FAQ

Granite Center VA Learning Center.

What is Granite?

Granite is a coarse grained, crystalline igneous rock primarily composed of Feldspar and Quartz. It forms from slowly cooling magma that is subjected to extreme pressures deep beneath the earth’s surface.

Why choose granite counter tops over synthetic materials?

Granite has been the countertop of choice for hundreds of years. For beauty strength, performance, and individual elegance, nothing compares to natural granite. Over the past decade, engineered stones have begun to capture some of the movement and color of natural stone. This is great news, for high impact, heavy traffic commercial applications where the enhanced durability of manmade materials, that are over engineered for household use are necessary. For most commercial and all household applications granite possesses all the strength and durability you will ever need. So, although manmade materials are beginning to capture some of the characteristics of natural stone, they can’t manufacture or copy the unique individual character of Natural Stone.
Architects, cabinetmakers, kitchen designers and contractors have used granite with confidence for as long as man has made home improvements. A sealed granite counter top is resistant to abrasions, stains and extreme heat. Additionally, the inherent qualities of granite — its color, patterns and shades — compliment any décor. Many advances in building materials have occurred over the past few hundred years. Granite has truly withstood the test of time.

Does granite need to be sealed to avoid staining?

Yes. It is our policy to seal every stone surface we install and we recommend the application of a sealer every six months to assure protection against any oils or water that may have sat on the surface of the stone for any length of time.

Will my kitchen counter top look exactly like my sample?

Probably not. Granite is a naturally occurring substance and just as no two people are exactly alike, no two samples of granite will be either. The composition of minerals and the deposit it was quarried from all play a part in the appearance of granite. At Granite Center VA, our customers select the exact Slab of stone from which we will fabricate their surface.

Is granite really scratch resistant?

Yes. But a little common sense goes a long way. Use a cutting board, don’t use abrasives like Comet or Soft Scrub. Even if you cut directly down upon it in the course of normal, use, you probably won’t mar the finish of your granite countertop. But, exercise a little good judgment and your counters will look fantastic for years to come.

Will granite chip, crack or ding?

Granite is not a manufactured substance. That said, it is very durable and forgiving when it comes to normal kitchen and bathroom use. The most vulnerable your stone will be from slab, to installation, is fabrication and transportation. Once the counter tops are installed, they will be strong, resilient and durable for decades. Because natural stone is not manufactured, there is no way to guarantee that stone will be impervious to blunt force damage. The Stone is strong but, don’t regularly bang pots and pans on it. Use a cutting board and don’t use your kitchen counters as a work bench with heavy tools. Even engineered stone warranties are voided if the counter tops have been subjected to excessive abuse. Granite will wear well under normal circumstances in your home. There are many stone options, they don’t all preform the same way. Please feel free to ask us when you’re here about various materials and their different characteristics.

Is it hard to care for a granite countertop?

Not at all. Some stones require a little more TLC then others but, most granites require very little maintenance. Just use a common non-abrasive commercial product, such as a glass cleaner, to wipe it down and keep its finish shining.

Are granite countertops competitively priced?

Yes, compared with Engineered Stone, Recycled Surfaces and manmade Quartz materials, many types of granite are less expensive. Granites range from Entry Level to High Exotic. So, some granite is in the same price range as the man-made solid surfaces that try to imitate the natural beauty of granite. Many granite’s are less expensive than their manmade counterparts.

What’s the difference between a drop-in sink and an undermount sink?

A drop-in sink sits on top of the cutout in your granite counter while an undermount sink sits beneath the polished cutout.

“High Movement” stone. What is it?

Sometimes called “grain in the stone,” “movement” are veins that swirl and change irregularly in granite due to the massive forces at work on it beneath the surface of the earth during the eons it took to form. “Movement” is also affected by trace amounts of other minerals such as hornblende, magnetite, hematite, pyrite, zircon, garnet and corundum. Many people find this flow of blending colors to be the most attractive and compelling quality about granite.

Will I know where my granite is from?

Not always, since granite is quarried all over the world, including Africa, Brazil, Egypt, India, Italy, Norway and Spain, to name a few. We try to know the origin of each material as it adds to the granites story. Alas, it’s not always known exactly where it was quarried. There are also some very lovely veins of granite quarried in the United States and Canada as well./blockquote>

Is the price affected by the origin of a particular granite?

Very little. Prices are more affected by the supply and demand placed upon the quarry. You’ll find that red and blue tones are a bit higher priced than other colors due to their lack of abundance. Occasionally, Geo Political issues can impact availability of some materials depending on regional stability.

What are fissure and pits ?

Fissures occur naturally in many stone types. The term fissure is used commercially in the stone industry to describe a visible separation along inter-crystalline boundaries. This separation may start and stop within the face of the stone or extend through and edge. A fissure differs from a crack in that it is a naturally occurring feature of the stone. All granites contain some degree of fissures, some contain more than others and some are more pronounced than others. Countertops are not be replaced due to the presence of fissures. Pitting of the countertop surface, particularly in granite, is a commonly seen characteristic of natural stone. Granites are made up of several different minerals, each mineral having different hardness. Granites contain quartz, feldspar, biotite, amphibole, ferrous titanium oxides and other mineral combinations. On the Mohs scale of hardness diamonds are the hardest mineral with a rating of 10. Quartz and feldspar have a hardness of 6.5 to 7 and are very durable. Biotites on the other hand are very soft (2.5) and can flake off easily. All true granites have biotite in their composition. Because biotite is relatively soft and flakey the first few layers can be removed while the slab is being processed and polished. The resulting pits do not make granite less durable or otherwise inferior, and do not in themselves qualify for a slab replacement. Pits are common in all granites and should be expected when dealing with natural stone.