CGT personnel have had over a decade of experience in the local natural stone industry. With that in mind, we would like to inform our patrons of the differences in granite, marble, and quartz. (All the information listed below is available in our Warranty and Care pamphlet.)
- Is an igneous rock formed by the solidification of molten rock material. This light-colored igneous rock contains crystallized grains large enough to be seen with the unaided eye. Granite is composed mostly of quartz, feldspar, and minor amounts of mica, amphiboles, and other materials.
- Granite has a rich beauty that other natural stones cannot match. It will take your high quality kitchen to the next level aesthetically and can last years if taken care of properly. It is the most versatile natural stone countertop offered in the industry.
- Granite’s very hard substance is not susceptible to scratches other than from diamonds. While it’s not recommended to cut or work on, Granite will take the normal wear and tear of your culinary habits very well. It can have hot pans, pots, or plates placed on top without damaging its heat resistant composition. It also does not chip as easily as other natural stone countertops such as the marble or quartz.
- As with all natural stones, granite is a porous substance meaning that it will need to be sealed to prevent any spills from being absorbed.
- It is recommended to have granite countertops in areas of high use such as kitchens, bathroom vanities, and dining areas.
- Marble is a metamorphic rock formed by heat, pressure, and chemical processes of limestone deep below the earth’s surface. Exposure to these extreme conditions alters the mineralogy, texture, and chemical composition of the limestone. Marble is mostly composed of calcite and other minerals such as clay minerals, micas, quartz, pyrite, iron oxides, and graphite. Under the conditions of metamorphism, the calcite in the limestone crystallizes to form a rock that is a mass of interlocking calcite crystals.
- Marble has an elegant décor that makes it a strong choice amongst designers and home builders. While it is not as versatile as granite, marble properties will make your home have a lasting impression.
- Although marble is heat resistant, it won’t take the wear and tear of normal use as granite. Sharp knives can scratch the surface and heavy pots or mugs may chip the marble or may even break off a corner. It’s also more porous and it absorbs liquids faster than its counterpart. That means that oil, wine, juice and other spills penetrate deeper into the stone and are very hard, if not, impossible to remove. Fortunately, there are care methods and solutions that will prevent accidents from occurring.
- Marble is recommended in areas of lesser use such as fireplaces and bathroom vanities.
- Quartz is a chemical compound consisting of one part silicone and two parts oxygen. It is essentially silicone dioxide. It is considered to be the most abundant mineral found on Earth’s surface. It is present and plentiful in all parts of the world and it forms at all temperatures. Quartz is abundant in igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks.
- Quartz is a manufactured product and can be very attractive. Because quartz is manufactured, it can allow a wide variety of color choices. The appearance of the finished product is luxuriant, even inviting.
- Quartz has the same versatility as concrete and granite, but is a bit more forbearing as it won’t crack or chip as easily. It has a softer touch and doesn’t feel as rough as natural stone.
- As opposed to its counterparts, Quartz is a non-porous composite stone so it resists staining much better. It stands up to acidic drinks such as wines, oil, juice, and coffee.
- For cleanliness, a non-porous surface translates to not harboring bacteria or viruses. You can have the confidence that your quartz countertop will be absolutely clean, and that’s a great benefit in both the kitchen and the bathroom.
- One downside to having a manufactured quartz countertop is that it is not heat resistant. Placing hot pans or pots on quartz countertops in the kitchen or thermal hair styling tools on quartz countertops in the bathroom for a duration of time will create noticeable damage.
- Quartz is recommended in areas of high use such as kitchens and bathrooms.
With the advent of an assortment of cleaners and protectants, natural stone can be cared for to last many years. There are many products that CGT carries that will cater to the needs of those who would like to impress their guests with the natural shine of granite, marble, or quartz. Products located in our showroom that protects your natural stone includes the following:
- DuPont StoneTech Professional Revitalizer – one of the best cleaner/polisher on the market for natural stone.
- Custom Granite & Tile’s 3 in 1 Granite Cleaner (Cleans, Polishes, and Protects)
- Miracle Sealer Company 511 Impregnator Sealer
Most home improvement stores carry other home based products that can also protect your natural stone from accidental spills etc.
When cleaning your natural stone, CGT would like to remind you that using the following will damage your countertops:
- Any bleach or chlorine based products
- Any acidic cleaners
Water based cleaners are recommended and if you are out of any natural stone cleaning products, CGT recommends using soap and water to immediately remove any spills.
Here are some tips to protect your natural stone for years to come, courtesy of CGT:
- Wipe all spills immediately, particularly acid liquids such as orange juice and white wines.
- Do not use abrasive cleaners or acid based cleaners.
- Cutting directly on the top will likely not damage the granite but might put micro scratches in the finish and dull the surface. You will also end up will dull knives.
- Heat will generally not damage your granite or marble, but it is best to still use a trivet or hot pad under hot dishes.
- If you see a dull or rough patch, call your countertop fabricator. It is likely that the etching can be repaired.
- Stains, if they occur, can often be removed with a solution of vinegar and water. This works best for removing streaks, smudges, and body oil.
- An occasional application of furniture polish can keep fingerprints off dark colored granite and will give the countertops a nice feel.
- If you have a seam in your countertop, it is best to avoid setting hot materials in this area. The epoxy in the seam can melt if exposed to heat for a prolonged period.
What does sealing your countertops mean for you?
- Your granite countertops were most likely sealed after the initial installation by CGT. This helps prevent the absorption of any liquid or compound that can your stain your countertops but it is not foolproof.
- Resealing depends largely on the type of stone that you have and how much use your work surface receives. Sealant will need to be reapplied at least once a year.
- To test your countertops to see if your sealer is still working, place a few drops of water on your work surface. If the water soaks in quickly, then it is time to reseal. If it beads up, your countertop is protected. Focus mostly on the areas that receive the most amount of use.
- CGT carries a variety of sealers or you can find sealers at your local home improvement store.
How to prevent and remove stains, lime build up, and food that is stuck on your countertop:
- Having sealed your stone doesn’t guarantee a stain free countertop. The best way to avoid a stain is to wipe up any spills immediately.
- While stains are rare, they are caused most frequently by cooking grease and oil.
- Do not store bottles of cooking oil directly on your granite.
- Do not store rusty pots, pans, or cans on your countertops as the rust may stain your granite.
- Use coasters under all glasses, particularly those containing alcohol or citrus juices.
- If your granite darkens when wet, do not be alarmed. It will return to its original color when the water evaporates. This is an indication that resealing is necessary.
- If lime builds up around your faucet, do not use lime products. Gently scrape the lime off with a straight razor as to protect your countertops from any damage.
- Use the flat side of a straight razor blade to remove stuck tape, residue, dried paint, glue, dried food, etc.
- If a stain occurs, follow these steps for removal:
- Mix a paste made of diatomaceous earth (pool filter powder found at any pool supply or big box store) and ten percent hydrogen peroxide (the hydrogen peroxide found at beauty salons is stronger than those found at your local drug store).
- Form the mixture into a pancake and cover the stain completely.
- Use plastic wrap to cover the pancake and tape it around the edges.
- Leave the mixture over the stain overnight.
- The mixture will pull up the stain from the natural stone countertop.
- If only some of the stain has been removed, repeat the process until the stain is removed completely.
- For more stubborn stains, follow the same steps above using diatomaceous earth and acetone (nail polish remover).
How to mend any scratches and chips found in your natural stone countertop.
- Granite is rated 7 on the Mohs Scale of Relative Hardness, 1 being extremely soft and 10 being extremely hard. Diamond is a 10 and your finger nail is a 2.5. Translated, granite is an extremely hard stone and is virtually scratch resistant.
- Marble is rated 4 on Mohs Scale of Relative Hardness.
- Quartz is rated 7 on Mohs Scale of Relative Hardness.
- Granite and marble can only be scratched by quartz or anything harder.
- Removing diamond jewelry is highly recommended. Diamonds will scratch your natural stone countertop.
- Certain stoneware dishes containing rough silica sand can pose a risk of scratching your natural stone countertop.
- Use trivets or mats under dishes that could scratch the surface.
- If you are using a marble cutting board, make sure that the rubber or plastic feet remain secure and do not slide around on your countertop.
- Chips in granite are not a common occurrence. When it does occur, they are most often caused by dropping an item into the edge of the countertop.
- If a chip does happen to occur, save it and call your CGT. We are more than likely going to be able to epoxy the piece back to your countertop with little or no sign of it ever being chipped off.
- Small chips can be filled with household super glue by applying the glue and shaving off the dried product with a razor blade.
Custom Granite and Tile LLC (CGT) prides itself in providing outstanding customer service during and after a natural stone installation. If you have any questions or concerns about your natural stone, do not hesitate to contact us at 417-864-0999.