These are a few questions we are often asked with regards to practically, nature of materials, design, and installation queries. Should you have any other questions please do not hesitate to call for advice.
For a detailed guide on each material, please see our factsheets page
Granite is one of the hardest surfaces you can invest in for a work surface and is highly scratch resistant. It is the most durable surface money can buy ideal for use for a kitchen worksurface. That said, it will scratch if an object of the same hardness or harder (granite, quartz, diamond, etc) or and earthenware item it pushed across the surface such as a piece of pottery or glass with a sharp edge or point. Your knives would blunt before they scratched the surface if you intend to use the surface directly as a chopping block however we advice against this, instead use a separate chopping board, this will ensure the surface is kept in mint condition and your knives are kept sharp! This also applies to any quartz surface like Q-stone.
Granite is naturally porous and if left untreated will absorb liquids fairly easily. To protect the surface, we apply a stain-stop treatment both in the factory and again once the job is completed. Some granites need more treatment than others, a rough rule is the lighter the granite, the more treatment is required. We advise that you reseal the surface every 2-3 years in a domestic environment. There are some simple tests we can advise you to check if the seal is still intact. Sealing granite gives it a greater resistance to staining, it does not make it impervious to stains however. If you have any containers that you intent to keep on the surface such as an olive oil bottle, we advise that you stand these on a coaster or in a basket to take any standing liquids off the surface. In addition, harsh or corrosive substances such as red wine, citric acids or oils will adsorb even through stain treatments is left standing on the surface for a period of time. Generally, to ensure your surfaces are kept in good nick, clean off all surfaces used after food preparation, clear up any standing liquids and keep any liquid containers from standing directly on the surface for long periods of time.
Quartz is different. This is a man made material that is non porous therefore the risk of liquids absorbing is non existent. Corrosive materials listed above would still damage the surface but generally the quartz is much more resistant to staining than granite.
Granite is formed by extreme heat and pressure, combined beneath the earths crust. It can not be affected by heat from a hob or pan. A lit flame placed under the granite will have no melting effect and will not leave any burned or scarred marks. You can put hot pans directly on the surface unless the temperatures are at an extreme. However we do advise that you use pan stands or trivets to stand hot pans on. This is to avoid any damage to the surface cause by something splashed on the underside of the pan and then heated which may cause some staining.
The only other potential side affect attributed to heat is the expansion and contraction but this is only to be considered when using granite for a hearth or in some commercial situations.
Quartz on the other hand does not have the same heat tolerances as granite and can scorch and mark if exposed to direct heat from a flame or hot pan. We would definitely advise on the use of pan stands for any quartz top.
Granite, which is crystalline in structure, always has tiny pits - 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 which formed the granite. These characteristics are part of the natural beauty of stone and will not impair the function or durability of the material. Most of the stock we bring in has been resin polished which means the majority of the pits and fissures are filled, however smaller pits will still be present. Some stones are more prone to pitting than others, for a guide on each material please click here to view our factsheets page. Much like knots in timber, granite contains concentrations of some materials that can form waves, clusters and boulder type formations when cut into. All these elements are part of the natural beauty of the material and shouldn’t be viewed as flaws or imperfections. There is no other material like it for aesthetics and functionality.
Quartz work surfaces are far less likely to contain any pits for fissures. Whilst the colours are all digitally mixed during manufacture, there can occasionally be some minor variations in some batches such as tiny pin prick spots or a slight shade variation but these are few a far between.
Granite is hard, very hard, so in order to chip the surface, it needs to be impacted with another hard object. In the unlikely event that your worktop does chip, we can fill the chip and polish it up so long as the cavity is big enough for the resin to stick into. The resin may appear duller next to the granite surface when polished although if you have the piece that has fallen out of the chip, we can usual glue this back in and polish up. There are a range of specialist chemicals at our disposal that we can use to address any mild staining or oil marks. Should your surface become scratched, it is difficult to polish out without affecting the rest of the surface however not impossible. The best way to avoid damage is prevention, check our other FAQ’s for more advice on care for worktops. Word of advice, take care around dishwasher areas as this is the most common area where pots and dishes impact on the edge of the worktop when loading and unloading.
Once we have installed your worktops and given them a good clean off and sealing, the best thing to use for general cleaning is standard soap and water. A bit of mild glass cleaner wouldn’t harm the surfaces should you find streaks appear from drying moisture. You can use a green scrubbing pad to clean off the tops too. Do not use any harsh or abrasive cleaners such as Cif cream cleaners or brillo pads. There are cleaners and polishes available from most supermarkets and department stores but we advise not to use these as they may not be suitable for all types of granite or natural stones. Instead, we would advise to look to a natural stone supplier for advice on specialist products should you wish to give it a deeper clean or some extra sheen.
Yes we do although we tend not to describe them as off cuts as this implies that they are free stock. Unless you are really lucky, the pieces we have in stock will still need to be cut to size and finished in the factory. We have a row dedicated to odds and ends that are from ex batches that are usable and that we can offer at discounted rates. So for that table top, small vanity or hearth, there should be an ideal piece we can utilise in stock.
This depends on what needs doing really. We can cut your existing stone if we feel the material is stable enough for us to cut and handle and if you have the means of getting it to us. If we can cut it, you would need to leave the pieces with us so we can fit it into our production schedule. We do not offer an on site cutting service.
Yes although there are a few more factors to consider when replacing existing top rather than starting from new. Do the tiles need to come out? Can the units take a heavier granite top? Can I reuse my appliances? Click here to view our factsheet specifically for replacing existing work surfaces with granite. Granite worktops add value and durability to your kitchen and we will give you all the assistance we can to ensure that you get the right materials and specification to suit your project.
Our general lead times are 5 days from template taking to installation although this depending on the size and location of the project. Once we have a plan drawing from you, we can assess the length of time for production and installation. Should a material be out of stock, we will endeavour to source replacement material as quickly as possible. Pre planning is the key to a smooth running project. The more notice you can give us to booking in your job, the better we can plan together. This is also applicable for selecting materials. The material selection is not critical until the day of templates but to avoid delay, we aim to get material booked out or sourced in advance. Our sales team will be able to guide you through the process.
Not necessarily. We have a vast range of different materials all priced individually so there is definitely a granite surface available no matter the budget. A granite worktop adds value to your property so whether you’re looking for a renovation to sell or simply a more durable surface, you don’t have to pay over the odds for a granite top.
In most cases yes. We can rout out apertures using our CNC accurately for both overmounted and undermounted sink formats. We can cut out around Belfast sinks and cut double undermounted sink formats too. Obviously the size of the cut outs determine the feasibility of fabricating the worktops but as long as the worktop depth is sufficient not to compromise the materials structural stability, we can form cut outs of any shape and size.
Quartz is much stronger in narrow strips and can offer more scope for design particularly with thin profile worktops.
Granite slabs range from around 2.6m up to 3.0m long. There are occasional batches that can extend to 3.4m but these are few and far between. Quartz slabs are set at a maximum slab length of 3m however some brands offer a longer slab for limited colours. It would be advisable to check with us first about maximum lengths of the materials you had in mind before committing to a design that could limit your options for material choice.
We accept templates, drawings or sizes to cut from so long as we have a clear understanding of your requirements before submitting to our factory. Templates are best made from a solid material such as plywood or mdf board. Cardboard or wallpaper templates (this does happen!) are not ideal as they are not accurate. A clearly drawn out cutting list is also acceptable. If we undertake any jobs using your templates or drawings, we can only supply the pieces on a supply only basis. If you need us to install your worktops, we would much prefer to take our own templates to ensure all details are taken with the view to site restrictions, handling, and other installation factors. A good set of templates can save you time for factory fabrication and installation and ultimately money.