Surfaces

Granite

Granite is a natural stone, formed many millions of years ago when molten rock from the earth's core was pushed towards the surface. Granite's extreme hardness, which approaches that of diamonds, makes it an uncommonly durable surface. Granite contains natural fissures which are visible separations along inter-crystalline boundaries. They may start and stop within the piece of stone or extend through an edge. A fissure differs from a crack in that it is a naturally occurring feature of the stone. Fissures are natural in granite and are not a flaw. Pitting of the surface is also a natural characteristic of granite. This occurs when there are softer minerals contained within the stone that flake at the surface. Pits do not make the granite less durable or inferior. Granite is a porous material that must be sealed on a regular basis. The natural beauty of granite endures forever!

Quartz

Although some quartz countertops are actually made of quarried slabs of the natural stone, the new engineered material is actually created through a manufacturing process that mixes approximately 93 percent ground natural quartz with 7 percent polymer resins. The result is a super-hard, low-maintenance, natural stone-look countertop available in a dazzling array of colors. Quartz countertops are non-porous and do not need to be sealed. Quartz counter tops may be affected by high heat. It is recommended that you protect your top by using trivets or hot pads.

Soapstone

Soapstone is a metamorphic rock composed mainly of talc, magnesium, silicate and chlorite. Soapstone is a darker stone and varies in color from gray to green to blue. Soapstone is non-porous and does not need to be sealed. It will not absorb food or liquid and is acid resistant. It can be cleaned with soap and water. Soapstone is a softer material that may accumulate some nicks, scratches, and dents. It may also soften at the edges. Scratches can be repaired with mineral oil or by sanding. Soapstone can be darkened by using mineral oil or wax. Mineral oil must be applied once a week for several weeks and then every three months after that to maintain darkening. Wax is applied once a week for three weeks and then every year after that.

Travertine

Travertine is a form of limestone and is available in many earthy colors. Travertine is porous and can contain many holes of various sizes. Larger holes may be filled with a matching travertine filler. Travertine is highly reactive to acids contained in orange juice, lime juice and soft drinks. These acids will etch the material. Travertine needs to be sealed often to prevent staining. Travertine is a timeless stone that will give you a spa-like feel for many years.

Marble

 

Marble is an igneous stone that occurs naturally by the metamorphoses of limestone. Marble is made up of many different compounds but mainly consists of calcium carbonate, which is why it is normally light and creamy in color. Marble has been used over the centuries for many things, including statues, fireplace surrounds, hearths and tile. Marble is very soft, stains easily, and is affected by acid. Frequent sealing can help in this area, but stains and scratches in marble are to be expected. Marble has a clean, bright, timeless look that will age along with your home.