Select a category below for a list of frequently asked questions. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, we’d be happy to help. Click here to contact us online, or call us at (386) 238-5000.
How do I know if I need to seal my granite?
One method you can use to check if your granite needs to be resealed is to sprinkle some water on your countertops. If the water soaks into the stone and does not bead up, then we would recommend resealing your granite.
How will I know if my old cabinets can support a new countertop?
Stone countertops can weigh up to 30 pounds per square foot. At the time of template, our “Templating” team will make sure your cabinets are structurally sound to handle the weight of your new countertops.
Will my countertop have a seam?
We try extremely hard to avoid seams if possible, but the reality is that the majority of countertops will have a seam no matter how hard we try. Granite comes in actual sizes, it cannot be streched to accomidate kitchen layouts. Its like drywall, you can only buy it in sheets, you cannot buy a quarter of a slab unless you see a remnant at Planet Granite’s slab yard.
How is the seam placement determined?
Seams are determined by Planet Granite, depending on countertop layout, slab sizes, support needed, and material usage.
Can Marble be used in the kitchen?
Marble is not recommended for use in the kitchen because of its tendency to stain and scratch. However because of its beauty and the classic look, marble is an excellent choice for vanities, wet bars and fireplace surrounds.
Crack or Fissure?
Look at the back of the slab and look for cracks or fissures. A fissure is a natural junction or line of separation within a single intact mass of stone. Customers tend to panic when they spot a fissure. A fissure is not a defect. The fissure was formed when two separate flows of liquid hot magma merge into a single mass. The fissure was there when it was quarried, when the factory cut the block into a slab, and it will always be there. Can the fissure open up after the counters are installed? It is highly unlikely unless there is an excessive amount of movement. If the fissure opens up while we are fabricating your job we will join the two pieces back together with epoxy and reinforce the underside of the stone with embedded steel rods to make the piece even stronger than when it was formed. If you are sensitive to perceiving fissures as cracks then consistent material or engineered stone may be more suitable. Material with lots of tight busy crystal patterns are more stable than motion driven veined material with chunks of different compounds. Also, look to see if there is mesh or epoxy this indicates the slab is held together by glue and is not as stable as other selections.
Can I cut on granite?
Yes, Granite is an extremely tough, durable material and in most cases can be used as a cutting surface without fear of scratching the stone (although knives may dull the surface by repeated cutting on the stone).
Can I set hot pans on granite countertops?
Yes, Granite is ideal for kitchens because under normal conditions it will not burn. Granite will not be harmed by hot pots, pans or open flames.
Can I set hot pans on quartz countertops?
NO, Quartz is a good product for kitchens because under normal conditions it will not burn. However, our experience has shown that the manmade elements of quartz such as the epoxy resin can discolor quartz countertops, Granite will not be harmed by hot pots, pans or open flames.
Does granite chip or scratch?
Granite is a very dense material and under normal conditions it is chip and scratch resistant. However, pots, pans and other heavy objects may chip the square edge around a sink area. Several other edge profiles are available that will look beautiful and reduce the chances of chipping.
Does granite stain?
In general, no. All stone is porous to some extent, however granite has very little porosity relative to other stones. Most granite colors will never show moisture but some colors will show a dark spot if a puddle of liquid is left on the counter for a period of 30 minutes of more. The spot will eventually dry up and evidence will show. To be safe, be sure that your granite is sealed properly – either by the fabricator, or after the granite is installed.
How can I limit the staining of granite or marble?
Wipe up spills on marble and granite as quickly as possible.
Avoid using acidic or oil-based products on marble.
Should granite be sealed?
Though not necessary, all granites are sealed. The sealer used is a penetrating sealer that does not change the color of the stone. It penetrates the stone and will help prevent any staining. However, it will not stop the penetration of moisture entirely. When a liquid that might cause staining spills on top, it should be cleaned up as soon as possible.
Can granite be repaired?
While it is difficult to permanently repair granite, it is also very difficult to damage it. However, if some damage does occur, granite usually can be repaired by a mix of epoxy and ground up chips of granite.
Does granite have a completely smooth surface?
No. Many granites contain pits and fissures that are natural characteristics of granite. Some granites exhibit these characteristics more than others, and the lighting of the room can make these marks more or less visible. These characteristics should be pointed out to the client prior to deciding on a particular material and pre-approval of the actual slab is recommended.
How long are the slabs, and can seams be avoided?
The average slab size is typically 98″ to 115″ long by 55″ to 68″ tall
YourProject Manager will work with each customer to place a few seams as possible in a kitchen. Seams are required based on slab size and may be needed to maintain the structural integrity of the countertop.
How long can the pieces for my application be?
It is typically safe to have pieces that are approximately 6′ to 8′ long, depending upon the stone type and bowl/cook top configurations.
What is the difference between 2cm and 3cm? And what is the most appropriate thickness for the tops?
The 2cm thick stone is approximately 3/4″ thick. The 3cm is approximately 1 3/16″ thick. We recommend using the 3cm for the kitchen countertops for both aesthetic reasons and structural reasons.
How much overhang can you have without supports, and what type of supports is required?
For 3cm stone, we recommend supports with overhangs that are 12″ or greater. For 2cm stone, we recommend a cantilevered bracket or corbel that matches the cabinet. The brackets should be spaced every 3′ to 4′.
What type of sink can be used?
There are few requirements when it comes to sinks. In order to maintain the structural integrity of the countertop, we require at least 3″ of stone in front and back of the sink cutout. Planet Granite uses aluminum undermount sink brackets that are attached to the base cabinet for almost every sink installed. Planet Granite will need to know the sink type prior to Templating the project.
How does the dishwasher attach to the granite tops?
The best way to attach a dishwasher for the dishwasher to have mounting brackets on the side that attach the base cabinets. For older models we can epoxy the top mount bracket to the bottom of the granite or silicone a small strip of wood under the counter. Once dry, the dishwasher can be screwed into the wood. You may also use dishwasher straps and attach them to the back wall or to the cabinets. This option will make the dishwasher more difficult to service. For more information visit: How to anchor a dishwasher to granite.
Details About Granite
3cm granite weighs approximately 21lbs – 24lbs per square foot and 2cm granite weighs approximately 15lbs. per square foot. 2cm marble weighs approximately 13.5lbs. per square foot. Both granite and marble are easily supported by standard floor and cabinet systems. For safety requirements, pieces weighing more than 550lbs. may require a seam.
All or our granite is available in 3cm (approximately 1 3/16″) thickness, and some granite as well as all of the marbles are available in 2cm (approximately 3/4″) thickness. We recommend using the 3cm because its structural integrity is superior to the 2cm and it is aesthetically more pleasing than the thinner stone.
The average length of a slab is about 113”, runs longer than this may require a seam. Other additional factors that may require a top to have a seam include: weight of material, cabinet structure, access to job, and type of material. Supreme Surface, Inc. will work with the Builder, Dealer and the customer in every way possible to ensure that seams are kept to a minimum and are discretely place, while maintaining the structural integrity of the stone. Seam location and quantity of seams may affect pricing.
Edges include Straight, Eased, Full and Half Bullnose, Bevel, and Ogee. All edges are priced separately. All quotes from Supreme Surface, Inc. include an Eased edge.
An overhang of stone in excess of 12″ past the edge of a cabinet should be braced from below.
There are few requirements when it comes to sinks. In order to maintain the structural integrity of the countertop, we require at least 3″ of stone in front and back of the sink cutout. Planet Granite uses aluminum undermont sink brackets that are attached to the base cabinet for almost every sink installed. Additionally, we recommend that if 2cm stone is being used, and over mount sink should be provided. Planet Granite will need to know the sink type prior to scheduling your template the project.
• Appliances and Cut-Outs
The width of material and front and behind appliances and cutouts is a critical issue that will vary from job to job depending on material selection, dimensions, and appliances.
Cabinets must be permanently set and leveled prior to field dimension by our Templating team.
• Job Site Conditions
Each cabinet layout and granite project is different and will offer unique challenges. Therefore, granite seam placement, granite cutout options, and granite support requirements will vary from project to project. Please discuss all issues and preferences with your Planet Granite representative prior to confirmation of details with your client.
• Material Variation
Stone is product of nature and difference in color and vein characteristics are to be expected. Viewing and approving material prior to fabrication is may be recommended depending on the type and color. 2cm granites will not always match 3cm slabs or the same material. Back splashes generally will be cut from 3cm stock unless otherwise indicated by the designer or project manager.
- Natural but not perfect. Granite is a natural product used for kitchen counters. It is crystalline in structure, so it always has tiny pits or spaces between the various mineral crystals. It also contains natural fissures that may appear to be cracks, but they are not structural defects and will not impair the function or durability of the material.
- Appearance not uniform.
Movement is a term that is used to describe the shift in color and pattern in natural stone. Granite counters do not have a uniform pattern or color. The appearance can vary widely between slabs, and even within a single slab.
- Samples may differ from the actual stone. The sample of the granite color may differ from the slabs currently available for your kitchen countertop. They may have been mined from a different part of the granite quarry or they may have occlusions or color variances that give them a different appearance.
- Seams are visible. It is impossible to hide the seams in granite countertops.
- Must be sealed.Granite is a natural stone product that has a certain degree of porosity and must be sealed before use with a solvent-based product which leaves only negligible surface residue and is not considered to be a health risk. The stone must be resealed at least once every three years.
- Can discolor. While granite counters are ordinarily considered to be stain-resistant, some pigments or oils can be absorbed into the surface. This could cause discoloration. The sealer does not prevent this discoloration, but it slows it down to allow more time for clean-up.
- Durable but not indestructible. Granite countertops are extremely durable, scratch resistant, and impervious to water and heat. If not abused, it will hold its luster forever. However, because it is a natural rock, it can be chipped and broken if abused, and is very difficult to repair.
- Must be professionally installed.
Quartz Countertops (Engineered Stone)
- Man-made non-porous material, made from a mixture of 93% quartz and 7% resin binders and pigments. It has the strength of granite, but is more flexible – making it somewhat easier to handle.
- Needs no sealing.
- Mold & mildew resistant. Extremely hygienic, making it a food-safe choice.
- Uniform appearance.It has the general appearance of natural stone, but with a consistent pattern and color. (The final product should be very close to what you see in the showroom.)
- Seams are visible. As is the case with natural stone, seams are visible; however the darker colors tend to minimize the seam.
- Durable but not indestructible.It is resistant to stains caused by wine, fruit juices, liquid food coloring, tea, nail polish and remover, and felt-tip markers. It can be damaged by high heat and prolonged exposure to heat. As with any other stone or surface material, strong chemicals and solvents such as Drano®, Liquid Plumr®, oven cleaners and floor strippers will damage the surface. Continuous long-term exposure to direct sunlight (UV rays) may result in slight discoloration of Quartz Stone countertops. Most indoor applications will not apply.
- Must be professionally installed. Is much heavier than granite.
What are ceramic floor tiles?
Ceramic floor tiles are made mostly of clay, with the addition of sand, and other natural minerals. They have been used for indoor and outdoor flooring for thousands of years. They can be glazed or unglazed.
How are ceramic floor tiles made?
First the clay is molded into a desired shape. Next it is colored. Then it is fired in a kiln at very hot temperatures ranging between 1000°C – 1250°C (1832° – 2282° F). Glazed ceramic tiles require a second firing.
What are porcelain floor tiles? How are they made?
Porcelain floor tiles are made of a type of ceramic composed of fine-grained porcelain clay and minerals. They are shaped and then fired at very high temperatures. By doing so, they become extremely solid and moisture resistant. They have a water absorption rate below 0.5%.
How does porcelain tile differ from ceramic tile?
Ceramic tiles are any kiln-fired clay-based tiles. Porcelain tile is a specific type of ceramic tile. It is made from porcelain clay and is fired at extremely high temperatures. It is a very dense tile and virtually does not absorb water. Porcelain is the hardest and strongest commercial tile available. The average PEI rating of porcelain is 5.
Non-porcelain ceramic is made from various red and white clays. It does not need to be fired at as high a temperature, and is not as durable or moisture resistant as porcelain. The average PEI range of non-Porcelain tiles is 0-3./p>
What is a ceramic tile PEI rating?
The PEI (Porcelain Enamel Institute) uses a 0-5 rating system for the abrasion resistance of ceramic tile:
PEI 0 = Very little abrasion resistance. Recommended for walls and extremely light traffic areas.
PEI 1 = Some abrasion resistance. Recommended for walls and extremely light traffic
PEI 2 = Recommended for light traffic areas where soft-soled shoes will be worn.
PEI 3 = Recommended for medium traffic areas. Tiles with this rating are usually okay for walking on in shoes, but they are not recommended for rooms with outside access.
PEI 4 = Recommended for heavy-duty traffic areas. Recommended for medium-heavy traffic areas.
PEI 5 = recommended for extra heavy-duty traffic areas. This type of tile is the most durable.
Corporate Floors U.S.A. will recommend the right rating for your application.
What are the benefits of ceramic tile flooring?
Ceramic tile flooring offers several advantages. It is:
Durable—it lasts for years and years.
Moisture and stain resistance
Hygienic—resisting bacteria and allergens
Resistant to wear and high temperatures
Easy to clean and maintain
Available in an incredible choice of shapes, designs, sizes and colors
Can be installed almost anywhere
What are the disadvantages of ceramic tile floors?
Ceramic tiles can feel hot or cold. They are rigid and hard to stand on for extended hours. They can get slippery when wet, especially glazed tile. Despite their strength, ceramic tile floors can crack or chip if not properly installed or if subjected to enough force.
What are the differences between stone and ceramic tiles?
Stone is a natural material with an intrinsic beauty. The surface of stone is varied. Ceramic tiles are manufactured products, offering a more uniform surface. Stone flooring requires periodic professional deep cleaning while ceramic tile is relatively easy to clean. Stone is porous, making it more susceptible to staining, and stone is usually much more expensive than ceramic tiles.
What tile flooring colors and designs are available?
The options for tile flooring are only limited by your imagination. They can be produced in a wide variety of colors, shapes, sizes, and designs. Available styles run from contemporary to traditional, from a rustic appearance to a high-tech look. Ceramic tile floors can also be made to resemble natural materials like wood or stone.
How do glazed and unglazed floor tiles differ?>
Unglazed floor tiles are homogenous, where the color runs throughout. This can be natural color from the clay or other minerals, or can be added to the mixture before the tiles are formed and fired. Because the color extends through the entire tile, these are ideal for high traffic areas because they do not show wear as easily.
Glazed floor tiles are like unglazed ones with a baked-in glass-like finish. This finish requires a second firing and may incorporate a color, texture, or design (This is not possible in an unglazed tile.) Glazing helps protect against staining, dirt and grime, and glazed tiles are easier to clean, but it can also make the surface more slippery, especially when wet.
What is the average lifetime of tile flooring?
Ceramic tile floors can last a lifetime with proper installation and maintenance. Unglazed tile shows less wear than glazed tile and will survive longer in high traffic areas. Porcelain tile lasts the longest.
Where can tile flooring be installed?
Versatility is one of the great assets of ceramic tile floors. Because they stand up well to heat, moisture, and frost, they can be installed indoors and outdoors, at, above or below grade level. Ceramic tiles work hard in high-use areas like kitchens, restrooms and entryways. Their tough, durable surface holds up against traffic and spills. Refer to the PEI rating to find the ceramic tile flooring that is right for your need.
How is tile flooring installed?
In most cases, the floor tile is affixed to the substrate by using an adhesive or mortar, and then filling the joints with grout. There have been some advancements made in tile floor installation, and some manufacturers offer click- or snap-together floor tiles.
How do I choose the right grout for tile floors?
The color you choose for grout ideally coordinates with the color of the floor tile. You can choose to offset the floor tile color with a somewhat lighter or darker shade or you can match the tile as closely as possible. It is difficult to achieve an exact match between floor tile and grout color because the grout color will vary slightly with each installation due to environmental factors.
Will there be variations in floor tiles in the same box?
Yes. The manufacturing of floor tiles allows for some tolerance. Subtle variations in color, texture or markings are not only unavoidable—they are desirable—as they add natural warmth, and help to blend in any future markings from wear.
How soon can traffic be allowed on a new tile floor?
The adhesive used requires ample time to dry. While it is setting up, you should not walk on the tile floor. The time necessary for drying will vary from product to product. Tileworks and manufacturer recommendations should be followed.
How should we clean and maintain tile floors?
Maintaining tile floors is easy, usually only requiring a cleaning. Sweep or vacuum periodically. Use a damp cloth or sponge to clean spills. As necessary, mop with a solution recommended by your manufacturer. Mats by outside entrances are excellent for trapping dirt and debris. Should white or light grout lines become soiled, consult Tileworks or the manufacturer for the best way to restore them.
Can we wax or refinish ceramic tile floors?
No. Ceramic tile floors look and perform better without waxing or refinishing. To maintain original beauty, a simple cleaning will usually suffice.