Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some commonly asked questions – from material selection, care and usage, these general answers should help in your choice of product. If you need further assistance in making your selection, please feel free to contact Mont.
Q: How do I choose the type of stone that's best for my project?
A. Each natural stone has unique characteristics and maintenance requirements. It depends on your lifestyle and the application of the material, as some types of stone may be more suitable than others.
Q: Can granite scratch?
A. It is always possible to scratch a surface, even a diamond, if it is subjected to sufficient force. However, granite is an extremely hard surface and will not scratch under normal use.
Q: Why is one particular color of granite more expensive than another?
A: The price of granite is based on its availability – the lesser the supply the higher the cost. The color, availability and movement of the stone determine the price.
Q: Are stones from certain countries considered better than others?
A: Natural stone is produced by nature the same way, regardless of geographic origin. The finishing and manufacturing process reveals the remarkable beauty of natural stone.
Q: Is it better to get a lighter color than a darker color?
A: The color and shade is strictly a matter of taste and what best suits your lifestyle. Dark and light colors are comparable in quality.
Q: Isn’t natural stone expensive?
A: As quarry and manufacturing technologies improve, the cost of natural stone has become more affordable and is comparable to other solid surface materials. Marble and granite, in particular, have reduced in price in recent years. Natural stone is more durable; therefore, it is a better value in the long term.
Q: Are more expensive stones better?
A: The price of stone depends on the capacity of the quarry and its production volume. The higher the production, the less expensive the price.
Q. Why should I choose natural stone for my house?
A. Natural stone is unique and creates a one-of-a-kind environment in your home. Natural stone dramatically transforms any room or outdoor space. Its natural beauty and durability make it an excellent investment.
Q. Where in my house can I use natural stone?
A. Almost anywhere from flooring, kitchen countertops and backsplashes, bathrooms, vanity tops, shower enclosures, tub surrounds, wall coping, pools, patios, fireplaces and even driveways. Natural stone can be cut-to-size for almost any space inside or outside your home.
Q: Can granite stain?
A. About 90% of all our granites are resin treated at the quarry. As added protection from staining, the granite surface should be sealed. Most stains that do occur in granite can be removed. Please check with your industry professional for more information.
Q. Will granite chip or crack?
A. You should never have a problem with chipping or cracking under normal kitchen conditions. You should not drop very heavy, hard objects onto your countertop, and although it may seem obvious, you shouldn’t stand on granite countertops either.
Q. Will I see the seams in my countertop?
A. Yes. The natural stone industry standard is a seam width of 1/16 of an inch. There is a maximum lippage (amount one piece will protrude above another) for the industry of 3/32 of an inch at the center point of the countertop with no lippage at the ends.
Q. Can I cut on my granite countertop?
A. Yes, however, you will quickly dull your knives. On the MOH (Measure Of Hardness) scale, a diamond receives the highest ranking of 10, granite scores between 6-9 and a stainless steel kitchen knife ranks at 5.5.
Q. Can I place hot pots on my granite countertop?
A. Granite is formed by extreme heat and pressure combined beneath the earth’s crust. It cannot be affected by heat from a cook top or frying pan. A lit flame placed under the granite will have no melting effect and will not leave any burn or scorch marks.
Q. Can I use marble for my kitchen countertop?
A. Although it can be sealed, marble is much more porous than granite making it susceptible to staining in heavy use areas such as kitchens. Marble also is much softer than granite increasing the likelihood of scratching and chipping under frequent use. Further, the mineral composition of marble can react with certain acidic products like citrus juice and vinegar causing the polished finish to etch.
Q. Is granite a hygienic surface?
A. Bacteria requires several things in order to thrive and grow: oxygen, sunlight, water, nutrients and a substrate to form on. The minerals found in granite are toxic to most bacteria. As a result, granite is not a habitable environment for bacteria to live and grow. The Marble Institute of America has conducted independent research on bacteria growth on all countertop materials. Granite ranked first in cleanability and was second only to stainless steel in inhibiting bacteria growth.
Q. Should I be concerned about radon in my stone countertops?
A. No. None of the research studies of granite countertops have ever identified a single stone that poses any significant health threat. There have been numerous and extensive scientific studies conducted, many funded and supervised by the U.S. government, that confirm there is no meaningful risk. Visit www.naturalstoneinstitute.org for the latest information and studies on radon.
Q. What is the benefit of porcelain?
A. Mont porcelain has color consistency that is thru the body not just on the surface. Our porcelain is fade, stain and scratch resistant. Because porcelain can withstand high levels of heat, it is a valuable choice for countertops and fireplaces. Maintenance is simple with mild detergent and clean water.
Q. Is porcelain stain resistant?
A. Yes and can easily be cleaned with a mild cleanser and damp cloth or sponge.
Q. Can porcelain be used in an exterior application?
A. Yes. Mont porcelain surfaces are rated frost-proof and can be used in exterior applications.
Q. What is the difference between glazed and full-body porcelain surfaces?
A. Mont full-body porcelain does not show wear because its color is absorbed through the screening process, making it ideal for commercial applications unlike other glazed surfaces which are coated with a liquid glass and then baked into just the surface of the clay.
Q. What is color-body porcelain?
A. Mont features color-body porcelain meaning the color is absorbed through the screening process.
Q. Can I install porcelain on a wood sub floor?
A. Yes. A concrete board underlayment should be installed over your wood sub floor prior to the porcelain installation. This will provide the rigidity needed to minimize floor movement so your installation remains stable.
Q. Does using a larger porcelain piece make a room appear larger?
A. Yes. Using large, porcelain pieces gives any size room a larger feel.
Q. What's the difference between ceramic and porcelain?
A. Mont porcelain is made from porcelain clay and fired at a very high temperature, which makes the material stronger and more chip resistant than ceramic. Our porcelain has a water absorption rate of less than 0.5%.
Q. What is the best tile for exterior applications?
A. Mont's through-body porcelain tile is best for outdoor applications. Our porcelain is pressed under higher pressure and fired at higher temperatures than ceramic. This gives our porcelain an absorption rate of 0.5% or less making it suitable for outdoor applications.
Q. What is a large format porcelain slab?
A. A large format porcelain slab is 118 inches long by 59 inches high and only ¼ inch in thickness.
Q. What is the weight of porcelain slabs?
A. Each slab weighs less than 130 pounds or approximately 2 pounds per square foot.
Q. For what applications are large format porcelain slabs suitable?
A. Large format porcelain slabs are suitable for tub and shower surrounds, backsplashes, flooring, fireplace surrounds, countertops and vertical applications.
Q. What does “virtually maintenance free” mean?
A. The non-porous nature of Mont Quartz surfaces allows it to be categorized as "virtually maintenance free." That means it doesn’t need to be sealed, and cleaning the surface with mild detergents and water, or glass cleaner, on a regular basis (follow our Care and Maintenance guidelines) is sufficient to maintain its beauty and shine.
Q. Is it safe to prepare food on a Mont Quartz surface?
A. Because Mont Quartz is non-porous, it is the ideal material for hygienic kitchen countertops. When the countertop is properly maintained, the surface remains virtually bacteria-free for cooking and preparing food. Please refer to our Care and Maintenance page for more information. Note: leaving food residue and chemicals on the surface to air-dry can result in a stubborn stain unless rinsed immediately with water.
Q. Is Mont Quartz heat, scratch and stain resistant?
A. Mont Quartz is highly resistant to heat, scratches and stains. Like most surfacing products, exposure to excessive heat can possibly damage the surface. We recommend the use of a trivet or hot pad to protect the surface from heated cookware (i.e. hot skillets or pans).
Q. How durable is the Mont Quartz Surface? Can I use a knife to cut directly on it?
A. Due to its natural quartz content, Mont Quartz is extremely durable and highly scratch resistant, but no countertop material is entirely scratch proof. Therefore you should always use a cutting board and avoid cutting directly on the surface.
Q. Do I need to seal the countertop regularly?
A. No, a Mont Quartz surface never needs to be sealed.
Q. What is Mont Quartz surface?
A. Mont Quartz is a quartz surface that combines 93% natural quartz, one of the hardest minerals found in nature, with technologically advanced polymers. The result is a highly durable, highly functional, beautifully designed surface material with enough versatility to transform the look and feel of any home or business.