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Q: How Often do you have to seal granite?
A: Until recently, you granite needed to be sealed annually. With the advancements in sealing products, the sealer only needs to be reapplied every 3-5 years. Check the information on the back of the sealer and follow the recommendations.
Q: Does a professional have to come in and seal natural stone?
A: No, sealing natural stone is something a homeowner can easily do. The product is a liquid that is applied to a clean, dry counter top with a soft cloth. After the sealer is generously applied to the surface, the excess is removed with a dry cloth, and the counter tops should be allowed to dry. Check the back of the sealer to determine when the counter tops will be ready for normal use. Drying times can vary between 24-72 hours.
Q: Will bacteria grow on granite?
A: Bacteria, like any other living organism, needs something to eat in order to live. Bacteria cannot eat granite. Unclean, unkempt counter tops can harbor bacteria regardless of what counter top material is used. Granite has performed extremely well in testing; performing second only to stainless steel in its ability to resist bacterial growth.
Q: Is granite a natural product or is it man-made?
A: Granite is a natural product. Granite is quarried in its natural form directly from the earth and is cut and processed by machine. Because of its extreme hardness and mineral content, granite can be polished to a mirror-like finish using the proper machinery.
Q: What does "honed" granite mean?
A: Honed granite is granite that has not been polished to a shine. It is a smooth, matte finish. Honed granite is lighter in color than its polished counterpart, however the color can be deepened with a color-enhancing sealer.
Q: Can you use marble in the kitchen?
A: The short answer is yes, you can use marble in the kitchen. However, because marble is susceptible to staining, scratching and etching, the use of marble in a kitchen requires careful consideration.
Q: Can you cut on granite or do you use a cutting board?
A: Yes, you can cut directly on granite. However, routinely cutting on a granite surface will dull your cutlery.
Q: What is tumbled marble?
A: Tumbled marble is quite literally, marble that has been loaded into a tumbler and knocked against each other in order to achieve rough, worn edges and surface. Some materials that are referred to as "tumbled marble" are actually tumbled limestone or travertine, but the process is the same and aesthetically they are difficult to tell apart.
Q: I'm building a house, when should I select my stone?
A: Because natural stone has variations, it is not a good idea to select a stone too early. Colorations can vary, and the veining from one shipment to another can be quite different. Once the cabinets are 3 - 4 weeks away from being installed it is a good idea to finalize your selection based on current inventory.
Q: Is polished marble too slippery to be used on a bathroom floor?
A: Any polished surface is slippery when wet. As with any other hard surface used in a bathroom, caution should be used when exiting the shower and tub areas, as well as any other area that is wet.
Q: Will my counter-tops have seams?
A: Not necessarily. A typical slab size is somewhere between 7 and 10 feet. Therefore, your counter-tops may not require a seam. Many people do not have a problem with seams, but if you are concerned about them you should discuss this with us prior to fabrication. How and where it is seamed should also be discussed. Often the seams are so tight they are difficult to notice, however communication with us is essential in order to avoid confusion or disappointment regarding seams.
Q: Will the sealer wipe off when cleaned, or scratch off with wear?
A: No. The sealer is not a coating on top of the stone, it is an impregnator, which is absorbed by the stone and fills the pores in order to repel food and liquid. Over time, cleaners do reduce the effectiveness of the sealer, requiring re-sealing of the stone. Re-sealing could be necessary every 1 - 5 years, depending on the material and sealer used. In order to increase the life of your sealer, use cleaners that are intended for natural stone.
Q: Will Granite stain?
A: No. However, granite porosities vary. Some granite if not properly sealed can absorb liquid into the pores. This may appear at first to be a stain; however in many instances a dark area on the counter-top will dry and disappear over time. If discoloration occurs, there are products on the market to remove them.
Q: Is granite more expensive than man-made materials?
A: It depends on the granite. Availability, color, and country of origin are major factors that affect the price of granite. If the supply of a particular stone is short and demand for it is high, the price will reflect that. Given that stone is a natural product imported from all over the world, the price spectrum is wide. However, many granite colors are offered at the same price or sometimes less than man made products
Q: Which type of sink is best for granite? Under-mount or drop-in?
A: This is a matter of personal preference. If installed properly, both types of sinks are sanitary and safe.
The ability to wipe off the counter directly into the sink and the aesthetic appeal make under-mounted sinks the most popular. Typically an under-mount sink installation would be an additional expense (though minimal) due to the finishing process of the edges around the sink.
Q: Will granite weigh too much for my cabinetry? Do I need additional cabinet supports?
A: 3cm (1 1/4") granite weighs approx. 19 lbs per square foot. Typical cabinet construction is more than adequate for most installations. However, large, self-standing or furniture-style islands may require additional corner bracing. It is advisable to let your cabinet installer know that you are using granite to ensure proper support.
Q: Will my sample match my actual slab?
A: Because of the movement and veining in natural stone, it is difficult to accurately represent stone with a small sample. Also, stone varies from shipment to shipment, so if you have a sample from a previous shipment, it may not match the current supply. It is advisable to view the actual slabs at the AGM showroom prior to fabrication.
Q: Will the polish on my counter-tops wear off over time?
A: This depends on whether you have granite or marble. The polish of Granite will not diminish with normal wear and tear. That doesn't mean that if you attack your granite with a belt sander it won't dull the finish. The only things that could scratch granite are typically not found in the kitchen. Marble, on the other hand, is a calcite which will react with acidic liquids, etching the polish. Proper sealing and maintenance is more crucial with marble counter-tops.
Q: Is it okay to mix different colors of stone?
A: Absolutely. It is not uncommon to mix colors or types of stone within a room. When mixing stones, it is a good idea to consider which material would be the most practical for the space. For example, when mixing granite with marble, the granite would be best suited for the area around the range because it is the most durable. The marble could be used on the island or as a dining table.
Q: Should I approve my slabs before they are fabricated?
A: It is always a good idea to approve the slabs prior to fabrication. This will help to prevent any surprises or disappointments once the material is installed.
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