What is granite?
Granite is an igneous rock, which means that at one time during its development, it was melted like volcanic lava. Unlike lava, however, this melted rock never reached the surface, it remained trapped inside the earth, where it slowly cooled and crystallized. The end result is a very uniform, speckled stone that ranges in color from black and gray tones to pinks, browns, reds, greens, and whites. Granites are quarried throughout the world in the form of huge blocks and then reduced into slabs. These slabs are then carefully crafted by fabricators who process them into the final product.
Where does your granite come from?
Granite Factory imports granite from and is affiliated with the following countries: USA, Brazil, India, Mexico, China, Norway, Madagascar, and Turkey.
What is the thickness of the stone?
The stone is available in two thickness sizes: 3/4'' and 1 1/4'' (2cm and 3 cm respectively). 1 1/4" thickness is usually used for kitchen countertops etc. while 3/4" thickness is sometimes used for vanity tops, coffee tables etc.
What are some characteristics of natural stone?
Stones are a natural-honed or polished rock; they are not manufactured. There are many inherent variances in all stone - color and shade variations, geological flows, irregular markings, voids, pitting, veins, fissures and lines of minor separations. However, these characteristics are part of the natural beauty of the stone and will not impair the function of wearing qualities of the material.
Are veins weak spots in the stone?
Not necessarily. Some veins are strictly color variations in the stone. However, in some materials natural flaws can exist within the vein, which enhances the color and is characteristic of that stone.
Is granite more expensive than man-made materials?
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.
Why is there such a variation in the prices of natural stone?
There are many factors affecting the price of stone, mainly availability, supply, color and freight. Some stones are readily accessible, while others exist in remote locations. Due to weather conditions, some natural stones are only accessible during certain times of the year.
How durable is natural stone?
With a simple, regular maintenance program, natural stone will last far longer than the building in which it was installed.
How do I maintain my granite countertops?
We will provide you with detailed instructions but the bottom line is just soap and water. We seal all of the slabs before cutting even begins and this protects your stone from staining. You should re-seal after the first year and then every three to five years as needed.
What is bacteria-resistance capacity of granite?
According to a recent study conducted by the Hospitality Institute of Technology and Management in Minnesota (an organization that develops educational materials and research for the retail food industry), if bacterial contamination of the kitchen countertop is a concern, granite is a good choice. The study measured the bacteria-resistance capacity of six common countertop materials. Each surface was contaminated with E.coli (nearly 2 billion of the microorganisms), washed and rinsed with soap and water and then sanitized with a vinegar-and-water solution. The results speak for themselves. Surface microorganisms eliminated by cleaning:
Stainless Steel: 85,113,804
Ceramic Tile: 293,765
What do I need to consider when buying natural stone?
Because it is a natural stone, granite has been blessed with a remarkable natural beauty. Inherent in such natural products is a certain lack of predictability. Clients who are less acquainted with the material expect the granite ordered to be identical to the picture or sample they were shown. Although sample stones are intended to be representative of the quarry's product, the material quarried at one time may differ slightly in color and veining from the sample. Moreover, even a single marble or granite slab will possess a certain amount of color variation from one end to the other.
Do I need to use a cutting board on my granite countertop?
We don't advise that you do any cutting on you granite countertops. Granite is extremely hard, which results in the quick dulling of your kitchen knives.
If I perform my own existing countertops removal, how much do I have to remove?
Old countertops, build-up, screws, nails, and backsplashes must be completely removed. If wall patching is needed after everything is removed, it will be easier to complete before the granite countertops are installed.
Can I re-use my existing sink?
Yes, you can, but we don't recommend it. The countertop installation is the perfect opportunity to replace your existing plumbing fixtures. In addition, once the countertops are in place, it will be very hard to replace it later.
How many seams will I have in my new countertop?
We will do our best to get the most accurate dimensions and least amount of seams for your kitchen or bathroom. Our installers are artists and perfectionists who try to avoid seams as much as possible. When a seam is necessary, our installers will match the granite so it flows as if it was one piece.