Top 10 Questions
Below you will find some of the most common questions we hear from our first time clients that have never had to care for or maintain a natural or engineered stone counter-top. Whether it be stains, cracks, weight, heat, warranties or resealing, the concerns that are expressed by our clients are easily and accurately answered.
What is Granite?
Granite is a igneous rock with grains large enough to be visible with the unaided eye. It forms from the slow crystallization of magma below Earth'’s surface. Granite is composed mainly of quartz and feldspar with minor amounts of micas, amphiboles and other minerals. This mineral composition usually gives granite a red, pink, gray or white color with dark mineral grains visible throughout the rock.Granite is the best-known and most common igneous rock found at Earth's surface due to the fact it is used to make many objects that we encounter in daily life. These items may include counter-tops, floor tiles, paving stone, curbing, stair treads, building veneer and cemetery monuments. Granite is used all around us - expecially if you live in a city.
Granite is also known from its many famous natural exposures. These include: Stone Mountain, Georgia; Yosemite Valley, California, Mount Rushmore, South Dakota; Pike's Peak, Colorado; and White Mountains, New Hampshire.
Where do natural stone slabs come from?
Granite is quarried in over 60 countries throughout the world; such as Brazil, India, Italy, Spain, France, China, and The United States of America. Blocks are extracted from quarries located in mountainous regions and once at a manufacturing plant, these large masses weighing in excess of 60,000 lbs. are cut into slabs that average 114″ x 72″ and are most commonly 1-¼” (3cm) or 3/4″ (2cm) thick.
Slabs are then processed through large multi-head polishing machines which will put a natural shine on the face of the stone using abrasive compound bricks or diamond polishing discs. Several finishes can be applied at this time, such as a honed, flamed or brushed. By far, the most popular finish tends to be a high polish. Granites are available in a wide range of colors but the size of the quarry, labor costs, location, accessibility, and demand for the material will directly affect pricing.
Sales/fabrication facilities that are selling at deeply discounted prices e.g. ($29.00 Sq ft or less) may be purchasing inferior material to offer in the United States market. We do all of our own custom fabrication in house per order and only work with reputable distributors and quarries to bring you the most amazing Natural Stone available.
What is Radon and is it in natural stone?
Yes. All natural products contain trace amounts of some radioactive elements called "Naturally Occurring Radioactive Minerals" that can produce small but measurable amounts of radiation and radon gas.There can be very small quanities or radon in any natural material that is pulled from the Earth. However, actual scientific testing has proven beyond a doubt that the amount of radon that is present in over 99% of Granite slabs is so insignificant that it is either undetectable or does not pose a health risk. In comparison, you would be more at risk walking into your basement or out to get the mail. Other materials that contain NORM's include concrete products, clay bricks, non-plastic plates and dishes, coal and the flyash produced in coal-fired power plants, natural gas, phosphate fertilizers used in your garden, vegetables grown with fertilizers, all glass made using silica (eye glasses, wine glasses, mirrors, windows, etc.), and granite too. There are thousands of items that could be listed.
The bottom line is, you're safe to purchase any Natural or Engineered Stone you can think of. Granite is a unique and beautiful natural material everyone should enjoy!
How durable are granite counter-tops?
The only natural material harder than most granite is diamonds. That means like diamonds, Granite can be cut, polished, installed and used in heavy traffic areas for years while still maintaining a spectacular shine and finish.
How should I clean my counter-tops?
Daily cleaning is completed with a mild dish soap, warm water and a non-abrasive sponge. Do NOT use bleach, acidic or abrasive cleaners. The cleaners used for Natural Stone have a nuetral pH and will not harm the sealer or stone.
Do my counter-tops need to be sealed to prevent stains?
Natural stone can be porous and therefore in most cases must be sealed. After we finish installing your new counter-tops we will also apply up to three coats of an industrial stone impregnator (sealer) to fill in any pores and protect against moisture retention or possible staining. The protection created by the sealer can be easily kept up with by using our DuPont StoneTech cleaner/polish/protectant during your normal cleaning routine. Worry free protection is available with the purchase of a worry free 15yr Pro Stain Warranty. If you purchase a counter-top product that does not require anual sealing we will make sure you are informed with specific care and maintenance instructions.
Can I set hot pots, pans or baking sheets on my counter-top?
Granite retains heat and moving a hot pan from a burner onto the counter-top will heat the granite's surface quickly. Someone could accidentally touch the granite after removing the pan causing a burn. Because the granite does not change color or have an indicator when it's hot, there's nothing to warn a person about the potentially danger.
Thermal shock is uncommon but entirely possible. When a cold hard surface comes in sudden contact with heat, the rapid shift of the molecules in the hard surface can result in cracking. Placing a warm pan on the granite may not damage the surface, yet a pan straight from the burner has the potential to cause immediate and permanent damage to the countertop.
Always use a trivot or hot pad!
What if I can't find the color I want?
Just because you didn't see exactly what you wanted on our slab yard does not mean the stone of your dreams is out of reach. We work with the very best industry leading distributors on a daily basis to make sure you are never short of possible options for your new counter-tops, sinks, tile or any product you could be looking for. In fact, two of our main distributors have slab warehouses in Huntsville & Madison.
What kind of warranty do you offer?
Frye & Associates, Inc. includes a one year warranty with any counter-top purchase that is intended to protect you from problems stemming from material failure, fabrication or installation.related issues. All warranties are subject to inspection by a Frye & Associates, Inc. representative. We also offer a 15yr Professional Stain warranty at an additional price that can help to reduce or eliminate most common problems related to staining or simple care and maintenance. Please ask one of our associates for further details.
How long does it take to install my counter-tops?
It will usually be between 1-3 weeks from the time we measure/template to the time we are prepared to install a full kitchen. In most cases if we have all of the information we need, a single vanity-top or furniture piece can be fabricated and installed within 1-week from when we receive measurements.