counter right after placing something hot on that area.

What is "Honed" stone?

Granite, Marble, or limestone that is honed has a matte or satin finish, rather than a high reflective polish. One feature of honed marble is that it doesn’t show etching as readily, or wear patterns on floors. It is preferred by some because “honed” stone has a less formal, softer appearance than polished stone.

Is granite expensive?

The cost of granite counters can vary depending on the color, edge profile, and custom shapes used in the layout.

Why is quartz different from marble and granite?

Quartz is an engineered stone, so it is man-made while marble and granite are natural stones. Quartz color and patterns are consistent while natural stone colors and patterns can vary greatly from slab-to-slab.

Are there different qualities of granite?

Yes, there are different qualities of granite.

Can I use limestone in my kitchen?

Like marble, polished limestone is highly susceptible to surface changes or damage from kitchen acids including citrus juices, vinegars, mustards, and so forth. Unsealed, some of the more porous limestones can be subject to stains. If the limestone is polished or semi-polished, you will see a rough spot where the substance sat on the stone. Limestone can scratch easily as well.

 

What is the typical maintenance for stone countertops?

Wipe up spills on marble and granite as quickly as possible.
Avoid using acidic or oil-based products on marble.
Consider using Supreme Surface Cleaners that contain ioSeal protectants.

Does granite stain?

Most natural stones are porous to some degree. Granite will be installed with sealer in place which prevents stains. Post installation, you can use cleaning products which have a sealer as part of the formulation which will refresh and replenish the sealer.

How do I clean my granite countertops?

Simply clean with warm soap and water or use a mild household cleanser that doesn’t contain ammonia or abrasives. Wipe dry to prevent streaking. Do not use any chemical sealant products as this will void the warranty.

How do I care for my quartz surface countertop?

To care for your quartz countertop, simply wipe with a cloth of warm soap & water. Also, do not put really hot items on the surface and be sure to wipe up acidic spills quickly.

Can I cut on my granite countertop?

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.

Does granite burn?

No. You can't burn granite with ordinary use. It is perfectly ok to set hot pots or pans directly from the stove or oven onto granite.

How long are the slabs, and can seems be avoided?

The average slab size is typically 98" to 115" long by 55" to 72" tall. Your Project Manager will work with each customer to place a few seams as possible in a kitchen. Seams are required based on slab size and may be needed to maintain the structural integrity of the countertop.

How long can granite countertop pieces be?

It is typically safe to have granite pieces that are approximately 6' to 8' long, depending upon the stone type and cutout configurations.

What is the deference between 2CM and 3CM? What is the most appropriate thickness for the tops?

The 2cm thick stone is approximately 3/4in thick. The 3cm is approximately 1 3/16in thick. We recommend using the 3cm for the kitchen countertops for both aesthetic reasons and structural reasons.

Do I need to be at the home during the measuring and installation?

Yes, a decision maker, 18 years or older must be present at the template appointment as well as the installation appointments.

Will my kitchen have seams?

Due to the limitation of slab size, seams on a granite countertop are necessary and sometimes unavoidable. On average, granite slabs are approx. 110"x66", though in some colors, 120" slabs are not unusual. Extremely large islands may either require a seam, or color selections will be limited to those slabs that have longer lengths or widths. A good place to incorporate seams is near sinks or cook tops. This will help to cover most of the seam, leaving a minimum amount in view. The visibility of seams will depend on the granularity, color and pattern of the stone. Our sales associates will help to explain the seam process in further detail to you.

Can granite be repaired?

It is very hard to damage granite due to its natural characteristics. If any damage should occur, it can usually be fixed with a mixture of epoxy and ground up chips of granite.

Are seams visible?

A colored epoxy resin is used during installation which is mixed with colored crystals to match the granite as closely as possible; however, you will be able to see and feel the seams.

Will my granite look like the online or in-store sample?

The Online and in-store sample is a color reference only. Granite is a natural material, so each slab will vary in color, tone, pattern, etc. Therefore, it is always recommended you make an appointment at Vivaldi Lifestyles to view your slabs.

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