Monthly Archives: April 2015

Spotlight on Granite

Undoubtedly granite is a fantastic material for crafting the kitchen or bathroom of your dreams. Not only is it hard-wearing and resistant, in the right hands, a master mason can create something truly beautiful for your home. Continue reading

Superwhite Quartzite Granite or Marble ?

Superwhite is a lovely stone that originates from Brazil.  Its popularity for use as a  kitchen worktop has increased in high end kitchens over the last 18 months. It has a lovely look of a marble worktop without the inherent issues that put people off marble worktops like acid etching and scratching. However Superwhite is not a true Quartzite that is as hard as granite if not harder, it is actually a dolomite. Which has properties that are between marble and granite.  Our advice is to get a small sample of superwhite and test it with lemon juice and weak acids to see if it acid etches and scratches easily. However it is a truly stunning material, exceptional when used as a worktop in the right setting. For our team here we believe superwhite displays all the character of natural stone, being truly individual and unique. Let our Superwhite worktops bring the beauty of nature to your home.

SUPER WHITE quartzite worktopSo in conclusion what is superwhite? Well most fabricators would class superwhite as a quartzite though that is not 100 percent true. However in the fabrication industry stones are often clumped together and grouped into large groupings, though these may not be geologically accurate. Many stones sold as granite are infact gneiss like kashmir white and kashmir gold. So would we recommend superwhite for use as your kitchen worktop? Most definately, it will require some care however it looks truly stunning as a kitchen worktop. Make an informed decision take a sample home, try it by  squeezing some lemon juice onto the surface and cutting on it with a knife. See the results and make your mind up based on the facts. If you require any further details please dont hesitate to call us.

Cut It Out: Why Templating is Important

The kitchen is the heart of any home. And your kitchen isn’t like anyone else’s right? After all, you’ve made it your own, it has your own unique style – from the installed cabinets to the tiles on the wall. So it makes sense that when installing quartz or granite worktops, you want to ensure that their as tailored as the kitchen itself. Continue reading

Caring for Granite Worktops

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Granite is a very popular choice for kitchen countertops, and as one of the most durable materials out there, with the right care and attention it can continue making a home look and feel luxurious for a long time.

However, our kitchen counter tops have a lot to deal with on a day-to-day basis, and it is important that you care for them properly in order to have them looking their best. Here, we will give you some tips on how to care for your granite work tops.

Spills

Don’t allow any spills to sit on your surface for too long, as granite is a porous material and can easily stain if subjected to deeply coloured, acidic foods such as beetroot, lemon juice and some liquids like wine and cooking oil.

When you spill something on your surface, use a piece of kitchen towel soaked with warm water to wipe it up. If necessary, you can also use an antibacterial wipe which can be disposed of after use.

Cleaning

You should clean your worktop regularly in order to maintain proper hygiene levels and keep the granite looking as good as possible. This should be done using a clean, soft wet cloth in combination with a pH neutral detergent.

Do not use abrasive sponges, scouring detergents or bleach when cleaning your surface, as this can damage the granite or make it appear dull or stained. Repeat the cleaning process several times a week for the best affect.

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Chopping

Although granite is a very durable material, you should still avoid chopping food directly on the surface. Granite is not usually able to be marked with a kitchen knife, however chopping acidic foods with a hard-wearing modern knife is risky, and can still dull or damage the surface.

It is best to purchase a chopping board for cutting up food in the kitchen, as this will protect your surface and is more hygienic when it comes to dealing with foods like raw chicken.

Extreme Temperatures

Do not put hot pans directly onto your granite worktop, as although granite is very durable and heat-resistant, cooking residue and extreme levels of heat can still damage the surface.

To protect your surface, purchase a heat-resistant mat or trivet from your local cookware shop.

We hope you found our care tips for your granite worktop helpful and you’ll soon be getting the most out of your granite worktop. Here at Granite House, we offer a wide range of options, from granite worktops to stone paving. For more information, contact us today by calling 01704 228574.

Granite Worktops, do they scratch?

Granite Worktops are not indestructable, though sometimes worktop salesmen can overstate the properties of certain granite materials. Different types of granite do vary as to how easily they scratch or chip and how well they can be repaired. Absolute black granite is the hardest colour of granite to repair and any mottled granites are easier to repair. The edges of granite worktops are particularly susceptable to chipping if they are subject to an impact.

So in conclusion granite worktops will scratch if they are subject to abrasive materials, these can be repaired  however is they are cared for properly they will last a lifetime. Quartz worktops are less prone to scratching than granite and are generally harder to chip again these worktops are not indestuctable either. For any queries you may have contact us for an informal chat.

The Advantages of Silestone Quartz Worktops

Here at Granite House, we have over 30 years of experience when supplying and installing natural and engineered stone surfaces. This is why we like to think that we have specialist knowledge when it comes to the different materials that can be used inside your home.

The two main types of worktops are granite and quartz, and both have their advantages. We will be looking at the advantages of quartz worktops in this blog; specifically Silestone.

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Bacterial Protection

Silestone quartz is a compound that is made up of 94% natural quartz, meaning it is extremely resilient. It also happens to be the only quartz worktop that is made with anti-bacterial protection, meaning it has added hygiene benefits.

Stain Resistant

Silestone quartz is easily able to withstand everyday spills. This means that stains such as coffee, wine, food and makeup are easy to remove, as liquids are not absorbed.

Scratch Resistant

It is one of the hardest materials available. This results in it being very durable and able to withstand a lot of aggression from external sources.

Acid Resistant

Again, quartz is probably one of the hardest raw materials in the world. This in return means that the product has a high level of resistance to factors such as acid spills.

Impact Resistant  

Silestone quartz has a high impact resistance that’s better than all other products of a similar nature. This is a huge advantage when using it for kitchen worktops, as it guarantees your safety when handling objects such as pots and pans.

This hard resistance is due to several reasons; namely, its natural hardness as a type of quartz, polyester resin elasticity and the vibrocompression system that is used during its production

Variety

The best thing is that it’s available as a wide range of colours and styles. In fact, it is available in over 60 different colours. Due to it being man made, you are able to customise your silestone worktops to whatever fits your home interior better. There is a colour to suit every style!

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As you can see, there are many advantages to choosing silestone quartz worktops for your home. If you would like to speak to someone about ordering any of our products or you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. You can call us on 01704 228574 and a member of staff will be happy to help.

Question? Do my quartz worktops need sealing?

Quartz worktops have a much lower absorption rate than granite worktops and usually do not require sealing. However if your quartz worktop is honed or textured then they will require sealing. With these finishes the pores are wider spaced increasing the absorption rate which can mean that any spillages are more likely to stain your new quartz worktop.

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Question? Do my granite worktops need sealing?

Granite worktops always need to be sealed. We use sealant which works by blocking the microscopic pores for stains to bind to and gives a protective coating that lasts for many years. All our granite worktops bare sealed after fabrication and then once again on installation.

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Tiling on Gavylon/Anhydrous Screeds

Today’s blog concerns a common dilemma for many contractors. Tiling on gavylon screeds when it is safe to tile on. Firstly you need to identify the type of screed; if it looks smooth and has no visible expansion joints over a large area then it is likely to be a gavylon screed. We recommend checking the specifications with the screed contractor to make absolutely certain.

The most important aspect is the dryness of the screed. Contractors recommend a timeframe which calculates when the screed will be dry; normally 1mm per day for the first 40mm of screed thickness then 1mm every two days for the next 30mm. However, in our experience these timeframes are rarely accurate and cannot to be relied upon.

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