Why is your stone product so unique?
We hand select stone from quarries in all parts of the world. We then have the stone directly shipped to our warehouse in Shawano, where everything is stored indoors. It's our goal to ensure the stone we select sets your project apart from all others.
How do I know the stone will match my home's décor?
Our knowledgeable designers with over 30 years experience will help you with your project -- large or small. With all customers we take the time to sit down… discuss lifestyles, talk about your preferred look, go over colors, etc. All-in-all we spend a considerable amount of time to make sure your selection is absolutely perfect for your home.
Why granite countertops?
If you are concerned about bacterial contamination of your kitchen countertops, it looks like granite is the way to go. That's what a recent study by the Hospitality Institute of Technology and Management, a St. Paul, Minnesota-based organization that develops educational materials and research for retail food industry shows. The study measured the bacteria resistance capacity of six common countertop materials. Each surface was contaminated with E. coli (nearly 2 billion of the microorganisms), washed and rinsed with soap and water and then sanitized with a vinegar-and-water solution. The results are as shown in the table below.
eliminated by cleaning
Dr. O. Peter Snyder, Jr. who conducted the study says, "We hope our research will help consumers make healthy decisions when selecting a countertop surface for their kitchen."
Source:Today's Homeowner Magazine
Via: Building Stone Institute/Nov.1999
Why are certain stones more practical as kitchen counters than others?
The answer lies in the true and purest difference between the basic stone groups we sell. If we can impart an understanding of these differences we can increase the chance that the end user will be happy with the stone selected - and more than anything else, that's the key to our success.
The two most important words we need to remember are "carbonate" and "silicate". Simply stated, the important difference is that a carbonate is acid sensitive and a silicate is not. A silicate, like granite, for example, does not react to acid. If we take a lemon (citric acid), something found regularly in our kitchens, and squeeze the juice onto the stone, nothing happens. If we take the same lemon and squeeze the juice onto a carbonate, such as marble, the stone starts to dissolve immediately. Like Tums, also a calcium carbonate, the stone neutralizes the acid quickly so the damage is not deep. The damage will be the loss of the smooth finished surface. Acids will do more damage to a polished stone then a honed or matte finish. Both etch equally, but it's just more noticeable on polished stones. Try this test yourself. A little experimentation works wonders - but do not use your cocktail table. Remember one of the great things about stone is that we can usually restore the stone to its original beauty.
What stones do you recommend for kitchen countertops?
We know the stones, but we do not know your clients. As you well know, each client's tolerances are different. Some love the aged look of a Carrara kitchen and others... we'll just call them granite people.
From our last topic, we know marble and limestone will etch. Darker stones etch more noticeably. Some will also be more apt to stain, but we can impregnate the stone to improve performance - the denser stones will still be better. The bottom line is, as much as we love marble and limestone kitchen counters, these surfaces are not for everybody.
Many green marbles make good kitchen counters - mainly because they are not true marble. These wonderful greens are natural stone, but not calcium or magnesium carbonate, as in marble, but rather magnesium silicate (serpentine). Our industry takes artistic license here and deviates from the science of geology by labeling greens as marble because of their marble-like appearance. Pure serpentine is not acid sensitive, therefore there is no etching. Be careful here - not all greens are pure serpentine. Some lighter greens, like Spring Green, have some carbonate mixed in, and will react to acid. Also, there are greens that are true marble such as Verde Antigua and Cippolino, so be sure to ask us first.
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