FAQs

21With hundreds of materials to choose from, selecting the right surfaces for your kitchen or bathroom counters can be a daunting task. Each surfacing material has inherent properties that you should be aware of when beginning a kitchen or bathroom renovation. For example, some surfaces require annual maintenance or special cleaning products, while others may not stand-up well to stains or direct heat. In the same vein, some materials may be a stretch to your budget, while others won’t break the bank.

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Engineered Stone – LG Viatera & Hanstone

What is engineered stone made of?

Engineered stone is 93% pure, natural quartz. One of the hardest and most common minerals on the earth, quartz has superior strength and beauty, and the natural radiance of diamonds.

What is the thickness of engineered stone?

Engineered stone comes in three thicknesses 2cm (¾”), 3cm (1 ¼”), and 4cm (1 ½” laminated edge). The Countertoppers offers 3 cm material for your countertops.

Does engineered stone require care and maintenance?

No, engineered stone is completely care-free! There is no sealing, buffing, polishing, or reconditioning required. The surface naturally maintains its luster. Simply wipe it off with a little soap and water.

Will engineered stone crack, chip, or scratch?

Engineered stone is resilient to cracks, chips, scratches, and stains. It will not scratch, chip, or dull under normal use of knives or other kitchen utensils. Generally, only diamonds and quartz itself will scratch it. However, like any material, excessive force or pressure from objects can damage the surface.

How does engineered stone withstand heat?

Engineered stone is structurally more heat resistant than other stone, including granite. However, all stone can potentially be damaged by sudden and rapid change of temperature, especially near the edges. Therefore the use of a hot pad or trivet is always recommended, especially when using cooking units such as electric frying pans, crock pots, or roaster ovens.

Is engineered stone resilient to staining?

Engineered stone is resilient to stains caused by fruits juices, liquid food coloring, coffee, tea, wine, grapes, soft drinks, paints, nail polish and remover, automotive fluids, and permanent markers. The surface has a high gloss finish and extremely low moisture absorption provides maximum resistance to staining and fully eliminates the need for any sealing.

Does engineered stone prohibit bacterial growth?

Engineered stone’s moisture absorption is minimal. It is important for consumers to know that where there is a high amount of moisture, bacteria will grow. Engineered stone’s extremely low moisture absorbency makes it an ideal, safer surface for food preparation.

How does engineered stone's price compare to other natural stone of solid surface competitors?

Engineered stone is a high-end product that is surprisingly affordable. Our price competes well with other natural stone or solid surface products. As you shop for a surface that is right for you, always keep in mind that pricing can depend on custom variables like the number and location of seams, special cut out requests, backsplash options, and so forth. For pricing information call our sales office at (406) 259-9433.


Granite

Does granite stain?

When sealed properly with a penetrating sealer, granite is highly resistant to stains. Acidic foods, oils, and wines can stain or etch the granite if left on the surface for a period of time. Oil left on a Granite surface will slowly be absorbed into the stone. It is recommended that any spills be wiped up when they occur.

How often should I seal my Granite countertops?

We seal your granite at the time of installation. It is recommended you seal your granite once every six months. It is a simple wipe on, wipe off procedure that takes about the same amount of time as a general cleaning.

How scratch-resistant is Granite?

With normal daily use, even cutting directly upon it, you will not mar the finish of your countertop. Unlike other surfaces, Granite will not lose its shine.

Will my Granite countertop chip or crack?

Most flaws in stone are detected during transit of the slab. Under normal kitchen use, granite is highly resistant to chipping and cracking.

What is the thickness of Granite?

Granite comes in four thicknesses – 2cm ( ¾”), 3cm (1 ¼”), and 4cm (1 ½” laminated edge). The Countertoppers offers a full 3cm (1 ¼”) thick material for countertop surfaces eliminating the lamination line and the need for sub-top support.

How do I care for my Granite countertops?

Clean stone with a few drops of a neutral soap or stone cleaner in warm water. Rinse the surface thoroughly with water and dry with a soft cloth. Too much cleaner or soap can leave a film and cause streaks. Do not use products that contain vinegar, lemon, or other acids – the high acid content may etch the surface?

What is the difference between an undermount-sink and a drop-sink?

A drop sink sits on top of the cutout acting as a self-rimming sink. An undermount sink sits beneath the polished rim of the cutout. The benefit to this option is that it provides a smooth surface from the counter to sink. Because there is additional polishing involved, there is an up-charge per cut out.

Where is my stone from and how does that affect the price?

Granites come from all over the world: India, Egypt, Spain, Brazil, Norway, Africa, Canada, and the United States to name a few. Where the stone originates does not have as great of an impact on cost, as does supply and demand.


HanStone

What is HanStone?

HanStone™ is a stone surface made from pure, natural quartz. HanStone™ offers the natural beauty of quartz with up to six times the strength and durability of granite. Approximately 93 percent of HanStone™ is mined quartz crystals, one of nature’s hardest materials. The quartz is combined with high-quality polyester resins and pigment to produce a natural stone without the high-maintenance.

What is natural quartz?

Quartz is one of the hardest components of natural granite. Quartz rates seven out of 10 on Mohs Scale of Hardness. The only materials harder are diamonds, sapphires and topaz. The quartz crystals are used to create a beautiful and strong surface that is highly scratch and impact resistant.

What are the advantages of HanStone?

A high-performing surface, HanStone™ is nonporous preventing unwelcome germs, bacteria and mildew. It does not require sealing, conditioning and polishing. HanStone™ is also scratch and stain resistant unlike alternative surface options such as granite, tile and marble.

Where can HanStone™ be applied?

Residential uses such as kitchen countertops, islands, peninsulas; bath vanity top, shower stalls and shower surrounds; table tops, fireplace surrounds, window sills, wainscoting, wall covering and threshold.

Commercial uses such as healthcare facilities, restaurants, offices; including conference tables, reception and desktops, countertops and credenzas, lobby/interior walls, food preparation areas, laboratories, and inlays.

How do I care for HanStone?

Simply clean up any spills with soap and water. For routine cleaning, use a small amount of cleaner that is non-bleach and nonabrasive along with warm water and a damp cloth. Repeat as needed to keep the lustrous gloss and radiant sheen. Although HanStone™ is resistant to stains, any type of spill should be cleaned as soon as possible. Any liquid spills, fruits, vegetables, or other foods should be wiped up and cleaned with soap and water. Please refer to the HanStone™ Care & Maintenance Guide.

Is HanStone™ hygienic?

HanStone™ is intrinsically a nonporous material preventing unwelcome germs, bacteria and mildew. It does not require sealing, conditioning and polishing.

Is HanStone™ scratch resistant?

Because HanStone™ contains approximately 93% quartz, the hardest components of natural granite, the surface is highly scratch and impact resistant. However, as with any surface, sudden impact, excessive force/pressure, or misuse can damage the stone surface.

How is HanStone™ installed?

HanStone™ is installed by trained and certified fabricators/installers. Using a certified fabricator/installer ensures that HanStone™ is installed properly and under full warranty.

Do I need to finish or seal HanStone?

No. Unlike natural stone products, HanStone™ is a non-porous surface you will NEVER have to apply a sealer to our surface.

Can you cut directly on the surface of HanStone?

It is a matter of choice. While HanStone™ is made of more than 93% natural quartz crystals that are up to six times harder than granite, it is always recommended to use a cutting board to prevent any dulling of the surface that can occur over a long term of surface cutting.

When preparing meals, can raw foods such as vegetables, acidic fruits and meats be placed directly on the surface?

Yes. HanStone™ is a non-porous surface. This means germs and bacteria can not accumulate with regular cleaning. HanStone™ is an approved surface for commercial food preparation areas in restaurants.

Can hot plates and pans be placed directly on HanStone?

While HanStone™ can withstand heat, it is still advised to use hot pads or trivets when using cooking units such as electric frying pans, crock-pots, roaster ovens or in place of hot pans directly onto the surface to avoid potentially damaging temperatures. Prolonged exposure to heat will damage HanStone, and such damage is not covered by warranty.

If I remodel my kitchen countertop with HanStone, will it be seamless?

HanStone™ is not a seamless product; seams are generally visible. Inspection for color coordination across seams and multiple pieces is strongly recommended.

Is HanStone™ color consistent?

HanStone™ is made from pure, natural quartz. Variation in quartz, color, shape, shade, pattern and size are unique traits of HanStone™. Although some HanStone™ colors may be more consistent than granite, color variance is an inherent trait expected of HanStone. In addition, small blotches or random distribution of particulates are an inherent part of overall design and composition and are not considered to be defects or product non-conformity. The 10-Year Limited Warranty does not cover color variance, and HanStone™ application will not be replaced for these unique, inherent traits of HanStone.


Silestone Natural Quartz

What is the color consistency?

Silestone Natural Quartz® is made from natural quartz. As a result, variation in quartz color, shade, pattern and size are unique traits to be expected with Silestone Natural Quartz. Additionally, small blotches or random distribution of particulates are an inherent part of the overall design and composition of the product and are not considered to be defects. The Silestone Natural Quartz 15 Year Transferable Warranty does not cover color variance and Silestone Natural Quartz installation will not be replaced for these unique, inherent traits.

Will seams & cut-outs be visible?

  • The Silestone Natural Quartz fabricator will take every precaution and consideration when determining seam location.
  • Considerations include (but not limited to) slab size, customer wants, kitchen layout, site conditions, crew safety, material yield and cabinet structure.
  • Although all seam location wants and needs are considered, the final decision is at the discretion of the fabricator and will be reviewed at point of template/measure.
  • Seams are always visible.
  • An acceptable seam will be smooth but can be felt.
  • Requesting fewer to no seams will increase your total square foot cost.

How do I clean my countertops?

Silestone Natural Quartz countertops are easy to clean and maintain. The antimicrobial protection helps keep your Silestone Natural Quartz countertop cleaner in between cleanings. Silestone is a non-porous material that is highly resistant to stain, scratches and heat, however it is not stain proof. Please follow the recommended care and maintenance for your everyday cleaning.

Cleaning Guidelines & Instructions

  • Clean all spills and food residue on your countertop surface on a frequent basis.
  • For everyday cleaning simply wipe the surface with a mild household cleaner such as Windex® or warm water and soap. Any mild household soap or cleaner may be used (e.g. Dawn, Palmolive, Lysol, Windex®, 409).
  • Dilute cleaning solution with water if necessary. Apply the appropriate cleaner with a paper towel and wipe. If necessary the area may be soaked with pads of paper towels from 3-10 minutes.
  • Only if necessary, scrub the area with a NON-SCRATCH Scotch Brite pad.
  • Rinse and dry thoroughly.

How to clean difficult spills?

For more difficult spills wipe the surface with Dawn dish soap scrub and a non-scratch Scotch Brite pad and rinse with warm water. For stains that harden as they dry, such as food, gum, nail polish, and paint, remove by gently scraping off of surface (using a blade or putty remover), and then clean using warm water and soap. Gray marks lefts by the razor, can be wiped away with soap and water.

How do I prevent damages?

Heat
Silestone Natural Quartz is designed to be resistant to heat and can withstand exposure to normal cooking environments for brief periods of time without being damaged. Although Silestone Natural Quartz withstands heat better than most surfacing materials on the market, all surfacing materials, including stone, can be damaged by extreme temperature changes whether prolonged or sudden. It is recommended that you protect your countertop surface from direct heat sources by using placemats, coasters and/or trivets.

Scratches
Although natural quartz is one of the hardest minerals/surfaces on earth, quartz can scratch. Quartz is scratch resistant to normal everyday use but is not scratch proof. It is recommended to always use a cutting board to protect the surface.

Chemical
Avoid exposing Silestone Natural Quartz to any strong chemicals and solvents. It is important to note that some of these chemicals and solvents can be found in household items like paint removers, paint and stain strippers that contain trichlorethane or methylene chloride, nail polish removers, bleach, furniture cleaners, oil soaps, permanent markers or inks, and chemicals with high alkaline/PH levels (oven cleaners, drain openers, etc.). Avoid using cleaning products that contain oils, powders or abrasives.