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Granite FAQ

What is granite?

Granite is a light-colored igneous rock with grains large enough to be visible with the unaided eye. It forms from the slow crystallization of magma below Earth’s surface. Granite is composed mainly of quartz and feldspar with minor amounts of micas, amphiboles and other minerals. This mineral composition usually gives granite a red, pink, gray or white color with dark mineral grains visible throughout the rock.

The Best-Known Igneous Rock

Granite is the best-known igneous rock. Many people recognize granite because it is the most common igneous rock found at Earth’s surface and because granite is used to make many objects that we encounter in daily life. These include counter tops, floor tiles, paving stone, curbing, stair treads, building veneer and cemetery monuments.

Why is granite good for kitchen counters?

Granite is highly resistant to scratching, cracking and staining, and is impervious to heat. Daily kitchen activities pose no problem and it can take a hot pot without the use of a trivet. This makes granite an ideal choice for countertops.

Can granite be damaged?

Like any solid surface, high impact blows can harm granite. Because of its crystalline structure, it can chip if subjected to sharp hard objects. But repair is possible – a chip can be filled with a granite dust and epoxy mixture.

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. (Normal use does not include standing on the counter tops!)

Can you scratch granite?

Granite is one of the hardest stones in the world. It is highly resistant to scratching in ordinary use. A knife blade will not scratch granite. It can only be scratched by another piece of granite or with specially sharpened tools designed to work with granite like tungsten and diamond blades.

Can I cut on my granite countertop?

Only if you want to ruin your good knives! Granite is harder than your knife blades and will dull them very quickly if you use the countertop as a cutting surface. Always cut and chop on a wooden or plastic cutting board.

Does granite stain?

In general, no. All stone, however, is porous to some extent, but granite has very little porosity. A few colors may absorb some moisture with prolonged contact compared to others. For example, a puddle of water left on the counter, for some colors, may show a dark spot when the water is wiped away. Usually, no evidence remains once the liquid is removed and the granite dries. A stone sealer is highly recommended for all granite after installation. Some stones are more porous than others, so it is important to use a penetrating sealer to prevent stains from oil, wine or other liquids from soaking into the surface.

Does granite burn?

No. You can’t burn granite with ordinary use. It is perfectly ok to set hot pots or pans directly from the stove or oven onto granite.

How do you take care of granite?

Warm soapy water will do the trick. Or use cleaners specifically formulated to help clean and protect stone surfaces.

I’ve noticed some granites have pits on the surface – will I have these on my kitchen counters?

Granite, which is crystalline in structure, always has tiny pits – spaces between the various mineral crystals. Granite sometimes has natural fissures as well, which may look like cracks, but are not structural defects and are a naturally occurring result of the immense heat and pressure that formed the granite eons ago. These characteristics are part of the natural beauty of stone and will not impair the function or durability of the material. A product of nature cannot be expected to look manmade.

Will my kitchen have seams?

Due to the limitation of slab size, seams on a granite countertop are necessary and sometimes unavoidable. On average, granite slabs are approx. 110″x66″, though in some colors, 120″ slabs are not unusual. Extremely large islands may either require a seam, or color selections will be limited to those slabs that have longer lengths or widths. A good place to incorporate seams is near sinks or cook tops. This will help to cover most of the seam, leaving a minimum amount in view. The visibility of seams will depend on the granularity, color and pattern of the stone. Our sales associates will help to explain the seam process in further detail to you.

Also for clarification, take a look at the kitchen displays we have throughout the showroom. Most contain seams.

Will my countertops overhang the cabinets?

Most counters overhang by 1 1/2″, which is standard. This may be changed for whatever reason due to cabinet configuration, cabinet installation and/or personal tastes.

Can granite cantilever?

You can cantilever granite up to 12″ 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.