Frequently Asked Questions
What countertop or flooring surface is best?
There is no universally ideal material, and which one works best for you will depend on your lifestyle and personal preferences. While some materials may be generally considered more or less affordable than others, the price can vary greatly depending on many factors such as rarity, composition and the cost of fabrication.
What is the difference between quartz and quartzite?
Quartz is silicon dioxide, a hard mineral that crystalizes and forms clusters in its natural state. A quartz surface is an engineered stone material made by binding crushed quartz with a small amount of resin. Quartzite, on the other hand, is a metamorphic rock formed from sandstone and quarried whole.
How often should I seal my countertops?
The general rule of thumb is once per year. You can test whether your material needs sealing by putting water on the counter and waiting to see if it gets absorbed, temporarily darkening the stone. If sealer is present, water will form droplets that resist absorption. Even with sealer present, it is always good practice to wipe up spills promptly.
How should I clean my countertops or floors?
Mild soap and water is always a good cleaning option. Avoid abrasive cleaners or acidic ones such as vinegar or bleach. Read the label of any cleaning product before using it to be sure it is safe for stone.
What if the slab I’m considering has a section I don’t like, such as an irregularity of color or pattern, or a crack?
No stone slab is perfect for every individual and it is common for someone to like a particular area of a slab, but not another. In most cases, this isn’t a problem. Depending on the location, size and type of imperfection, your fabricator can usually exclude or cut around areas you don’t like, while making those areas you do like the focal point of your kitchen or bathroom. If you have concerns about any aspect of your slab, consult your fabricator to make sure you get your slab cut in the best way for your home.
What are the advantages of granite?
Among the hardest of natural stones, granite has long been favored for exterior uses such as curbing, pavement and monuments, and remains a top choice for interior uses such as countertops and flooring. Its durability and practicality, along with its wide variety of colors and patterns, make it a perennial favorite for a range of applications.
What are the advantages of marble?
Renowned for its natural beauty, marble has been used for millennia in a host of interior and exterior settings. Most marble is veined with mineral deposits that heighten its aesthetic appeal. Marble is relatively hard, but is subject to scratches, stains and etching. However, a marble surface can be refinished and renewed as often as its thickness allows.
What are the advantages of quartz?
An engineered surface comprised mainly of natural stone, quartz is nonporous and impervious to bacteria, and also resistant to staining and scratches. Engineered quartz has a richer range of color options than can be found in natural stone.
What are the advantages of quartzite?
Quartzite is a metamorphic rock formed from sandstone that has been subjected to heat and pressure. The result is a hard and dense but beautiful stone that offers the aesthetic appeal of marble but the durability of granite. Because of its looks and strength, it is favored for a wide range of exterior and interior uses.
What are the advantages of onyx?
With its translucent properties, onyx makes a strong statement in a focal point and is commonly used in interiors for walls, countertops, flooring and striking backlit features. Onyx is a relatively soft stone and easily worked, but it is also vulnerable to abrasion and etching.
What are the advantages of porcelain?
Porcelain is stronger and more durable than ceramic or natural stone. Modern manufacturing techniques create porcelain materials that look identical to natural stone, wood, concrete or metal. Because it has no surface glaze to wear away, it can retain its appearance indefinitely. Porcelain is virtually impervious to water, acids and solvents, making sealants unnecessary. Its impermeable nature makes it very hygienic.