Granite is a natural stone. It is very hard and durable, heat and scratch resistant as well as easy to maintain. Aside from the practical aspect, granite is very versatile in the design field. It comes in various colors and structural compositions. We stock more than 200 colors to choose from at our locations. You can view the full slab at International Stone Gallery! All stones are not exactly the same, each lot will have unique characteristics attributed to the specific granite. Because it is a natural stone, it has been blessed with a remarkable natural beauty that has captivated humans throughout the ages. Inherent in such natural products is a certain lack of predictability that sophisticated architects and designers celebrate. Consumers who are less acquainted with the material expect the stone ordered to be identical to the picture or sample they were shown. Although sample stones are intended to be representative of the quarry's product, the material quarried at one time may differ slightly in color and veining from the sample. Moreover, even a single marble or granite slab will possess a certain amount of color variation from one end to the other. Interior designers and architects have come to view this tendency of natural stone as an advantage. Slight irregularities can be pleasing, introducing an element of the natural into human-designed spaces, whether residential or commercial.
What is the difference between marble and granite?
Although both are stones and both are quarried from the earth, granite and marble (and marble relatives, limestone, onyx and travertine) are very different from each other. Granite is formed deep in the earth's mantle at extremely high temperatures, and is a very hard, resistant stone made of crystallized minerals. The marble family, limestone, travertine, marble, onyx, starts out as sediment, animal skeletons, shells, plant matter and silt at the bottom of bodies of water. After millions of years this solidifies (lithifies) into stone. Because its main component is calcium, it can be affected by acids such as vinegar and citrus beverages.
Should I use marble or granite for my kitchen countertops?
Although typical application of marble is for bathroom vanity tops, Jacuzzi tops and fireplaces, it is possible to use it in the kitchen. Marble is becoming more and more popular for kitchen applications. Marble is a softer material and will scratch easier than granite. It is also affected by acidic substances, such as vinegars, ketchups etc, but if you are diligent and clean up any spills immediately, marble is a very viable and beautiful option for a kitchen. Granite in turn is considered the second hardest stone, its polish is not subject to etching by household acids, or scratching by knives, pots and pans under normal use. It is also not affected by typical kitchen heat such as hot pans.
Is it necessary to seal stone?
Generally, no! There are however, certain types of granite have mineral surfaces that are porous resulting in the absorbtion of liquids, which could result in discoloring and staining. Although there are many commercial grade products available on the market which may bring the stone to its to its original luster, taking simple precautions and regular maintenance can save a lot of trouble and cost. All marble and granite tops are sealed prior to installion. The impregnating substance penetrates the stone clogging most of its pores making its quite impervious to alcohol, juices, soft drinks, cosmetics, cleaners, coffee, food and even oil. With time, depending on how heavily the tops are used, the sealer gets washed out. The clear indication of this happening would be the fact that the liquids are easily absorbed into the stone leaving temporary (if promptly wiped off) stains. Sealing granite is a very easy process comparable to spraying glass cleaner on glass and wiping it up. It's really that easy!
What is the best way to clean marble and other stones?
The old rule of thumb is never to use anything you wouldn't use on your hands. Never use powdered cleansers or abrasive pads to clean your stone. Even "soft scrub" type cleaners contain pumice, which is powdered volcanic stone, and might damage your stone countertops or floors. Never use any product which is acidic; this includes substances like ammonia or many common liquid cleaners such as Windex. You should always use sealers and cleaning products designed specifically for natural stone.