Natural Stone Slabs for GTA Homes: FAQ

Natural Stone Slabs for GTA Homes: FAQ

Many GTA homeowners are building a new home or doing renovations on an older house. One of the most popular 21st century design elements is the granite kitchen countertop. With new technologies for extracting and finishing fine stone, having granite accents has never been so affordable. But many homeowners have questions about natural stone slabs. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

How durable is granite?

Granite is one of the toughest substances on Earth, scoring a "7” on the Mohs scale of hardness. It is recommended for both indoor and outdoor use, able to withstand even a Canadian winter! A high impact blow can crack granite, but normal household use generally will not damage it. Hot pans can be set down directly on the countertop surface, for example. You can even cut right on the surface without worrying. If your granite slab is somehow nicked or scratched, it’s easy enough to fill the damaged areas with granite dust mixed with epoxy.

Do I have to seal the countertop?

Granite is less porous than some other natural stone surfaces, but it may absorb liquids if they are left to soak in, and that can result in staining or discolouration. Regular sealing of the stone can help to prevent this. All stone slabs are sealed during fabrication, and the sealant clogs the "pores” of the stone, making it less susceptible to acidic or oily liquids. However, over time this sealant wears off. With granite, annual reapplication of sealant is recommended. This is a simple process, usually taking less than an hour. You simply apply the sealant, leave it for a short period, and then rub the sealant into the stone gently with a cloth.
If your granite countertop does get stained, there are now products on the market that can help bring the stone back to its original shine, but it is easier to take precautions to avoid staining.

Will there be a seam in my countertop?

Because stone is quarried in blocks that are usually no longer than ten feet, you may have a seam. Seams that are matched well can be nearly invisible, but it will depend on the stone’s pattern. Seams will be less apparent on subtly patterned granite, and more noticeable with pieces that have bold patterning.

How much does a granite countertop cost?

Obviously, prices vary greatly. The price depends on what type of stone you choose, what edge profile you opt for, and other add-ons. An exotic blue granite slab, for example, might cost upward of $200 per square foot. The average countertop, with no extra options, costs approximately $100 - $125 per square foot. However, you should remember that natural stone countertops are very desirable, and that installing one will add great resale value to your home.
Apart from reading an FAQ guide, the best way to get answers to your questions about natural stone slabs is to visit a fine stone supplier in the GTA. The best stone distributors maintain showrooms where you can peruse the many types of stone available, and ask questions; knowledgeable staff will be able to answer your questions and point you in the right direction.
Contact a stone supplier today and learn more about the beauty and durability of granite countertops!