minnesota granite countertops

Frequently Asked Questions?

What type of warranty do you have?
Why do some granites appear to have cracks?
Why does some granite have many areas that look like little flakes or pockmarks?
Is a higher priced granite better quality than lower priced granite?
How big will the seam be?
Will my countertop require a seam?
What types of finishes are available?
What is the difference between Marble and Granite?
What colors are available in Granite?
Why use Granite?
Will Granite stain?
What is Granite?
Can Granite be scratched?

What type of warranty do you have?
Granite And Marble Direct offers a lifetime warranty on craftsmanship. If there is ever a problem with the installation of the granite we will fix it. It does not take much to get into the granite business, just a pick up truck and a grinder. You can get a lower price but the warranty is a "taillight warranty" as long as you can see the taillights on the pick up the job is warranted. BE CAREFUL in your selection of a contractor.

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Why do some granites appear to have cracks?
A crack is a break in the granite caused by a mechanical force of some sort. Cracks will be entirely through the granite from top to bottom. Granite does naturally have fissures. These fissures are more prevalent in granites that have multiple colors. The various minerals flowing at different viscosities cause the fissures at the time the granite is formed. They are natural and do not weaken the granite. It would be very rare for a fissure to extend from the top to the bottom surface of a slab.

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Why does some granite have many areas that look like little flakes or pockmarks?
Being a natural stone, granite contains many minerals. Some of these minerals, like biotites, are softer than the surrounding minerals. When the granite is polished the biotites are removed due to the high pressure used in polishing the surface, thus leaving pockmark type look. The sealant used will generally correct the rough feeling.

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Is a higher priced granite better quality than lower priced granite?
No, the price of granite is based primarily on two factors one is availability (the lower the supply the higher the cost) and the second is where it is quarried with the associated transportation and labor costs. Granite from Granite And Marble Direct, no matter what the cost, will be a high quality stone.

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How big will the seam be?
Standard in the industry is a seam width of 1/16 +/- 1/64 of an inch. There is a maximum lippage (amount one piece will protrude above another) for the industry of 3/32 of an inch at the center point of the countertop with no lippage at the ends. The professionals at Granite And Marble Direct use special tools to assure that the seam will be much tighter than industry standards. You should be able to freely slide a quarter over the seam with no interference. Additionally, our technicians are trained in how to color match the filler in the seam to the color of your granite.

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Will my countertop require a seam?
The necessity of a seam will be reviewed when our technical expert does a "Detail" for your particular granite installation. There are several issues that could result in the necessity for a seam.

Some reasons for requiring a seam are:
• the physical dimensions of the slab
• veining in the slab requiring cuts to make the veining flow in the same direction on the countertop
• physical limitation of where the piece will be installed
• access to the installation point (sometimes stairways and door ways are not large enough to permit one piece applications)
• the physical limitations associated with moving a very heavy piece (some can weigh as much as 800 lbs) into position
• the potential to damage a piece that has a challenging geometry.

Be assured we will do all we can do to limit the number of seams.

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What types of finishes are available?
An overwhelming majority of our customers prefer the standard polished finish. This finish brings out all of the beauty inherent in the granite. There are customers who prefer a more subtle look that is called honed. Honed is achieved by either omitting the final polishing steps at the quarry or by mechanically removing the polished finish with abrasives. Other types of finishes used primarily in floor applications, (e.g. flamed, hammered, sawn or jet washed), are available but will require special ordering.

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What is the difference between Marble and Granite?
The difference is in the chemical makeup and how they were formed.
Granite is formed from magma within the Earth?s crust. The magma is deep within the Earth and is subjected to extreme pressure over millions of years. The composition is primarily silicate crystals, and it goes through a metamorphic stage that changes the basic composition. The result is an extremely dense, hard material.

Marble is basically limestone, a sedimentary stone, and is composed primarily of calcium carbonate. However the marble, unlike limestone, goes through a metamorphic stage where the crystalline structure is changed becoming more dense and harder than limestone. Due to marble's calcium carbonate base it is not as resistant to stains or abrasions as granite. Granite And Marble Direct does not recommend marble for kitchen countertops. However, we will fabricate and install marble with the appropriate caveats.

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What colors are available in Granite?
There are over 800 different colors of granite available in the marketplace. Granite And Marble Direct works closely with all of the major distributors serving the Minneapolis market.

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Why use Granite?
Granite is the most preferred product for not only kitchen countertops but also for vanities, islands, bar tops, tabletops, backsplashes, and fire place surrounds. Money magazine stated that one of the easiest ways to increase the value of your home is to add granite countertops.

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Will Granite stain?
Granite is a porous stone and therefore is subject to potential staining. The porosity varies depending upon the minerals that are present in the granite. To protect the granite surface from staining it should be sealed at least once per year. Our recommendation is twice per year just to assure it is done once. Any stain that occurs in granite can be removed. See "Care and Maintenance" section.

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What is Granite?
Granite is a stone formed from magma deep within pockets of the Earth?s crust. The stone undergoes a metamorphosis where the crystalline structure of the minerals within the stone are changed creating the physical characteristics we find in granite. See section "Stone Education" for more details.

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Can Granite be scratched?
It is always possible to scratch a surface, even a diamond, if it is subjected to sufficient force. However, Granite has a very hard surface and will not scratch under normal use as a kitchen countertop. Go ahead and cut on it, but your knife will become dull.

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