Countertop buyers guide gives you expert tips for choosing the right countertops for your kitchen or bathroom projects from SKY Marble & Granite
Granite is a common type of intrusive, felsic, igneous rock which is granular and phaneritic in texture. This rock consists mainly of quartz, mica, and feldspar.
It is one of the hardest materials on earth. It is long lasting, durable, and available in any array of colors and textures. It remains the top choice for kitchen counter tops, and widely used for flooring and wall tile applications. Because of its exceptional strength, granite is well suited for exterior applications such as cladding, paving, and curbing, outperforming other materials in maintenance, physical characteristics, and lifespan.
A distressed textured finish applied to wood, stone, and other surfaces.
A rugged finish for stone accomplished by heating surface to extreme temperatures and then rapidly cooled.
Brushed finishes are created by gently brushing the granite’s surface which develops a worn-in look throughout the stone.
A finish that has been rubbed or sanded to a smooth shiny finish. Can be accomplished on dense materials such as granite to bring out full character and colors inherent in stone.
A type of finish available for stones and other hard surfaces that have a smooth satin appearance.
Colors and Patterns.
Granites are available in an array of colors and patterns. They typically exhibit small flecks or grains of minerals uniformly distributed throughout the stone. Some “exotic granites” will have veining patterns similar to marbles. A uniqueness of Indian granite is that it has more subtle colors and soft patterns. Granite colors out of Brazil are move wild and exotic. Below are a few examples of the granite tones available.
Travertine is a calcareous sedimentary stone, made of finely crystalline massive deposits of Calcium Carbonate that varies in shades of ivory, silver, cream, white, and golden-brown colored limestone. It was formed over 600,000 years by chemical precipitation from solutions in surface waters and ground waters like around the mouth of springs, especially hot mineral springs.
Travertine has pronounced anisotropic properties with a sponge-like texture that could have up to two inch holes. These cavities are usually filled with surface colored cement to give a honed look.
Travertine Surface Finishes
Acid Washed – A dull, non-reflective finish that is developed by washing the surface with acid
Chipped Edge – All edges will be slightly chipped to give rustic appearance.
Filled – Will have all or most of the holes filled with cement materials and sometimes with resins.
Polished – Smooth surface, high reflection.
Tumbled – Surface texture developed from the actual tumbling of the stone to create rustic appearance.
Unfilled – Holes to remain open on surface.
All calcareous rocks produced by nature and capable of taking polish are called marbles. Impurities such as silica, iron oxides and graphite give marble its color and characteristic, rich veining and clouding.
Marble is geologically defined as a metamorphic rock predominately consisting of fine-to coarse-grained, recrystallized calcite and/or dolomite, which has a texture of relative sly uniform crystals ranging from very large (inches) to very-fine, small, uniform sizes crystals.
Marble’s surface may be finished in a number of ways. In general, smooth finished tend to emphasize color and veining, whereas rough finishes tend to subdue the veining or markings. Typical finished for marble are:
Onyx, a form of quartz, is one of the more popular precious gemstone materials. Onyx has naturally beautiful translucence and line of contrasting colors running throughout which defines the unique color characteristics of the stone. Onyx colors are soft, opulent, and almost fragile in nature. Onyx tile is truly a premium surface material. Onyx tiles require some care, but with a little maintenance you can keep them looking brand new for years. If you are looking for something distinctive, consider onyx tile for your flooring surfaces. We offer a small variety of inimitable color options.
Formed by settled sedimentary rocks pressurizing at the bottom of the sea, limestone becomes a strong and solid surface: ideal as flooring material. The muted tones of limestone tiles give any space a clean and comfortable feel. Generally found in soft beiges and tans, limestone tiles offer an informal, relaxed feel. This premium flooring option comes in over 30 color tones.
The initial seal should occur during installation with the manufacturer, and check with your installer to see if sealing is necessary. A granite countertop can be resealed every six months to two years to maintain its color and clarity. Homeowners can hire a professional or purchase a resealing product to complete the project themselves.
Granite is very forgiving and can take a great deal of wear and tear. To maintain a long countertop life, be sure to use cutting boards when preparing food, avoid using common household cleaners on the granite surface or cleaners that contain abrasives. Avoid placing heavy items on the countertop and avoid sitting or standing on the surface, which can cause cracks.
For most stains, combine 1 cup of baking soda or plaster with Clorox bleach to form a paste and spread it over the stain. Cover and let rest overnight. Remove paste from the counter. Contact us or your granite supplier for more specific staining problems and solutions.
Granite is known for its durability, but a few simple steps can make your countertop last longer. Wipe up any spills immediately, and conduct proper routine cleaning. Be sure to use coasters or some protective material with glasses or bottles resting on the granite. Use trivets or pads under hot pans or dinnerware, and avoid spilling or using products that contain acid or vinegar such as citrus juices or some alcoholic beverages.
Use basic soap and water, or a gentle cleaning solution for daily cleaning of your granite countertop. Remember to wipe up spills immediately, and rub with a soft cloth or synthetic sponge.