What’s the difference between marble and granite?
Although both are stones and both are quarried from the earth, granite and marble (and marble’s relatives – limestone, onyx and travertine) are very different from each other. The greatest difference lies in the porosity, softness and durability of marble when compared to granite.
Do I have to buy the whole slab?
Buying slabs is similar to buying fabric. Like a seamstress or tailor, Monument Marble & Granite, LLC. buys the raw material and sells you a completed installation. How much material needed is determined by the layout and the amount of waste. Monument Marble & Granite, LLC. will lay out your job in a way that will minimize the amount of waste material while maximizing the natural beauty of veining and pattern.
Why are some stones more expensive than others?
Availability, locations of quarries in the world (due to transportation expenses), the rarity of the color, and the amount of labor required to extract the stones all affect the price of natural stone. Higher price doesn’t mean higher quality. All natural stones that Monument Marble & Granite, LLC. carries, regardless of price, are of the same high quality.
What is “honed” stone?
Granite, Marble, or limestone that is honed has a matte or satin finish, rather than a high reflective polish. One feature of honed marble is that it doesn’t show etching as readily, or wear patterns on floors. It is preferred by some because “honed” stone has a less formal, softer appearance than polished stone.
What are the pros and cons about granite countertops?
GRANITE COUNTERTOP PROS:
- Granite is the countertop material of choice
- Granite contains a mixture of natural beauty as well as elegance.
- Can hold up to heat and is resilient against scratches.
- Provides a permanent and substantial look.
- Extremely durable.
- Offered in more affordable versions.
- Extreme Uniqueness: No two pieces of granite are identical.
- Coloration will remain constant; your granite counter to will always remain just as bright and as vibrant as the day it was installed.
GRANITE COUNTERTOP CONS:
- Granite can be pricy; when it is installed in whole and solid pieces it can be amongst the most expensive countertop options.
- Granite requires that you use a cutting board.
- It’s porous: even with proper sealing and regular resealing, it can still stain.
- Requires resealing more often than most other surfaces.
- If any part of the granite cracks, that entire section will need to be replaced.
Why is granite good for kitchen counters?
Granite is highly resistant to scratching, cracking and staining, and is impervious to heat. Daily kitchen activities pose no problem and it can take a hot-pot without the use of a trivet. This makes granite an ideal choice for countertops.
Can granite be damaged?
Like any solid surface, high impact blows can harm granite. Because of its crystalline structure, it can chip if subjected to sharp hard objects. But repair is possible – a chip can be filled with a granite dust and epoxy mixture.
Can granite crack?
Not with ordinary use. Granite is most susceptible to cracks during shipping and installation. Normal use will not overstress this durable material. (Normal use does not include standing on the counter tops!)
Can you scratch granite?
In general it is very difficult to scratch. Granite is one of the hardest stones in the world and is highly resistant to scratching in ordinary use. A knife blade will not scratch granite. It can be scratched by another piece of granite or with specially sharpened tools designed to work with granite like tungsten and diamond blades.
Can I cut on my granite countertop?
Only if you want to ruin your good knives! Granite is harder than your knife blades and will dull them very quickly if you use the countertop as a cutting surface. Always cut and chop on a wooden or plastic cutting board.
Does granite stain?
In general, no. All stone, however, is porous to some extent, but granite has very little porosity. A few colors may absorb some moisture with prolonged contact compared to others. For example, a puddle of water left on the counter, for some colors, may show a dark spot when the water is wiped away. Usually, no evidence remains once the liquid is removed and the granite dries. A stone sealer is highly recommended for all granite after installation. Some stones are more porous than others, so it is important to use a penetrating sealer to prevent stains from oil, wine or other liquids from soaking into the surface.
Does granite burn?
No. You can’t burn granite with ordinary use. It is perfectly ok to set hot pots or pans directly from the stove or oven onto granite.
How do you take care of granite?
Warm soapy water will do the trick. Or use cleaners specifically formulated to help clean and protect stone surfaces.
I’ve noticed some granites have pits on the surface – will I have these on my kitchen counters?
Granite, which is crystalline in structure, always has tiny pits – spaces between the various mineral crystals. Granite sometimes has natural fissures as well, which may look like cracks, but are not structural defects and are a naturally occurring result of the immense heat and pressure that formed the granite eons ago. These characteristics are part of the natural beauty of stone and will not impair the function or durability of the material. A product of nature cannot be expected to look manmade.
Will my kitchen have seams?
Due to the limitation of slab size, seams on a granite countertop are necessary and sometimes unavoidable. On average, granite slabs are approx. 110″x66″, though in some colors, 120″ slabs are not unusual. Extremely large islands may either require a seam, or color selections will be limited to those slabs that have longer lengths or widths. A good place to incorporate seams is near sinks or cook tops. This will help to cover most of the seam, leaving a minimum amount in view. The visibility of seams will depend on the granularity, color and pattern of the stone. Our sales associates will help to explain the seam process in further detail to you. Also for clarification, take a look at the kitchen displays we have throughout the showroom. Most contain seams.
Will my countertops overhang the cabinets?
Most counters overhang by 1 1/2″, which is standard. This may be changed for whatever reason due to cabinet configuration, cabinet installation and/or personal tastes.
Can granite cantilever?
You can cantilever granite up to 12″ with sufficient support on the fixed end and with a large enough piece. Never cantilever unsupported granite where it might receive excessive stress like someone sitting on a counter or stepping on a counter to change a light bulb. You must have support underneath for these situations.
What colors are available?
It can be discerned that granite is a perfect countertop material because of its unrivaled durability, but lets not forget about its spectacular aesthetic appeal. Granite is very versatile when it comes to visual appearance. It can offer an elegant and luxurious look, or a casual and contemporary appearance, depending on your choice of color and finish. The best part about the appearance of granite countertops is the simple fact that its luster will never fade or dull over time. One of the things that we know about granite countertops is that there are seemingly endless color options for granite. Each individual piece of granite is one of a kind; no two pieces will ever be identical. Colors range from greens, to blues, blacks, pinks, whites and even yellows, like we said, the options are endless. Granite slabs also vary greatly in patterns, there are some that have very large, intricate designs and movements while there are others that are much more subtle. We have taken the liberty of listing all of the colors for granite countertops that we know about. Granite countertops colors and their basic characteristics are described in the list below.
Brown /Beige – These are very neutral tones and will easily compliment the other colors in your kitchen and/or bathroom. Brown and Beige tend to be the most popular color choices because they are not only complimentary colors but also provide a more comfortable and traditional look.
Yellow / Gold– Yellow and Gold countertops have the ability to brighten up any room. Yellow and Gold countertops also add a warm appearance along with a rich and luxurious style.
Red – Red granite has the ability to create both a striking and a romantic feel. Reds are also known to draw people into the room and they will absolutely spice up the style of your home.
Black– Black provides an extremely modern, clean and sleek appearance. Black granite countertops can either be plain by nature or can also incorporate very interesting patterns as well as additional colors.
Blue and Green– Blue and Green tones tend to be very vibrant and very lively. Bright greens and striking blues have the ability to give any room a rare and exotic feeling. These colors are generally found inside other color counters from whites to reds and even blacks.
White– White countertops have the ability to give a room a more soothing feel or a more modern and elegant feel depending on how the rest of the room is decorated. White generally matches with all other colors and will give smaller rooms a more spacious appearance.
Can I use marble on my kitchen counters?
Yes, but be aware marble (and limestone and travertine) are calcium carbonate, and their polished surface is more vulnerable to household acids including vinegar, mustard, catsup, citrus and a host of other food-related products. These acidic substances cause a chemical reaction, which will remove the polish. Additionally, marble and limestone can be scratched more easily than harder stones such as granite. Marble does make a perfect pastry slab; it’s perfectly smooth, cool surface is ideal for rolling out dough and pie crusts.
What is etching?
Etching happens when acid in some form comes in contact with a polished marble or limestone surface. This causes a chemical reaction, which removes the polish, or roughens the surface of honed marble or limestone. Granite is impervious to any common household acids.
What’s the best way to clean marble and other soft stones?
The old rule of thumb is never to use anything you wouldn’t use on your hands. Never use powdered cleansers or abrasive pads to clean your stone. Even “soft scrub” type cleaners contain pumice, which is powdered volcanic stone, and might damage your stone countertops or floors. Never use any product which is acidic; this includes substances like ammonia or many common liquid cleaners such as Windex. You should always use sealers and cleaning products designed specifically for natural stone. There are excellent stone-friendly (and user-friendly) stone care products available at Monument Marble & Granite, LLC.
Now that I know all about granite countertops, I am ready to buy my own! What is the first step?
You may start your journey by looking at through different granite color samples either online or in a brochure. This will help to give you a general idea of what you want, however, it is strongly recommended that you go and look at your choices in person before you come to a final decision. This is very, very important since granite colors and patterns often look much different in person than they do in photographs. The most common and easily found place to view a variety granite samples is at some type of granite wholesale warehouse. You can ask us for more details about Granite Warehouses. Make sure that when you are viewing the granite samples you are in a place that has adequate lighting as this can play a role in how granite countertops look. Also, if you are revamping your current kitchen, you may want to consider bringing along a kitchen cabinet door or another piece of your kitchen so you can see how it looks next to granite. You will be able to choose the exact slab of granite that will eventually be installed in your home! Remember that granite very capable of lasting a lifetime, so take your time when choosing and by all means, enjoy the process.
I have more questions. Who can I talk to?
When you’re ready, get in touch with us today by calling 703-490-6544 or click here to reach us online!
At Monument Marble & Granite, LLC., our staff can help you get exactly what you want from your new kitchen counters so that you’re able to personalize your kitchen and turn it into something that’s truly yours.
With our service, you can have your new countertops installed and turning heads in 1 week – GUARANTEED!
We offer brand name, high quality kitchen countertops at affordable prices for homeowners in places like Arlington, Baltimore, Fairfax, and many other cities throughout the Maryland/DC/Northern Virginia area, so we’re confident that we have the right kitchen remodeling solution for you as well. Get in touch with us today and find out for yourself!