What You Should Never Put On Your Granite Countertops

What You Should Never Put On Your Granite Countertops

Although you want your kitchen counters to look beautiful, their main purpose is as a cooking and preparation surface. One of the reasons many people choose granite is that it is durable and resistant to stains or bacteria. This makes them safer than other types of countertop surfaces. However, there are some precautions you should take when using granite. These tips on what not to place on a granite countertop can keep your counters not only looking beautiful but safe for your family as well.

Spilled Liquids

Although granite is non-porous, spills left on the surface for an extended period can cause staining. Even water that is left to puddle can leave a shadowy spot on the surface. Red wine, coffee or citric juices can also cause stains on granite counters and should be wiped up immediately. You may be tempted to place decorative oil bottles on your counter, but this can lead to damage as well. Oil tends to leak down the bottle and puddle on the surface. This can lead to discoloration of the counter. Store all oils in the cabinet and wipe up any spills quickly.

Cleaning Materials

Cleaners that contain vinegar, lemon juice or ammonia can damage your counters so never use them on granite. The acid in the cleaner could diminish the seal which could lead to damage to the actual stone. Lemon can be very damaging to granite as it contains calcite, so never use lemon-based cleansers on your granite counter and be careful when cooking with lemon. Do not use scouring cleansers on granite as well as they can eat away at the seal leaving the stone unprotected. Only clean granite with mild soap and water. Be sure to rinse the soap from the countertop well or you could develop a buildup that will make your counter look dull.

Cosmetics and Polish

In bathrooms with granite countertops, do not store cosmetics or polish on the surface. If you spill either polish or cosmetics on the counter, wipe them up immediately. Do not use fingernail polish remover on granite as it not only removes the polish but the sealant as well.

Cutting on the Counter

Although you will probably not damage the counter by cutting directly on the surface, you will dull your knives. In addition, cutting meat and vegetables on the same surface is not safe as bacteria from the uncooked raw meat can be transferred to the vegetables that may not be cooked to a temperature high enough to kill the bacteria. Always use a cutting board to not only protect the surface of the counter, but also to keep your knives sharp and your family safe.

Hot Pans

If your granite is thick, you may be able to place a hot pan directly on the surface. However, if the sealant has thinned or if the countertop is not thick, placing a hot pan directly on the surface could result in cracking or a dark spot from scorching. To be safe, always use trivets or hot pads when removing hot pans from the stove.

If you are thinking about adding granite to your home, contact us today to learn more about your options. You can reach us by phone or complete the simple form online to speak to a knowledgeable customer service representative about natural stones that will work for you.

What Is The Best Granite Countertop Thickness For Your Kitchen?

What Is The Best Granite Countertop Thickness For Your Kitchen?

When you are remodeling your kitchen or in the process of building a new home, choosing the right countertop can be exciting but also very confusing. If you have decided on granite countertops, you may now be faced with deciding how thick your counter should be. These tips can help you choose the right countertop thickness for your needs.

Thickness Options

There are two standard thickness options for granite countertops. In the past, 2 cm slabs were the industry standards, but today, more homeowners are choosing 3 cm thicknesses instead. The main difference between 2 cm and 3 cm thicknesses is that 2 cm slabs involve extra work which could make your counters more expensive.

The reason for the added expense is that 2 cm granite requires a support layer for installation. The installer will also need to laminate an additional strip on the front facing for the edging of your counter. Because 3 cm slabs are 33 percent thicker, you don’t need plywood added under the granite or extra lamination. This makes your counters stronger and give a smoother appearance as there will not be an extra seam on your counters.

It is also possible to get 6 cm thickness which creates an eye-popping look. However, you will need to add plywood support and you will need to laminate the slabs to connect them. For many homeowners, the stunning look is worth the additional work.

Granite Overhang

Another factor you will need to include when choosing countertops is the overhang. The standard is 12 inches as that is the best width for sliding stools or other furniture under the counter. Depending on the size of your counter, you may also need to have corbels installed which are L-shaped brackets that support the overhang. If you will not have seating at your countertops, the standard overhang is between 1 and 1½ inches. This keeps crumbs or spills from falling into open drawers and makes the counter feel more natural when you stand against it.

Granite Overhang

Cabinets are Important

Your cabinets and your countertop must work together in order to create a kitchen that is not only functional and attractive, but will withstand the test of time. Cabinets must be level before granite counters can be installed. Although slight variances can be corrected by the weight of the granite, the difference must be slight. If the cabinets are too unlevel, the technician will be unable to install the countertops.

If you are considering granite counters or any other type of natural stone, contact us today to learn more about your options. Complete the easy form online or give us a call for more information.

Concrete vs Granite Countertops: Who Wins?

Concrete vs Granite Countertops- Who Wins-

Concrete is growing in popularity as a countertop material as it is extremely durable and adaptable to many different kitchen designs. Before choosing concrete as a countertop option over granite, however, there are advantages and disadvantages for each that you need to understand.

Concrete Countertops

One of the biggest attractions for concrete countertops is that it is easy to perform the installation yourself. It is also more affordable than granite in most cases. Concrete can give your kitchen a rustic, chic look that is difficult to find with granite.

The biggest drawback to concrete, however, is that it is porous. This means that the surface can be damaged more easily than it can with other types of counters and makes it more likely to stain. Placing a hot pan directly from the stove onto concrete will more than likely stain the counter and could actually cause damage. It is also more prone to scratches and you will need to clean it with special cleaners due to its porous nature.

Granite Countertops

There is a reason granite is one of the most popular options for countertops. They are extremely durable and give your room luxurious look. Granite does not stain or erode like cement counters can. It is also non-porous, making it resistant to bacteria and mold growth.

Granite is heat and scratch resistant, allowing you to place hot pans directly on the surface. Granite cannot be installed by someone who is not a professional. It is also more expensive than cement. You cannot use harsh chemicals on granite or they could damage the surface and acidic materials like juice, coffee and red wine can cause stains if they are not wiped up quickly.

Color Options

Concrete offers many different color options as the stone can be tinted to any color you choose. You can also choose to mix broken glass or other materials to create a one-of-a-kind look. Because granite is formed in the Earth, colors are limited to what Mother Nature decides to create. Concrete can also be molded into any shape you want which is especially beneficial if you have an oddly shaped kitchen. Granite is limited in the shapes it can take.

If you are considering natural stone for your home or office, contact us today to learn what the best options for you may be. You can fill out the easy form online or give us a call to speak to one of our knowledgeable representatives.

Kitchen Design: How To Match Your Granite Countertop With Your Cabinets

Kitchen Design: How To Match Your Granite Countertop With Your Cabinets

If you are considering a kitchen remodel, you may be considering granite countertops. Granite is one of the most popular choices in countertops, but there are things you should understand before choosing granite. You want to be sure your cabinets work well with the granite you choose. If you are wondering how to match your granite countertop, these tips can help.

White or Tan Granite Countertop?

Most people believe that it would be easy to match cabinets with white or tan granite. However, granite is rarely ever pure white. In fact, it is usually off-white with flecks or veins of darker colors. Dark cabinets of espresso or black create a contrast, but you may find that too stark. Instead, try to find cabinets that tie into the veining of the granite rather than the background. You may also consider glazing your current cabinets so that they better match white or tan granite.

What Matches Medium to Dark Granite

If you are wondering how to match your granite countertop that is medium to dark, you may want to consider natural wood, like oak. If you already have oak cabinets, consider a granite that is medium-brown with gold or caramel veining. You can also add contrast by choosing granite with very light or very dark veining which work well with hickory or maple cabinets. If you have a lot of natural light in your room, consider black cabinets with granite with dark veining but lighter backgrounds.

Colors That Go Well With Dark to Black Granite

Dark to black granite makes a very bold statement in a room and you want your cabinetry to match that statement. Cherry cabinets actually compliment black granite, creating sophistication and elegance. An espresso finish gives the appearance of black without being exactly like the countertop. Although white is a popular option for dark to black granite, you are not limited to light or white cabinets. Gray is an option, but you can add a whimsical look by adding brightly colored cabinets of blue, green or yellow.

Choosing the right natural stone for your project can be intimidating. If you need assistance or guidance in choosing the right granite or the right cabinetry for your home improvement or commercial project, our knowledgeable, friendly staff can help. They can guide you through the process and help you choose the granite or cabinets that will match your style and chosen décor. Contact us today by phone or by completing the easy form online.

What are ECO Friendly Countertops?

What are ECO Friendly Countertops?

With more focus on reducing our carbon footprint and finding new ways to protect the environment, you may be searching for eco-friendly countertop options for your remodeling project.

Although it is not possible to find a countertop that has no impact on the environment, there are options that can significantly reduce your impact.

What is Eco-Friendly Building?

There has been a focus on green building over the past few years with practices that use less energy, water and minerals. In addition, green building options have less impact on human health.

It may include siting a building so that it receives optimum sunlight to reduce the need for energy or it could be designing and constructing using materials known to be Earth-friendly. Countertops are no exception, but there are things to beware of when purchasing countertops that claim to be eco-friendly.


One thing to beware of is countertops that a manufacturer claims is “greenwashed.” Greenwash is a term that has been connected to misleading reports of company environmental practices or the environmental benefits of a specific product.

In some cases, the company may claim to use “Green Sheen” to indicate they are environmentally friendly. In most cases, companies that use such terms are actually not eco-friendly.

Things to Consider

In order to determine if a company is environmentally friendly, you want to know what materials are used in production, whether they are recycled or renewable and where they come from. You will also want to know a little about the manufacturing process, such as how much energy is consumed, harmful gases or by-products that may be produced and how much water is used as part of the process. Because transportation consumes resource like fuel, you want to find materials that are within 500 miles.

You will also want to know if the countertop releases volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as these can be harmful to humans. Of course, longer-lasting countertops are more friendly to the environment because they will not need replacement as quickly. If the countertop can be recycled or reused, this also reduces its impact on the environment.

Eco-Friendly Options

There are several eco-friendly options for countertops that you can choose from that can help you feel more comfortable about your carbon footprint. There are countertops created from reclaimed woo, recycled glass and even post-industrial scrap aluminum. Some brands include recycled paper and others offer a 100 percent sustainable life cycle. Many stone countertops are considered eco-friendly.

If you are looking for eco-friendly building materials, including countertops, contact us today to learn what products would best work for your project. You can contact us by phone or complete the simple form online.

Moh’s Hardness Scale: How Hard Is Your Countertop?

Moh's Hardness Scale: How Hard Is Your Countertop?

You may have heard the term, but you may not know what is Moh’s Hardness Scale. Minerals are rated on what is known as Moh’s Scale of Hardness, a method designed to determine how dense the material is. On the scale, a one represents the softest material while a ten represents the hardest.

What is Moh’s Hardness Scale

According to the Mineralogical Society of America, Moh’s Hardness Scale was developed by Frederich Mohs in 1822. The purpose of the scale is to determine how scratch resistant a mineral is and is related to the breaking of chemical bonds in the material as well as microfractures on the surface. It can also be used for metal. Hardness is determined by the ability of one mineral to scratch another. For example, a diamond can scratch granite while granite can scratch marble. Marble has a Mohs’ Hardness Scale rating between 3-4. This means that marble is less scratch resistant than granite.

Granite on the Mohs’ Scale

Granite is a blend of different minerals fused together by the tectonics of the Earth, making it difficult to determine the hardness of the material. Granite crystals are listed between 7-9 on Mohs’ Scale of Hardness, while other minerals that may be included, such as mica, may show as a 5. The veining and marbling of granite also adds to the hardness of the countertop.

Research is Necessary

Because one slab of granite may have a higher rating on the Moh’s Hardness Scale, it is important to research before purchasing the countertop if you are seeking a higher scratch resistance. High quality granite often has a higher hardness than granites of lower quality. It is important to understand that granite that is rated low on the Mohs’ Scale is at higher risk for scratching or cracking than granite that is rated higher on the scale. For some applications, such as windowsills or decorative purposes, softer granite may be suitable, but for use in kitchens and bathrooms, you will want to choose a granite that is harder and less likely to scratch.

Choosing countertops can be a fun and exciting part of any remodeling project. It is important to choose countertop materials that are durable enough for your use. Our customer service representatives can help guide you through the selection process so that you will be sure to get the countertop with the hardness you need. You can reach them by calling on the phone or completing the simple query form online to learn more about the countertops we have available.

A Scientific Approach To The Quartz vs Granite Discussion

A Scientific Approach To The Quartz vs Granite Discussion

If you are considering a remodeling project that will include countertops, you may be confused as to whether quartz or granite countertops are the better option. There are many factors that you must use to determine what countertop is best for your needs, but a scientific explanation of the differences may help you determine which will be best suited for your project.

Granite and Its Formation

Scientifically, granite is a plutonic rock composed of quarts, normally between 10 and 50 percent, and total feldspar, normally 65 to 90 percent. In addition, granite may contain mica, amphibole and other trace minerals. It is the various minerals included in each slab of granite that give it the colors and textures that make it so popular for countertops. Granite was formed by cooling molten rock, usually deep below the surface of the Earth. The granite that is pulled from the Earth today is near the surface because it was uplifted so that sediment was shed through erosion. The shift from a high pressure environment and temperature to the atmospheric temperature and pressure leads to expansion and cracking, causing granite to be softer than other types of countertop material.

The Formation of Quartz

When people think of quartz, they often think of white sandy beaches with flecks of pink or brown. As weaker minerals erode due to weather, quartz is often left as a predominant mineral on beaches, far from sediment sources. Quartz countertops, however, are actually manufactured, consisting of 90 percent quartz blended with resin, polymers and pigment for color. This creates countertops that are durable without pores or cracks and the pigment used is naturally found in quartz arenite.

Granite and Radon

There have been online sources reporting that granite countertops may contain radon, a radioactive gas that is naturally found in the stone. Granites can contain radon in parts per billion, but the amount found in countertops is so minimal it poses no threat to humans. Quartz countertops have no radon, but that does not make quartz a safer alternative than granite. Radiation is encountered in many different ways throughout daily life, including while flying, walking through a city and basically living life, so the amount of radon in granite poses no real threat.

When it comes to choosing granite or quartz, it may come down to simple factors like price, color choices and durability. If you are considering granite or quartz countertops, contact our knowledgeable customer service representatives to learn what products are best for you by completing the simple form on line or giving us a call.

10 Major Benefits Of Granite You Need To Be Aware Of

10 Major Benefits Of Granite You Need To Be Aware Of

One of the most popular countertops today is granite whether the project is for residential or commercial purposes. Granite is versatile, durable and stunningly beautiful. However, you may be unware of many of the benefits provided by granite. These are just ten important factors to remember when you are choosing countertops.

Beauty and Depth

There is no question that granite is beautiful and its beauty has been recognized since as far back as ancient Egypt. In addition, granite adds depth to your room due to the way natural light reflects on the surface. Because no two slabs of granite are the same, each section of your countertop can have a different look with a variety of specks, veining and swirling.

Increased Value

Although granite may not add a monetary value to your home, it is very appealing to buyers should you decide to sell. Granite is considered eco-friendly, something many homebuyers are seeking today. Although there are no statistics regarding the return-on-investment (ROI) related to granite countertops, most experts say that granite can help sell your home faster as it will be more appealing than other countertop products.


Granite countertops are the most durable of any other type of countertop. It is difficult to scratch or chip, unlike other types of stone countertops. Granite should be sealed professionally to extend the life of the countertop.

Anti-bacterial and Stain Resistant

Because granite is sealed, it is not porous. This means that anything spilled on the counter will not soak into it as it can with other types of countertop. This means granite resists bacteria and dirt better than other countertop surfaces. The sealer also helps the stone resist stains, although any spills should be wiped up quickly as a precaution.


Granite can be cut in any shape desired. You can add ovals, squares, arches and curves using granite that may be impossible with other types of material. Granite can be cut in 90 or 45 degree angles and you can even add routered edges for additional decorative touches. In addition, you can mix granite with other types of countertop surfaces if you are on a tight budget. Add granite to your kitchen island and laminate throughout the room or select remnants, mixing them with tile or other surfaces in order to reduce the cost.

Heat Resistant

You can place a pan taken from the stove directly on a granite countertop with no concern about scorching or melting. Roasting pans, toaster ovens, even frying pans can be moved from stove to counter without leaving marks as could happen with other types of countertop.

Earth Friendly

Because granite is made from natural stone, it is an Earth-friendly option for your countertops. Like gemstones which are not lustrous when they are pulled from the ground, granite is polished to a brilliant sheen, providing a natural look to any kitchen.

Easy to Repair

Unlike other types of stone, granite is easier to repair should it be damaged during regular use. A dropped pan or an errant knife stroke could scratch, chip or crack the granite. A professional granite company can repair the damage with a special compound.

Flat Surface

Bakers understand the need for a flat surface when they are cooking. Rolling out dough or kneading bread is much easier if the surface is smooth and flat. Granite is perfectly smooth and flat, providing the perfect workspace in your kitchen. Because granite is also cool to the touch, making candy and rolling dough goes much more smoothly.

Indoor and Outdoor Use

Although granite looks beautiful inside your home, it is also perfect for an outdoor kitchen or living area. Granite will not suffer damage from rain, snow, ice or extreme heat. It is important to let your retailer know if you will use the granite outdoors, however, as you may need granite of a certain thickness.

Granite is one of the most popular surfaces in countertops today, but it can also be used in floors and wall coverings, something many people may not know. Contact us today to learn more about granite and how it can add elegance to your next project.

Things No One Told You About Granite Remnants

Things No One Told You About Granite Remnants

Taking on a remodeling project or building a new home are monumental tasks. There are so many decisions to be made, from the type of wall covering you want in your family room to the countertops in your kitchen or bathroom.

Not only are making these decisions difficult, the cost can become extravagant if you don’t watch carefully, especially if you decide to add granite to one of your rooms. One option, however, is to consider granite remnants.

What, Exactly, Are Granite Remnants?

What, Exactly, Are Granite Remnants

Granite remnants are pieces removed when counter tops or other products created from the stone. When someone purchases granite floors, walls or counters, it must be cut to size. This means that there are often pieces cut that are not used for that project and they are often too small to be used. They may also be oddly shaped and sized or vary in thickness.

The Benefits of Granite Remnants

The Benefits of Granite Remnants

One of the biggest benefits of using granite remnants is that they cost significantly less than full granite slabs. When a customer chooses granite, they pay for the entire amount ordered, usually by the square inch. When the granite is cut to fit their products, few customers choose to keep the remnants.

Since the remnants were already paid for by that customer, the retailer can resell the remnants at a highly reduced cost. It is possible to find larger remnants that could complete your project, especially if you are adding granite to a smaller kitchen or bathroom.

Ways to Use Your Granite Remnants

Ways to Use Your Granite Remnants

There are many ways to incorporate granite remnants in your project. Use it as a backsplash in your bathroom or kitchen. You can also create shelving using granite remnants, adding a unique decorative item to any room. Create cheeseboards, trivets or cutting boards as well. Piece together larger remnants to create a new tabletop for your dining room or living room.

Create coasters, fireplace tiles, book ends or shelves for your living or family room. In your backyard, use soapstone or granite remnants to create stepping stones or a stunning backsplash for your outdoor kitchen. Create a mosaic of tiles for a beautiful piece of art that you can hang inside or out.

Granite remnants are one of the best ways to add granite to your home improvement project. If you are remodeling a small kitchen or bathroom, you may find remnants large enough for your whole project. You can also add tile and other stone to remnants to create a unique, one-of-a-kind countertop in your home or office.

Where Does Granite Come From?

Where Does Granite Come From?

The forces of nature that create the unique color combinations found in granite are amazing. Plates of Earth press together to mix minerals with rock to create some of the most stunning and beautiful natural works of art available. But, have you ever wondered, “Where does granite come from?

Imported Granite

Approximately 90 percent of the granite imported into the United States comes from Brazil while Italy, Spain, China and India also have a large granite trade. Marble, however, is mostly imported from Italy, although some does originate in Spain and China. In fact, China exports brown marble that has become popular in the United States.

How Granite is Mined

Granite is found in huge deposits in the ground. Because blasting would shatter the granite, blocks are removed using drilling or jet piercing methods. In drilling, vertical holes are drilled about one-inch apart with the granite removed by secondary drilling.

In jet piercing, a flame of up to 4,000 degrees is directed at the granite at high velocity which causes a flaking action. As the flame moves back and forth, channels are created in the granite. Granite is very similar to wood as it has grains that allow it to be split in one direction while other directions require cutting.

Travel Time

It takes approximately 30 days for granite to go from the quarry to the wholesaler. The first step is to extract the granite from the landscape and then ship the blocks for production.

Once the granite arrives at the manufacturer, it takes between 24 and 48 hours to slice the block into individual slabs using a tool known as a gang saw. For the next two days, resin is applied to protect the surface and it is cured in an oven. Each piece is photographed before being shipped to retailers. In order to protect the granite, it is often wrapped in adhesive covering, especially those with high-gloss finishes, like onyx.

The question “where does granite come from” is a common one among homeowners. Many wonder how the huge rocks removed from a quarry can result in such stunning, sophisticated countertops and floors.

If you want to know more about granite and the products available for your new home or remodeling project, contact us today by phone or online. Our friendly customer service staff can answer your question and guide you to the perfect products for your project.

What Are the Best Granite colors for White Cabinets?

What Are the Best Granite colors for White Cabinets?

White cabinets have grown in popularity over the past few years due to their versatility and simplicity. White cabinets work well in a farmhouse-style kitchen or one with a gleaming, contemporary look. They look especially stunning with granite countertops. However, when you decide to add white cabinets to your kitchen, you may wonder what the best granite colors for white cabinets may be.

Overall Theme and Color Palette

The first step in determining what the best granite colors for white cabinets may be is to decide what your overall color palette and kitchen design will be. If you want a modern look with just splashes of color, you will want to lean toward one type of granite while if you would prefer a country, relaxed theme, a different type of granite may be more appropriate. Once you have determine the overall theme, it will be much easier to find a granite that fits with your white cabinets and your décor.

Lighter Colors and Neutrals

Countertops with yellows tend to give a warmer feel in your kitchen or bathroom than those with white or gray undertones. If you are leaning toward a country look, granite with yellow undertones may be the best option, while a contemporary look may require you to choose a countertop with gray undertones. If you prefer something more neutral, you will want to look at beige or light brown undertones, which provides both a warm and cool feel.

Darker Contrasts

If you prefer darker colors that will contrast with the stark white of your cabinets, choose granite with flecks of burnt orange, deep green or dark gray. This allows you to add splashes of those colors throughout your room to tie it all together. You can also choose sleek, black countertops that will deeply contrast the white of your cabinets. Black will give your kitchen a very contemporary feel, so keep that in mind when you are determining your theme as well.

Choosing new countertops can be a fun and exciting activity. If you are remodeling your kitchen or building a new home, and need to know the best granite colors for white cabinets, contact us by phone or online today. Our friendly, knowledgeable customer service staff will guide you through the process, work with you to identify your theme and help you choose the perfect granite countertops for your project.

Beautiful Granite Monuments and Statues You Can’t Ignore

Beautiful Granite Monuments and Statues You Can’t Ignore

Although granite has become a very popular countertop and flooring option, it has been used for centuries for multiple purposes. The ancient Egyptians used granite extensively. In fact, the famous Pharaoh was built using granite blocks which were tied together so tightly you could not slip a piece of paper between them.

The Pharaoh was not the only monument or statue created from granite over centuries. It may surprise you to learn that some of the most famous are granite monuments.

Amenhotep III

Colossal statue of Amenhotep III
By אליבאבא (Own work), CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

The red granite statue of Amenhotep II was discovered in Egypt in the temple of Mut at Karnak in 1817. It is believed the statue dates back as far as 1370 BC and was originally created to honor King Amenhotep III. It was one of many statues thought to have been erected in his honor in Thebes.

Only one arm and the head have survived which are displayed in the British Museum in London.

Avukana Buddha Statue

CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Standing at just over 40 feet tall outside of Kekirawa in Sri Lanka, the Avukana Buddhist statue is carved into a granite rock face. It faces the Kekirawa reservoir, representing the Gandhara and the Amaravati school of art.

Buddha wears a tight-fitted robe and it is believed the statue was built in the 5th century for King Dhatusena, although there is some speculation it was carved for personal reasons by an artist named Barana.

Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain

Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain.JPG
By www.CGPGrey.com, CC BY 3.0, Link

Located in Hyde Park in London, the fountain dedicated to the memory of Princess Diana was created from 545 pieces of Cornish granite. Each of the pieces was shaped using computer technology and then put together traditionally. It is designed to reflect the life of the princess who died in a car accident in 1997.

The water flows in two directions from the highest point of the fountain, cascading and ending in a serene pool at the bottom. More than one million visitors cross the three bridges that lead to the fountain each year.


View of Shore Temple, Mahabalipuram / Mamallapuram
By Yoga BalajiOwn work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Mahabalipuram, India, is a port town that has been named a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Heritage Site due to its unique architecture and carvings.

Many of the carvings and historical monuments were created from granite. Some of the sanctuaries in the town date back to the 7th and 8th centuries with carvings of warriors, kings and animals in the pyramid-shaped temples.

Mount Rushmore National Monument

Dean Franklin - 06.04.03 Mount Rushmore Monument (by-sa)-3 new.jpg
By Dean Franklin06.04.03 Mount Rushmore Monument. (Resized by User:ComputerHotline, 20:17, 12. Mai 2007.), CC BY 2.0, Link

Four United States Presidents – Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and George Washington – are carved into the side of Mount Rushmore in a huge granite deposit.

Originally, famous people from the west were supposed to be carved in the granite in order to promote South Dakota. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum insisted that the granite monuments should honor national leaders. The location was chosen due to the hardness of the granite.

Signers Monument

Signers Monument.jpg
By Akhenaton06Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

The Signers Monument in Augusta, Georgia, is dedicated to the three signers of the Declaration of Independence from Georgia.

The 50-foot granite obelisk marks the graves of George Walton and Lyman Hall, but also recognizes Button Gwinnett whose grave could not be located. The monument was dedicated in 1848.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Names of Vietnam Veterans.jpg
By Hu TotyaOwn work, GFDL, Link

One of the most well-known granite memorials, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is located near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. The wall was made possible by private donations and families who wanted a way to honor those lost in the conflict.

It is created from polished black Indian granite which was sandblasted with the more than 58,000 names of veterans who died or are still missing in action. The memorial was dedicated in 1982 and draws millions of visitors each year.

Because granite is an igneous rock that is common in construction due to its hard properties, it is also the perfect choice for lasting granite memorials and statues. Considering how long many of these famous memorials and statues have existed, it is easy to see why granite is one of the most durable options for your kitchen or bathroom project.

Contact us today to learn more about granite options.

How Is Granite Extracted And Processed?

How Is Granite Extracted And Processed?

Granite countertops have grown increasingly popular over the years due to their durability, bacteria resistance and beauty. However, have you ever wondered how is granite extracted and processed or even questioned what exactly granite is? Granite is an extremely hard and durable rock formed when magma is cooled underground. It is an igneous rock, created as plutonic rock when the magma cools. In the ground, granite is granular and crystalline.

Granite’s Formation

Inside the Earth, below what is known as the mantle layer, is a layer of molten rock formed by radioactive elements that occur naturally as the ground breaks down and decays. The decaying material releases a significant amount of heat which melts the rocks around it.

Plates under the Earth move and the heat builds up pressure causing geological events that push the melted rocks toward the surface. The surface temperature is cooler than the magma so the molten rock is cooled as well. This forms igneous rocks, one of which is granite. Granite usually contains quartz and feldspar but has also been known to contain mica.

How Is Granite Extracted

Mining operations use different methods to extract granite which forms in large deposits, called slabs. The area where they are extracted is known as a quarry. Because granite needs to be extracted in large pieces, typical blasting methods are not possible. Instead, granite miners use high-capacity extractors, cranes, tamb rock machines and chemicals to remove the granite slabs. Teams dig around the slabs to break them free, work that is tedious and difficult.

Once they are released from the ground, they are pulled onto trucks capable of carrying the heavy stone. Slabs of granite can weigh more than 40 tons. The slabs are polished and transported to fabricators who cut them into the lengths most commonly used for residential and commercial construction. In some cases, granite may be processed on site at the quarry, depending on the mine company.

After granite is polished, fabricated and cut, it is transported to retail and commercial outlets for distribution.

If you are considering a bath or kitchen remodel and would like to learn more about granite, contact us today by phone or online to learn what options are available. Our knowledgeable customer service representatives can help you determine the best countertop for your needs and help you get the kitchen or bathroom you have always dreamed of having.

In The Epic Debate Of Granite vs Caesarstone, Who Wins?

In The Epic Debate Of Granite vs Caesarstone, Who Wins

If you are getting ready to remodel your kitchen, you’ve likely encountered the two schools of thought regarding whether granite or Caesarstone is a superior choice for your kitchen countertops. While granite floors and counters are beautiful and durable, lasting for thousands of years in some historic buildings, some homeowners and builders prefer Caesarstone instead.

There are pros and cons involved with each choice, and when it comes down to the time in which you will make your choice, the decision really will depend on you and your stylistic preferences.

Maintenance requirements of granite vs Caesarstone

Caesarstone is a type of engineered stone countertop that is made by combining 93 percent quartz particles with hard resins. The resins work to bind the stone particles together. The result is an extremely dense material, far more so than the more porous granite. This means that a kitchen that uses Caesarstone countertops will not require the application of sealants.

By contrast, granite will need to be sealed at least annually for the best protection. If you skip sealing it, you risk the integrity of your countertops. Granite that has not had its annual sealing may start absorbing liquids and potentially be stained over time as the sealant wears off.

Color and textural differences

Both granite and Caesarstone will enhance any type of kitchen. They are each available in numerous textures, patterns and colors. Quartz countertops have pigment that is added during the manufacturing process and can be colored throughout. Granite will come in its own natural colors and styles.

Granite lovers feel that having that natural look that granite provides is irreplaceable. Those who love Caesarstone instead tend to point to its uniformity as the deciding feature for them. No matter which type you choose, both are beautiful and within the same range of price.

Caesarstone and granite resist scratches, dents, gouges and heat, and both will last a lifetime if proper care is taken. Granite and quartz countertops both come from natural stone although Caesarstone has additional manufacturing steps. While they are both exceptionally hard, quartz slabs are slightly heavier and harder than granite slabs.

Granite is stunning and its natural look is hard to match. In most cases, however, granite is not uniform in its appearance. If you want a uniform color for your countertops, Caesarstone may be a better choice for you. If you instead prefer the unique and beautiful look granite can provide, you can’t go wrong by choosing it instead.

While some people will continue to debate about which is the better choice, designers agree that the best option is the one that meets the individual’s needs and stylistic preferences. In order to determine which works better for you, you’ll want to look at slabs of both.

How To Choose The Perfect Grout For Your Tile

How To Choose The Perfect Grout For Your Tile

When you are planning to install tile in your remodeling project, the grout you choose for your tiles is a very important consideration. Grout not only keeps your tiles in place and together, it also is an important part of your chosen design. If you choose the right grout for your renovation project, you will likelier be pleased with the end result.

When you choose grout, you’ll find that it now comes in a broad variety of hues. You can choose to blend it to match with your tiles or contrast with them. You can also use accent colors for mosaic-type design patterns. The grout you choose can complement your chosen tiles or make them stand out. It can also provide a slight change in the look, making it classic or modern.

Grout That Blends

When you choose a grout that blends in with the tile’s base color, this will help your tile’s detail stand out, making your tile the focal point. For instance, a grout that matches the base color of marble will help the delicate veins to shine. Blending grout in this manner also helps the patterns, color and other details stand out.

This is a great choice if the area in which you are installing tile is small. It helps to make the area look and feel larger. The pattern of installation will fade, and the tile’s beauty will instead be what stands out.

When you are using natural stone tiles, such as marble or granite, your default grout selection may be matching your tile’s base color. This gives a classic appearance that will help people focus on the natural variations in color.

When you instead choose a grout that matches the veins of marble tiles, you’ll get an entirely different look. This will make the installation pattern stand out and give you a retro feel in your kitchen, bathroom or alternate installation area.

Grout That Contrasts

When you go with contrasting grout, the installation pattern itself will be the focal point. For example, pairing a light-colored grout with dark granite tiles can help pull the room together by picking out the color variations of backsplashes and kitchen countertops.

More modern designs might use gray grout together with white subway tiles. This is a current trend. It changes the look of the room completely. Whether your grout is lighter than your tile or darker, contrasting grout makes the pattern stand out. You’ll want to think about different offset installation patterns to make the room have a greater degree of visual interest. In addition to using this idea indoors, it can also work for outdoor designs as well.

You’ll also want to be careful that you select the right grout for your tile installation project. While sanded grouts are cheaper, they can scratch tiles such as marble but are safe for porcelain. Non-sanded grouts are more expensive. You should work with the person installing your tiles to select the most appropriate grout type for your project and your tile.

Tips For Choosing Your Grout

1. Take a piece of plywood and install some tile on its surface, using different grout colors. Give it time to cure, and then take the plywood and put it in the room. This will let you see how your light affects the grout colors. It can differ with natural, LED, fluorescent and incandescent lighting. Understand that grout may take days or weeks to cure. You need to make certain you have given it adequate time to do so before making your choice.

2. If you use light-colored or white grout, make certain you seal it. This will help protect the color of your grout and prevent mold and mildew build-up on it.

3. Dark grout help to hide dirt and stains, but sunlight may make their color fade.

4. It is a good idea to keep some unmixed grout from your project in case you need to repair it in the future.

When you are preparing to design your project, you can trust the professionals at Flemington Granite to help you select your natural stone or engineered stone tiles and grout. We also help you with your design and planning needs. Give us a call today to schedule your appointment.

Choosing the Perfect Stone Tiles For Your Home

Choosing the Perfect Stone Tiles For Your Home

When you are trying to pick the flooring type to install for your home renovation, choosing natural stone can add elegance, durability and beauty. You’ll want to make certain to choose the stone that will fit best with your home.

Part of this is understanding what types are available as well as the characteristics and features of each.

There are several different natural stone options that can work well in different rooms of your house.

Travertine Tiles

Travertine tiles are formed out of calcite, and they are a bit softer than limestone. These tiles come in several different earthen hues and come in either polished or porous forms. Because of the porous nature, these tiles do require professional sealing to prevent them from being stained, especially if you have children or pets.

Marble Tiles

A classic choice dating back thousands of years, marble tiles are truly one-of-a-kind. Marble comes in several different shades and is characterized by its veins. The veining of marble occurs while the stone is being formed, making each stone completely unique. Unfortunately, marble is highly porous, making it susceptible to staining and scratching.

Granite Tiles

Granite is a terrific choice for flooring, both when you use it inside as well as outside. Highly lustrous, granite can make your floor shine with a high polish. It is one of the strongest stones available and is just below diamond in hardness. It repels water and can be trusted to stand the test of time. It is a cold stone, so you’ll want to keep that in mind if you are considering it for your flooring.

Slate Tiles

Formed out of metamorphic rock, slate has a very rustic appearance. It is great for providing traction and resistance to slipping. Slate tiles do come in a fairly limited range of darker hues, making that one of its downsides.

Limestone Tiles

Formed from calcitrate, limestone shows the natural striations when it is formed into tiles. This gives it a similar striated appearance to wood flooring. It comes in lighter colors and is very durable, but it does absorb water, making it a better choice for indoor renovations.


Yet another metamorphic stone, sandstone provides terrific traction and is very durable. It is a good choice for bathrooms, kitchens and hallways alike. One limitation is that it lacks much color choice.

With better familiarity with the available types of stone, here are some additional factors you should consider so you can choose the one that’s right for you and your home.

1. Expense

Installing stone flooring tiles requires the use of qualified professionals. Cutting these stones is much more complicated than cutting wood. Installing stone on your home’s subflooring also requires a lot of additional work. You’ll also need to think about other materials that you’ll need, such as grout, plaster or cement. Thinking about where in your home and how large the space is is important, as natural stone flooring is one of the more expensive choices.

2. Purpose

While stone blends beautifully into almost any room in your home, you’ll want to consider how the room is used. For example, slate may be a better option for bathrooms. Children’s bedrooms may not be the best place for most types of natural stone tiles since most are rather hard or prone to staining.

3. Lifestyle

You’ll want to think about the lifestyle you have when you are choosing stone flooring. Pets may not like them. They may also take a longer period of time for installation.

If you are wanting a terrific choice for flooring in your home, choosing stone tiles is definitely a good option. By keeping your tastes and needs in mind, you are sure to find the stone tile that will best fit you and the room in which it will be installed. To learn more about the different options, give the professionals at Flemington Granite a call today. You can also complete your information in our provided contact form, and we will get back to you shortly.

Are Your Kitchen Countertops Ready For 2016?

Are Your Kitchen Countertops Ready For 2016?

One of the busiest room in your house is your kitchen. There, you may enjoy getting together with friends and family while you share conversation and meals. For such a focal room, making it look beautiful and inviting is important.

If your kitchen needs remodeling, it is important for you to think about the best type of countertops for the look, functionality and durability that you want.

Natural Stone Countertops

There is a reason that natural stone countertops are a lasting favorite for kitchens. Beautiful and durable, natural stone countertops can last for many years, bringing beauty to your home in a timeless fashion. Among the most common natural stone choices are marble, granite, soapstone and slate.

1. Marble

With classic elegance, marble brings a beautiful look to your kitchen. Marble is very porous, however, and may be better to choose for your bathroom project.

2. Granite

Extremely durable, granite can stand up to exposures of acid and high temperatures. When it is professionally sealed, it will also resist stains.

3. Soapstone and Slate

Soapstone and slate are both classic and timeless, but they offer fewer color and design choices. Very durable, soapstone will require very little maintenance. You will need to keep it clean so that it continues to look great, however.

Durable Engineered Stone Countertops

Quartz counters are manufactured and engineered out of 93 percent ground quartz combined with pigment and resin to give you a very durable and beautiful surface. They have become increasingly popular, and will continue to be so for 2016 and beyond.

The reason that people like quartz countertops so much is because they are very durable and beautiful. These counters are resistant to high temperatures, stains and scratches, and they are virtually maintenance-free.

1. Silestone

Silestone countertops are non-porous and stain-resistant, and they are extremely durable. Silestone also has a variety of different styles and colors from which to choose.

2. Caesarstone

Caesarstone comes in fewer colors than Silestone. Caestarstone does offer more edge options, however.

3. Cambria

Cambria countertops are highly durable and come in a wide array of colors and styles. They rival granite in beauty and are almost completely maintenance-free.

4. PentalQuartz

Non-porous, PentalQuartz countertops are very easily cleaned using a soft kitchen cloth. They are offered in different designs and textures and will not need professional sealing.

Classic Butcher Block and Wood

A photo posted by Ginger Hussey (@gingerhussey) on

Some homeowners and designers prefer wood for coutertops. Wood brings a sense of home into the kitchen and is good for chopping and cutting. Wood countertops are not as longlasting or as durable as ones made from stone, but they may look good and provide the type of feel some people want.

Upscale Laminate

Laminate countertops are less expensive than other types, but they do not withstand heat and are much less durable. Still, some people are choosing upscale laminate as the material for their counters.


Another kitchen trend is using concrete as the material for countertops. Concrete is highly porous and must be re-sealed. They may also crack over time, making stone or quartz countertops a better option.

Stainless Steel

Some people are using stainless steel as their chosen countertop material. They will withstand heat, but they may end up going out of style and making a kitchen dated when they are no longer popular.

Tile and Backsplashes

People often choose to complement their chosen countertops with tiled walls or backsplahses. Tile is versatile and can come in different colors. People can also choose different tiling patterns for a creative look. People who choose to use tile for their backsplahes will want to regularly clean the grout so it doesn’t mildew or stain.

Current Design and Style Trends

Current trends include thin, textured countertops, open floor plans and two sinks installed in different areas to create two work areas. Kitchen floorplans that are a mixture of modern and traditional design are popular, and most include kitchen islands. Current color choices include neutrals such as white, black and gray often chosen. People may add splashes of color with their backsplashes or other items.

Contact Flemington Granite For Your Project

When you are ready to start your renovation project, the professional design team at Flemington Granite is ready to help you. You can stop by our showroom to see the variety of different countertop and design options we offer. You can also call us or fill in your contact information to schedule your consultation.

Solutions for Countertop Etching, Scratches, Chips & Cracks Revealed!

Solutions for Countertop Etching, Scratches, Chips & Cracks Revealed!

If your countertop has taken on some wear and tear, there might be a good solution to improve the appearance and durability without going through the trouble of replacement. Minor issues like removing stains and making other damage less noticeable is easy with the right information, but keep in mind that hiring a professional is always a good solution.

If the issues are simple enough, you might feel confident handling the job yourself with a do-it-yourself remedy.

Stains and Etching

Staining to marble or any natural stone can happen, but is rarely permanent. It’s not unusual for someone to confuse staining with more common etching. This usually occurs because the homeowner simply was never educated about the properties of marble, marble maintenance and protection or how to clean marble the right way. If you have dull spots or a glass ring appearance from exposure to acidic liquids or cleaners, you may have etching. The best solution for etch marks depends on the type of surface finish: polished, honed, etc.

There are products that remove etching on polished marble, but a honed surface has to be restored professionally. Sealed granite should have plenty of protection against stains, but any discoloration can be removed with mild dish detergent or a paste made from baking soda. Since soapstone and quartz are non-porous, the regular upkeep and maintenance should be very easy.

Chips, Pits, Scratches, and Cracks

Blemishes that are small and shallow are much easier to repair regardless of your countertop material. Marble paste is great for restoring the polished look if surface scratches are noticeable, but deep separations need to be filled by a marble repair professional.

Harder surfaces, like granite, are more susceptible to actual cracks than scratches because all natural stones can fracture from impact. If you have a broken edge or a deep pit, it might seem like the best thing to do is replace the entire countertop. It’s best to get a professional opinion to decide if a repair is possible depending on the size and severity of the damage.

A little chip or minor scratches in your countertop might not seem too bothersome to overlook. However, if you feel that the damage is severe and unsightly, you should give us a call at Flemington Granite. We are experienced with all types of countertop materials and want to help you with repairs if possible. If your surface damage is too severe to fix, we also have plenty of new countertop slabs available in the showroom.

What Is The Difference Between A Crack And A Fissure In Granite?

What Is The Difference Between A Crack And A Fissure In Granite?

The natural characteristics contained in a slab of granite are the features that make it look unique. Fissures might appear similar to a crack in the countertop, but they’re not the same at all. Although you might be able to feel a slightly different texture in the area of the fissure, it isn’t a sign of weakness like a real physical separation.

Fissures will not impair or affect the integrity of the stone. A fissure is a naturally occurring characteristic of stone, which can be weak points and can crack open, but usually do not. An actual crack is real a problem because it represents a physical separation of the stone.

What Causes Fissures

A crack is created by accident, usually as a granite slab is being polished or transported to a different location. Fissures are not caused by these same conditions because they take on these characteristics as they are developing underground.

As they are removed, the manufacturing companies or granite miners will look for any fissures so that they can be filled before making it available for sale. If they are overlooked, these visible fissures can eventually turn into separation in the granite.

Filling a Granite Crack

One of the biggest problems with cracks in granite is that it ruins the protective seal against bacteria. If a fissure becomes a crack, the empty area can fill with all types of loose debris and make it easier for bacteria to thrive.

Separations in the stone also make it less strong, and the cracks can become larger or wider over time. A very long fissure that could become a real crack should be filled and sealed professionally so that the small blemishes do not grow severe enough to ruin your investment.

You should never try to handle any granite repairs on your own, especially if you just want to ensure that a simple fissure does not turn into a crack. It’s too easy to mess up the entire slab if you accidentally apply the wrong product or use the wrong filling technique. Our professionals offer to fill any gaps in your granite and then finish the job with a protective coating for the highest level of protection. Set up a visit by calling 908.782.7773 to arranging a time that we can inspect and repair your granite countertop.

The History of Gravestones and Memorials

The History of Gravestones and Memorials

Memorializing the our loved ones with a unique gravestone is very common. Some prefer a conservative slab that simply displays the name, birth, and death date of the individual. Others go above and beyond with large, ornate carvings featuring a full bible verse.

Believe it or not, the modern markers that we see in our cemeteries today have evolved over centuries from very rugged origins.

Early Grave Markers

Dating back somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 B.C., the earliest grave markers were actual monuments. It marked the boundaries of the grave and help to keep the occupant securely beneath the ground.

These dolmens or chamber tombs were formed using large stones or a pile of stones. Wood was also used to cover some burial plots, but it was not as durable as stone. Rather than placing the deceased in cemeteries, the earliest burial plots were created near the home of the family.

From Gravestone to Headstone

The original gravestones used their weight to protect the body from rising to the surface. They would feature surface markings to indicate details regarding the name, age, and death date of the deceased.

Although the terms “headstone” and “gravestone” are often used interchangeably, the size of the grave covering has decreased over time. Rather than cover the entire plot with the weight of wood or stone, a smaller headstone would be placed as a grave marker.

Origin Stories

There is evidence suggesting that the Celtic and Roman cultures were among the earliest to memorialize the deceased with special headstones. The Romans provided a name and title of the deceased with stories of any battles they fought.

In Scotland, the old headstones would typically describe the profession practiced by the deceased person.

In Celtic culture, it was more normal to keep the headstone very simple until Christianity was introduced to Ireland. The Celtic cross shaped headstones started to gain a lot of popularity from this point forward.

Trend of headstone in the United States

Stones or wood piled on the grave site was considered a traditional headstone in the US. Once technology and transportation made other options available around 1650, headstones were usually created with thin Metamorphosis Shale.

Brownstone and sandstone were other popular headstone materials, but there was a need for longer-lasting solutions.

Marble was typically used for royalty and high-class individuals, especially in the color white. Limestone was also used, but the problem with these materials is the gradual wear that would make inscriptions illegible.

Granite emerged as the most popular material in the United States starting from 1860 until our current date. It’s the strongest headstone material available, and it does not deteriorate from weather exposure. There are some cemeteries that do not allow the installation of grave markers if they are not made of granite.