HP GRANITE, INC.                                         



of Indiana

What to Know Before You Buy

Before buying stone make sure you understand what quality of stone you are getting.  The granite industry is an unregulated industry so suppliers can make up words defining their quality, but here’s a useful gate:  First Quality or Grade A contains none or extremely minimal visible material defects, has quite consistent color and granularity between pieces and consistent physical properties.  Second Quality will contain small visible defects or inconsistencies, some color variation and potential inconsistent physical properties.  Commercial Grade will contain significant visible surface defects which may have been filled or repaired, significant inconsistencies in granularity and color will be the weakest of all in terms of physical properties.  The problem with these definitions is that they mean different things with different stones. Most customers will not be happy with anything but First Quality, so even if the terms are somewhat confusing, have the conversation with your fabricator to see if they understand the issues. Remember, though, that stone is a natural product and not as uniform as man-made products.  Within any slab there are likely to be color shifts and changes in granularity.  These aren’t defects; they are part of the unique character and beauty of every piece of natural stone.  In the case of stone, variations are the signature of the hand of mother nature. 




 Remember, Lowest Price Isn’t Always Highest Quality!




               So, what qualifies as defects or bad parts of a slab?  Cracks and filled areas are obvious faults unless the stone is one where that is normal and present on every slab quarried.  What about color variations and veins?  Well, it all depends on you, the customer and what you like.  One customer may regard a vein as a defect while another may regard it as the highlight feature of the slab.  When we receive slabs at HP Granite we always do a quality inspection and if we see color variations and veins in stones which do not normally have them we call the customer to have them take a second look at the slab to make sure it is what they want before cutting the slab.  We also encourage our customers to be part of the stone selection process, by picking out the actual slabs to be used on your project at one of our suppliers’ warehouses. 




Then there is granite thickness.  For many years fabricators have used two centimeter (2 cm) granite and then glue-laminate the edge to give it a thicker appearance.  This granite also usually requires special cabinet reinforcement for support. Also the laminated edge will contain a visible seam and depending on the skill of the fabricator, this can be quite unattractive.  Even a “perfect” seam is visible because the seam cuts a straight line through the grains in the stone and the human eye can pick up these linear features.  More fabricators are turning to 3 cm granite (about 1 ¼" thick) and this is mainly what we work with at HP Granite.  This provides for a more harmonious appearance, is very heavy and much stronger than 2 cm so it does not require any support reinforcement.




               Almost all kitchens will require some seams.  Can the supplier tell you where they are going to be?  The last thing you want is a seam where you didn’t expect one.  Professional fabricators will be able to tell you this when they measure or template your cabinets.  At HP Granite we do everything we can to reasonably minimize the number of seams.  Many times the cheapest quote may also contain the most seams, so make sure you understand the options. 




How can I protect my granite countertops?  This is a common question for homeowners.  The first step is to apply a stone sealant - many times this is done initially when the counter is installed by the stone professional.  Unsealed granite is semi-porous and wine, grease, water and other liquids can be absorbed which can cause stains, especially on lighter colored stones.  Most professionals recommend sealing your granite and marble every year, but there are some sealers that are lifetime guarantees as well.  However, it is important to remember that a sealant such as an impregnator or dry-treatment sealer cannot guarantee against staining and their warranties include many exclusions. 


At HP Granite we do offer an optional solution to this problem. We are proud to offer permanent granite sealing with Granite Shield. This sealant provides your surfaces with a lifetime warranty against staining.


Finally, make sure you understand their schedule by asking your fabricator what their turnaround will be.  this is how long will you have to wait for them to template or measure and how long after that before your countertops will be installed.  What you want is a fabricator in high demand with an acceptable turnaround.  At HP Granite we pride ourselves on installing your granite within two weeks from the time of measure. The purchase of granite is an investment you should be able to enjoy for years to come, don’t be afraid to ask questions. 



Please feel free to contact our office with any additional questions you may have.  We look forward to serving     you, and strive to make your granite buying experience the best that it can be!





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