1. What is the difference between granite, marble, Travertine and quartzite?

Moh's Scale

The Moh’s Hardness Scale shows the relationships between granite, marble, Travertine and quartzite. Marble and Travertine can scratch and stain due to softness and porosity. Please consult MTTS for more information if you are considering these stones in your kitchen.

2. What is the difference between Granite (Natural), Quartz (Engineered), Marble (Natural), and Quartzite (Natural)?

Granite (Natural): Defined as: a very hard natural igneous rock formation of visibly crystalline texture formed essentially of quartz and orthoclase or microcline and used especially for building and for monuments.

  • It is one of the hardest and most durable surfaces available.
  • Can be damaged by direct a/o extreme heat exposure.
  • Very stain resistant. Sealing every 3-8 years depending on porosity and sealer used.
  • pH neutral cleaner, Blue Original Windex, special granite cleaner.
  • Installed interior, exterior, commercial, residential.
  • Quartz (Engineered): Considered engineered stone. Made from quartz crystals, resin and pigments.

  • Colors are consistent slab to slab.
  • There is a naturally occurring material quartz…not to be confused with this one.
  • Can be damaged by heat. Not recommended for outside applications.
  • Highly resistant to staining and no sealing required.
  • Seams are typically more visible.
  • pH neutral cleaner, Blue Original Windex, special quartz cleaner.
  • Installed interior, commercial, residential. Not outside or indoor fireplace surrounds.
  • Can be more costly than granite.
  • Marble (Natural): Defined as: metamorphosed limestone, consisting chiefly of recrystallized calcite or dolomite. Occurs in a wide range of colors, used in sculpture/architecture.

  • Can stain and scratch. Not recommended for kitchens or other high traffic areas.
  • Can be more costly than granite.
  • Can be damaged by direct heat exposure.
  • Must be sealed yearly.
  • pH neutral cleaner, Blue Original Windex or special marble cleaner.
  • Quartzite (Natural): Defined as: Quartzite is a nonfoliated metamorphic rock composed almost entirely of quartz. It forms when a quartz-rich sandstone is altered by the heat, pressure, and chemical activity of metamorphism. These conditions recrystallize the sand grains and the silica cement that binds them together. The result is a network of interlocking quartz grains of incredible strength.

  • Much costlier than granite, marble and quartz.
  • Is one of the hardest surfaces available.
  • Can be damaged by extreme heat.
  • Sealing schedule same as granite.
  • pH neutral cleaner, Blue Original Windex or special natural stone cleaner.
  • Please note: Do not place air fryers or insta-pots directly on any natural stone or engineered countertop. Temperature changes can cause surface to crack.

    3. How often do I seal my natural stone?

    MTTS seals your stone PRIOR to installation. Lighter granites need to be resealed approximately every 3-5 years; darker granites every 5-10 years. Marble and Travertine should be sealed every 2-3 years in non-food areas. In kitchen areas, they should be sealed annually.

    4. What is the purpose of sealer?

    Granite and marble are naturally somewhat porous. Sealer will help to protect the stone from traffic and normal wear and tear. Sealer should be a “penetrating” sealer. Please refer to Dupontstonetech.com for information and products available for purchase.

    5. What is soapstone?

    Soapstone is a variety of stone that is available for countertops. It can be found in gray, black and green. Soapstone does require additional maintenance procedures.

    6. How do I clean my natural stone?

    Granite/Marble/Quartzite: All-natural stone is somewhat porous and should be cleaned with non-abrasive glass or natural stone cleaner. It should not contain vinegar or lemon. These items are acidic in nature and will eventually etch and or pit your stone. Oils such as salad dressings, butter, etc should be wiped up immediately. All stone is subject to having natural imperfections such as shading, veining, fissures and markings. MTTS seals your stone PRIOR to installation. Additional sealing at a later date will be necessary and is very simple to do by the homeowner. Light granites should be sealed every 3-5 years, darker granite every 5-7. arble in the kitchen should be sealed or dry treated yearly. Sealer can be purchased at any hardware store.

    Quartz (Engineered stone): It is considered nonporous and does not require sealing. Mild soap and water or a glass cleaner are needed for cleaning. Avoid bleach, acid-based cleaners, abrasive cleaners or high alkaline cleaners or solvents. Please avoid UV light (outside) or extreme temperature changes (fireplace areas). Although rare, etching and staining can occur. It is advisable to use a cutting board while using knives and wipe spills off as soon as possible Mr. Clean Miracle pads are acceptable to remove black or metal marks from quartz.

    As a note: Please be wary of placing air fryers or Insta-pots on any natural or engineered stone. The temperature changes have been known to crack the countertop.

    7. Do you provide free estimates?

    Estimates can be determined from your blueprint or personal drawing. These are sufficient for bid purposes.

    8. What is the cost of marble or granite?

    Granite and marble's price is based on the availability of the stone from the quarry, difficulty of fabrication, and complexity of your kitchen.

    9. Will my natural stone have seams?

    Possibly. MTTS prides themselves on the seaming of natural stone. Seams can be detected but not offensive. The design of your kitchen, the overall size of the slab, the directional movement of the natural stone all takes part in whether a seam is required. MTTS always tries to place seams at a natural break point or in an area where it is less noticeable.

    10. Can I hand select my slabs?

    Yes. We have maps to stone yards in Dallas, Austin, and even Houston. Please note that many stones we buy in bulk so to give you a better price. Hand selected stones that MTTS normally buys in bulk may be higher in price. Also, there is a $75.00 shipping charge for hand selected stones.

    11. Do you have slabs at MTTS?

    Yes, as a fabricator, we have one of the largest selection of stones in Central Texas. We usually have new stones arriving weekly. MTTS offers one of the only covered slab yards in central Texas.

    12. Do you carry scrap pieces of stone?

    Yes, we have a large selection of remnants that are available and at a reduced price.

    13. What is the difference between undermount and top mount sinks?

    Undermount or undercounter sinks are mounted underneath the granite with the sides of the granite showing and polished. There is an extra labor charge with this type of sink design. In addition to hand polishing the edges, we drill out for bolts and troughs underneath your sink and add steel rods for extra support. We purchase heavy grade steel clamps and bolt, clamp and caulk your sink underneath the counter top. Top mount sinks sit directly on top of the granite. There is no additional cost for cutting the hole for these sinks.

    14. Do you sell appliances and sinks?

    Yes, we carry a small line of stainless and granite composite sinks.

    15. What is the range of price of granite or marble?

    Prices range from $45.00 - $400.00 a square foot. This includes Professional field measuring, templates, travel fees, standard edges, corners, cut-outs, labor, sealing, installation, stone material, and sales tax.

    16. Do you fabricate and install any other type of countertops besides Marble and Granite?

    Yes, and we have examples here at MTTS:

  • Engineered Quartz: Silestone, Cambria, Dupont’s Zodiac, Hanstone, LG-Viatera, Daltile, Vicostone, Elements, MSI-Q, and Prestige Stone.
  • Recycled Glass: IceStone, Enviroglas
  • Soapstone
  • Limestone
  • Quartzite
  • 17. Do natural stone counter tops need plywood or sub-board on the top of the cabinets prior to installation?

    No, MTTS installs counter tops directly on open cabinetry.

    18. Do you tear out the existing countertops?

    MTTS is responsible for installing your counter tops and if applicable, under-mounting sinks. Disconnecting and reconnecting plumbing, electrical work for the cooktop and dishwasher, removing and disposing of existing counter tops and backsplash are performed by your contractor. We can offer you the name and number of a certified contractor for your bath or kitchen.

    19. What are the different finishes for natural stones?

    Most granite and marble are polished at the quarries or processing plants. In addition to the polished glossy finish, there are now other finishes available. Examples include leather, satin, brushed, honed and flamed. MTTS purchases stones as is, and not all stones are available in multiple finishes.

    20. Are any given stone by the same name identical?

    Not necessarily. Many stones are graded as C-commercial, S-standard and P-premium in regards to color variation, pattern, quality and overall integrity. MTTS strives only to purchase premium slabs.