Q: Can I afford new countertops?
A: This depends on your budget. Many people think that new tops are actually more expensive than they really are. We can guide you through the selection process and educate you on the many ways to keep costs down.
Q: How much do granite countertops cost?
A: There are several variables in determining the final cost of granite countertops. The first is the size of your job or the square footage. The second variable is the cost of the material you select. There are other factors like edges, radius and angle cuts, and appliances may also factor into the price. Our experienced sales staff will guide you through the process and explain any charges that will affect your final price. Our quotes are also all-inclusive. When someone gives you a square footage price, make sure to ask what that price includes and if there are any other charges.
Q: What determines the price difference between stones?
A: All stones are classified by groups (starting with group A and extending all the way to group I). Group A is the least expensive, and as you go up in letter group, you go up in price. Surprisingly, quality often has very little to do with the material’s cost. Instead, availability or rarity of the stone determines the price. All stones are amazing in their own right, and there are several stones to choose from within each group.
Q: Do you charge your clients for the entire granite slab or just what is needed for the specific project?
A: Trademark Universal Stone only charges our customers for the stone they are using, not the entire slab that is purchased to fabricate a project. Our prices are based on square footage, not per slab.
Q: How can I get an estimate for my project?
A: Just contact us. We can also visit you in person to give you a quote at no charge by putting you on our template schedule.
Q: How can I see some samples?
A: Samples are great, but unfortunately they do not convey what a slab of natural stone really has to offer. Natural stone has unique movement and patterns and a small sample doesn’t truly show the beauty of an entire slab; therefore, we suggest visiting one of our well-stocked suppliers where you can hand-select the perfect slab for your project so that there is no question about what you are getting.
Q: Can I use marble for my kitchen?
A: Yes, you can, but we DO NOT recommend it. Marble is an extremely porous stone, so staining, scratching, chipping, bruising and etching during day to day use is inevitable.
Q: What product is best for my project? What are the pros & cons? What about sealing?
A: Marble – On the Mohs scale of mineral hardness (1 being the softest, like talc, and 10 being the hardest, like diamond), marble is rated a 3. As this rating indicates, marble is extremely porous. For this reason, we highly recommend that it isn’t used on high traffic areas. The best place for this stone would be fireplaces, powder rooms, and master baths.
Granite – On the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, granite falls at a 6. Based on its natural construction, granite is extremely resistant to scratching, etching, staining, chipping and cracking. For this reason, its durability is rarely matched. However, that doesn’t mean these things are impossible. The good news is that granite is still porous and soft enough to be fixable. Because of this, this natural stone is ideal for high traffic countertops. Keep in mind that the slab used for your project is unique and made perfect by nature over thousands of years. Even though it must be sealed, sealing is a small compromise for natural beauty. Granite has been used as a building material for thousands of years. This is because it mainly contains feldspar and quartz, some of the strongest stones nature can make.
Quartzite – On the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, natural quartzite falls at a 7. Because of quartzite’s rarity, unique colors and patterns, it is one of the most beautiful choices but also one of the most expensive. Its density makes it more difficult to damage but also more difficult to fix if damage does occur. Quartzite is a great option if you are looking for a natural stone that has some of the visual characteristics of marble.
Man-made quartz – Quartz countertops are actually man made, and although they consist of 90% quartz, the rest of the countertop is composed of resins, polymers and various types of pigments. This creates a very durable artificial rock without pores or cracks, and pigment is used to provide coloration that is naturally found in quartz arenite. This is the easiest type of countertop to maintain because of its non-porous nature. However, unlike natural stone, quartz countertops are not heat resistant and can burn. You can not expose this type of material to direct sunlight, and it can’t be used for outdoor kitchens or fireplaces. This is the best choice if you really love the look of marble. This is the only type of countertop that does not need to be sealed.
Q: How do I clean my countertops?
A: We recommend mild, soapy, warm water to clean your tops. There are also some natural stone cleaners that seal as you clean, and these can be purchased at many home improvement stores.
Q: I don’t want a seam. Do I have to have one? Where is my seam placed?
A: Seams are a natural part of countertops. We always try to fabricate with the least amount of seams possible. Seam placement is determined by material usage, color variations, maneuverability in a home, and most importantly where it will be the least visible. If you have skilled installers who know what they’re doing, the seam will never be the focal point in your application.
Q: How thick is the granite?
A: Granite slabs come in various thicknesses. Unless specified, Trademark uses a 3 cm (1 ¼”) thick material.
Q: What edges can I choose?
A: Trademark offers 6 different edges from which you can choose, and each is included in your original estimate. We also offer a large selection of edges for any project style, and all of them are as unique as each of our clients.
Q: What If my counters crack?
A: If installed correctly and not beaten with a hammer, it’s extremely unlikely that your counters will ever crack. However, since anything is possible, if this happens within the first two years and it’s repairable, then we will repair the damage at no cost to you. If it needs full replacement, we will do it at a discount. This is one of our many commitments to you.
Q: Do I need a sub counter under my tops?
A: No, you do not. The granite that we use is thick enough that it lies directly on your cabinets with no problem. Most sub-counters are used for substandard countertops and 2cm (¾”) thick or less.
Q: How long will it take to install my countertops? How long will I be without a usable kitchen?
A: After you have hand selected your materials and your template has been completed, it normally takes between a week and a half to two weeks for installation and project completion. We have some of the fastest turnaround times compared to other fabricators. This is because we have perfected our process and we work hard. Just because it’s five o’clock does not mean it’s time to go home, especially if there’s still work to be done. We want your space to be fully functional as quickly as possible just like you do. This is one of the many areas in which Trademark excels.
Q: Do I get a warranty?
A: Yes. We offer a 2 year warranty on our fabrication and installation.
Q: What should I avoid getting on my tops?
A: We recommend cleaning spills immediately, especially anything acidic like fruit juices and wine. Also avoid using harsh chemical cleaners.
Q: How much does granite weigh?
A: Granite weighs about 20 lbs. per square foot.
Q: Where does granite come from?
A: Granite is quarried from all over the word and comes from places like Brazil, Italy, India and the Middle East.
Q: What are Trademarks hours of operation?
A: Monday 10 – 4:30; Tuesday – Friday between 9am – 5pm; Sat 9am – 12pm; and whenever is convenient for you if you prefer by appointment.
Q: Do I need to get a plumber, electrician, and/or tile professional?
A: Yes. Trademark only fabricates and installs stone countertops and anything related to completing our job. We do, however, work closely with companies with the above skills that we’re comfortable recommending.
Q: How long do I have to wait for an estimate?
A: When you contact us for an estimate, if you have a drawing or your project’s square footage handy, we’ll get a price back to you within 24 hours. If not, no worries – we’re more than happy to work with you to schedule a visit to your home so we can take a template for estimating purposes.
Q: What happens after my countertop estimate?
A: After your estimate, we’ll schedule an appointment for you to select material, edging and sinks. We’ll go over slab movement, placement and seams to ensure you get exactly what you want.