Q: How do granite and marble compare to other solid surface countertops?
A: Granite is one of the most durable, maintenance-free countertop materials available. Granite is a natural material made of very hard igneous rock that is second only in hardness and compacted strength to diamonds. As a result of its geological composition, granite is stain, scratch, and burn resistant. Easy to care for and much desired for its natural beauty, granite is an investment that amortizes over time, retaining its original appearance long after initial installation. In most cases, granite countertops fall within the same price range as other high-end surfacing materials.
Q: Can you cut on granite or marble?
A: Granite is an extremely tough, durable material and in most cases can be used as a cutting surface without fear of scratching the stone, although repeated cutting on granite may dull knives. Using marble as a cutting surface will result in scratches as if cutting on a piece of wood.
Cutting boards are recommended in daily use.
Q: Can you set hot pans on granite or marble countertops or stove tops?
A: Granite is ideal for kitchens because under normal conditions it will not burn and it will not be harmed by hot pans or open flames, but the stone will absorb heat from hot trays. Marble should not be used in kitchens as excessive heat can cause damage and potentially leave scars or burn marks. Neither material is flammable.
Trivets or cloths are highly recommended.
Q: Does granite or marble chip or scratch?
A: Granite is a very dense material and under normal conditions it is chip and scratch resistant. However, we do not recommend a straight edge polish for countertops, especially around a sink because pots, pans, and other heavy objects may chip the sharp edge of a straight edge finish. Several other edge options are available that will look beautiful and reduce the chance of chipping. Marble can be chipped and scratched under normal use and therefore, should be used in low traffic areas and should always be treated like a piece of fine wood.
Q: Will granite or marble stain?
A: Marble and granite are porous materials and therefore, are subject to staining if not maintained properly. In granite, the same porosity that allows for staining also allows for easy stain removal. In most cases, stains can be prevented by quickly wiping the spill. If a spill is left overnight, especially if the liquid is grease, oil, coffee, or wine the granite will usually darken. To remove the stain, a poultice should be applied, which may pull out the stain from the granite. Marble can be stained and etched by acidic or oil-based products.
Q: How can you limit the staining of granite or marble?
A: To prevent staining, you should wipe up spills on marble and granite as quickly as possible, and avoid using acidic or oil-based products on marble. We highly recoment natural based spray cleaners or neutral soap.
Q: Should granite be sealed?
A: The most effective method of protecting your granite is sealing. Universal Countertop applies a stone sealer, which penetrates the granite and keeps dirt, liquids, and food from easily absorbing into the stone, giving a good window of time for proper clean up. The stone impregnating material does not change the color of the granite or marble. It penetrates the stone and will help prevent staining. However, it will not stop the penetration of moisture entirely. When a liquid that might cause staining spills on the top, it should be cleaned up as soon as possible. Water stains will be seen on the surface after washing dishes, especially on light stones, but it will dry in a few minutes.
Permanent lifetime sealing is recomended and is available upon especial request. Ask one of Universal Countertop specialists about the permanent sealing of your granite.
Q: Will my granite countertop have visible seams?
A: Most granite installations will require at least one or more joints called seams. During layout and design, we will try to avoid or minimize the number of seams required. Additionally, our care in fabricating the countertop ensures that edges fit together very tightly to help lessen the appearance of visible seams. The epoxy used for the joining matches the color of the granite.
Q: Can I choose the granite slab that will be used for their countertops.
A: Universal Countertop encourages customers visit our Shrewsbury showroom to hand select their material. Customers will be shown different "lots" of the same granite and the customer can select which lot they prefer. We will also lay the template on the slab with the customer so they specifically select the most desirable sections of the stone. We only cut what you like!