Q:What is the difference between Granite countertops and Quartz countertops?

A:Granite is a natural stone. It is quarried, cut into slabs and polished. Quartz is a manufactured stone. It is formed by mixing ground quartz, resin, polymers and pigments.

Q:Is Granite and Quartz heat resistant?

A:Yes, both granite and quartz countertops are heat resistant. However, quartz countertops are only heat resistant up to about 300 degrees Fahrenheit so it is recommended to use hot pads.

Q:Will Granite and Quartz countertops scratch?

A:Both Granite and Quartz countertops are scratch resistant but this does not mean they can never be scratched if abused. It is always recommended to use cutting boards instead of cutting directly on the countertop to prevent any issues.

Q:Will Granite and Quartz countertops stain?

A:Both Granite and Quartz countertops are stain resistant. We seal our Natural Stone countertops at our Ottawa Granite shop with a 5-7 year sealer. Quartz is manufactured with sealers in it. It is recommended to blot out any messes as they occur to prevent any staining as leaving messes on the countertop for extended period of time will create a stain on Granite or Quartz.

Q:How will I know when to reseal my Granite countertop?

A:Testing your natural stone every year is a good idea to determine when it needs to be re-sealed. The frequency for proper sealing really depends on the type of stone (porous or dense) and the quality of the sealant. To test the sealer on your countertops simple put a few water droplets on the surface. Depending on the size of your countertop, you may want to use a few different test areas in your kitchen, especially if you have more than one countertop space. Water droplets should be left on the surface for anywhere from 1-3 minutes. If water remains beaded on the surface of your granite, the sealer is still working properly. If you notice that the droplets have disappeared then it is probably time to re-seal your countertop.

Q:What should I choose first, cabinets, countertop or flooring?

A:We recommend you choose your cabinet colour and style first. After that, choose your countertop. Finally, choose your flooring.

Q:How is Granite and Quartz sold?

A:If we have it in stock, it is sold by the square foot. If we have to order the slab of Granite or Quartz, and you are using 75% of the slab, we still charge by the square foot. If you are not using 75%, we charge the cost of the slab plus the labour and installation. The labour and installation is charged also by square footage.

Q:How are Granite and Quartz manufactured?

A:Both Granite and Quartz countertops are manufactured the same way. We lay the slab on our saw. We use a diamond blade to cut out the countertop shape. Then, we use a computerized machine that cuts out the shape of the sink. Lastly, we grind and polish the edge profile along the counter and inside the sink cut out.

Q:What is the lead time from start to finish?

A:Once the cabinets have been installed, we guarantee a lead time of 10 business days from template until installation.

Q:How long does installation take?

A:A kitchen countertop installation can take up to 3 hours. A vanity countertop can take 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Q:What edge profiles are available?

A:We have 3 edge profiles that are included in our pricing: flat polish (square), quarter bullnose and quarter bevel. We also have upgraded edge profiles that are priced per linear foot. These include crescent, half bullnose, full bullnose, half bevel, 3/4 bevel, ogee and waterfall edge.

Q:What kind of sinks are available?

A:You can put any type of sink into an Granite or Quartz countertop. We carry under mount sinks, top mount sinks and vessel sinks and apron sinks. These are available in stainless steel, granite and porcelain.

Q:How is an under mount sink mounted?

A:We use silicone along the rim of the sink. Then we prop it up with wooden stilts to hold the sink in place while the silicone adheres to the countertop.

Q:How and when can I hook up the sink and faucet?

A:Do not hook up your sink and faucet until 24 hours after the countertop installation. This allows the silicone to set and adhere to the coutnertop. If it is hooked up earlier, the silicone may not have set and your sink may fall when filled with water.

Q:How does the dishwasher attach to the countertop?

A:The dishwasher attaches to the countertop by using silicone to glue a piece of wood to the underside of the countertop. Then, attach the dishwasher to the piece of wood. Another option is to purchase a dishwasher bracket from a hardware store, which you would silicone to the underside of the counter and connect to the dishwasher. Either the homeowner or contractor can do this.

Q:Will you remove my old countertop?

A:Yes, we can remove and dispose of your old countertop. We charge a fee to do this.

Q:What should I do before you come and install my new countertops?

A:First, make sure you have shut off valves on your sink. We need to shut off your water. If you do not have shut off valves, we would have to shut off the water in your house. Make sure your existing countertop is clean and your cabinets have been emptied. Have your faucet on site. Also, make sure that your driveway is clear and easily accessible.

Q:How thick are the countertops?

A:Ottawa granite and Ottawa quartz countertops are 3 cm ( 1 1/4") thick. Some colours are available in 2 cm (3/4") thick. We can make your countertop look thicker by mitring the edges to any desired length.

Q:Will my countertops have seams?

A:It depends on the size of your countertop and the size of the slabs. When we go on site to template, we will let you know if and where a seam would be needed.

Q:Will the seam in my countertop be visible?

A:It won't be invisible. Ottawa quartz colours and uniform Granite colours show seams less than a veining colour.

Q:How do I clean my Granite and Quartz countertops?

A:Do: Blot up spills immediately. Acidic substances like wine, coffee, fruit juices, tomato sauce and sodas will not etch granite like they do marble, but they could potentially stain the surface. Cooking oils may also leave a stain if not wiped up.

Do: Clean surfaces using a sponge or soft cloth. Using a specially formulated stone cleaner like, HG Natural Stone Counter and Table Top Spray Cleaner is recommended to keep your tops in the best condition and protect the sealer, but hot water will do for quick clean-ups. Dish soap won't hurt your granite, but repeated or excessive use of soap will cause build-up and dull your countertop's shine. For cost effective thinking we suggest buying a natural stone cleaner and using it once a week to restore your shine and use dish soap and hot water for daily cleaning.

Don't: Use generic cleaning products such as bleach, glass cleaners or degreasers. These products that you buy at your local store contain acids, alkalis and other chemicals that can etch marble, and degrade the granite sealer leaving the stone more vulnerable to staining. This includes Windex or any mirror and glass cleaners. When cleaning your mirrors near granite it is a good idea to spray Windex directly on the cloth or use care when spraying above granite to avoid chemicals landing on the surface. Trying to save money by using these chemicals only ensures that you'll spend a lot more time and money on your granite counter top care in the long-run.

Don't: Use vinegar, ammonia, lemon or orange as cleaners. These products could leave streaks and marks on the surface of granite.

Don't: Use bathroom, tub & tile or grout cleaners. The powders and even the "soft" creams contain abrasives that will scratch and dull surfaces.

Q:Can you disconnect and reconnect my electrical, plumbing or gas?

A:We can disconnect your plumbing but we cannot hook it back up. We will not touch electrical or gas. If you have a gas range, please have it disconnected before we arrive to install your countertop.

Q:Do I need to be on site for the template and installation?

A:Yes. During the template, we often have questions regarding seam options, overhang sizes and shaping. We also double check the sink size, faucet and edge profile. During installation, our installers may have questions about faucet placement. After installation, please go over the finished product with our installers and they can make tweaks while they're on site.

Q:Can I install my own countertops?

A:Yes, if you feel comfortable doing so. We don't recommend installing large pieces if you do not have experience doing it. A small vanity can be installed fairly easily. It would also be important to understand that if you will be installing your Ottawa granite or Quartz, you will need to pick it up at the fabricator and be able to transport the custom pieces. For large pieces an A-frame would generally be required to safely transport the material.

Q:Do I need to support the countertop?

A:When we go on site to measure, we will let you know if you need extra support for your countertops. Most cabinets can easily hold granite. With overhangs, brackets or corbels may be required.

Q:Do I need a backsplash?

A:We can make a backsplash out of Granite and Quartz to any size needed. The material is 3 cm thick. We can cut down the backsplash to 2 cm as long as it is no higher than 3 inches.

Q:How far away do you do installations?

A:We install 1 hour away from our shop. If you live further out, we will add a trip charge.

Q:What are those tiny, hairline cracks on the surface of my Ottawa granite countertop?

A:All natural stones have natural characteristics. The hairline cracks are called fissures. They are a naturally occurring imperfection within the stone. All Ottawa granites can have fissures.

Q:Can I add matching pieces in the future?

A:If we still have your original batch of Granite or Quartz, then yes. The dye lots between Quartz vary much less than dye lots of Granite. So, with quartz, the same colour in a different dye lot may look almost identical. With granite, the same colour from a different batch can look extremely different. We often recommend going with a different but complimentary colour so it doesn’t look like you tried to match it but couldn’t.