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Frequently Asked Questions

Will bacteria grow on granite?
Bacteria, like any other living organism, needs something to eat in order to live. Bacteria cannot eat granite. Unclean, unkempt countertops can harbor bacteria regardless of what countertop material is used. Granite has performed extremely well in testing; performing second only to stainless steel in its ability to resist bacterial growth.
How do I care for my granite countertop?
For everyday use, wipe your countertops up with a wet washcloth just like you would your laminate countertops. To check if you need to seal your granite, put a small amount of water on the countertop in a space that it will not be disturbed. Let it sit for 15 minutes. If the water is absorbed, you need to re-seal your granite countertops.

What is the difference between "cast stone" and natural stone?
Cast stone is made up of finely ground stone mixed with resins or cement-based products, then poured into a mold to create either a slab of cast stone or to create sinks, mantels, etc.  Natural stone is strictly cut from the earth then cut and polished in its original, natural form.

Are engineered quartz surfaces natural?
Marketers contend that quartz surfaces contain 93% quartz. However, this number is calculated by mass, not volume. Therefore the true ratio of quartz is approximately 67 - 73%. It is also important to note that "quartz" refers not only to natural quartz but glass and mirror particles as well.

Is granite more expensive than man-made materials?
It depends on the granite. Availability, color, and country of origin are major factors that affect the price of granite. If the supply of a particular stone is short and demand for it is high, the price will reflect that. Given that stone is a natural product imported from all over the world, the price spectrum is wide. However, many granite colors are offered at the same price or sometimes less than man-made products.

What is a "pit"?  Will I have them in my countertops?
Most granite has some degree of pitting, whether microscopic or visible to the naked eye. With today's advanced processing, the natural pitting or tiny craters in granite are greatly reduced. These natural pits pose no maintenance or wear issues. The depth of these pits is virtually immeasurable.

Are veins weak spots in the stone?
Not necessarily. Some veins are strictly color variations in the stone. However in some materials natural flaws can exist within the vein, which enhances the color and is characteristic of that stone. Structurally, with today's processing, these materials do meet the strength requirements for countertop use.

How often do my granite countertops need to be re-sealed?
All granite tops are sealed at our facility before being loaded into trucks for delivery. We use a high quality sealer to ensure maximum protection against stains.

Can I hire Minami Granite Designs, Inc. to re-seal my countertops?
Absolutely. Call or contact us today for a free estimate. Be prepared to provide: 1) square footage of countertops, 2) job location, 3) stone color & type, 4)original date of install.

I heard that Quartz Surfacing products won't stain and that Natural Stone will. Can you clarify?
No surface is bomb-proof. Be very careful with anything acidic, oily, red wines, fruit juices or food coloring. These items will also stain laminate, Corian® (and other solid surface brands), and Silestone® (and other quartz countertops). Rest assured, most stains can be removed.

Will the polish on my countertops wear off over time?
That depends on whether you have granite or marble. Granite, with normal wear and tear will not lose it's polish. That doesn't mean that if you attack your granite with a belt sander that it wont dull the finish. The only things that could scratch granite are typically not found in the kitchen. Marble, on the other hand, is a calcite which will react with acidic liquids, etching the polish. Proper sealing and maintenance is more crucial with marble countertops.

What is "Antiqued" Granite?
Instead of the normal process of polishing granite, the polishing bricks are replaced with abrasive brushes which leave a satin textured finish.

Help! I have a stain in my granite!
Many stains can be removed from your granite countertops. You can call or contact us today and we will give you a free estimate to remove the stain(s) for you.

Can granite crack or chip?
Yes, granite can crack or chip. However this is usually caused by severe settling, excessive impact or abuse. Most minor cracks or chipping in natural stone can be repaired by a specialist in the stone renovation business or by a qualified fabricator.

What do I do if my countertop chips?
Most chips are repairable in granite and quartz surfacing countertops. If you happen to get a chip, save the pieces and call or contact us for a service call. Our service technician will come out and repair the chipped area using the pieces you saved. Many times, after the repair is complete, you can't tell a chip ever happened.

Does granite scratch easily? Can I cut directly on my granite top?
In order to scratch granite you would need to use something as hard as it or harder. While cutting on your granite top won't scratch the surface, it will dull your knife. Because of this we recommend always using a cutting board. Should a scratch occur, it can be repaired without resurfacing the entire area. In the event of a scratch, contact us and we'll send out a technician.

Can I have the stone that remains from a sink or cooktop cutout?
Sure! The pieces removed from sink or cooktop cutouts however do not have finished edges. If you would like the piece(s) re-cut to size and finished we will be happy to give you an estimate. Some customers will use these pieces as cutting boards, table tops, plant stands, garden pavers, etc.

Will my stone countertops look like the color sample?
Since granite, marble, onyx, slate, travertine and soapstone are natural products, with naturally occurring variations in color, tone, granularity, pattern, etc. these variations are expected and are the source of its natural beauty. The samples you see will vary either slightly or to a large degree from the actual slabs used in your project. We STRONGLY encourage all of our customers to preview their actual slab before we begin the fabrication process. We offer the option of a Stone Waiver in the event that you do not want to preview and approve the slabs designated for your project.

Is it okay to mix different colors of stone?
Absolutely. When mixing stones, it is a good ideal to consider which material would be the most practical for the space. For example, when mixing granite with marble, the granite would be best suited for the area around the range because it is the most durable. The marble could be used on the island or as a dining table.

Will you remove my existing countertops prior to measure & template?
We will gladly remove your existing laminate or solid surface tops. Certain countertops such as granite or tile may require a fee for removal.

If I perform my own removal, how much do I have to remove?
All countertops, build-up, screws, nails, and backsplashes must be completely removed. If wall patching or skim coating is needed after everything is removed, it will be easier to complete before the granite countertops are installed. If your install date is already set, but you need more time to complete the removal work we can reschedule the installation appointment with you as long as you call or contact us 48 hours in advance.

Can I install my own countertops?
Only you know your skill set and limits! Working with stone and quartz surfacing requires special tools, skills and a strong back. We highly recommend that you let us do your project from “soup to nuts” – including the final installation. Keep in mind that we have nearly 80 years of combined experience working with stone and our finished products show it!  Fabricating and/or installing natural stone or quartz countertops really is not a "do-it-yourself" endeavor.

How much does stone weigh?
3cm granite weighs approximately 18lbs a square foot. An average kitchen of 80sf will weigh approximately 1450lbs.

Do I need extra support added to my cabinets to support the weight of the granite?
Most cabinets should be strong enough to support the weight of the granite countertops. Additional support will be needed for any overhangs larger than 10", or if you are having granite installed on a half wall with overhang to create a sitting area. If at the final measure appointment you do not have adequate support, your measurer will let you know what kind of support is needed.

How thick is granite and quartz surfacing?
The standard in the US is 1 ¼” (3cm) material. Depending on the application, however, we can utilize materials as thin as 3/8”.

Is Minami Granite Designs, Inc. Insured?
Yes. We will be more than happy to give you any proof of insurance that you may require upon request.

How far can granite extend beyond the cabinetry without additional support?
According the Marble Institute of America, corbels or structured support should be used when an overhang exceeds 10" for 3cm material or 6" for 2cm material.

Do my cabinets need to be emptied for my installation?
We recommend top drawers be removed or covered. Anything that is generally stored in the base cabinets will not be damaged.

Does someone have to be at the jobsite during both the final measure and installation appointments?
Yes, we require either one of the homeowners or your representative over the age of 18, to be at the job site for the final measure. Keep in mind that many decisions need to be made at this appointment. We would like someone to be present for the installation as well to answer any questions that may arise during the install.

I want to install a new tile backsplash in my kitchen, when should this be done?
This should be done after the granite countertops are installed. This will allow you or your tile installer to know where to start the tile backsplash and what size cuts are needed.