Q: I think I want a new granite countertop, how do I get started?
A: You have started in a good place by simply accessing our website. From here you are welcome to contact us for more information. If you can provide us with a sketch or drawing of your counter tops with dimensions, we can work up a price estimate for your project.
Q: I am considering a new countertop, why choose granite or quartz over other materials such as Corian or Formica?
A: Both granite and man made quartz products are comprised primarily of natural quartz. Quartz is one of the hardest substances known and it makes an extremely durable surface. Materials such as Corian or Formica are forms of plastics. These plastic materials do not have the surface toughness that granite or quartz does.
Q: What is the difference between granite and materials referred to as quartz or engineered stone?
A: Granite is a naturally occurring material that is cut into a slab form and polished. All of the natural characteristics and and unique character is still part of the product. Quartz or engineered stone on the other hand is made from components of granite. The ground stone is mixed with about 7% resin and then re-formed into a slab. This process seals the slab and character to see the finished product.
Q: Is granite expensive?
A: Many people are surprised to find out that granite can be sometimes less expensive than Corian. The additional beauty and durability offered by granite makes it an even better value.
Q: Can I have an overhang with my granite countertop?
A: Granite and quartz can be cantilevered to form overhangs. Typically 10" to 14" is about average. These are guidelines that must be followed when designing overhangs. Sometimes supports must be used to safely create the overhang desired.
Q: Is marble a good choice for a kitchen countertop?
A: Marble is not a good choice for a kitchen countertop. It is a softer and more porous and therefore more likely to stain, scratch, or chip. Marble can be used in table tops, fireplace surrounds and tub surrounds.
Q: Can you tell me about pits and fissures in granite?
A: Just like wood has various natural characteristics such as knots and different grain patterns so too granite has unique structure that imparts it's character. Pits and fissures are formed within the crystalline structure and are naturally occurring. Some granite has more of these characteristics than others but these characteristics do not effect the performance of the top.
Q: Can I select the granite slab for my countertops?
A: Yes you can and you are welcome to do so. We appreciate a call in advance so that we can be sure someone can spend some time with you. Bring along your cabinet sample as well as any tile or paint samples to help with your selection.
Q: How durable is granite and quartz?
A: Both granite and quarts are very durable. They are very resistant to heat and scratching. Quartz, being a non-porous product is extremely durable and resistant to staining. Granite is also very durable and when properly sealed is greatly resistant to stains as well.
Q: Will my countertops have seams? If so, what will they look like?
A: We can usually tell from a drawing if your counter tops will have seams. When seams are needed, we do our best to match the pieces being seamed for color and grain. We will bond the pieces together with custom colored epoxy which will result in a thin line seam that is smooth to the touch. Seams in stone with more character and grain flow are more visible than those in granite with smaller crystalline granules.
Q: How do I maintain my granite countertops?
A: Granite is very easy to clean and maintain. Warm water with a little soap is good for almost anything. For stuck-on food or more stubborn dirt a scrubbing pad with liquid cleanser is recommended, just be sure to rinse well with clean water. For stained areas, a solution of ½1/2 cup of bleach in a gallon of water will remove most stains. For very stubborn stains, a poultice may be recommended to draw the stain out of the stone. The best protection against staining is to periodically seal the surface of the granite and to quickly blot up any liquids that might cause a stain.
Q: What is the difference between granite grades and granite categories?
A: All of the granite purchased by Upstate Stone is of top quality. We buy from only trusted suppliers that understand our requirements for both quality and appearance. These stones are then places into categories based on the cost. Factors that effect the cost are for instance, where the stone is quarried from in the world, the cost of the raw stone, freight cost and exchange rates. Stones of similar costs are then placed into categories. These categories or groups can then be used to establish a base price for a customers job made from a stone in that respective category.
Q: How many different colors of granite and quartz are there? How do I find the one that is right for me?
A: here are several hundred colors of granite and quartz produced by many manufactures. No fabricator could possibly stock all of these. Finding just the right color and pattern can be a real challenge. We start by asking customers many questions about other colors and materials in the room as well as the amount of natural and artificial light. Hopefully, a customer can bring in a color sample from their cabinet. This can be easily done by bringing in a drawer. From this point we can look at some granite and quartz samples to see which ones might be possibilities. Those samples that might be good possibilities are sent home with customers to look at in their own homes so that they can get an accurate idea of how it appears in the final environment!
Q: Can you give me a price estimate on my countertop?
A: Yes we can. What we need from you are usually just a few things. A drawing or a sketch with dimensions to the nearest inch. Your drawing should also show approximate sink and stove locations. The drawing should also show any other unique features such as over hangs for bar areas, raised or lowered counter top surfaces, pass throughs or anything unusual. With this information we can give you a good idea of what your new counter tops would cost.
Q What is involved with preparing for and installing my new countertops?
A: Once you have decided to proceed with your job, we will have to schedule for your counter top template to be done. A template is a pattern that we do directly on top of your cabinets, this is an important part of the procedure and good template insures the proper fit of your counter tops against existing walls and cabinets. We strongly recommend removal of any old tops prior to the template. This allows us a chance to inspect your existing cabinets. Any problems that might exist with your current cabinets can be detected and pointed out. This will allow ample time for correction prior to installation of the new tops. The home owner or contractor is responsible for disconnection and re-connection of sinks and any electrical as well as any cabinet modifications. We then return to the shop with the template and build your new custom tops. Within 2 weeks of the template, we return to install the tops in your home. The installation usually takes less than a whole day. The sink is also mounted to the counter top and ready for your plumber to make final connections.
Q: Can you help me with sinks and faucets?
A: Yes we can. Upstate Stone stocks sinks and faucets from only better quality manufacturers. We stock sinks in Stainless Steel and Quartz in several sizes and configurations. In addition we have kitchen and vanity faucets. We can help you with selecting the proper sink and faucet combination that will avoid any compatibility issues with either your cabinets or your new counter tops. We also help with the layout of the faucet, soap dispensers, water purification tap and any other plumbing fixture that may require a hole drilling in the top. Customers can provide their own sink and/or faucet if they would like. We suggest you talk with us first so that we may help you avoid any errors in the specification process.
Q: What could damage my granite countertop?
A: The greatest risk to granite would be a high impact blow from another hard object such as a hammer or iron skillet. This could result in a chip. If this should happen, save the chip, we can often repair it and create a mixture of stone and epoxy to fill it in and then re-polish.
Q: Does heat hurt the granite?
A: No, generally heat will not hurt the stone at all.