Stone Slabs in Toronto: Questions and Myths
With so many products available for counter
surfaces, Toronto homeowners wonder whether to opt for synthetic materials or
natural stone slabs. Stone slab has never been so affordable, or so popular,
and one of the most desirable design elements for today’s homes is the granite
kitchen countertop. These beautiful, natural stone countertops add aesthetic
value -- and resale value -- to any home. But manufacturers of synthetic products
on the market sometimes call certain aspects of natural stone into question.
Here are answers to some of the most frequently raised concerns about granite
Isn’t natural stone too expensive?
It’s really difficult to say that one type of
countertop surface is more affordable than another, since so much depends on
the exact material you choose. Some granite slab countertops are less expensive
than high-end solid surfaces, for example. Laminates are generally the least
expensive material, but you can expect to replace a laminate counter fairly
quickly, whereas a stone countertop will last forever. Prices for some
materials vary wildly; a wood countertop can cost as little as $35 per square
foot, or as much as $200 per square foot.
If you choose exotic granite, you might pay as
much as $250 per square foot, but the average granite countertop runs anywhere
from $100 to $200 per square foot. The pricing depends on a number of factors,
including the grade of the stone, the complexity of the fabrication job, and
the installation charges.
Isn’t granite hard to maintain?
The short answer to this question is "No!” Your
granite slab countertop will be sealed during fabrication. The "pores” in the
stone will be sealed so that it will resist staining. Over a period of time
this sealant will wear off, so if you want the countertop to remain stain-resistant,
you will need to reseal it about once a year. This is a simple task that takes
about an hour. You simply apply the recommended product, let it soak in, and
then wipe it gently with a cloth. Otherwise, you can clean your countertop with
a damp cloth or with mild soap and water.
Doesn’t granite emit radon gas?
There are many studies available online,
including information from the Canadian government, that refute this claim,
which was spread by a manufacturer of synthetic countertops. Granite is a safe,
natural material. In fact, it’s the off-gassing of VOCs from manmade materials
that can be a health concern.
Doesn’t stone have noticeable seams?
It’s true that some granite countertops have seams that are
noticeable. However, if this is a particular concern for you, there are ways to
avoid it. Slabs usually range from seven to ten feet long, so you may not need
to have a seam at all. The visibility of a seam is affected by the skill of the
installation, the granularity, colour, and pattern of the stone. Seams on a
small, uniform grain or dark colour will be less prominent than those on a
larger grain or lighter colour. Of course, if your stone has bold patterning,
it will be more difficult to match seams.
When it comes to natural stone slabs, Toronto homeowners
have a number of questions. The best way to learn more about natural stone slab
countertops is to visit a Toronto-area showroom of a stone supplier. Contact a
fine stone company today!