DFW GRANITE'S MAIN Granite FAQ Page
What is granite? Granite is defined as any igneous rock suitable for cutting and polishing. Granites are mineralogical aggregates, which change in composition from one variety to another. Granite's main components are colored feldspar, white quartz, and black ferromagnesian minerals. All of these minerals are of a different composition, density and hardness, therefore no two pieces of granite are identical.
How can I use granite? Granite can be used indoors and outdoors.Here are just a few ways granite is being used today:
- Countertops, vanities, Desk tops
- Exterior and interior cladding panels - i.e. tub surrounds, shower walls & trim
- Pavings and floor coverings
- Fireplace hearths
- Window sills
What kinds of finishes are available on the granite?
There are eight major types of finish which might be found on granite surfaces:
Aqua Power: This finish is brought about by a pressurized flow of water that enhances the true color of the stone.
Bush Hammered: A pounding action that develops a textured surface.
Flamed: A rough surface that is developed through intense heat. During fabrication, the stone is heated up and the crystals begin to pop, thus forming a textured surface.
Honed: Provides a flat to low sheen gloss. This finish is very smooth, but often very porous. Honed stone colors are not as vibrant as a polished stone. This finish is often used for high traffic buildings.
Polished: A glossy surface that wears away with time due to heavy foot traffic and the usage of improper maintenance procedures. This finish is very smooth and not very porous. The shine comes from the natural reflection of the stone's crystals. Polishing bricks and powders used during fabrication help draw out the natural reflection of the stone's crystals (prisms) to create vibrant colors and grains of natural stone. Therefore, the shine is not provided by a coating.
Sand Blasted: This finish is the result of a pressurized flow of sand and water that provides a textured surface with a matte gloss.
Sawn: A process performed by using a gang saw.
Tumbled: A slightly rough texture that is achieved by tumbling small pieces of marble, limestone, and sometimes granite to achieve an archaic/worn appearance.
The vast majority of granite countertops are made using slabs that have the Polished finish on them as they are clearly the best suited for kitchen and bath applications.
How are the edges of the granite finished? Using the specific diamond router bit, the edges are cut. The edges are then polished using eight different diamond polishing discs. Edge Treatments A variety of edge treatments are available, including Straight, Bullnose, Half-Bullnose, Demi are just to name a few.
How do I go about determining the color of granite that I want to use on my project ? We are supplied by several local manufacturer's in the Dallas - DFW Metroplex. You may go during office hours and look at the actual slabs in their warehouse. Ask for the manufacturer's name, address and map from one of our reps.
How does granite compare to other products as far as durability and hardness? Since hardness is often a factor in how a product is suitable for a particular project, it becomes necessary to determine how hard a product actually is. The scale which is used is the Measurement of Hardness Scale (MOH) Scale. The object of the MOH Scale is to measure stone resistance to hardness. When sediment and grit are harder than the surface, they will scratch and harm the stone. The harder the stone, the more resistant it is to abrasion.
- 10 Diamond
- 9 Corundum
- 8 Topaz
- 7 Quartz [Granite]
- 6 Feldspar [Granite]
- 5 Apatite
- 4 Fluorite
- 3 Calcite [Most Marbles]
- 2 Gypsum
- 1 Talc
What determines where a seam in my granite will go? Joints will be seen and felt. Slab dimensions and yield will be considered along with the location of the sink, dishwasher and cook top. Joint placements or seams will be determined considering a multitude of factors affecting the structural integrity of the installation.
- Sink Placement
- Sink Installation [overmount/undermount]
- Location of Dishwasher
- Location of Cooktop
- Slab Yield and Dimensions
- Directions of Other Seams in the job
KNOWING GRANITE COUNTERTOPS
Stone is a product of nature. Each piece is unique in character, veining and consistency. A sample of stone is only one part of a larger slab or block varying in color and clarity. The sample does not represent the exact stone you will receive. There are no two pieces of stone that are alike, therefore each piece of stone is totally unique and one of a kind.
Pieces of stone will differ within the same job. Joints and seams will be noticeable both visually and to the touch. Joints will appear more noticeable in stones with a reflective quality and/or directional character or vein. Joint placement will be determined considering a multitude of factors affecting the structural integrity of the granite installation. Slab dimensions and yield will be considered along with the location of the sink, dishwasher, and cook top.
Stone is generally cut into a 2 cm or 3/4" thickness. Edge laminations are fabricated to achieve the look of a thicker piece of stone (ex: 1 1/2" thick ). Lamination lines may be detectable.
Stone is quarried from the ground as a block, cut into slabs, and polished. Even the highest quality of stone will have imperfections. Pits (small holes in the surface), fissures and stress fractures (small cracks in the surface), and inclusions (black mares, varying in size) may be found in each piece of stone.
Stone tops, unless specifically designed, are not fabricated in a manner to where they will support the weight of the human body and/or weighted products not typically used on countertop areas. DFW recommends that all granite countertops be only set on top of properly supported cabinets.
Granite is a porous material. Fabricated pieces are impregnated with a penetrating sealer. The impregnator penetrates into the pores of the stone allowing, "more time to clean spills".There is no guarantee that this process will prevent staining or etching the stone surface. DFW recommends resealing stone countertops annually. There are some good products out there that will prolong the life of the sealant and even add to it.
Certain foods with citric, lactic, and vegetable acids such as oranges, milk, and tomatoes can strip the polish or etch the stone surface.
The adhesive used to secure your stone countertops to the wood subtops will adhere and absorb into the stone. Visually a spot may appear, however this spot will dissipate in time.
FORETHOUGHT ON THE PURCHASE OF GRANITE COUNTERTOPS
Granite is one the Toughest, Most Beautiful, Natural products that can withstand high temperatures, resist stains, qualifies as impervious to water and less absorbent than some solid surfaces products. Granite has very little maintenance required and highly scratch resistent. Comparing pricing dont go for imitations or Granite Transformations when you can have the real thing and a more solid surface at that. With Transformations you can tell that the countertop is not truly solid - remember there is a difference. As far as price we've been told granite transformation is double in price compared to that of solid granite countertops!
Estimates are Free of charge Always!
We strive have competitive pricing in our market, but we can't guarantee to be the lowest price. When we work we give the customer quality workmanship utilizing some of the best machinery.
MARBLE COUNTERTOPS - ARE THEY FEASIBLE?
Marble is a much softer stone than that of Granite formed from calcium. It can become easily scratched and if anything acidic such as a tomato or orange is left on it having a high acidic content can easily etch the surface. We do not recommend using this type of stone for kitchen countertops.
PLUMBING & ELECTRICAL OFFERED?
We have an outside plumber that we refer all our jobs to. The plumber is scheduled by us within a 24hour period after the granite installation takes place. If you wish to use your own you are certainly welcome to, however, the fee to install the faucet, disposal and dishwasher is a small nominal fee you will pay direct to the plumber. If other companies offer in-house, check to be sure they are licensed to do so, remember what's at stake.
REMOVAL OF EXISTING COUNTERTOPS?
We typically include this in your estimate for a small charge which may include the following: removal of the existing countertops, unhook sink and applicable plumbing, stovetop and backsplash. You certainly can do yourself, but if you don't wish to tackle we can do it for you no problem.
Yes, we carry up to 2 million aggregate per year. Are the fabricator's and installer's experienced? Our crews are each adverse in their fields. Most have been doing this line of work since they were very young. We have some who can perform the edging by hand which is far harder than that of any machine and it still looks like a machine did the job. Pretty top notch.
We offer several different sizes of the undermount 18 gauge stainless steel sink. They are typically $100+ off from national home do it yourself chains. This is included in your bid as optional item. We have quite a few customers interested in granite composite sinks which are the latest craze. We have a vendor who offers these type sinks, which are comparable to those found in the hardware stores. If you decide to go with an overmount or keep your existing we do not charge for this type of cutout, or up to 2 unfinished cutouts per job.
We do not offer any cooktops. This is the time that most would choose to replace although. If you are considering replacing your cooktop ou will need to make sure it fits within the cabinet space you have and you will have needed to purchase and have on hand the day of granite installation. We cut the hole out on site. We do not charge for this type cutout.
Attaching an existing or newer dishwasher to your new granite is slightly different than that of corian or formica counter tops which usually will be attached with screws through the bottom of the counter top. You can't do this with granite. Most dishwasher companies will offer a side mount attachment so you can attach the dishwasher on each side of the base cabinet. We recommend running a thin piece of wood along the bottom of the counter top from edge to edge of the inside of the 2 cabinets using liquid nails and then screw in the dishwasher to the top of the new wood. The wood if visible can be either stained or painted to match your cabinetry, this is customer's responsibility since we are a counter top company, not a cabinet maker.
We do not offer any faucets. The most important note about faucets is to know what kind of faucet will work with the sink that you have chosen. If you have chosen the most popular style sink which is the 60-40 offset stainless steel sink. It is important for you to know that style sink will only work with the lever style faucet with the hot and cold being adjusted with the single lever, usually on the faucet or just to the right of the faucet.
GAPS FOUND BETWEEN NEWLY INSTALLED COUNTER TOPS AND EXISTING CABINETS
Most homes do not have level cabinets. Typically when your new counter tops are installed, they will have to be exactly level. If your counter tops aren't level, they will not seam properly. We will shim the new counters until they are perfectly level. This will create a small gap between your new counter tops and your existing cabinets. We always suggest purchasing a small trim piece and staining or painting to match existing cabinets and either tacking or gluing in place. This actually adds more pleasing decorative look.
GAPS FOUND BETWEEN NEWLY INSTALLED COUNTER TOPS AND WALLS
99% of the homes walls are not flush or are crooked in some way. We will try to install as tight as we can, sometimes its impossible to run the granite all the way flush with the wall. If were out estimating your job we will be evaluating obvious items such as this and try to point out so that you will be aware beforehand. In some cases we either will recommend placing a granite backsplash or tile backsplash to cover the noticable gap if a bead of caulking will not do the trick because the wall is too off.
We always take care and are very careful in the removal of countertops, backsplashes and in our installations. However, we cannot guarantee that you will not have paint, stain or patch repair to woodwork, walls or trim - this is customer's responsibility.
We will seal the granite once it has been installed. After that we recommend you seal your granite about once per year. It is a very simple process and some of our vendors carry the recommended sealers.
Bacteria Resistance in Granite Counertops
If you are concerned about bacterial contamination of your kitchen countertop, it looks like stainless steel and granite are the way to go.
That's what a recent study by the Hospitality Institute of Technology and Management, a St. Paul Minnesota- based organization that develops educational materials and research for the retail food industry shows.
The study measured the bacteria resistance capacity of six common countertop materials. Each surface was contaminated with E-coli (nearly 2 billion of the micro-organisms), washed and rinsed with soap and water and then sanitized with vinegar-and-water solution. The results are shown below.
|Surface Micro-organism ELIMINATED by cleaning|
Dr. O. Peter Snyder, Jr. who conducted the study says, "We hope our research will help consumers make healthy decisions when selecting a countertop surface for their kitchen." Dr. O. Peter Snyder, Jr., has educated thousands of executives, chefs, employees, and home food preparer's in recipe hazard analysis and self-control procedures for producing safe food and is the president of Hospitality Institute of Technology and Management
Source: Today's Homeowner Magazine