Q
Can I cut on my Granite countertop?
A
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.
Q
Can my granite top be damaged?
A
Like any solid surface, high impact blows can harm granite. Because of its crystalline structure, it can chip if subjected to sharp hard objects. Unsealed, granite can absorb stains such as oil, which can ultimately cause dark spots or discoloration. Heat from pots and pans or burning liquids will not affect granite under normal circumstances.
Q
My little sample of granite has pits on the surface – will I have these on my kitchen counters?
A
Granite, which is crystalline in its structure, always has tiny pits - spaces between the various mineral crystals. You don't see them on a larger piece because the overall appearance is polished and mirror-like. Granite sometimes has natural fissures as well, which may look like cracks, but are not structural defects and are a naturally occurring result of the immense heat and pressure which formed the granite eons ago. These characteristics are part of the natural beauty of stone and will not impair the function or durability of the material. A product of nature cannot be expected to look man-made.
Q
How do I clean my granite tops?
A
Granite is a very durable stone. It is also much harder than marble. Granite has been used in the past in the commercial industry. Some of the obvious applications have been panels on the outside of buildings, walls, and floors of "high-traffic" areas. Granite will withstand almost any element it comes up against including heat and cold. Granite itself is approximately 95-98% stain resistant but, we use a silicone impregnator on all of our natural stone products. This will insure lasting life and beauty. Polished granite should receive the same cleaning care as polished marble, using a mild phosphate-free, biodegradable liquid dish-soap, soap flakes or powder which contains no aromatics. Followed by a thorough rinsing and drying with cotton-flannel or chamois.
Q
Will my granite look like the online sample?
A
The samples you see on the computer have been scanned and saved as digital images. The color tones may not be absolutely correct due to variations in computer systems, monitors and compression algorithms. Also, granite is a natural material with naturally occurring variations in color, tone, granularity, pattern, etc. These variations are expected and are the source of its natural beauty.
Q
Does granite stain?
A
In general, no. All stone, however, is porous to some extent, but Granite has very little porosity. Most colors will never show any moisture. A few colors may show some moisture if exposed for a period of time. For example, a puddle of water left on the counter for 30 minutes for some colors, may show a dark spot when the water is wiped away. This spot will then dry up and no evidence will show. Only a few colors demonstrate this trait. We recommend that you seal the countertops after they are installed.
Q
Can I set hot pot on my granite countertop?
A
Granite is formed by extreme heat and pressure combined beneath the earths crust. It can not be affected by heat from a cook top or frying pan. A lit flame placed under the granite will have no melting effect and will not leave any burned or scarred marks.
Q
Can granite chip?
A
Only in cases of severe abuse with a hammer or impact tool. A chip can be filled with a granite dust and epoxy mixture. If a chip occurs on your countertop, do not throw out the chipped pieces. We can use them to fix the countertop, so that no one will be able to tell it was ever chipped.
Q
Do granite seams show?
A
Because granite is a natural material and is mined from the quarry in blocks usually no more than 10' long, you will most likely end up with seams. Also, because granite is sold in rectangular pieces, you may want to use seams to reduce your costs, such as in an 'L' shaped corner. The visibility of seams will depend on the granularity, color and pattern. A small, uniform grain (such as Uba Tuba) will not be as apparent as a larger varied grain (such as Peacock Green). A dark color (Platinum) will be less apparent than a light color (Imperial White). A dramatic pattern with swaths of color (Kinawa, Paradiso) will show more seams than a uniform pattern (Dakota Mahogany). Most customers have found that the beauty of natural granite outweighs the concern of seams.
Q
How are seams made?
A
Seams are done where the two pieces of stone are put together. The seams are joined with epoxy that is mixed with the color that matches the stone. Then the joined area is smoothened, leaving only a very thin line visible.
Q
Does granite stain or burn?
A
No. You can’t burn it with ordinary use. Granite does not stain. The only caveat is that a few colors may absorb some moisture with prolonged contact. Usually, no evidence remains when the liquid is removed and the granite dries, but could be a problem with dark pigmented liquids. Although granite has a sealer applied at the fabricator, a stone sealer is recommended for all granite after installation.
Q
Can granite crack?
A
No, not with regular use. Granite is most susceptible to cracks during shipping and installation. Normal use will not overstress this durable material.
Q
Can granite cantilever?
A
You can cantilever granite up to 14" with sufficient support on the fixed end and with a large enough piece. Never cantilever unsupported granite where it might receive excessive stress like someone sitting on a counter or stepping on a counter to change a light bulb. You must have support underneath for these situations.
Q
What is the difference between granite and marble?
A
The main difference between granite and marble is that granite is a highly dense material composed deep inside the earth's core while marble is formed from sediments under the seabed. Both solidify into stone after millions of years but the mineral composition of the two stones makes marble and granite react differently to various chemicals and household cleaners.
Q
What is the appropriate thickness for a granite countertop?
A
A kitchen countertop should be an inch and a quarter thick for structural reasons. Bathroom vanity tops can be thinner.
Q
Does granite have any pits or fissures?
A
Yes granite has natural pits and fissures that are part of the stones natural structure. Some types of granite have more of such characteristics than other types, and pits can be minimized by applying sealer to the surface of the counter.
Q
Can granite be repaired?
A
It is very hard to damage granite. If any damage occurs it can be sealed with a mixture of epoxy and ground up chips of granite.
Q
How is Granite formed?
A
Granite is an igneous rock of visible crystalline formation and texture. It is composed primarily of feldspar, quartz, and mica. It starts off as liquid magma deep within the earth's core where it is cooled and compressed over millions of years under tons of pressure. It is then quarried, cut and polished. After that process it can be applied in various ways like kitchen countertops, vanity tops, fireplace surrounds as well as Jacuzzi surrounds and other custom designs.
Q
How do I deal with sink and stove cutouts?
A
With our CNC technology we have the ability to cut any sink or surface unit cutout with computer aided design files. Undermounted sinks (sinks that are mounted under that countertop so as not to show any rim) are fully cut out, then the inside of the hole is polished. The countertop is then flipped over and reinforced with metal rods for extra support. Self rimming cutouts are cut 6" into each corner leaving some of the straight section to be cut in the field to facilitate safe shipping.
Q
Can you describe the process of ordering with your company?
A
The whole process is designed for quality and speed. First, the client picks a stone, we then give the client an estimate based on their specific project. After that an order can be placed with us for a template. From the time the template is made our clients can expect a turnaround time of 2 to 3 business days.
Q
Do I need an appointment to come down to your place?
A
No appointment is necessary; Granite Tops is open to the public Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm and Saturday from 9 am to 12 pm.
Q
Where do you operate?
A
Granite Tops operates within the greater Kansas City area - Missouri and Kansas. We are a direct fabricator and installer of kitchen countertops, vanities, Jacuzzi surrounds, fireplace surrounds, and custom designs.
Q
What is your payment policy?
A
Granite Tops accepts cash, certified checks, or credit cards. If payment is done by personal check we will not start the fabrication process until the check is cleared. Once the order is placed the grand total is broken up into two payments, one during the template, and the other due at the end of the installation.