Frequently Asked Questions

Ordering Process

Can you describe the process of ordering with your company?

The whole process is designed for quality and speed. First, the client picks a stone, we then give the client an
estimate based on their specific project. After that an order can be placed with us for a template. From the time the template is made our clients can expect a turnaround time of 7 business days.

Appointments

Do I need an appointment to come down to your place?
No appointment is necessary; All Granite and Marble Corp. is open to the public Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm and Saturday from 8 am to 4 pm.

Place of Operation

Where do you operate?
The Crystal Fabrica operates within the greater Toronto area.
We are a direct fabricator and installer of kitchen countertops, vanities, Jacuzzi surrounds, fireplace surrounds, and custom designs.

Payment Policy

What is your payment policy?
Crystal Tile Marble accepts Visa / MasterCard or certified checks only. If payment is done by personal check we will not start the fabrication process until the check is cleared. Once the order is placed the grand total is divided into two payments, one during the template, and the other due at the time of the installation.

Sheets / Slabs

Do I have to buy the whole sheet/slab?
No. We will determine how much material is needed for your countertops. We do not charge you the price of full slabs. You pay for what is required to fabricate your tops.

Granite Countertops

I am considering purchasing a granite countertop for my kitchen. Is it expensive?
Excellent choice! The cost of granite counters is comparable to Corian, even less sometimes, while offering more benefits.
Counters in granite start at $55 per square foot.

Granite or Marble

What is the difference between granite and marble?
The main difference between granite and marble is that granite is a highly dense material composed deep inside the earths core while marble is formed from sediments under the seabed.
Both solidify into stone after millions of years but the mineral composition of the two stones makes marble and granite react differently to various chemicals and household cleaners.

Interesting Facts

MARBLE

The Lincoln Memorial, also in Washington, was built of marble from Alabama, Colorado, and Georgia. Very pure calcite marble is used for most statues. They are translucent. Large blocks of colored marble are used for columns, floors, and other parts of buildings. Smaller pieces of marble are crushed or finely ground and used as abrasives in soaps and other such products. Crushed or ground marble is also used in paving roads and in manufacturing roofing materials and soil treatment products.

Indian marble has the following main chemical constituents in its composition:
Soluble residue - 0.89%

Fe2o3 - 0.28%
CaCo3 - 97.74%
MgCo3 - 1.22%
Phosphoric Acid - 0.04%

Marble has always been highly valued for its beauty, strength, and resistance to fire and erosion. The ancient Iranian & Greeks were good user of marble in their buildings and statues. The Italian artist Michelangelo used marble from Carrara, Italy, in a number of sculptures. Marble from Tennessee was used in parts of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
The Lincoln Memorial, also in Washington, was built of marble from Alabama, Colorado, and Georgia. Very pure calcite marble is used for most statues. They are translucent. Large blocks of colored marble are used for columns, floors, and other parts of buildings. Smaller pieces of marble are crushed or finely ground and used as abrasives in soaps and other such products. Crushed or ground marble is also used in paving roads and in manufacturing roofing materials and soil treatment products.

Marbles show variety of textures on account of existing minerals & re-crystallization patterns. Texture depends upon form, size, uniformity of grain arrangements. Marbles can be classified on the basis of the following factors :

Calcite Marble - Mostly CaCo3; MgCo3<0.50%
Dolomite Marble - Having > 40% MgCo3
Magnesium Marble - MgCo3 between 5 to 40%
Serpentine Marble - remobilised marble due to the effect of Thermodynamic metamorphic wherein serpentine is prominent
Onyx Marble - Lime carbonate deposition on account of cold water solution activity

The following are the major mineral impurities in marble:

  • Quartz
  • Tremolite Actinolite
  • Chert
  • Garnet
  • Biotite
  • Muscovite
  • Microline
  • Talc
  • Fosterite

The following are the major chemical impurities in marble:

  • SiO2
  • Fe2O3
  • 2Fe2O3
  • 3H2O
  • Limonite
  • Manganese
  • Al2O3
  • FeS2 (pyrite)

Marble, formed from limestone with heat and pressure over years in the earth's crust. These pressure or forces cause the limestone to change in texture and makeup. The process is called recrystallization. Fossilized materials in the limestone, along with its original carbonate minerals, recrystallize and form large, coarse grains of calcite.  Impurities present in the limestone during the recrystallization period affect the mineral composition of the marble which is formed. At relatively low temperatures, silica impurities in the carbonate minerals form masses of chert or crystals of quartz.

At higher temperatures, the silica reacts with the carbonates to produce diopside and forsterite. At a very high temperatures, rarer calcium minerals, such as larnite, monticellite, and rankinite, forms in the marble. If water is present, serpentine, talc, and certain other hydrous minerals may be produced.

The presence of iron, alumina, and silica may result in the formation of hematite and magnetite. Marble does not split easily into sheets of equal size and must be mined with care. The rock may shatter if explosives are used. Blocks of marble are mined with channeling machines, which cut grooves and holes in the rock. Miners outline a block of marble with rows of grooves and holes. They then drive wedges into the openings and separate the block from the surrounding rock. The blocks are cut with saws to the desired shape and size.

STONE

LIMESTONE:
Mainly consists of calcite. It does not show much graining or crystalline structure. It has a smooth granular surface. Varies in hardness. Some dense limestones can be polished. Common colors are black, grey, white, yellow or brown. It is more likely to stain than marble. Limestone is known to contain lime from seawater.

SANDSTONE:

Is a very durable formation of quartz grains (sand). Usually formed in light brown or red colors. Categorized by the most popular sandstone bonding agents such as silica, calcium, clay, and iron oxide.

SOAPSTONE:

A very soft stone made of a variety of talc. It is a dense mineral that wears well and is often resistant to stains.

FOSSILSTONE:

Considered a limestone that contains natural fossils
such as seashells and plants.

TRAVERTINE:

Usually a cream or reddish color. It is formed through the accumulation of calcite from hot springs. It contains lots of holes that were formed from water flowing through the stone. These holes are often filled with synthetic resins or cements. This Stone will require more maintenance if the holes are not filled. It is known as a limestone and a marble.

MARBLE:
A recrystallized limestone that formed when the limestone softened from heat and pressure and recrystallized into marble where mineral changes occurred. The main consistency is calcium and dolomite. Ranges in many colors and is usually heavily veined and shows lots of grains. Hardness rates from 2.5 to 5 on the MOH Scale.Marble is classified into three categories: (Stone World)

1. Dolomite: If it has more than 40% magnesium carbonate.
2. Magnesian: If it has between 5% and 40% magnesium carbonate.
3. Calcite: If it has less than 5% magnesium carbonate.

SLATE:
A fine-grained metamorphic stone that formed from clay, sedimentary rock shale, and sometimes quartz. The nature of this stone is can be very thin and therefore can break/flake more easily than other stones. Slate is usually black, grey, or green can be found with reflective colours of silver and can also be found in copper and red tones.

SERPENTINE:
Identified by its marks, which look like the skin of a serpent. Most popular colors are green and brown. Hardness rates from 2.5 to 4 on the MOH Scale. Contains serpentine minerals has lots of magnesium, and has an igneous origin. Does not always react well to recrystallization or diamond polishing.

IGNEOUS: stones are mainly formed through volcanic material such as magma. Underneath the Earths surface, liquid magma cooled and solidified. Mineral gases and liquids penetrated into the stone and created new crystalline formations with various colours.

GRANITE: Primarily made of Quartz (35%), Feldspar (45%) and Potassium. Most Granites usually have darker colors, contain very little calcite, if any and provide a heavy crystalline and granular appearance with mineral grains. It is very hard material and easier to maintain than marble. Yet, it is still porous and is susceptible to staining. There are different types of granite depending on the percentage mix of quartz, mica and feldspar. Black granite is known as an Anorthosite. It contains very little quartz and feldspar and has a different composition than true granite.

MAN-MADE: Stones are derived of unnatural mixtures such resin or cement with the additive of stone chips.

TERRAZZO: Marble and granite chips embedded in a cement composition.

AGGLOMERATE or CONGLOMERATE: Marble chips embedded in a colored resin composition.

CULTURED or FAUX MARBLE: A mix of resins that are painted or mixed with a paint to look like marble.

Currently, there are many companies around the world that use generic names to identify different types of stone. The original names were in Italian, and usually the name consists of two parts. The first part describes the color and the second part describes the name from where the stone was quarried.

ITALIAN NAME: ENGLISH COLOR:
Azzuro
Breccia
Dorato/D'oro
Fiore
Giallo
Negro/Nero
Perla/Perlato
Rosa
Rosso
Verde
Bianco

Example:       Bianco Carrara- White Marble from Carrara, Italy

Blue
Broken Pieces
Gold
Flower
Yellow
Black
Pearl
Pink
Red
Green
White

There are many different types of stone available today. When stone is ordered, it is fabricated with a particular type of surface. There are six main types of surfaces that are selected:

Honed: Provides a flat to low sheen gloss. Different levels of gloss can be selected. This surface is very smooth, but often very porous. This texture is common in high traffic buildings. Honed floors should always be protected with a penetrating sealer

Polished: A glossy surface that can wear with time due to heavy foot traffic and using improper maintenance procedures. This surface is very smooth and not very porous. The reflectivity of polished crystals brings out the brilliant colors and grains of natural stone. The shine comes from the natural reflection of the stone's crystals. The polish is achieved by use of polishing bricks and powders during fabrication. The shine is not from a coating.

Flamed: A rough surface that is developed through intense heat. During fabrication, the stone is heated up and the crystals begin to pop, thus forming a rough surface. This surface is very porous and must be treated with a good quality sealant.

Tumbled: A slightly rough texture that is achieved by tumbling small pieces of marble, limestone, and sometimes granite to achieve an aged/worn appearance.

Sand Blasted: This surface is the result of a pressurized flow of sand and water that provides a textured surface with a matte gloss.

Sawn: A process performed by using a gang saw.

Bush Hammered: A pounding action that develops a textured surface. The degree of roughness can be selected.

Regardless of the type of surface that is to be maintained, all stones should be protected with a sealer.

As discussed previously, stone was formed from different types of natural minerals. Marble's main consistency is calcium. Calcium carbonate is the natural source that bonds the stone. Certain additive minerals blended in to the calcium during formation to customize these brilliant colors. The additive minerals are also color developers present in granite and other natural stones.

Stone Colour Mineral
  • Black
  • Brown
  • Gray
  • Green
  • Red
  • White
  • Yellow
  • Biotite, Hornblende, Carbon
  • Limonite
  • Variety of minerals
  • Mica, Chloride, Silicate
  • Hematite
  • Feldspar, Calcite, Dolomite
  • Limonite

 

Mineral Mineral Colour
  • Augite
  • Biotite
  • Calcite
  • Dolomite
  • Feldspar
  • Hematite
  • Hornblende
  • Limonite
  • Sulphur
  • Brown, Green, Black, Purple
  • Black, Brown, Green
  • Pearlenscent and Pale Colors
  • Colorless, Pink, Pale Brown
  • Yellow, White, Pink, Green, Grey
  • Metallic Grey or Black
  • Green, Yellow, Brown, Black
  • Black, Brown, or Yellow
  • Pale Gold

Stones contain natural crystals. These crystals reflect light to provide a shine on the surface. When the crystals are dull, crushed, or broken, they cannot reflect light evenly. For example, when the lens of a flashlight breaks, it cannot reflect the light that is being emitted from the bulb.

Polished stone floors become dull when heavy foot traffic along with sediment erodes the crystals. Normal footwear does not cause the main damage, sediment and grit do. The sediment and grit that lies on the stone surface is the main enemy of the stones crystals. The damage to the crystals occur when the pressure from the shoe forces the sediment to abrade or fracture the crystals.

The only safe way to restore and sharpen the crystals is to polish them with diamond abrasives or polishing powders. The life span of crystals can be extended by administering a thorough dust mopping program with proper cleaning tools and products.

Marble is a relatively soft stone. On a measurement of hardness (MOHS), marble is approximately a three out of ten. Marble is made of calcium, just like your teeth. If you eat something to hard you will break your tooth. If you eat a lot of sugar you will get a cavity. Stone reacts the same way. If an improper chemical is applied to the surface, corrosion will begin to form cavities in the stone.

Listed below is the famous Measurement of Hardness (MOH) Scale for stone. This is a guide developed in the 1800's which helps evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the stone being used. For example, softer stones would require the use of a less active chemical and a more frequent dust mopping program.

  1. Talc
  2. Gypsum
  3. Calcite (Most Marbles)
  4. Fluorite
  5. Apatite
  6. Feldspar (Granite)
  7. Quartz (Granite)
  8. Topaz
  9. Corundum
  10. Diamond

In the stone maintenance industry there are two main types of chemicals that are utilized, water-based and solvent-based. Solvent-based chemicals do not contain any water and do not register a pH balance. These ingredients are only soluble in other solvents. Some examples of solvent chemicals are paint thinners, most penetrating sealers(impregnators), D-Limonene, and alcohol.

Water-based chemicals are chemicals that contain water and have a pH balance. Chemicals mixed in water are soluble in water. There are a variety of water based chemicals such as neutral cleaners, ammonia, bleach, and most chemicals that have a pH balance. In order to determine the difference between solvent and water based chemicals, read the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS). Most solvents have a flash point and can ignite. Most water-based chemicals do not have a flash point unless they contain a solvent ingredient to add strength to the product. For example, many degreasers contain D-limonene. In most stone care situations, if a stain or coating is water-based, then water-based chemicals are needed to remove it.

WATER-BASED: SOLVENT-BASED:
  • Alkalis
  • Acids
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • All purpose cleaners
  • Glycols
  • D-limonene
  • Alcohol
  • Siloxane
  • Acetone
  • Mineral spirits

SCI's product line is derived of mainly water-based chemicals. The reason is due to the environmental concerns that solvent-based chemicals are harmful to our environment.
Water-based chemicals are usually more user friendly. Remember to always wear proper protective gear when using any chemical and keep them all out of the reach of children.

PH is a unit of measure to determine the alkalinity and acidity of a solution. PH has been defined as either the "Power of Hydrogen" or "Pre-existing Hydrogen." It is rated
on a scale of 1 to 14. 1 to 6.5 being acidic (Hydrogen) and 7.5 to 14 being an alkali (Hydroxide). 7 being neutral.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
ACIDS: NEUTRAL ALKALIS:
  • Acid Bowl Cleaners
  • Vinegar
  • Most Fruit Juices
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Marbalex
  • Marbamist
  • Marbadan
  • Stone Quest
  • Strippers
  • Degreasers
  • Ammonia
  • Many household and bathroom cleaners

Most stones used today are sensitive to both acidic and alkali cleaners. One reason is due to the fact that most stones are classified as hydroxides which classify them as natural alkalis. Acids will burn most stones by dissolving the bonding agents that keep them together. Alkalis usually do not damage stone as quickly, however, they will cause deterioration. The corrosiveness of acids cannot always be measured with the pH scale. In most instances, the lower the pH number the stronger the acid. A solution with a pH level of 1 is usually stronger than a solution with a pH of 4. However, there are some acids with a higher pH that are stronger than an acid with a lower pH. On the alkali side, the higher the pH number the stronger the alkali should be. A solution with a pH balance of 12 is usually stronger than a solution with a pH of 9. When using an alkali cleaner, never use hot water because it may create a stronger alkali reaction with adverse affects.

Understanding pH balances will help select the proper chemicals that can be used on stone. However, a main factor to remember when selecting a stone maintenance chemical is the activity level. For example, most neutral cleaners have a pH balance of 7; however, some neutral cleaners are stronger than others because they have higher activity levels.

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