FAQ – Countertop & Materials: Make Strong Decisions

General FAQ

What costs more, Granite or Quartz?

The pricing of Granite and Quartz countertops is subject to variation, influenced by factors such as quality, color, and location. In a general sense, Quartz countertops typically come with a slightly higher price tag compared to Granite. The manufacturing process of Quartz contributes to increased production and installation costs, surpassing the expenses associated with mining and processing natural Granite. It’s worth noting that the price difference may not be substantial, and variables like brand, pattern, and regional factors can impact the ultimate cost. At our establishment, we provide competitive and affordable pricing for both Quartz and Granite from our stock, ensuring you can achieve your envisioned aesthetic without compromising on quality.

What is Asco’s turnaround for ordering and installing countertops?

The lead time for scheduling your template appointment can range from 1 to 4 weeks, depending on our current schedule at the time of ordering. Following the template appointment, there is a 7-10 day lead time until the installation appointment. We strongly advise planning ahead when placing orders to mitigate any potential delays in the process.

What do I need for an estimate from Asco?

To obtain an estimate, if you currently have countertops, creating a basic sketch detailing the layout and dimensions, along with notes on any areas for extension or modification, would be beneficial. For those undergoing new cabinetry installation, sharing layout schematics from the cabinet company or contractor is helpful. The more details you provide, the more precise our estimate can be. You can submit these materials through our Contact Form or via Email for general pricing. Additionally, feel free to explore our Inventory for design inspiration and pricing information on specific colors.

Can Asco remove my old countertops?

Certainly! We offer comprehensive removal and disposal services for existing countertops, including materials like Formica or Corian. Additionally, our services extend to the removal and disposal of Granite, Quartz, and other Natural & Engineered Stone countertops. For a hassle-free experience, consider adding our plumbing disconnect & reconnect service to enjoy a complete turnkey solution.

Do I need to seal my Granite?

To determine if your Granite requires sealing, a common method is to sprinkle water on the countertop. If the water is absorbed into the stone without beading up, we recommend applying a sealer. Another sign of water absorption is the darkening of the stone, especially in areas exposed to high water, such as around the sink.

How can I prevent staining of Granite, Marble, or Quartzite?

Achieving complete stain-proofing for Granite or Marble is challenging, as most methods only provide stain resistance that diminishes over time. These durable natural stones require regular maintenance, involving gentle wiping with a damp cloth and mild soap for daily care. To safeguard against staining, it’s crucial to apply a granite sealer annually or as needed. Exercise caution to steer clear of acidic or abrasive cleaners that may potentially harm the surface.

For Marble surfaces, opt for a pH-neutral cleaner and a soft cloth for effective yet gentle cleaning. Regular sealing with a marble sealer is vital to ward off stains and preserve its aesthetic appeal. Avoid exposure to acidic substances like citrus juices and acidic cleaners, as they can cause harm to the surface.

Does Granite or Quartzite have a surface that is completely smooth?

In general, Granite often features natural fissures and pits that contribute to its unique characteristics. Quarries commonly apply a resin to the stone’s surface to minimize these features and create a more uniform appearance. However, these natural elements may still be noticeable to some extent, varying depending on the specific material.

Do Granite & Quartz chip or scratch?

Granite and quartz are both durable materials, but they are not entirely impervious to chipping or scratching. Granite, being a natural stone, may experience chipping or scratching in rare instances, especially if subjected to heavy impacts or sharp objects. Quartz, on the other hand, is engineered with durability in mind and is less prone to chipping or scratching than granite.

Can I cut on Granite or Quartz?

Yes, granite is a durable material with a hardness rating of 7 on the Mohs scale. Granite can be used as a cutting surface without scratching, however repeated use will dull the surface finish and your knives as well. We recommend the use of a cutting board to maintain the surface sheen for many years to come.

Can I use Marble in the kitchen?

Marble while being a beautiful stone is not the most recommended material in kitchens due to its high maintenance requirements, tendency to stain, scratch, and etch. A timeless natural stone formed from metamorphic rock, is widely chosen as a solid surface material for its unmatched elegance and aesthetic appeal. Its pros encompass a luxurious appearance characterized by unique veining and a range of soft, inviting colors, adding sophistication to any setting. Marble remains relatively cool, making it ideal for baking and pastry-making surfaces. However, it is softer and more porous compared to granite, making it susceptible to scratches, stains, and etching from acidic substances. As a result, it requires regular sealing and careful maintenance to preserve its beauty. Despite its maintenance needs and potential vulnerabilities, many still opt for marble due to its classic and opulent ambiance that can significantly elevate the look of any space. We recommend very careful consideration of these things prior to selecting to furnish your kitchen with Marble.

Can I set hot pans on Granite?

Yes, Granite is an ideal surface because under normal conditions it will not burn or be harmed by hot pots, pans, or open flames. The use of trivets however is recommended to avoid any unforeseen stress on the Granite due to rapid changes in temperature.

Can I set hot pans on Engineered Quartz?

No it is not recommended, while Quartz countertops are durable and under normal conditions do not burn, however the resins within the product may discolor when exposed to extreme heat for a period of time. We always recommend using something as a buffer – i.e. towel or trivet – between the quartz and hot pots or pans.

How much overhang can I have without support?

For most Granite we recommend bracing for overhangs 10” and over. Large horizontal spans like between cabinets also require a support system. For Engineered Quartz we recommend bracing for overhangs 14″ and over.

Quartz FAQ

What is Quartz?

Engineered quartz, often referred to as quartz countertops, is a man-made surface material composed of about 90-95% crushed natural quartz crystals combined with resins, polymers, and pigments. This manufacturing process results in a highly durable and non-porous countertop that is resistant to staining and scratching. Engineered quartz offers a wide range of colors and patterns, making it a popular choice for kitchen and bathroom surfaces due to the versatility of color combinations and options.

How do I maintain my Quartz Countertops?

Maintaining quartz countertops is relatively simple. Regularly clean them with a mixture of mild dish soap and water, using a soft cloth or sponge. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as they can damage the surface. Unlike natural stone, quartz doesn’t require sealing, making it low-maintenance. To prevent stains, wipe up spills promptly, and for stubborn stains, use a gentle household cleaner if needed. While quartz is heat-resistant, it’s highly advisable to use trivets or hot pads to protect the surface from extreme temperature exposure. With proper care, quartz countertops can maintain their beauty and durability for years.

Are there variations in Quartz slabs?

Quartz countertops may not be exactly consistent from slab to slab due to variations in the natural quartz crystals used in their production, as well as differences in the manufacturing process. Each slab is created by mixing natural quartz with resins and pigments, and the distribution of these components can lead to variations in color, pattern, and veining. Additionally, different production batches and conditions may result in slight discrepancies in the appearance of the slabs, making them unique and adding to their natural beauty while not being entirely uniform.

Can I use Quartz around a fireplace?

While quartz is heat-resistant and can withstand temperatures of up to 150°C (300°F), it is not suitable for direct, prolonged exposure to high heat, such as that produced by a fireplace. Over time, extreme heat can cause discoloration, thermal shock, and damage to the resin binder in quartz countertops, leading to potential problems. It’s advisable to maintain a safe distance between quartz surfaces and the fireplace or use heat-resistant materials in areas exposed to direct flames or intense heat.

Granite FAQ

What is Granite?

Granite forms deep within the Earth’s crust, imbuing it with remarkable hardness and heat resistance. Granite countertops offer several key advantages. First and foremost, their durability is unparalleled, making them resistant to scratches and the rigors of daily use, and they can also handle high temperatures well. Moreover, the uniqueness of each granite slab adds an element of natural beauty to your kitchen or bathroom, with a diverse range of colors and patterns to choose from. Beyond practicality, granite countertops often boost the resale value of a property, as their longevity and aesthetic appeal are highly desirable. It’s worth noting that while granite boasts numerous advantages, its appearance and texture may not suit everyone’s preferences especially if they prefer a more uniform or modern look.

How do I maintain my Granite Countertops?

To care for and maintain granite countertops, regularly clean them with a mixture of mild dish soap and water, using a soft cloth or sponge. Avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as these can damage the surface. It’s essential to seal your granite countertop every 1-3 years to prevent staining, sometimes more frequent sealing is necessary. Wipe up spills promptly to prevent absorption into more porous granite colors. While granite is highly heat-resistant, it’s best to use trivets or hot pads to protect the surface from extreme temperatures. Finally, be cautious with acidic substances like vinegar and lemon juice, as they can dull the finish over time. By following these guidelines, you can ensure the longevity and beauty of your granite countertops.

Can I remove stains from Granite?

Yes, you can remove stains from granite countertops. Start by identifying the type of stain and clean it with a mild dish soap and water solution. Rinse and dry the area thoroughly. For persistent or penetrated stains, consider using a commercial granite stain remover or creating a poultice with baking soda or hydrogen peroxide. Timely cleaning and proper sealing can help prevent stains, and consulting a professional may be necessary for particularly stubborn or deep-seated stains.

Why is Granite not perfectly smooth?

Feeling veins and pits on a polished granite slab is typically due to the natural variations and characteristics of the stone itself. Granite is formed from various minerals and can contain veining, fissures, or surface imperfections which are often highlighted during the polishing process. These unique features are part of the stone’s beauty and authenticity, and while they may be visible and tactile, they don’t necessarily affect the granite’s quality or durability.

Why is there a net/netting on the back of the slab?

Granite slabs with netting on the back often have it to reinforce the stone and prevent potential cracking or breaking during fabrication, transportation, and installation. This netting, made of fiberglass or other materials, adds structural support and stability to the otherwise brittle natural stone, making it easier to handle and reducing the risk of damage during various processes.