What are the advantages of countertops made of granite?
Distinct beauty is the number one reason homeowners choose countertops made of granite. No two pieces of granite are exactly the same. For that reason, granite adds elegance and texture to your kitchen. Among many other advantages, granite is also very durable, hard, heat-resistant, and easy to maintain.
How do I clean my countertop?
It is very simple to keep your countertop clean and looking bright. We recommend using a mild anti-bacterial cleaner that does not contain ammonia or bleach. Cleaners that contain ammonia or bleach will eventually remove the sealer on the countertop. You can use an antibacterial dishwashing detergent, but be aware that this will cause film buildup on the top and dull your countertop over time. The film buildup can be removed by wiping the surface with denatured alcohol.
If you would like to use a proven over-the-counter product, visit our showroom and ask for Supreme Surface Granite Cleaner. This will clean, polish, and seal your granite all at once. Truthfully, though, the hands-down best way to protect countertops is to have them sealed by a professional company. While over-the-counter sealers require you to reseal your countertops every year, our commercial-grade countertop sealing is warrantied for 15 years. Get in touch with us for more information.
How can I tell if my countertops need to be resealed?
To find out if your countertops need to be resealed, apply a couple of drops of water on your countertop and let it stand for 10 to 15 minutes. If the water is absorbed, you will need to have your countertops sealed. It is crucial for you to take care of this as soon as possible; otherwise your granite will start to stain easily. Granite is like any other stone—it is porous and absorbent if not sealed.
Can I cut on my countertop?
Yes, you can. Granite is a very hard stone—it’s actually harder than the blades on your kitchen knives. Cutting on your countertops will definitely dull and damage your knives, but it will not scratch your granite.
Should I install a new backsplash prior to the installation of my granite countertop?
No. We recommend installation of the backsplash after the countertops are installed. This will allow the tile installer to know exactly where to start the tile backsplash and what size cuts are needed.
What are the most popular sizes of granite slabs?
Granite varies in its thickness. The most popular thickness is 3cm or 1-1/4”. It is also available in 2cm or 3/4” thickness. Granite is a natural stone and its thickness could slightly vary throughout the whole slab. On the average, an 8-foot countertop with 3cm thickness could weigh around 150 lbs.
How do I know if my old cabinets can support a new countertop?
Stone countertops can weigh as much as 30 pounds per square foot. During the measurement visit, our “Templating Team” will ensure that your cabinets are structurally strong enough to handle the weight of your new countertops.
How long are the slabs and how long can the countertops be?
The average slab size runs between 98″ to 115″ long by 55″ to 68” wide. Typically, it is safe to have individual countertop pieces that run as long as 6′ to 8′, depending upon your stone type and your specific bowl/cook top configuration.
Must there be seams in my countertop? And if so where do you put them?
Pure Granite & Stone tries very hard to avoid seams whenever possible, but the reality is that the majority of countertops will have a seam no matter how hard we try. Granite comes in specific sizes, it cannot be stretched to accommodate kitchen layouts. It’s like drywall, you can only buy it in sheets. Your Pure Granite & Stone Project Manager will work with you to place as few seams as possible in your kitchen. But we will put them in the best place for aesthetics, support needed, and to maximize slab usage.
How much overhand can you have without supports, and what type of supports are required?
For 3cm stone (approx 1-3/16”), Pure Granite & Stone recommends supports anytime there are overhangs of 10″ or more. There’s a caveat. That’s as long as the overhang does not exceed 1/3 of the countertop width. If a narrow countertop has a big overhang, we recommend supports for smaller overhangs. We recommend a cantilevered bracket or corbel that matches your cabinets. The brackets should be spaced every 3′ to 4′.
How are dishwashers attached to countertops made of granite?
The best way to attach a dishwasher is to use mounting brackets on the side of the appliance and attach them to the lower cabinets. For older dishwasher models we can epoxy the top-mounting bracket of the dishwasher to the bottom of the granite countertop or silicone a small strip of wood under the counter. Once the sealant has dried, the dishwasher can be screwed into the wood to provide solid mounting. Another alternative is to use dishwasher straps and attach them to the back wall or to the cabinets. This option makes the installation easier but will make the dishwasher more difficult to service.
Are there special considerations around sinks?
In order to maintain the structural integrity of the countertop, we require at least 3″ of stone in front and back of the sink cutout. Pure Granite & Stone uses aluminum under-mount sink brackets that are attached to the bottom cabinet for most sinks we install. We also recommend that if 2cm stone is being used, an over-mount sink should be provided. Pure Granite & Stone will need to know your chosen sink type before scheduling your measurement day of the project.
How about considerations around appliances and cutouts?
The width of material in front and behind appliances and cutouts is also a very important issue. The requirements will vary from job to job depending on material selection, dimensions, and appliances. Be sure to ask your Project Manager at Pure Granite & Stone to explain the details for your specific configuration.
What is the quality of the granite you recommend?
We recommend A-Grade granite for countertops. A-Grade granite has very few fissures and pits in the stone. B-Grade and C-Grade granite are typically used for walls.
What is the difference between granite and man-made countertops?
Granite is 100% natural, and every piece has a unique color and look as a result. Granite is also virtually impervious to heat (withstanding temperatures up to 1,200-degrees Fahrenheit) and the strongest countertop material on the market. Manmade countertop materials are not as stout and heat-resistant.
Where does granite come from?
Granite is found all over the world. Some of the places where granite is quarried are Greece, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, China, Egypt, India, Spain, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Ukraine, Zimbabwe, and, yes, in the wonderful United States of America.
How is granite formed?
Granite is formed by a solidification of magma under the earth’s surface. As magma is forced between rocks, it starts to cool slowly to form large crystals. The crystals that make up granite are feldspar, mica, quartz, and other minerals that together create unique patterns and colors. This natural process takes millions of years to form, giving granite its strength with unique markings that make it special.
Here is a diagram of how granite is formed:
- A magma chamber forms.
- It slowly cools.
- Continued uplifting from tectonic action forms mountains.
- Erosion and continental glaciers scour the earth exposing the granite dome at the surface.