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.
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.
Built up ogee step back edge on countertop
Onyx is a stone that we just started to see a lot of people using in the last 7 years. We have been installing it in a lot of commercial places, as shown above. The pictures above are from two local restaurants in Buffalo New York, Sea Bar and Mike A’s Steak House. We have also been using it in public bars, but bartenders should be aware of proper cleaning procedures and maintenance.
Ever been interested in putting granite or some other type of stone outdoors? Perhaps for a BBQ, Fireplace, tables. Here are somethings to think about:
- Soap Stone is one of the better stones to use around a fire pit. Some stones cannot handle the heat from a fire pit very well, but soap stone can handle over 700 degrees.
- If interested in stone for your outdoor bar, you do not want it to be dark. Dark stones attract a lot of sunlight, thus getting hot. Keep you stone light.
- If you live in a place like Buffalo, NY then your stone is exposed to the elements of the outdoors. So make sure you maintain it.