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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Q. Can DFW StoneWorks give me an estimate if I e-mail or FAX a sketch?

A. Certainly. Please make all the measurements as accurate as possible and allow for a 1.5 inch overhang for all of the cabinets. Consider any backsplash that will be removed and measure accordingly so that the new countertop will fit properly. Mark special areas (curves etc.), indicate your preferred edge(s), colors, and details of your sink (Under mount or over mount). Also indicate whether we will need to remove your old countertop and back splash. While estimates done this way can be quite close to the final numbers; we cannot finalize the costs until we visit your project and take accurate measurements for ourselves and discuss all the aspects of your job.

 

 

Q. The Timeline - how long will all this take and in what sequence?​

A. Here is the "normal" sequence of events:

- Call to schedule an in home design session.

- During the design session: select your granite color. (We will bring full size 12X12 samples to your home)

- Finalize choices (granite, sinks, faucet, cook top etc.) and schedule a templating date and reserve an Installation date.

Also make sure your faucet choice goes with your sink choice, consider the layout for the holes that may need to be drilled in the granite.

Templates are made (remember to clear off your existing countertops).

If not in stock; the granite is acquired by DFW StoneWorks and cut to size, edged and polished.

On installation day the old counters are removed, new ones installed and the sink is mounted.

For Under mount sinks the plumber should connect the faucets/ drains on the next day (giving time for the adhesives to fully cure).

Please Note * the critical path for most jobs is choosing a color and locking in an installation date. As soon as you are ready to go ahead with the project, even if you haven't fully settled on a color choice, email to set the schedule. Depending on the time of year, we at DFW StoneWorks, have a two to three week lead time - i.e. when you decide to go ahead our first available installation dates will be two to three weeks out. Unlike other fabricators, we will be able to set your installation date at the very beginning of your project and stick to it. There are always special considerations which can mix up the normal scheduling sequence so be sure to discuss them with us during the estimating and/or templating process.

 

 

 

Q. About how long will it take for my kitchen countertops to be installed?

A. The average time for installation of an entire kitchen can range between 4-9 hours depending on the size and layout of the kitchen.

 

Q. Can you re-connect my electrical and plumbing connections?

A. We are not licensed electricians or plumbers. Therefore, we cannot make electrical or plumbing re-connections. We can, in some instances however, recommend reputable and licensed individuals or companies to complete these tasks for you. This keeps us focused on the natural stone business to provide the best product for the lowest cost. When we leave your home the sink is fully installed on (or under) the countertop, but a plumber or the homeowner will have to re-connect faucets and drain lines the next day after all the adhesives and caulks have fully cured.

 

Q. Are granite countertops sanitary?

A. Once upon a time there was a report circulating that granite countertops were unsafe, harbor bacteria and can produce disease. This is absolutely FALSE, and the CDC have no reports of granite or any other stone used as a countertop as being unsanitary. These rumors are circulated by the Solid Surface Industry and other industries; in an attempt to compete with the Stone Industry.

 

Q. Why is granite an excellent material for kitchen countertops?

A. Next to diamond, sapphire, and ruby, granite is the hardest natural product on earth. Once polished; natural granite will maintain its high gloss virtually forever. Normal use of kitchen knives, cutlery, and cookware leaves no scratches. Heat has almost no effect on natural granite, making it much safer than synthetic surfaces with polyesters and resins. Pots and pans heated to 536 degrees Fahrenheit will not dull natural granite's lustrous finish, but the use of trivets is recommended to keep your granite counter clean.

• Over 400 colors and patterns to choose from, so that matching your custom project will not be a problem.

• Scratch resistant, (second in hardness only to diamonds).

• Heat resistant

• Cleaning and maintenance is a breeze

• Not only adds distinct beauty, but also adds resale value to your home

 

Q. Can granite get stained and do I need to seal it?

A. Granite is a highly dense material and relatively porous so it can get stained if a spill is not cleaned quickly. Sealing the surface with a water-based sealant is therefore recommended to protect the granite from water patches and stains. Sealing can be done once a year depending on the usage of the surface.

 

Q. What is an "edge detail" and how do I chose one?

A. An edge detail is the shape of the outer edge of the granite. There are many different types of edges and cost is one factor to consider when choosing a "premium" edge. One of our designers will be able to help you in choosing the perfect edge for your countertops.

 

Q. Do I have to buy the whole sheet/slab?

A. No. The color and style of stone desired determines whether the consumer must buy the entire slab or only pay for the amount of square feet installed. This is one of the huge benefits of using DFW StoneWorks versus others who only sell whole slabs; the consumer is not forced to purchase more stone than needed in all instances.

Here at DFW StoneWorks; we will fabricate your countertops taking flow into consideration. Buying random slabs is similar to buying fabric. Like a seamstress or tailor, your fabricator buys the raw material and sells you a completed installation. In the price is included the cost of transporting the material, making field measurements and templates, cutting, polishing, bringing the pieces to your job site and fitting them into place. How much material he needs is determined by the layout and the amount of waste. The fabricator will lay out your job in a way that will minimize the amount of waste material while maximizing the natural beauty of veining and pattern. Slabs range from 45 square feet up to 80 square feet. The average slabs is figured at 65 square feet. There is approximately a 20% waste factor when cutting stone.

 

Q. What is granite?

A. The term "granite" is used to cover a group of related stones, all of which have their origin deep in the earth's molten mantle. As this extremely hot liquid material rises and cools, it forms a crystalline, granular structure, hence the term granite. Granite and other granite-like stones are formed of hard minerals such as quarts, feldspar and mica, which are fused together into a very hard stone ideal for kitchen counters because its polish is resistant to household acids such as citrus and vinegar and is hard enough to resist scratching from knives and pots and pans.

 

Q. How should I care for my marble or granite?

A. Daily and weekly maintenance is the most important factor to keep your natural stone looking its best. A good rule of thumb is to never use anything that you wouldn't use on your hands. Simply follow the instructions below:

• Blot spills immediately.

• Clean with a pH-balanced cleaner and clean cloth. The term "pH" refers to the potential of Hydrogen, and is used to measure the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. A pH balanced cleaner will be a neutral solution, meaning that it will measure a 7 on the pH scale of 0-14.

You may also use a stone cleaner (available at most hardware stores) or a small amount of ordinary dish soap (white or clear) and water to wipe down your surface. Diluted window cleaner (50% water, 50% cleaner) also works well. Do not use old kitchen sponges, they may contain oil from your dishes and leave a film on your surface.

• Squeegee shower walls daily.

• Wipe down shower walls weekly with pH-balance cleaning solution.

 

Q. What is the difference between "honed" and "polished" granite?

A. "Honed" and "Polished" refer to the finish of the granite. The finish of honed granite will range from flat to a low sheen gloss, which gives the stone a softer look. Polished granite refers to the glossy, highly reflective appearance, giving it a smooth, sleek look.

 

Q. What is flamed granite?

A. Granite is flamed by applying blowtorch-strength heat to the surface of the stone. This causes the surface to melt and some of the crystals to shatter, leaving a highly textured surface; ideal for exterior paving or wet areas where optimum non-slipperiness is required.

 

Q. Can I cut on my granite countertop?

A. Only if you want to ruin your good knives. Granite is harder than your knife blades and will dull them very quickly, if you use the countertop as a cutting surface. Always cut and chop on a wooden or plastic cutting board. Hardness is measured on a MOH scale of 1 to 10, with ten being the hardest, and granite is a seven a stainless steel knife blade is around a six, so you cannot scratch granite with it.

 

Q. What is the difference between marble and granite?

A. Although both are stones and both are quarried from the earth, granite and marble (and marble's relatives - limestone, onyx and travertine) are very different from each other. Granite is formed deep in the earth's mantle at extremely high temperatures, and is a very hard, resistant stone made of crystallized minerals. The marble family - limestone, travertine, marble, and onyx - starts out as sediment - animal skeletons and shells, plant matter, silt - at the bottom of bodies of water. After millions of years this solidifies into stone. Because its main component is calcium, acids such as vinegar and citrus beverages can affect it.

 

Q. Why is granite good for kitchen counters?

A. Granite adds elegance and style to kitchens, baths and other areas of the home with a richness that cannot be duplicated in synthetic materials. Granite is highly resistant to scratching, cracking and staining. Impervious to heat: daily kitchen activities pose no problem and it can take a hot pot without the use of a trivet. Because granite is very hard stone that's formed at very high temperatures deep in the earth, its polish is not subject to etching by household acids, or scratching by knives and pots and pans; making granite an ideal choice for countertops.

 

Q. Can granite be damaged?

A. Like any solid surface, high impact blows can harm granite. Because of its crystalline structure, it can chip if subjected to sharp hard objects. Unsealed, granite can absorb stains such as oil, which can ultimately cause dark spots or discoloration. Heat from pots and pans or burning liquids will not affect granite under normal circumstances. A chip can be filled with a granite dust and epoxy mixture.

 

Q. Granite samples sometimes look pitted and cracked; will I have these on my kitchen counters?

A. Granite, which is crystalline in structure, always has tiny pits and spaces between the various mineral crystals. You don't see them on a larger piece because the overall appearance is polished and mirror-like. Granite sometimes has natural fissures as well, which may look like cracks, but are not structural defects and are a naturally occurring result of the immense heat and pressure that formed the granite eons ago. These characteristics are part of the natural beauty of stone and will not impair the function or durability of the material. A product of nature cannot be expected to look manmade.

 

Q. Can granite crack?

A. Not with ordinary use. Granite is most susceptible to cracks during shipping and installation. Normal use will not overstress this durable material. Normal use does not include standing on the countertops.

 

Q. Can you scratch granite?

A. Granite is one of the hardest stones in the world. It is highly resistant to scratching in ordinary use. A knife blade will not scratch granite. It can only be scratched by another piece of granite or with specially sharpened tools designed to work with granite like tungsten and diamond blades.

 

Q. Does Granite stain?

A. In general, no. All stone, however, is porous to some extent, but Granite has very little porosity. A few colors may absorb some moisture with prolonged contact compared to others. For example, a puddle of water left on the counter, for some colors, may show a dark spot when the water is wiped away. Usually, no evidence remains once the liquid is removed and the granite dries. A stone sealer is highly recommended for all granite after installation.

 

Q. Does granite burn?

A. No. You can't burn granite with ordinary use. It is perfectly OK to set hot pots or pans directly from the stove or oven onto granite.

 

Q. Will my granite look like the sample?

A. The samples you see on the computer may not be absolutely correct due to variations in computer systems, monitors and software compression. Marble and granite are natural stones created by the forces of nature. They are composed of various minerals and are susceptible to wide variations in color, texture, spotting, veining and cracking. These variations are expected and are the source of its natural beauty.

 

Q. Do Granite counters overhang the cabinets?

A. Most counters overhang by 1 1/2", which is standard. This may be changed for whatever reason due to cabinet configuration, cabinet installation, and/or personal tastes.

 

Q. How much overhang is safe with granite?

A. Any overhang 10” or more requires support brackets. Never leave granite unsupported where it might receive excessive stress like someone sitting on a counter or stepping on a counter to change a light bulb. You must have support underneath for these situations.

 

Q. Why is some granite more expensive than others and are the higher priced granites stronger?

A. No! It is simply supply and demand and rarity of color. More attractive stones are in higher demand and if they come from a distant land in small quantities the price will be higher. Some of the toughest stones are also quite cheap and some of the most expensive can be very fragile. Also note that all natural stone contains small "pits" to varying degrees. These are simply small voids between grain boundaries and some of the most expensive stones can be full of them.

 

Q. How much does granite weigh?

A. Granite tiles and slabs come in different thickness. The weight per square foot varies depending on the type of stone. On average granite can weigh up to 29 lbs. per square foot.

 

Q. Will my granite countertop have visible seams?

A. Most granite installations will require at least one or more joints called seams. During layout and design, we will work to minimize the number of seams required. Additionally, our care in manufacture ensures that edges fit together very tightly to help lessen the appearance of visible seams.

 

 

Quartz: 

Q: How do I maintain Quartz natural beauty?

A: Quartz is known for its care free surfaces. Simply wipe off any grease, hairspray or makeup spills. To keep the surfaces clean, use a damp cloth and wipe with warm water and soap. For additional information please see our care and maintenance page.

 

Q: How should I remove stubborn or dried spills?

A: To remove any spills use a damp cloth and carefully take warm water combined with soap and apply to the space. For tougher stains, apply a non-abrasive cleanser. If food and gum need to be removed, first scrape them away using a plastic putty knife and then apply a damp cloth to remove any remaining dirt. For additional information please see our care and maintenance page.

 

Q: How durable is Quartz?

A: Quartz produces the most durable surface material engineered stone. Quartz ranks number 7.0 on MOH's Hardness scale, which is used to measure the scratch- resistance of a material. It is resistant to cracks, chips, scratches and stains. Although it is very durable, excessive amounts of stress from objects can harm the surface.

 

Q: Do I need to apply a sealer to Quartz?

A: Due to Quartz’s non-porous surfaces, you will never have to apply sealer to any of our surfaces.

 

Q: Can I cut on my Quartz countertop?

A: Our engineered stone is more ‘stone like’, because it's a mixture of 93% quartz and 7% polyester resin which is pressed into slabs. Due to this mixture it has superior strength and beauty. Although your knives will not ruin Quartz, using a cutting board is suggested to avoid dulling the surface.

 

Q: How do I maintain the polish on my Quartz countertop?

A: For polished stone normal cleaning with a wet damp cloth will keep your surface looking great. To avoid dulling the surface, remember to use a non-abrasive cleanser. To polish your Honed surfaces simply use non-abrasive cleaning products such as Soft Scrub Liquid Gel because since there is more surface exposed marks tend to be seen easier.

 

Q: How does Quartz withstand heat?

A: Quartz is more heat resistant in comparison to other stones, including granite. On the Other hand any stone material can be damaged by sudden temperature changes. Be careful of placing your pans directly on the surfaces even though the material is not affected by heat below 356°F.

 

Q: Are there any chemicals or cleaners to avoid using?

A: Avoid chemicals with high alkaline or PH level. Materials that might contain this include, oven grill cleaners, floor strippers, toilet bowl cleaners, oil soaps, tarnish removers, furniture cleaners and drain products.

Q: Is caring for my Quartz surface really this easy?

A: Quartz’s benefits allow you to focus on the important things in life. Choose Quartz to be your surface of choice, and enjoy Quartz’s worry and care-free bonuses.

 

Q: Can Quartz be used outdoors?

A: Please note the usage of our products outdoors is not covered by our Lifetime Warranty. This is because Quartz has not been tested in prolonged UV ray exposure settings. Although we do not offer our limited warranty, some of our customers have proceeded with installation of our products outdoors.

Marble:

 

Q: Can I use marble on my kitchen counters?

A: Yes, but be aware marble (and limestone and travertine) are calcium carbonate, and their polished surface is more vulnerable to household acids including vinegar, mustard, catsup, citrus and a host of other food-related products. These acidic substances cause a chemical reaction, which will remove the polish. Additionally, marble and limestone can be scratched more easily than harder stones such as granite.

Marble does make a perfect pastry slab; it’s perfectly smooth, cool surface is ideal for rolling out dough and pie crusts.

 

Q: What is etching?

A: Etching happens when acid in some form comes in contact with a polished marble or limestone surface. This causes a chemical reaction, which removes the polish, or roughens the surface of honed marble or limestone. Granite is impervious to any common household acids.

 

Q: What’s the best way to clean marble and other soft stones?

A: The old rule of thumb is never to use anything you wouldn’t use on your hands. Never use powdered cleansers or abrasive pads to clean your stone. Even "soft scrub" type cleaners contain pumice, which is powdered volcanic stone, and might damage your stone countertops or floors. Never use any product which is acidic; this includes substances like ammonia or many common liquid cleaners such as Windex. You should always use sealers and cleaning products designed specifically for natural stone. There are excellent stone-friendly (and user-friendly) stone care products available at DFW StoneWorks Sales.

 

Q: What is limestone?

A: Limestone is sedimentary rock consisting mostly of organic material such as skeletons and shells of marine creatures and sediments. It is formed by material that settles to the bottom of bodies of water, and over millions of years, solidifies into solid rock. Earth movements over extremely long periods of earth’s history can lift limestone miles into the air. The summit of Mount Everest is limestone that started out on an ocean floor.

 

Q: Can I use limestone in my kitchen?

A: Like marble, polished limestone is highly susceptible to surface changes or damage from kitchen acids including citrus juices, vinegars, mustards, and so forth. Unsealed, some of the more porous limestone’s can be subject to stains. If the limestone is polished or semi-polished, you will see a rough spot where the substance sat on the stone. Limestone can scratch easily as well.