Q. What is granite?
The term “granite” is used to cover a group of related stones, all of which have their origin deep in the earth’s molten mantle. As this extremely hot liquid material rises and cools, it forms a crystalline, granular structure, hence the term granite. Granite and other granite-like stones are formed of hard minerals such as quarts, feldspar and mica, which are fused together into a very hard stone ideal for kitchen counters because of its lustrous polish and density.
Q. Where is granite found?
Granite is quarried from the earth with specialized equipment and machinery. It is found all over the world. A few parts of the world where granite is quarried: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, Finland, India, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Ukraine, USA, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Q. Why is granite an excellent material for kitchen countertops?
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 because granite is very hard stone that’s formed at very high temperatures deep in the earth, its polish is not subject to etching by household acids, or scratching by knives and pots and pans. It’s unaffected by typical kitchen heat such as hot pans, or spilled liquid.
Q. How do I clean my granite countertop?
Granite will withstand almost any element it comes up against including heat and cold. Granite itself is approximately 95-98% stain resistant but, we use a special silicone based impregnator on all of our natural stone products. This will insure lasting life and beauty. Polished granite should receive the same cleaning care as polished marble, preferably using specially formulated neutral daily granite cleaner or using a mild phosphate-free, biodegradable liquid dish-soap, soap flakes or powder which contains no aromatics. Followed by a thorough rinsing and drying with cotton-flannel or chamois. If you are going to go with just plain soap and water, keep in mind that this can lead to soap build up. This, in turn, will dull your countertop’s finish significantly and you don’t want that. Also, plain soap and water will not bring your countertop to a beautiful shine unless a proper streak free cleaner is used. When using a granite cleaner, let it sit for about 30 seconds and then wipe it off well using a soft cloth. This will work best!
Q. Does granite stain?
In general, no. All stone, however, is porous to some extent, granite has very little porosity. Most colors will never show any moisture. A few colors may show some moisture if exposed for a period of time. For example, a puddle of water left on the counter for 30 minutes for some colors, may show a dark spot when the water is wiped away. This spot will then dry up and no evidence will show. Only a few colors demonstrate this trait. Our installers will seal the countertops after they are installed.
Q. Can granite be damaged?
Like any solid surface, high impact blows can harm granite. Because of its crystalline structure, it can chip if subjected to sharp hard objects. Unsealed, granite can absorb stains such as oil, which can ultimately cause dark spots or discoloration. Heat from pots and pans or burning liquids will not affect granite under normal circumstances.
Q: What would the seams look like, are the noticeable?
At Five Star Stone we take time to the preparation and setting on our seams seriously. In the seams you will see a thin line of glue and are generally visible. Using the newest technology such as the Gorilla-Grip pneumatic seam setting tool we achieve near perfect seams every time. Natural stone is just that, natural. When preparing seams from different slabs there may be slight variations in color. We do our very best to work with mother nature on this!
Q. What is honed granite?
Strictly speaking, granite is called “honed” when the polishing process is halted just before a reflective shiny surface is achieved. This gives a softer, matte appearance to the stone. A honed countertop is popular with marble. It has its applications but generally is not recommended for kitchens.
Q. Can I cut on my granite countertop?
Only if you want to ruin your good knives! Granite is harder than your knife blades and will dull them very quickly, if you use the countertop as a cutting surface. Always cut and chop on a wooden or plastic cutting board.
Q. What is the granite installation time frame?
The actual granite installation usually takes a day or two depending on the size of your job. Preparations before installation, such as cutting, polishing and getting your stone to the shop can take anywhere from a week or more.
Q. How much does a granite countertop cost?
Granite countertop costs will vary depending on many things. We do not have a one price fits all number we advertise. Every single project is different. When you receive a quote from us we always give you a start to finish cost for your specific job. Sink cut outs, outlet holes, arches and curves, as well as special edgings and tear outs of old countertops add to the cost.