Frequently Asked Questions
Rockfab Kitchen & Bath
Virginia's Natural Stone Experts Since 1996
Kitchen countertops, bathroom vanities, shower walls, custom cabinetry, tile, fireplace surrounds, table & furniture tops, floors, signs and more!
Roanoke Granite Countertops
What is Natural Stone?
Natural stone is quarried from solid rock slabs in the earth hundreds to thousands of years old, each unique and hand selected for durability and quality. The most common forms of natural stone are granite, limestone, marble, sandstone, slate, travertine, onyx, porphyry, quartzite, soapstone and sodalite.
What is Engineered stone?
Engineered stone is a manmade product composed of a blend of natural minerals (generally quartz) and manmade agents, such as polyester, glass, epoxy, and other such ingredients.
What is an impregnator sealer and why does my stone need it?
Since all natural stone is porous, it will stain over time from tap water, oils, foods, salts, acids, minerals and others without a sealer. Impregnating sealer penetrates below the surface of the stone and coats the minerals under the top layer. It will not alter the texture or appearance.
Is my granite easily scratched?
Although Rockfab recommends the use of protective devices such as potholders, trivets and cutting boards, granite is a solid state countertop material that is extremely durable and is highly resistant to heat and scratching.
How do I clean my granite?
For everyday cleaning, use liquid dishwashing soap and warm water. Rinse with clean water after washing and dry countertops with a soft cloth. For more intense cleaning, Rockfab carries a line of products specifically for cleaning and disinfecting stone countertops. Never use abrasive cleaners with pumice or heavy duty steel wool pads to clean the countertops.
Which type of stone is right for me?
Granite is the most durable and resilient 100% natural stone available aside from diamonds, rubies, and sapphires. Each cut is completely unique from any other. Because of the feldspar in granite making it resistant to scratching, heat, degradation of color and texture, and the silicates protecting it from stains and acids, granite is an ever-growing favored choice for structural and decorative purposes. These qualities make granite a popular choice for countertops, vanities, flooring, entryways, fireplaces and more.
Unlike natural-stone slabs, quartz is engineered in a factory, typically consisting of about 94% ground natural quartz with 6% polymer resins. The resins give quartz its color, bind it together and help make the material stain and scratch resistant and nonporous, eliminating the need for it to be sealed. Some designs contain small amounts of recycled glass and metallic flecks, allowing a vast variety of shimmering colors and patterns. Although it is slightly more durable than granite, keep in mind that quartz is more susceptible to fading in direct sunlight, and that if damaged or scratched, it is not as easy to repair as granite. Therefore, quartz is more popular for indoor flooring, veneers, and decorative tiles.
Marble is recognized worldwide to be among the most elegant and luxurious of natural stones. Its high-gloss polish, style and texture offer a wide variety of rich colors, with choices of veined or solid varieties. Due to its porous nature, it’s more susceptible than granite to scratching and staining, but tends to only become more beautiful over time. Marble is favored mainly for bathrooms, flooring, fireplaces, walls, and vanities.
Formed by settled sedimentary rocks pressurizing at the bottom of the sea, limestone makes a strong solid surface with overall soft, natural colors that improve with age. One unique characteristic of certain limestone is the seashells and fossils often embedded in the surface, giving it an organic aspect. As it is susceptible to scratching and staining, the ideal use is typically bathrooms, showers, and especially flooring.
Formed by hot spring water flowing through underground limestone, travertine is uniquely characterized by natural patterns, veins, and cavities giving it a subtle distressed, earthy appearance. To ensure a smooth, stain-resistant and durable surface, travertine is often filled with cement, grout or resin. If a more natural and unusual surface is desired, the filling can be left out. Travertine is most commonly seen in outdoor and indoor tile flooring, as well as vanity tops, fireplace surrounds, exterior cladding, outdoor patios, and various specialty items such as sinks and light switch plates.
Known for a favorite choice of architects, contractors and designers for its durable, non-absorptive, acid resistant properties, slate is impervious to freezing/thawing cycles and is versatile with any design style. Colors of slate are typically dark grey and black, but also come in shades of brown, yellow, pink, lavender, green, purple, red, and more. Its metamorphic composition makes it ideal for interior flooring, exterior landscaping, pool coping, shower enclosure, building cladding, and fireproof roof covering.
Quarried like granite and marble, soapstone is largely composed of the mineral talc, and is thus rich in magnesium. The talc in soapstone gives the stone a smooth feeling, like rubbing a piece of dry soap. Although it feels soft to the touch, soapstone is quite dense and resists staining. Slightly less impervious to scratching and denting than granite, extra care must be taken with soapstone. Also, we recommend avoiding putting hot items on its surface, as it retains heat longer than most other stones. Typically, people with more traditional homes with a vintage feel go for the soapstone.
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