What is Granite?
Granite is a coarse grained crystalline igneous rock composed primarily of quartz and feldspar. It forms from slowly cooling magma that is subjected to extreme pressures deep beneath the earth's surface.
Why are customers encouraged to view their slabs prior to fabrication?
Because granite is a natural material, color variations, and veining are perfectly normal. There may be vast differences between samples viewed and a customer's actual material. Because this material is a natural product consistency cannot be guaranteed, even within a single slab.
What does a slab viewing entail?
Slab viewings are made by appointment once the measure has been scheduled. Please be advised that slab viewings are held during normal business hours: Monday - Friday 9.00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. You will be invited to our Itasca facility and view as many slabs as required to complete your particular job; additional slabs may be pulled for viewing at your request. Slab viewings can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour depending on the intricacies of the job. Children are only allowed if closely supervised by parents. The viewing may be terminated if the child's safety is compromised in any way. (i.e. running around the viewing grounds, climbing on the slabs, etc.)
Do I have to view my slabs?
No, but you will be required to sign a waiver stating: I have been given the opportunity to view my material and have declined to do so. ALL stones are a product of nature and NO two pieces are exactly alike. Color Veining and texture may differ with each piece. We recommend that each customer inspect their material PRIOR to fabrication. I am aware that once submitted to fabrication NO CHANGES CAN BE MADE. ABSOLUTELY NO CLAIMS WILL BE ACCEPTED AFTER FABRICATION FOR REASONS OF COLOR, TEXTURE, CONSISTENCY OR VEINING.
Can I have granite installed over old existing cabinets and do I need to remove the existing tops prior to measure?
Yes, granite can be installed over existing cabinetry, however granite will not be installed if the cabinets are not structurally sound or are not level. If the cabinets are not level or structurally sound upon arrival of our installers, your installation will be rescheduled once these issues have been rectified. Cabinets should be leveled within VA" for a 10' length.
Can I place hot items directly on my granite counter-tops?
Yes. Granite will tolerate temperatures in excess of 1200 degrees (F.). You can safely place items from your oven/stove top or grill directly on the granite without a trivet or hot pad. WARNING: Due to the extreme temperature differences, hot glass dishes may crack when placed on the cool surface of the granite; this is known as thermal shock. For this reason alone glass or Pyrex® dishes should be placed on a trivet or hot pad.
Can I use my granite counter top as a cutting board?
Yes, diamond tipped tools are needed to cut through the granite. Regular steel knives are no match for the hardness of granite; however you will need to sharpen your knives more frequently.
Can I have my sink/cook top cut out?
No. These cut outs are generally destroyed in the process and do not come out as one solid piece. Large diameter drills are used with diagonal saw cuts to remove the scored opening. If the cut out does happen to come out as a whole piece, the edges will be rough, unfinished and sharp. These unfinished pieces cannot be placed on the counter tops as they will scratch the surface. A typical cut out measuring 30" x 20" can easily weight 100 pounds.
I have tile above my current backsplash, will new splashes meet these tile lines?
Generally, no, granite is cut straight, your tile may not be. We recommend removing existing tile, (this usually requires replacing the drywall behind it as well) and replacing tile after new tops are installed. For everyone's safety please keep children and pets well out of the work area.
What can I expect during installation?
Dust. Although we will make every effort to keep this to a minimum, any adjustments or cut outs that are done on site will create stone dust. The act of placing the tops on your cabinets can also shake loose dust inside the cabinets themselves. To minimize your clean up & prevent any damage to breakable cook ware please remove the contents of your lower cabinets. It is also recommended to remove utensil drawers as well. Customers may also want to place plastic sheeting over door ways to prevent dust traveling to other areas of the house. Please have appliances such as refrigerators, under counter wine coolers and slide in stoves moved clear. Put off painting or installing trim around the area where your tops will be installed as well. Granite will 'scratch these surfaces and we will not be held responsible for any damage to these items.
What should I clean my granite with?
For everyday cleaning mild dish soap and water should be sufficient. There are also a vast number of granite cleaners available at your local home improvement stores. To avoid water streaks, wipe counters dry after cleaning. Windex® or similar products can be used to clean up excess oil. Because of the acidic levels it is not recommended for daily cleaning. These types of cleaners also contain dyes and should not be left on the counters for an extended period of time.
Can I stain granite?
Almost anything can be stained, but sealed granite will resist most common stains. Oil will penetrate this seal and can be difficult to remove. Oil spills should be cleaned up immediately. If oil has penetrated the seal, clean up as much of it as you can, then sprinkle baby powder or baking soda over the stain, cover with plastic wrap and allow it to sit for 24 hours. This will encourage the oil to be absorbed by the powder. Depending on how long the oil was allowed to sit on the top, this may require more than one application. In the case of stubborn stains you may want to call in a professional stone restorer.
How often do I need to seal my granite?
The 'Marble Institute of America' recommends sealing once a year. Using highly acidic or harsh chemicals may deteriorate the original seal, therefore requiring sealing more often. If water is no longer beading up on the top, it's time to reseal. Over sealing can lead to a hazy look.
I left a cold drink on my granite top and now there is a dark ring. What do I do?
Nothing. Just as the cold liquid inside the glass pulled water from the air to create sweat on the outside of the glass, the cold has condensed water (under the sealer) with in the stone. Simply remove the glass; wipe up excess water, the condensed water with in the stone will dissipate after a few hours.