What is Granite?
Granite is an igneous (formed from fire) stone consisting of quartz, feldspar and mica. An igneous stone was once a molten flowing mass, much like lava. As it cooled, it became very dense and hard. In fact, granite is second only to diamonds in hardness. Granite stands up well to heavy traffic, which makes it ideal for many applications. Granite is also the number one choice in natural stone for kitchen counter tops because it is resistant to blistering, scratching, cracking and scorching.
What is Marble?
Marble is a metamorphic stone. Marble is composed primarily of calcium carbonate or calcite, and is formed differently than granite. It has never flowed like granite, but is basically pressed together. The veins in marble are minerals and other impurities that have filled in the fissures or cracks. Marble is softer and more porous then granite. Marble is a good choice in bathrooms because, when it is polished and sealed, it repels soap scum. It is easy to clean and adds elegance and beauty in any application.
I am just replacing my countertop. Do I need to hire a plumber and an electrician?
No. For your convenience, we offer you a turn-key Countertop Replacement Solution. Our Countertop Replacement Solution includes removal and disposal of
the old top, disconnection and reconnection of your sink, faucet, garbage disposal and other appliances. We even offer you a choice of quality sinks and faucets. Even if you buy new appliances through one of our Premium Business Partners, we will coordinate delivery and install them for you.
I am remodeling my entire kitchen. Do you sell cabinets and appliances?
No. We do not sell any cabinets or appliances. Our expertise is in the fabrication of stone countertops. However, we recommend that you work with one of our Premium Business Partners for design services, cabinets, and remodeling. We will work seamlessly with our Premium Business Partners for a turn-key solution.
What items can be fabricated?
Use your imagination! In addition to marble or granite flooring, wall and countertops, with our advanced CNC machinery, we can also create your very own custom furniture from your choice of stone. For example, corner caddies for your shower, window sills, shower sills, door jams, custom granite sinks, custom drain boards, soap dishes, patio furniture, steps/risers, entertainment centers, table tops, conference room tables, fireplaces, and even a 3-D replica of any object. The sky’s the limit!
What kind of finishes can I have on the countertop?
There are many stone finishes to choose from, such as polished, honed, brushed, hammered, antiqued, flamed and sandblasted. Polished and honed are the most common surfaces for our Fairfax stone countertops. Polished granite or marble has a beautiful, smooth, glossy surface. Stone that is honed has a non-glossy, or matte, finish.
What kind of edge profiles can I put on my countertop?
We offer many different edge profiles for your countertop to meet every style and taste. Since we use sophisticated CNC machinery, we can offer you many selections with edge profiles that are straight, consistent and uniform. Certain edge profiles such as Ogee and Triple pencil, if done by hand, are wavy and uneven.
Do countertops need to be sealed?
Since natural stone is porous, it is recommended that a sealant be applied to the surface of the stone to help protect its natural properties. Porosity of the stone varies by the type of the natural stone and color. There are two types of sealants on the market. A typical, inexpensive sealant used by many fabricators leaves a thin layer of film on the stone as a protective barrier for the stone. These types of sealants wear off frequently, may give the stone a cloudy appearance and can change color if exposed to direct sunlight.
At ESC, we use an Impregnator, a specially-formulated sealant that penetrates into the stone below its surface.
How often do I need to reseal my countertop?
Frequency of resealing varies by the type of stone, the kind of sealer and the usage of the countertop. With most inexpensive surface sealants, you may need to reseal your countertop once or twice a year. With the impregnator sealer used by ESC, we recommend resealing every 3 to 5 years.
Find out more about our custom Fairfax stone countertops.