What’s the difference between marble and granite?
Granite is volcanic rock, and is therefore extremely hard and durable. Its crystalline structure is far more resistant to abrasions, staining and discolouration than marble. It is suitable for use as counter-tops, tiles and wall-cladding in high traffic areas. . Lighter coloured granites may be somewhat porous, but can be sealed to prevent moisture penetration. This is achieved with a liquid silicon-sealer, which draws into the stone. Marble is calcified limestone, and is susceptible to deterioration of polished surfaces by the acidic action of some detergents and acidity content such as in lemon juice. Red wine and oil will also stain marbles. Marble is generally used in bathrooms for counter-tops, wall cladding and flooring. It is softer than granite, and can scratch more easily than granite. However; there is a recent swing back to using marble in kitchens, and accepting scratches and stains as a contribution to the “character” of the kitchen.
What is engineered stone?
It consists of 93% crushed natural quartz and granite powder and 7% polyester resins. Other materials, such as glass, coloring agents and UV absorbers are also mixed in. It is stain resistant and does not need the application of sealants. Engineered stone (sometimes referred to as quartz surfaces) tend to be as hard as a true granite counter top and are highly resistant to chipping and scratching. It is ideal for indoor use. Exposure to UV rays will discolour the resin component of engineered stone, and for that reason is should not be used outdoors.
Brand names include Caesarstone, Teramo Quartz ™, Vicostone, Samsung Radianz and Silestone.
Can marble be used for kitchen countertops?
Yes, marble is a durable material that can be used for kitchens, but the look and maintenance requirements are not for everyone. Marble is calcified limestone and are therefore susceptible to etching, staining, and scratching. Etching occurs when acids microscopically eat away at the surface of the stone, leaving dull spots in the material. This effect can be visually minimized by either using a honed or acid-washed surface instead of a polished surface. Also, since marble is more porous than granite, it is more prone to staining and scratching, so we recommend that a penetrating sealer be applied to marble twice a year to protect it against damage. Any spills that occur should be wiped up immediately. Despite the maintenance requirement, marble countertops have been used for centuries to epitomize elegance. The stone’s patina (the change that occurs over time) is part of its beauty and tells a story of meals enjoyed with family and friends. We offer a wide range of beautiful marble slabs for your project, and you are welcome to view current stock here on our website, or to contact Melvin or Morne’ on +27 21 907 1680 to view slabs.
What is flamed granite?
Granite is flamed by applying blowtorch-strength heat to the surface of the stone. This causes the surface to melt and some of the crystals to shatter, leaving a highly textured surface ideal for exterior paving or wet areas where optimum slip-resistance is required.
What is honed granite?
Granite is called “honed” when the polishing process is halted just before a reflective shiny surface is achieved. This gives a softer, matt appearance to the stone. Some fabricators are able to hone material that has already been polished. The honed granite should then be sealed with a liquid silicon-sealer, as it is more susceptible to moisture penetration and staining than polished granite.
How can one prevent slipping on a marble shower floor?
Marble can be acid-washed by the Sangengalo factory to remove the polished surface. This presents a somewhat textured surface, with the softer areas of the marble being more textured. A sealant is then applied to the acid-washed marble to prevent moisture penetration. Feel free to ask the Sangengalo staff for a sample if you are considering this application. It is not only used for non-slip purposes, but is sometimes installed as a feature finish.
Design & Costing
What is the most efficient way to get a quotation for my marble, granite or engineered stone requirements?
Do I need to choose the exact slabs being used on my project?
If you having marble or granite installed, it is vital that you choose your specific slabs. Every slab is unique, and has a unique reference number. This reflects which block it came from and what the slab number is. Imagine a loaf of bread. The Block Number is the “loaf reference number”, and the Slab Number is the “slice” number. If you are having engineered stone installed, it is not necessary to choose your slabs, as they are uniform. It IS important though, that all the engineered stone slabs being used on your project come from the same batch, as colour variations do occur from batch to batch. First visit us at Sangengalo to view slabs, or view them here on our website to narrow your choices. You can also view samples in our showroom, besides visiting some of our wholesale suppliers.
How long will it take to install our stone tops from acceptance of a quotation?
Once you have confirmed the type of material, accepted your quotation, and paid your deposit, an appointment is made for us to take templates. This is normally within 2-3 days. Installation of your stone tops will take place within seven working days from templates being taken. We will confirm how much time will be required for your specific installation. Generally a small installation will take a few hours, and a large installation a full day.
What are templates?
These are manufactured from 3mm board as a exact replica of what the stone tops will look like. It is very important that they are approved and signed-off, as your tops will be made exactly the same as the templates.
What do I need to have ready for templates to be taken?
All cabinetry must be leveled and fixed in position. This is vital for a successful installation, and cannot be emphasized enough. Under-slung bowls need to be supplied on the day templates are taken, which will go back to our factory for the cut-outs to be completed. Positions of the HOB, bowls and taps must be checked. Stone overhangs on the cabinetry must be confirmed. Joint positions will also be discussed, taking the total slab length into account. Your preferred edge profile will be chosen at this stage (if you have not already done this with our Sales Consultant at the show-room).
How and by whom are sinks fitted to our new tops?
During the installation of your tops, the under-slung sink(s), if applicable, will be mounted under your stone by our installation team. We ask that you do not plumb in or use the sink in any way for at least 12 hours. Please keep this in mind when scheduling your plumber to connect your taps and waste-pipe. We use a product called Siltech 60 for affixing under-slung sinks. Drop-in sinks are fixed to the tops and plumbed in by the plumber. Our installers do the stone cut-out and drill the tap-hole if it is being mounted through the top.
Care & Maintenance
What’s the best way to clean marble and other soft stones?
The old rule of thumb is never to use anything you wouldn’t use on your hands. Never use powdered cleansers or abrasive pads to clean your stone. Even “soft scrub” type cleaners contain pumice, which is powdered volcanic stone, and might damage your stone countertops or floors. Never use any product which is acidic; this includes substances like ammonia or many common liquid cleaners. You should always use sealers and cleaning products designed specifically for natural stone. There are excellent stone-friendly (and user-friendly) stone care products available.
Does Granite Stain?
In general it is unlikely, although lighter coloured granite can stain and show a dark spot if moisture is left on the counter for a long time. To be safe, make sure that your granite is sealed before and during installation. If this is an issue, check with us prior to choosing your granite whether it is likely to draw moisture or even possibly stain.
How Can I Limit the Staining for Marble or Granite
Wipe up spills on Marble or Granite as quickly as possible. Avoid using Acidic or oil based products on marble
Can I cut on my granite countertop?
Granite is harder than your knife blades and will dull them very quickly, Always cut and chop on a cutting board.
How should we maintain our granite and marble tops?
• Do not sit, stand or kneel on your counter.
• Do not cut directly on the surface.
• Do not drop heavy objects onto the surface.
• Use a trivet for resting hot objects.
• Do not use abrasive cleaners.
• Do not forcefully scrub any area of the countertop.
• Do not allow water to pool around sinks and tap areas for prolonged periods of time.