Countertops vary in price depending on the material, colour, maufacturing and installation costs. Laminates are often the least expensive option, followed by overlays, granite, quartz and solid surface being the most. Replacement options should be priced by the job, not by square footage to eliminate all hidden costs.
While Granite, Quartz and Solid Surface all have their pros and cons, Granite countertops are the most durable, with the highest return on investment, compared to Quartz or Solid Surface materials. Granite is perfect in the Kitchen because of its durablity. Quartz is ideal, but not limited to Bathrooms, to create that spa like atmosphere. Whereas, Solid Surface is designed for commercial projects, as surface scratches can be sanded out as the counter ages over time.
Granite overlays and solid surface materials range from 3 to 4 lbs per square foot, compare to 2cm granite or quartz at 14 lbs, or 3cm granite or quartz at 22 lbs.
Granite overlays are cut thinner from flawless granite blocks, making them the highest quality stone at the lowest cost possible. Overlays are more durable, light weight and require less care over thicker granites. By cutting the stone thinner, with a woven fibreglass backing, allows the granite to flex as the countertop ages over time.
Granite Overlays called “SmartStone” are reinforced with a woven fiberglass backing which allows the slab to flex without breaking. The surface can withstand 5000 lbs of downward force making SmartStone one of the most durable granites in the world.
Tearing out a counter tops is costly and may cause collateral damage to your cabinets and surrounding areas. Counter tops provide added strength to cabinets in the same manner that drywall adds strength to framed walls. SmartStone Granite Overlays are light weight, and will not cause stress damage to existing cabinets that were not designed to handle the excessive weight of 1 ¼” (3cm) granite counter tops.
None; there is no substitution for the durability and diamond like quality of a pure natural granite counter top. It’s like comparing a rhinestone or zircon to a real diamond. For years, engineered stone has had a huge price competitive advantage over the 2cm (3/4″) and 3cm (1 ¼”) granite industry, until Smartstone arrived.
When engineered stone becomes stained, or fades due to sunlight UV rays, it is ruined. Pure natural granite will not fade or become permanently stained. If in the event something inadvertently penetrated into the pores of the stone, it is simply removed by using soap and water or an absorbent chemical.
Granite is not difficult to clean, and is comparable to stainless steel when it comes to sanitation! Research has shown that due to it’s smooth diamond like finish, natural granite was the least likely counter top material to hold bacteria. You are safer to own a natural granite or stainless steel than any other products available.
Sealing or resealing natural granite is as simple as applying polish to your furniture. Smartstone Granite Overlays requires less sealing because our stones are thinner combined with the fiberglass backing which slows the evaporation processes over time. How often depends on the colour of the stone, but normally we recommend every two years for our counter tops, compared to ¾” (2cm) once a year, or 1 ¼” (3cm) every 6 months.
You can cut on granite, but since it is nearly has hard as a diamond you may want to spare dulling your sharp knives or damaging expensive cutlery. Be careful when setting a hot pan on your granite due to the fact that stone holds heat and remains hot to the touch for a period of time.
Our goal is to install every counter without a seam to reduce the time during the installation, however, if the counter piece exceeds 8.5 feet (102 inches), by 4 feet (48 inches) in an “L” or “U” shape configuration it will require a seam. If a seam is required, it is often no wider than a razorblade, compared to thicker granites that normally requires a 1/8 inch gap or more, because they require sufficient separation to pack the stone adhesive deep enough between the two pieces to prevent the seam from separating over time.
Historically high levels of radon gas were found coming from home foundations, however more recent cases are now being reported from installations of 1 ¼” (3cm) thick granite countertops, but because our granite slabs are much thinner our product is radon safe.