Natural stones are somewhat porous by nature, meaning that they have the propensity to absorb liquids which may lead to staining or discoloration if not properly sealed and maintained. With granite and quartzite, you almost have no risk of staining, but marble surfaces will need caution. To avoid anything at the highest level, before we install your granite or marble countertop, the last step we take at our premises is to install a liquid sealant that is absorbed into your countertop to provide a barrier against liquid absorption.
Depending on how heavily your countertops are used and which products are used to maintain them, this sealant can either be washed out or enhanced. Frequent use of common household cleaners will tend to wash out the sealant. If you notice that liquids are being easily absorbed into your countertop, wipe them off immediately and and apply a new coat of sealant. It is a very easy process which you can easily do it yourself at home. We will be happy to assist you on that if you have questions.
Under most conditions found in the kitchen, your countertops will be fine if you take a hot pan off the stove or a casserole out of the oven and place it on them. However, placing a very hot object directly on top of a cold surface may result in a condition referred to as thermal shock. There have been instances of countertops cracking when the conditions are just right. For this reason, we always recommend the usage of a trivet or thermal pad between the pot and countertop.
In short, yes! It is necessary to put seams in your countertops for a variety of reasons such as the layout of your project relative to the size of the slab, the access to the jobsite and the work area, the ability to physically carry the material due to its weight, and the necessity to minimize waste in the fabrication process in order to deliver the product to you at a reasonable price. The fabricator always reserves the right to determine the placement of the seams based on the above considerations. When we come out to make a template of your project, we will discuss seam placement with you. Also, in certain materials seams will be more visible than in other materials. Variations in color and pattern in certain granites and marbles will make seams appear more obvious than others.
Under normal household conditions this is not a concern. There have been instances of houses shifting and settling where countertops have cracked.
Most of our imported inventory of natural stone consists of 3 cm material. Whereas, most of the engineered stones and natural stone querries are able to offer various thicknesses of 1cm, 2cm and 3cm. These correspond roughly to 3/8″ and 1 1/4″. In the mid atlantic market 3cm material is the accepted standard.
Repairs can be made using a variety of techniques involving ground up chips, resin or polymer fillers, wet sanding with various grit polishers and bonding with two stage adhesives. In most cases you will be able to find the repaired area, however it will be a marked improvement over the original damage.
Granites differ in their texture but they all have similar properties such as their resistance to the invasive action of most substances found in the house. Unlike marble and limestone, granite and quartzite are the least affected by acids or alcohol. It shouldn’t be damaged from standing hot utensils on it or by sharp knives.
All stones, due to their granular construction, are porous to a greater or lesser extent and most granites fall into the latter category. Beetroot, wine and cooking oil, particularly when hot may cause a stain on your marble or granite (very low chance) work top, and you should always clean this up immediately with kitchen roll.
To reduce the ability of any natural stone to absorb liquids, we treat the surface with a proprietary sealer that penetrates the surface and fills the microscopic voids between the crystals. This process is first done in the factory at the completion of manufacture and again before installation.
Marble and Limestone are susceptible to the aggressive action of acids and alcohol. Care should be taken to remove spillages of fruit juice, particularly lemon, wine and vinegar, beetroot etc. E.g. The residue of red wine on the base of wineglasses will leave its mark. Nail varnish and any other solvent or oil based products will stain if not wiped up immediately.
Every project differs in some respect. Therefore, we quote individual jobs by a proposal. The following information will need to be provided in order to obtain a proposal: a drawing showing the dimensions of the project, the color of the material chosen, the edge profile chosen, the type and height of backsplash chosen, the number and types of cut-outs for sinks or other appliances and distance of the job site from our premises. Once we have the information, we will provide you with a quote within 48 hours. This free quote is an estimate only and is subject to change based on the actual measurements we take at the time of template.
Clean regularly with a mild detergent solution and/or clean water applied with a soft cloth or sponge. Rinse and towel dry after every use to prevent mineral deposits from building up on the surface of the sink. Deep clean once a week with an approved cleanser (be sure to rub in the direction of the finish lines) and a soft cloth or sponge rather than an occasional aggresive single cleaning. Cleaners should state approved or suitable for stainless steel.
Stainless steel sinks are made from nickel bearing stainless steel in various gauges; the lower the gauge number, the thicker the stainless steel. 22 gauge is bare minimum – builder quality. During the manufacturing process, stainless steel sinks are “stamped” into shape, stretching the material, and corners can be very thin. For non-commercial, every day use a minimum of 20 gauge is recommended, and preferably 18 gauge for best overall use and durability.
The quality of water can affect your sink’s appearance. If your water has high iron content, a brown surface stain can form on the sink giving the appearance of rust. Additionally, in areas with a high concentration of mineral, or with over-softened water, a white film may develop on the sink. Regular routine cleaning can usually prevent lime scale deposits from hard water. Do not allow excessive build up before treating. Soaking in a 25% vinegar solution can treat hard water spots. Periodically rub the sink with a synthetic scouring page. Then rinse and towel dry.
As with most metallic surfaces your stainless steel sink will get scratches. These are merely usage scratches and over time will blend in with the overall finish of your sink. However, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the appearance of scratches. Use a nylon pad with an iron free abrasive polishing compound. Follow in the direction of the original polish lines to blend out the scratch in a small area. Be cautious not to overdo the process, as a too aggressive procedure will result in a bright spot.
If you develop rust marks due to a presence of or contact with ferrous (iron containing) materials, swab with a sponge wetted with a dilute solution of (10-15%) nitric acid (HNO3) and follow with a routine cleaning. Avoid prolonged contact of ferrous materials (i.e. cast iron pans) with stainless steel.
Heavy salt concetration or foods containing high levels of salt should not be allowed to dry on the sink surface. Rinse your sink thoroughly after contact with these types of foods.
Today, chlorides are found in most soap, detergents, bleaches and cleansers; chlorides can be aggressive to stainless steel. However, chlorides are very water soluable. Therefore, thorough rinsing of your sink after each use to remove any chloride residue and a weekly scouring is all that is required to keep your sink looking bright and shiny. If chlorides are left on the sink too long they can cause surface pitting.
Your sink is designed to serve as many things, but should not be used as a cutting board or chopping block. This type of use will lead to deep scratches in the sink finish and will dull your knives.