The most common types of stone used for countertops include granite, marble, limestone, travertine, slate, sandstone, quartzite, and soapstone. Natural stone increases the value of your home and is preferred over other alternative materials for countertops. It provides innovative solutions that achieve a perfect blend of beauty, elegance, quality, durability, and functionality for your daily needs in your home. Stone is used in homes as well as in commercial applications such as offices, restaurants, and retail stores around the world. To impart an air of style and sophistication, while insuring superior quality and reliability; choose natural stone for your countertops from SNC.
What is natural granite?
Millions of years ago molten rock was pushed from the earth’s core to the surface, creating natural stones like granite and quartzite. Granites natural beauty and unique characteristics add luster and originality to any home, making it truly a “Designers Choice.” Granites durability almost equals that of diamonds which makes it appealing for everyday use in the home. What is quartz?
Quartz surfacing is composed of about 7% epoxy resin and color pigment materials and 93% of the finest quartz and granite aggregates. Through extensive engineering, a manufacturing process was developed utilizing heat and pressure to increase the color consistency, stain resistance and strength of the natural stone. Quartz is non-porous and does not need any sealants; it withstands typical wear and tear beautifully. Quartz is professionally designed and computer-calibrated to maintain consistency in color and pattern which allows customers and designers to make the perfect selection from our samples.
Natural Stone: The Creation
tone is a natural solid formation of one or many minerals. There are thousands of types of stone that have been quarried through the centuries. Quarries are located all around the world. A majority of stone comes from Italy, Spain, Turkey, United States, Mexico, China, Taiwan, India, Greece, Canada, France, and Brazil.
The minerals in stone came from the same liquid and gas minerals that formed the Earth. The Earth developed as a massive body of gas and liquid minerals that slowly cooled and condensed to a solid core. Through pressure, the Earth's crust began to form and heavy minerals were forced down to the core of the Earth and were trapped. As the crust got thicker, it squeezed around the inner core which created intense pressure and heat from within the Earth. Crystals and other solid forms began to grow from the mineral vapors that were being released. As the Earth's crust began to expand and erode, heat and pressure pushed the solid minerals up to the Earth's surface which formed colossal rock beds. It took up to one hundred million years to form some of these beds. Many of the beds are now used as quarries where the stone is mined.
Most of these minerals can be identified by their color variations, hardness, vein pattern, and crystal formation. Crystals come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The wide array of these minerals is often difficult to identify. Many stones look very similar to each other; however, they are all very different.
Natural Stone is also considered a low maintenance product because it typically requires only warm water, mild dishwashing liquid, and a soft cloth to maintain its beauty. The annual or semi-annual sealing process is also a very simple and quick, generally only taking a few minutes to complete.
Natural Stone: The Process
Natural stone is quarried from all over the world out of mountains and under the surface of the Earth. The blocks that are cut out are then taken to plants where they are cut into various shapes, sizes, and thicknesses. The stone face is then finished into a polished, honed, flamed, brushed or hammered texture. These slabs are then sent to numerous locations to await their selection and purchase.
Once a slab is selected, a template of where the stone will be placed is usually made. It is important for the customer to be on site when this step happens to review radiuses, corners, seam locations, overhangs, and other issues which commonly arise. Any changes made by the customer after the template is made can add price and delay to the fabrication process. Sinks and faucets for countertops and vanities will need to be adjusted for as well. Once the template is created and finalized, the fabrication process can begin. Fabricators then finish the stone to the desired appearance and create an edge profile ranging from simple to highly decorative.
Once the stone has been fabricated and the edge profile is complete, the piece is ready for installation. Scheduling this installation is tentative because with natural stone, issues can arise that can cause time delays. Natural Stones can have pits, fissures, cracks, corrosive minerals, and other unique attributes that can be some of the issues that may cause these delays. Typically stone issues do not arise and timelines flow without hindrance. To ensure there are no time delays on your part, arrange for cabinetry, plumbing, electrical, and any other construction necessary to be completed before countertop installation to be completed. Also, make sure to have any contractors or subcontractors lined up for reconnecting any electricity or plumbing because this is not the responsibility of the countertop installer.
Natural Stone: The Finished Product
During natural stone installation, a substantial number of trips will be made from the outside work area to the project site inside. Please clear a path for the installers to utilize. Installers are not expected to move appliances. Cook top and Drop in sink cut outs are sometimes made on site because the front and back rail of the sink are too thin to transport without breakage. Preferred industry practice is to cut out the openings using a diamond blade saw once the tops are secured in place. A vacuum will help remove dust while the cutting is done. We recommend that you remove items from the area that the cutting will take place. To minimize dust in other parts of the location, a drop cloth or sheet can be used to isolate the work area. Under mount sink cut outs will me made according to manufacturer’s specifications, no alterations will be allowed. While the install service does include general clean up, customers should expect to clean up dust for a few days after the installation. Scheduling the reconnections of cook tops and water is recommended to be set up for the day after the installation of the stone to prevent shifting while the silicone adhesive is drying. After everything is installed and the adhesives are dry, you will have a beautiful piece of stone to admire for a lifetime.
GraniteGranite countertops are the perfect way to renovate your space or put that finishing touch on your dream design. With the true element of nature and unique variation in color palette, granite is one of the only precious but durable surfaces for every room in your home or office. Bring to life that rich and exquisite look you've been searching for with the eco friendly selection of granite.
In today's society Natural Stone countertops are the trend for the industry. Among Natural Stone surfaces available Granite has set the tone for the most affordable, design flexible, and durable choice. It has a very effective and unique way of standing out among the crowd. Many consumers are selecting granite for their Kitchen & Bath projects with the comfort of knowing they've made the right choice. In fact, most consumers using Natural Stone are seeing 100% returns on their investment at resale. This fact alone makes it a very logical design concept in today's economy.
MarbleMarble is the perfect way to update your space or put that finishing touch of character on your furniture or vanities. With the true element of nature and unique variation in color palette and veining, marble is a great selection for surfaces or floor coverings in just about any room in your home or business. Whether you desire a beautiful vanity top, tub surround, entry, or even sales counter, you can bring to life the rich and exquisite look you've been searching for with the eco friendly characteristics of marble.
Marble is a great natural stone selection for Bathroom Vanities, Tub and Shower Surrounds, Residential and Commercial Floors, Back Splashes, Walls, Fireplace Surrounds, Interior Wall Cladding, table tops, furniture tops, and many other applications. It is not recommended however, to utilize marble's beautiful attributes in a kitchen space. As unfortunate as this may be there are acidic foods such as tomatoes, mustard, and lemon juice can cause staining or severe etching to the surface of the material. Among Natural Stone surfaces available Marble is a beautiful, design flexible and durable choice. Its beautiful veining and coloring makes any space rich in character.
Many consumers are selecting marble for their projects with the comfort of knowing they've made a great and timeless decision. Most consumers using Natural Stone applications are seeing 100% returns on their investment at resale. This fact alone makes it a very logical design concept in today's economy.
QuartzQuartz countertops are a great way to renovate your space or put that finishing touch on your dream design. With the true element of nature enhanced with man's creations, Quartz is an extremely durable surface for every room in your home or office.
Quartz is a great natural stone selection for Kitchen Countertops, Bathroom Vanities, Tub and Shower Surrounds, Back Splashes, Fireplace Surrounds, table tops, furniture tops, and many other applications. It is a great product to utilize in a kitchen space because of its non-porous properties. Foods such as raw meat can contain harmful bacteria, with quartz these bacteria cannot grow in the counter top. Quartz is a beautiful material, comes in a large variety of colors, and is an extremely durable choice. It's beautiful consistent and even coloring makes any space elegant.
Many consumers are selecting quartz for their projects with the comfort of knowing they've made a great decision because most consumers using Natural Stone applications are seeing 100% returns on their investment at resale. This fact alone makes it a very logical design concept in today's economy.
Does natural stone increase the overall value of my home and is it preferred over other alternative materials for counter tops?Stone provides innovative solutions that achieve a perfect blend of beauty, elegance, quality and functionality for your daily needs in your home. Stone is used in thousands of homes as well as in commercial applications such as offices, restaurants and retail stores around the world. Natural stone imparts an air of style and sophistication, while insuring superior quality and reliability. Natural stone for your counter tops from SNC is a great addition to your home and helps add value and beauty to your home.
What about radon?There are many studies that have been done on the radon emissions from granite. Radon is a natural gas found in our environment. There is far more radon that comes from soil around the house than that found in building materials including granite countertops, according to the Marble Institute of America’s The Truth About Granite and Radon/Radiation. These emission levels at their highest level are still far below the guidelines created by the EPA.
The Marble Institute of America is also a great resource for information on natural stone and can be utilized online.
Stop by our slab yard today to hand select your new countertops!