Below you will find some of the common questions we get asked about Granite and stone countertops. Click on the question to expand the answers.

If you have any question that is not answered here please don’t hesitate to contact us.

What is the difference between marble and granite?
Granite is very hard, made of crystallized minerals and is ideally suited for use in kitchens and bar tops. Marble is a porus and most often used in vanity countertops, showers and fireplaces.
What is the difference between granite and quartz?
Both counters are considered equal in quality, it really just comes down to preference. One difference would be you have to seal your natural stones. Quartz is an engineered product consisting of 96% quartzite and 4% polymers. Due to the engineering of Quartz the colouring is much more accurate and consistent from one countertop to the other. Granite is mined straight from the earth and has varied beauty differing from one slab to the next.
Is it safe to chop, cut or prepare foods directly on a granite countertop?
Once the counters are sealed with a natural stone food safe sealer, it would be just as safe to use as any other counter. Like any substantial investment you would naturally protect it. We at The Swinstones Granite Shop always provide our customers with a complimentary cutting board to use for prepping, hot pots etc. without risking your entire countertop. Granite is known to dull knives, and I am sure this would be true over several years of cutting.
Can I damage my granite countertop?
Yes, granite is susceptible to damage from forceful impacts. You should avoid dropping heavy objects or sliding items with sharp corners on its surface. Granite that has not been sealed can absorb liquids and stain.
How thick are the slabs of granite that you offer?
The slabs come in two thicknesses ¾” and 1 ¼”. The ¾” is laminated creating an 1 ½” profile. Underneath we reinforce with steel and plywood creating a solid surface. The 1 ¼” is not laminated, unless client requested. Granite / Quartz all come straight off the top of the cabinets, unless clients kitchen requires otherwise.
Can backsplash tiling take place before fitting of the tops?
No, please wait until the stone tops are installed.
How much unsupported overhang can my countertops have?
Overhangs should not exceed 6" beyond the supported area. An unsupported span of 24" and up to a maximum of 36" is acceptable as long as the stone is supported on bottom. Generally if a customer wants to create an eating counter off their island they will have corbels/posts in place to hold the countertop. Now, if corbels are not desired we can do other methods of supporting you overhang, but of course each situation is different and will be assessed.
What are seams and why do you need them?
Seams are the joints where two pieces of stone meet. We do everything we can to avoid or reduce the number of seams in a job. Then, we do everything we can to make the seams less noticeable. We use an epoxy to glue and seal the seam. We color the epoxy to make it blend with the stone. We also try to match the coloring and patterns of adjacent pieces to detract from the seams.
Will you plumb-in my sink/basin?
No we do not plumb, but we do install all under mount sinks.
Should I be present when the tops are installed?
We prefer our customers to be available, or present on the install day. We understand that most clients work so we will still install and make other arrangements for the inspection. We will always try to work around your schedule to the best of our ability.
Can stone countertops be repaired?
Reasonable damage can be repaired: small cracks or chips. If the stone is chipped, always try to save the piece that chipped off.
Could I add to my granite tops later?
Yes although precise color matching could be a problem.
What special care does stone require?
Once the countertop is properly sealed no special care is required. Simply wipe your counters everyday with your regular dish soap water. Please see: How do I clean my natural stone counters question.
How do I clean my natural stone counters?
Like any other counter just use your regular dish soap water. We do recommend that you try to use a soap that has no citrus base to it. Not that it will harm the granite, but it may cut the sealer.
Can I set a hot pot on my granite counter top?
Granite is formed by extreme heat and pressure combined beneath the earths crust. It cannot be affected by heat from a cook top or frying pan. A lit flame placed under the granite will have no melting effect and will not leave any burned or scarred marks. At The Swinstones Granite Shop always provide our customers with a complimentary cutting board to use for prepping, hot pots etc. without risking your entire countertop.
Can I set a hot pot as well as cut on my Quartz countertop?
Cutting on your Quartz counter top will never scratch the surface, in fact it'll dull your knife long before any damage will occur to your countertop. Setting hot pots on Quartz is not recommended due to the polymers within the material, it runs the risk of damaging the surface.