Granite Knowledge Base
Visit our granite fabrication and design showroom in Missoula, Montana
Surprisingly affordable, granite has become one of the most popular choices for kitchen countertops and bathroom vanities.
A granite countertop is an investment that pays you every time you look at it. Nothing compares to the richness, the depth and pure aesthetic beauty of granite.
Whether you’re building a new house or remodeling, natural stone offers you unparalleled beauty, performance and uniqueness and adds true value to your home.
Homeowners who remodel recover the following percentages of their remodeling costs at resale (note: upscale projects include stone):
- Bathroom remodel – upscale: 92.6%
- Bathroom addition – upscale: 84.3%
- Kitchen remodel – upscale: -79.6%
- 2003 Cost vs. Value Report, remodeling Magazine
Natural stone is a key part of two of the top 10 elements of design in the home that are resonating with today’s buyers: the desire for low/no maintenance materials and the use of natural materials inside and outside the home.
-Builder Magazine/National Association of Homes Builders
In a study of materials for kitchen countertops, granite had the highest number of “excellent” ratings of any surface.
Care & Routine Cleaning
Rock Solid Investment
The natural stone you have purchased for your home or office is an investment that will give you many years of beautiful service. Stone is a natural product and simple care and maintenance will keep it looking beautiful.
Care and Routine Cleaning:
Clean stone surfaces with a few drops of neutral cleaner, stone soap or a mild dishwashing detergent and warm water. Use a clean soft cloth for best results. Too much cleaner or soap may leave a film and cause streaks. Do not use products that contain lemon, vinegar or other acids on marble or limestone. Rinse the surface thoroughly after washing with the soap solution and dry with a soft cloth. Change the rinse water frequently. Do not use scouring powders or creams; these products contain abrasives that may scratch the surface.
In the bath or other wet areas, soap scum can be minimized by using a squeegee after each use. To remove soap scum, use a non-acidic soap scum remover and water. Read the manufacturer label. Most cleaners will state “Do not use on natural marble or stone”.
Vanity tops may need to have a penetrating sealer applied. Check with your installer for recommendations. A good quality marble wax or non-yellowing automobile paste wax can also be applied to minimize water spotting.
In food preparation areas, the stone may need to have a penetrating sealer applied. Check with your installer. If a sealer is applied, be sure that it is non-toxic and safe for use on food preparation surfaces. If there are questions, check with the sealer manufacturer.
Call your local stone professional for problems that appear too difficult to treat.
Recommended Do's & Don'ts
Do dust frequently.
Do clean surfaces with mild detergent or stone soap.
Do thoroughly rinse and dry the surface after washing.
Do blot up spills immediately.
Do protect surfaces with coasters under all glasses, particularly those containing alcohol or citrus juices. Many common foods and drinks contain acids that will etch or dull the stones surface.
Do use placemats under china, ceramics, silver or other objects that can scratch the surface.
Don’t place hot items directly on the stone surface, use trivets.
Don’t use vinegar, lemon juice or other cleaners containing acids on marble, limestone, travertine or onyx surfaces.
Don’t use cleaners that contain acid such as bathroom cleaners, grout cleaners or tub and tile cleaners.
Don’t use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleaners or soft cleansers.
Don’t mix bleach and ammonia; this combination creates a toxic and lethal gas.
Selecting a Stone Fabricator
Ask family, friends and neighbors or your contractor or kitchen designer for referrals. Call local stone and tile suppliers for recommendations. Not all granite providers are the same.
After you have identified several fabricators, schedule appointments for estimates. Most will be free, but confirm in advance. Did they return your calls promptly?
Describe the “look” you’d like to achieve and ask questions. Was the sales consultant knowledgeable and helpful? Do they offer a large selection of full slabs or do you have to choose from 4” x 4” samples?
Evaluate your quotes, request references and check them. Ask to see examples of other projects recently completed by the fabricator. Is the pricing competitive? Are there hidden costs? Can you see and touch examples of their work? Do they have working displays?
Request proof of liability and worker’s compensation insurance. Are they a registered contractor with the state of Montana?
Select a fabricator you believe is skilled and trustworthy and with whom you feel comfortable. Make sure everything you and your fabricator agree to is included in your contract. Don’t sign anything until you understand and agree with the terms.
Plan your project carefully and keep the lines of communications open throughout the project. Keep a job file of all your important documents.
Ask your contractor for a realistic time frame for the job and plan accordingly.
Stop in to see your local stone professional and experience the difference.
Types of Material
Marble and Onyx