Why Choose Natural Stone Flooring and Tiles?
Natural Stone is beautiful and will add a stunning feature to any home. Stone is the only material that improves with age, it lasts a lifetime and its natural variation adds character. It is hardwearing, very practical and gains its own patina over time. It is worth investing in natural stone as it lasts for years and will enhance the value of your home. It is easy to clean, practical yet stylish. The price of natural stone has decreased in recent years making it a luxurious yet affordable floor covering. Natural stone flooring comes in many styles and can suit both a traditional and contemporary setting. It is a very adaptable material that is at home in a country cottage as well as an urban townhouse or apartment. Ideal for hallways, kitchens, dining rooms, conservatories and bathrooms and increasingly being used in living areas and bedrooms. Stone goes well with other natural materials such as wood and works particularly well with under floor heating. Natural stone flooring is unique as every tile is a one off and this look cannot be recreated by man-made material. Fossils, shells, crystal veins and tonal variation are all marks of authenticity.
What is a sealer and how do I know when it is time to apply this to my counter-tops?
Natural stone can be dense or porous and is absorbent to some degree. Stones that have more swirls or veins tend to be more porous and absorbent. A sealer is like a coat of armor for your countertop. Sealer will decrease the opportunity for something to stain or harm your surface. A protected stone will be easier to clean, resist staining, and provide a safer and healthier environment. Also, by sealing your stone, you will retain the natural beauty of the surface.
To test your counter-tops sealants, apply a drop of water at least ½-inch in diameter to the stone and let stand for at least 15 minutes. Cover with a glass to reduce evaporation. If the stone does not darken then it is probably sealed against water-based stains. To ensure the beauty of your stone, we recommend sealing your stone yearly.
Most of the time Egyptian marble and granite can be identified by visible particles at the surface of the stone. Egyptian Marble has veining and granite has a more fleck like/ granular appearance. Natural stone is categorized into two general categories according to its composition. Siliceous stone is composed mainly of silica or quartz like particles. It tends to be very durable and easy to clean. Included in this category are granite, slate, and sandstone. Calcareous stone is composed mainly of calcium carbonate. It is sensitive to acidic cleaning products and frequently requires different cleaning procedures than siliceous stone. Types of these stones include Egyptian marble, travertine, limestone & onyx
Should I use Granite or Marble for my kitchen counter tops?
Although topical application of Egyptian marble is for bathroom vanity tops, Jacuzzi tops, and fireplaces, it is possible to use it in the kitchen. However, we don’t recommend it due to the fact that it is easy to scratch and can be etched by acidic substances, such as vinegar, ketchup etc. The high-gloss of the Egyptian marble countertop can be partially lost as many chemicals etch its surface. Granite, in turn, is considered the second hardest stone; its polish is not subject to etching by household acids or scratching by knives, pots, and pans under normal use. It is also not affected by typical kitchen heat such as hot pans.
Is it necessary to seal stone?
Since most mineral surfaces are porous they absorb liquids, which may result in discoloring and staining. Although there are many commercial grade products available on the market which may bring the stone to its original luster, taking simple precautions and regular maintenance can save a lot of trouble and cost. All of our Egyptian marble and granite tops are sealed immediately after they are installed. The impregnating substance penetrates the stone clogging most of its pores making it quite impervious to alcohol, juices, soft drinks, cosmetics, cleaners, coffee, food and even oil. With the course of time, depending on how heavily the tops are used, the sealer gets worn out. The clear indication of this happening would be the fact that the liquids are easily absorbed into the stone leaving temporary (if promptly wiped off) stains. You should re-seal your Egyptian marble every six months and your granite every 12 to 24 months. For best results, it is recommended to use the same sealer which was used initially.
What is the best way to clean natural stone surfaces?
The best way to clean stone countertops is to use our AGM daily granite cleaner. It’s a safe and effective way of removing stubborn dirt and grime while revitalizing and sealing the surface. This cleaner can be purchased from MrStone.com. An old and inexpensive method of cleaning granite tops is to use warm water mixed with dish detergent. It is important though, to make sure that the surface is thoroughly rinsed afterwards, to prevent soap scum build-up.
What is the appropriate thickness for a kitchen counter top?
A kitchen countertop should be an inch and a quarter thick for structural reasons. Bathroom vanity tops can be thinner.
Can I cut on my countertop?
If your countertop is made of granite, you can. Granite is extremely hard and can withstand even the sharpest knives. It’s not a good thing for your knives though. They can get dull in as little as one use. We recommend using a wooden or plastic cutting board. Other stones are not as resistant to scratching and so we do not recommend cutting on them.
Can damaged piece of stone be repaired?
If any damage occurs it can usually be fixed with a mixture of epoxy and ground up chips of stone. In most cases the repair is hard to spot.
Will my chosen color look like the picture on your website?
The samples you see on our website have been photographed and saved as digital images. The color tones may not be absolutely correct due to variations in computer systems, monitors and compression algorithms. Also, granite is a natural material with naturally occurring variations in color, tone, granularity, pattern, etc. These variations are expected and are the source of its natural beauty.
Are some edge profiles better than others?
Although most edge profiles have similar general characteristics, there are differences which can have an effect on daily usage. One concern is durability. Edges with smooth, rounded profiles tend to be more resistant to chipping. Another aspect of edge performance is ease of cleaning. Edge profiles which feature sharp creases, such as the Cove Dupont or Waterfall edges, tend to collect dust and grime and are tedious to keep clean. The Full Bullnose edge, because of its roundness, tends to carry spills over to the cabinet surfaces which may, over time, lead to damage to the cabinets, especially around the sink area. Also, because the bottom edge is rounded, it is not visible when viewed from above, and makes the countertop appear thinner, which is usually not a desirable effect. On the other hand, parents of small children may consider the rounded bottom edge to be safer
Can you polish a material that is honed, like limestone?
Certain materials, like Egyptian marble, limestone, slate, and travertine, have honed finishes because they are not dense enough to create a fully polished surface. Stones like this cannot be polished. Additionally, granites that come in Honed surfaces usually are also available polished, so you can avoid the costly polishing process.
Do you sell stone sinks?
Can granite surfaces be damaged?
Like any solid surface, high impact blows can harm granite. Because of its crystalline structure, it can chip if subjected to sharp tipped hard objects. Unsealed, granite can absorb stains such as oil, which can ultimately cause dark spots or discoloration. Fortunately, under typical household use, granite is not subjected to such events. Also, heat from pots and pans or burning liquids will not affect granite under normal circumstances.
My granite sample has pits on the surface. Will those be present on my finished countertops?
Granite, which is crystalline in its structure, often has tiny pits or spaces between the various mineral crystals. It’s hard to see them on a larger piece because the overall appearance is polished and mirror-+defects and are a naturally occurring result of the immense heat and pressure which 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 should not be expected to look manmade.
Can I set a hot pot on my granite counter top?
Granite is formed by extreme heat combined with pressure occurring beneath the earth’s crust. It is extremely unlikely that a granite countertop would crack or discolor when subjected to a hot pan.
Does granite crack?
No, not with regular use. Granite is most susceptible to cracks during shipping and installation. Normal use will not overstress this durable material.
Is granite expensive?
The cost of granite counters can vary a lot depending on the color, edge profile and custom shapes used in the layout. Our pricing is very competitive and hard to surpass when you consider the total value of our services. Use our Instant Online Estimate tool to get your price right now. It’s absolutely free and takes just minutes to complete.
Where can I use Egyptian marble?
Can you use marble in a kitchen?
The short answer is yes, you can use Egyptian marble in a kitchen. However, because marble is susceptible to staining, scratching and etching, the use of Egyptian marble in a kitchen requires careful consideration.
Is polished Egyptian marble too slippery to be used on a bathroom floor?
Any polished surface is slippery when wet. As with any other hard surface used in a bathroom, caution should be used when exiting the shower and tub areas, as well as any other area that is wet.
I’m building a house, when should I select my stone?
Because natural stone has variations, it is not a good idea to select a stone too early. Colorations can vary, and the veining from one shipment to another can be quite different. Once the cabinets are 3-4 weeks away from being installed it is a good idea to finalize your selection based on current inventory.
Which type of sink is best for granite? Under mount or drop-in?
This is a matter of personal preference. If installed properly, both types of sinks are sanitary and safe. The ability to wipe off the counters directly in to the sink and the aesthetic appeal make under mounted sinks the most popular.
Is it okay to mix different colors of stone?
Absolutely. It is not uncommon to mix colors or types of stone within a room. When mixing stones, it is a good idea to consider which material would be the most practical for the space. For example, when mixing granite with Egyptian marble, the granite would be best suited for the area around the range because it is the most durable. The Egyptian marble could be used on the island or as a dining table.
Can granite be used outside ?
Yes. There are a handful of granites that can change color when exposed to UV rays, but it is very durable and can be used outside. Granite is often used for outdoor kitchens, as pavers for driveways and walkways, as stair treads, and as exterior cladding on commercial buildings.
What stone can I use around my pool?
Recommended stones for pools are light in color to protect bare feet from hot temperatures and textured to prevent slipping on the wet surface. The denser the stone and the darker the color, the hotter the surface will become in the sun. Limestone, travertine and quartz stones are perfect surface for pools due to its light color and natural texture.
Stones that are tumbled, cleft or textured would also be recommended.
Can I put a hot pot directly onto granite?
Yes. Placing a hot pot on granite will not affect it.
Can I install my own countertops ?
The cutting, polishing and installation of natural stone not only require specific tools and machinery, it also requires extensive product knowledge. Fabricating and or installing natural stone countertops really are not “do it yourself” projects.
Can stone tiles be used for countertops?
Stone tiles have the same beauty and durability as their slab counterparts. The only difference is that there will be grout joints which may require long-term additional maintenance. Epoxy grout is recommended for countertop installations.
Will bacteria grow on granite?
Bacteria, like any other living organism, needs something to eat in order to live. Bacteria cannot eat granite. Unclean, unkempt countertops can harbor bacteria regardless of what countertop is used. Granite has performed extremely well in testing; performing second only to stainless steel in its ability to resist bacterial growth.
What does “honed” granite mean ?
Honed granite is granite that has not been polished to a shine. It is a smooth, matte finish. Honed granite is lighter in color than its polished counterpart; however the color can be deepened with a color-enhancing sealer.
What is tumbled Egyptian marble ?
Tumbled Egyptian marble is quite literally, Egyptian marble that has been loaded into a tumbler and knocked against each other in order to achieve rough, worn edges and surface. Some materials that are referred to as “tumbled marble” are actually tumbled limestone or travertine, the process is the same and aesthetically they are difficult to tell apart.
Are veins weak spots in the stone ?
Not necessarily. Some veins are strictly color variations in the stone. However in some materials natural flaws can exist within the vein, which enhances the color and is characteristic of that stone. Structurally, with today’s processing, these materials do meet the strength requirements for countertop use.
Are engineered quartz surfaces natural ?
Marketers contend that quartz surfaces contain 93% quartz. However, this number is calculated by weight, not by volume. Therefore the true ratio of quartz is approx. 67 – 73%. It is also important to note “quartz” refers not only to natural quartz but glass and mirror particles as well.
Are there granite formations or quarries in Egypt ?
Yes, granite can be found across Egypt including Sinai, Upper Egypt just to name a few.
How long will my natural stone last?
Take care of your natural stone and it will last for generations. Some natural stones are as old as the earth.
If my granite is honed, will it be more likely to stain ?
The honing process slightly changes the porosity of the stone. However, use of the proper sealer will prevent any additional staining that may occur due to the honed finish.
How often do you have to seal granite?
Traditionally, homeowners have been told to seal their granite annually. However, with the advancements that have been made in sealing products, some sealers only need to be reapplied every 3 – 5 years. Check the information on the back of the sealer and follow the recommendations.
Does a professional have to come in and seal natural stone ?
No, sealing natural stone is something a homeowner can easily do. The product is a liquid that is applied to a clean, dry countertop with a soft cloth. After the sealer is generously applied to the surface, the excess is removed with a dry cloth, and the countertops should be allowed to dry. Check the back of the sealer to determine when the countertops will be ready for normal use. Drying times can vary between 24-72 hours.
Will the sealer wipe off when cleaned, or scratch off with wear ?
No. The sealer is not a coating on top of the stone, it is an impregnator, which is absorbed by the stone and fills the pores in order to repel food and liquid. Over time, cleaners do reduce the effectiveness of the sealer, requiring re-sealing of the stone. Re-sealing could be necessary every 1-5 years, depending on the material and sealer used. In order to increase the life of your sealer, use cleaners that are intended for natural stone.
Will granite stain?
No. However, granite porosities vary. Some granite if not properly sealed can absorb liquid into the pores. This may appear at first to stain; however, in many instances, a dark area on the countertop will dry and disappear over time. If discoloration occurs, there are products on the market to remove them. Consult your stone professional or retail store specializing in stone.
Will the polish on my countertops wear off over time ?
That depends on whether you have granite or marble. Granite, with normal wear and tear, no. That doesn’t mean that if you attack your granite with a belt sander it won’t dull the finish. The only things that could scratch granite are typically not found in the kitchen. Egyptian Marble, on the other hand, is a calcite which will react with acidic liquids, etching the polish. Proper sealing and maintenance is more crucial with Egyptian marble countertops. Treat Egyptian marble as you would fine wood furniture. Use coasters or trivets to protect the surface.
Is the sizing always exact in tumbled material?
Tumbled stone pieces are intended to produce a rustic, old-world look. Therefore, they are not created with precision and may vary slightly in size. Some pieces may have large chips on the edges or may have a corner missing. Care must be taken to ensure an even surface when installing tumbled stone flooring.
Why can some finishes not be used outside?
Polished stone surfaces may become slippery when wet, and tend to lose their shine in a short time due to weathering.
Why are some finishes preferred for particular applications?
There are three important reasons for choosing one finish over another in certain applications: Safety When choosing flooring, it’s important to choose a slip-resistant surface for outdoor applications where the floor may become wet. Highly polished surfaces should only be used for interior floors. Also, highly clefted, uneven surfaces may cause a tripping hazard when used for flooring. Maintenance Softer, less dense stones such as marble or limestone are unsuitable for high traffic areas because they will quickly become dull and will need frequent restoration to maintain their finish. Usability The application should be consistent with the type of finish selected. A rough finish such as flamed would be a poor choice for countertops, due to the difficulty in cleaning it. The clefted material should not be used for tabletops, because it would present an uneven surface.
Is a polished floor recommended for a commercial application?
Polished flooring may be used in a commercial application if the floor is unlikely to become wet and slippery. It is advisable to have the floor material professionally tested prior to installation. Sealers are available that can improve the slip resistance of the surface without removing its gloss.