1. How many different textures are there available in stone?
There are several. The most popular finishes are:
* Polished. This is a shiny smooth finish.
* Honed. Semi-polished to a matte finish, but still completely smooth.
* Antiqued/brushed: Brushed to a very textured ďleather-likeĒ finish.
* Tumbled: Very rustic look with rough edges and corners. Material is actually put into a rock tumbler to get this look.
Other less popular rough finishes are; sandblasted, flamed, and chiseled.
2. Can you use marble for a kitchen counter?
Yes, but because marble is a soft material, acids (i.e. lemon juice, tomato juice, wine, vinegar) will etch the surface. Etching is more visible on polished marble than it is on marble that has either a honed or an antiqued finish. While marble in a kitchen is more likely to etch, stain and scratch, this ďpatinaĒ is whatís appealing to clients who want that ďold worldĒ look.
3. Can I get tiles and slabs that match?
Some materials come in both tile and slab. Oftentimes to cut costs, clients will use a slab on their center island, and tiles on the outer countertops. Be sure if you choose this option that the tiles and slabs are a close enough match. Slabs and tiles are cut from different blocks, so chances are the color between the two will be slightly different.
4. Is honed granite less durable than polished granite?
Honing granite opens up the pores of the material, so sealing is critical. As long as your material is well-sealed with a penetrating sealer, the durability isnít affected by the finish.
5. How long will it take to install my kitchen?
The actual fabrication and installation might take a week to ten days from start to finish, but getting on as soon as you know your timing is best. Please let us know about any unique circumstances so that we may attempt to meet your scheduling needs.
6. How much is granite slab?
A typical budget allowance is $50-75 per square foot installed (material, fabrication, installation). Factors that affect the cost of your project are: Slab size, material choice, an intricate edge detail, an under mount sink, radiuses, or other special requirements.
If you are looking to keep your budget down, ask our sales staff about any current specials or close outs. Ask about our builder and dealer programs for wholesale pricing.
7. What are the differences between 3/4" (2 cm) and 1 1/4" (3 cm) slab material for countertops?
There is no difference in the durability of one thickness over the other. The choice of thickness is personal/fabricator preference. The cost of the 2 cm material is less, but the labor is more because the most preferred edge details require a laminated edge. The cost for 3 cm material is more, but the cost for labor is less because a laminated edge isnít necessary to achieve the desired look. 3 cm is the logical choice for a thicker quality stone at a comparable or more cost effective price.
8. Can I hand-select my slabs?
Yes you may hand-select your slabs as well as being involved in choosing where to cut your material. ADVANCED Marble & Granite will hold your slab with a signed agreement and 50% deposit.
9. How much does a slab weigh?
It depends on the thickness. At 13 pounds per square foot, the average 2 cm slab weighs 600-700 pounds. At 20 pounds per square foot, the average 3 cm slab weighs 1000-1200 pounds.
10. What happens if I donít need a whole slab?
In most cases you still have to buy a whole slab. Check with us about our current stock. We might have other choices available.
11. Do you do any fabrication or installation?
Yes. Advanced Marble & Granite provides both fabrication and installation services. All of our fabricators and installers are company employees who are trained and experienced in quality craftsmanship.
12. Do you have remnant pieces of slab?
We have an array of remnant pieces available for small kitchens, islands and bathroom vanities. These stones are sold at a substantial discount.
13. Where can I use travertine?
Travertine, like marble, is more susceptible to acid etching so it might not be the best choice for a kitchen countertop. Itís a durable flooring material that doesnít show a wear pattern like polished stone, and itís a popular choice for all surfaces in a bathroom. Exterior applications of travertine can be questionable depending on your climate. As with any other stone, it must be sealed periodically.
14. Where can I use slate?
Slate can be used anywhere because of its textured finish, however, countertops might be questionable because of the uneven surface. Slate is a popular flooring material because it offers slip resistance. Some slates are dense enough to be used for exterior applications even in climates with extreme temperature variations.
15. How often should my stone be resealed?
Depending on the brand of sealer you use and whether your stone is on an interior or exterior surface, your stone should be re-sealed anywhere from every six months to every five years. If your stone isnít beading water, or if you can see that water is absorbing and making the stone darker, you need to re-seal the stone. Advanced Marble & Granite carries sealers and cleaners. The manufacturer suggests re-sealing stone every three to five years for interior use, and every one to three years for exterior use (or in a shower where there is constant exposure to water).
16. Does ADVANCED Marble & Granite seal my stone for me?
Yes. ADVANCED Marble & Granite will seal the stone once itís installed. We also sell stone care products for your own use or we can come out to seal your stone over time.
17. Can I seal my own stone or do I have to have someone do it for me?
Depending on the size of the area youíre sealing and your ability, you can usually seal the stone yourself by following the manufacturerís directions carefully. If you have a lot of square footage to seal, you might want to hire a professional.
18. What should I use to clean my stone?
Either use mild soap and water, or a pH neutral cleaner. Acid or alkaline products can seriously damage some stones, so using those types of products is not recommended. We sell Miracle Stone products counter cleaner that does an outstanding job with your countertops.
19. What is the difference between natural stone and quartz-based countertop material?
The difference between the two is that the quartz-based material is a man made product. It is made from natural stone with a petroleum-based resin mixed in to hold it all together. Many manufacturers of these man-made products down sell the durability of natural stone and claim high maintenance. In fact, granite is primarily composed of feldspar and quartz, which is what these products are made from, but granite doesnít have the resin in the mix. People generally select man-made products for colors that arenít available in granite. The installed price for a quartz product is comparable to a premium granite.
20. Can I cut on my Granite Countertops?
Yes, you can. Granite is a very hard surface though, and in most cases itís harder than the material your knife blades are made of, so expect that you will dull your knives quickly if you use them to cut on your countertops.
21. Can I set hot things on my Granite Countertops?
Yes. Granite generally withstands heat up to about 900 degrees. Softer stones canít handle the heat like granite, so on those surfaces, itís recommended that you use a trivet.
22. When looking for bathroom material (vanity, flooring, shower) can anything be used such as Travertine, Marble, Granite?
Any natural stone that we stock can be used for those surfaces. Polished surfaces can be slick when wet, so polished stone might not be the best choice for a flooring surface in a bathroom.
23. If I special order something that you donít stock, what is my time frame for delivery?
We can usually source your special order stone within 1 weeks time.
24. What is the fiberglass mesh for on the back of some slabs?
Does this mean those slabs arenít good quality?
Some materials that have more veining and are more delicate are meshed so that during shipping and fabrication they donít break. Once these materials are installed they are as durable as any granite.
25. Where does most of your stone come from?
We get material from countries all over the world: Brazil, India, Canada, Italy, Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Madagascar, Greece and Norway, to name just a few.
26. What makes one material more expensive than another?
There are many factors that drive the cost of each material: Materials that come from countries with extreme temperatures like parts of Norway, Newfoundland or Africa are more expensive because the quarries are only open certain times of the year; material that contains Labradorite, Lapis, or other semi-precious stones can also be more expensive. There are many other factors, but the cost of natural stone is directly affected by how much effort it takes to get the material to its final destination; transportation cost; and the value of the US dollar.
27. Why is there a glue-like residue on the edges of marble and granite slabs?
A coat of epoxy resin is either rolled on by hand or applied by high tech machinery, then heated to harden. The slabs are then sent through a series of diamond and synthetic abrasive lines that remove 99% of the resin, leaving a highly polished product virtually free of defects. This enables consumers to have colors of stone not available in years past, as well as a product unmatched by man-made solid surface products.
28. Does ADVANCED Marble & Granite do the entire project of replacing my countertops?
Yes. ADVANCED Marble & Granite will tear out your old cabinets, template fabricate and install your new countertops. We can add a granite or tile back splash as well as hooking up your sink.
29. I want to do more than just replace my counters and floors. How can I get help understanding the process of remodeling my kitchen or bath?
Homeowners can call the NARI national hotline toll-free at 1-800-611-NARI and request a free copy of NARI's informative brochure, "How to Select a Remodeling Professional," or visit www.RemodelToday.com and click on the homeowners guide for more information. There are also many local trade associations: American Society of Interior Design (ASID), Northwest Society of Interior Design (NWSID). To see a list of associations that we are affiliated with, please visit our Company page.
30. How is the stone cut?
The huge blocks of stone are excavated from the earth and hauled to manufacturing locations where they are cut by a series of large saws. They are then polished and shipped to us by boat.
31. What makes up the different colors?
There are a variety of factors that make up the color, pattern, and density of any given stone. The types of minerals and other impurities in the stone are big factors in the color hue of a material. The method of formation is a determining factor in the pattern and density, which ranges from igneous, meaning it was once molten and formed as it cooled, to sedimentary. Come in to our showroom for more detailed information on the different types of stone we carry in stock.
32. How do I care for my natural stone surface?
Most types of stones need to be sealed just after installation prior to regular use and are very easily maintained after that. We carry the full line of Miracle Stone Care products to seal, clean, and maintain your natural stone. Take a look at our Stone Care page.