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Countertops & Surfaces Material Comparison: Granite - Engineered Stone - Solid Surface Granite is the often the surface of choice for high-end applications. It is very expensive but it provides a look that is incomparable for beauty and elegance. If you are considering granite countertops you should be aware of the general characteristics of granite, and the options available to you, including engineered, before making your final decision. Natural granite comes from the ground. Engineered stone is man-made stone. Solid Surface is a plastic material. Each offers advantages and disadvantages. Natural Granite • Natural but not Perfect Granite is crystalline in structure, so it always has tiny pits or spaces between the various mineral crystals. It also contains natural fissures that may appear to be cracks, but they are not structural defects and will not impair the function or durability of the material. They occur naturally and are considered to be part of the beauty of stone. • Appearance Not Uniform Movement is a term that is used to describe the shift in color and pattern in natural stone. Natural granite does not have a uniform pattern or color. The appearance can vary widely between slabs, and even within a single slab. • Samples May Differ from the Actual Stone The sample in the dealer's showroom may differ from the slabs currently available at the fabricator's warehouse. They may have been mined from a different part of the quarry or they may have occlusions or color variances that give them a different appearance. We always ask our clients to examine the actual slabs of material before the top is cut. • Seams are Visible It is impossible to hide the seams in granite. • Must be Sealed Because granite is a natural stone product it has a certain degree of porosity and must be sealed before use with a solvent-based product which leaves only negligible surface residue and is not considered to be a health risk. The stone must be resealed at least once every three years. • Can Discolor While granite is ordinarily considered to be stain-resistant, some pigments or oils can be absorbed into the surface. This could cause discoloration. The sealer does not prevent this discoloration, but it slows it down to allow more time for clean up. • Durable but not Indestructible Granite is extremely durable, scratch resistant, and impervious to water and heat. If

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