Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What's the difference between Granite and Marble?

    Granite is an igneous rock, which means it was once molten and formed as it cooled deep within the earth. Minerals within granite typically appear as small flecks throughout the stone. Granite is one of the hardest materials on earth. Used as a countertop material, it is resistant to scratches, acids, stains and heat. It is long lasting, durable and available in a wide variety of colors, textures and unique crystal patterns that create a warm and inviting environment for you kitchen or bath.

    Marble was once limestone that achieved metamorphosis from intense pressures and high temperatures within the earth. This altered its crystalline structure and introduced other minerals that produced the characteristic colors and veining. The complex formation of these stones over millions of years produced a look that is unlike any machine-made products. Marble works beautifully especially in the bath where its veining patterns and color create exquisite designs. Marble is sensitive to acidic foods such as vinegar, lemon, tomatoes, wine, as well as some tile cleaners, mildew removers and other harsh cleansers.

  2. What's better, marble or granite?

    Both are wonderful materials each with their own characteristics and limitations. Granite is striking, functional and very durable. These traits make it an ideal choice for kitchen surfaces, bar tops, tabletops, and almost anywhere else that you choose. Granite looks distinctively different from marble and may not satisfy a marble-lover. Marble is softer and, being made of calcium carbonate, it will readily react to acids. For that reason, it is not the ideal kitchen countertop material (unless you can live with the naturally worn look). Marble is well suited for most indoor applications other than a kitchen, such as bathroom surfaces, tub decks, shower stalls and fireplace surrounds. Marble looks distinctively different from granite and may not satisfy a granite-lover.

    Granite is the most versatile stone to work with. Granite can be used anywhere indoors or outdoors. Marble can be used almost anywhere, but it has limitations. Marble weathers outdoors and it is more susceptible to dulling, scratching and staining.

  3. What's the best granite?

    Like with any natural stone, the best granite is the color and texture that you like best. Since it is an extremely durable and long-lasting material that could easily last a lifetime, choosing a color and pattern that you like is paramount.

  4. Can I use marble for my kitchen countertops?

    Yes. Many people do, but more people use granite because of its greater scratch and acid resistance.

  5. Why do granite and marble have "imperfections" in their surface?

    The complex formation of these stones, which took millions of years under great pressure and heat, produced a blend of materials that each accepts the surface polishing or honing a little differently. Also, tiny indents and texture variations are a perfectly normal part of the character that gives natural stone its extraordinary beauty.

  6. What is honed stone?

    Honed stone is a satin smooth surface finish with little or no gloss. Since most granite and marble are polished to a gloss at the quarry and shipped that way, we must re-finish the surface for any jobs requesting the finish to be honed.

  7. Does stone that is honed stain more easily?

    A honed finish does not stain more easily. Once sealed, it has the same stain repellency as polished granite. However, a honed finish may require a little more maintenance since it has a more abraded surface.

  8. Can I buy granite direct from the wholesaler and save money?

    You can buy direct from some wholesalers, but generally they charge you a higher rate than the wholesale rate they sell to contractors like us. Among the benefits of buying through AMG Stone is that, due to our long-standing relationships with suppliers, we can send material back that turns out to be unsuitable.

  9. How much does a granite kitchen cost?

    There are many variables that determine the price of a granite installation. AMG Stone tells customers that the range of cost per square foot is very broad, based on variables such as type of stone, edge detail, type and number of sinks, amount of hand work, special installation needs, etc., so we prefer to give exact estimates which include all the variables. Contractors who do not calculate those variables and who quote strictly by the square foot, too often become disgruntled when learning that a customer's specific needs or requirements go beyond the limits of the square foot estimate. This could affect customer satisfaction.

  10. Why make an appointment with you versus dropping in to your showroom?

    Either way is fine with us. We want to make sure that we can give you our undivided attention and answer all of your questions satisfactorily. Our focus is on customer service. We hope that by giving you the time, we can answer all of your questions, even ones you didn't know you had, so that you end up with the best possible product to suit your needs, and the best possible end result - natural stone you love living with.

  11. What is a laminated edge or bullnose edge?

    "Bullnose" is the industry expression describing the finished or polished edge of the stonework. Since the thickness of most of our slab stone material is ", we can either finish the " edge or laminate it to double that thickness, or 1". Full-Radius Bullnose is the most popular choice of 1" laminated or "built-up" edges. It is fully radiused and rounded, and because of its simplicity is compatible with many decorating styles. There are numerous other laminated edges to match any design style. Edge Detail Chart - (pdf format)

  12. Where do I select and buy granite?

    You first select a color of granite that you like from a wholesale stone supplier. Once selected, we input the material's size into your job information, and reserve the correct number of slabs for you. AMG Stone will have it delivered to us as part of our normal procedures.

  13. How do I prepare my sub tops?

    For most 3/4" granite/marble counters, we require the subtops to be level 1/8" over a ten-foot span. All cabinets should be secured with appropriate screws and shims. We recommend 5/8" CDX plywood for face-framed cabinets and 3/4" CDX for Euro-style cabinets screwed every 8" to cabinets and flush with front edge. Sink and stovetops must be set in place before we are called to template. Click here to download our Pre-template checklist. (pdf format)

  14. How long will my job take?

    From the day we make templates, it takes approximately 10 working days to fabricate and install granite or marble counters. (Specialty edges or radius projects requiring more handwork may sometimes take longer.)

  15. What's the difference between an undermount and topmount sink?

    An undermount sink sits below the cutout in the granite or marble. The stone overlaps part of the sink's rim, which provides for very easy care and maintenance. A topmount sink sits above the cutout in the granite or marble with a lip or flange of the sink overlapping the stone.

  16. What type of sealer does AMG Stone use?

    AMG Stone uses a penetrating sealer, which is a very long lasting modern sealer that was not available until recently.

  17. How often do I need to seal my countertops?

    Per the manufacturer's recommendation, reapply sealer every 3-5 years for interior applications, and 1-3 years for exterior applications.

  18. What makes one fabricator different from another?

    Like with any other contractor, choose a stone fabricator who is licensed, bonded, insured for liability, and carries Workman's Compensation Insurance. Make sure they have a record of being on-time and on-budget (without a history of unexpected up-charges), and of course, make sure that their craftsmanship is backed-up with great referrals from past customers. It helps to see and touch their work for yourself (such as in their own showroom). It's also comforting if they offer a guarantee. If choosing between two or more stone fabricators who meet these criteria, then choose the one who is most responsive to your needs and communicates well. AMG Stone is proud to offer all of these assurances.

  19. What are seams and why do you need them?

    Seams are the joints where two pieces of stone meet. Seams are one of the few disadvantages of stone countertops compared to manmade materials. We do everything we can to avoid or reduce the number of seams in a job. Then, we do everything we can to make the seams less visible. We use a resin to secure and seal the seam. We color the resin to make it blend with the stone. We also try to match the color and grain of adjacent pieces to de-emphasize the seams.

  20. Can stone countertops be repaired?

    Reasonable damage can be repaired, such as small cracks or chips. If the stone is chipped, always try to save the piece that chipped off before calling us to repair.

  21. Why can't fabrication take less time?

    While we use as much high-tech automation as possible, stone fabrication requires many hours of hand finishing that only experienced craftsmen can furnish. By the time a job leaves our shop almost every one of our staff will have touched it in some way. Hand craftsmanship takes time, but in experienced hands like ours, accurate completion dates can be depended upon.

  22. How do I care for my countertops?

    We recommend cleaning with warm water and, if necessary, an everyday liquid dish detergent (such as Ivory Liquid, Palmolive, etc.), which is mild and antibacterial. Avoid using general-purpose cleaners, scouring powders, pads or creams, which contain abrasives or harsh chemicals. Link to care and cleaning.

  23. What is a template?

    A template is an exact replica of your counter tops and back splash made from thin strips of wood, which are glued together. Templates not only give us an exact cutting guide for your job, but they also allow us to check before finishing the stonework, its clearances on counters and passage through doors, hallways and stairways.

  24. Can you make the counters from measurements?

    Yes, if necessary, we can, but our company's system is designed around templating as a way of eliminating errors such as incorrect measurements or out-of-square walls.

  25. How does granite or marble differ from Corian?

    Corian and other polymer/plastic-manufactured surfaces are formed in one piece to simplify installation. Because of that, they are often chosen for mass-produced housing. Among their many limitations, manufactured surfaces cannot compare with the exquisite natural beauty or long-lasting durability of natural stone.

  26. Do you carry anything like Corian?

    No, we do not.

  27. What do you need to give me an estimate?

    Just a sketch of the job will suffice, either from the cabinetmaker or homeowner, which includes all outside dimensions. Other information that is necessary is the choice of material, height and location of backsplash, type of edge detail and where, type of sink, stove, and any other special instructions.

  28. How much do you charge per square foot?

    There are many variables that determine the price of a granite installation. AMG Stone tells customers that the range of cost per square foot is very broad, based on variables such as type of stone, edge detail, type and number of sinks, amount of hand work, special installation needs, etc. So, we prefer to give exact estimates that include all the variables. Contractors who do not calculate those variables and who quote strictly by the square foot, too often become disgruntled when learning that a customer's specific needs or requirements exceed the limits of the per foot estimate. This could affect customer satisfaction.

  29. Why do some companies group granites in groups 1 - 5?

    Some mass-production companies who fabricate stone for tract or commercial homebuilders use a system dictated by builders that gives their homebuyers a choice of 5 price ranges. Since there are over 1100 types of slab stone available, all of them with different sizes and prices, from $6 to $125 per square foot, the system is over simplified and leaves too much room for error or surprise.

  30. Do you have any kind of guarantee?

    Yes. AMG Stone guarantees the workmanship for a period of 1 year.

  31. What is the process to purchase natural stone for my home?

    We have a simple 7-step list of actions that take us through the process: Download(pdf format)

  32. How easy is it to scratch the stone?

    Marble is very easy to scratch. There are few things that will scratch granite: diamonds, another piece of granite, hardened steel. Under normal use, you will not scratch it.

  33. Do I need to use a cutting board?

    Marble - yes, to prevent scratching. Granite - not necessary, except to protect your kitchen knifes.

 

 

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