We know that there is a lot to process when it comes to choosing the perfect supplier and installer for your stone counters. To help you along the way, we have put together this quick reference guide filled with FAQs, helpful videos, advice and tips to help you along the way. And as always, if you have any questions please give us a call at 518.584.2800.
A. “First Quality!” There are different grades of stone in the market today. While they appear similar, there are color, structure, and quality differences that dictate how the stone is graded at the quarry. At Granite & Marble Works, you will only get the highest quality stone… “First Choice” or “First Quality.”
A. Yes. We do not subcontract or outsource any part of the process. You will deal directly with Granite & Marble Works employees every step of the way. We will provide complete one-on-one consultation, guidance, and design expertise. We aim to make the process fun and easy for our customers… with hassle-free sales, service, and support.
A. Yes. We carry sink and faucet options. Please note, we do not offer plumbing services.
A. Granite & Marble Works is a long-standing member of the Natural Stone Institute, the largest trade association in the world to represent the stone market, setting the standards for workmanship and ethical excellence. We are also the Capital District’s exclusive member of the Rockhead USA Group, a council comprised of the “Best in Class” stone fabricator executives all over the United States, raising the industry bar from better products, to better employees, to better processes. In addition, we attend industry conferences and international trade shows to stay up-to-date on the latest technologies, trends, challenges, and opportunities.
Marble In The Kitchen
Today’s designers and architects often suggest marble and other soft stones in a kitchen for aesthetic reasons. People have used marble in kitchens for centuries, and the patina that the stone develops from use is part of the beauty of the stone. This is a viable option provided you are aware of the intricacies of such an installation.
Marble and other soft stones can be porous and may stain easily. At Granite & Marble Works, we address this issue by applying a permanent sealer to the marble countertop upon installation. Sealing protects the stone from discoloration, but the surface of softer stones can be “etched” by acidic elements like citrus, vinegars, coffee, etc. If you use these products, you will likely experience etching on your marble. In addition, due to the heavy-duty use of kitchen counters, marble is a risky choice.
What If I Don’t Find What I Want From Your Inventory?
As an active importer of natural stone, we often have new material coming to us from one of our international suppliers. Please ask your salesperson if the stone you’re seeking is currently on order. We might also be able to get your desired material from one of our trusted domestic suppliers.
We are willing to fabricate stone from a local third-party and are happy to recommend a wholesaler. If you choose to visit a local wholesaler, please consult with us before giving them a non-refundable deposit. That way, we can verify that you are getting what you need to yield the best possible result. There are several things to consider when ordering material from a third-party:
- What’s the square footage requirement of my project?
- How many slabs do I need to minimize seaming and to keep the flow/grain of the stone going in one direction?
- Do I have long cabinet runs or a super-sized island that should be considered?
- What slab size would be best for my project?
- If I need multiple slabs, are the slabs sequentially numbered in the bundle? Are they book-matched?
- Are there any nuances with this type of stone that I should know? What is the care and maintenance of this material? How durable is it?
Most of these questions are best answered in a collaboration with the customer, supplier, and fabricator. Please let us assist you with this process.
Overhangs & Support
Stone countertops can often be extended beyond the cabinets to give an added functionality to kitchen spaces. There are several variables that must be understood to determine when additional support is needed for overhangs. The maximum overhang depends upon the hardness of the stone, the intended use of the space, and the overall cabinet design. Extended islands, higher level bar tops, and peninsulas are some of the areas of the kitchen that may have an extended overhang.
We will discuss overhangs and support requirements at your template appointment. If needed, Granite & Marble Works will provide additional support(s) as part of our installation service and at no additional charge. This is accomplished by securing steel bars or plates between the stone and your cabinets, creating a permanent support that is almost invisible and does not hit your knees.
Pits & Fissures
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder! Pits and fissures add to the charm and uniqueness of natural stone.
In today’s natural stone industry, many species of granite receive a resin treatment at the factory where the blocks of granite are cut into slabs and then polished. The treatment is used to fill micro-fissures, indentations and other minor characteristics that are found in many natural stones. The reason for the resin treatment is to address what most consumers consider as imperfections, but in reality are “birth marks.” The consuming public gravitates to perfection, defined as no “birth marks,” and so the marble and granite industry tries to fulfill the desire.
– Marble Institute of America
Pits: Pitting is normally due to the fact that granite is a natural product that has a crystalline structure, sometimes resulting in small spaces between the varying mineral crystals. Various steps are taken during the finishing process to reduce the visibility of these pits, but they cannot be totally avoided in all stone types. Pitting will NOT become worse with regular use or with the passage of time.
Fissures: These look like hair-line cracks in the stone, but are just surface features and will not widen or grow over time. Fissures are a natural result of the heating and cooling of the stone during its formation millions of years ago. They do NOT affect the structural integrity of the stone.
Polished: A polished finish leaves a clean, glossy, and almost slippery appearance – similar to a glossy photograph – the full color, depth, and crystal structure of the stone is visible. It is created when a stone surface reaches its most refined stage. It is buffed to the highest level possible, giving the stone a very elegant and rich look. This is the most common finish used for countertops.
Honed: This is a fancy term for a “matte” finish – similar to a matte photograph – little to no gloss, non-reflective, non-slippery, satin appearance. This finish is created by buffing the stone to slightly less than the highest level. The result is a smooth but dull appearance. A honed finish refers to any level that is less than polished and therefore encompasses many levels of dullness.
Leathered: “Leathering” is the process of texturing granite or marble to appear less glossy. This process amplifies the natural characteristics of granite or marble, resulting in a finish similar to suede leather… not only soft in appearance, but also soft to the touch. The texture will vary depending on the type and composition of the stone, an act of mother nature which gives each material a unique color, feel, and appearance.
Quartz vs Quartzite
Quartzite is a naturally occurring stone created when sandstone is exposed to extreme heat and pressure. This process creates unique stones with streaks and other imperfections that present a raw beauty.
Quartz is engineered using synthetic materials that mimic the appearance of quartzite though are made of quartz, resins, and pigments. The manufactured stone slabs allow control over the look even including the color. This gives a more refined and consistent look.