Every home, office, or just a property in general is inherently unique in its layout, appeal, amenities, & overall design. Of which can present some interesting, yet often challenging (but ultimately rewarding), opportunities when it comes to eventually improving or firstly defining certain features and accommodations throughout the property; such as the countertops commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms. Be it choosing what material is best suited for the particular room in terms of a tastefully refined look without appearing garish/gaudy or what options are most preferred to balance preliminary budgetary restrictions versus a return later on the initial investment, having the proper knowledge and understanding remains as paramount. To better assist with some of the questions and inquiries most of our local clients are frequently troubled with, we've listed out several of the 'Frequently Asked Questions' that often come our way. It is our genuine hope to educate, enlighten, and eventually empower our customers regarding their property's countertops and why they deserve such a high placement on the fundamentals list of what makes a property not merely hospitable but welcoming and inviting as well.
Granite is a natural material quarried from the U.S. and all around the world and imported into the U.S. It is a naturally porous material, and usually requires being sealed once per year. The sealer is designed to seal pores. Granite is perhaps one of the most durable surfaces available for stone countertops, being widely used in indoor and outdoor applications. It can also be the most economical way to get a stone countertop, with the more common designs being very reasonable.
Quartz is a manmade material created by combining natural quartz ore with resigns and dyes to create a hard-stone surface. It is a non-porous material, which means it never has to be sealed. They are not UV stable, so they must be used in indoor applications. Many quartz designs are made to imitate the look of marble, but with the added durability of quartz. Many designs also have a “consistency” of pattern that cannot be found in natural stone. This material holds up well, but the lighter colors can be susceptible to staining from things like red wine and coffee.
Both materials have their strengths and weaknesses. Granite has much better heat and scratch resistance then quartz, but it is porous and often contains fissures and natural imperfections. Quartz generally is void of flaws such as pits and fissures. It is nonporous, and never has to be sealed, but it cannot withstand direct sunlight for extended periods of time. As far as price, quartz is usually comparable to a mid to upper line granite. Generally budget and pattern are the two main determinants for choosing between the two materials, all though it could be argued that granite has the upper hand in terms of durability.
Granite usually needs to be sealed about once per year when being used regularly. This is a minimal process, and usually only requires not using the surfaces until the next morning. Sealer life can be prolonged by use of sealer maintaining cleaners, and lightly used surfaces may be able to go several years without needing resealed.
The “water test” is the best way to check your sealer. Splash a few beads of water onto your counter surface. If it beads up like a fresh wax on a car, your sealer is good. If it soaks in and does not bead, its time to reseal. You may also notice a “dull” appearance on your stone that needs to be “shined”. While there is no substitute for quality polishing, sealer can make a big difference in “freshening up” your surfaces.
If possible, save the piece or pieces that has chipped off. The best way to keep them safe is to tape them down to your countertop. After that, give us a call. We’ll have you send us some pictures of the chip to get a better idea of how we can help. If it looks like it’s something we can fix, we’ll give you an estimate and schedule a time to do the repair.
Same as above, save as many of the pieces as you can, make sure that the stone can’t hurt you, then give us a call. We’ll have you send us some pictures, and if it looks like it’s something that can be fixed, we’ll give you an estimate and schedule a time to do the repair.
In most cases we fix seams that come apart. Every seam is different, and some take longer to repair than others, but many take about an hour to repair.