Phone: 215.336.2800 Toll Free: 1.866.400.4003 Fax: 215.336.0547
Alexstone Bilotti, LLC - A Marble and Granite Company




What Is Granite?

Granite is the leading choice for quality kitchen, bathroom and outdoor countertops. Not only does granite add a sturdy look, feel and elegance to a home, it is extremely durable, easy to maintain and will remain brilliant for decades with proper maintenance. Granite is a stone that is natural and took millions of years to create and exists in just about every region of the world. Forces deep within the earth, combined with compression of various minerals under varying conditions which creates infinite unique patterns. No two patterns of granite are the same. Each is a unique piece of art created by nature. It is antibacterial and can be highly polished, making it ideal for kitchens, entryways and bathrooms.

How Is Granite Created? Where Does It Come From?

Granite is hard igneous stone that is formed over millions of years by volcanic activity. Magma flows from volcanic activity and slowly cools over millions of years. During the process, magma combines with various minerals including hornblend, feldspar, mica and quartz to create its "crystal appearance". The elements are compressed by forces deep within the earth's surface. As softer earthen material surrounding granite deposits eroded over time, hard granite became exposed creating quarries of granite.

Once granite is harvested, it is cut and polished to expose its brilliant beauty. Depending upon geographic locations of granite quarries, its infinite varieties of colors, combined with its hardness and durability makes it ideal for home beautification. It is the ideal stone for kitchen counters, bathroom counters, vanity counters, outdoor countertops and entryway flooring. There are two primary "finishes of granite". It can be highly polished to a brilliant shine or "flamed" to create a finish that is not quite as shiny while exposing the granite's surface placing more prominence on the minerals that contribute to its unique texture.

Granite Colors and Patterns.

Every selection is unique, customized by nature expressly for you. Variations in granite color and pattern are virtually endless. Names are given to groups of similar colors and textures depending upon the source quarry.Similarities and characteristics are named for convenient identification purposes to help with selection processes.

Call us to see our wide range of choices available to you! 215.336.2800

Can you tell me something about granite quarries?  

Granite is mined in quarries, which are large pits or excavation sites. The direction in which the granite will break the easiest determines how a quarry will be laid out in order to obtain the most amount of granite possible. 

At most quarries around the world, diamonds are used to cut the granite because the diamond is the only stone harder than granite.

The next step in quarrying granite is cutting it into desirable sizes, which is usually accomplished with wire saws. If the granite is to be used for countertops, it is cut and polished into appropriate shapes and sizes. 

What are the different types of granite finishes?

Granite surfaces can be finished in a variety of ways; polished, honed, flamed or brushed; each with its own unique look and texture.

A polished finish is most common due to a few key factors. Polished finishes will give your home an elegant and formal look. This finish is also a great option, especially for kitchens, because it is easier to maintain than other finishes and its shiny appearance brings out the color of your granite. Many people describe polished finishes as mirror-like.   

Honed finishes are gradually becoming more popular for granite countertops. This finish is smooth but less shiny than polished finishes and gives your home a more causal and contemporary feel. One drawback of honed finishes is that they are known to show stains more than others. But, don’t let this deter you from choosing a honed finish; as long as you make an effort to clean and care for your countertops, you should be fine. Certain sealers and treatments will also help keep your honed countertops stain free. As with all granite countertops and finishes, honed countertops are durable and will last a lifetime.    

Flamed finishes are made by exposing stone to intense heat followed by immediate cooling. This exposure causes granite to melt, and some crystals to shatter in the process, which leaves the granite surface highly textured. Flamed finishes are mostly seen in industrial places, although they are also a good choice for countertops in your home. Flamed finishes are a perfect solution if you need a surface that is slip resistant.

Brushed finishes (also known as antiqued finishes) are created by brushing the granite’s surface to obtain a worn-in look. This finish gives countertops a dramatic look. Choosing a material for your kitchen or bathroom countertops should be done carefully since these surfaces can shape the look of a room and must endure everyday wear and tear. Several unique granite features contribute to its rise in popularity for kitchen and bathroom countertops.

Express Countertops Countertop material of choice; a mixture of natural beauty and elegance.
Express Countertops Holds up to heat and is scratch resistant.
Express Countertops Permanent and substantial look.
Express Countertops Very durable.
Express Countertops Offered in less expensive versions.
Express Countertops Unique; no two granite tops are exactly the same.
Express Countertops Coloration will never change; it will always remain as bright and vibrant as when first installed. 

How do I best maintain granite countertops?  

Once originally sealed, granite is easy to maintain. The initial seal is necessary because granite is porous and will stain easily without it. After sealing, your granite is protected and ready to use. Keep in mind that you will need to reseal your granite countertops at least once a year. This can be done on your own or by a professional, but will ensure that your granite will remain stain free. If a spill should occur, clean up before the stain has a chance to penetrate the surface. Granite is somewhat absorbent and can absorb stains if spills are left for any length of time.  

Generally, you can clean your granite countertops with a neutral cleaner and a soft clean cloth. Consider using a disinfectant cleaner made specifically for granite. With the growing popularity of granite countertops, these should be easy to find. Using regular cleaning chemicals on your countertop will strip the seal and leave the porous surface of the granite exposed. Don’t be afraid to call your local stone dealer for suggestions on maintenance, care and cleaning.

Can granite countertops be repaired?  

In most cases, if granite is cracked, it will need to be completely removed and replaced. 

What is the life expectancy of granite countertops?  

When granite enters your home, not only is it already thousands of years old, but it will probably last another thousand years. To begin with, granite is tough. It is stain, scratch and heat resistant, just to name a few of its impressive features.   

Experts say that using your granite countertops as a cutting board won’t hurt the countertops only dull your knives, and unless you try cutting granite with a diamond or smashing it with a sledge hammer, it won’t crack or break. Furthermore, it can withstand temperatures up to 900 degrees Fahrenheit (482.22 degrees Celcius ) without causing damage. These are just a few of the reasons why granite countertops can last a lifetime.

Do granite countertops add value to my home?  

Countertops made of natural stone, especially granite, add more resale value to your home than any other material. Second, granite countertops will last you a lifetime, which means that after the cost of the initial installation (with proper maintenance and care) they never need to be replaced.   

If you are set on granite countertops, but still have concerns about the costs there are several ways to lower the expense. One possibility is choosing granite based on the place from which it was imported. For example, some experts say that buying granite imported from Italy tends to be the most expensive option, while choosing granite imported from China can save you money.   

Even if granite countertops remain out of your price range, there is still hope for the future. As with any product, as its popularity rises and it becomes widely used, the price often lowers. Also, with new quarries being discovered each year, the growing choices keep prices down. 

What colors can I choose from?

Granite is not only a perfect material for countertops because of its durability, but also because of its aesthetic appeal. Granite can be elegant and luxurious, or casual and contemporary, depending on the color and finish you choose. Also, no matter what look you go with, you will be lucky to have countertops that will last forever and never dull.

Today there are countless colors of granite to choose from imported from all over the world. Each piece of granite is unique; no two slabs will ever look identical. From greens, blues and blacks, to pinks, whites and yellows, the options are endless. Slabs also vary in patterns – some have large and intricate designs and movements while others are more subtle.

So, what color will you choose for the granite in your home and what effect will it create?  Here are some of the most common colors and their basic styles.

Brown and Beige - These neutral tones easily compliment other colors in a kitchen or bathroom. They are the most popular choices, providing a comfortable and traditional look.

Yellow and Gold - Countertops brighten and warm-up a room.  Gold countertops also add warmth, along with a luxurious and rich style. 

Red - Granite can create a striking and romantic feel.  Reds will also draw people to the room and spice up the style in your home.

Black - Provides a very modern, clean and sleek look. Black granite countertops can be plain or can incorporate interesting patterns and additional colors.

Blue and Green - These tones are very vibrant and lively.  Bright greens and blues can give your room a rare and exotic feel. These colors are commonly found in mixes with other colors from whites to reds to blacks.

White - Depending on how the rest of the room is decorated, white granite countertops can provide a comfortable and soothing feel, or a more modern and elegant style.  White matches with almost all other colors and may make small rooms appear more spacious.

How do I install granite countertops?  

Granite countertops should be installed by a professional. Although hiring someone to install your countertops adds to the cost of the project, in the end, it is worth it to have the job done right. Installing granite countertops incorrectly can lead to serious problems and possibly the need for replacement.




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