MANUFACTURERS OF KITCHEN COUNTERTOPS, DESKS,
VANITY TOPS, FIREPLACES, BAR TOPS, AND MUCH MORE
ALSO OFFERING TILE DESIGN & INSTALLATION
(608) 442-ROCK (7625)
If you have questions, you’re very likely to find the answers right here!
We’ve gathered the questions that are asked most often in one place, to help you find the information you need quickly and easily. If you have a question that is not addressed here or elsewhere on our website, please contact us by e-mail and we’ll get back to you fast!
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Q. When should I seal the granite or marble?
A. Both granite and marble are somewhat porous by nature meaning they have the propensity to absorb liquids which may lead to staining or discoloration if not properly sealed and maintained. When we fabricate your granite or marble countertop, the last step we take is to apply a sealant that is absorbed into your countertop and provides a barrier against liquid absorption much as a coat of wax applied to your cars finish does.
Depending on how heavily your countertops are used and which products are used to maintain them, this sealant can either be washed out or enhanced. Frequent use of common household cleaners will tend to wash out the sealant while use of our 3 in 1 cleaner, polisher and protector will enhance the stain barrier. If you notice that liquids are being easily absorbed into your countertop you it maybe time to reseal. You can check this by place several drops of water on the surface of the stone and see how long it takes for the water to completely disappear. If the water absorbs into the stone under 3-4 minutes, it may need sealing.
Sealing granite and natural stone with penetrating sealers, (also called impregnators), protects the structure of a natural stone. They protect the stone from within. When sealing natural stone or granite with this type of sealer, it is applied directly to the face of the stone with a soft cloth. It’s simple to do and does not require a stone specialist. This type of sealer is recommended for sealing granite.
The sealer will penetrate below the stone’s surface without leaving a coating or film on top. The stone below the surface will be protected; however, there is no surface protection. This means calcareous natural stones such as marble, onyx, limestone, and travertine can still etch or dull if acidic products such as orange juice or coke are left on your stone.
To help provide surface protection a cleanser made specifically for natural stone can be used. Stone cleaners remove dirt and debris from the stone’s surface the same as a detergent soap does. They are just milder.
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Q. Can I place hot pots and pans directly on my countertops from the stove or oven?
A. Placing a very hot object directly on top of a cold surface, results in a condition referred to as thermal shock. Imagine what happens to a glass of ice cubes when you pour boiling water into it. Under most conditions found in the kitchen, your countertops will be fine if you take a hot pan off the stove or a casserole out of the oven and place it on them. However there have been instances of countertops cracking when the conditions are just right. For this reason we always recommend the usage of a trivet or thermal pad between the pot and countertop.
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Q. Will my countertops ever crack on their own?
A. Under normal household conditions this is not a concern.
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Q. How thick are my countertops?
A. Granite is produced in various thicknesses. 2cm and 3cm are the most common thicknesses. These correspond roughly to 3/4″ and 1 1/4″. In the Midwest market 3cm material is the accepted standard. Other thicknesses are available by special order.
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Q. What happens if I chip, scratch or break my countertop?
A. Repairs can be made using a variety of techniques involving ground up chips, resin or polymer fillers, wet sanding with various grit polishers, and bonding with two stage adhesives. In some cases you will be able to find the repaired area however it will be a marked improvement over the original damage.
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Q. What goes into determining the price of my project?
A. Every project differs in some respect. Therefore we quote individual jobs by a proposal. The following information will need to be provided in order to obtain a proposal: a drawing showing the dimensions of the project, the color of the material chosen, the edge profile chosen, the type and height of backsplash chosen, the number and types of cutouts for sinks, stoves or other appliances, the radius of any corners, and any dimensions of diagonal base cabinets. Once we have the information we will provide you with a quote within 48 hours. This free quote is an estimate only and is subject to change based on the actual measurements we take at the time of template.
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Q. Countertop Site Preparation
A. On new construction, the base cabinets must be permanently anchored in place before a template can be made. On a remodel project or just replacing tops, in most cases, existing tops do not need to be removed prior to measurement. Any sinks, faucets, cook tops, or any other item that requires a cutout or a hole in the top must be readily available at the time the template is made. The fabricator may need to take some items with him to complete the fabrication.
Please note that any delay in acquiring the accessories may also delay the installation. The countertop installer will not be responsible for connecting or moving of dishwashers, cook tops, or plumbing and no changes can be made once the installer takes his measurements and makes the template. All cuts are final; it is impossible to reattach a piece of granite that has been cut from the slab. Additionally, once the granite is glued in place on the cabinets, moving it is very difficult and risks of damage is high.
At the time of installation of your new countertops, the old countertops and any appliances, like cook tops or sinks that are in the way of the installers, must be disconnected and moved out of the kitchen. Our installers are not certified plumbers or electricians, so for your safety, they are not allowed to disconnect or reconnect appliances or sinks. Most under mount sinks will be installed (attached to the counter top) for you, but we will not connect the plumbing or faucets.
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Q. Will I see the seams on my countertops?
A. In short, yes! It is necessary to put seams in your countertops for a variety of reasons such as the layout of your project relative to the size of the slab, the access to the jobsite and the work area, the ability to physically carry the material due to its weight, and the necessity to minimize waste in the fabrication process in order to deliver the product to you at a reasonable price. The fabricator always reserves the right to determine the placement of the seams based on the above considerations. When we come out to make a template of your project we will discuss seam placement with you. Also in certain materials seams will be more visible than in other materials. Variations in color and pattern in certain granites and marbles will make seams appear more obvious than other materials.
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Q. Caring For Your Stone – how to look after your marble or granite countertop.
A. Granites differ in their texture but they all have similar properties such as their resistance to the invasive action of most substances found in the house. Unlike marble and limestone, granite is the least affected by acids or alcohol. It shouldn’t be damaged from standing hot utensils on it or by sharp knives (having said that, the new fusion edge knives claim to be able to cut anything)
All stones, due to their granular construction, are porous to a greater or lesser extent and most granites fall into the latter category. To reduce the slight ability of granite to absorb liquids we treat the surface with a proprietary sealer that penetrates the surface and fills the microscopic voids between the crystals. This process is first done in the factory at the completion of fabrication. However, you should be aware that with the lighter colored granites you may experience slight darkening of the stone in areas where water has been allowed to stand, but this should fade away as it dries out. Beetroot, wine and cooking oil, particularly when hot may cause a stain on your marble or granite counter top, and you should always clean this up immediately.
Marble, Limestone & Travertine are susceptible to the aggressive action of acids and alcohol. This is called “Etching.” Care should be taken to remove spillages such as orange juice, coffee, vinegar, wine, tomato products, mustard, urine and many soft drinks since this will “etch” most marble, limestone and travertine. Sealing allows you time to wipe up a spill, but it cannot stop the chemical reaction that may leave a dull mark. General household cleaners not specifically designed for natural stone are not recommended. These may etch away the polish, discolor the surface, scratch the stone or degrade the sealer. Professional refinishing is the best way to permanently remove etch marks and restore your natural stone’s even finish.
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Q. How much does granite weigh?
A. Granite tiles and slabs come in different thicknesses. Granite is a very dense natural material so weight factors into the supporting material the tops mount upon. The approximate weight per square foot for each thickness is as follows:
• 3/4″(2cm) thick slab: 15 lbs sq. ft.
• 1 1/4″(3cm) thick slab: 20 lbs. sq. ft
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Q. Just to set things straight regarding FALSE granite surface claims:
- Granite is absorbent. Granite qualifies as impervious to water and is actually less absorbent than some solid surface (plastic) products. Granite is commonly used as building material for high-rise buildings due to its ability to withstand gale force winds and rain.
- Granite stains easily. Granite is resistant to stains. Generally, any liquid spilled on a granite top, if wiped up within a few minutes, will not stain. However, even water can soak into a granite countertop and leave a dark colored spot but this will evaporate in minutes. Liquids that do not evaporate, such as oils will cause stains if left to soak into the stone.
- Stains in granite are permanent. Most stains can be removed. Even oil stains can usually be removed using a poultice or paste that will draw out the oil from the stone.
- Granite will lose its polish over the years. While this may be true of marble, granite will shine years from now just as if it was brand new. Granite is highly scratch resistant and will not show wear from daily use.
- Granite requires a lot of maintenance. Routine cleaning with mild soap and water is all that is generally required. Once a year, a re-application of a penetrating sealer should be performed, which only takes about 15 minutes less time than scouring a solid surface countertop with a cleanser to remove scratches.
- Heat will cause granite to chip and crack. Granite is heat resistant and can withstand the heat of hot pots and pans without damage. Impact from a heavy object may chip granite but heat from anything short of a blowtorch will not affect your countertop.
- Dark colored granites are harder than light colored granites. Granites are composed of a variety of minerals, each of which has specific performance properties. The hardest mineral commonly found in granite is quartz, which is normally a somewhat translucent, white to grey colored mineral.
- Granite’s tiny pores and fissures harbor bacteria. Bacteria are found everywhere. If it is on a granite top, then it can also be found on a laminate or solid surface top. Use an anti-bacterial soap to wash your countertop if you are concerned.
- Granite and marble are essentially the same. Besides the fact that they are both natural stones and can be polished, they are otherwise very different. Marble is generally a calcious stone, formed from oceanic deposits and then compressed under pressure (metamorphosed). Granite, however, is an igneous rock, essentially molten magma, which is cooled and then hardened below the earth’s surface.
- Granite is expensive. Granite is usually competitively priced compared to other high-end surfacing materials. You will be amazed when you compare the price of granite to other popularly famed luxury surfaces. Granite offers you an unmatched value with its natural beauty, elegance and longevity.
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HOURS: 8:00 - 5:30 Monday thru Friday
Evenings by appointment.