Granite is a natural stone product. Granite is carved from quarries typically located in China, North America, South America and Europe. Blocks of granite are sliced into ¾ inch slabs and then polished by extremely sophisticated machinery. These slabs are then distributed worldwide via containers. The polished state of the slab surface will be the final counter-top surface state; do not expect a fabricator to re-polish the surface. Hairline cracking, fissures, mineral streaking, pinholes and veins are inherent in the material. These imperfections must be considered as part of the natural beauty of the stone. No two granite slabs are exactly the same, therefore, color and grain variations may be apparent within the slab and at seams.
It is the job of a Fabricator to cut these polished slabs to the proper sizes. The fabricator will apply the appropriate edge detail (typically 1 ½ inch) and seam the individual pieces together to create a countertop. This is very labor-intensive work requiring highly specialized skills and equipment.
Granite slabs vary in size from approximately 35 – 65 sq/ft. An average slab is approximately 50 sq/ft. (6 inches x 110 inches). When calculating material requirements, it is customary to plan on 15 – 20% waste. Some granite slabs have swirls of grain throughout the material known as “motion”. A good fabricator will make every effort to match this motion when seaming pieces together and turning corners, however this in turn will result in greater waste material. Keep this in mind when making granite selections.
Granite is sealed with a stone sealer before it reaches the granite yard. This sealer helps protect the material from absorbing stains, however it does not prevent staining. The material is natural stone and therefore porous. It is permeable to all types of liquids. Additionally, these pores are perfect homes for bacteria. Always keep your granite counters clean. It is the responsibility of the consumer to maintain their Granite. We do not re-seal the material.
Granite counters require a substratum (sub-top) for the material to sit on. An adhesive is used to secure the material to the sub-top. Typically 5/8 or 3/4 inch plywood is used as the sub-top. This allows for the 1 ½ inch granite edge detail buildup to conceal it.
Granite types vary in density. In that the material is only ¾ inch thick, areas where cutouts are made are susceptible to cracks if undue pressure is applied. Overhangs are susceptible to cracks if undue pressure is applied. These factors contribute to a “no material warranty” policy..
When a sink is mounted under the counter, the sub-top is routed larger than the sink. Supports are made to secure the sink to the granite and a bead of silicon is run around the perimeter. The cutout edge of the granite is eased and polished around the sink.
Summary: Granite is a stunningly beautiful material created by Mother Nature and enhanced by polishing. It is quite durable and lasting in appearance. Every counter is a unique personal statement. However, it requires care in use, and regular maintenance.
No! Granite is porous and will stain. Sealing only helps to protect the material. Wipe up all spills immediately.
You may use non-abrasive household cleansers to wipe your granite. However be advised that many of these cleansers contain ammonia and other solvents that will dissolve the silicon in the sealer applied to granite. As this sealer erodes, the granite becomes even more susceptible to stains. The best way to care for granite is to wipe it with water and a mild soap and use your Black Diamond Care Kit per the enclosed directions.
If you are using household cleansers on your granite it is advisable to re-seal regularly. Use the Black Diamond Care Kit.
Yes. Do not cut directly on it. Use a cutting board. Do not slide metal pans around on your granite. Use a trivet or hot pad.
Yes. Do not sit or stand on your granite. Do not bang the granite with metal pans, especially around sink and stove cutouts.
We recommend hot pads for any countertop surface.
Yes. Since each slab is different, the selection of material becomes a very personal decision. We direct you to a granite yard that has a selection of the material you like in stock. You select your slabs and those are in turn delivered to the fabricator for fabrication.
Yes. Although we do our best to make the seams as inconspicuous as possible, you will be able to see them. In some colors, evidence of seams is more readily apparent than in others.
Any mineral streaking, motion, etc., which was in the slabs will end up in various locations on the fabricated counters.
No. There is no material warranty applying to granite. The surface state of the granite at time of selection is the final surface state.
All of the above applies to Granite Tiles and Marble Slabs and Tiles. Please be aware that all discussion above relates to how we work with stone materials. It is not indicative of other firms or fabricators procedures.
Discuss your needs with your kitchen designer. He or she will be able to advise you on the benefits regarding granite and marble as applies to your life style. We hope this has been helpful.