Does Granite have to be sealed?
The Marble Institute of America’s position is that most granite does not need sealing. This being said, many granite countertops receive additional benefit from being sealed. That benefit is the further reduction of moisture migration into an already moisture resistant surface.
Here at Wolf Stone Design Co., we seal all of our natural stone countertops with a 15 year seal, which requires only one application that lasts 15 years. This gives the granite added protection, as well as peace of mind to our customers.
Does granite harbor bacteria?
Records maintained by The Centers for Disease Control confirm that there is absolutely no evidence of granite harboring bacteria or of anyone getting sick from bacteria in granite. Additionally, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, as well as the Hospitality Industry, give granite a clean bill of health. Granite actually ranked #1 in cleanability when washed with a soap and water solution.
In a recent study, granite countertops provided the greatest reduction in bacteria count of all materials tested. Six countertop surfaces were contaminated with E.Coli bacteria, then washed and rinsed using dish soap and “normal and reasonable” cleaning practices.
(*Source: "The Reduction of E.coli on Various countertop Surfaces”, by Dr.O.Peter Snyder, Jr., PH.D., of the Hospitality Institute of Technology and Management, March 1999)
How tough is granite?
Granite is an igneous rock that’s mostly comprised of feldspar and quartz, along with tiny amounts of several trace minerals. On the Mohs hardness scale of 1 to 10, granite usually comes in at level 6, which renders the stone relatively hard. In other words, it will not scratch even if you run a knife blade across its surface.
Marble, on the other hand, usually comes in at 4 or 5 on the Mohs scale of hardness, which explains why it’s not the most scratch-resistant material inside a kitchen.
Can you cut directly on granite countertops?
Granite is very hard and not likely to scratch due to using a knife on the surface.
While knives will not scratch the stone, cutting directly on the countertop is generally not recommended for a couple of reasons. First, it will make your knives dull. Second, acidic substances found in many foods can potentially penetrate the stone and cause discoloration. Also note, any material harder than granite can cause scratches and dings. Diamond jewelry and products that contain silica sand for example can scratch granite.
Will heat damage my granite countertop?
Granite is one of the most heat resistant materials you can install in your home. Granite materials are actually igneous rock, which forms from a process of extreme heat and then cooling to create the hard and dense granite in the earth. Because of the way granite forms, it possesses a special resistance to damage from heat.
Normal kitchen tasks that involve baking in the oven and cooking on the stovetop will not produce pots or pans that are hot enough to damage granite, however extreme temperature changes can cause damage to granite under direct exposure. Therefore, it is always a good practice to use trivets and hot pads when setting down hot items on any countertop.
Does granite contain radon gas?
Radon is a naturally occurring gas generated by the decay of trace amounts of uranium found in the Earth’s crust throughout the world. It is an unstable gas that quickly breaks down and dissipates in the air.
Research has proven that a typical granite countertop produces less than one atom of radon in one year. We are exposed to more radon from concrete, cement, sheetrock, and the outdoor air we breathe everyday than from a granite countertop.
How do you clean granite countertops?
To clean granite, the number one rule is to be gentle. Use warm water and a dish soap mixture. Scrub gently with a soft cloth and rinse thoroughly. Dry the countertop with a soft towel or microfiber cloth. Never use windex, ammonia or bleach on granite, as well as no vinegar based products, and no citrus. Avoid any abrasive cleaners. Always clean up spills quickly when they occur.
If you prefer to use a safe, granite-specific cleaner, we offer Rejuvenata, which is a cleaner made by the same manufacturer as the sealing products we use.
Is quartz a natural stone?
Quartz countertops are engineered. They are 90-95% natural ground quartz combined with polymers, resins and pigments. The resin binds the elements, creating a very strong, non-porous, and scratch resistant material. So quartz countertops are not natural in the sense that they are fabricated from large slabs straight from the ground the way marble and granite are. But, they are natural in the sense that most of the material comes from the earth. The term, “engineered stone” is frequently used to describe quartz.
Do quartz countertops need to be sealed?
No. Quartz is a non-porous material and doesn't require sealing. This does not mean that quartz is stain proof though.
The resins that make up quartz countertops can react to chemicals, such as alkaline cleaners, high pH detergents, or specific kinds of acids. The result of these reactions is discoloration, white or bleached stains. Quartz can also be affected by dried on stains caused by substances that get stuck on the surface of the material and are hard to remove. Such as ink, nail polish, wax, lipstick, or even crusted food. These types of stains are unrelated to the porosity of the surface. So as you can see, even though quartz won’t allow penetrating liquids, it is still susceptible to stains.
The best practice is to clean up messes as soon as they occur and follow the cleaning guidelines provided by the quartz manufacturer.
Can you cut directly on quartz?
No. While quartz is highly scratch resistant, and will often withstand a cut from a knife, you should always use a cutting board.
Will heat damage quartz countertop?
Exposure to high heat can damage or discolor the resin that makes up quartz countertops. Typically a coffee cup or warm plate is fine, but a hot pot or pan directly from the stove/oven or even a slow cooker is not. If you place very hot items on your quartz countertop, it will result in burn marks and discoloration. This is because excessive heat melts the resin used in the surface. *It is highly recommended to user a trivet or hot pad for any hot items you place on the countertop.
Can quartz be used outdoors?
No. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight and UV rays can case quartz to fade. As an example, darker colors will become lighter, while light colors, such as white, will yellow.
How do you clean quartz?
Quartz countertops can be cleaned with a mild detergent (ex. dish soap or hand soap) and warm water. Just scrub lightly with a soft towel or microfiber cloth. Avoid rough cloths and never use scrubbing brushes or steel wool on quartz.
Never use metal tools, and always be careful not to drive sharp edges into the stone as the resin can be damaged. Never use harsh or abrasive chemicals on quartz, this includes bleach, ammonia, and window cleaners with high pH levels.
The rock forming the Earth’s crust falls into three generic groups: igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic. Granite is usually classed as igneous rock derived from molten masses or magmas. Marble is a metamorphic rock resulting from the re-crystallization of limestone. Limestone and travertine are defined as sedimentary. Because the world of rocks and geology are such a vast and complicated field, the above descriptions are very general.
Please keep in mind that the following descriptions are very general and there are exceptions. Granite is a harder material, resistant to heat, chemicals, stains, and scratching. It is available in thousands of colors. General appearances range from fine to coarse graining, little to huge amounts of veining. Of all stones, granite is the most practical for kitchen countertops and other heavy-use residential, commercial and some industrial applications.
Marble is softer material with limited applications, unless the consumer is willing to accept the changes associated with use. Marble’s biggest asset is its appearance or look. Because of its mineral composition, nothing has the look of marble. Marble’s biggest drawback is the lack of stain, chemical, and scratch resistance.
Quartz countertops are man-made engineered stone countertops formed by combining up to 93% ground quartz (a natural hard mineral) with 8-15% resins, polymers, and pigments. This forms a very hard granite-like surface with similar properties of durability and being heat/scratch/stain resistant. Quartz will not be as reflective or shiny as polished granite. The appearance depends on how the quartz is ground: coarsely ground quartz produces a flecked appearance, while finely ground quartz produces a smooth look. With dyes, patterns, and coarseness all being controlled by manufacturers instead of mother nature, you have more control over consistency.