Granite vs Quartz vs Marble Countertops

Kitchen Countertop FAQs

Granite, Marble, or Quartz?

Each material has it’s advantageous. Granite and Marble are timeless. Quartz stone doesn’t stain. Soapstone weathers and can be used in fireplaces, Ceramic slabs don’t stain or scratch but colors are limited and they’re very expensive. Vetrazzo has a unique look but it’s not cheap.

If you made us choose one, it would be Quartz. Quartz is a man made engineered stone. It doesn’t stain like natural stone and it’s by far the strongest of the different materials. The advantage for you to use quartz is we can have big overhangs without using corbels or other supports. When you factor in price, if you made us choose which material is best we will choose quartz.

There are different brands of quartz like Caesarstone, Cambria, MSI, and dozens more. We’ve yet to notice any difference in quality between the different brands. Cambria and Caesarstone are more recognizable brands and they’re more innovative with their patterns so those brands are usually more expensive. But if we’re comparing the same look across different brands, the lesser known brands are always less expensive.

Quartz has two downsides: It’s UV light sensitive so you can’t use it outdoors and it isn’t as heat resistant and natural stone. Here’s someone heating quartz next to granite with a propane torch. After about 18 seconds it discolors and burns.

Temperatures over 300 degrees can discolor quartz. With that said you should never place a very hot object on any cool material regardless of whether it’s quartz of natural stone. Thermal shock can crack any material, just like if you pour boiling water into a cool glass cup.

With all that said, don’t worry too much about the technical differences in stone. Remodeling your kitchen isn’t something you do often and the countertops are the most visible item in the entire project. Go with what you think is going to look the best. Trust yourself and don’t overthink it.

What edges are available for my countertop?

We offer six different edges, the eased edge is included with no extra cost. The other edge profiles are $1 per linear inch, except for the chiseled edge which is $4 per linear inch. Check the gallery below for a visual!

 

How often do I seal granite countertops?

Natural stone can stain so it needs to be sealed with a chemical. Wax on, wax off, that’s all there is to it. But these sealers don’t last forever. What wears away at the sealer are cleaning chemicals. If you’re using harsh chemicals the clean your counters you will need seal more often. If you use softer cleaning agents it’s going to last longer.

The area around your sink may need to be sealed every 18 months. But your desk area might be sealed once and never need sealing again.

To see if your countertop needs to be sealed pour some water on it and come back in 10 minutes. If the water is absorbed into the stone you need to reseal it. If it beads on top of the stone, you’re in the clear.

What type of seams are available?

We have 2 main styles of seams. The first is a saw cut seam, which is great for small seams in front of sink cutouts, etc. The other is caled a euro seam which has a curve to it and is great for larger areas as it masks the cut very well.

 

How are my countertops cut?

We have 2 main ways we use to cut your counterops from the solid slabs.  The first method is with a saw, which is great for straight cuts, but cannot do curves.  The second method is a waterjet that  shoots water so fast that it cuts through the stone like butter.  This method is great for cutting the curves, but not as fast when it comes to the straight cuts, so your coutertop will almost always use a combo of the 2 methods.

 

Why are they different prices?

Stone is a commodity and it’s all about supply and demand. Some stones are hot and that makes them more expensive today. Some stones are rare, some stones aren’t.

More expensive does not mean higher quality. In fact, lower quality stones are often higher tiers because they are more fragile or because they are more difficult to fabricate because they break or chip easily.

Do old countertops need to be removed first?

No, we can measure with the old countertops still on there. Keep your old counters until the day or two prior to installation. Once you demolish be prepared to adjust cabinets so that they are level. We can’t install on an out-of-level surface.

If you move your cabinets after we measure, we’ll need to charge a trip fee and remeasure. If cabinets move after we’ve started cutting, you’re going to be charged for refabrication.

How are my countertops cut?

We have 2 main ways we use to cut your counterops from the solid slabs.  The first method is with a saw, which is great for straight cuts, but cannot do curves.  The second method is a waterjet that  shoots water so fast that it cuts through the stone like butter.  This method is great for cutting the curves, but not as fast when it comes to the straight cuts, so your coutertop will almost always use a combo of the 2 methods.

 

How Long Does it take to Install Countertops?

We aim to meet with you in your home to design the counters within 1 week of deposit. Once the design is finished we’ll send you an invoice usually the next business day. After you pay we get the slabs, sinks, and any other materials in. If it’s in-stock stone and one of our sinks, we try to install within 10 days of your payment.

For out-of-stock stones it will usually add another week to the process, but sometimes it takes quite a bit longer. For example Cambria offers about 120 colors. Their local distributor stocks about 70 of those colors. So if it’s one the 50 not stocked in Denver, that can take a few weeks to bring in.

Can your computers match colors perfectly?

 

Not really. We do our best to work with natural stone but we can’t change the essence of the stone. Natural stone is inherently beautiful in the fact that it is natural, no two pieces are alike. If color differences are going to both you on your countertops do not choose a color with wide color variation. Here is an example of a customer project that demonstrates the color matching capabilities of a stone fabricator. 

 

 

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