Q: Can I use marble on my kitchen counters/bar countertops?
A: Yes, but be aware marble (and limestone and travertine) are calcium carbonate, and their polished surface is more vulnerable to household acids including vinegar, mustard, catsup, citrus and a host of other food-related products. These acidic substances cause a chemical reaction, which will remove the polish. Additionally, marble and limestone can be scratched more easily than harder stones such as granite.
Q: Why is granite preferred for kitchen/bar countertops?
A: Countertops in kitchens and bar areas are often exposed to acidic substances such as lemon, vinegar, alcohol, and tomato sauce. Granite is the hardest and densest of all natural stones. The feldspar content keeps it water resistant and the silicates it contains won’t react with acid. These properties help granite resist staining and retain its fine luster over a longer period of time than other stones.
Q: Why is marble preferred for bathrooms and fireplaces?
A: Homeowners often enjoy bathrooms with bold colors and smooth, flowing patterns. Marble is the perfect choice for this application due to its wide spectrum of available colors. It also lends itself well to carved patterns and details, creating both traditional and artistic designs. While kitchen countertops are often exposed to acidic substances, bathroom countertops are more likely to be exposed to alkaline products, which do not react with marble.
Q: How much variation can I expect from the sample of stone shown?
A: Each stone is unique, and some types of stone display more variation between the pieces than others. Granites show little variation in color, but may have differing patterns and grain density. Slates tend to show a wide variation in color, even within a bundle.
Q: Can I cut on my granite countertop?
A: Granite is harder than your knife blades and will dull them very quickly if you use the countertop as a cutting surface. Always cut and chop on a wooden or plastic cutting board.
Q: What care and maintenance of the stone products are recommended?
A: Stone surfaces are very easy to maintain. Clean stone with stone cleaner or warm water and a mild liquid soap. Never use acid cleansers or abrasive chemicals on stone. Natural stone should be sealed after installation and every one to two years thereafter, depending on its application.
Q: Why does natural stone need to be sealed?
A: All natural stone including marble and granite, must be properly sealed to protect against staining. Without proper and regular sealing, granite and other natural stones, which are porous, can absorb spilled substances and leave unsightly stains and marks.
Q: How often do I need to apply penetrating sealer to my natural stone surfaces?
A: There is no set rule on how often to seal your natural stone. Sealing can be as frequent as six months for higher traffic areas on marble, slate, travertine and limestone or every couple of years for granite countertops. Also, some sealers provide for only a single application every ten years. Please review the guidelines for each individual sealer.
Q: If a stain occurs, how do I remove it?
A: If stains do occur, a stain remover may be required. Whereas, a cleaner will wash off surface dirt, a stain remover such as a poultice will actually act to draw out deep-seated dirt and stains from the stone’s pores. Several applications of a stain remover may be required for difficult stains, and darker marbles should be tested to make sure that the stain remover will not bleach the stone. For recurring problems, and/or a very deep stain, a professional stone fabricator should be contacted.
Q: What does “COF” mean?
A: Coefficient of Friction (“COF) rates the slip resistance of tile. The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) recognizes several standard methods for measuring coefficient of friction for wet or dry surfaces. Tile used on commercial and residential floors should provide a safe walking surface in both wet and dry conditions.
Q: What is a rectified tile?
A: A tile that has been re-cut to achieve the same exact size in all the tile pieces produced.
Q: How do I achieve the best from a Natural Stone installation?
A: The final look of mixed tiles may fall short of appearance expectations, especially if the stone is variegated and veined. The installer should mix tiles from different boxes during the installation to achieve a more even, visually pleasing result in the finished surface. The homeowner should always look at the natural stone with the installer before the installation takes place. Moreover, it is highly recommended that the homeowner gets involved and discusses the stone layout with the installer in details to prevent misunderstandings from occurring.
Q: How do I care for my Natural Stone floor?
A: Dust mop interior floors frequently using a clean non-treated dry dust mop. Sand, dirt and grit do the most damage to natural stone surfaces due to their abrasiveness. Mats or area rugs inside and outside an entrance will help to minimize the sand, dirt and grit that will scratch the stone floor. Be sure that the underside of the mat or rug is a non-slip surface. Normally, it will take a person about eight steps on a floor surface to remove sand or dirt from the bottom of their shoes. Do not use vacuum cleaners that are worn. The metal or plastic attachments or the wheels may scratch the surface.
A: Can floor tile be used on the wall?
Q: Yes. Exterior applications require special precautions and installation methods. Please check with your installer or product manufacturer for application recommendations.
Q: Can wall tile be used on the floor?
A: Not in most cases. Please check with your installer or product manufacturer for application recommendations.
Q: What is the difference between ceramic tile and porcelain tile?
A: Porcelain tile is a type of ceramic tile. The major difference is that porcelain tile is harder and denser than other types of ceramic tile and that porcelain tile is frost-proof and impervious.
A: What is porcelain tile?
Q: Porcelain tile is a very high density product, fired at high temperatures and has superior durability and a low water absorption rate. The glazes on porcelain tile are known for a higher range of color variation, giving a rich custom look.
Q: What is a through body porcelain tile?
A: Through body porcelain tile is when the same color on the top goes all the way through. Even in extreme applications, these tiles tend not to show wear as the porcelain is quite durable (harder than granite) and the color goes all the way through. It can be used on exterior and interior floors and walls. It’s a great product for high traffic areas.
Q: What is ceramic tile?
A: Ceramic tile is a mixture of clays, molded into a shape and fired at high temperatures resulting in a hard body. This hard body may be left untreated or it may receive a glazed layer. The clay used to make the tile may be red, white or porcelain. The quality of the tile is based more on the manufacturing process than on the color of the body.
Q: What is unglazed ceramic tile?
A: It’s a type of ceramic tile which has no glazing or any other coating applied to the surface. The color is the same on the face of the tile as it is on the back. The most common unglazed tiles are porcelain tiles used in commercial areas with heavy traffic.
Q: What is glazed ceramic tile?
A: It’s a type of ceramic tile which has a glaze finish applied to the surface. Glazed tiles are available in both gloss and matte finishes. Glazing can provide a nonporous surface that is extremely stain resistant.
Q. Will Solid Surface tops stain?
A. Solid Surface Tops are nonporous and designed to resist stains. However, spills that have dried overnight or did not completely clean with a common household cleaner can easily be lifted with the use of a mild abrasive cleanser and a ScotchBrite™ pad. See the Use & Care Kit that comes with your tops for complete instructions.
Q. Can I set a hot pan directly on Solid Surface?
A. Although Solid Surface is semi-resistant to heat, a hot container just removed from a burner may scorch the surface. It is recommended that a trivet or hot pad is used when cooking. We also recommend allowing cookware to cool before placing them in Solid Surface sinks.
Q. Can I cut directly on the surface?
A. Although Solid Surface is extremely durable, it can be cut or scratched with a sharp knife. Always use a separate cutting board for all your kitchen cutting tasks. If minor cuts or scratches do occur, refer to your Use & Care Kit for instruction to repairing the tops.
Q. Will Solid Surface scratch easily?
A. Solid Surface products may be scratched by common household items including glass, ceramics, and steel. Please note that dark colors show wear and scratches more easily. If minor scratches do occur, refer to your Use & Care Kit for instruction to repairing the tops.