Artisan Granite Countertops
Artisan Granite Countertops - Flower Mound, TX
Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is granite?
A:
Granite is a crystalline igneous rock composed primarily of quartz, mica and feldspar. It forms from slowly cooling magma that is subjected to extreme pressures deep beneath the earth’s surface.

Q: How strong is granite?
A:
Granite has greater strength than sandstone, limestone and marble. It is an important building stone, and is extremely resistant to weathering. Diamonds, the hardest natural material, are used to cut, shape and polish granite. Granite measures a seven to eight on a scale of ten for hardness, so that even stainless steel cannot scratch its surface.

Q: What are granite’s main advantages?
A:
Beauty leaps to mind. Another advantage of granite is it’s durability. Granite can withstand temperatures of about 1300 degrees Fahrenheit. That means you can place hot pots & pans on your counters or even cut right on it. Synthetic alternatives can make no such claims with a straight face.

Q: Are there differences in hardness between stones?
A:
Yes. Generally, Limestones, Sandstones and Soapstones are the softest. Next come marbles and finally granites. There are also hardness variances within each individual stone category. Among granites, generally, the lighter colors tend to be 'softer', and the hardest tend to be blacks and reds. However, even the 'softer' granites are extremely hard.

Q: Can marble be used in a kitchen?
A:
It can, but it is not advisable. The shine on marble is achieved with a final acid step. Thus, if you spill anything acidic [soft drinks, orange juice, tomato juice, etc.] and it sets for a few moments, your shine will be gone. We can bring the shine back up, but it is tedious and time consuming, as well as expensive. It will stain. There is no doubt about it, it is just a matter of when and how much. Some accept these inherent limitations because they love the beauty of the marble, and that is just fine. But, we will make you aware of the pitfalls.

Q: What about synthetic stones?
A:
Most synthetics are 92% quartz and 8% polyester resins. They are strong, but they are monochromatic. They burn, scratch and fade. Colors are achieved by tinting the soft polyester adhesives. The real name should be Engineered Gravel because that is exactly why it was invented. As you might imagine, we monitor that market quite closely. We find that consumers prefer natural products over synthetics and most stone buyers tend to prefer stones with at least a little movement. Synthetics materials simply don't offer the pattern and color variations of natural stone or performance or proven investment returns.

Q: Doesn’t granite require a lot of care?
A:
Caring for granite is simple. There are many products on the market that can be used for caring for your countertops, but mild soap and water is usually sufficient for daily cleaning.

Q: What about maintenance?
I keep hearing granite needs to be sealed frequently.
A:
At Artisan Granite, we clean and then seal all our countertops before leaving your home. We recommend re-sealing your granite once a year with a good quality, non-enhancing sealant (We prefer Dupont's "Stone and Tile Sealant") . Everyday cleaning of your stone can be accomplished with dishwashing liquid (non-ammonia) and water. Cleaners containing ammonia can break down the chamical properties of the sealant. The re-sealing process will take only 10-15 minutes.

Q: Is natural stone a good investment?
A:
Natural stone is a tremendous investment. Two things sell homes: Kitchens and Master Baths. Nationally, the payback for remodels on Kitchens and Master Baths is over 90% return on your investment. In the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, where Granite prices are less expensive than the national average, your investment will be even better.
If you are trying to sell an upscale home that has existing tile or laminate tops, you will most likely hit market resistance. Installing new natural stone countertops will be a long lasting investment for you to enjoy and for future resale value.

Q: Should a backsplash match granite countertops?
A:
Backsplashes are very important to any type of countertop. Backsplashes should Compliment and Contrast the countertop while working within the overall kitchen color palette and design. Backsplashes should never clash, or compete, with the countertops. At Artisan Granite Countertops, we work very closely with each client to develop a stunning backsplash that enhances your new granite countertops. There is no additional charge for this service.

Q: When remodeling, do I have to replace my backsplash when I get new countertops?
A:
Typically, yes. In addition to the fact that most homeowners want to update their backsplash alongwith their new countertops, there are sound construction reasons, as well. Most backsplashes are constructed on top of the back edge of the countertop. In order to remove the old countertops, in most cases, you will need to remove at least the bottom row of the backsplash. After installing the new countertops, which will be perfectly level, you will probably have an uneven gap. Moreover, the new countertops will probably be of a different height than your old countertops. When remodeling with new countertops, it is always a good idea to replace the backsplash too.

Q: Will my kitchen have seams?
A:
A typical slab size is about 68 inches tall by 108 inches long. If you have counter runs that exceed these dimensions, you will have seams. Clever builders and designers will take this into account in the design phase of a kitchen. When we layout the kitchen, we consider several factors in determining the very best placement of seams. Our preference is to avoid a seam, if at all possible.

Q: What type of sink applications are used for granite counters?
A:
Undermount sinks are definitely popular now with designers and homemakers alike. We can install virtually any sink you choose, including top-mount, farm house, and composite sinks, but the popularity, affordability, ease of maintenance, and durability of brushed stainless steel make these sinks very popular.

Q: Why are some stones more expensive than others?
A:
There are a number of answers to this one. Acquisition cost of the material basically determines the stone price. Lower priced stones are usually stones that are very abundant and have been available for many years.

Q: Should I use 2cm, 3cm or laminated 4cm stone?
A:
We generally recommend 2cm in bathroom applications and the stronger, thicker 3cm slabs for kitchen applications. 4cm is just a pair of 2cm pieces laminated together at the exposed edges only. The thickness of the actual workspace is only 2cm. We strongly recommend using 3cm over the glued, or laminated edge. It is not only less expensive than the 4cm edge, but also avoids having a seam in your edge.

Q: Is it safe to buy stone by looking at a 4" by 4" sample?
A:
No. The pattern and color variations of granite cannot be represented in a small square. We use the small 4x4 samples during our initial in-home visit to help identify palettes that interest you. Unlike most granite fabricators who refer clients to a stone yard, Artisan Granite Countertops will accompany you to one of our several stone wholesalers. Without professional assistance, the selection process can be quite overwhelming.

Q: Why else is granite a superior choice for countertops?
A:
Besides its strength and durability, granite is available in thousand of colors. New quarries are being discovered and every quarry produces a unique palette. Unlike synthetic material, the colors and textures of granite can change every few feet and vary from slab to slab. Every countertop is basically unique and nothing compares to the beauty of nature.

Q: What makes ARTISAN GRANITE COUNTERTOPS different?
A:
ARTISAN GRANITE COUNTERTOPS offers many advantages, including:

• Superior service and quality
• Competitive pricing
• Sophisticated fabrication technology
• Outstanding customer satisfaction
• Prompt production turnaround
• Dependable installation schedule
• Free estimates