Limestone vs. Marble: Which Is Better For Your Bathroom?

Limestone vs. Marble_ Which Is Better For Your Bathroom_

Natural stone is truly a great choice for a bathroom countertop. It offers a mix of strength, beauty, utility, and uniqueness that is hard to refuse. However, there are some very important differences between the various types of stone, and it is very important that you understand those differences before attempting to choose the best type of stone for your bathroom surface.

For today’s article, we will be comparing limestone with marble. These are two of the most popular stones, but they are quite different from one another. By examining their various qualities, we can determine which one is the better all-around choice.


Durability is a very multifaceted thing, as a countertop must be able to resist a lot of things. For a bathroom sink, this factor is even more important. If we compare the chemicals that are commonly used in the bathroom with the chemicals that are commonly used in the kitchen, we will probably find the bathroom chemicals to be the harsher of the two. So, let’s start with resistance against chemicals.

Right away, we have a hard decision to make. We can see from this government report that both limestone and marble are affected by the problem of acid rain. Both limestone and marble tend to react with acidic substances by forming a gray or black crust of gypsum crystals. Thus, we can safely assume that acidic substances will stain both of these stones.

In terms of pure hardness, we can consult the Mohs scale again to check the relative hardness of these substances. So, we checked the properties of both marble and limestone. Guess what? It’s a dead tie. Both of these stones are composed mostly of a mineral called calcite, and so both of them have a hardness of three.

Upon looking a little more closely, we see that calcite itself is a form of calcium carbonate. Calcium carbonate is one of the most abundant substances in the natural world. Seashells, chalk, and your fingernails are all composed of this same mineral. As you can see, calcium carbonate has many forms, and this is one of them.


In the beauty department, there is no doubt that marble takes a point. Let’s not forget that this stone was one of the most prized building materials of the ancient world. As we have already seen, marble was not chosen for its hardness. In fact, it is believed that the ancients used marble for so many buildings because it was not that hard to carve. Trying to build a Roman palace out of granite blocks would have been far more difficult.

It’s easy to see why marble became so popular for decorative purposes. When presented with a stone that is both beautiful and easy to use, people in the past must have felt that they discovered something truly wonderful. However, it should be noted that the original facing stones of the great pyramid were made of white limestone and that those stones might have been mistaken for marble.

Limestone, however, does have a certain beauty of its own. While it cannot match the high-class look of marble, it can offer a rustic beauty that goes very well with certain styles. In fact, those who prefer a more natural look will probably be more likely to choose limestone. There’s something about polished marble that just doesn’t fit with more primitive decor.


When it comes to cost, the limestone wins a definite victory. Marble is one of the most expensive decorative stones on the market (if not the most expensive!), while limestone is one of the cheapest. To get an idea of how much the difference might be, let’s make a price comparison.

This limestone tile is exactly one-foot square and costs about $10. Now, let’s look for a similar piece of marble. This piece here is the same size and costs about $17. We are surprised to see that the price difference isn’t as big as we would have expected. After all, limestone is a lot easier to find than marble.

Need For Sealing

So, we should ask ourselves: Do either of these stones require sealing? Based on what we have already learned, it is safe to say that they both do. We already know that these rocks have the same hardness and that both are porous stones that can absorb liquid. When we dug a little deeper, we found that limestone is actually more porous than marble, which means that limestone will not do as good a job at resisting moisture.

For this reason, limestone will probably require more sealing than marble. Both are porous, but limestone will absorb much more. That means it will “drink” more sealer than marble and will thus require more product to do the same job. However, there is plenty of evidence to show that marble stains easily. Thus, we must assert again that both stones require sealing and that this round is a tie.


So, let’s review the results of this epic contest and see who has emerged victorious. In terms of durability, we had a dead heat. With an equal hardness and an equal vulnerability to chemicals, neither marble nor limestone could claim victory here. It’s worth noting at this point that limestone and marble are just two forms of the same mineral (calcite), and that’s why they are so similar.

In the beauty category, marble takes the point, even though some varieties of limestone are almost as beautiful as the finest marble. In fact, pure white limestone looks a lot like marble when polished. Limestone definitely gets the win on cost-effectiveness, as it offers very similar performance for a much lower price. Finally, we come to the sealing factor, which was also a tie. As you can see, this contest is a draw. We hope that you have enjoyed this epic matchup and that you will fill out the contact form below to receive more of our expert research.
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Are Soapstone Countertops Right For Your Kitchen?

Are Soapstone Countertops Right For Your Kitchen?

Stone countertops are an elegant and stylish way to accent your home with the beauty of nature. In most cases, a slab of polished stone looks much better than a slab of wood. More importantly, it will probably last much longer. But that still leaves us with one question: Which kind of stone to use?

Today, we will be taking a look at soapstone, which is one of the more popular choices. Our purpose is to help you determine if this kind of stone is right for your home. We will do this by evaluating the stone based on a set of important factors.

Factor 1: Price

Most of the time, soapstone tends to be cheaper than other stones like marble or granite. There are several reasons for its reduced cost, but most of it probably comes down to availability and convenience. Soapstone is very common throughout the world, much like granite. Unlike granite, it is fairly easy to cut and shape. This makes the mining process easier and cuts down the price.

But how much of a difference are we talking here? Let’s make a quick price comparison. We can search for prices on stone slabs, which will give us a good idea of the price per square foot. So, let’s compare marble, granite, and soapstone.

Here is a marble countertop that measures about 1×6 feet. Its cost is about $170. That comes out to $28 per square foot. Here is a granite countertop that measures about 2×9 feet and costs $485. That equals about $27 per square foot. Finally, here is a site that sells soapstone countertops for $14.00 per square foot. Thus, we can see that soapstone is about half the cost of granite or marble.

Factor 2: Durability

When it comes to durability, soapstone is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, soapstone does a much better job of resisting moisture, staining, and heat damage. On the other hand, soapstone is much more vulnerable to scratching and chipping. All of these qualities come down to the properties of the stone itself.

Soapstone is a non-porous stone, which means that it presents a completely smooth surface. Liquids cannot penetrate the surface because there is simply nowhere for them to go. Granite, marble, and many other types of stone are porous, which is why they absorb moisture and stain. This is why those types of stone require a good sealer product to obtain maximum longevity. Soapstone doesn’t have that problem.

However, soapstone is a relatively soft stone. The hardness of all substances is measured on the Mohs scale, and soapstone ranges between 0 and 1. Soapstones that are used in countertops will usually be on the high end of that spectrum, but that is still a very soft stone.

Because of this, you will need to be careful not to use your soapstone counter as a cutting board. Get a separate cutting board, as steel will quickly scratch and gouge a piece of soapstone. In fact, it’s good to keep sharp objects off the stone as much as possible. You should also be careful not to slam heavy objects on a soapstone counter, as this can also break them. Thankfully, it is often possible to repair a damaged soapstone slab with epoxy or other methods. Also, soapstone is very easy to sand, which makes it easier to sand away those ugly little scratches.

Factor 3: Appearance

When it comes to beauty, soapstone can hang with the top contenders. Like granite and marble, soapstone comes in a huge variety of patterns and colors, although black and grey are the most common colors. Different types of soapstone are found in different localities. For instance, take a look at Gala Red soapstone, which is one of the most beautiful varieties.

For some people, the relatively small color palette of soapstone could be a problem. Most soapstone is not brightly-colored, so it may not go with your decor if bright colors are what you prefer. Still, dark colors tend to go with anything. Surprisingly, soapstone will actually change color over time. As soon as you pull this stone from the ground, it begins to oxidize much like iron or steel. This normally causes a darkening of the stone that some people really find attractive.

Factor 4: Maintenance

Soapstone requires far less maintenance than most other stone countertops. While granite and marble require sealing, soapstone does not. We have already mentioned the non-porous nature of this stone, which means that you don’t need to spend money on a sealer. Since most sealers have to be re-applied, that also cuts down on maintenance.

The short version of the story is that soapstone requires no maintenance whatsoever. It might require repair if damaged, but that isn’t the same thing. There is only one maintenance process that you will ever want to do on this kind of stone, and it is an optional one. If you want to accelerate the natural darkening of the stone, you can rub it down with mineral oil or wax to darken the surface.


Overall, soapstone has quite a few benefits. It doesn’t stain, and it is immune to water, chemical, and heat damage, and requires no maintenance. Not only that, but it tends to be a lot cheaper and is just as beautiful as any stone on the market. However, it doesn’t hold up well to hard use. Knives, heavy cooking pots, and other steel implements can really do a number on this kind of countertop if you aren’t careful.

Overall, we advise you to base your decision on your kitchen habits. If you like to move fast and throw things around, this might not be the right kind of countertop for you. If you are one of those “slow and steady” types, the lack of durability should present no real problem. We hope that you have enjoyed this article and that we have given you all the information that you need and more. If this is the case, please fill out the contact form below to receive more crucial information like this.

How To Restore Your Countertops

How To Restore Your Countertops

Restoring your countertops can mean several different things. It might involve cleaning and polishing a dull and scratched granite countertop, or it could mean totally resealing, resurfacing, refinishing or even replacing a countertop. So, what are some of the approaches or options to countertop restoration, particularly when you are thinking of rejuvenating your granite countertops?


There are polishing techniques that will give granite a completely new and refreshed surface. In comparison to cleaning, this type of restoration or resurfacing allows the removal of a small surface area or layer of granite. This layer can be dull, stained or scratched. Once that layer is removed, a new, fresh and smooth stone is revealed.

How Often Polished

Granite countertop surfaces should usually be polished within a five to 15 year period, but the time frame depends on the amount of use the countertops have received. Once they are polished, granite countertops should also be sealed to protect them from scratches, stains and other possible damage. Granite experts recommend that countertops should be resealed by a professional every two to four years.

Options with Granite Polishing

There are options with polishing that include using wet or dry material, as granite can be polished with either one. There are differences as to which is better, but both are beneficial. There are positives and negatives with both that include:

  • – Polishing powder that is dry is less costly than paste formulations.
  • – Powder polishes are adaptable as they can be used wet or dry.
  • – Wet polishing can be messy and create spray when power tools are used in the polishing process. Plastic covering is necessary to protect kitchen area appliances and cabinets. In addition, protective clothing should be worn to avoid any over-spray.
  • – Any pads used with wet polishing will limit heat buildup along with wear and tear on the pads themselves, plus they are less costly than dry pads.

Polishing Powder

Polishing powder that is used on granite is also referred to as stone polishing compound. Using this type of powder or compound is a fast and simple way to give granite a fresh look while getting rid of any small stains or scratches. When it is used in dry form, a buffing pad is necessary to get over the granite in the right pattern. If a wet form of powder is going to be used, a muslin wheel should be the major tool of choice.

Choosing a Compound

Most stone polishing compounds, or polishing powders, can be used on both new and used granite countertops. These powders are usually available in formulations designed for dark and light granite. The main thing to consider is the color of the granite and which compounds are most compatible with either lighter or darker toned stone. Whatever formulation is used, avoid heavy pressure during the polishing process as the compound is the workhorse. Also, follow any product directions carefully and closely. You’ll have good results whether you are maintaining granite countertops or restoring them.

Polishing Creams

Polishing creams are usually designated for use on granite countertops that are either engineered or natural stone. They consist of less heavy abrasives that are suited for high end manufactured granite with rich finishes. Many cream combinations are perfect for restoring original granite finishes as well as bringing back their shine and original luster. Buffing out with these creams is usually done with either pads made of hog hair or comparable materials.


Resealing is another option when it comes to restoring your granite countertops. If both cleaning and polishing are not doing the trick, you might want to check to see if resealing is required. You can test to confirm whether you do need to reseal. Just sprinkle some water onto your granite countertops and wait for the water to either dissolve or be absorbed. If the water has passed through the surface, you probably need to reseal the countertops yourself or consult with a professional about doing it. Without the proper sealing process, the granite beneath any older sealer will likely continue to show stains and damage.

Resealing Process

The resealing process involves using a permeating type of stone sealer that reaches deeply into the granite and will fight off stains and keep bacteria at bay. This kind of sealer will also make cleaning a lot easier. Food and liquids can simply be wiped away without any trouble.

If you do decide to apply the sealer yourself, you should completely clean your countertops first. It is advisable to use a cleaner that is specifically designed for granite. Once you have used the cleaner, allow the countertops to thoroughly dry before applying the sealant.

Sealant Application

Once your granite countertops are prepped, utilize a clean, white cloth that is free of lint to apply the sealant. You don’t want to pour out too much of the sealant as you’ll experience drips and accumulation of it on your countertops. Just make sure that coverage is complete on all edges and backsplash areas. Apply the first coat and allow it to thoroughly dry before any second coat is applied. Once the second coat is applied, wait at least 24 hours before using your countertops.

Repairing Granite Countertops

If your granite happens to have small dings and scratches, there are epoxy fillers or resins that can help repair them. Home improvement, hardware and remodeling stores usually carry these type of repair items for purchase. Once the epoxy or resin is applied, allow it to dry. Then, sand the areas and reseal them. Any larger kind of cracks or other repairs should probably be left to an expert.


Even with polishing and resealing, and constant care, a granite countertop may not acquire a totally restored condition, especially if the countertop has gone past the 15 year mark. Replacement may be one of the few options available to obtain a finished and restored appearance, which can be costly. If you don’t want to go to the expense, refinishing material may be a less pricey route to take. Also, replacing your granite countertops doesn’t have to be a total loss if you research and find wholesale dealers, styles that are discontinued or leftover pieces and remnants that will make any replacement a lot less expensive.

If your granite countertops are starting to take on a dull and scratched appearance even with faithful cleaning and polishing, it may be time to think about restoring them to their original finish. The ideas presented here will give you a jump start on bringing back your granite countertops to what they once were. Complete the contact form here to find out more about granite countertop restoration. An expert will get back to you with the answers you need to start your countertop restoration.

The Ultimate Guide To Slate Countertops

The Ultimate Guide To Slate Countertops

There are many reasons to buy a stone countertop, as opposed to the many other substances that one might use. If you look at all the oldest monuments from the ancient world, all of them are made of stone. That’s because only a stone can last through the ages after everything else has rotted away. Of course, there are many different types of stone. It is important to pick the right one, and the purpose of this article is to help you do just that.

We will now examine one of the more common options: Slate. This is perhaps one of the most useful stones in the world, due to its unique tendency to split into flat pieces. It has been used for roofing tile, chalkboards, and a lot of other things, but today we are concerned only with its use as a countertop material.

Factor 1: Price

Slate is a fairly inexpensive stone. It may not have the classy appeal of marble, but it will definitely save you some money. To give you an idea of how cheap this stone is, let’s compare some prices. We will start with this slate tile, which sells for about $6.30. Since the piece is 12 inches by 24 inches, that means we would be paying $3.15 per square foot. That is amazingly cheap, but we need to remember that not all slate is the same.

For instance, here are some tiles made of green slate, which is easily one of the most attractive types. In this case, you get a box of tiles for about $127. In the end, you’re paying about $13.50 per square foot. However, green slate is probably the most expensive type. Thus, you can plan on paying somewhere between $3.15 and $13.50 per square foot of slate.

Let’s compare it to some of the other options. Marble tends to be the most expensive, so let’s examine these marble field tiles. As you can see, these things will set you back about $26 per square foot, though not all marble is that expensive. Granite prices will vary a lot depending on the type, but the better kinds are almost as expensive as marble. For instance, these granite tiles will cost you about $22.50 per square foot.

Factor 2: Durability

When it comes to durability, slate is a mixed bag. On the one hand, it presents a non-porous and waterproof surface, which explains the long history of slate being used for roofing tiles. Thus, you won’t need to worry about sealing this one. Not only that, but the non-porous surface of this stone cannot absorb liquids. Anything that is spilled upon it will just roll off the surface rather than soaking into the stone. This eliminates nearly all danger of staining.

Slate is also chemically neutral. This means that you don’t have to worry about spilling acidic substances like orange juice or wine on your counter. For this reason, slate has often been used for laboratory counters. If you really want to get a good idea of how tough this stone is, take a look at this old book of building standards. According to this, slate roofing tiles should last from 20 to 100 years.

Let’s consider the hardness of this stone, as that will have a lot to do with its durability. As we can see from this well-sourced article, slate is hard enough to scratch glass and steel. Scientists rate the hardness of a substance using the Mohs scale. For comparison, soapstone usually has a Mohs value of 1. Slate, by contrast, has a Mohs rating of 5.5. That’s harder than marble, limestone, or travertine, and nearly as hard as granite.

When we look at this report, we can see why slate is so hard. For one thing, it’s composed of a mixture of hard materials like feldspar, muscovite, and quartz. For another thing, it has a very fine grain structure. You see, all stone has a natural grain just like wood, and the structure of this grain has a lot to do with its strength. Large grains make for a brittle substance, while a fine-grained substance like this will be stronger. This same rule applies to stone, wood, and metal.

Factor 3: Appearance

In terms of appearance, slate offers a plainer surface than most. Sometimes, it will just be a single flat color, but some people like that kind of look. If you want something a little bit more colorful, it is possible to find slate that has striations, marbling, and other surface variations. However, you are likely to pay more for such stone.

We have to be honest here: Slate does fall short in the area of beauty. Although it does look nice, it’s not quite as beautiful as the competition, which has a lot to do with the reduced price.

Factor 4: Maintenance

Under most circumstances, slate countertops will require little to no maintenance. This is one of its main strengths. According to this respected home builder, slate requires no maintenance other than basic cleaning.

However, we should mention that importance of getting a good slate slab. There are multiple grades of slate, and some of them are less durable than others. Low-grade slate will generally be more brittle, but this isn’t the biggest problem. The biggest problem is the fact that low-grade slate can absorb water. The waterproof nature of slate is one of its main selling points, so don’t negate it by getting bargain-basement stone.


As you can see, slate has a few significant upsides to offer. First of all, it might be the best choice for those on a tight budget. Of course, the higher-grade slate should be avoided in such a case. At the same time, you have to be careful about the grade of your slate counter, but you can get around this problem by ordering a sample first (which is common practice in this industry).

As for downsides, a relative lack of color and beauty are the only reasons that this stone is not more commonly used. So, if you aren’t that worried about having a colorful surface, and you want something that will do a good job at a low price, this might be the perfect choice for you. If you would like to know more about this and other fascinating subjects, please fill out the contact form below.

Is Fantasy Brown Granite Really Granite?

Is Fantasy Brown Granite Really Granite?

As the title question asks, “Is Fantasy Brown Granite Really Granite?” Well, the answer is actually, no. Geologically speaking, Fantasy Brown consists of calcium carbonate which makes it akin to marble. It’s also related to quartzite, which is a natural metamorphic rock that is derived from quartz sandstone. Heat and pressure below the surface of the earth compacted this sandstone and transformed it to quartzite. Both marble and quartzite are metamorphic stones; whereas, granite is an igneous rock.

Confusion Abounds

Confusion abounds with Fantasy Brown’s name, calcium content and its relationship to marble, though this stone’s consistency leans more towards a quartzite type of rock because of its extreme hardness and resistance to stains and etching. So, with those points in mind, many in stone fabrication consider Fantasy Brown to be categorized as quartzite. This duel combination of minerals in marble and quartzite seems to have brought about a separate geological creation that is an entity unto itself and is, ta-da, Fantasy Brown.

Fantasy Brown Analysis

A more concise analysis of Fantasy Brown is in its direct relation to its mineral content, which affects its density. It consists of both quartzite minerals along with calcite. Calcite is a softer mineral while quartzite is a harder one. Durability of Fantasy Brown depends on the percentage or proportion of quartzite and calcite. If quartzite is dominant, durability is significantly increased.

A predominance of the softer component in calcite, which is the main mineral found in marble, will give a Fantasy Brown piece or slab a softer consistency. As Fantasy Brown is technically categorized as marble, it may likely be more susceptible to scratching and etching over time, particularly when exposed to acidic liquids and foods; however, the hardness factor with this type of marble that makes up Fantasy Brown may offset most of the negative effects associated with a softer marble.

Relationship to Granite

As far as the alluded to association with granite, Fantasy Brown does have characteristics similar to granite, in the sense of its mineral content. The stone has a one hundred percent Indian marble origin yet it continues to be identified with a granite name recognition. This is all in spite of the fact that its consistency is a very hard marble. The inconsistencies in name recognition with Fantasy Brown can be confusing and mind boggling to the average consumer, but Fantasy Brown is a conglomeration of minerals compacted in various degrees.

Both quartz, mica and other minor minerals are present in granite as well as with the mineral content found in Fantasy Brown. Hardness, strength and durability along with certain patterns and variegated colorations are other features that are similar in nature to granite. Both granite and Fantasy Brown are hard yet they can be porous, which means that liquids are able to penetrate them. Sealing will be necessary with either one of these stones to prevent any type of damage.

Popularity of Fantasy Brown

Fantasy Brown has risen in popularity and appears to have become a top favorite among homeowners and home renovators. Not only does its durability attract consumers, but its more neutral color combinations bring an updated, fresh and modern presentation to most any kitchen counter space.

The stone is characterized by diagonal swirls in gray and brown hues that are showcased within a white backround. Striking mineral configurations define the stone as do other faint shades of rose and green. Some slabs even contain specks of black. Every piece is, of course, varied and unique, and the neutral color coordination allows for use with light or dark cabinetry, and most any design scheme. Fantasy Brown countertops can become one of the main focal points of a kitchen, yet their distinct appearance won’t create diversions from the other areas of a kitchen.

How Fantasy Brown is Classified

To avoid some of the continued confusion associated with Fantasy Brown, the slabs or pieces produced are classified and distinguished according to their percentage of mineral content and durability. As Fantasy Brown does functionally deliver or perform like a quartzite or granite, and also has the mineral makeup of marble, each piece should be judged on its performance outcome. As these different types of Fantasy Brown consist of a multitude of minerals, there are going to be inconsistencies in their hardness and long-term durability. So, whether geologically categorized as a marble, quartzite or even a granite, the proof will be in how the stone will endure and withstand normal everyday use, along with any wear and tear.

Fantasy Brown is a hard working, lavish and adaptable stone that is an excellent and beautiful countertop choice. Whether the slab you choose is classified or given a quartzite, marble or even granite label, its overall hardness, durability and extended usability are the features to look for in any of the stone offerings. Research the possibilities with Fantasy Brown, whether the stone is called quartzite, marble or granite. You won’t be disappointed in what you find. Sealing will likely be necessary to preserve the beauty of the stone as well as to prevent etching, staining or scratching but, overall, you will find its performance unbeatable. If you want to know more about Fantasy Brown, complete the online contact form. A Fantasy Brown expert will return your inquiry as quickly as possible. You just may find Fantasy Brown to be a part of your kitchen fantasy future.

5 Things You Shouldn’t Do With Your Granite Countertops

Granite is a natural stone that makes a statement piece in any kitchen. Not only does it look amazing in any setting and add some value to your household, but it is also highly durable. But while granite can stand the test of time better than synthetic countertops, there are a couple of things that can dull its beauty or damage the counter for life.

If you want to keep the granite countertop looking brand new, here are six things you should avoid exposing the counter to:

Sharp Objects

Back in the early 2000s, there was a myth that you didn’t need to use chopping boards on a granite counter, since granite is such a resilient and durable stone. Unfortunately, that is not correct. Even the strongest stone will break if it is placed beneath stress. Granite counters are the same and will often get scratched, cut, or chipped when used as a cutting board. The abrasions will dull the surface of the counter, making it look older and less appealing.

This means that you should avoid using sharp cooking utensils and other objects directly on the granite. Protect the surface of the granite countertop with cutting boards. This is better for both the counter and the knives that would otherwise be striking the hard surface and getting dulled.

Raw Meat

Similar to the above point, granite counters are not impervious to microscopic damage. Furthermore, even with sealant, igneous stone does have some pores that bacteria from raw food and other sources could potentially contaminate.

While placing raw meat directly on a granite counter will not hurt the stone itself, whatever was on that food prior to cleaning and cooking could remain behind and get into other ingredients or cooked food. Since most household cleaners can damage the sealant and discolor the granite, it is best to use cutting boards, since the cleaners will work more effectively on the boards and protect the counter from bacteria.

Acidic Liquids

Anything that contains an acid, whether that is a cleaning solution or something as simple as vinegar, orange juice and other citrus fruits, soft drinks, or even beauty products like nail polish and perfume can whittle away at the sealant on the granite and get into the stone, resulting in dulling, staining, and discoloration.

Protect your counter when working with acidic liquids and materials by using coasters, cutting boards, and being attentive to spills.

Hot Pans

Granite is hard igneous rock made from the heat of a volcano, so it can indeed briefly handle pots and pans straight from the oven. However, if the counter is continuously exposed to prolonged periods of intense heat, the sealants will grow weaker. As the sealant gets weaker, the counter becomes prone to stains and other damages.

So while it may be okay to momentarily set a hot pan on the counter while you rifle around for a potholder or trivet, you shouldn’t make it a habit.

Sitting or Standing People

While it might be tempting to let someone sit on the counter or let your child stand up on the counter to reach a high cupboard, you best not. Granite is strong, but it is not built to resist the weight of neither children nor adults. Natural stone contains striations, veins, and fissures that result in vulnerabilities. Sitting or standing will eventually cause cracking in the stone.

Similarly, you should never let your child take a bath in the undermount kitchen sink, since the weight could, again, crack the stone.

Pigmented Liquids

There will come a time when you spill something on the counter. Kids will spill juices, and you might do the same. As noted earlier, granite is porous. Even with sealant, if you let pigmented liquids—juices, wines, sports drinks, and so on—sit for a long period, you risk staining.


Granite continues to be an appealing and trustworthy material for kitchen counter tops. With proper maintenance and care, a granite counter top will last your household for many years. If you are remodeling your kitchen or moving into a new home and want some updates, consider a beautiful granite counter to bring the kitchen altogether.

If you have questions about granite counter tops or would like more information about the services we provide, contact us by filling out the form. We will send more news right to your inbox.

What Is Santa Cecilia Granite?

What Is Santa Cecilia Granite?

Santa Cecilia granite is a type of granite that comes from Brazil, and which has recently become common in the marketplace. Because this is a little-known type of stone, it can be difficult to research. However, we have done the homework so that you don’t have to. Here is everything we know about Santa Cecilia granite.

In essence, Santa Cecilia is not much different from other forms of granite. You probably know that granite comes in a near-endless variety of colors and patterns, and Santa Cecilia is arguably one of the most beautiful and varied. It also stands out in another way: Its relatively low cost.

How Cheap Is It?

So, how much less expensive is Santa Cecilia granite? Let’s take a quick look. We have a lot of choices in terms of vendors here, so let’s pick a very common one: Home Depot. We could have picked any, so don’t mistake this random choice for favoritism. We chose this seller simply because they are one of America’s largest sellers of home improvement supplies.

Here’s a good example of Santa Cecilia’s price. It’s a sink top which is about 21 inches wide. Even with the hole in the middle, this is still a pretty big piece of stone. The cost is only $25.00, which is amazingly cheap.

Let’s compare this price to that of similar granite sink tops. Let’s take a look at this one. It’s 22 inches wide, making it only slightly larger than our Santa Cecilia sink top. This thing will set you back about $500.

To be fair, that one was black granite, and black granite is one of the more expensive types. Let’s look at something a little more average. This one is a similar-sized sink top (22 inches wide) and it’s made of Rosselin white granite. It will cost you a little less than $400.

Although you might not always find Santa Cecilia to be this much cheaper, we think the point is made. Santa Cecilia granite (on average) is going to be far cheaper than most other types.

Why Is Santa Cecilia Granite More Affordable?

There are several reasons for the low cost of this stone. First of all, this type of stone is very abundant in certain parts of Brazil. As we all know, rarity is often the main thing that determines an item’s price. Since this stone is not rare in the least, people are willing to sell it at much lower prices.

Another reason for the affordability of this stone comes from the fact that it is not well-known. Prestige also plays a big role in determining the price of a given item, and this relatively uncommon material doesn’t have the fame that it probably deserves.

What’s The Best Thing About Santa Cecilia Granite?

The best thing about Santa Cecilia granite is the huge variety of colors in which it can be bought. Most types of granite are found in one or (perhaps) a few different colors. Santa Cecilia, on the other hand, is found in a huge variety of different styles and colors. Although some colors and patterns are a little more expensive than others, all of them remain highly affordable.

Some would say that the best thing about this stone is its low cost, while others would probably point to its wide variety of colors. We consider both of these advantages to be equally important. This is a type of granite that virtually anyone can afford. At the same time, it makes no compromises in quality or beauty. With its huge color palette, this type of granite can match with the decor of any room easily.


Although there is not a whole lot of information to be had regarding this type of stone, you can assume it to be much like any other kind of granite. It will be hard, smooth, and will last for decades if cared for properly. Speaking of which, make sure that you seal the surface of your granite with one of the many products intended for this purpose. Even with the low cost of this stone, it would be a shame to ruin such a beautiful piece of nature with a stain or a blemish.

We hope that this article will help you to find the most affordable granite surface that you’ve ever bought. We also hope that you will fill out our contact form so that we can continue to bring you all this helpful information.

What To Expect During A Granite Installation

What To Expect During A Granite Installation

Congratulations on deciding to make a long-term investment for your home with the purchase of a beautiful granite counter. Granite is both beautiful and strong, ensuring that the investment you make will last your household a lifetime and beyond. If you have never gone through the process of installation before, then there is a couple of things you need to know. This will help smooth the process, so you can enjoy your new granite countertop sooner!

Before The Day Of Installation

Once you have made your appointment for installation, you need to do a few things before the team arrives:

• Clear a path through your home to the job site, whether that is your kitchen, bathroom, basement, or anywhere the granite is being installed. You want to choose the closest entrance, since the team will be carrying in the slabs of granite, and the pathway should limit maneuvering as much as possible.
• Keep small children and pets out of the way for safety.
• Protect any nearby furniture or textiles from dust by covering them up.
• Clear the countertops in your home of objects to make sure they are ready for removal, if necessary. Try to limit obstacles around the workspace.
• If you have other contractors and artisans working on other projects, especially during a new home construction, then you should have them clear the area momentarily while the stone slabs are being transported to the job site.
• You have to be present during the installation procedure. Our team is going to go over the steps of installation and will need approval before finishing the installation.

During The Installation

Because your satisfaction is our main concern, we would like for you to be present during the installation. Please feel free to ask any questions before the procedure begins. Once the job commences, you don’t have to remain physically present. We need to concentrate on the job at hand and focus on the strategy for installing your new granite counters.

You are welcome to watch, but the craftsmen often prefer to work without interruptions once they begin.

Removing Existing Counters

In the event that your household has existing countertops, it is often required those units are removed prior to the installation team’s arrival. However, you may also request to have the existing countertops removed at the same time the new granite countertops are being installed. The team will work to avoid damaging other sections of the job site, including cabinets, walls, and so on. Should you have laminate counters with a backsplash, the wall plaster could come off; but you don’t need to worry about that, since the granite countertop will cover up those blemishes.

Cabinets, Putting Everything Into Place, and More

Next, the team starts to work in steps, including the following:

Level Cabinets

The crew will check that the cabinets are level, since granite needs to be secured. If the granite is being placed on a freestanding island, the cabinets must be anchored to the floor. Since there is a tipping hazard, level cabinets are absolutely essential.

But what happens if the cabinets are not level? Sometimes, shims can be placed under the granite countertop to make up for any discrepancies, but if that remedy doesn’t apply, a contractor will have to be called in to adjust the level of the cabinets.

It is recommended to check the level of your cabinets beforehand if you believe that there could be an issue. This would prevent any mishaps and last minute surprises.

Seams and Caulking

With the level of the cabinets assessed, the team then moves onto the actual installation of the granite countertop. The installation crew will lay the granite pieces out then use an epoxy glue that creates seams that will cement sections of granite, soapstone, quartz, and marble together, forming the unified countertop.

You may notice that two kinds of epoxy are used—a clear glue and a neutral one. Depending on the color of the countertop, one epoxy might be used more often than the other. This is so the seams blend in. When the seams had dried, the excess is carefully scraped off with a razor blade to make the seam as smooth and unnoticeable as possible.

Afterwards, the granite is secured to the cabinetry with something called attachment or bondo blocks. After that, you don’t need to worry about the counter moving.

Backsplash, Sinks, and Cooktop Cutouts

Other elements that need to be installed alongside the countertop include the undermount sink, cooktop cutout, and the blacksplash, if you decided that you wanted one. These elements often require minor on-the-spot adjustments to ensure that everything fits correctly. Some pieces will be a tight fight, so you might notice some of the team cutting holes slightly bigger to meet the necessary measurements of any appliances.

Keep in mind that transporting stone with holes already in the material can be risky and cause weakening. Therefore, the craftsmen often create little notches of where to cut. Upon installation, the team finishes the cuts.

A shop vacuum is used to clean up the dust. Everything is then wiped down with acetone or alcohol, removing epoxy that may have been missed, and the job site will be cleaned up as much as possible prior to the team’s leave.


Depending on the size of the counter being installed, the entire installation process can take up 7 hours, but that is the most complex scenario. On average, installation takes around 3 hours from start to finish. Once everything is done, the team will wrap up the day by giving you some maintenance instructions and a review of the job. If you are satisfied, you can start enjoying your beautiful new granite counter right away.

If you are ready to learn more about granite countertops or would like to request information and a hassle-free quote, fill out the contact form. Our knowledgeable staff is on standby and will send more information straight to your inbox.

How To Clean A Stone Fireplace

One of the latest trends in decorating is fireplace surrounds created from natural stone. This is a change from the brick fireplace surrounds that were popular not that long ago. However, stone surrounds, whether they are granite, limestone or slate, need to be cleaned more often than brick as microscopic pits on the surface can collect dust, dirt, soot and creosote. Of all the substances that should be removed from your fireplace, creosote is critical as build-up of the by-products caused by fire can lead to chimney fires. In addition, the substances can make your stone surround look dull. Cleaning them will bring your fireplace back to its beauty while also making it safer for your family.

Fireplace Preparation

The first thing to do is to prepare your living spaces to pre-clean the firebox and the surround in order to protect the rest of your home. You will need drop cloths, a plastic tarp, a small shovel and metal container. You will also need a mask and gloves to protect yourself. Plain water along with a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment will also be necessary.

Cooling Period

Allow the fireplace to cool for at least 12 hours after you put out the last fire. Once the fireplace is completely cool, place the drop cloths on the floor around the fireplace to protect the floor and drape the tarp over furniture to protect them from the airborne dust that may be generated as well as any cleaning fluids that could splash in the room during the process.

Personal Protection

Once the furniture and flooring are protected, it is time to protect yourself. Put on the gloves and mask to protect your hands and lungs from ash that may escape. Using the small shovel, scoop up the ashes that remain in the firebox and place them in the metal container. Once the ashes have been removed completely, fill the container with cold water and close it with a tightly-sealing lid. Carry the container outside and store it away from other flammable materials until you can discard the ashes properly.

Vacuum Firebox

Using the vacuum cleaner with the brush attachment, siphon dust from the surround. You want to start at the top and move to the bottom, dislodging any dust and debris. This helps remove any accumulation on the stone surface so your cleaning process goes much more quickly and smoothly.

Prepare to Clean the Stone

The next step is to gather the materials you will need to clean the stone. You will need a small bucket, dish soap and warm water. A wood stir stick, stiff-bristle scrub brush and two clean rags are also necessary. Don’t forget your gloves and mask as well. In the bucket, pour a quarter of a cup of dish soap in a quart of warm water. Stir the solution with the wood stir stick until the soap is completely dissolved.

Scrub the Stone

After putting on your gloves and mask, dip the scrub brush into the soap solution and scrub the soot, smoke and other substances from the inside of the fireplace before scrubbing the fireplace surround from top to bottom. Be sure to scrub any grout that is in the stone. Once you have scrubbed the entire fireplace, empty the soapy water and rinse the bucket.

Rinsing the Stone

Fill the bucket with fresh cold water. Saturate one of the clean rags with the cold water and then make one or two passes across the stone to wipe away any soap suds as well as any dirt or debris that remains. When it is clean, use the other rag to dab the fireplace dry to avoid water spotting. Let the entire fireplace air-dry completely before you ignite another fire.

How Often to Clean

It is usually enough to do this type of cleaning once each fireplace season but if you notice heavy or hard-to-remove pockets of dirt, you may need to do it more often. Deep cleaning should occur before the first fire of the season to be sure there is no creosote build-up near your fireplace. If you don’t use your fireplace very often, you can wait until there is a thicker layer, usually around one-eighth-inch, in the firebox before you do a deep cleaning.

Cleaning your fireplace and the surround will keep your fireplace looking beautiful for many years but it is also critical for the safety of you and your family. Allowing fire build-up to remain in your firebox or on the surround could be a fire hazard that may put you and your family in jeopardy. To learn more about stone fireplace surrounds, contact Flemington Granite today. You can speak to one of our friendly customer service staff by calling or filling out the easy online form. They will guide you through the process and help you find the perfect stone for your fireplace surround.

How to Remove Rust Stains From Granite

How to Remove Rust Stains From Granite

Granite is an outstanding countertop material as it has both beauty and durability as well has resistance to scratches and heat. It does, however, have one weakness and that is its porosity, which means that it can absorb stains if its surface has not been properly sealed during the installation process.


Without going through an initial sealing process and follow-up sealing sessions, acid-forming foods and drinks like wine, fruit juices, and other foods can be damaging to granite. Also, if granite countertops happen to be in a lighter color, they are even more susceptible to possible stains and discolorations. The same is true with rust stains. Without the proper sealing process, rust can stain granite. So, in relationship to rust, how is it formed and just how can it be removed from granite?

Rust Formation

Again, the porosity of granite makes it susceptible to stains. In any area where water is continuously in use and accumulates, like around a metal kitchen sink or faucet area, the possibility of rust formation exists. It can creep into the granite part of the sink area and stain it. There are ways to remove rust stains and here are a few steps to take to prevent it:

1. Find the Source

Whether the rust source is from a leaky faucet or a metal sink, fix either one before trying to get rid of the rust. Secondly, if iron cookware is left on wet areas of a countertop, it should be removed from the area before attempting to treat any rust stains.

2. Poultice

Rust can be removed with a poultice. There are commercial rust removers that can be combined with flour. Mix the two together along with some water until the texture is like peanut butter. Baking soda can also be used if commercial rust removers are unavailable. The amount of mixture needed should be tailored to the size of the stain.

3. The poultice should be about a quarter-inch in thickness and spread over the rusty area. It doesn’t need to be any thicker than this.

4. Next, place plastic wrap over the poultice and tape the edges in place. Let the poultice remain covered for at least 24 hours, or until it has dried. If the area is not completely dry, let the covering remain for an additional 12 hours.

5. After the poultice has dried, remove it with a soft cloth or your fingers. If the poultice has done its job, the stain should be pulled up and away from the granite. The area can then be dried with a wet cloth.

6. If rust still remains, apply the poultice again in any spots where there are remnants of rust. Reinitiate the poultice step process if there are heavy residual spots and go through the previous steps.

For all its beauty and durability, granite can easily stain, especially if it is not initially sealed, and sealed at periodic intervals after that. If you have questions or further concerns, complete the online contact form and a representative will get back to you with the answers you need to remove rust in a permanent fashion.

Can Water Ruin Granite?

Can Water Ruin Granite?

Granite countertops are extremely popular today as people are looking for counters with less maintenance but stunning beauty. Perfect for both bathrooms and kitchens, granite provides a stunning look of luxury. However, it is important to understand that granite counters are not indestructible and there are certain things you need to do to keep them looking pristine.

Granite is Porous

Because granite is a natural stone, it can be porous which means it can absorb liquids. Usually, the stone is treated with a sealant that makes it less porous so that it does not stain. Liquids such as tomato-based sauces, fruit juice, coffee, and red wine contain an acid that can lead to damage if the granite is not sealed so it is important that you have your granite sealed properly and have the sealant reapplied periodically.

Water and Granite

Rainwater coats granite regularly when it is out in nature so you would think it would be safe to leave water on the surface of your granite. The fact is, the porous nature of granite can lead to absorption of water through tiny holes that are not visible to the naked eye. Just a small amount of water left to dry on your countertop may not cause a problem but if it is left for a very long period of time, it could cause the counter to darken in that one spot.

Granite Water Stain

If you have discovered a water stain on your granite counters, there is no need to panic. It can normally be removed easily. Use a soft-bristled brush, mild soap and warm water to lift the spot from the counter. If your water is hard, which means it has a higher than normal mineral content, you may need to take additional steps to remove the stain. Hard water can leave a white, filmy residue on your counter which may seem impossible to remove, but it is actually relatively simple. Mix baking soda or granite cleaner with a small amount of water to make a paste. Spread a thick layer on the stain and cover it with plastic wrap. Tape down the plastic wrap and allow to dry for 24 hours. Gently rub the poultice with your fingers to remove it. Use a soft cloth and warm water to remove the remaining poultice. Repeat if all of the hard water stain is not removed.

Water on its own will not damage granite but it can leave a stain. The best practice is to always wipe up spills, even if they are just water, from your granite countertops to avoid any discolorations. If you are considering granite countertops, contact Flemington Granite today by filling out the easy online form or give us a call.

What Is The Difference Between Silestone and Granite?

In today’s home remodeling or building trends, the two most popular options in kitchen countertops are granite and a brand of quartz known as Silestone. There are several differences, some of which may surprise you.

Sealing Silestone

One main difference between granite and Silestone is that granite must be sealed periodically while Silestone does not. Because granite is naturally porous, you must protect the surface from stains and bacteria by sealing it periodically. Because Silestone is naturally non-porous, you don’t need to seal them. Silestone is also bacteria and stain resistant.

Different Manufacturing Methods

Another difference between Silestone and granite is the way they are manufactured. Silestone is created by missing crushed quartz with silica and other stones as well as resin and coloring. Granite is a natural stone created by nature. It is an igneous rock that is quarried in large blocks before being transported to be fabricated into slabs.

Heat Resistance

Granite is more heat resistant than quartz. Pots taken directly from the stove should not be placed directly on the surface of the counter as the resins used to bind the countertop are less heat resistant than the quartz included in the material. Granite is literally forged in the fire inside the Earth so it is far more heat resistant than Silestone.

Bacteria Resistance

Silestone is more than just resistant to bacteria. When it is manufactured, microbe killing agents are baked directly into the countertop. The purpose of the agents is to prevent bacteria and viruses from growing, something they can do by the millions in just a matter of hours, thereby keeping your family. Granite does not have the same microbes and, if the countertop is not properly sealed, bacteria and viruses can seep into the surface where they are able to multiply. This makes Silestone a much better choice for surfaces where you will prepare foods for your family and friends.

Stain Resistance

The same surface that keeps bacteria out of the counters helps make Silestone more stain resistant as well. Acidic materials, red wine, coffee and tomato-based sauces can stain granite countertops, especially if they are not sealed properly. You must be careful to wipe up some stains as quickly as possible. Although you should also wipe up stains quickly on Silestone, it is not as urgent as it is on other types of stone. If your child spills a cup of red juice on the counter and doesn’t mention it until the next morning, you will probably see no noticeable difference on your Silestone counter while a granite counter may stain. Even if something does stain your Silestone counter, a little elbow grease and soap will lift the stain fairly quickly. You may also check with your Silestone fabricator to learn about specific quartz cleaners that are available for difficult stains.

Damaged Counters

No matter how careful you may be, your countertop could suffer from a chip or scratch. Home improvement stores sell products designed to repair granite counters. You simply fill the damage with epoxy, let it cure and the problem is virtually undetectable. Unfortunately, Silestone requires a professional to repair any damage. Even fabricators are reluctant to make repairs as the resin makes this difficult. It is difficult to polish the repair and blend it properly, even for experts. Often, so much heat is generated during the polishing process the resin in the countertops melts.

Cost of Materials

Although prices vary depending on the type of quartz countertop you select, granite often costs less than Silestone. It Is sometimes possible to find quartz counters that are less expensive than granite, but it may take some shopping around and choosing a thinner slab or different style.

Color Fading

Granite can withstand direct sunlight so it works well in outdoor kitchens. However, Silestone is not as sun-friendly. Direct sunlight can lighten dark colors and turn whites yellow in Silestone. This is because the resin and pigments do not tolerate UV rays well.

If you are considering either Silestone or granite for your home improvement project, contact us today by filling out the easy online form or give us a call today to learn more.

How To Protect Your Granite Countertops – 7 Ways You Can DIY

How To Protect Your Granite Countertops - 7 Ways You Can DIY

Protecting your granite countertops involves more than just admiring them, but you probably want to keep them looking new for as long as possible, so you can continue to relish their useful beauty. Though granite is low in upkeep because of its hardness and resistance to heat, scratches, dings, and dents, it does require some care to remain pristine. Caring for granite is really pretty straightforward and involves a few easy do-it-yourself steps, and here are 7 ways that you can DIY.

1. Cleaning

Just ordinary cleaning can go a long way in protecting your granite countertops. There are professional products out there that are specifically designed for granite, (both cleaners and polishes) but if you don’t want to go the specialty cleaning route, here are a few simple steps to do it on your own. One thing to remember, if possible, is to quickly take care of any spills. Blot the area as opposed to scrubbing it. Scrubbing can cause etching and you want to prevent that.

Supplies and Process:

  • Dish detergent, paper towels/soft cloths and hot water

For actual cleaning, apply a few drops of dish soap to a wet (hot water) paper towel or cloth. Lather well and wipe over the countertop areas. Once clean, dry the countertops with paper towels or a soft cloth.

2. Disinfecting

Supplies and Process:

  • Alcohol (isopropyl), dish detergent, spray bottle, soft cloth and water

Another way to protect your granite countertops is through disinfecting them after a thorough cleaning. You want to get rid of any remaining bacteria or viral material on countertop surfaces. Just use the spray bottle filled halfway with the alcohol, add a few drops of detergent and fill the remaining half with water. Spray on the already dry counter tops and allow the mixture to remain for 3-5 minutes and then wipe the sections dry with paper towels or a soft cloth.

3. What Not to Use for Cleaning Granite

Granite countertops can’t tolerate cleaning products like vinegar, bleach, wipes infused with bleach, scratchy pads, powdered cleansers, ammonia-based cleaners, and brand name products like 409, CLR and Windex. When in doubt with any cleaner, think soap and water, soft cloths, specific granite cleaners and the alcohol (isopropyl)for disinfecting.

4. Stains

With granite being a porous natural stone, it can absorb any number of food-related items that are often found in a kitchen area. If granite countertops haven’t been correctly sealed, stains can appear. There are DIY stain removers that you can make to help remove those stains, and one simple and old-fashioned device is a poultice made from flour, along with an absorbing agent to pull out the stain.

Food, Oil and Hard Water Stains

  • For food stains, make a thick paste of flour and peroxide and apply as a poultice.
  • For oil stains, combine flour and dish detergent in a paste and apply as a poultice.
  • For hard water stains, simply use mild dish detergent with a soft brush.

Poultice Application

Whatever poultice blend you choose to use on granite stains, you’ll want to make any poultice approximately 1/4 inch in thickness and spread it a little beyond the stain. Cover the area with plastic wrap, puncture the plastic in a few spots and anchor the area with blue painter’s tape. This process will allow for slower drying time and will give the poultice time to absorb the stain. Allow it to remain overnight or up to 24 hours before removing the paste. Repeat the process if the stain is not completely removed.

5. Sealants

Sealing your granite countertops is pretty much a necessity because of the porosity of granite. You can leave your countertops unprotected but that can eventually lead to all sorts of unforeseen stains and more complicated problems. A good sealer will prevent spills from coming in contact with the granite and will establish a protective shield.

Sealing counter tops involves the use of different types of sealing products. A regular topical or coating sealer is made to be removed easily and reapplied on an intermittent basis (every six months). Other sealants, such as penetrating sealants are more permanent and require application at longer intervals (once a year or longer). They are meant to penetrate deep into the granite and cover any areas that are unseen. Enhancing sealers are another sealant type that gives granite more of a darker and wetter look that highlights the coloration and patterns of the stone.

Sealant Process

Before applying a sealant, clean your countertops then apply the sealant. Sealers or sealants can be in a spray, polish or liquid form and applied through a spray bottle, foam brush or cloth. Consult with a granite expert as to which sealant type is best for your countertops and your situation before purchasing one. There are varying sealers to consider.

6. Chips

Protecting your granite countertops from chips is important as any open area leaves granite susceptible to staining, plus your sealant protection has been compromised. Chips can be repaired through an epoxy resin, which can be found through home or hardware stores. Any chips should be pinpointed and blue painter’s tape applied to identify the area. Combine the epoxy resin and the hardener and place it on the chipped area with a spackle or flat knife. Smooth out the area and get rid of any excess. Allow the spot to harden. Once dried, reseal the area.

7. Kits for Repair

Repair kits made for granite are handy to have around when dealing with chips, cracks, breaks and related problems. A number of kits utilize epoxy resins that are activated by light, which helps to set the epoxy quickly and is good for smaller cracks and chips. Following instructions with any kit, no matter how they are activated, is extremely important. Your granite countertops will only be aggravated by a poor application that will result in unprotected areas that will be subject to stains and further damage.

Do-it-yourself ideas to protect granite countertops are useful; however, there are likely to be more involved problems with granite counter tops that show deep scratches, gouges, chips, breaks and associated issues. At that point, it is somewhat risky to tackle these more involved problems on your own. If that is your situation, or you just have questions, complete the contact form and a granite specialist will get back to you with solutions for protecting your granite countertops.

Serious Countertops For Serious Cooks

Gourmet chefs, aspiring culinary artists, and committed homemakers love to cook the right way and that usually means having all their bucket list kitchen necessities at hand. Most any avid or serious cook has a preference for top-of-the-line kitchen equipment and that usually includes kitchen countertops that are going to optimize their cooking ability. What kind of countertops should most serious cooks choose to use? Well, here are some ideas on the subject that may surprise you.

What Serious Cooks Look for in Counter Tops

Serious cooks look for and consider countertops that have a number of characteristics, such as:

• Countertops that are made of durable materials
• Countertops that can withstand heat in around an oven and stove top area
• Countertops that can handle hot cookware being placed on them in certain instances
• Countertops that are resistant to stains and are nonporous in nature
• Countertops that are resistant to abrasions, cuts, and impact from various objects
• Countertops that are easy to clean and maintain and are resistant to bacteria and mold formation

Ideal Countertops for Serious Cooks

Ideal Countertops for Serious Cooks

Stainless Steel – When you speak of an ideal countertop choice in a purely professional sense, meaning exclusive use by chefs and cooks, stainless steel is the top contender because of its resistance to heat, stains, and ease of upkeep.

Heat-Resistant Glass – This type of countertop is made of glass that is resistant to heat and is one other top choice that is more in line with in-home cooking and baking. Most glass countertops are usually fashioned in tile shaped designs that are semitransparent. They are available in numerous styles and color choices. Often glass countertops are utilized with LED lighting to bring light to a kitchen space and bring a standout appearance to the glass.

Recycled Glass – Recycled glass countertops are made from crushed glass that has been impacted in a base of resin. These types of countertops are perfect for cooking and have the necessary features to endure considerable use. They are also available in a wide range of colors and combinations of colors.

Tile – Tile countertops are a more traditional type of counter finish, and they have continued to be which have continued to be steady contenders with other types of countertop materials. They are favored by both professional and amateur cooks. Tile is a durable material and it is resistant to heat and stains. When tiles are put in place, they should be set with grout that is water resistant. Also, tiles come in huge selections with limitless color and style options.

Other Top Serious Choices

More home related countertop choices include materials that have positive characteristics. They are highly rated by homeowners who are into more serious cooking, and they include:

Quartz is stone-like in appearance and consists of minerals as well as color and resin that binds the materials together. It is resistant to heat, abrasive elements, stains, and sharp utensils. It is available in a host of colors and patterns that are similar to both marble and granite. It is subject to chips on the corners and edges of countertops and does require professional repair. Quartz requires limited maintenance so it is a good choice for serious cooks.

Granite is, of course, a highly popular natural material and is resistant to heat, scratches, and cuts. When sealed properly its more porous nature can be protected. Colors are unique and granite is available in polished, matte and leather finishes. Periodic sealing is the key to stain prevention and its corners and edges can chip, so professional repair may be needed. A serious cook might not appreciate dealing with the porous nature of granite, but it is still a durable material.

Marble, though beautiful with its veining patterns and colorations, is one material that can be subject to heat damage as well as stains and nicks. Serious cooks would have to use caution with marble.

Laminate – Laminate materials have come a long way and mimic almost any countertop material available today. Most laminate materials are resistant to stains and heat, but cutting on them can cause damage. Cutting boards would be a necessity for serious cooks.

Butcher Block – This is another more traditional countertop material choice and its finish (usually varnish) is important to the resistance of stains. Scratches, cuts, and nicks can easily occur, so any type of food preparation may require protection through a cutting board.

Whether you are or aren’t a serious cook, there are countertops that are more beneficial than others with food preparation, plus there are designs and styles available that correlate with most any kitchen design and decor. If you are a serious cook and need further advice on countertop selections, complete the contact form and a representative will get back to you with the choices that are most conducive to your needs.

15 Things You Must Know About Granite Countertops

15 Things You Must Know About Granite Countertops

Choosing a new countertop can be exciting but frustrating at the same time. With so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to know which type will work best for your family. Granite countertops are the most popular option for many reasons, but there are things you need to know before you choose granite for your home.

A Green Product

Although granite is an entirely natural product, it takes thousands of years to create. For this reason, granite is not considered “green.” The industry has taken steps in recent years regarding responsible quarrying and production. The counters contain no harmful chemicals nor do they emit dangerous gasses or radiation, so they are a more sustainable option than other types of counter.

Backsplash Options

In most cases, a separate 4-inch piece of the stone slab used to make the countertops is used to create the backsplash. It is then adhered to the counter separately as coved backsplashes available with other types of counter are not available in granite. You may also want to choose a tile or full-height granite backsplash, depending on your kitchen style.

Colors Available

Mother Nature controls what colors granite comes in and this can be somewhat limited. There aren’t many solid patterns or strikingly bright colors. Ask to see the exact slab of granite that will be installed to get a good idea of what the entire slab will look like. Some unique patterns of granite have large, flowing waves so that a small sample will not represent the entire slab.


Granite countertops require very little maintenance as technology for sealants has come a long way over the past few decades. Many sealants last ten years or more and, when they do need to be reapplied, it si something you can do on your own.

Natural Substance

Although granite may not be considered truly green due to the way it must be quarried, it is a natural product, created in nature. This helps reduce exposure to harmful chemicals. Quartz countertops are sold as natural stone but they do include a small percentage of resin that is not found in granite counters.

Price of Granite

For an average sized kitchen, granite can cost between $3,000 and $4,000 depending on the type of granite chosen. There are many variables that can impact cost including how much countertop you have, the edge you choose, the backsplash and more. Lower-range granite is also available and may be more affordable. The final cost should include material, fabrication and installation.

Repairing Granite

Although it is rare for granite to chip or crack, it can happen if something heavy is dropped on the counter. When this happens, you need to have your granite repaired by a professional. If you like using cast iron pans, be very careful when placing them in an undermount sink as the edge of the cutout is a common place for chipping. More than likely, you will find you have more broken dishes than you will a broken countertop.

Resistant to Chemicals

Acids and bases will not harm the surface of granite as they do other types of countertops, even other types of stone. It is important to choose mild cleansers and to wipe up spills quickly as repeated exposure could damage the sealant. Harsh chemicals can also damage the surface requiring you to reseal your granite sooner than you should.

Resistant to Heat

Granite is heat resistant which means you can remove a pan from the stove and place it directly on the surface. Using a trivet or hot pad is recommended, however, as there is a chance that heating only one small section and not the entire counter could lead to cracking.

Resistant to Scratches

Granite is one of the hardest surfaces on Earth, scoring a seven on Moh’s Scale of Hardness. This means that there is very little that can scratch granite. You can cut directly on granite’s surface, although doing so could dull your knives.

Resistant to Stains

If you choose a dark colored granite, you may not even require sealant to protect your counter from stains. Lighter granites, however, may require multiple coats of sealant to protect it. Regardless, even though granite is porous, it is highly stain resistant.

Sealing the Surface

Granite is porous which is why most fabricators seal the countertops before they are installed. This protects them from absorbing liquids. If your counters are not sealed, liquids left on the surface will be absorbed but they may also evaporate. There are cleaning products that can remove stains from granite, including permanent marker which can leave permanent stains on other types of counter surfaces.

Undermount Sinks

One benefit to granite over other types of counter materials is that you can install an undermount sink. This allows you to wipe crumbs, liquids and other items directly into the sink as there is no lip or edge. This makes cleaning your counter much easier.

Unique Options

Granite offers many unusual, unique and exotic options. Although unique granite styles cost more, sometimes as much as $400 per square foot, they do create a stunningly beautiful look in any kitchen, bath or other room in your home.

Visible Seams

Depending on how large your kitchen is, you can expect at least two to three seams. Most slabs are 9 feet by 5 feet, so if you have a large counter area, you will have more seams. Fabricators can usually mix custom color epoxy to seal the seams so they are fairly well disguised.

If you are considering granite countertops, give us a call today or complete the easy online form to learn more about what options would be best for you and your family.

What Tools Are Used For Granite Edge Profile Fabrication?

What Tools Are Used For Granite Edge Profile Fabrication?

We’ve pointed out a few times recently how valuable an extended knowledge can be, when you’re interested in granite countertops. Understanding how the stone is quarried, how it’s measured and cut, and how it’s detailed can help you appreciate better the validity of quotes contractors give you, among other things.

Whether you’re interested in having this beautiful material installed in your home, or you’re interested in the industry professionally, it’s high time we took a look at the tools involved in granite edge profile fabrication. That’s a mouthful, isn’t it? You’ll be surprised just how interesting this actually is, and how much of a blend of art and science it truly takes to make this beautiful, lustrous material take the form that graces such elegant and homey kitchens and bathrooms.

Machine or Hand?

A question a lot of people ask is, are these edge profiles done with machines (such as a stone router), or by hand? The truth is, it’s been done both ways, and it really depends on a few factors, which is more ideal. Doing it by hand can be easier for the trained professional. It takes a trained hand, a good eye, and a lot of patience, but this eliminates some setup and some lifting and positioning challenges that come from using a router.

However, for large volumes, using more precise, assistive measures such as routers and other machinery, is probably wise. Facilities that do a lot of jobs at once, or a large volume per unit of time almost all use routers, and even some CNC machinery to get the job done.

Regardless, though, of whether these machines are present in the fabrication, the tools applied through hands or machines are pretty universal. These, and the steps involved, are what we’re really interested in.


Obviously, preparing the stone for the edge profile would be the first step. This involves a lot of grinding and shaping, which, if done by hand, involves a fair bit of patience and a gentle approach. The tool of choice for this is the cup wheel, a vaguely suction cup-shaped metal tool with angled, beveled teeth. These high-speed, rotating tools will grind away imperfections, and shape the stone appropriately. There are a number of these with different grits (just as with sand paper or grinding wheels), the finer grit used for softer removal steps.

Edge Profile Fabrication

There are a number of different edge styles out there, which run the entire gamut in complexity and difficulty. Among them are Straight, Round, Bullnose, Orgee, Cove, Waterfall, Bevel and Triple


A skilled artisan can create any of these by hand, but better precision and consistency can be done with a stone router. Router bits tend to have different grit levels themselves, and an inverse shape to the one intended to be implemented.


Once the router (or, a hand stone cutting tool) has been used, it has to be smoothed, because of microchipping and sharpness of cut edges. This is done with polishing material. These have grit values of 46, 60, or 120 usually, and are usually grinder wheel in form factor.

Sand paper products of similar grit can also be used, though this is less efficient.

At this stage, it will be handed over to another group of workers for polishing, which has its own set of tools and materials.

To learn more about the tools of this trade, and about granite as a whole, fill out our contact form today!

Beginner’s Guide to White Granite Countertops

Beginner's Guide to White Granite Countertops

Granite has been a common, desired material of choice for countertops for a very long time – in fact, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly when in history this material first really caught on. It’s highly sought after due to its luxurious look, durability, and timelessness. Given the fact that there are many different kinds of granite, trends change and cycle over generations as to which type is considered the most trendy and timely at any given point. It’s been a long time since white granite was the “in” thing, but in recent years it’s been on the upswing.

A desire for a crisper, brighter ambient look for kitchens has been the prime mover behind increasing popularity of white granite in recent times. This could be partially due to a desire for something more environmentally sound, relying less on artificial light to brighten a space. Either way, this luminous material has recently started to be associated with a modern, warm appearance.

But, before you run off to order white granite for your kitchen, it’s important to take a moment to understand the nature of the stone, and look at the different kinds available. You may be surprised to find out that many types of white Granite aren’t overtly white at all.

The Nature of White Granite

Like any other stone, the hue, tensile strength, graining and texture of white granite is determined by a combination of minerals in the mix. The opaque white of many types of white granite is the result of a mineral known as feldspar, while the milky white is a result of quartz. The spackling and graining, usually of a black appearance, is a result of a lesser-known mineral called amphibole.
Due to granite always being a combination of various minerals, you will never find a pure white, solid granite. In fact, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a granite that is anyone solid color due to its very nature. Following this train of thought, even specific regions of a piece of granite are unlikely to be a solid white, generally being smoky in appearance or milky instead.

Different Types of White Granite

As we said earlier, there are many varieties of white granite, mostly determined by the caller of the grains in the hue of white itself. One of the more common are white granite with black and gray minerals, which have a classic look often mistaken for marble. Alaska White, Colonial White and Silver Cloud are the more common varieties of this type of granite.

White granite with Brown and burgundy minerals is a little less common, but is growing in popularity in recent years due to its neutral, universal matching ability. These have a somewhat rustic, warm appearance, and they pair well with most natural woods and ceramics. One of the more popular of these is River White granite, while White Spring with its blotchy, speckled appearance can make a sharp statement.

White granite with black, gray, and blue minerals can be relatively rare, though Ice White granite does pair well with white and black cabinets for a sharp, deep contrast. Alaska White sometimes takes on this appearance as well.

Lastly, and the least common of these, are granite types with gray and green minerals. These have an interesting, streaky appearance, and actually tend to look more brown than green. They have achieved some level of popularity in recent times due to their ability to help complete the sense of a European country kitchen, though those whom fret over cracks may find the crack like streaking to be somewhat maddening.

Finally, when considering pricing, you’re going to spend the least on the most common, popular granites, due to the ready supply of them. If you’re looking for something more unique, and less popular, you’re going to pay quite a bit more for it.

To learn more about the various types of white granite, and to learn about which ones pair best with different motifs, fill out our contact form below or call us today.

How Durable Is a Three Centimeter Granite Countertop?

How Durable Is a Three Centimeter Granite Countertop?

Granite is one of the hardest stones on Earth and creates some of the most durable countertops available. Granite is available in either two centimeters, which is about three-quarters of an inch, or three centimeters, about one-and-one-quarter inches. As long as your countertop is installed properly, the thickness should not impact durability.

Comparison of Thickness

A countertop that is three centimeters thick will be heavier than one that is only two centimeters, but both offer the same scratch, chip and burn resistance. One of the main differences between the two thicknesses is that the thinner granite will need more supports for overhangs and laminated edges than the thicker option.

Scratch and Chip Resistance

Both thicknesses offer outstanding scratch and chip resistance, a benefit that granite has over laminate or marble. Your kitchen knives will not cut granite, but the granite will dull your knives if you do not use a cutting board. The only substances that can cut granite are diamond or tungsten and both are used to cut granite into countertops. It is possible to chip your granite, but you would need to exert tremendous force to do so, such as striking it with a hammer.

Heat Resistance

Granite is extremely heat resistant and it will not be damaged if you place a hot pan directly from the stove on the surface. Hot liquids that are spilled on granite will also not damage the surface, so there is no worry that your counter will burn, bubble or melt.

Stain Resistance

If granite is sealed properly, it is fairly stain resistant. However, if it is unsealed, the stone is porous and it could absorb spilled substances. Although the structure will remain intact, the stain will mar the beauty of your counters. If it is properly sealed, the sealant will keep spills from seeping into the stone, reducing the chance of staining. It is still important to wipe spills quickly as some substances can leave discoloration. Most times, the discoloration can be removed with a baking soda paste. Mix baking soda with water for oil-based stains or hydrogen peroxide for water-based stains, cover and leave for a few hours before wiping with a damp rag.

Natural Fissures and Cracks

Granite is an igneous rock that was created when feldspar, quartz and mica were pressed together under the Earth to create on solid surface. This means that your countertop has tiny holes, known as pitting, within it. There are also natural fissures and cracks that were created when the rock formed. None of these indicate a structural problem with your countertop and our counter is not likely to crack under normal use.

If you are considering granite countertops for your kitchen or bath, contact Flemington Granite today. You can speak to a customer service representative by calling or filling out the easy online form.

Is Leathered Granite More Expensive?

Is Leathered Granite More Expensive?

What Is Leathered Stone?

As a homeowner about to embark on a search for countertop material choices you may or may not have come across leathered stone in your various travels. With so many offerings of countertop materials that are available now, it’s easy to get lost among all that is out there, so if you aren’t familiar with leathered stone, then you are probably wondering how is leathered granite made and how is it different from other countertop materials?

Leathered stone has a textured aspect in its finish as opposed to one that has a glossy or shiny surface. It has texture and is more rustic in appearance as it is characterized by pitting and cracking on its surface. It can be compared in looks to a piece of aged leather.

The stone is fabricated through a leathering process that entails the use of brushes that are diamond tipped. The brushes are activated to move across the surface of a flat or honed surface and modify it through the differing levels of grit that the brushes deliver to the surface. The brushes can create a surface that results in indistinct dimpling, cracking and other indentations that result in a textured and somewhat uplifted appearance. Textural aspects depend on the actual choice of stones utilized in the leatherered granite process. Stones that are more balanced and equal in color consistency will be more subtle in their transformations; whereas, more varied stones will take on greater textural capacity.

Leatered stone textures can vary from selection to selection and there may be pieces or slabs that have more deeply engrained features in their appearance as opposed to other pieces. It does provide a different approach to countertop use as it has a certain natural warmth and homey feeling in its varied compositions and selections, yet it can be classic and fashionable at the same time.

Why Choose a Leathered Finish?

Choosing a leathered finish is one of personal taste, but leathered countertops are gaining popularity because of their varying textures and colorations that are appealing to today’s sophisticated and style conscious homeowners. They are turning to and selecting alternatives like leathered granite as they want the edge over more traditional looks. Polished, flatter, and honed finishes are still in fashion, but the beauty and durability of a leather look can be a welcome addition in contrast to a more traditional, polished stone countertop.

Advantages of Leathered Granite Countertops

There are advantages to leather granite countertops as opposed to those that are polished and smooth looking. Leather-look countertops are resistant to everyday smears, splotches, stains and fingerprints, plus they more easily repel water and other liquid spills that create spots and streaks.

The leathering process alone allows for resistance to stains. In addition, a leathered finish is actually easier to clean in comparison to more traditional granite countertops where crumbs, dirt and other debris can accumulate. Also, the surface texture of a leathered countertop is nice to the touch and resistant to slippage, which helps with water accumulation around sink areas and other wet spaces in a kitchen environment. Like polished granite, leathered granite does require sealing and maintenance, which should be done at least once a year, and every few years thereafter.

Is Leathered Granite More Expensive?

The cost of leathered granite vs polished granite will depend on variables, such as the location or region of the materials, actual availability of the materials themselves, the types of finishes, colors, styles and patterns in stock as well as installation and labor costs.

Polished granite tends to be less expensive than leathered granite as it is popular and usually readily available. It is more likely to be in stock from suppliers, which makes it less expensive than a leathered granite. Leathered granite is a less common finish and may require special ordering and other particulars that increase costs, even though the fabricating process is usually less involved than a polished stone procedure.

If you want more information about leathered granite and the cost and expenses involved, or if you just have general questions about this type of finish, complete the online contact form and a representative will get back to you with answers to your questions.

What can be used to Disinfect Granite Countertops?

What can be used to Disinfect Granite Countertops?

Granite is normally a safe material for use in kitchens and other spaces in a home or business, and granite is not a material that is prone to harbor bacteria or residual effects from leftover fragments from food or drink. Even the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and other agencies have found that granite does not foster bacteria.

Like any other material, granite can be subject to developing bacteria or related problems if it is left in a wet or moist condition, or food and drink have been allowed to set and incubate for any length of time.

In order to avoid the possible development of bacteria or other issues, there are simple and cost effective ways to disinfect granite so bacteria has no chance of invading anyone’s granite countertops.

Disinfecting Solutions

One simple disinfecting solution that easily destroys bacteria is a two ingredient combination of dish washing detergent and good old isopropyl alcohol. All that is required is a few drops of the detergent and four tablespoons of the alcohol to create an concoction that will clean granite countertops quite efficiently.

Both the detergent and isopropyl alcohol can be bought at most any grocery store, drugstore or discount type store, as can a spray bottle to contain the mixture. The bottle should contain the measured ingredients and then filled with warm water so it almost reaches the top of the container. It should only be shaken in a gentle manner so as to keep excessive suds from developing and preventing the liquid from going through the spray nozzle opening.

How to Disinfect Granite Daily

Simply spray the solution directly on the countertop and cover a few small areas at a time. Let the solution remain on the countertop surface for a minute or so to allow time for disinfection to occur.

Lastly, the countertop should be wiped with a white cloth or towel to dry the areas cleaned. A white cloth is always the best route to take as a non-colored cloth will better absorb anything unsafe on the counter, plus, unlike a colored wiping cloth, no color will be transferred to the granite. This same process should be repeated for each section of the countertop until the whole counter is cleaned.

Cleaning Ingredients to Avoid (What Not To Use On Granite)

Any kind of abrasive cleaner, commercial or homemade, should be avoided for use on granite countertops. Also, any cleaner that contains vinegar or has acidic based ingredients should be avoided. The area of a granite countertop can be hurt with an abrasive cleaner and its surface dulled with acidic cleaners.

Other cleaning solutions to avoid with granite countertops are those with chlorine bleach and any kind of household cleaner or spray that is used for mirrors or windows. In addition, always read the labels on any kind of cleaner container and make sure that the ingredient hydrofluoric acid is not a part of any possible cleaner that is used. This acid could be damaging to any sealants that are used on granite.

Inhibiting Bacteria

In order to avoid the threat of encroaching bacteria on your countertops, consider disinfecting them on a regular basis. Also, rather than cutting or chopping food directly on a granite countertop surface, use a cutting board to avoid spills and damage. Food, drink, meat juices, and other liquids should be wiped up as soon as they happen. If not, there is a change of moisture accumulating and breeding bacteria. Finally, sealing the surface at varying intervals is one way to inhibit bacteria. Sealants should be applied at least once a year, or at the three year mark if the sealant provides protection for that period of time.

Maybe you are not sure how to keep your granite in pristine condition or whether you should further protect it with a sealant. Perhaps you just have general questions. Whatever your inquiry, simply complete the online contact form and a representative will get back to you with the answers you need.