What is Granite?

Granite is igneous rock, which provides a clue to its origins. “Igneous” come from the Latin igneous meaning “fire” (also the root word of ignite) and indicates that it was formed by liquid, fiery magma and melted just like volcanic lava. In fact, its chemical composition is similar to that of lava. However, unlike lava, the molten rock never reached the surface; It solidified deep inside the earth, where it slowly cooled and crystallized.

The granite that comes from the Canadian Shield is estimated to be approximately 3.8 billion years old. Splits and riftscaused by the earth’s plates shifting (due to seismic activity) forced the granite to the surface in the Precambrian age, more than 570 million years ago. Luckily for us, the Canadian Shield is known around the world for producing some of the most beautiful, durable granite in the world.

How Durable is Granite?

project.In 1822, an Austrian mineralogist named Friedrich Moh created a measurement of relative hardness based in a stone’s ability to withstand scratches.

Because granite is composed of mainly feldspar and quartz, it has an exceptional resistance to scratches, which is why it is chosen for high traffic areas and has been considered one of the best building materials for thousands of years.

Does Granite Stain?

Generally speaking, no. Because granite is very dense, and not very porous, its ability to absorb liquids that cause stains is highly reduced.

Granite is approximately 95 to 98 percent stain resistant, and is virtually maintenance-free. This is why it is the stone material of choice for outdoor projects such as patios, courtyards, driveways, footpaths and steps.

If by chance there is a stain, it can usually be removed using a poultice or paste that will draw out the oil from the stone.

Why Choose Granite?

Granite is durable, hard, beautiful, easy to clean and maintain, and there is large amount of variety in colour and edging that will suite any project.

– Granite is very easy to clean and maintain
– Granite countertops increases the value of your home and provides timeless beauty
– Granite is virtually impervious to abrasions, stains, and extreme heat
– Liquids cannot penetrate granite countertops, if properly sealed
– Large variety of edge treatments that can be done to granite countertops
– Granite is more resistant to bacterial contamination

Synthetic Materials

If you are thinking of Corian, Formica, porcelain, concrete or ceramic tile for your countertop, consider natural stone like granite instead.

Natural stone is:

– durable,
– long-lasting and
– color selection is generally far more extensive.

Natural stone is not only affordable but its resilience proves cost effective over time. Other synthetic materials may require periodic replacement and/or costly repairs.

Because of it’s natural beauty consumers often prefer granite and marble, over synthetic materials. Often, synthetic products usually aim to mimic the color variations found in granite or marble, so why not just purchase natural stone.

Granite is considered an ideal choice for kitchen countertops:

– Granite is very easy to clean and maintain
– Granite countertops increases the value of your home and provides timeless beauty
– Granite is virtually impervious to abrasions, stains, and extreme heat
– Liquids cannot penetrate granite countertops, if properly sealed
– Large variety of edge treatments that can be done to granite countertops
– Granite is more resistant to bacterial contamination

Marble vs. Granite

Marble and Granite can be used for countertops, tile flooring, fireplace mantels, columns, vases and much more. However, even though marble and granite have a similar aesthetic, they are better suited for specific purposes.

Marble is less dense and is argely composed of calcite. This makes marble more sensitive to acidic foods which include ketchup, lemon, vinegar and wine. Exposure of marble to acidic foods increases the risk to staining and dulling. Marble also lasts as long as granite but is typically used for vases, crosses, and mantels.

Because granite has greater density and hardness making it resistant to scratches, acids, stains and heat, it is often the more popular choice for kitchen countertops and outdoor pieces.

Protecting Granite

Protecting your marble and granite is an important way to maintain the original quality and lustre of your investment. Here are some ideas on protecting your natural stone:

Sealers are the most popular method of protecting granite and marble. Both solvent and water-based sealers are available, and work by penetrating into the pores of the stone. This helps to build an invisible barrier that allows for easier cleaning, protection against scratching/stains and creating a harder, less slippery surface. Sealers are easy to apply and is recommended to be re-applied based on usage. Generally a good rule of thumb to follow is the more traffic on the granite or marble surface, the more frequently you should apply the sealer.

For daily care, dish soap diluted with water is best. This will help preserve your marble and granite.

Edge selections

Edge Selections For Granite Counter Tops
There are many types of countertop edges to choose from. Choose the best edge to accent your current decor.

Here are some sample edges:

Popular Countertop Edges

Name: Straight
Height: 1 1/4?, 3/4?

Premium Countertop Edges

Laminated Countertop Edges

Does Granite go through a manufacturing and engineering process?

Although Granite is a natural stone directly from the earth, the majority of Granite does undergo a manufacturing process. Most Granite is injected with resins to fill pits and fissures, and to add overall strength.

Should I be concerned if my Granite has fissures or pits?

This is a natural aspect of Granite. Most Granite will have small fissures and pits as this is a characteristic of this natural stone. During manufacturing, they do try to fill these with resins, but that is not always one hundred percent possible.

How strong is Granite and does it chip?

Granite is a very strong and durable surface, although not quite as strong as Quartz (since Granite surfaces only consist of 20 percent Quartz particulates, while Quartz surfaces consist of 93 percent Quartz particulates). Granite also can chip as it is a natural stone.

Can chips be repaired?

Granite chips can be repaired. They are repaired in the same way that Quartz surface chips are. In most cases, we are able to repair them so that they are not at all visible, however this will be dependant on the degree of the damage.

Can I put hot pots and pans directly on the Granite surface?

Like Quartz, we do not suggest that you put extremely hot items on your Granite surface. This can burn the resins in the Granite and can additionally lead the surface to a crack. We always recommend using a trivet or hot plate to preserve your Granite surfaces.

How big are granite slabs?

Granite slabs vary in size. Please check with our nearest showroom for the sizes and colours available.

Does Granite need to be sealed?

Yes- Granite does need to be sealed and maintained. Granite is naturally a porous product and needs a protective coating in order to be resistant against staining.

How often do I have to re-seal?

We apply a 25 year sealant to all of our Granites. However, using harsh, abrasive cleansers, and cleansers containing bleach will thin the sealant. In order to keep your sealant working as intended, please avoid these kinds of products.

How do I know if my sealant is wearing off?

You can test the sealant’s effectiveness by placing a bead of water on your countertop. Leave it there for a few minutes and then wipe it away. If that area is now darker, your surface is absorbing the liquid and your sealant is no longer working as intended.

Can Granite be used for surfaces other than countertops?

Granite comes in a variety of thicknesses including 2cm and 3cm. Granite can be used for shower walls, fireplace surrounds and mantels and various other horizontal and vertical applications.

Can I get my Granite in a different finish?

Yes you can. Please enquire about this at one of our locations. Most colours come in a number of different finishes.

Should I see my slab before it is fabricated?

We do suggest that you view your Granite slab prior to fabrication. Due to Granite being a naturally occurring stone, cut from the side of a mountain there can be fairly significant variations from slab to slab.

What is Quartz?

Quartz is a mineral found within the earth’s continental crust. It is one of the most abundant minerals on the planet and also one of the strongest. There are very few minerals on earth that surpass Quartz in strength, one of them being Diamond.

What is a Quartz surface made of?

Quartz surfaces are made up primarily of the Quartz mineral itself. Quartz surfaces consist of 93 percent natural stone quartz making it a natural stone product, since anything containing more than 90 percent natural product is considered to be natural itself. The remaining seven percent consists of resins- which bond the Quartz minerals together, and pigments- which formulate the colours.

How strong are Quartz countertop surfaces?

Quartz surfaces are the most durable surfaces on the market today. The high percentage of Quartz content makes them approximately twice as strong as Granite surfaces. Therefore Quartz surfaces are two times less likely to chip, scratch or crack.

How resistant are Quartz surfaces to stains?

Quartz surfaces are stain resistant and therefore do not need to be sealed. They are a maintenance free product, which means that once they arrive in your home, you are able to enjoy them without having to worry about staining.

Are Quartz surfaces food-safe?

Quartz surfaces are the only natural stone products that are certified for use in commercial kitchens. Since Quartz is non-porous, bacteria is unable to penetrate the surface, making it safe and easy to prepare food on. With a simple wiping down using soap and water, the surface is ready to prep food on.

Can I put hot pots directly on Quartz surfaces?

Although Quartz surfaces are resistant to heat, we do not suggest placing hot pots and pans directly on the surface. Intense heat can sometimes burn the resins; we suggest using a hot plate or trivet to protect your surface.

Can Quartz surfaces chip and if so, can they be repaired?

Quartz surfaces can chip as it is a natural stone, but they are easily repaired. More often than not, we are able to completely fix the chip, so that they are completely unnoticeable. We will always do our best to make the repair as unnoticeable as possible.

Do Quartz surfaces come with a manufacturer warranty?

All high quality Quartz surface products come with a manufacturer’s warranty. Cambria Quartz and Caesarstone Quartz both offer Limited Life Time Warranties with their products.

How do I care for my Quartz surface?

Quartz surfaces are very easy and relatively low maintenance to care for. For everyday cleaning, we recommend simply using mild dish soap and warm water. Stay away from harsh, abrasive cleansers and cleansers that contain bleach. You can gently scrape hardened material off with a plastic putty knife.

How does the consistency of Quartz compare to that of natural stones, like granite?

Quartz offers more color consistency than granite, making it easier to pick colors from samples without having to select a specific slab. Please note that quartz is a natural stone product and can also vary slightly from the sample.

Can Quartz be used for surfaces other than countertops?

Quartz surfaces come in a variety of thickness ranging from one to three centimeters, making it extremely versatile throughout your home. Quartz can be used for shower and bath walls, shower pans, fireplace surroundings and mantels, desktops, and many other wall applications.

How big are the Quartz Slabs?

When it is manufactured, a slab of Quartz is 120” x 55”, however the amount of usable material for surfaces is 119”x 54”. If your surface is larger than this, it will require a seam.