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Material FAQ

How heavy are stone worktops?

Very. Granite and quartz weighs around 80 kilograms per square metre. The Online Quote will give you an indication of the weight of your worktops.

What else can I use granite and quartz for?

Granite worktops aren’t restricted to kitchen work surfaces. Other uses include splashbacks, bathroom surfaces, shower panels, pub bar tops, laboratory benches, fire places, and water features. If you have an idea but aren’t sure whether it's practical feel free to contact us and discuss it.

Why is granite and quartz suitable for worktops?

Stone is attractive, practical and hygienic (it is easily sterilised) - an ideal choice for worktops. It is a tough material, has a durable surface, is heat resistant, keeps its colour and wipes clean easily.

Why are granite and quartz worktops becoming more popular?

Granite has been used as a worktop material for a long time but cost has meant it was restricted to the higher end of the market. Over time modern production and processing techniques together with market demand have made it practical and affordable for everyone. Quartz is the relative worktop newcomer but is perfect for the use of worktops owing to low maintenance and a large range of colour options.

Do granite and quartz worktops have imperfections?

Although we only use A grade slabs granite is a natural material so small imperfections can occur and it's impossible to guarantee that no marks occur during the installation process. These marks and imperfections can be treated to make them practically invisible. This is less of an issue with quartz worktops as these are man made and the end finish slabs are laboratory controlled.

Are marble, limestone & slate suitable for kitchen worktops?

These natural stone materials are often used in kitchens in Europe but less so in the UK. They can be more easily scratched and stained than granite and will not retain an almost perfect appearance as per granite or quartz after a few years of use. European tastes generally prefer this more worn appearance as it is felt this offers a more natural look.

Do I have to buy a whole slab?

This will be determined by the choice of colour that you make. The ranges contained within our most popular granite and quartz colours you will only be changed for what material is actually required. The balance of the materials offered you will pay for the entire slab as these colours do not sell as well and the remaining offcuts generally prove difficult to sell owing the irregular size and colour variation between a full slab that will be required for the next customers job.

What are the different properties of Granite and Marble?

Granite and Marble (and marble's related family including travertine, limestone and onyx) are quarried from the earth but this is where the similarity ends. Granite is formed at temperatures of a very great height in the earth's mantle at vast depths. It is made from minerals that have crystallized that has created a tough, hardwearing, durable stone that is perfect for everyday use. The marble family starts life as a sediment formed from plant matter, animal skeletons and silt at the foot of the earths body of all water expanses. Don’t go looking in the bottom of your water reservoirs just yet as this process takes literally millions of years before this sediment solidifies into stone. The main body of this family of stone is calcium. Calcium can be affected by acidic properties such as lemon, vinegar etc.

What makes the best kitchen worktops – Granite, Quartz or Marble?

The durability of Granite and Quartz make both equally suitable for the use of kitchen worktops. Both of these mediums are not affected by normal kitchen heat such as saucepans. In addition their polished finish generally will not be affected by sensible everyday use. Neither have any real issues in relation to porosity which greatly assists longevity in relation to a polished surface finish.

Quartz generally has greater resistance to staining as most quartz slab manufacturers state their material has a zero, or virtually zero level of absorbency The advantage quartz has over granite is that it is a man made product so the end finish is laboratory controlled to ensure colour consistency across slabs. This can be viewed in two ways; 1. Colour consistency will offer a more uniformed controlled appearance that is not subject to any variation or 2. The worktops singular colour or controlled colour makes the end completed finish of the project look sterile as the worktops contain no noticeable variation.

Granite offers virtually the same properties as granite but no quite the same zero level of absorbency as quartz. In the main this can be counteracted with a suitable sealant that will require topping up from time to time. The re-sealing process is one that the layman should not be in fear of. It is a very straightforward process with an average kitchen being completed in around 15 minutes. This process generally will only take place once or twice a year. The advantage granite has over quartz is the materials unique singular one off beauty. Colour and worktop variation are generally assured once you step away from the singular black colours.

In the main marble is more for bathroom worktops, bath surrounds, wall and shower cladding and fireplaces but it is possible to use this material within a kitchen environment. Marble is not recommended for the use in kitchens owing to the fact it is easier to scratch and acidic substances can cause surface staining meaning a polished marble finish could become blotchy where affected by various chemicals. In Europe this is not so much of an issue as these variations are considered to be an appeal of the material as a more worn finish is desired.

Can I use a knife directly onto my kitchen worktops?

If your choice of worktop is granite, this is okay. Even the sharpest of knives will cause no real problems for granite as this material is exceedingly tough. But your knives will probably not feel the same way. The density of the material can blunt your knives in a very short space of time. For this reason we would recommend the use of a chopping board. This doe not apply to other stones and as such we would not recommend cutting on them.

How thick are worktops?

Kitchen worktops are generally 30mm thick. Bathroom tops generally 20mm. If you look through the materials we have available you will note the thickness availability is listed below each option.

Do stone materials need to be sealed?

In the main mineral based surfaces are porous, meaning they absorb liquids. Depending upon the liquid in question this can lead to stains and discolouration. There are many products available on the market that will achieve bringing stone back to its original lustre but a basic common sense approach with preventative measures supported with regular maintenance of the worktops will dramatically prolong the ‘just installed’ appearance. All stone worktops we supply will be sealed before they leave the factory. These sealants are impregnators. The way these work is by clogging the pores of the stone not allowing other liquids to penetrate to potentially cause staining issues.

Impregnators are very effective as they render the material quite impervious to all manner of liquids including coffee, food stuffs, juices, alcohol. These barriers can even form a resistance against oils. Impregnators will not last forever but it is fairly easy to monitor when these have worn off. If the worktops become more absorbent with liquids being soaked into the surface it is time to undertake some preventative maintenance. This simply ongoing monitoring is a simple example of how you can prolong the polished finish of your worktops. Once point to note is that marble has a greater level of absorbency than granite.

What is the best way to clean natural stone surfaces?

We offer a three in one cleaning pack. The pack contains an impregnator, a weekly cleaner and a power cleaner. This handy three in one pack contains everything you will need for ongoing maintenance of your worktops. A proven old method of cleaning worktops is simply to use warm water mixed with washing up liquid. This method will not add back any body to the surface finish but will remove and tough residue from the surface. You will need to ensure that the surface is properly rinsed off after cleaning to ensure any soap scum build up is removed.

What is the maximum size of an unsupported overhang of stone worktop?

We would suggest a maximum of 350mm in the case of granite or quartz. This figure will decrease in the case of other stones. The overhang will be subject to stress from the unsupported weight so this should never be sat or stood upon.

Can stone be repaired?

If the surface has received a dink from the impact of an object this, in the main, can be repaired with a colour coordinated epoxy resin. For larger holes it may be necessary to mix the epoxy resin with ground up stone chips from the damaged areas of the worktops.

Can you apply different stone finishes to quartz?

No. Some of the range available already comes with finishes applied to them from the manufacturer. You will need to see if the preferred finish is available in your choice of colour.

How far does the worktop overhang the units underneath?

Worktops are generally 20mm beyond the finished installed doors. This generally makes the presumption that in kitchens the units are 560mm deep with a 20mm allowance for the doors making the worktops 600mm deep and bathroom units are 280mm deep with a 20mm allowance for doors making the worktops 320mm deep. The sides generally have an overhang of somewhere between 10 – 20mm which is determined upon templating. These figures are simply generalisations that you have the freedom to alter to suit your specific requirements.

Are joins between stone worktop pieces visible?

Owing to granite and quartz materials having a maximum length for a singular piece or around 3m it is quite common for worktop prices to be joined together. A large factor that will determine the visibility of such joints will be the choice of material. A more uniformed stone as per Absolute Black will partially mask the join whereas a Tropical Black will not. Darker colours do a better job of reducing this visibility but most people find the beauty of granite is a greater enhancement to their home than the mild concern of a join.

Will the worktop I choose look just like the colour of the picture on your website?

The stone derived picture option featured on our site should be simply used an indicators of what your worktops will look like. There are lots of factors that can alter a visual sample against the actual worktop such as the limitations of computers, monitor settings and resolutions, batch, colour and pattern variations etc. This is less of an issue with regards to quartz. Note that granite is a material produced by nature and nothing natural creates is identical. These variations in colour, tome and pattern should be expected and ultimately are the unique source of stone beauty.

Why do the prices of stone differ?

There are various factors that influence the price of each stone. The geographical location is a factor owing to transportation costs. Mining costs are an additional factor, quarries with awkward access or great depth increase machine and labour costs which influence costs. The rarity of the material also is a mitigating factor, popular stones with great availability will be cheaper than stones with limited quarrying that are scarce.

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