Q: Will you provide me with samples after browsing the slab yard?
A: Yes, we'll lend up to three samples without collecting a deposit of $25. Some samples may not be available. Most tile samples we will have to order (three/four day turn-around).
Q: What are the advantages of engineered quartz products over natural stone?
A: Quartz products are engineered materials, so you have a wide selection of colors, activity, and hue to choose from. However, they are less heat resistant than natural stone so you must exercise caution when the material is in your kitchen.
Q: What stone can I cut on?
A: Always use a cutting board, but Granite will take the abuse without a problem. Marble, Onyx, Soapstone and Quartz products can not.
Q: Can I put Marble in my Kitchen?
A: You can put marble in your kitchen, however we highly recommend that you do not. Marble is a much more porous material than Granite and because of that it stains more easily. With regular use of your kitchen your Marble can stain or become scratched or etched. Marble is also chemically polished with a base, and anything acidic (Lemon, Vinegar etc) can eat away at the polish. If you must put Marble in your kitchen, we recommend having the surface honed. Honing is a process which breaks down the polish to a more matte finish. We also recommend using a Georgia White Marble. Georgia White Marble is a crystallized Marble that is less porous than most Marbles which makes it less susceptible to staining.
Q: How Often Must I Re-Seal My Granite?
A: It depends on the type of sealant used. A water based sealant will need to be re-applied monthly due to the fact that as you wipe your counters down to clean them, you will also be wiping away the sealant. We use a solvent based sealant which actually penetrates the stone and is good for 10 years, per the manufactures warranty, however we recommend re-sealing every 5 years . The process is fairly simple and the product is sold right here in our shop. If you are unsure what product was originally used on your stone (if installed by someone other than Forefront Design) make sure to test a small area first. We use a solvent sealant called PRO-SOLVE by AQUAMIX and we have it available for purchase in our showroom.
Q: Will there be a seam in my countertop?
A: Most likely there will be at least one seam or joint in your counter. This always depends on your countertop design and which material you pick. The slabs come in various sizes and some of them we can get longer runs than others. We always try to minimize the number of seams. When doing template layout (the process of laying out your plans on the stone before cutting it), we will use your plans to show you approximately where the seam or seams will be. At Forefront Design we will normally place your seam in a corner or at the range. We try hard not to place any seams near the sink, because if water manages to get to the wood sub-top below it can warp the wood causing the granite to pop out of place. If this happens it is nearly impossible to fix. If you are using another fabricator make sure to ask them where your seams will be.
Q: Why shouldn't I go with the cheaper pre-fabricated counter tops instead of custom fabrication?
A: There are many advantages to having your counters custom fabricated instead of ordering pre-fabricated counters. "Pre-Fabs" as they are often referred to in the industry offer very limited sizing options. The sizing limitations in the pre-fabs often result in more seams than would be necessary and limits design possibilities. Pre-fabs also come in very limited colors with very little or no movement, since they need to be able to be put next to many other pieces. Even if all the counters for your kitchen come from the same supplier, with pre-fabs there is no way to guarantee that they will match. Pre-fabricated countertops are usually manufactured in China and other countries where labor is cheaper. They are then shipped to the US, which is why they are so much cheaper than custom fabrication.