Frequently Asked Questions
What is granite?
Granite is the most durable architectural building stone. This igneous rock is comprised mainly of quartz, graphite, mica and other minerals. The increasing popularity of this stone is a testament to its beauty, versatility and consistency. Used in a wide array of commercial and residential applications, granite is ideal for tile floors, walls and countertops, as well as exterior applications such as pavers and wall cladding. Granite is quarried worldwide, with the most exotic colors coming from Brazil, India, Finland, North America, China and Southern Africa. New quarries are discovered each year further enhancing color choices and keeping prices in check.
Why choose granite counter tops over synthetic materials?
Granite has become today’s countertop of choice for architects, cabinetmakers, kitchen designers and contractors. A granite counter top is virtually impervious to abrasions, stains and extreme heat. Additionally, the inherent qualities of granite — its color, patterns and shades— compliment any decor.
Does granite need to be sealed to avoid staining?
Yes. It is our policy to seal every stone surface we install and we recommend the application of a sealer every six months to assure protection against any oils or water that may have sat on the surface of the stone for any length of time.
My granite kitchen counter top doesn't look exactly like my sample. Why?
Granite is an organic substance and just as no two people are exactly alike, no two samples of granite will be either. The composition of minerals and the deposit it was quarried from all play a part in the appearance of granite. At United Granite, after selecting a sample, our customers then select the exact block of stone from which we fabricate their surface.
Is granite really scratch resistant?
Yes. Even if you cut directly down upon it in the coarse of normal, daily use, you will not mar the finish of your granite countertop.
Does where my granite originate from affect the price?
Very little. Prices are more affected by the supply and demand placed upon the quarry. You”ll find that red and blue tones are a bit higher priced than other colors due to their lack of abundance.
I've heard of "high movement" stone. What is it?
Sometimes called “grain in the stone,” “movement” is veins that swirl and change irregularly in granite due to the massive forces at work on it beneath the surface of the earth during the eons it took to form. “Movement” is also affected by trace amounts of other minerals such as hornblende, magnetite, hematite, pyrite, zircon, garnet and corundum. Many people find this flow of blending colors to be the most attractive and compelling quality about granite.
Is it true granite won't chip, crack or ding?
Unless you’re planning on wailing away on your new granite counter top with a sledge hammer and chisel, we assure you it will not chip, crack or ding under normal use. Besides, the fabrication process is the most stressful on the stone, and if it doesn’t break at that point, it never will under normal circumstances in your home.
Is it hard to care for a granite countertop?
Not at all. In fact, you’ll wish everything were this easy. Just use a common non-abrasive commercial product, such as a glass cleaner, to wipe it down to keep its finish shining.
Are all granite kitchen counters a high gloss finish?
No, there are several different finishes you can order; the highly polished finish is just the most popular. There is a process called “honing” that gives the stone a more matte finish yet retains its smooth feel.
What's the difference between a drop-in sink and an undermount sink?
A drop-in sink sits on top of the cutout in your granite counter while an undermount sink sits beneath the cutout. There is generally an extra polishing charge required in preparing a granite countertop for an undermount sink.
Will I know where my granite is from?
Probably not since granite is quarried all over the world, including Africa, Brazil, Egypt, India, Italy, Norway and Spain, to name a few. There are also some very lovely veins of granite mined in the United States and Canada as well.
Is there Radon in granite countertops?
Please click on the following link to find the answers to this question from different perspectives : http://www.marble-institute.com/pdfs/countertops_radon_wp.pdf