ANSWER: The various finishes are polished, honed, leathered (or brushed) and caressed (or ice).
ANSWER: Always consult your installer on maintenance recommendations, however the best rule is to follow the maintenance instructions on the sealant container that is used after installation.
ANSWER: The fabricator is the best resource for this information since they will warranty the installation and labor portion of any project. Different stone and hard surfaces require different maintenance techniques.
ANSWER: Yes, you should review your product prior to fabrication or installation. Make sure the variation and quality of stone is what you chose at your original selection.
ANSWER: Product and labor are required for full installation and pricing of a countertop; however other materials are required for installation and are to the discretion of the fabricator. The fabricator would be the most knowledgeable reference for pricing a countertop project.
ANSWER: The short answer is yes, you can use marble in a kitchen. However, because marble is susceptible to staining, scratching and etching, the use of marble in a kitchen requires careful consideration.
ANSWER: Not necessarily. A typical slab size is somewhere between 7 and 10 feet. Therefore, your countertops 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 your fabricator prior to fabrication. How and where it is seamed should also be discussed with the fabricator. Often the seams are so tight they are difficult to notice, however communication with the fabricator is essential in order to avoid confusion or disappointment regarding seams.
ANSWER: It is always a good idea to approve the slabs prior to fabrication. This will help to prevent and surprises or disappointments once the material is installed. Slabs can be viewed at the fabrication shop prior to being cut.
ANSWER: Yes. There are a handful of granites that can change color when exposed to UV rays, but it is very durable and can be used outside. Granite is often used for outdoor kitchens, as pavers for driveways and walkways, as stair treads and exterior cladding on commercial buildings.
ANSWER: There are many factors involved in pricing countertops: material cost, quantity of slabs, design and edge profile are primary considerations. Once you have chosen a particular stone, the fabricator will need either an accurate drawing or a field visit in order to clarify all the details. The fabricator will then provide you with a finished installed price.
ANSWER: Mesh backing improves the stability of the stone for shipping and fabrication. Many exotic materials would otherwise not remain intact during processing. Once these materials are installed however, they do meet the strength requirements for countertop use.
ANSWER: Traditionally, homeowners have been told to seal their granite annually. However, with the advancements that have been made in sealing products, some sealers only need to be reapplied every 3 – 5 years. Check the information on the back of the sealer and follow the recommendations.
ANSWER: It is best to use a cleaning product made specifically for natural stone. Consult your local stone professional for specific product recommendations.