Granite counters expensive?
UNION STONE: Granite counters start at $25 per square foot. For most kitchens, this means $52 per running foot for a 25" counter. This is usually quite a bit less expensive than solid surfacing material such as Corian©. Of course, this is more expensive than Formica©.
Can I really do this myself?
UNION STONE:You don't need to be an expert, but you should have some good experience with general carpentry, renovation, etc. In most instances, the job can go smoothly, but sometimes you may find some difficulty. And an expert or some experience is necessary. (For instance, you may have to adjust a seam with a diamond saw if your walls aren't square and your template didn't reflect the angle). You can always hire an expert to do the template and installation - a countertop person, tile person or kitchen person can usually handle this assignment.
Does Granite stain?
UNION STONE: In general, no. All stone, however, is porous to some extent, but Granite has very little porosity. Most colors will never show any moisture. A few colors may show some moisture if exposed for a period of time. For example, a puddle of water left on the counter for 30 minutes for some colors, may show a dark spot when the water is wiped away. This spot will then dry up and no evidence will show. Only a few colors demonstrate this trait.
Our granite has a sealer applied at the fabricator, however some customers prefer to apply a stone sealer (available at tile and granite shops) after the granite is installed.
Will my granite look like the sample?
UNION STONE:Since granite is a natural product, with naturally occurring variations in color, tone, granularity, pattern, etc. These variations are expected and are the source of its natural beauty. The samples you see will not be the same when compared to the slabs you receive. A sample is piece from the slab, and since granite is a product of nature they ought to differ. Granites such as Absolute Black, Black Galaxy, and a few more are similar through out having no or very little variation. It is always wise to see the slab and not judge it by the sample.
Can you scratch granite?
UNION STONE: Granite is one of the hardest stones available. It cannot be scratched in ordinary use. A knife blade will not scratch it. It can only be scratched with specially sharpened tools designed to work with granite like tungsten and diamond tools.
Can it chip?
UNION STONE: In only cases of sever abuse with a hammer or impact tool. A chip can be filled with a granite dust and epoxy mixture
Will seams show?
Because granite is a natural material and is mined from the quarry in blocks usually no more than 10' long, you will end up with seams. Also, because granite is sold in rectangular pieces, you may want to use seams to reduce your costs, such as in a 'L' shaped corner. The visibility of seams will depend on the granularity, color and pattern. A small, uniform grain (such as Regal Grey) will not be as apparent as a larger varied grain (such as Deer Island). A dark color (Spring Green) will be less apparent than a light color (Pine Green). A dramatic pattern with swaths of color (Kinawa, Paradiso) will show more seams than a uniform pattern (Dakota Mahogany). Most customers have found that the beauty of natural granite outweighs the concern of seams.
How are seams made?
Seams are made where the granite joins with a smooth straight cut. During installation, a small bead of silicone is placed along the seam to seal it. Occasionally, in areas of stress or without sufficient support, the seams will be joined with epoxy, which must be supported temporarily until the epoxy cures.
How do you take care of Granite?
Occasionally clean with ordinary window cleaner.
Does granite stain or burn?
No. You can't burn it with ordinary use. Granite does not stain. The only caveat is that a few colors may absorb some moisture with prolonged contact. Usually, no evidence remains when the liquid is removed and the granite dries, but could be a problem with dark pigmented liquids. Although granite has a sealer applied at the fabricator, a stone sealer is recommended for all granite after installation.
How are sinks done?
Sinks are either drop-in mount or under mount. Sinks come in a variety of materials, including stainless steel, ceramic and enameled cast iron as well as some synthetics. A cutout needs to be made in the granite to accommodate the sink. The sink will have directions and a template for the cutout. If you are doing your own templates, the sink must be precisely located and the cutout indicated exactly. You must also send the sink template with your plastic templates. You must have a minimum of 3" and preferably 3 1/2" of granite between the sink and edge for structural integrity.
Do Granite counters overhang the cabinets?
Most counters overhang by 1" which is standard. This may be changed for whatever reason due to cabinet configuration or personal tastes.
Can granite cantilever?
You can cantilever granite up to 14" with sufficient support on the fixed end and with a large enough piece. Never cantilever unsupported granite where it might receive excessive stress like someone sitting on a counter or stepping on a counter to change a light bulb. You must have support underneath for these situations.
Can granite crack?
Not with ordinary use. Granite is most susceptible to cracks during shipping and installation. Normal use will not overstress this durable material.
Can I use the granite that remains from a cutout for a sink or cook-top?
There is usually no granite left over from a cutout. The granite for the cutouts is generally destroyed in the process of creating the cutout. Large diameter drills are used together with diagonal saw cuts to remove the cutout.