Q. What’s the difference between marble and granite; they are both stones aren’t they?
A. Here’s your answer in a nutshell. There are three main categories of stone we usually work with. Of course there are other subtypes, exotics, etc. Limestone is a calcium carbonate based stone which usually has a honed finish. Marble is basically a limestone that has undergone a change. Granite is a group of very hard, dense, igneous rocks chiefly made up of feldspar, quartz, mica, and hornblende. Granite is the most durable of the three.
Q. What material do I see on kitchen countertops?
A. Chances are it is granite. Granite is as close to an indestructible countertop as there is. It can withstand heat, wear, and liquids. However, there are instances where some marbles may be used for certain applications or in conjunction with a proper sealer.
Q. What about maintenance, cleaning, or even scratch removal?
A. For marble and limestone, use mild soap and water. Nothing acidic! You can also use number 0000-grade steel wool, denatured alcohol, and acetone. There are also various products on the market made specifically for stone (available at grocery stores and major retail stores). We use products from Stone Care International, which we also sell at our showroom.
For granite, use mild soap and water, acetone, denatured alcohol, stone cleaners, and, if necessary, number 0000-grade steel wool. Granite is much more durable than marble or limestone, and you are less likely to harm it.
Both marble and granite require sealing. Depending on the color and frequency of use, an application of Permaseal (15-year warranty, stain-proof shield) can be applied by one of our qualified staff to ensure against staining, mold, mildew and excessive water absorption.
Q. How long does it take to get my material from you?
A. Lead times are affected by many variables, including stone availability, fabrication details, etc. Generally, we can handle most requests in one and a half to two weeks, sometimes sooner. We inventory many slabs and do our own fabrication, which trims the turnaround for most jobs we produce.
Q. How do I measure what I need?
A. Unless your project is very simple and you feel confident enough to provide the exact dimensions and shape and are willing to live with the results, you should let us assist with measuring. In many cases we make a precision template to accompany your order. We provide this service and urge you to take advantage of it. If we are consulted from the very beginning, we can be sure you will get the correctly fabricated material, and we, of course, then bear that responsibility. There are often many factors overlooked when measuring for a remodeling job or even new construction. We can make sure there are no surprises by discussing possible seam locations at the time of measurement.
Q. I know stone is heavy, so what about extra support, and will it hold up?
A. We deal typically in two material thicknesses: 2 centimeters (3/4″) or 3 centimeters (1-1/4″) thickness. The 2 cm material weighs about 12 lbs per square foot, and 3 cm materials weigh 18 to 20 lbs per square foot. Yes, these materials can be heavier, but once in place in the right application, they are very long lasting and durable. Sometimes long pieces or pieces with multiple cutouts require some planning for proper support, but generally, in countertop applications, there will not be a need for extra support.
Q. What accounts for the differences in color of stone products?
A. Simply put, the coloring depends on where in the world it came from. Stone is quarried in many places in the United States and other countries, including Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, France, Italy, and others. Stone is a product of nature, not man-made, so there are differences in veining and coloring among neighboring deposits.
Q. How much is my project going to cost me?
A. No two projects are the same. At Ivey Lane, we will examine your project’s requirements and give you a quote. We work from drawings and information provided to arrive at a fair firm price as opposed to an estimate. Many factors come into play, such as material availability, slab size, material utilization, thickness, fabrication details, finish, edging, etc. The more information you can supply us up front, the more likely we are able to give you bottom-line fabricated and installed pricing.
Q. What kind of finish is available?
A. Basically, textured, honed, or polished, with polished being the most common. We can advise you if your application would be better suited for one finish over another. Amount of traffic, exposure to the elements, appearance, and other factors determine the proper finish. Polishing produces a glossy finish which brings out the full color and character of the stone. Polishing is generally not recommended for exterior use or commercial floors. A honed finish is satin smooth with little or no gloss and is often used for commercial floors.