Although both are stones and both are quarried from the earth, granite and marble (and marble’s relatives – limestone, onyx and travertine) are very different from each other. The greatest difference lies in the porosity, softness and durability of marble when compared to granite.
Buying slabs is similar to buying fabric. Like a seamstress or tailor, Kootenay Granite buys the raw material and sells you a completed installation. How much material needed is determined by the layout and the amount of waste. Kootenay Granite will lay out your job in a way that will minimize the amount of waste material while maximizing the natural beauty of veining and pattern.
Availability, locations of quarries in the world (due to transportation expenses), the rarity of the color, and the amount of labor required to extract the stones all affect the price of natural stone. Higher price doesn’t mean higher quality. All natural stones that Kootenay Granite carries, regardless of price, are of the same high quality.
Most of our granite is sourced from Brazil, Italy, Saudi Arabia, India, and Africa.
Granite can vary in weight depending on the density of the material. Usually, the darker the rock is, the heavier it is. On average a granite slab weighs 1500lbs.
Granite, Marble, or limestone that is honed has a matte or satin finish, rather than a high reflective polish. One feature of honed marble is that it doesn’t show etching as readily, or wear patterns on floors. It is preferred by some because “honed” stone has a less formal, softer appearance than polished stone.
A leathered finish is a textured and non-glossy surface. It’s attributes resemble leather in that you can feel subtle ridges similar to an orange peel. The leathered finish does not require any different treatment at all for maintenance making it a popular choice for customers who prefer a non-gloss surface.
Granite is highly resistant to scratching, cracking and staining, and is impervious to heat. Daily kitchen activities pose no problem and it can take a hot pot without the use of a trivet. This makes granite an ideal choice for countertops.
Like any solid surface, high impact blows can harm granite. Because of its crystalline structure, it can chip if subjected to sharp hard objects. But repair is possible – a chip can be filled with a granite dust and epoxy mixture.
Not with ordinary use. Granite is most susceptible to cracks during shipping and installation. Normal use will not overstress this durable material. (Normal use does not include standing on the counter tops!)
Granite is one of the hardest stones in the world. It is highly resistant to scratching in ordinary use. A knife blade will not scratch granite. It can only be scratched by another piece of granite or with specially sharpened tools designed to work with granite like tungsten and diamond blades.
Only if you want to ruin your good knives! 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.
In general, no. All stone, however, is porous to some extent, but granite has very little porosity. A few colors may absorb some moisture with prolonged contact compared to others. For example, a puddle of water left on the counter, for some colors, may show a dark spot when the water is wiped away. Usually, no evidence remains once the liquid is removed and the granite dries. A stone sealer is highly recommended for all granite after installation. Some stones are more porous than others, so it is important to use a penetrating sealer to prevent stains from oil, wine or other liquids from soaking into the surface.
No. You can’t burn granite with ordinary use. It is perfectly ok to set hot pots or pans directly from the stove or oven onto granite.
Warm soapy water will do the trick. Or use cleaners specifically formulated to help clean and protect stone surfaces.
Granite, which is crystalline in structure, always has tiny pits – spaces between the various mineral crystals. Granite sometimes has natural fissures as well, which may look like cracks, but are not structural defects and are a naturally occurring result of the immense heat and pressure that formed the granite eons ago. These characteristics are part of the natural beauty of stone and will not impair the function or durability of the material. A product of nature cannot be expected to look manmade.
Due to the limitation of slab size, seams on a granite countertop are sometimes necessary and often unavoidable. On average, granite slabs are approx. 110″ x 66″, though in some colors, 120″ slabs are not unusual. Extremely large islands may either require a seam, or color selections will be limited to those slabs that have longer lengths or widths. The visibility of seams will depend on the granularity, color and pattern of the stone. Our sales associates will help to explain the seam process in further detail to you.
Also, for clarification, look at the kitchen displays we have throughout the showroom. Most contain seams.
Most counters overhang by 1 1/2″, which is standard. This may be changed for whatever reason due to cabinet configuration, cabinet installation and/or personal tastes.
Can granite cantilever?
You can cantilever granite up to 12″ with sufficient support on the fixed end and with a large enough piece. Never cantilever unsupported granite where it might receive excessive stress like someone sitting on a counter or stepping on a counter to change a light bulb. You must have support underneath for these situations.
We do not recommend the use of marble as kitchen counters because marbles (and limestone and travertine) are calcium carbonate, and their polished surface is more vulnerable to household acids including vinegar, mustard, ketchup, 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.
Marble is, however, sometimes used in the kitchen as a pastry slab; its perfectly smooth, cool surface is ideal for rolling out dough and piecrusts.
Etching happens when acid in some form comes in contact with a polished marble or limestone surface. This causes a chemical reaction, which removes the polish, or roughens the surface of honed marble or limestone. Green marbles, such as the “jades” from China are resistant to etching, and granite is impervious to any common household acids.
The rule of thumb is never use anything you wouldn’t use on your hands. Never use powdered cleansers or abrasive pads to clean your stone. Even “soft scrub” type cleaners contain pumice, which is powdered volcanic stone, and might damage your stone countertops or floors. Never use any product which is acidic; this includes substances like ammonia or many common liquid cleaners such as Windex. You should always use sealers and cleaning products designed specifically for natural stone. Kootenay Granite sells maintenance kits with granite which help you easily take care of your granite for the coming years.
Limestone is sedimentary rock consisting mostly of organic material such as skeletons and shells of marine creatures and sediments. It is formed by material that settles to the bottom of bodies of water, and over millions of years, solidifies into solid rock. Earth movements over extremely long periods of earth’s history can lift limestone miles into the air. The summit of Mount Everest is limestone that started out on an ocean floor.
Like marble, we recommend avoiding the use of limestone in kitchens. Polished limestone is highly susceptible to surface changes or damage from kitchen acids including citrus juices, vinegars, mustards, and so forth. Unsealed, some of the more porous limestones can be subject to stains. If the limestone is polished or semi-polished, you will see a rough spot where the substance sat on the stone.