Many people are unsure about updating their home with
granite. Granite is a natural stone that can last a lifetime and is
well worth the investment. Being an informed buyer, however,
will ultimately save you time and money. In this section we have
tried to answer some of the most commonly asked questions in a
short, but detailed manner. If you do not find the answer to your
question please contact us. We would love the opportunity to help
you. Select a question below and click on the plus sign to see the
Contract All |
1. What is
Granite is igneous rock, which provides a clue to its origins.
"Igneous" come from the Latin igneus 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 rifts caused 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.
2. Granite and
marble; how are they different?
Marble is a metamorphic rock. It was once
limestone, but over time, the combination of intense heat and
pressure caused the limestone to re-crystallize. Foreign substances
entering the stone during this process, creates an infinite variety
of colors, asters, and veining.
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 (or molten) rock never reached
the surface. It remained trapped below the earths surface, where it
slowly cooled and crystallized, resulting in, speckled stone that
varies with veining and ranges in many different colours.
3. Is granite
No. Nothing is indestructible. But granite is probably the most
durable countertop on the market, and with reasonable care should
last and be beautiful for a lifetime. Granite is one of the longest
lasting and toughest natural stones on the market, making it the
perfect choice for any outdoor or indoor project. In 1822, an
Austrian mineralogist named Friedrich Moh created a measurement of
relative hardness based in a stone's ability to withstand
scratches. It looks like this:
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.
4. What makes
granite the hardest building stone?
Granite is formed by solidification of liquid magma (molten
rock) under the pressure of earth's crust. It is composed of
Feldspar, Quartz, Mica, and other minerals, making it one of the
hardest stones in the world. It has been used for building and
decorative purposes for centuries. Granite resists
wear-and-tear applications remarkably well, making it ideal for
interior or exterior flooring. When used outdoors, granite's
mineralogical structure is not influenced by freeze-thaw
cycles. Next to diamond, sapphire, and ruby, granite is the
hardest natural product on earth. Once polished, natural granite
will maintain its high gloss virtually forever. Normal use of
kitchen knives, cutlery, and cookware leaves no scratches. Heat has
almost no effect on natural granite, making it much safer than
synthetic surfaces with polyesters and resins. Pots and pans
heated to 900 degrees Fahrenheit will not dull natural granite's
lustrous finish, but the use of trivets is recommended to keep your
granite counter clean.
5. Is granite a
cost effective choice?
Absolutely. We won't pretend that you don't pay a little more
for genuine granite that for other stone options, or man-made
materials, however, when you think about granite's incredible
ability to last forever as well as resist freeze-thaw cycles, it
becomes a smart, sensible choice. Other materials will crumble in
high-traffic areas, or deteriorate due to pollution, salt and other
urban factors. Granite does not. It combines incredible resistance
to wear and tear as well as a natural beauty and charm that other
materials simply do no offer.
6. What additional
costs are there to purchases?
The provincial Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) of 15% is applicable to all purchases.
7. Does granite
Generally speaking, no. Granite is very stain resistant because
of its density and the polishing process also helps to smooth the
surface and make it non-porous. Honed granite is not recommended
for counters because the unpolished surface remains porous and it
will stain easily. Water and oil will soak into anything. Your
granite counters have been treated with a high-density impregnator
so that water will bead on the surface and not soak in. This
impregnator lasts for years and is simple to reapply. Oil and
grease should not be allowed to sit on the counter for hours but
should be wiped up. If a darker area appears from oil or grease, it
can often be reabsorbed by applying baking soda to the area,
wetting it and taping plastic overtop to keep it wet overnight.
8. Can I cut on my
granite counter top?
The only thing that will cut into or scratch granite is diamond
or another piece of granite. You can be rest assured that common
kitchen knives and utensils are no match for the absolute hardness
of a granite top. Granite is harder than stainless steel and so
will not be scratched by most knives, but cutting on granite will
dull the knives and shorten their service life. Granite is also
scratch resistant because it is so hard. However anything as hard
or harder than granite will scratch it. Examples of things that are
hard enough to scratch are granite, diamond, and fired ceramics
with broken rough edges.
9. Can I set a hot
pot on my granite counter top?
Granite is formed by extreme heat and pressure combined beneath
the earths crust. It cannot be affected by heat from a cook top or
frying pan. A lit flame placed under the granite will have no
melting effect and will not leave any burned or scarred marks.
10. How can I make
sure my countertop will suit the rest of my decor?
When choosing your countertops remember:
Because there are limited styles and colours available for
cabinetry we recommend when choosing a countertop, to decide upon
your cabinet colour and style first, this makes it easier to move
on to choosing your countertops. Granite and natural
quartz can vary in colour which can slightly alter the look
that is desired, so matching your countertops to your cabinets will
make it easier for everything to come together. Lastly,
choosing from the many varieties of colours and styles in flooring
to match your cabinets and counter tops makes it a
breeze to bring your decor together.
11. Why choose
granite over laminate?
Laminate countertop is a popular and economical countertop
choice but has several drawbacks. Because it is manufactured by
gluing plastic sheeting to a chipboard base, water can cause
laminate to swell if the chipboard gets wet. In addition, hot pots
can scorch it, and knives can cut and scratch it. The colour and
pattern of a laminate countertop are only on the surface of the
countertop, so extended use and time will fade its appearance.
12. How do solid
synthetic surfaces like Corian, or Avonite, or engineered stone
products like Cambria or Zodiac compare?
Both of these products offer advantages over laminates.
Let's look at them individually.
Solid Surface products like Corian or Avonite have an
advantage over laminate in that the colour and pattern penetrate
the entire thickness of the countertop. As a result they have no
chipboard base to get wet and swell and they are available in a
wide range of colours and patterns. However, because they are
plastic composite, they will burn, and they are soft enough that
they can scratch.
Engineered stone countertops like Zodiac and Cambria are
made by combining quartz chips in a synthetic binder. The
manufacturers of these products claim that, like natural stone,
engineered stone will not burn or scratch easily.
Granite is one of the most durable and beautiful materials
that can be used in your kitchen or bath. As one of the hardest
naturally occurring materials on earth, hot pots will not burn it,
and knives won't scratch it. When sealed
properly as part of the installation process, it requires very
little maintenance. Granite is available in an astonishing range of
vivid colours and unique patterns. Combinations that only nature
can conceive and industry can only try to imitate. Once found in
only the most expensive homes, choosing granite will crown your
kitchen project and add lasting value to your home.
9. What maintenance
does Granite require?
Your granite countertops will be sealed with a very high quality
protective sealer upon installation. This process will help prevent
oil, acids and other materials from staining the stone. Some
sources advise homeowners to reseal their granite annually. Annual
resealing may be more than necessary and so we
don't recommend that. Instead, we suggest that
homeowners take note when water begins to penetrate the stone
instead of beading on the surface. When this happens, simply
contact us and we'll arrange for the stone to be re-sealed.
Is there a question here that has
not been answered? Please let us know.