Frequently asked questions

1. Product and Maintenance Questions

What is the difference between Granite and Marble?

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. Granite is formed deep in the earth's mantle at extremely high temperatures, and is a very hard, resistant stone made of crystallized minerals. The marble family, limestone, travertine, marble, onyx, starts out as sediment, animal skeletons, shells, plant matter and silt at the bottom of bodies of water. After millions of years this solidifies into stone (lithifies). Because its main component is calcium, it can be affected by acids such as vinegar and citrus beverages.

Should I use Granite or Marble for my kitchen countertops?

Although typical application of marble is for bathroom vanity tops, Jacuzzi tops and fireplaces, it is possible to use it in the kitchen. However, we don't recommend it due to the fact that it is easy to scratch and can be etched by acidic substances, such as vinegars, ketchups etc. The high-gloss of the marble countertop can be partially lost as many chemicals etch its surface. Granite in turn is considered the second hardest stone, its polish is not subject to etching by household acids, or scratching by knives, pots and pans under normal use. It is also not affected by typical kitchen heat such as hot pans.

Is it necessary to seal the stone?

Since most mineral surfaces are porous they absorb liquids, which may result in discoloring and staining. Although there are many commercial grade products available on the market which may bring the stone to its original luster, taking simple precautions and regular maintenance can save a lot of trouble and cost. All of our marble and granite tops are sealed immediately after they are installed. With the course of time, depending on how heavily the tops are used, the sealer gets worn out. The clear indication of this happening would be the fact that the liquids are easily absorbed into the stone leaving temporary (if not promptly wiped off) stains. You should re-seal your marble every six months and your granite every 12 to 24 months. MGM Granite and Marble offers a lifetime sealer, which is highly recommend on marble and light stone countertops. Contact our office to acquire more information about lifetime sealer and prices.

What is the best way to clean stone surfaces?

It is important to always use a soft cloth for daily cleaning, rinsing and drying. Clean the countertop with denatured alcohol, PH Neutral Cleaners, Clorox Wipes, or simply water. If using denatured alcohol, apply denatured alcohol using a soft sponge or cloth and then wipe the entire surface. Use a dry cloth to remove excess. Do not use soap and water. All soaps have components that will harm your countertop with time. If you spill something on your countertop, blot with a paper towel or soft cloth immediately. Do not wipe the area as this can spread the spill. Flush the spill with water and rinse thoroughly. Dry the area with soft cloth

What is the appropriate thickness for a kitchen countertop?

A kitchen countertop should be an inch and a quarter thick for structural reasons. Bathroom vanity tops can be thinner.

Can I cut on my countertop?

If your countertop is made of granite, you can. Granite is extremely hard and can withstand even the sharpest knives. It's not a good thing for your knives though. They can get dull in as little as one use. We recommend using a wooden or plastic cutting board. Other stones are not as resistant to scratching and so we do not recommend cutting on them.

Can Stone Cantilever? What is the maximum overhand size?

You can cantilever granite up to 12" with sufficient support on the fixed end and with a large enough piece. Never cantilever unsupported granite where it might receive excessive stress like someone sitting on a counter or stepping on a counter to change a light bulb. You must have support underneath for these situations. Other types of stone are not as strong and cannot be cantilevered as much.

Can damaged piece of stone be repaired?

If any damage occurs it can usually be fixed with a mixture of epoxy and ground up chips of stone. In most cases the repair is hard to spot.

Will my chosen color look like the picture on your website?

The samples you see on our website have been photographed and saved as digital images. The color tones may not be absolutely correct due to variations in computer systems, monitors and compression algorithms. Also, granite is a natural material with naturally occurring variations in color, tone, granularity, pattern, etc. These variations are expected and are the source of its natural beauty.

Can I order kitchen countertops for pick-up?

The average homeowner typically doesn't have the capability to safely transport and install large pieces of stone. The homeowner would need a pickup truck with an A-frame, as well as a crew capable of safely lifting and carrying all of the pieces, using proper techniques for lifting and transporting of stone. Additionally, we do not offer any warranty on pickup orders, and once the stone is lifted from the cart, it becomes the property and responsibility of the customer. All of these factors outweigh the potential savings to the customer. Smaller orders, like vanity tops, coffee table tops, saddles, etc., are generally small enough to fit in a regular car or van, and are simpler to install.

Are some edge profiles better than others?

Although most edge profiles have similar general characteristics, there are differences which can have an effect on daily usage. One concern is durability. Edges with smooth, rounded profiles tend to be more resistant to chipping. Another aspect of edge performance is ease of cleaning. Edge profiles which feature sharp creases, such as the Cove Dupont or Waterfall edges, tend to collect dust and grime and are tedious to keep clean. The Full Bullnose edge, because of its roundess, tends to carry spills over to the cabinet surfaces which may, over time, lead to damage to the cabinets, especially around the sink area. Also, because the bottom edge is rounded, it is not visible when viewed from above, and makes the countertop appear thinner, which is usually not a desirable effect. On the other hand, parents of small children may consider the rounded bottom edge to be safer.

What is the standard overhang for kitchen and bathroom countertops?

For kitchen countertops, the average overhang is 1.5" on the front and sides. Bathrooms will usually have even overhangs at either 1" or 1.5". These sizes are not mandatory, and you're welcome to choose any size of overhang.

2. Granite Specific Questions

What should I know about Granite?

Granite is a natural stone. It is very hard and durable, heat and scratch resistant as well as easy to maintain. Aside from the practical aspect, granite is very versatile in the design field. It comes in various colors and patterns. All stones are not exactly the same; each lot will have unique characteristics attributed to the specific granite. Because it is a natural stone, it has been blessed with a remarkable natural beauty that has captivated humans throughout the ages. Inherent in such natural products is a certain lack of predictability that architects and designers celebrate. Consumers who are less acquainted with the material often expect the stone to be identical to the picture or sample they were shown. Although sample stones are intended to be representative of the quarry's product, the material quarried at one time may differ slightly in color and veining from the sample. Moreover, even a single marble or granite slab will possess a certain amount of color variation from one end to the other. Interior designers and architects have come to view this tendency of natural stone as an advantage. Slight irregularities can be pleasing, introducing an element of the natural into human-designed spaces, whether residential or commercial.

Can granite surfaces be damaged?

Like any solid surface, high impact blows can harm granite. Because of its crystalline structure, it can chip if subjected to sharp tipped hard objects. Unsealed, granite can absorb stains such as oil, which can ultimately cause dark spots or discoloration. Fortunately, under typical household use, granite is not subjected to such events. Also, heat from pots and pans or burning liquids will not affect granite under normal circumstances.

Can I set a hot pot on my granite counter top?

Granite is formed by extreme heat combined with pressure occurring beneath the earth’s crust. It is extremely unlikely that a granite countertop would crack or discolor when subjected to a hot pan.​

Can granite chip?

Only in cases of severe abuse with a hammer or impact tool. A chip can be filled with a granite dust and epoxy mixture. If a chip occurs on your countertop, do not throw out the chipped pieces. We can use them to fix the countertop, so that no one will be able to tell it was ever chipped.

Does granite crack?

No, not with regular use. Granite is most susceptible to cracks during shipping and installation. Normal use will not overstress this durable material.

Does granite stain?

Most natural stones are porous to some degree. Granite has very little porosity. Most colors will never show any moisture. A few colors may show some moisture if exposed for a period of time. For example, a puddle of water left on the counter for 30 minutes for some colors, may show a dark spot when the water is wiped away. This spot will then dry up and no evidence will show. Our installers will seal the countertops after they are installed. However, we highly recommend a lifetime sealer for some colors to avoid permanent stains. Contact us to discuss details about our permanent sealer and visit our care tips page for more information.

How is granite formed?

Granite is an igneous rock of visible crystalline formation and texture. It is composed primarily of feldspar, quartz, and mica. It starts off as liquid magma deep within the earth's core where it is cooled and compressed over millions of years under tons of pressure. It is then quarried, cut and polished. After that process it can be applied in various ways like kitchen countertops, vanity tops, fireplace surrounds as well as Jacuzzi surrounds and other custom designs.

How much does granite weight?​

One square foot of 1 1/4" thick granite usually weights 16-18 lbs.​

3. Marble Specific Questions

Can marble be used as a kitchen countertop?​

Most marbles are too soft and porous to be safely used in the kitchen. Even the more resilient marbles are susceptible to staining and should be avoided if you intend to cook or serve food often. A material we recommend for kitchen is quartzite, which is a metamorphic rock that is formed from sandstone. Quartzite can be of exceptional strength, density, and hardness. The strength, abrasion resistance, and weathering durability of this rock type expand its application possibilities to include most any of the common uses for natural stone. Please discuss some options with our sales representative.

Where can I use marble?

Marble can be used for a number of applications such as fireplace surrounds, tabletops, saddles, and shelves. It can also be applied in the bath area as Jacuzzi surrounds, vanities, floor, and shower paneling.

4. Order Process Questions

What is the ordering process?

The whole process is designed for quality and speed. First, get an estimate by giving us your layout and dimensions (online, fax or in person). Once you select your material, an order can be placed and we will schedule a templating appointment. From the time the template is made you can expect a turnaround time of 3-5 business days.

Can you level my cabinets?

MGM Granite and Marble does not engage in ANY carpentry work, so all cabinets must be fully installed and leveled, prior to templating.

Do you make and install sink supports?

Sink supports should be made and installed by a carpenter or contractor. Sinks requiring supports should be fully installed prior to countertop templating. Supports should be made to uphold the weight of very heavy cast-iron sinks, and to securely mount sinks with a front apron.

How long do I have to wait until I can use my countertops after they are installed?

The countertops can be used immediately upon the completion of the installation process. The sink however, should not be used for 6 hours after the installation, to allow the epoxy which holds it to cure.

I chose a cast iron or farm sink for my project. How should I prepare for templating?

Apron sinks and cast iron sinks must be installed on a specially built support, as they will not be secured to the counter top. In order for our installers to properly cut the opening for the sink, it must already be installed on its support cabinet at the time of templating.

Can I buy a slab somewhere else and have you fabricate it?

With approval from the production manager, we can fabricate slabs from outside sources, however since we have no information on the soundness of the stone, we take NO responsibility for any problems arising during Fabrication.

Do I need the faucet at the time of the templates? When do you drill the holes?

While the holes for the faucet are not drilled until the countertops are installed, we require the homeowner to have the faucets available during templating so we can make sure there is enough room for the faucet and sink in the base cabinet. For example, a faucet with a tilting handle would require more space in the back, especially if there will be a stone backsplash installed.

How long do I have to wait until I can use my countertops after they are installed?

The countertops can be used immediately upon the completion of the installation process. The sink however, should not be used for 6 hours after the installation, to allow the epoxy which holds it to cure.

I chose a cast iron or farm sink for my project. How should I prepare for templating?

Apron sinks and cast iron sinks must be installed on a specially built support, as they will not be secured to the counter top. In order for our installers to properly cut the opening for the sink, it must already be installed on its support cabinet at the time of templating.

5. Price and Estimate Questions

What is your payment policy?

The payment procedure is very simple. For projects measured and installed by MGM, we collect a 50% deposit at the time of templating. The remaining balance is required at the time of installation. With pick-up orders, a 100% full payment is required upon placing the order.

Do you accept credit cards?

Yes, we accept all major credit cards.

What information is required for a quote?

We require our potential clients to provide a top view layout of the project, including dimensions along with personal information such as name, town, state, zip code, a phone contact, and if known, the name of the stone and the desired edge finish. We can then process the specific measurements and respond with an estimate for the job. This information can either be faxed and emailed to us or brought to our showroom when the client comes in for a walk in our yard.

Is installation included in the quote?

Yes. If you would like to get a quote without installation, please indicate "pick-up" on your request.

How close does the estimate come to the final price?

The quote on the estimate is based on the measurements provided to us by you. So the more accurate your drawings are, the more accurate the price.

Why are some stones more expensive than others?

There are several factors which determine the price of each stone. First there are costs of mining. Some stones are located in hard to reach areas which increases the costs of mining. Then, depending on where the stone is sent from, the cost of shipping comes into play. Finally, the stone market follows the supply and demand economics, so rare and sought after stones will be significantly more expensive than common and popular stones