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Below is a list of frequently asked questions that may help you maintain your stone products or decide on a product to best suit your needs.
General Stone Questions
Will my stone match the sample?
Stone is a natural product and as such it has variations in tone, colour, granularity and pattern. These variations are the source of natural stone’s appeal and beauty. Because of this, a sample may not exactly match a slab or finished product. The samples should give a general idea of the colour, finish and pattern of the stone you choose.
Can my stone be stained, burned or scratched?
For the most part stone is very durable and with proper care it will not stain. Under normal use it is very difficult to burn stone. Softer stones such as marble, limestone or soapstone can be scratched and therefore are not the first choice for countertops. Granite, on the other hand, is very hard and extremely difficult to scratch.
Can my stone chip or crack?
With the right force any stone can be chipped or cracked. Under normal use properly installed stone is very unlikely to chip or crack.
Can my stone be repaired if it gets damaged?
Yes. There are many techniques used to repair and restore natural stone. Stone’s natural variations, veining and random patterns make many of these repairs almost invisible.
Is it normal for my stone to have tiny cracks and pits?
All stones have veining and crystallizations that can appear to be cracks or pits but are actually a natural property of the stone. Stone forms over thousands if not millions of years. These slow processes lead to many variations in structure, colour and pattern. It is precisely these variations that make stone such an appealing material.
How do I remove stains from my stone?
If a stain does appear on your stone there are ways to remove it. The most important step is to identify the type of stain (oil, ink, organic, etc.). Once the type of stain has been determined then the appropriate cleaning product can be used. Please contact us for advice should you need it. Most stone products are sealed just before or just after installation. When properly sealed and cared for, natural stone will resist most stains.
Will seams show?
Stone is shipped to us in slab form. These slabs range in size, the longest being approximately 10 feet. When laying out each job we take great care to minimize the number of seams while trying to balance the economical use of the raw material. Different stones will show seams differently. Generally darker stones show seams less than lighter stones. Stones with small, intricate patterns show seams less than stones with larger, more obvious patterns or veining.
What is granite?
Granite is a very hard natural igneous rock formation of visibly crystalline texture formed essentially of quartz and orthoclase or microcline.
Where can I use granite?
Granite is a great product and can be used in many applications. Because of its density and natural hardness it is ideal for countertops, steps, hearths, wall cladding, backsplashes and vanities.
How do I care for my granite?
Granite is very easy to care for. It is sealed before installation and should be resealed periodically with a silicon-based stone sealer. More care should be taken around areas of high moisture. Granite can be cleaned with a mild detergent and water. Avoid abrasive cleaners or scrubbing pads.
What is marble?
Marble is a granular limestone or dolomite composed of calcium-magnesium carbonate that has been re-crystallized under the influence of heat, pressure, and aqueous solutions. Commercially, it includes all decorative calcium-rich rocks that can be polished, as well as certain serpentines.
Where can I use marble?
Marble is more porous than granite and therefore softer. It is not the first choice for kitchen countertops but is often used with good results. It is ideal for walls, fireplaces, bathrooms, vanities, tubs and shower stalls.
How do I care for my marble?
Marble should be sealed yearly, and more often in areas of high moisture. It can be cleaned with mild detergent and water. Avoid abrasive cleaners and scrubbing pads.
Limestone and Travertine Questions
What is limestone?
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of calcium carbonate (CaCO3), usually in the form of calcite or aragonite. It may contain considerable amounts of magnesium carbonate (dolomite) as well; minor constituents also commonly present include clay, iron carbonate, feldspar, pyrite, and quartz.
What is travertine?
Travertine is a dense, banded rock composed of calcite (calcium carbonate, CaCO3). Formed by the evaporation of river and spring waters, it is a variety of limestone that has a light colour and takes a good polish.
Where can I use limestone or travertine?
Limestone and travertine can be used in a variety of applications including fireplaces, wall cladding, stairs and architectural details.
How do I care for my limestone or travertine?
Like most stones, limestone and travertine should be sealed every year and more often in areas of high moisture such as bathrooms. Use a mild detergent and water to clean. Avoid abrasive cleaners or pads.
What is slate?
Slate is a fine-grained, clayey metamorphic rock that cleaves, or splits, readily into thin slabs having great tensile strength and durability; some other rocks that occur in thin beds are improperly called slate because they can be used for roofing and similar purposes. True slates do not, as a rule, split along the bedding plane but along planes of cleavage.
Does slate come in colours other than grey?
Yes. Slate comes in a variety of rich colours ranging from greens and blues to oranges and browns.
Where can I use slate?
Slate is a durable, water and stain resistant material. It has a non-skid surface that makes it ideal for interior and exterior flooring, paving and stair treads. It can also be used as wall cladding, tabletops and bathroom vanities. Almost all slate comes in small slabs and may not be the best choice for kitchen countertops where the appearance of seams are an issue.
How do I care for my slate?
Like most stones, slate should be sealed to protect it against stains and water. A silicon based stone sealer can be used yearly where stains are a concern. A mild detergent and water is all that is needed for general cleaning.