Q: What is the difference between types of stone?
There are 4 natural stones commonly used today - Granite, Marble, Travertine and Limestone.
Granite is by far the hardest and most durable natural stone. It is an ideal kitchen countertop material that is virtually indestructible. It is hard to scratch or stain, and like other natural stones, it is heat resistant. You can place hot pots and pans on it, you can roll dough on it, and you can cut on it (although it will dull your knives). We will seal your granite before it leaves our shop to protect it from any potential stains. Although granite is very hard to stain (especially sealed), grease, oil, juice, etc. can possibly stain some granite if it is not wiped up, and left for a long period of time. Please wipe up spills within a few minutes to assure your granite will not stain. If it does stain, we can probably remove it, if necessary.
Marble has wide variations in color and markings (veining, etc.) that sets it apart from any other stone. No two pieces or slabs of marble will look the same. It gives a very luminous and unique look to any home. Marble is suitable for bathroom vanities, tabletops, and floors, when cared for properly, and not abused. Marble is a very soft and porous stone and is known more for its beauty than its durability. Marble must be sealed after installation, and from time to time, especially in traffic or highly used areas. Some colors and varieties of marble can be fairly sound in makeup, while others can be very unsound or brittle. Years ago, the Marble Institute of America established industry standards for recognized the soundness of marble, and what is permissible in repairing it during fabrication and/or installation.
Travertine is similar to marble in characteristics, but full of voids, or holes. Most come already filled, but some can be obtained unfilled for a very rustic look. The filling material cannot be polished to a high shine like the stone itself.
Limestone is usually boned (not shiny) and light in color. Very porous and can easily be stained if not sealed properly. Very subtle and luxurious look. Very durable and frost resistant. Usually dark in color, and like granite is very dense and can be used outside. Expect clefting (thin compacted layers make up this stone and sometimes the layers can shale off and create an uneven surface).
Q: Why AVSONS Kitchen & Bath?
We offer a lot advantages like:
- High quality stone - we do very little importing vs. some fabricators that mostly use their own imported stone - you may have to use their stone, even if it may not have the shading or markings you may like, or not like. You choose your own material!
- Granite is 3cm thick, and we do not sell any 2cm Chinese granite.
- Fast turnaround time.
- Wide variety and selection of edges (5 standard edges and 2 premium edges).
Q: How long will the installation take from start to finish?
Obviously projects vary depending on complexity. First, we come to the business or home and gather all specifications. Step two - fabrication and crafting - happens at AVSONS Kitchen & Bath. By this stage, most jobs can be turned around within seven working days. Which takes us to step three - installation. Under most circumstances, installation can be anywhere from two hours to six house and the most a single day. How does granite differ from marble?
Q: If I buy granite from AVSONS Kitchen & Bath, will you subcontract the installation?
Absolutely not. AVSONS Kitchen & Bath is the manufacturer, the artisan and the installer. We do not subcontract. Installation is a very specialized profession.
Q: What makes AVSONS Kitchen & Bath's product superior?
Many things - from stone quality to installation. But most simply put, much of our work is in the details. Starting in our shop. AVSONS Kitchen & Bath cuts our standard tops at 25.5 inches, providing a better visual presentation to the cabinets and cabinet hardware. Within our shop, we fully embrace and utilize the finest technology. Cutout Areas are reinforced with embedded bars. Underside edges are smoothed/honed. We use the finest quality glues and sealers. We only "hard" seam our tops for a lifetime of trouble-free installation. And our installers are all fabricators - seasoned professionals who know and understand the intricacies of dealing with stone. Therefore, they can prevent or solve unforeseen problems on the spot.
Q: I don't want any seams in my granite countertop. Is that possible?
Seams are dictated by three factors. First, the size of the slab of stone. Second, by the configuration of the piece to be fabricated. And lastly, by the constraints of the site. The finished piece must be able to be maneuvered into the space that it is going. At AVSONS Kitchen & Bath we pride ourselves on cutting the largest piece possible and minimizing the seams. However, be aware that a seam is not a grout line. We strive for a 1/16 seam. In addition, we color-match the seam to the stone color as closely as possible.
Q: What are remnants and how much do they cost?
Remnants are small pieces of stone unused in previous jobs. They are best used for small vanities, tables and/or desks. We offer remnants at a discounted price to anyone that can utilize the majority of the piece.
Q: What is your turn around time?
AVSONS Kitchen & Bath prides itself on having one of the fastest turn around times in the area. After all specifications and final measurements are taken, we will turn the job in 5 to 7 days.
Q: Do you warranty your work?
AVSONS Kitchen & Bath warranties all workmanship issues. We warranty the sink attachment and the seams for all jobs. We do not warranty any natural occurrences in the stone such as color variation. In the unlikely event you happen to chip your granite countertop, it is not covered by a warranty but can easily be fixed.
Q: Do you handle the tear out of old countertops?
AVSONS Kitchen & Bath can handle tear out of old tops with an extra charge. We also provide plumbing services.
Q: How far will you travel for installation?
AVSONS Kitchen & Bath will travel wherever is needed to install a job. The price will be based on the specifications of each individual job.
Q: Does it matter what kind of faucet I choose?
Yes, when installing granite countertops, you want to choose a faucet that does not have an escutcheon plate. To get a clean look with the countertop, the faucet will sit directly on the stone. You also want to consider your sink configuration when choosing a faucet. An offset bowl sink (one bowl is bigger than the other) is usually paired with a single hole faucet.
Q: What should I use to clean my countertops on a daily basis?
For daily cleaning, there are several options: plain soap and water, any of the many glass cleaners or a specialized stone cleaner. When picking a cleaner, try and stay away from those with harsh chemicals, such as ammonia. Ammonia and other chemicals will act to eat away the sealer used on your countertop. This will not ruin the stone, but will require more frequent sealing.
Q: I have been cleaning my countertop with just soap and water, but it looks like the granite is now dull.
Many cleaners as well as soap, may eventually leave a film on the stone. We suggest using a fine steel wool (#000, triple zero) to remove the film and restore the shine to the counter. Don't worry about the steel wool. It will not harm the granite. You can also use the steel wool if food or other material has dried or become stuck on the stone.
Q: I often hear that I need to seal my countertops every month. Is this true?
The densities of granites vary from one species to another. While granite is not absorptive, density does refer to the amount of fissures (microscopic spaces) between the crystals that make up your granite and gives it its unique color and character. Sealing will fill those fissures. Your countertop was sealed as part of the fabrication process. The need to re-seal on a monthly basis (or ever again) depends upon your stone choice and lifestyle.
Q: Can I place a hot pot directly on my granite countertop?
Heat will not damage your granite countertop. You can move a pot directly from the stove to your granite countertop with no worry. However, a direct open flame may cause irreparable damage to your countertop. Leave your propane torches outside.
Q: Can I use my countertop as a cutting board?
Do not use your countertop as a cutting board. While your knives will not scratch the granite, the granite will eventually ruin your knives.
Q: I have heard that granite will scratch, but yet you recommend steel wool and say knives won't scratch it? What is the deal?
Anything harder than the granite will scratch it. The diamonds that are used in fabrication obviously scratch the surface. That's how we achieve the polish that you see in the stone. However, most things in a house that will come in contact with the granite will not scratch the stone.
Q: Do I need to get my granite re-polished periodically? Will it dull over time?
The shine that you have on your stone is not a coating; it is the polished stone itself. You will not wear it away. However, a build up of dirt and film will dull the granite. We suggest using a fine steel wool (#000, triple zero) to remove the film and restore the shine to the counter. Don't worry about the steel wool. It will not harm the granite. You can also use the steel wool if food or other material has dried or become stuck on the stone.
Q: When my countertop was installed, the installer used some kind of wax on it. What was it and do I need to use it periodically?
We use a type of paste that was specially made for stone. However, any paste wax can be used. The wax that we use is a cleaner/sealer. Remember to use light color polish for light stones and dark polish for darker stones. Also, cleaner made specifically for stone usually contains an amount of wax. With proper maintenance and cleaning, the homeowner does not have to rewax.