Frequently Asked Questions
What do I need to consider when buying a granite countertop?Natural stone is a great option for your countertop surface because it is durable, easy to maintain, and very practical. Created by Mother Nature, no two pieces are alike, so your countertop will truly be one-of-a-kind.
Yet the expense of cutting and transporting stone from the quarry and then fabricating and installing it to your project's specifications make natural stone a more expensive option than laminate or other similar products.
Whether you are planning to live in your home for a while or looking to sell it, installing a granite countertop is a great choice because you'll probably never have to replace the top again and it could be a definite plus for potential buyers.
Yet remember... stone is an unforgiving material to work with; it's not easy to undo a mistake. Experience does count a lot! We have the expertise and the years of working with natural stone that you can trust.
How is a granite countertop priced?Most consumers assume that purchasing natural stone material would be the most expensive part of the job. Yet, while the material may be expensive depending on the type of stone you've chosen, most of the cost is in labor - the actual fabrication and installation.
Fabrication companies like ours turn slabs of stone into usable countertops, and that process entails many hours of technical and physical expertise. We have CAD-driven, sophisticated equipment that can carve out countertops accurately and precisely. We also have a top-notch production team with years of natural stone experience. Each member of our team knows what to expect and how a job needs to proceed. That expertise gives you confidence.
Once you select your material, the other elements to pricing your countertop are these: determining the type of edge, deciding whether your sink is a top mount or under mount, selecting material for a backsplash, considering a special surface treatment, and defining any other special requirements to make your countertop fit.
The best way to determine how much your countertop will cost is to call us! We don't specialize in sales gimmicks. We specialize in natural stone countertops, so we have vested interest in making sure we give you an accurate and fair price. Beware of bargain deals! In the granite countertop world, that probably means they are not pricing the entire job and will add on "options" we would consider essentials. Trust our experience.
How do you determine pricing for different types of natural stone?Natural stone varies widely in price based on the type of material and its availability. Some stone is easier to get than others -- the more difficult to find, quarry, and transport, then the higher the price. Yet, our commodity or lower priced granites, such as Ubatuba or Verde Peacock, are just as amazing and beautiful as the higher priced granites, and they perform just as well. It truly is a matter of personal preference.
BTW, beware of bargain basement prices. Those unbelievable deals might not include essentials such as edge polishing, sink cutouts, or installation. When you're dealing with a natural stone countertop, the adage "You get what you pay for" truly does apply.
How does natural stone compare to solid surface in performance and price?Solid surface products are basically composed of some sort of plastic, acrylic polymer, or polyester man-material that is non-porous and resistant to mold, mildew, and germs. It can be molded, carved, and glued to any shape.
Yet, solid surface countertops are not heat resistant and will be ruined if you set a hot pan on its surface. It also scratches easily. And, because it is not a natural product, there are some issues with manufacturing, disposal, and off-gassing of volatile chemicals that make it not a good option if you are green-minded.
In terms of price, it depends on where you live. In the four corners area, solid surfaces are about the same price as granite countertops. If you are interested in the look of solid surface but not in its performance, consider an engineered stone product, like many we carry. In our opinion, they are better choices.
Does a granite countertop take more care than other kinds of surfaces?The answer is surprisingly, no. In fact, taking care of your granite top is quite simple. Mild soap and a soft dishcloth is really all you need. It's not necessary to buy special granite countertop cleaner, although you can if you want to. Obviously, it won't hurt your granite countertop, but does it do a better job than soap and water on a daily basis? For the money, probably not.
You can, however, use the wrong product on your granite countertop. Any cleaner with ammonia (like window cleaner), acid-based chemicals, or abrasives will eventually affect the surface because the chemicals and abrasives will strip the sealer and react with the natural minerals of the stone.
The other thing to remember is that granite is one of the toughest surfaces on the planet and needs very little attention. Other natural stone tops, like limestone, marble, travertine, and soapstone, are "softer" and more porous. They take a bit more maintenance than granite. Mild nonabrasive soap is your best option, and applying a sealer will help the surface keep its imperviousness.
Check our blog site for more specific information about removal of certain types of stains, such as grease, coffee, tea, wine, water spots, paint and ink.
Should I seal my natural stone countertop after it's installed?We professionally seal your countertop after we install it, so it's not necessary for you to reseal it. Daily maintenance is usually all you need to do. Yet, if the surface of your top is not performing as expected, please call us. We can help you identify what might be happening and reseal if necessary. You may also choose to reseal it yourself with a sealer you can purchase from us or from any hardware store or home improvement center.
If your countertop is made out of a softer stone, such as limestone, travertine, or marble, sealing becomes more important. You may choose to reseal periodically.
If I order a granite top from Durango Marble, what is the normal turn-around time?Once you have selected your stone material, we schedule a template as soon as your cabinets are installed. Production times vary, but in general we are running two to three weeks from template to installation.
What if my countertop chips or scratches?On most natural stone countertops like granite, you can buff slight surface scratches with a dry 0000 steel wool pad. For chips and deeper scratches, call us. We can repair and re-polish the surface so the chip or scratch is virtually invisible.
With countertops made out of soapstone, which scratches very easily, rubbing a generous amount of mineral oil will greatly minimize the marks.
What if I don't like any granite options I see in your slab yard?Natural stone is available in literally hundreds of different colors, and if we don't have something in our inventory you like, our suppliers probably do. The easiest way of selecting a granite color is to go online to our suppliers and view images of different stones, which will help you narrow your choice (Granite Imports, Arizona Tile, Daltile). It's always best to actually view the stone in person, especially if the pattern of your selection varies a lot. We can call our stone suppliers to see if your selection is available or you can visit their showrooms in Denver and Albuquerque.
Do you offer other accessories like sinks, tile, faucets, etc.?Yes, we do carry a line of 18 gage, kitchen and bar stainless steel sinks in a variety of styles and oval ceramic vanity sinks. If you prefer a sink we do not carry, we can order it from one of our suppliers.
We have an extensive selection of natural stone tiles from mosaics to large 12x12 tiles for backsplashes and floors. All plumbing fixtures, like faucets, sprayers, or disposals, can be purchased from a hardware store, home improvement center, or your plumber.
During installation, we attach the sink to your new countertop, but we do not install any plumbing fixtures.
Is granite a "green" product? How does it compare to other products in terms of being environmentally friendly?It's hard to find countertop products on the market that would get the green thumbs up, including granite. The way stone slabs are quarried, transported, and fabricated into countertops is not considered a green way to go.
Yet, if you are concerned about the environment, there are many things about granite countertops that would make you feel good. First, manufacturing does not produce any toxic waste. And, the scraps that are cut off during fabrication can be either saved for smaller projects or crushed for other uses. Second, granite is a natural substance, and disposal does not create any problems for the planet, like throwing away a laminate or plastic-based top does in a landfill. Third, granite countertops do not "off gas," which would leak potentially toxic fumes into your home. Fourth, because granite is such a durable substance, it probably will last longer than your house so there will never come a time when you need to replace the top, saving resources that could be used for other things. The countertop can be recycled and reused.