Installing Granite Counter Top

Building industry has been using granite for its various uses due to the nature of the stone, which is very durable and its harness property comes only after diamond.  Due to this characteristic it is not affected by pollution or by erosion and this is the reason why granite has become so popular and important all over the world.

Granite is just one kind of crystalline igneous rock formed from magma. Granite is composed of mica, quartz, silicon, feldspar, and other minerals and comes in a vast array of colors and patterns. It is found in the Earth’s continental crust and has a medium- to coarse-grained texture that is characteristic of the material. But while there are other variants of igneous rocks around, granite has that certain shine and solid feel not present in other rocks of similar nature. Usually found in large reserves, granite can only be obtained through extensive quarrying and mining methods. This is because most piles of granite rocks are infused with other types of rocks due to its intrusive qualities.

Granite is preferred over other similar materials for kitchen counter top because granite can stand up to heat from cookware. Granite counter tops are used in bathrooms as well. When you are thinking of installing new counter tops in you home, you need to follow the steps mentioned below for better result.

1. Choosing the stone – there are large varieties of natural stones that are available. You should consult a certified interior designer in order to determine the type of stone that you will need for your home in keeping with the theme or design of the space. However, it will be best if you can pay a visit to your local stone company’s showroom in order to get the true feel of the stone and also to get some samples to match it physically with your need.

2. Choose the edges – with the main features of the kitchen you have to choose the type of edge that will fit the countertop. Styles of the cabinets also need to be taken into consideration when selecting this detail. For example, a square edge will match best with shaker style cabinet door. The sub structure of the cabinet can be lined with ply wood to make the counter strong.

3. Choose the cutouts – proper cutouts are required to be made in the counter top in order to fix the sinks. The sinks can be either bottom mounted or can be top mounted. It will be better to hire a professional person to do the job.

4. Choose the sealant – immediately after installing the counter top you should use proper sealant to seal your granite. You need to choose the sealant according to the material of the counter top.

5. Choose your cleaner – granite should be maintained properly on a regular basis. Sealing the granite is not the end in itself. Granite can get stained by blood from meat the fish, therefore clean the spot immediately with water and mild soap. Oil spills also need to be cleaned immediately.

Use of granite for countertop is not only for its aesthetic looks, it is also a way you can enhance the value of your home.

How To Choose The Right Granite Countertop

Countertops play a major role in projecting a perfect image of a kitchen. To add some aesthetic element in the kitchen more and more people are using granite as counter tops. The reason is not far to see, granite is very hard and can last very long.

There are a variety of these stones available that you can choose from. When choosing the right granite for your kitchen counter top you need to take into considerations certain factors to make your decision.

The first factor is the color of the granite. Granite in nature has been formed from molten magma containing mica, silicon, feldspar, quartz and many such minerals. These minerals are present in the stone in various proportions. Different colors of the stones largely depend on the proportion of these minerals present in each part of the stone. The shine in the stone is due to the crystalline nature of its grains. Depending on the style or theme of your kitchen, you can choose the color of the granite for the counter tops. If your kitchen style is modern, you can choose colors like black, gray or white for the counter tops. On the other hand if you have a traditional look for your kitchen you can then choose earthly tones to go with it.

Cost is another factor that will decide the extent to which you can go. The cost again has some factors that go to calculate it. In general the cost of granite is calculated on square foot basis. Apart from this there is the factor like edges, backsplash and other special sections for which extra cost is charged. And if you intend to have special corners or sections then the cost will go up accordingly. When you are thinking of using granite in your kitchen you need to take into account such extra costs before you commit yourself to installing granite in your kitchen.

Another important factor that needs to be considered is the weight factor. You should be aware that granite is not a light material, it can weight between 25 to 30 pounds per square foot. With this knowledge you need to make sure that the cabinets on which the granite counter top will be placed should be strong enough to hold the weight. See to it that you don’t have to build sub-deck under the granite counter top in order to counter the weight of the granite.

After you have installed the granite counter top, you should make it a point to take good care of it. You should use proper cleaners to clean the granite surface; avoid chemical cleaners including liquids like mustard, oils, wines and anything acidic which is sure to ruin the granite counter top. You should also make it a point to know about various materials that can spoil the granite counter top so that you can avoid them. If the granite counter top is maintained regularly, it will last you a lifetime without losing its shine.

Therefore if you are thinking of upgrading your kitchen with granite, you need to consider these factors in order to get right decision. Give us a call and we ll make sure you get what you deserve.

Granite Countertops VS Marble Countertops

If you are turning your bathroom or kitchen into a luxurious one then you need to use appropriate counter tops for the right effect. For a luxurious impression granite and marble are the current craze. These natural stones are the choice of those who want the touch of their dreams in their homes. Between the two types of stones which one will be the best is the moot point.

Since it is your baby, you have to make the choice and that you can only do if you know the difference between the two. Therefore learning about the two stones will give you a better chance to decide.

What is the difference between Granite and Marble?

Now let’s look at the different characteristics of granite and marble. Granite has been formed from molten magma whereas marble is formed through geological process consisting of sedimentary carbonate rocks like limestone. Granite is a complex mixture of feldspar, mica, silicon, quartz and many other minerals and exists in a large array of beautiful colors having a grained texture. Marble on the other hand are light in color with veining patterns. Due to the porous nature of marble it is sensitive to etching and scratching from acidic foods and drinks. On the other hand granite can withstand heat when hot cookware is put on it whereas marble in such a situation will blister. However due to their porous characteristic both are susceptible to staining.

Therefore to prevent staining sealants are applied on the surface of both after installation. Thereafter you have to reseal the counter tops at regular intervals. In case of marble, resealing need to be done nearly every six months or once a year and for granite resealing need to be done once in every one to three years. The process of resealing is simple and can be done quite easily. The frequency of resealing largely depends on the type of stone you are using and the amount of use the counter tops are subjected to. Darker stones are denser while the lighter stones are more porous and less dense. If you clean the surface of the stones with specially formulated products the life of the sealer will get prolonged which incidentally will prolong the life of the material. This way the counter tops will remain beautiful for a long time. If you use cleaning agents that are chemically formulated then you will find the protective sealants fading away rather fast.

If your kitchen counter top is heavily used then it would be better if you choose granite as counter top. Granite is able to resist heat when hot kitchen ware is placed on with no fear of blistering. On the other hand if you are not using the kitchen extensively then you can choose marble.

Marble, on the other hand, is popularly used extensively in bathrooms and vanities due to its light color and lighter in weight than granite. When you look at the cost factor of both the stones, it largely depends on the factors like color and finish. These stones are mostly imported and therefore the cost will also depend upon the country from which they are imported.

When you are looking for the right type of counter tops you should pay a visit to our convenient showroom and see for yourself instead of selecting through pictures and samples because any two slabs are not the same.

Learn Why the Price of Granite Countertops Varies

Splendid countertops can be made if the granite is properly polished and shaped. Such transformed countertops can transform the interiors of any home. The beauty of the granite along with the innate quality that it has like not getting damaged easily can be an asset to any home.

Granite countertops offer the best in aesthetic value; there are many reasons for choosing granite as a counter top, however here are our five valid reasons:

  • 1. Durability, durability, durability.
  • 2. Natural, unique and timeless beauty
  • 3. Won’t go out of style.
  • 4. Low in maintenance
  • 5. Increases home value.

When you are thinking of installing granite in your home you should know that the price of granite is based on per square foot basis. The price range varies between $60 and $180 a square foot.  This is just the cost of the granite; other related costs have to be added when you are calculating the ultimate cost of installation. At Columbus Garnite & Marble we make sure you get the best granite price in the area.

You can get the job done in various ways. For example you can do it on you own, you can hire an independent granite installer to do the job or you can get it done through a package system.

If you do some research you will find companies that offer complete service in a package form. They will process the stone as per your requirement; transport them to your place of work, and do the installation. If you decide to get the job done through this system then you will have to pay an additional cost that may vary between $10 and $30 a square feet in addition to the cost of the granite. The cost will depend on the reputation of the supplier, but whatever be the cost, you are sure to get very good results. More you need not worry about anything going wrong. Reputed suppliers will also be ready to offer you a warranty against their workmanship.

 

If, however, you want to keep the worktop price within your budget, the only way you can do so is by doing the job yourself. But then, this can only be possible if you have the required skills and also the equipments and tools that will be required to do the job. It has been seen that you can bring the installation cost down from $700 to $500. Those who have the adequate skill and experience in this industry should attempt to do it otherwise not.

Previously granite was cut into large slabs which were high on costs. Today, with the advancement in cutting technology, small and thin granite tiles are being cut. These granite tiles costs less, which has helped in bringing down the overall cost of granite. With the costs coming down more people are able to afford granite for renovation of their homes. Now those who can afford to pay $25 to $40 per square foot can now choose granite as countertops. However, one thing that you should keep in mind when you use these tiles is that you have to use them with care as they are a bit fragile than the granite slabs.

5 Good Reasons to Get Granite Countertops

A time was there when wood was the preferred material for counter tops, especially in the kitchen. However, with changing times, people started favoring durability along with aesthetics for counter tops, thus granite become the choice of material for counter tops. There are many reasons that can be cited in favor of granite; however the top five reasons are being cited here.

1. Durability

Granite is considered a very hard material, probably comes after diamond in terms of hardness. We already know that diamond is the hardest material that is found on our planet. It has the property of resisting very high fluctuation of temperature which enables you to place even the hottest kitchen utensils on it directly from the oven. Granite is also scratch and stain resistant, therefore any rough type of work done on the counter top can be done without a worry. Therefore granite can withstand hardest of work maintaining its shape and shine for as long as you use it.

2. Low maintenance

Kitchen is probably the only place where most of the rough work goes on in a home. It is also a place which is used most extensively. Therefore granite as a counter top is the only material that can withstand such high traffic due to its natural ability. It can withstand a very high level of activities without cracking. And all you need to keep it clean is water and soap and nothing fancy.

3. A beauty

Apart from its utility value granite is also a beauty to look at. There are innumerable numbers of patterns, shades and colors the granite is available in, and this is the reason why no two pieces of granite are ever the same. You are bound to find them in any pattern and color that you want; something is sure to come up that will match perfectly with what you have in mind. Having granite counter top means having something unique.

4. Always in style

Most of the materials that are being used for counter tops become a fad and then gradually go out of fashion. However, granite is one material that will take a very long time to fade. This is also because granite comes in variety of patterns and colors and two pieces of granite are never identical and granite can hold on to its beauty without any kind of degradation. Therefore you can expect to be in fashion for a long time to come.

5. Adds value

Granite is a way you can increase the value of your home. If you intend to sell off your home and giving it a final touch so that you can get a better value for it; you can think of installing granite counter tops in you home. Potential buyers are very keen on looking at the kitchen when they buy a home because it is a place where most of the time is spent by the lady of the house. Moreover kitchen is a favorite place for everyone at home. Therefore if you install granite counter tops in your kitchen you can get a good value for your home.

911 to Stain Removal for Your Natural Stone

Your granite is sealed, your marble is polished, you wipe up spills immediately, and suddenly you come home one day and the kids have strawberry sips drizzling over your counter tops. What do you do? Try as you might there is red residue on your golden counters.

I found this article that was just published through the Marble Institute of America and thought I would pass it on to you.

 

Stains

Spills and Stains

Blot the spill with a paper towel immediately. Don’t wipe the area, it will spread the spill. Flush the area with plain water and mild soap and rinse several times. Dry the area thoroughly with a soft cloth. Repeat as necessary. If the stain remains, refer to the section in this brochure on stain removal.

Stain Removal

Identifying the type of stain on the stone surface is the key to removing it. If you don’t know what caused the stain, play detective. Where is the stain located? Is it near a plant, a food service area, an area where cosmetics are used? What color is it? What is the shape or pattern? What goes on in the area around the stain? Surface stains can often be removed by cleaning with an appropriate cleaning product or household chemical. Deep-seated or stubborn stains may require using a poultice or calling in a professional. The following sections describe the types of stains that you may have to deal with and appropriate household chemicals to use and how to prepare and apply a poultice to remove the stain.

Types of Stains and First Step Cleaning Actions

OIL-BASED (grease, tar, cooking oil, milk, cosmetics)

An oil-based stain will darken the stone and normally must be chemically dissolved so the source of the stain can be flushed or rinsed away. Clean gently with a soft, liquid cleanser with bleach OR household detergent OR ammonia OR mineral spirits OR acetone.

ORGANIC (coffee, tea, fruit, tobacco, paper, food, urine, leaves, bark, bird droppings)

May cause a pinkish-brown stain and may disappear after the source of the stain has been removed. Outdoors, with the sources removed, normal sun and rain action will generally bleach out the stains. Indoors, clean with12% hydrogen peroxide (hair bleaching strength) and a few drops of ammonia.

METAL (iron, rust, copper, bronze)

Iron or rust stains are orange to brown in color and follow the shape of the staining object such as nails, bolts, screws, cans, flower pots, metal furniture. Copper and bronze stains appear as green or muddy-brown and result from the action of moisture on nearby or embedded bronze, copper or brass items. Metal stains must be removed with a poultice.(See section on Making & Using a Poultice) Deep-seated, rusty stains are extremely difficult to remove and the stone may be permanently stained.

EFFLORESCENCE

Efflorescence is a white powder that may appear on the surface of the stone. It is caused by water carrying mineral salts from below the surface of the stone rising through the stone and evaporating. When the water evaporates, it leaves the powdery substance. If the installation is new, dust mop or vacuum the powder. You may have to do this several times as the stone dries out. Do not use water to remove the powder; it will only temporarily disappear. If the problem persists, contact your installer to help identify and remove the cause of the moisture.

Poultices

Making and Using a Poultice

A poultice is a liquid cleaner or chemical mixed with a white absorbent material to form a paste about the consistency of peanut butter. The poultice is spread over the stained area to a thickness of about 1/4 to 1/2 inch with a wood or plastic spatula, covered with plastic and left to work for 24 to 48 hours. The liquid cleaner or chemical will draw out the stain into the absorbent material. Poultice procedures may have to be repeated to thoroughly remove a stain, but some stains may never be completely removed.

Poultice Materials
Poultice materials include kaolin, fuller’s earth, whiting, diatomaceous earth, powdered chalk, white molding plaster or talc. Approximately one pound of prepared poultice material will cover one square foot. Do not use whiting or iron-type clays such as fuller’s earth with acid chemicals. The reaction will cancel the effect of the poultice. A poultice can also be prepared using white cotton balls, whitepaper towels or gauze pads.

Cleaning Agents or Chemicals

OIL-BASED STAINS

Poultice with baking soda and water OR one of the powdered poultice materials and mineral spirits.

ORGANIC STAINS

Poultice with one of the powdered poultice materials and 12% hydrogen peroxide solution (hair bleaching strength) OR use acetone instead of the hydrogen peroxide.

IRON STAINS

Poultice with diatomaceous earth and a commercially available rust remover. Rust stains are particularly difficult to remove. You may need to call a professional.

COPPER STAINS

Poultice with one of the powdered poultice materials and ammonia. These stains are difficult to remove. You may need to call a professional.

BIOLOGICAL STAINS

Poultice with diluted ammonia OR bleach OR hydrogen peroxide. DO NOT MIX AMMONIA AND BLEACH! THIS  COMBINATION CREATES A TOXIC AND LETHAL GAS!

Applying the Poultice

Prepare the poultice. If using powder, mix the cleaning agent or chemical to a thick paste the consistency of peanut butter. If using paper, soak in the chemical and let drain. Don’t let the liquid drip.

Wet the stained area with distilled water.

Apply the poultice to the stained area about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick and extend the poultice beyond the stained area by about one inch. Use a wood or plastic scraper to spread the poultice evenly.

Cover the poultice with plastic and tape the edges to seal it.

Allow the poultice to dry thoroughly, usually about 24 to 48 hours. The drying process is what pulls the stain out of the stone and into the poultice material. After about 24 hours, remove the plastic and allow the poultice to dry.

Remove the poultice from the stain. Rinse with distilled water and buff dry with a soft cloth. Use the wood or plastic scraper if necessary.

Repeat the poultice application if the stain is not removed. It may take up to five applications for difficult stains.

If the surface is etched by the chemical, apply polishing powder and buff with burlap or felt buffing pad to restore the surface.