Independent Marble & Granite
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FAQ


Why is granite good for kitchen counters? 

Because granite is a very hard stone that's formed at very high temperatures deep in the earth, its polish is not subject to etching by household acids, or scratching by knives and pots and pans.  It's unaffected by typical kitchen heat such as hot pans, or spilled liquid.
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Does granite require a lot of maintenance? 

It takes little effort to maintain granite on a daily basis.  Too much is made about how much maintenance granite requires, it is no more difficult to upkeep than any other solid surface material on the market.  The only additional maintenance the granite does require is an occasional re-application of a stone sealer, which takes literally 30 minutes and is very easy to do.  This is a small task compared to the natural beauty and character that only mother nature is able to provide.  Darker stones, much like appliances, tend to be harder to keep clean, but is still worth the investment.
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How do you care for granite?  

There are numerous natural stone cleaners on the market.  Warm water, mild dish washing liquid and a soft cloth are all that is needed to care for you natural stone surface.  Never use abrasive cleaners or products containing ammonia on polished surfaces.  Do not use vinegar, lemon juice or bleach or other cleaners containing acid on marble or limestone.  **Please see our "Care and Maintenance" web page for complete details.
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Will granite scratch or stain? 

Granite is one of the hardest material available for countertop use and while very impervious to scratching and staining it is possible.  Any spill should be addressed and wiped up immediately, as you would with any countertop surface in your home.  All countertops are sealed, prior to installation, which will protect the stone against staining (it will not prevent staining).   We recommend you re-apply once a year as preventive maintenance for all stones.
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Can granite chip or crack? 

Granite is most susceptible to damage during fabrication and transportation.  Once installation is completed, normal use will not stress granite.  Chips can occur, but can be repaired with granite dust and epoxy.
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Can I cut on my granite countertop? 

Only if you want to ruin your good knives.  Granite is harder than your knife blades and will dull them very quickly, if you use the countertop as a cutting surface.  Always cut and chop on a wooden or plastic cutting board.
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What's the difference between marble and granite? 

Although both are stones and both are quarried from the earth, granite and marble (and marble's relatives - limestone, onyx and travertine) are very different from each other.  Granite is formed deep in the earth's mantle at extremely high temperatures, and is a very hard, resistant stone made of crystallized minerals.

The marble family - limestone, travertine, marble, onyx - starts out as a sediment - animal skeletons and shells, plant matter, silt - at the bottom of bodies of water.  After millions of years this solidifies (lithifies) into stone.  Because its main component is calcium, it can be affected by acids such as vinegar and citrus beverages.
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What is flamed granite? 

Granite is flamed by applying blowtorch-strength heat to the surface of the stone.  This causes the surface to melt and some of the crystals to shatter, leaving a highly textured surface which is ideal for exterior paving or wet areas where optimum non-slipperiness is required.
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What is honed granite? 

Strictly speaking, granite is called "honed" when the polishing process is halted just before a reflective shiny surface is achieved.  This gives a softer, matte appearance to the stone.  A special product can be applied to enhance and deepen the color as well.
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What is etching? 

Etching occurs when acid in some form comes in contact with a polished marble or limestone surface.  This causes a chemical reaction which removes the polish, or roughens the surface of honed marble or limestone.  Green marbles, such as the "jades" from China are resistant to etching, and granite is impervious to any common household acids.
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Do my cabinets need to be reinforced before the granite countertops can be installed? 

Generally, no.  But in some cases with very old cabinets, they may require reinforcement.  We will determine this when we come to measure.
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Why are some granites more expensive than others?  

The answer for this question really relies on a couple of factors.  First, supply and demand.  If a particular color has a small quarry and the demand for it is high, then the price tends to jump.  Another factor can be where the stone originates from.  For example, black stones tend to come from the bottom of the ocean which makes it more difficult to quarry, and therefore translates into a higher cost.
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I've heard that with granite you will have seams. Will I have seams everywhere? 

We work very hard to ensure that you have the least amount of seams possible, and when we do have a seam, it is there almost effortlessly.  We try to position seams in the least conspicuous locations available.  We do not place a seam at the center of any undermount sink since this is the most visible and weakest part of the granite.
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How is the stone secured to the cabinets? 

Rather than setting the stone in a bed of adhesive, we position the stone on the cabinets then run a bead of silicone along the edge of the cabinet (or framing) and the bottom of the stone.  This, along with the natural weight of the stone, is more than enough to keep the stone in place.  This method also allows you to easily remove the countertop for any unforeseen reason, without ruining your cabinets.
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What overhangs are appropriate? 

Our standard overhang is 1 1/2" off the cabinet base.  It is permissible to have a 12" overhang without support as long as there is a 24" counter balance.  Anything under 24" would need support because there would not be enough counter balance to ensure the structure of the stone.
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How much does the stone weigh? 

1 1/4" (3CM) Granite weighs roughly 22 pounds per square foot

3/4" (2CM) Granite weighs roughly 15 pounds per square foot

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