Stone and Granite Countertops, Marble Fireplaces, Natural Stone Products For Your Home – Your Questions Answered!

How is granite and marble formed?

Natural stone is a product of nature, in that no two stone tiles are exactly alike. Stone is a natural solid formation of one or many minerals formed over millions of years through pressure. As the Earth’s crust began to expand and erode, heat and pressure pushed the solid minerals up to the Earth’s surface, which formed colossal rock beds. Granites and marbles are quarried throughout the world in the form of huge blocks, some weighing up to 20 tons. These blocks are cut into slabs that are generally 3/4″ or 1 1/4″ thick and the faces are polished to the specified finish. Foreign substances often entered the stone during the process, creating an infinite variety of colors, textures and veining.

How do I care for my stone?

To keep granite countertops clean, use a microfiber cloth to dust off countertop surfaces. Wipe down the granite countertops daily and as needed using water. Once a week wipe down with a damp cloth and a stone cleaner formulated with a neutral pH. Never use harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners. They can scratch, pit, and etch the surface of the stone. Dust surfaces frequently and don’t mix bleach and ammonia; this combination creates a toxic and lethal gas.

Will my granite scratch of chip?

Under normal conditions, your granite will not scratch or ship. Granite is one the Earth’s hardest stones, second only to diamonds. Few materials are able to scratch your granite, and, unless you heavily abuse your granite countertops, they are unlikely to chip. Occasionally, a heavy object hitting the countertop squarely may chip out a small bit of granite, but small chips can be easily repaired. Please keep any chips, as we can use them to repair your countertop and contact us right away.

Does heat damage granite?

Granite will resist damage from heat. A hot pan up to 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit will not damage granite, even if you place the pan directly onto the granite counter. Normal kitchen tasks that involve baking in the oven and cooking on the stovetop will not produce pots or pans that are hot enough to damage the granite, however the hot pots might take off the coat of the sealant from the surface making it vulnerable for future stains. Granite materials pull heat away from items. This means that placing a hot casserole dish onto a granite counter will cause the dish to cool more quickly because the granite pulls heat away from the hot dish.

What are the pits in the granite?

Pitting in granite is not a common maintenance issue, but it can happen.  As the granite is extracted from the earth it is cut multiple times and any of these cuts can create faces where the various minerals in the stone are suddenly without the surrounding support that it naturally had. Therefore, small pieces can sometimes get knocked out resulting in little pits even after polishing the granite.

Do seams in granite show?

Darker colors of granite make seems more difficult to spot. A consistent pattern is easier to match across a seam. While a large island with an exotic granite counter top makes a beautiful focal point for your kitchen, if a seam is required it is more difficult to achieve a perfect match. Seams are often inevitable because of the limited size that granite can be quarried. Slabs are cut on their side with a maximum face dimension of 5 feet by 10 feet. To avoid seams you may want to plan a smaller island or move appliances or cabinets to break up your countertops into shorter sections.

Should my granite be sealed?

All forms of granite are porous, some types are denser than others. Truly dense granite will resist staining much more efficiently even without being sealed. When it comes to sealant, you will usually get what you pay for. While you may be able to purchase a cheap sealant to apply to your granite, that sealant is unlikely to provide your countertops with the same level of protection that a high quality granite sealer would. In addition, cheap sealant will have to be applied much more frequently. At Top Notch Tops & Interiors we provide an impregnating, invisible and breathable sealer that provides premium permanent protection for natural stone, pavers, concrete, from water and oil based stains and damage caused by water and dissolved salts. This is a unique super-penetrating, permanent bonding technology for long lasting protection. 15 year written performance warranty can be provided if applied by a professional at Top Notch Tops & Interiors.