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.

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.

How Thick Should Your Natural Stone Countertops Be?

How Thick Should Your Natural Stone Countertops Be

When people choose natural stone as their countertop material, they often wonder how to decide the appropriate thickness of the slabs for their projects. At Flemington Granite, all of our stones come in slabs that are 3 centimeters thick. We also have slabs that are 2 centimeters thick available as well. Slabs of both thicknesses have their own advantages, and if properly cared for, either will do well. You’ll want to understand how the two thicknesses will work so that you can select the one that is best for you.

Because a stone slab that is 3 centimeters thick is stronger, we recommend that you choose it over one that is 2 centimeters thick, especially if the area in which you want to install it is one that receives a lot of traffic. Softer stones such as marble or limestone should be chosen in thicker slabs to increase the durability of your finished countertops in bathrooms. Granite countertops that are 3 centimeters thick can last for your lifetime if you make certain to maintain them properly.

Some sellers and installers of natural stone will offer 2-centimeter slabs that have mitered edges in order to give the illusion that the slab is thicker than it is. Mitered edges need to have multiple seams, limiting the variety of edge profile styles that are available. It is also much weaker than choosing a 3-centimeter thickness. Although 2-centimeter stone slabs may initially cost less, they may end up costing more in the long run because of needed repairs in the future.

Many companies also offer laminate countertops. These are made of extremely thin layers of stone attached to pieces of wood. This is obviously significantly weaker and less durable than solid natural stone slabs and limits your stylistic choices as well. With laminate countertops, you will not be able to have curved edges. This means that all of your countertop corners will need to be pointed, making them unsightly and potentially dangerous. Laminate countertops are also limited in the color options you would have, and the wood can warp as time passes.

2-centimeter slabs are great choices for decorative purposes on coffee tables, fireplace surrounds, frames and shelves. At that thickness, the stone will give you the aesthetic beauty that you want at a cheaper price and at a lesser weight. This makes the thinner slabs a good choice if you are someone who would like to improve your decor at a less expensive price.

Here are the types of projects for which a 3-centimeter slab would be the better choice:

● Countertops in your kitchen
● Bathroom counters and vanities
● Kitchen tables
● Desktops
● Stations for grilling

Here are the types of projects for which a 2-centimeter slab would be perfect:

● Cutting boards
● Coffee tables
● Picture frames
● Fireplace surrounds
● Shower seats

At Flemington Granite, we can also offer you a custom 6-centimeter thick granite or marble countertop. This can be used to complete any project you desire. You’ll want to check with our professionals to make certain that it will work for both you and your budget, however. No matter what the thickness of natural stone slabs you choose, you will receive a beautiful and classic result. These countertops can last for generations. We invite you to contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about the variety of natural stone choices we can offer for your renovation project.

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.

Why Granite is Preferred for Cemetery Monuments

Why Granite is Preferred for Cemetery Monuments


Any visit to a cemetery should provide a clear indication that granite is the preferred stone for monuments. The elemental composition of this durable product is primarily feldspar and quartz, but only a small percentage is considered good enough to use in the creation of memorials.

This is why you never see color imperfections, visible flaws, or fractures in slabs used in cemeteries. Other stones that are used to create headstones are inferior in their ability to remain intact and legible after the first few years of weather exposure.

Granite Is Dense and Durable

People tend to group marble and granite together as though they are the same, but granite is considerably stronger. Diamonds are a great material to use as a comparison tool because it’s one of the hardest, with a rating of 10 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness.

A natural slab of granite is going to range between 6 and 7, and the man-made products are considered a 5. The actual task of cutting, polishing, and carving granite is more difficult because the molecules are packed tighter than marble, but it’s worth the investment in a headstone that will last.

Marble is much weaker than both man-made and natural granite because it falls into a rating of 3.

Why Is There Marble In Cemeteries?

Older cemeteries that feature monuments dating back to the mid 1800’s contain a lot of marble. It was the most popular choice because the tools used in that time period could easily work with marble.

Unfortunately, marble is a calcite structure that is going to erode when exposed to salt and other pollutants in the air. This is why the older memorials are barely legible and highly deteriorated compared to granite monuments being exposed to the same weather conditions.

Better tools and techniques were gradually introduced after the 1920’s and this helped granite become the most preferred choice in modern headstones.

Cherish the memory of your loved one by selecting the very best piece of granite for their memorial. We have an exceptional selection of unique slabs to accommodate any size and color specifications that you request. Take a minute to complete the contact form so that we can begin discussing the granite options that we offer.

Before You Buy Granite Countertops, Think About This!

Before You Buy Granite Countertops, Think About This!


The same granite that was once exclusive to high-end homes is now a more affordable upgrade option available to all types of homeowners. There are a lot of different granite products on the market, and it’s common that the average person wouldn’t know what to look for when making their purchase.

You need to understand exactly how to find a quality product, and which questions to ask your fabricator regarding the manufacturing process and installation.

Is the Granite Fabricated Using a Machine or By Hand?

There are some products that turn out better when handled entirely by a machine, but this is not always true of granite. Each company has their preferred method of fabrication, including the option of hand-polishing after the machine.

Speak with the fabricator to find out more about their process, and consider the use of wax as a major red flag. If the company uses wax to improve the appearance of the edges, it’s going to wear off quickly.

Inquire About Seam Leveling

Multiple pieces of granite that are assembled for a countertop have to be pieced together carefully to avoid noticeable seams. A granite company might do this before the fabrication process for a more attractive edge. Anytime a fabricator uses a suction-automated machine during the installation, the seams are going to appear exceptionally level.

Ask If the Granite Company Performs Their Own Installations

Local suppliers are much more likely to handle the entire process on their own than a large warehouse chain. An out-of-towner or third-party company will be difficult to reach if you have an issue during or after the installation. If you want to have adequate support then you make it a point to work with a local company.

Accept Nothing Less Than 3-Centimeter Granite

There is a higher risk of breakage if you select a granite product that is only 2-centimeters. Many consider granite that is mined in Italy or Brazil will to offer the best quality, and you should consider the extra expense of working with a distributor a worthwhile investment.

Don’t rush into a long-term investment like granite without a thorough understanding of the exact product you are getting. We would be happy to teach you everything that you need to know if you reach out to our fabricators through the contact form.

What are the latest styles in commercial restrooms?

What are the latest styles in commercial restrooms?

There are people with actual phobias of public restrooms because they have a reputation of being unsanitary and ugly. Consider the ambiance of the bathroom in your business to recognize the need to complete some important updates. It should be easy to find solutions that will make employees and customers feel comfortable and safe. You may decide that a few small updates are sufficient, or it might require an entire remodel to achieve your ideal modern design.

Touch Free Fixtures

Think about how many restaurants you avoid simply because they have a disgusting restroom. No one wants to feel that they are being exposed to filth and bacteria that could potentially cause a serious illness. The usual culprits are contaminated toilet seats and floors, but your greatest risk of exposure is actually during the process of hand washing. A total of 19 different bacterial phyla were identified by University of Colorado scientists collecting samples from public restroom surfaces. It’s not even safe to touch the exterior of a soap dispenser because it’s being contaminated regularly throughout each day.

Commercial restrooms are implementing touch-free soap dispensers, flushing mechanisms, hand dryers, and faucets to help visitors avoid contact with germs. It’s also easier for facility owners to maintain cleanliness with these innovative features.

Sustainable Materials

Public restroom products are put to the test each day by enduring frequent use during business hours. Manufacturers are beginning to recognize the value of using sustainable materials to improve the overall lifespan of their products. Engineered stone used as countertop surfaces is created from recycled materials to ensure a more durable final product. In fact, most recycled and renewable materials are suitable for heavy usage in an environment that is often damp or humid. High Density Polyethylene plastic is another recycled product found in most modern commercial restrooms.

Luxurious Design

Visitors are more likely to visit an establishment that offers a sophisticated and updated restroom. Stainless steel, granite, and other stone products are becoming trendy because they offer exceptional bacteria resistance and cleanliness. It’s easy to sanitize natural stone flooring, especially if you compare it to the grimy reputation of traditional laminate. Granite countertops are sleek, non-porous, and have the ability to make every business feel like a high-end establishment.

Get in touch with our team of designers by completing the contact form to find out about our commercial restroom solutions and products that we offer.

Why Does Some Granite Cost More Than Other Granite?

Why Does Some Granite Cost More Than Other Granite?

Adding granite to your bathroom or kitchen remodel is an exceptional decision to increase the value and appeal of your living spaces. You may notice, however, that the price quotes for different pieces of natural granite can vary considerably. They may seem similar to the untrained eye, but there are a lot of factors that contribute to the price per square foot. Once you understand why there are variations, you can feel confident making a quality selection for your home that is also affordable.

    • • Grading – The grade that is given to granite is determined by the durability, hardness, and overall quality of the piece. You might also find that some of the larger slabs happen to be graded higher than a smaller piece.


    • • Country of Origin – One of the most obvious reasons that the country the slab comes from contributes to the cost is shipping. In addition, the expense of doing business in some countries is going to reflect in the price of the piece. For example, a piece that comes from Italy is going to cost less than one that comes from China, even though they may be of the exact same quality.


    • • Rarity – The less available a certain color or pattern is, the more it is going to cost to obtain. A common type that is easily found in several places in the country is not going to be as expensive as one only found in a certain area.


    • • Hardness – A slab of a hard granite carries a higher price because of the time and labor it takes to mine and fabricate the stone. It’s a great quality to look for in a countertop surface, but you are going to pay more as a result.


    • • Fragile – Homeowners do not shy away from the more delicate stones when they want genuine luxury. There is a high risk of accidental breakage in the production and transportation of the finished product. Some of the expense can be attributed to careful handling necessary when bringing a fragile granite to market.


If two different companies provide a different price on very similar pieces of granite, consider that their inventory is not the same. One may include installation, edging, sealing, and other work into the square foot estimate. Or they may base their products using different standards that would make one piece price at low-quality when it is sold as mid-level at another.

At Flemington Granite, we encourage you to visit our showroom to get a no-obligation quote on different slabs of granite that we carry. You will see for yourself that our products make a great addition to any home remodel project.

Kid Friendly Countertops

Kid Friendly Countertops

Families that want to install brand new countertops in the bathroom or kitchen have a lot to consider if there are children in the house. A simply art project or accidental juice spill can cause major surface damage if the material is unable to handle such exposure. Rather than strictly limit activities on a fragile surface, choose a countertop material that can withstand the normal wear and tear of your family.

Granite Countertops Perfect for Kids

Granite Countertops Perfect for KidsIt is tough to commit to an expensive countertop with kids in the house exposing them to potential damage. Teenagers tend to treat their bathroom counters with little regard as they expose them to the heat of hair styling tools, nail polish, cosmetics, and facial cleansers on a regular basis. With a proper sealing treatment, stains, heat, and household chemicals no longer pose a threat to granite surfaces. Parents can feel confident in their countertop investment knowing that dropping a heavy glass or spilling a cup of juice is not going to cause any real damage.

Marble Countertops the Imperfectly Perfect Solution

Marble Countertops the Imperfectly Perfect SolutionCarrara is on the lower expense side of marble, but it comes at the risk of staining and scratches. It’s not recommended for homes with small children because it is highly porous and can scratch easily. However, parents that do not mind a little added character could love the imperfections accumulated over years of owning. Proper sealing and polishing marble every couple of years is a great way to prevent stains in the soft, porous surface as much as possible. Keep in mind that etching is almost unavoidable with this type of countertop and it is smart to use a cutting board anytime food is prepared.

Engineered Stone the Child Proof Option

Engineered Stone the Child Proof OptionPerhaps the best choice in countertop surfaces in homes with children is engineered stone. This material is nonporous and so durable that scratches and chips from heavy wear is a rare occurrence. Various colors and textures can mimic the appearance of other countertops with the advantage of avoiding vulnerability in daily use. Maintenance is as simple as wiping down with a mild soap and warm water, and it does not have to be resealed at any point after the installation.

Feel free to give us a call if you would like to compare the advantages and prices of our kid-friendly countertop options. We look forward to finding a solution that matches the demands of your home decor, budget, and lifestyle.

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Granite vs Marble Countertops

Granite vs Marble Countertops

The similarity between marble and granite is undeniable, which can make it a difficult decision for a homeowner in the market for new countertops. Marble is more commonly used in bathrooms than kitchens simply because it is less durable than granite. On the other hand, there is so much more to consider than the durability alone, especially for people that may find other factors more important. Compare all of the differences and similarities to help make an educated decision about your countertop surface.


Granite is so popular because it has a natural look that looks great in traditional and modern style homes. A high-end home can benefit from the elegance and luxury of sleek marble. People that appreciate the veining of marble may also look to the appeal of a wide array of patterns and colors available in granite. Determining which stone is more attractive in appearance is truly up to personal taste of the buyer.


Both options are notably porous, especially without the protection of a sealant preventing stains from seeping in. Marble is a bit softer and more susceptible to accumulating damage and stains, especially if exposed to heat or acidic substances. Granite is more durable and does not dull over time, especially with the use of polish and sealant as maintenance. Marble is going to gradually dull over time, even with the use of maintenance products, and the process is irreversible.


Although marble has a unique look, it is usually not suitable for use in high traffic areas like a kitchen. In this type of area, the homeowner must be able to appreciate gradual appearance changes or willing to perform constant maintenance. It is typically used as a bathroom floor, vanity, shower walls, or a tub deck because this area is easier to maintain with only light use. Granite is more versatile because it is durable enough to handle high traffic with a floor or kitchen countertop application.


Sealants are necessary, whether using granite or marble, especially if the stone is lighter in color. Spills should always be cleaned immediately to prevent stains and etching on the surfaces as much as possible. It is recommended to have granite resealed every 2 years, but marble typically needs resealing every 6 months.

Stain Removal

Deep damage may cause a permanent and irreversible change to the surface of either stone countertop. Marble is almost completely stain-resistant if it has been properly coated with sealing polish. Etching that causes visible corrosion can be repaired with some products, but it is a very involving process. Granite is non-absorbent and resistant to etching so most stains can be easily removed with a surface cleaner.

We are happy to help you compare the differences of our stone countertops so that you feel confident making a long-term decision that suits your home. Give us a call today, stop by our showroom, or fill out the contact form.

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The Truth about Granite and Radon

Chavez kitchen

Radon is a chemical gas that is found in soil, rocks, the sun’s rays, the water we drink, and the air we breathe. It’s pretty much all around us all the time, threatening our bodies with harmful levels of exposure. The biggest contributor to indoor radon comes naturally from the soil beneath and surrounding homes. It raises concerns when considering the origin of granite because it seems that emissions and direct contact would be an obvious hazard. With a little education, you’ll feel at ease understanding the truth about household granite and the safety of your loved ones.

Where Does Radon Come From?

The undetectable, radioactive gas is naturally present throughout our environment and in most homes to some degree. Unfortunately, people that do not understand the risk typically fail to have adequate indoor air quality testing that would alert of dangerous levels. It’s emitted from the soil layer and is believed to be present in natural stones, such as granite. When it’s outside in the environment, exposure is so low that it doesn’t cause any harm. In fact, the Marble Institute of America states “There are many sources of radiation in a typical home. Common items such as concrete blocks, televisions, smoke detectors — and even Brazil nuts, bananas and potatoes release measureable levels of radiation. The fact is, radiation and radon levels from other sources in the home are far more significant than what may be measured from a granite countertops. Consumer and industry safety are paramount issues for the stone industry, and numerous studies have been conducted to verify the safety of granite in the home.”

Is my Granite Countertop Safe?

Respected scientists conducted several conclusive tests on household granite countertops to determine the presence of radon. The absolute highest sample proved to have acceptable radon levels as specified by EPA guidelines. It is safe to allow your family to use the granite countertops for cooking and enjoying meals the same as any other sanitary surface. If a home does contain a considerable level of radon, it is primarily caused emission from ground soil. If there are concerns with indoor air quality, it is the best solution to have radon testing done, and then complete any necessary home improvements.

Radiation in Granite is not Dangerous

Installing natural stone inside the home does not bring in a considerable amount of radioactive material, and there is no reason to feel concern over using your existing countertops for any reason. Dangerous elements do not transfer to foods prepared on the surface, and your family is not at risk from simply touching it. The EPA states “Since granite is generally not very porous, less radon is likely to escape from it than from a more porous stone such as sandstone. It’s important to know that radon originating in the soil beneath homes is a more common problem and a far larger public health risk than radon from granite building materials. Also, any radon from granite countertops in kitchens or bathrooms is likely to be diluted in the typical home since those rooms are usually well ventilated.”

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