Frequently Asked Questions
Have questions about your project? Check out our FAQs filled with information about choosing the right stones, how we sell our products, and much more!
What type of Residential installation services do you offer?
Currently the only residential installation service that we self-perform is for manufactured countertops and dimensional stone surfaces. At this time we don’t offer installation of tile, cabinetry, fixtures and lighting for residential clients.
What type of Commercial installation services do you offer?
Generally our work falls under CSI Codes: 066113 Simulated Stone Fabrications, 066119 Quartz Surfacing Fabrications, 93000 Tiling, 093100 Thinset-Tiling, 123600 Countertops, 12 36 40 Stone Countertops, 123661 Simulated Stone Countertops.
Can we select slabs from other wholesale suppliers?
Absolutely! If you have found a slab you would like to purchase through a wholesaler we are happy to coordinate the procurement and delivery of the material for you. Please contact us for a full list of our wholesale suppliers.
What is a remnant?
Remnant is a term that refers to a small piece of stone that is left over after cutting a larger slab of stone. Remnants are a cost effective, eco-friendly choice for smaller projects such as powder room vanities, fireplace surrounds or desk tops. Our remnants selections change daily.
What is a bundle? What does a lot number mean?
Think of a loaf of bread (the stone block) that is sliced into pieces (slabs). A bundle is a group of 6-8 slabs that were sliced from the same block of stone. Take look at the raw edge of a slab and you’ll notice a series of numbers. These numbers identify the block of stone the slabs were manufactured from. This is called the lot number. If the numbers match then you know those slabs originated from the same block of stone. This means each slab in the bundle will have comparable coloring, veining, and pattern to its neighbor. Choosing slabs from the same lot is critical when more than 1 slab is required for a project.
Do I have to buy the whole slab?
Buying slabs is similar to buying fabric. Like a seamstress or tailor, A&S buys the raw material and sells you a completed installation. How much material needed is determined by the layout and the amount of waste. A&S will lay out your job in a way that will minimize the amount of waste material while maximizing the natural beauty of veining and pattern.
Why are some stones more expensive than others?
Availability, locations of quarries in the world (due to transportation expenses), the rarity of the color, and the amount of labor required to extract the stones all affect the price of natural stone. Higher price doesn’t mean higher quality. All-natural stones that A&S Sales carries, regardless of price, are of the same high quality.
What’s the difference between marble and granite?
Although both are stones and both are quarried from the earth, granite and marble (and marble’s relatives – limestone, onyx and travertine) are very different from each other. The greatest difference lies in the porosity, softness and durability of marble when compared to granite.
What is “honed” stone or a “honed” finish?
Material that is honed has a matte or satin finish, rather than a high reflective polish. One feature of honed marble is that it doesn’t show etching as readily, or wear patterns on floors. This finish is preferred by some because “honed” materials have a less formal, softer appearance than polished.
What is “leathered” or “antique” finish?
A leathered or antiqued finish is a polishing technique that gives the surface of the stone a subtle textured felling. Similar to an orange peel.
Will my kitchen have seams?
Due to the limitation of slab sizes, seams on a countertop may be necessary and sometimes unavoidable. On average, granite slabs are approx. 110 x 66″, though in some colors, 120″ slabs are not unusual. Most engineered quartz slabs are typically limited to 56.5” x 120” or 65” x 130”. Extremely large islands may either require a seam, or color selections will be limited to those slabs that have longer lengths or widths. A good place to incorporate seams is near or cooktops. This will help to cover most of the seam, leaving a minimum amount in view. The visibility of seams will depend on the granularity, color and pattern of the stone. Our sales associates will help to explain the seam process in further detail to you. Also take a look at the displays we have throughout the showroom. Most contain seams.
Will my countertops overhang the cabinets?
Most counters overhang the cabinet frame by 1 1/2″, which is standard. This may be changed for whatever reason due to cabinet configuration, cabinet installation or personal tastes.
Can my counter cantilever?
You can cantilever most stones up to 12″ with sufficient support on the fixed end and with a large enough piece. Never cantilever an unsupported top where it might receive excessive stress like someone sitting on or stepping on a counter to change a light bulb. You must have proper support underneath for these situations.
Why is granite and quartzite good for kitchen counters?
Both are highly resistant to scratching, cracking and staining, and impervious to heat. Daily normal kitchen activities pose no problem, making granite and quartzite an ideal choice for countertops.
Can granite be damaged?
Like any solid surface, high impact blows can harm granite. Because of its crystalline structure, it can chip if subjected to sharp hard objects. But repair is possible – a chip can be filled with a granite dust and epoxy mixture.
Can I cut on my granite countertop?
Only if you want to ruin your good knives! Granite is harder than your knife blades and will dull them very quickly if you use the countertop as a cutting surface. We always recommend to cut and chop on a wooden or plastic cutting board.
Can you scratch granite?
In general, it is very difficult to scratch. Granite is one of the hardest stones in the world and is highly resistant to scratching in ordinary use. A kitchen knife blade will not scratch granite. It can be scratched by another piece of granite or with specially sharpened tools designed to work with granite like diamond blades.
Can granite crack?
Not with ordinary use. Granite is most susceptible to cracks during shipping and installation. Normal use will not overstress this durable material. (Normal use does not include standing or dancing on the countertops!)
Does granite stain?
In general, no. However, all stone is porous to some extent, but most granites have very little porosity. A few colors may absorb some moisture with prolonged contact compared to others. For example, a puddle of water left on the counter, for some colors, may show a dark spot when the water is wiped away. Usually, no evidence remains once the liquid is removed and the granite dries. A stone sealer is highly recommended for all granite after installation. Some stones are more porous than others, so it is important to use a penetrating sealer to prevent stains from oil, wine or other liquids from soaking into the surface. General rule of thumb is the lighter the stone the more porous it is.
Does granite burn?
No. You can’t burn granite with ordinary use. It is perfectly ok to quickly set hot pots or pans directly from the stove or oven onto granite. However, we do not recommend allowing hot items to sit for an extended period of time. The use of a trivet is always recommended.
How do you take care of granite?
Warm soapy water will do the trick. Or use cleaners specifically formulated to help clean and protect stone surfaces.
I’ve noticed some granites have pits on the surface – will I have these on my kitchen counters?
Granite, which is crystalline in structure, always has tiny pits – spaces between the various mineral crystals. Granite sometimes has natural fissures as well, which may look like cracks, but are not structural defects and are a naturally occurring result of the immense heat and pressure that formed the granite eons ago. These characteristics are part of the natural beauty of stone and will not impair the function or durability of the material. A product of nature cannot be expected to look manmade.
Marble & Limestone
Can I use marble or limestone on my kitchen counters?
Yes, but be aware. Although heat resistent, their porousness and soft nature make them a delicate material to be used as kitchen countertops. Their surface is more vulnerable to household items including vinegar, mustard, catsup, citrus, wine, and a host of other food-related products. These acidic substances cause a chemical reaction, which will remove the polish and etch the surface. Additionally, marble and limestone can be scratched way more easily than harder stones such as granite.Marble does make a perfect pastry slab; it’s perfectly smooth, cool surface is ideal for rolling out dough and pie crusts.
What is etching?
Etching happens when acid in some form comes in contact with a polished marble or limestone surface. This causes a chemical reaction, which removes the polish, or roughens the surface of honed marble or limestone. Granite is impervious to most common household acids.
What’s the best way to clean marble and other soft stones?
The old rule of thumb is never to use anything you wouldn’t use on your hands. Never use powdered cleansers or abrasive pads to clean your stone. Even “soft scrub” type cleaners contain pumice, which is powdered volcanic stone, and might damage your stone countertops or floors. Never use any product which is acidic; this includes substances like ammonia or many common liquid cleaners such as Windex. You should always use sealers and cleaning products designed specifically for natural stone. There are excellent stone-friendly (and user-friendly) stone care products available at A&S Sales.
What is limestone?
Limestone is sedimentary rock consisting mostly of organic material such as skeletons and shells of marine creatures and sediments. It is formed by material that settles to the bottom of bodies of water, and over millions of years, solidifies into solid rock. Earth movements over extremely long periods of earth’s history can lift limestone miles into the air. The summit of Mount Everest is limestone that started out on an ocean floor.
Engineered Stones/Quartz Surfaces
What’s the difference between Quartz & Quartzite?
Quartz, otherwise known as engineered stone, is a man-made product consisting of natural quartz, resin and pigments (i.e. Caesarstone, Silestone, Zodiaq etc.). Quartzite is a metamorphic rock that originated as sandstone and is quarried from the earth. Quartzites are becoming more popular because it combines the toughness of granite with the variegated veining characteristics of marble.
How durable are Quartz Surfaces?
Quartz countertops are resistant to cracks, scratches, and stains. However, like most materials, excessive force and/or pressure from objects can damage the surface. Quartz is resistant to most stains caused by fruit juices, coffee, tea, wine, grapes and soft drinks.
Do I have to seal my Quartz countertops?
No. Engineered stone/quartz surfaces are non-porous so you do not have to apply sealer to the surface.
Can I install Quartz Surfaces outside?
It is not recommended. Prolonged UV exposure will fade the surface and excessive expansion and contraction could damage the material. Installing these materials outdoors will also void the manufacturer’s warranty. Currently there are only a few sinterized products which are rated for outdoor use. Dekton being one of them.
What is the difference between ceramic and porcelain tile?
While ceramic and porcelain are both man-made tiles produced from firing clay and other minerals, the main difference is that porcelain is more resistant to moisture, staining and water due to a blend of fine-grain clays and other minerals fired at a much higher degree temperature than ceramic tile. Factors such as level of foot traffic, primary users of the space, and regular exposure to water will affect the suggested application for each product.
Can I order tile samples?
Yes you can! We can order a sample for most items you see in our tile design center.
How do I calculate the square footage of my room?
Assuming you have a rectangle area. Measure the length and width of the room in feet. Then multiply those two numbers together to get the area in feet squared (ft2). For example an 8’x9’ room equals 72 sf. For the walls, measure the length of each wall and multiply by the finished height you wish to install the tile. Or better yet, simply bring in your room measurements and an A&S representative can assist you to calculate the amount of material needed.
How much extra tile do I need to order?
Typically it is recommended to order 10%-15% extra product based upon pattern layout to accommodate waste from cuts. 15% is best for more complex installation patterns. Plus it doesn’t hurt to have an extra box for “attic stock” if future repairs are needed. Consult an A&S representative or your tile installer to determine the accurate amount of material needed. Keep in mind most tile is sold in full box increments with a set square footage amount in each. Trim pieces, base, bullnose and decorative tile overages may be less since these items are sold per piece.
Do you sell tile installation products?
Yes, we sell waterproofing membranes, setting adhesives, mortars, grout, caulk, sealers and more.