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"We couldn't be happier with our experience at Stone Masters.  Lesley & Heather were great during the sales & design stages.  The templater & installers were kind, thorough, & professional.  We would suggest Stone Masters to anyone considering stone."  Traci Chandler, Kennett Square, PA 10-20-11

Granite, Marble, Quartzite, Quartz and Soapstone: What are the Differences in 2017?

Quartz has matured in quality, appearance and market share which is bringing down the price....dramatically. In the past 2 years it seems as if quartz manufacturers have outdone themselves each quarter with better and better colors and patterns. During that same time, quartz market share has gone up and that has enabled the economies of scale to lower the price of quartz. Significant appearance enhancements have made quartz the preferred choice for customers seeking marble or the marble look.

Both Marble and Dolomite are soft and vulnerable to etching and scratching whereas the quartz colors that look like real marble do not suffer either of those drawbacks.

Granite does not etch or scratch easily either and makes a great countertop choice, but it doesn’t look like marble.

Soapstone is the softest of all stones, but most resistant to heat and staining as it is completely nonporous and any small scratches are very easy to self repair.

Quartzite is even harder than granite, doesn’t etch or scratch easily but is pricy by comparison due to how much energy and tooling are required to extract it from the earth, slab it and polish it as compared to granite.

The big problem in the countertop industry is bad and misleading information. There are numerous importers and fabricators that claim that certain stones are a quartzite when they are really a marble so that they can sell t to consumers who are anxious to believe that since it is a quartzite it cannot etch or scratch easily. Stones frequently misrepresented and presented as quartzite when they are in fact marbles or dolomite are:

Brown Fantasy
White Princess (Also Known As) Super White
Super White (AKA) White Princess
Dolce Vita
Lumen
Iceberg
Iceberg Blue
Avalanche
Antartide
 

The really good news here is it is very easy to tell what you are buying with a pair of simple tests. Lemon juice left on the sample will show you within an hour or two if the material being considered will etch. A steel razor blade will not scratch quartzite or granite, but will scratch Marble or Dolomite.

Stone not only makes a elegant statement in the design of a room, but it can transform a space into an inviting and warm entertainment spot. Our stunning collections of marble, granite, quartzite, quartz and soapstone allow you and our designer to plan your kitchen, bath, tile back-splash or custom projects. At Stone Masters, we provide natural stone and exotic beauty. Countertops pennsylvania We welcome you to visit our showroom and make your selections. Each stone is different as it comes directly from nature. Not only will you have a completely unique stone but a show piece for your kitchen, bath or other room to share! 

Quarrying stone from the earth is not only an elaborate process but exciting as well. Rock is cut out of the earths surface. Large cranes extract this rock and bring the natural beauty to light.  After the stone blocks are cut from the earth, it is then cut into slabs, in some cases resined and netted and then face polished. Finally it is shipped directly to us for fabrication. It is exciting to receive these beautiful pieces into the Stone Master's warehouse.

Stone Masters offer a wide variety of material selections. We welcome you to visit our showroom for your selections as every piece is very unique. Additionally, our design team can help you with your requests.

In our state-of-the-art fabrication facility, we use a blend of old world craftsmanship and new age technology. Using this old world knowledge blended with modern technology, the natural beauty of your selections emerge into the shapes and design just for you. Review our slab selection and layout policy.

It has never been more affordable or easier to add the warmth and natural beauty of stone to your home.

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Stone Types

Granite is hard and dense. As such, it is naturally scratch, etch and stain resistant. That makes it suitable for use in kitchens, bathrooms, wet and dry locations. Granite is stable and not overly sensitive to heat and that makes it suitable for fireplace applications.

Marble is soft and vulnerable to scratching, staining and etching and is most suitable for use in bathrooms. It can be used in kitchens but extra care should be taken to maintain its appearance.

Quartz is manmade from natural minerals including quartz plus resins and pigments. It is very hard and both stain, etch and scratch resistant. It is vulnerable to heat damage as is not recommend for fireplace applications

Quartzite is a natural stone that is very hard and therefore scratch and stain resistant. It can be used anywhere granite is used.

Soapstone is softer than marble and can scratch easily, but can also be sanded and repaired with no special tools or skills. Soapstone is very heavy and dense and completely non-porous therefore very stain resistant and handles heat like no other stone so it is suitable in kitchens, baths, fireplace and both wet and dry locations.

Slate is harder than marble and soapstone and almost non-porous but NOT recommended for wet locations as water can get between the layers and cause separation and warpage.

Chipping, All stones can and will chip if impacted hard enough. The really hard stones are actually more prone to chipping as the material is so hard it is brittle and may chip. Chipping is most evident around a sink.

Competitors will claim that certain stones are quartzites so aid them in sales. The stones are actually marble or dolomite, this makes it easier for them to sell the stones and they are beautiful, but still very vulnerable to etching. Test a sample for yourself using a few drops of lemon juice. If the surface etches........You know it contains calcite and is not going to perform like a granite or quartzite at all.