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Granite Countertops & Vanity Tops FAQ

BuildDirect is pleased to provide answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on a wide variety of our products. If your questions are not answered on this page, or you simply wish to speak with a Customer Service Representative, our customers can contact us toll free from anywhere in North America at 1-877-631-2845 or by email at customerservice@builddirect.com

Q. What makes granite the hardest building stone?

A. Granite is formed by solidification of liquid magma (molten rock) under the pressure of earth’s crust. It is composed of Feldspar, Quartz, Mica, and other minerals, making it one of the hardest stones in the world. It has been used for building and decorative purposes  for centuries. Granite resists wear-and-tear applications remarkably well, making it ideal for  interior or exterior flooring. When used outdoors, granite’s mineralogical structure is not influenced by freeze-thaw cycles.

Q. Why is granite an excellent material for kitchen countertops?

A. Next to diamond, sapphire, and ruby, granite is the hardest natural product on earth. Once polished, natural granite will maintain its high gloss virtually forever.  Normal use of kitchen knives, cutlery, and cookware leaves no scratches. Heat has almost no effect on natural granite, making it much safer than synthetic surfaces with polyesters and resins.  Pots and pans heated to 900 degrees Fahrenheit will not dull natural granite’s lustrous finish, but the use of trivets is recommended to keep your granite counter clean.

Q. Can granite get stained and do I need to seal it?

A. Granite is a highly dense material and relatively porous so it can get stained if a spill is not cleaned quickly. Sealing the surface with a water-based sealant is therefore recommended to protect the granite from water patches and stains. Sealing can be done once a year or once every two years depending on the usage of the surface.

Q. Am I restricted to getting just one product in a container?

A. Container orders can comprise any combination of the colors, sizes, finishes and shapes that a given factory produces.

Q. Where do you ship material from?

A. BuildDirect ships container orders from the product’s country of origin.

Q. How much does granite weigh?

A. Granite tiles and slabs come in different thicknesses. The weight per square foot for each thickness is as follows:

  • 3/4″(20mm) thick slab: 12.8 lbs. sq. ft.
  • 1 1/4″(30mm) thick slab: 18 lbs sq. ft.

Granite is heavy and will require proper equipment or labour to accept goods on delivery. Please check weight of goods before they are delivered so you are properly prepared.

Q. How are granite products packed?

A. Packing depends on the nature of the product as follows:

  • Counter tops are bundled in quantities of 10 pieces in wooden crates.
  • Vanity tops are bundled in quantities of 30 pieces in wooden crates.

Q. Is your granite real and why is it so inexpensive?

A. All the granite products sold by BuildDirect are genuine granite, produced from the natural rock and are first quality. We are able to sell at such low prices because we ship directly from the production site, in addition to cost reductions owing to our huge volumes in shipping.

Q. Is your granite Kerosene cut?

A. No, it is not. BuildDirect ensures that all its granites are cut by using water as coolant and gives a lifetime guarantee of the quality.  Some manufacturers use petroleum by-products in the coolant to aid the cutting process and reduce processing costs. The granite is later soaked in water and washed to remove the chemical smell, but the damage is done the moment the chemical comes into contact with the ferric content in the stone. Within a couple of years, rust marks will appear.

Q. How do I know BuildDirect’s granite is high quality?

A. BuildDirect supplies only first quality material. The quality of the material is determined by measuring different parameters of a granite product through the entire production process:

  • Mining – BuildDirect’s granites are mined utilizing modern methods. Some mines still use dynamite or blasting methods to reduce cost, but this also damages the granite. The shock wave created by the blast will cause invisible hairline cracks which will result in the stone cracking at some later time.
  • Cutting – BuildDirect’s granites are cut by using water as coolant to ensure a lifetime guarantee on the quality of the product.
  • Dimensions – Product dimensions are controlled within the stipulated limits in ASTM standards. Tiles are calibrated to ensure their thickness is uniform. Gauging is done to ensure the tiles are square. Beveling is done to produce a smooth edge on the tiles
  • Inspection: Inspection is done at different stages of the manufacturing process and the products are segregated for unusual patches, major color variation, cracks, dimensions, surface finish, and other quality issues. They are then categorized as first, second, and commercial quality. BuildDirect supplies only first quality material.