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ADVICE WANTED!   Dec 31 , 2002
www.findstone.com   info@findstone.com

Q 4349: I have a room that has tongue and groove cedar on the ceiling and I'm thinking that I would like to put rock on the wall, either the full wall or half way up. What is the best stone/rock to use for that, where do I get the information needed to install and does there need to be anything special on the cement foundation that is already been poured. I am starting from scratch, the walls are just studs right now. Thanks for any help. Ringer, Dec 6.Reply
R1: Ringer. There are all kinds of stone / rock suitable for this purpose, the best being the one you like the look of. If you are in an area where stone is commonly produced for building purposes, you most likely have a variety of economical choices. If you need to import the stone, then a lot of other factors become involved. Your concrete slab should be adequate provided you didn't skimp on the mix, and you should put wall board on the studs to back the stone veneer, and use an ample amount of wall ties. If you haven't done this before, I'd suggest getting some help from a local stone mason, at least to get started as there are things that only experience can teach that make the
difference between a good looking wall and a not so attractive one. Or at least get a good "how to" book. Good luck, JVC, Expert Panelist
R2: Ringer, you could use tiles, Slate, Stacked stone. It is your choice. I prefer Slate myself. Preparation depends on what you are putting on for a stone. Maybe you should use a wire lath on thin material or metal anchors if the material is thick. Best Regards, Stephen Canada, Expert Panelist
Q 4348:  I live in Las Vegas, where the air is dry and temperatures can reach over 110 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the summer months. We are tiling our patio and were thinking of going with slate. A salesman told us that slate is an inferior product to porcelain and he would only recommend porcelain for our outdoor use. I prefer the look of slate to the porcelain tiles I have seen. But can the slate survive the Las Vegas summers? And is there so much maintenance on it that we will regret tiling a large area with it?
-- SBS, Dec 6.Reply
R1: Dear SBS, Slate is perfectly fine in Vegas.... it has been used all over in the Hotels... not an issue at all. If you need more color selection or help selecting a suitabel material, please feel free to contact us. Ravi
R2: The guy probably has a load of tile. Slate is a natural material that can stand up to anything. They use it on roofs. You might consider the heat on bare feet if you are looking at a dark color. Natural stone holds tempature longer then the air around it. Travertine might be a better choice. Laura
R3: You will not really have any problem with slate in high temperatures other than it will retain heat as it is dark. It may be too hot on the feet but it can be hosed down. Feels good on your feet. Porcelin may be too slippery when wet. Slate Has been used for roofing shigles in europe . It lasts forever. Sounds like your salesmen is just trying to make a sell. Slate is more natural prduct. Great choice. Bruce
R4: The better thing is to choose marble which is going to keep fresh and it support summer months, the marble is from Egypt and it is called Giallo Cristina marble it is a mixture of marble and slate and the quarry is ours.The coulour is a yelow dark. Feel Free to contact us, Fgrox 
R5: Interior? no, different? yes, less durable? yes, in that it is softer, however if chipped or scuffed it still looks as good, can't say the same for ceramic. Does require sealing occasionally, so maintenance is higher, personally I much prefer the natural look, and random nature of any stone over the homogeneous, dated, man made products, when ever possible. By the way, I live in Dallas and have had slate on my patio for 5 years now with no problems.
R6: We are experts at this...we are in Arizona. We have very good products for the patio...and at very reasonable pricing. We have products that are cooler than most cool decks. We are quarriers and producers of natural stones. I am suggesting you use either "Random Mosaic or Durango Ancient - Viejo."
R7: Unfortunately, a lot of salesmen do not know the qualities of slate and are only interested in selling the product that they personally know of. Slate for your patio would be an excellent choice of materials - and yes it will stand up to the summer het that you experience. In fact slates (some of them) can be used in any climate in the world. Yes - some even will stand up to the harshest of winters (freeze/thaw stable). Remember though - all slate must be sealed after installation. I would recommend a premium penetrating sealer such as the ones manufactured by Aqua Mix in California.
Why pay a lot of money for a man made material when a natural material can be used to give that natural look and feel. Only buy from a quality dealer though - some slates would not be suitable. Graeme B.
R8: High quality porcelain can meet your demand, but marble and granite are preferred. Piness
R9: There's slate for all occasions. Quartzite slate from many countries as India, Brasil, Norway and many more stand heat and cold weather. These countries have between them very high and extreme low temeratures and they all use slate. I can recommend Norwegian Oppdal, Otta or Alta, both top quality materials. Sven
R10: Hi there, You've just made an excellent choice by planning to use slate for your outdoor patio. Slate is far more superior looks than porcelain tile. Some slates are good for extreme weather/climate changes to below zero Degree Celcius. All slates can handle any high temperature climate. Don't be mislead that Slate can not handle hot weather. In fact, any natural stone is excellent for heat absortion. If you look at places like Europe and Asia where temperature sometimes reached upto 48 Degree Celcius. People have been using all types of natural stone products for many centuries. Good Luck! Vancouver, Canada.
R11: I have sold slate to clients in the Las Vegas area and they have no problem with their slate. The trick I heard is no to seal it because of the high temps. You could put a penetrating sealer on the slate or try a surface coating sealer which would be my choice. Trust me you will not regret slate on you patio. Do not choose a dark color or you will only look at your patio from indoors. Too hot on you feet. Try to find a South Indian stone called Indian autumn or a Chinese slate. Best Regards, Stephen Canada, Expert Panelist.
R12: I had to chuckle when I read your inquiry. As a geologist and an amateur stone mason, I know that the majority of “weathering” (which is technically the term used for the degradation of stone through time when exposed to the elements) happens as a result of freeze/thaw. Water gets in the cracks and cleats of stone, freezes to ice (expands in the process) and pow, wedges stone apart. If one lives in a climate where there is significant rainfall/snowfall and lots of freezing….stone weathers faster. That is not LV. If you like the look of the slate, run the slate, it will be fine. Watch your grout joints, have them use type S mortar and you will be fine. Merry Christmas John
R13: Light colored sandstone is much better for outdoor patios, it all depends on the look you want to achieve. And obviously your salesman likes to sell porcelain.....K&R
R14: Slate is the best bet with regards to maintainence, porcelain would get scratched, and we hold the best slate available from India here Kindly contact us through Findstone , Pushpa
Q 4347: I am attaching an image of a stone flooring. it's a French lime stone and most likely the name is "Alt-Portou". This stone is processed to give a antique look. The edges are given a pillow finish and the surface has a soft glow to it although it is natural surface.
How is this finish given to the stone? My basic interest to know if it possible to give a soft shine to natural surface of Kota Stone. Regards, Subodh, India, Dec 6.Reply
R1: Dear Sir, Yes, it is possible to get the same finish on Kota Stone... you just have to use the right grit finish .. try 300 Grit to Hone the surface. Best fo luck! Ravi
R2: The featured stone is bush-hammered, acid washed and brushed.
You can achieve the same results with Kota Limestone.

Please note that the treated surface will be darker than the polished or the honed one.

Following this process, you can purchase standard or commercial grade variegated stone.

It will give your flooring a nice rustic look.

Good luck

Evan D
R3: Yes. It is possible to give a soft polish to Kota stone. But as it is easily scratched, the person doing so has to be familiar with polishing Kota stone. capt Ravi
R4: I have this instock...Call me if you are interested...$3.99 a foot, plus shipping, ect. We call it French Pattern, and it's Travertine, not limestone. You would not want to put limestone on your floor anyway. I have seen your picture, and what we have is exactly this. sherri
Q 4343: We saw slabs of Ubatuba Gold at a local granite fabricator and I wanted to know if it has the same qualities as the regular Ubatuba. We also saw Ocean Green granite which we really liked, but I have not seen that name of granite anywhere else that I've looked. Does anyone have any info on this type of granite? Thank You.Charles, Dec 6.Reply
R1: Dear Charles: I seldom comment about any one particular stone. There may be differences within the same stone (and I'm not talking about looks, here!) from one bundle of the slabs and the next. The slabs may have also been "doctored", or "resined" by the factory, which would make a big difference! I did write a very interesting article on "How to Shop for a Granite Kitchen Countertop" that will give you all the intelligence you need to venture yourself with confidence in the stone industry jungle! Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4342:   I have a shellstone patio around our pool. One end has green and black stains which seem to be spreading. Someone said it could be moss, another said mold. What do I do to get rid of the staining? Supposedly, it was sealed. The shellstone was installed over the summer. Thank you. Betsy, Dec 6.Reply
R1: Hi Betsy. Yes the discoloration is most likely due to the growth of molds and alga. Does this area stay wetter than the rest of the deck, or is it shaded by over hanging trees or bushes? A periodic application of houshold bleach to the affected areas is probably your most practical solution. JVC , Expert Panelist
R2: Dear Betsy: I do know of a specifc product that you can use to power-wash your shellstone patio and that will take care of the problem. Gimme a holler at: info@findstone.com and I'll help you out. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4338: I am building a house in Mexico and my contractor installed a marble with a wide variety of shades and I really don´t like the way it looks. I know one solution is to have it replaced, but I don´t want to do that. Could you asist me in what to do to tint my floor marble?? I am really frustrated!! Alfonso , Dec 4. Reply
R1: Dear Alfonso: Forget about "tints" and "stains". They won't work. Rip it out and be happy thereafter ... hey, it's only money! Ciao and Season's Greetings, Maurizio, Expert Panelist
Q 4337: I am an artist and just got a commission to create nine limestone stelaes/ columns for a landscape a pedestrian area. I am interested to know what will be your fee to get some information about the stone for the engineers and also what will be the recommended method and adhesive for the installation. The work has to confirm to the US/California standards of construction. Jose, Dec 4. Reply
R1: Jose, congratulations on the commission. Need to know what type of limestone you are planning on using, and exactly what specific engineering information you need. As for installation, the pieces should be doweled to the base with stainless steel rod, and either a cement or epoxy based mortar used. Post the name of the limestone type you are planning on using, and I am sure someone can provide you with information as to compressive strength, modulus of rupture, and absorption. I have this information for several Texas limestones. Good luck, JVC, Expert Panelist
R2: Dear Jose: I do appreciate your kind comment very much. I have to decline your request for help, however. Limestone in general and the type of project you're facing now (outdoors installations) are not my strong points. Findstone should forward your inquiry to John Van Camp. Not only he's "your man", but a fellow artist, too! Ciao and good luck, Maurizio
Dear Maurizio, I just read your letter about burying your friend FREE, I am sorry you had such a disappointing experience. I am an artist and just got a commission to create nine limestone stelaes/ columns for a landscape a pedestrian area. I am interested to know what will be your fee to get some information about the stone for the engineers and also what will be the recommended method and adhesive for the installation. The work has to conform to the US/California standards of construction. Hopefully we can work together. Thank you for your response to this request. Jose
Q 4325: I would like to know if you can email me some information on how the production of granite tiles or just granite effects the environment? Basicly I need to know that when granite is produced into tiles what effect does it have on the environment? If you have this information can you please send it to me ASAP. Chelsey, Dec 3 .Reply
R1: Hi Chelsey Very good question, Production and Quarrying of Granite and other Stone Products, are very likely the most Environmentally friendly Products on the Market today and for hundreds of years.
The durability of the Products is extreme, The Roman Empire used it and some of the highways and Roads Build by the Romans are still in existence i.e. “Apian Way”. During the Production of Tiles, Water is used as a Coolant and the by-Products are Water and Rock dust, which is collected in Lagoons to be filtered and the Water are recycled for re-use. The Stone dust or sand is used for various Fillers and other Products in different Industries, and a source of Revenue.
Similar methods are used to quarry the Stone and in Canada and I have seen Quarries in The US, the various Environmental Laws are very stringent, aside form Fines, the cost of clean up is at the onus of the Owners and is very expensive, complete and Quarry Owners and Operators are extremely aware of the Environment.
Most Quarries in Canada are deep in the middle of Now-here and Wildlife is visible and a constant reminder. (I always thought, they are checking up on us). Deer and other Wildlife hang around to get away form Black and Deer Flies, so I would never permit hunting on any Property I worked on. I hope this answers your Question, Curd, Canada
R2: In the production of tiles of marble or granite there is used sawing with diamond segmented blades and grinding and polishing with either diamond tools or special stones of varying grainsizes. These tools are bonded with heavy metals and various chemicals. As these are used small amounts of these materials is washed away with the water and the stone dust. Normally this water is recirculated as water is a costly resource ion most places, and the waste materials deposited in safe areas. So there should be minimal damage to environment. The stone dust is mostly benign as it mostll alkaline and
balances out the acid that man is very clever in bringing out everywhere, Sven
Q 4323:  Our contractor installed a black and white mosaic marble tile in two bathrooms using a dark gary/brown mortar base and thinset adhesive. The tile was not sealed. Shortly after installation the white thassos tiles in the shower stall develped yellow stains and an area in the second bathroom near the tub (which was often wet) became similarly discolored. Also, a recent leak from the tub hand held shower apparently soaked the floor under the tile in another area and that area rapidly and very severely discolored. We have been told that the problem could be the result of improper mortar or adhesive, compounded by the failure to seal. Any diagnosis or advice. Thanks, William, Dec 3 .Reply
R1: Dear William: Sealing has absolutely nothing to do with it! I've been installing White Thassos since puberty, and there were no stupid sealers back then, I promise you! You never solve problems with a chemical: you solve problems with knowledge. See if you're interested at contacting me. Maurizio, Expert Panelist
R2: Perhaps there is another perspective.
White Thassos has a certain amount of iron contained within. Constant submersion in water will produce the yellow effect. Since you did not say the white was gray in nature I doubt the mortar color is the culprit. You could say some water from the surface could cause some of the surface discoloration but marble itself is not known to be that absorbant.
I tend to think that water is coming up from under the tile, and based on that I would direct the contractor to explore grout joints and substrate preparation. Regards, Steven, Expert Panelist
R3: We're obviously facing an installation failure. In all cases there's been a situation by which water found its way behind and under the tiles (grout or caulk missing, or, perhaps, the tiles have been set "butt-joint"). The consequent migration of moisture through the core of the stone chemically interacted with the iron mineral and other inorganic impurities present in the stone, hence the staining. The type of mortar used (though white thinset should be a must with natural stone) has nothing to do with it, as it has nothing to do with it the presence (better said: the absence) of a sealer. This latter would actually aggravate the situation by slowing down the migration process of the moisture, if it were present! (Even if it were my own sealer!) What to do? First off, the leak must stop (which my include not to use your bathroom and tub for a while, until it's totally dry). Second, once everything is bone dry, the cause of the leakage must be found and addressed (unfortunately, if the tiles had been installed "butt-joint" the only solution is ripping them out and start over). Third, at that stage you can try to poultice the stains out by using a poultice with Hydrogen Peroxide 30/40 volume, clear (available at any beauty salon. The one available at the Pharmacy is too weak at 3.5 volume). There's no guarantee that the stain will disappear, but they should al least fade. You'll be the judge if you like the result after a couple of attempts. If not, the only solution is the replacement of the stained tiles. Bottom line, it's 100% responsibility of the tile setter. Ciao, Maurizio
Q 4322: I get many questions concerning alabaster cleaning. Is there someone out there who has a good method? Shane, Dec 3. Reply
R1: If you just want to clean the stone, any marble cleaner/polish will do. If you want to remove stains and restore that is a whole different ball game. Akemi makes products for cleaning/polishing stone and is available from stone suppliers or a "tools to the trade" business. For a sculpture you can use a marble polish such as Mequire's or Goddards available at most hardward stores and even markets. Laura , Expert Panelist
Q 4310: I have found your website to be very informative and helpful (thank you!), but I can't find the answer to a question I have. I had factory honed and filled travertine in my last house (and loved it) and am putting travertine (about 1000 sq. ft.) in my new home, in the kitchen, baths, entry hall, etc. I am getting conflicting advice from different retailers. One says that I should get filled travertine, that the factory fill is much stronger. The other says I should purchase unfilled travertine, that the grout fill is much stronger, and it looks better because it matches better. What do you think I should do?, Leo, Dec 2. Reply
R1: Leo, Get a sample each of the filled and unfilled material. Take the unfilled material to the tile setter and ask him to fill it with grout. Put the pieces next to each other and decide on the look you prefer. Remember - you are going to be the one living in your house and you should be happy with what your floor will look like. As for which fill is better - in my humble opinion: it does not make a difference. A friendly piece of advice:- If your tile setter uses sanded grout with the travertine, get another one in a hurry. Regards, Adriana.
R2: Dear Leo: The factory filler is stronger. In fact, when I have to grind a travertine floor, after the first two cuts a refill the holes with factory filler (available at a few stone supplier places). Maurizio, Expert Panelist, USA
R3: Leo, We sell both Unfilled and Filled travertine. There is no difference. The filler at the factory is usually an epoxy where as a tile installer is going to use a grout. It depends on the look that you are trying to achieve. Go with the unfilled to look Rustic; Go with the filled to look elegant. One of my salesguys put an unfilled Turkish cobblestone in his house and only grouted the grout lines and left the holes unfilled. Then sealed it with 511 porous plus. AND he has a baby of 1 year old. No trouble, they all love it. People will tell you something just so that you purchase their material. Remember their commission sales people! Best Regards, Stephen, Canada, Expert Panelist
R4: I would buy the filled travertine, its filled most likely with a traverfill or unsanded grout. The more permanent fills are polyesters and epoxies. It will be cheaper to buy the filled travertine, match the grout color with the fills in the travertine. And the grout film is at minimum to remove from the stone face so know your just wiping and cleaning the grout lines instead of the other route you may have to do a light hone over the entire floor to remove the grout haze and then bring the floors appearance back to what you wanted. Hope this is a help to you. Randy
R5: Filled Travertine fetches higher price then unfilled. This might be one of the reason why stockists may say filled travertine look stronger or better! Sometimes the filling in the travertine may not blend wit the texture and the colour of the travertine. You may eliminate this problem when you get unfilled travertine and grout it yourself. Competence of the manufacturer also vary in applying good filling. A competent manucaturer using better filling material would do a good job. We sell both filled and unfilled in equal measures about 850 m2 in every six weeks. Regards, Mustafa
R6: First of all remember the retailer wants to sell you what they have. if you were happy with the factory filled travertine in your previous home, find out the supplier and purchase from them. I personally prefer the factory filled if the fill matches the stone. try a better grade of Durango stone. Hawkins
R7: Hello Leo, I would go for the factory fill. So far they will guarantee their job. The only thing that you might be aware is the matching color which they usually do well. Leo remember that the future of your travetine floor is a good maintenance program. If you need more information about it feel free to contact us. Cordially, Alex
R8: Whenever I have to use travertino on the floor I always get it prefilled. They do it at the factory, and it holds up just fine. Why do more work by having to fill the unfilled material during the grout process and possibly wipe out some of the fill during the wipe down proceedure. Make you job easy and have it pre done on your purchased material. If you ever loose any fill in the future you can always point it up with unsanded grout. hope this helped. Tony
R9: The factory fill is much more durable than an on-site grout fill. In 15 years I have never seen an on-site grout fill that looked presentable, MSMRBL
R10: Depending on the manufacturer, the filling performance can be satisfactory or not as satisfactory.

Tile contractors and stone processors are specialties complementing each other, but with different talents, know hows and liabilities.

Filled Tiles: In case you are not pleased with your tile's filling performance, you can advice the retailer you purchased your tiles from, and I am sure they will take care of the matter accordingly.

Unfilled Tiles: In the case where you choose unfilled tiles and decide to custom fill those, your tiles will not be covered by the manufacturer's warranty.

Price factor: When all is said and done, the money you saved from buying the unfilled tiles will have been paid to the installer for filling the tiles at your own risk.

Quality factor: The safe mode is to go with materials, filled at the factory. Evan

Q 4309: I am interested in puting up a feasibilty study for quarry site in Nigeria. I am in search of the basic requirements for setting up a quarry site as well as the different stages of work involved in the setting up of the quarry. In short an ABC of setting up of quarry in the basement complex region. Thanks. Floami, Dec 2. Reply
R1: To set up a quarry any where in the world requires first and formost:
1. A deposit of material that is interesting to the market
2. The quarrymasters that have experience in quarrying different types of material and are flexible and careful when starting in a new material
3. The correct equipment fro the material All other questions will run from these three. Sven
R2: Hi Floami You did not mention what type of Quarry you are planning to open. Dimensional Stone? Industrial Minerals? Aggregates for Highway construction etc. Curd
R3: I am from india and have 20 years experience in granite. i have worked in leading companies in india and have full knowledge of operating quarries and i have operated quarries of various colours, like red, black, blue, black galaxy etc. i have also experience in opening new quarries which are both underground and over ground deposits. i can help you in organising your quarry production, Dilip
R4: I was worked in a company in nigeria during the year 1999 to 2001 to solve their technical problems with their cutting and polishing machine and some of their quarry equipments. I am interested to help you all the needs which you required to setup and start a new quarry operation.please provide us more details about you and your company, sothat we can able to give you proper supperts. kariyappan
Q 4308: My name is Ahmed Hiyari and i am a tenth grade student that needs ur help. There is a question that asks what is the benefits of using granite or sandstone INSTEAD of using limestone for buildings.I would like to thank u for this concern and i would be pleased if u send me the answer as soon as possible.Thanks you., Ahmed, Dec 2. Reply 
R1: Dear Ahmed, there are problems with some sandstones that are with calcite cement between grains. They have low resistence to acid rains like limestones and marbles. Daniel, Slovakia, Expert Panelist.
R2: Dear Ahmed: Sandstone and granite are silicate rocks and, as such are much more resistent to the weather (the natural acidity of rain -- 5.6 pH) than calcite-based stone, which will deteriorate bladly. Ciao and good luck, Maurizio.USA, Expert Panelist
R3: Ahmed, limestone can be used for buildings if you are talking about wall cladding but only certain kinds. Even with granites and Sandstone's there are certain kinds that you should not use. We use Slate as cladding here in Canada but most stones have to be sealed with a good sealer to withstand the harsh environment of Canada. Some Indian Sandstone are used for cladding and decking here in Canada because it holds up to our harsh cold weather. Limestone's like those from Portugal should not be used because they are too soft but Jerusalem limestone are harder and can be use in Canada and the U.S. and all over the world. Then the same is for Granite. There are some that cannot hold up to the weather and some that can. You have to do allot more research on different materials and do not be afraid to find different companies on the internet and request samples. I get that everyday. Some of the other Experts here on the panel may give you other useful information. I hope that I can help. Stephen, Canada, Expert Panelist
R4: Granite is much stronger than limestone; it would not wear and tear as quickly as limestone. Regards, Mustafa
R5: Granite and sandstone are stronger than limestone. They also have more color selection than limestone. Limestone is very porous. Gr
R6: Ahmed. I need to throw my two cents worth in here. In Texas we have a lot of 100 + year old court houses that were built of the local limestone, and a beautiful red sandstone that was used for trim and ornamental work. Many of these court houses are now being restored to their former glory, and in every case, it is the sandstone that needs repairing and replacing while the limestone is still in good shape. Sandstones do tend to absorb more atmospheric moisture than limestone, and thus are more susceptible to freeze/thaw damage. JVC, Expert Panelist
R7: Hello Ahmed. Granite is stronger than limestone. Shine is achived higher in granite than limestone. Granite for walls it's better that limestone. But the maintenance on high gloss shine floors it's less expensive with limestone than granite. Mostly in high traffic areas. Alex Coronel
R8: Depending on the climate the stones mentioned canbe used. Granite in climates with sub zero ten\mperatures and acid rain. Some sandstones can be used in sub zero tempertures and can withstand some acidity, but most sandstones would weather quickly in those condition. Limestone is sodt and would only be recommended in fairly dry and warm climates. Sven
R9: limestone gets eaten away by acid and sandstone dosen't, Paul
Q 4307: My husband just installed 12x12 granite tiles for a countertop in our kitchen. We used verde butterfly. It is a polished granite. The grout lines our about 1/4 of an inch with sanded grout. What type of sealer should we use for the grout also should we seal the granite. I cook a lot and do want to avoid staining. After what I've read on some of your question I hope I made the right decision for a countertop. Thank you for any information you can give me., Rod, Dec 2. Reply 
R1: Rod, 1/4" grout joints? Well, what ever is done, is done. 1/16" joints are correct for this type of installation. Any type of impregnator should seal your grout. Your stone does not need an impregnator so be sure to keep it off the stone. Regards, Steven, Expert Panelist, USA, Expert Panelist
R2: Dear Rod: As far as the choice of the material you did make the right decision. It does NOT need to be sealed. 1/4" grout lines with sanded grout?! ... Mmmm! ...Well, it's done now! The grout will need to be sealed real well. A good-quality stone impregnator/sealer will do the job just fine. Maurizio, USA, Expert Panelistt
R3: In a kitchen where you work with oil/fats and spices one should have a solid top with no joints or as small as possible. We fill the joints with a color-matched epoxy flush with the tops. Thomas
R4: Rod, try to find a penetrating sealer for the grout. I do not deal with granites but I think that they use a dressing to shine up the surface. Maybe they do the grout as well. Remember do not use Windex on the stone once you have sealed it because it has ammonia in it which will wreck the surface of the granite. Best Regards, Stephen, Canada, Expert Panelist
R5: I would seal both with Stone impregnating oil based sealer,but first, clean both very good allow to dry for 24 to 48 hours, then seal the grout and granite. FYI: Stone and sanded grout don't mix. you might consider in your situation epoxy instead of the sanded grout. Sanded grout if ever restoration would be needed, sand chips loose from the grout lines during the restoration process and can scratch the stone face to make an undesirable result. Good luck. Randy
R6: The epoxy glue is best for use. Piness
R7: Unfortunately you have a problem with your grout. It should not be 1/4" wide but for countertops it should not be more than a 1/16 if that much. In regards to your question, use a good penetrating sealer Michael
R8: You picked a fine material for your counter top. Granite makes a great surface. Next time I would consider using slab to avoid the grout joints. You can even use a 3/4 " thick material which is less expensive than the 1 1/4" thick and still get a beautiful job.I would strongly recommend using a grout sealer on all the joints. Since they are sanded they are very porous. While you at it you may want to find a granite sealer that will also be effective on the joints and do them both at the same time. A rule that I always use in installing marble or granite tiles, that are polished, is to use unsanded grout only, and to make my joints by using round toothpicks for spacers. This will give you a tight joint, very little grout and a more solid look to your tiled work. Enjoy your counter tops the will give you years of enjoyment! Have a great day! Tony
R9: Unsanded or epoxy grout should have been used for the joints. Since it is sanded though, they shouldbe sealed with a grout sealer and not with the impregnator that you will seal the stone with. Be sure that you do not get the grout sealer on the granite.
R10: Your choice in Granite was a good decision but your grout lines are much larger than they should be. The gout lines using Natural Stone should be minimal, especially on a countertop. Typically we use 1/16" (penny thickness) grout lines on a countertop. The best sealer to use in my opinion is Gold Seal Brand. It is a water based sealer and should be applied every two to three years. I would recommend every two years with the large grout lines that you have. Best of luck with your new Kitchen. Kirk