When beginning the process of picking a stone for your home or business, it is important to factor in the different characteristics of the natural stones. Some natural stones are softer than others, which makes the stones more susceptible to etch. The process of etching takes place when there is a reaction between an acidic substance and the calcite and dolomite in a natural stone. There tends to be more calcite and dolomite in marble’s and quartzite’s, which makes those stones more susceptible to etching.
The pictures below show the testing we conducted using lemon juice, which is a commonly used acidic substance. The four samples shown here from left to right are Super White marble, White Carrera marble, Burlesque quartzite, and Taj Mahal quartzite. We sealed the left half with Miracle Sealants Company’s 511 Porous Plus sealer, and kept the right half unsealed.
After we sealed the left half of the samples, we placed a few drops of lemon juice on both sides. The following pictures show the results of leaving the lemon juice sit on the stone for 45 minutes. As you can see, there are etch marks on both sides of the samples. This shows that etching can occur even when the stone is sealed.
In the second picture below are the Super White marble and White Carrera marble with the etch marks on both the sealed and unsealed sides. Both of these stones are marble, which tends to be softer than granite’s and most quartzite’s.
In the third picture below are the Burlesque quartzite and the Taj Mahal quartzite. In the Burlesque, the etch marks can be clearly seen on both the sealed and unsealed sides of the sample. However, the Taj Mahal quartzite that does not have any etch marks. It is likely that the Taj Mahal is made up of different minerals than the Burlesque, which makes the stone harder than the others.
Over the years the way dishwashers are attached has changed. This is primarily due to the fact that many of the counters people are having installed are granite, quartz, or marble. When formica tops are installed the dishwashers can be attached directly to the formica tops, by being screwed in. With granite, quartz, and marble this cannot be done. Therefore many of the dishwasher companies are making their dishwashers side mountable. If you have a relatively new dishwasher it probably has to the ability to be attached to the side of your cabinet. If you dishwasher is older, or in the rare occasion not side-mountable then we can attached a metal strip under the surface and the clips can be attached to it.
The easiest way to determine if your dishwasher has the ability to be side mounted is to look at the installation manual. It should give you two different options, and one will explain how to attach it to the cabinet rather than the counter. Below is an example of how a dishwasher can be attached to the side of a cabinet.
Picking your countertop edge can be a little overwhelming for some people, especially when taking specific stones into account. When our customers are looking for edges we take three main factors into account.
- The most important factor to take into account is the type of stone. A quartz countertop (engineered countertop) can have any type of edge, expect for a rockface finish. A rockface edge is rough and have a chiseled look. Many quartz companies will not warranty the stone if this edge is used. As for the marbles and granites, different characteristics of the stone need to be taken into account. Some granites and marbles and more susceptible to chipping so an ogee edge, or an edge with a sharp point may not be recommended. If the granite or marble has a “sugar” charactertistic to it, a rockface will not be recommend as well. The potential for the countertop to break during fabrication is higher.
- The feel of the room/design. Some edges look more modern, where others have a classic look to them. A bevel edge can almost have a more modern look to it. Where the ogee or ogee stepback has a formal look, like a furniture piece.
- Lastly the budget is taken into account. In our company we have four standard edges. Built-up edges, ogees, and bullnoses are additional money due to the increased amount of labor.
So when picking your edge, make sure your fabricator or sales person helps with the process. Make sure they go over the characteristics of the stone and you understand what edges are best for the stone. They can also help you understand which may fit the room in your house.
It’s that time of year again! Everyone is coming over and surrounding your beautiful marble, granite, or quartz countertops. Food and different beverages will be passed around, but how safe is your countertop.
If you have a marble, you are probably aware of the different factors that can hurt your counter. Different foods and beverages can stain or etch your stone. In regards to the granite, it is still a natural product. Staining is not as much of problem as it is for marble. However, it is not recommend to let spilled red wine sit there for awhile. If you have overhang on your island or peninsula make sure no one is standing or sitting on it. There is not as much support at the overhangs and the countertops can break.
So what can you do to help prevent damage to your countertops?
- Check to see if your countertops need to be sealed. (QUARTZ DOES NOT NEED TO BE SEALED) It is a common misconception that granite needs to be sealed every couple months. We use high quality sealers that can last up to ten years, especially on granite. Take some water and put it on your counter. After a couple minutes if the water starts to bead then you do not need to reseal your granite or marble. If the water in being absorbed into the stone, then it needs to be sealed. If your counter needs to be sealed call your local granite fabricator. They have high quality sealers that are easy to apply.
- Make sure you have your guests use coasters, especially on the marble. The last thing you want are marks from everyone’s red wine or food.
- Do not allow anyone to sit or stand on the countertops.
- If you are using quartz make sure you are not putting hot pans directly on the surface, you run the risk of melting or damaging your counter tops.
- Sometime stains happen. If they do, call your fabricator as soon as possible. There are different products they can use to try and remove the stain.
For those of you who are unsure of whether or not marble is the right choice for your kitchen, read this article!
It describes the different ups and downs this homeowner experienced during a year of heavy use of her marble countertops.
Many of our customers that come in wanting to install marble countertops are unaware of the traits of the stone, and what sort of things can happen to it. Marble can be stained, etched, and chipped, but this does not necessarily take away from the beauty of the stone.
In fact, some people want marble for this reason alone. They are excited to watch the marble countertops truly become their own.
This article describes this exact process, and speaks of the challenges and benefits of having marble countertops after a year of daily use.