Q: What is Granite?
A: Granite rocks are igneous rocks also known as “fire rocks” which were formed by slowly cooling pockets of magma that were trapped beneath the earth’s surface. Granite is the hardest of all building stones with a very close grain, making it almost impervious to stain and uniquely applicable for any interior use. If polished, its high-gloss finish will endure even in harsh environments. These characteristics are ideal for countertops and flooring making granite a reliable stone for these applications.
Q: Is granite a do-it-yourself product?
A: No, not likely! Granite fabrication is a specialized trade that requires extensive training and practice in order to produce high-quality results – not to mention the expensive diamond tooling and equipment. A’ Bella Stone employs fabricators and installers with years of training and experience. Even a small vanity countertop can weigh over one hundred pounds, so safe handling is another concern that you need not worry about when buying from. A’ Bella Stone. Mistakes are inevitable with DIY projects, and when working with natural stone, small errors can be VERY costly – you can easily exceed the cost of our installed prices with just one small slip-up or miscalculation. When you choose A’ Bella Stone, you are assured professional results from the initial design through fabrication and final installation.
Q: Do I have to come pick out my granite slab(s)?
A: A’ Bella Stone stocks only premium “first-quality” (A-grade) stone slabs which are the most consistent in coloring, patterning, and highly polished finish. “First quality” slabs do not contain large discolorations or strong veins and are usually treated with a resin coating that strengthens the stone and provides a surface finish free of large fissures, cracks, or pitting. Our standard colors are very consistent in patterning and color and therefore we do not require individual approval of slabs before processing. Other shops may require viewing in order to gain written approval of sub-standard material (that you get stuck with). We are the stone experts – and by choosing to do business with us, you can expect only the finest of materials to arrive at your installation. You and your customers are always welcome to visit our showroom to view our available inventory and to get additional design ideas. We may, however, encourage slab selection on more “exotic” stones that have a lot of movement or unique coloring and patterns. Viewing can be at our showroom of our many stone importers.
Q: Are there additional colors available?
A: Our standard and expanded inventory color selections represent the most popular design colors. A’ Bella Stone maintains an inventory of our standard colors so that any project – large or small – can be fulfilled quickly from available inventory. Our expanded selections and other more exotic stones can be available in just a couple of days. There are new stone types being discovered and imported every month, and our strong relationships with multiple importers allows us to offer virtually any natural stone that can be found. If you are interested in a new and unique stone type – just ask us!
Q: Do you offer other types of finished edges?
A: Our standard finished edge profiles are included in all base pricing. The straight edge profile maximizes the bold appearance and quality of 3cm thick material. We offer other edge profiles for a nominal charge – depending on the shape and finishing time required. Our other available edge profiles are available.
Q: Can you re-connect my electrical and plumbing connections?
A: A’ Bella Stone is a highly trained contractor for granite countertops, but we are not licensed electricians or plumbers. Therefore, we can not assume any liability for making electrical or plumbing connections.
Q: Will my granite have visible seams?
A: Most granite installations will require at least one or more joints called seams. During layout and design, A’ Bella Stone will always try to minimize the number of seams required. Additionally, when seams are necessary, we will locate them in areas of less traffic to minimize their appearance. Finally, A’ Bella Stone is trained to color-match the epoxy joining adhesive to minimize the appearance of the visible seams.
Q: Are there special cleaning requirements for granite?
A: Maintenance of granite surfaces is easy, and you should consider caring for your investment properly! Everyday household cleaners – although not likely to harm the stone itself – could lessen the effectiveness of the sealer which has been applied. For regular cleaning, we recommend a specially formulated stone cleaner. For occasional cleaning or to bring back any lost luster, polish preserver is a good choice. On occasion, although granite is very solid and nearly non-porous, spills left on the surfaces for an extended period can leave some residual staining – even when sealed properly. Most stains usually dissipate over time on their own. If immediate stain removal is desired, we can help with specialty stain-lifting poultice powders that we offer.
Q: How often do I need to re-apply stone sealer?
A: Many so-called “experts” advise re-applying stone sealers on an annual (or more frequent) basis – they are in all likelihood just trying to get you to buy more of their expensive sealer. A’ Bella Stone doesn’t advise any preset “calendar” for re-sealing, and over-application of sealer can build up over time and cause a haze on the surface of your countertops. The frequency for re-sealing depends on the type of stones installed and the amount of use that the countertops see. An easy “rule of thumb” is to closely monitor the area around the sink. If you begin to notice water that does not bead up or soaks into the stone within 10-15 minutes, then it’s probably time to re-seal. Applying a sealer is easy, you can apply a liberal amount of sealer in the evening before going to bed and just let it penetrate and cure overnight.