Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What does “honed” granite mean?

Honed granite has not been polished to a shine. It is a smooth, matte finish. Honed granite is lighter colored than its polished counterpart; however, the color can be deepened with a color enhancing sealer. It should be noted that while honing a stone produces a look that appeals to many, homed stones are more susceptible to surface stains and will show things such as glass rings and fingerprints much more than polished stones do.

Q: Can you use marble in the kitchen?

The short answer is yes, you can use marble in a kitchen. However, because marble is susceptible to staining, scratching, and etching, the use of marble in a kitchen requires careful consideration.

Q: Can you cut on granite or do you need a cutting board?

Yes you can cut directly on granite. However, routinely cutting on a granite surface will dull your cutlery.

Q: What is “tumbled” marble?

Tumbled marble is quite literally marble that has been loaded into a tumbler and knocked against each other in order to achieve rough worn edges and surface. Some materials that are referred to as ”tumbled marble” are actually tumbled limestone or travertine, but the process is the same and aesthetically they are difficult to tell apart.

Q: What is a patina?

A patina refers to the smooth sheen that is produced by the aging and use of natural stone over time.

Q: Is polished marble too slippery to be used on a bathroom floor?

Any polished surface is slippery when wet. As with any other hard surface used in a bathroom, caution should be taken when exiting the shower & tub areas, as well as any other area that is wet.

Q: I am building a house, when should I select my stone?

Because natural stone has variation, it is not a good idea to select stone too early. Colors can vary and the veining from shipment to shipment can be quite different. Once the cabinets are 3-4 weeks away from being installed, it is a good idea to finalize your selection based on current inventory.

Q: How often do you have to seal granite?

Traditionally, homeowners have been told to seal their granite annually. However, with the advancements that have been made in sealing products, some sealers only need to be reapplied every 3-5 years. Check the information on the back of the sealer and follow the recommendations.

Q: Does a professional have to come in and seal natural stone?

No, sealing natural stone is something a homeowner can easily do. The product is a liquid that is applied to a clean, dry counter top with a soft cloth. After the sealer is generously applied to the surface, the excess is removed with a dry cloth, and the counter tops should be allowed to dry. Check the back of the sealer to determine when the counter tops will be ready for normal use. Drying times can vary between 24-72 hours.

Q: Will bacteria grow on granite?

Bacteria, like any other living organism, needs something to eat in order to live. Bacteria cannot eat granite. Unclean, unkempt counter tops can harbor bacteria regardless of what counter top material is used. Granite has performed extremely well in testing, second only to stainless steel in its ability to resist bacterial growth.

Q: Is granite a natural product or is it man made?

Granite is a natural product. Granite is quarried in its natural form directly from the earth and is cut and processed by machine. Because of its extreme hardness and mineral content, granite can be polished to a mirror-like finish using the proper machinery.

Q: Which type of sink is best for granite, undermount or drop-in?

This is a matter of personal preference. If installed properly, both types of sinks are sanitary and safe. The ability to wipe off the counters directly into the sink and the aesthetic appeal make undermounted sinks the most popular. Typically an undermount sink installation would be an additional expense (though minimal) due to the finishing process of the edges around the sink.

Q: Will granite weigh too much for my cabinetry? Do I need additional cabinet supports?

3 cm (1 1/4″) granite weighs approximately 19 lb. per square foot. Typical cabinet construction is more than adequate for most installations. However, large, self-standing, or furniture-style islands may require additional corner bracing. It is advisable to let your cabinet installer know that you are using granite to ensure proper support.

Q: Will my sample match my actual slab?

Because of the movement and veining in natural stone, it is difficult to accurately represent stone with a small sample. Also, stone varies from shipment to shipment, so if you have a sample from a previous shipment, it may not match the current supply. It is advisable to view the actual slabs at the Marble Works showroom prior to fabrication.

Q: Will the polish on my countertops wear off over time?

That depends on whether you have granite or marble. Granite, with normal wear and tear, no. That doesn’t mean that if you attack your granite with a belt sander it won’t dull the finish. The only things that could scratch granite are typically not found in the kitchen. Marble, on the other hand, is a calcite which will react with acidic liquids, etching the polish. Proper sealing and maintenance is more crucial with marble counter tops.

Q: Is it okay to mix different colors of stone?

Absolutely. Mixing colors and types of stone within a room adds interest and beauty. It is, however, a good idea to consider which material would be the most practical for the space. We recommend granites for high-use areas such as around cook tops and sinks, while marbles and lime stones are okay to use in areas of less use.

Q: Should I approve my slabs before they are fabricated?

It is always a good idea to approve the slabs prior to fabrication. This will help to prevent any surprises or disappointments once the material is installed. Slabs can be viewed at the Marble Works showroom.

Q: Will my counter tops have seams?

Not necessarily. A typical slab size is somewhere between 7 and 10 feet. Therefore, your counter tops may not require a seam. Many people do not have a problem with seams, but if you are concerned about them, you should discuss this with your fabricator prior to fabrication. How and where it is seamed should also be discussed with the fabricator. Often the seams are so tight they are difficult to notice. However, communication with the fabricator is essential in order to avoid confusion or disappointment regarding seams.

Q: Will the sealer wipe off when cleaned or scratch off with wear?

No. The sealer is not a coating on top of the stone, it is an impregnator, which is absorbed by the stone and fills the pores in order to repel food and liquid. Over time, cleaners do reduce the effectiveness of the sealer, requiring resealing of the stone. Resealing could be necessary every 1-5 years, depending on the material and sealer used. In order to increase the life of your sealer, use cleaners that are intended for natural stone.

Q: Will granite stain?

No. However, granite porosities vary. Some granite, if not properly sealed, can absorb liquid into the pores. This may appear at first to be a stain; however, in many instances, a dark area on the counter top will dry and disappear over time. If discoloration occurs, there are products on the market to remove them. Consult the stone professionals at Marble Works.

Q: Is granite more expensive than man made materials?

It depends on the granite. Availability, color, and country of origin are major factors that affect the price of granite. If the supply of a particular stone is short and demand for it is high, the price will reflect that. Given that stone is a natural product imported from all over the world, the price spectrum is wide. However, many granite colors are offered at the same price or sometimes less than man made products.