Diamond Certified Companies are Rated Highest in Quality and Helpful Expertise.

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Diamond certified companies are top rated and guaranteed

Why Trust Diamond Certified Marble and Granite Companies Rated Highest in Quality?

A kitchen with granite countertops and a granite backsplash. You'll have confidence when choosing a quality granite and marble supplier listed above because each has been rated Highest in Quality and has earned Diamond Certified. For more information on how best to choose and work with a marble and granite contractor in Alameda County, read the following articles. Photo: Amazing Stone, Inc. (2012) Topic: Finding High Quality Marble & Granite Contractors in Alameda County

OAKLAND — You are the customer. If your goal is to choose a marble and granite company that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified granite and marble company. Each has been rated Highest in Quality in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top-rated marble and granite contractor

You are the customer. If your goal is to choose a marble and granite company that will deliver high customer satisfaction and quality, you’ll feel confident in choosing a Diamond Certified granite and marble company. Each has been rated Highest in Quality in the most accurate ratings process anywhere. And you’re always backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. Here’s why the Diamond Certified ratings and certification process will help you find a top-rated marble and granite contractor and is unparalleled in its accuracy, rigor and usefulness:

1) Accuracy: All research is performed by live telephone interviews that verify only real customers are surveyed, so you'll never be fooled by fake reviews.

2) Statistical Reliability: A large random sample of past customers is surveyed on an ongoing basis so the research results you see truly reflect a Diamond Certified company’s top-rated status.

3) Full Disclosure: By clicking the name of a company above you'll see the exact rating results in charts and read verbatim survey responses as well as researched articles on each qualified company.

4) Guaranteed: Your purchase is backed up with mediation and the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee, so you can choose with confidence.

Click on the name of a Diamond Certified company above to read ratings results, researched articles and verbatim customer survey responses to help you make an informed decision.

More than 200,000 customers of local companies have been interviewed in live telephone calls, and only companies that score Highest in Quality in customer satisfaction–a 90+ on a 100 scale–as well as pass all of the credential-based ratings earn Diamond Certified. By requiring such a high score to qualify, the Diamond Certified program eliminates mediocre and poorly performing companies. Read detailed information about the ratings and certification process.

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DIAMOND CERTIFIED EXPERT CONTRIBUTORS IN THE Alameda County – Marble & Granite CATEGORY

Jack Chan has been selling stone countertops for 14 years and is sales manager at Amazing Stone, Inc., a Diamond Certified company since 2007. He can be reached at (510) 200-0445 or by email.

Jack Chan

diamond certified contributor profile and expert article

Jack Chan: The Family Stone

By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter

SAN LEANDRO — When Jack Chan’s parents started a stone product installation business, he could see it was a good professional opportunity. However, it wasn’t until after he’d explored some other options that he decided to pursue it as a full-time career. “My parents started Amazing Stone, Inc. when I was 18 years old,” he remembers. “Soon after, I went to college and eventually graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering. However, running a business seemed more fun than going into engineering; as a people-person, I preferred the idea of interacting with customers to that of spending my days drawing at a desk. So, I went to work for my parents, and 13 years later, I’m the sales manager here.”

Originally from Hong Kong, Jack came to the Bay Area at age 14 and today resides in San Ramon with his wife, Katie. Outside of work, he says his favorite activity is relaxing. “I work six days a week, so I’m kind of a couch potato on Sundays,” he laughs. “A couple of my favorite pastimes are cooking and watching movies.” Jack says he also enjoys traveling when the opportunity arises. “My wife and I usually do a big trip every couple of years. So far, we’ve been to Japan, South Korea, Thailand and Hong Kong.”

In his life and career, Jack espouses the importance of being passionate. “I think in order to truly succeed at something, whether in life or in business, you have to set your heart on it and have a passion for it,” he affirms. “For me, there’s a lot of fulfillment to be had from helping people and solving difficult problems. The challenges we face on a daily basis keep things interesting.”

When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Jack says he’d take an extended vacation. “Right now, I only travel every couple of years, but if I were to retire and could afford it, I would plan a trip around the world.”

Ask Me Anything!

Q: What’s your favorite movie genre?
A: I really like psychological movies like “Ex Machina.”

Q: Are you a dog person or a cat person?
A: Definitely a dog person. We have a dog named Billy.

Q: What’s your favorite type of food?
A: American-Asian fusion.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: Japan. I went there four years ago and really liked it.

Q: What’s your favorite snack?
A: Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.

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How to Clean Stone Countertops

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SAN LEANDRO — If you have a natural stone countertop in your home, you need to know the proper way to clean it. Since natural stone surfaces can be damaged by acidic substances like wine, vinegar and oil, be sure to promptly… Read more

Expert Video Tip

Video: How to Clean Stone Countertops

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Complete Video Transcription:

SAN LEANDRO — Host, Sarah Rutan: If you have stone countertops in your home, it’s important to know the correct procedures for cleaning and maintaining them. Today we’re… Read more

SELECTED PHOTOS FROM THESE TOP RATED COMPANIES

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INDUSTRY INFORMATION AND RESEARCHED ARTICLES BY THE DIAMOND CERTIFIED RESOURCE

  • Caesarstone

  • Silestone

  • Neolith

  • Dekton

DuPont Granite
Soterra Natural Stone
Swanstone
Blanco
Siligranite
Swenson Granite

granite countertops
marble countertops
marble tile
granite tile
granite sinks
marble slabs
cultured marble
marble flooring
granite slabs
granite vanity top
tumbled marble
granite flooring
marble mosaic
marble fireplace
granite installation
marble installation
natural granite
natural marble
custom granite counters
granite fireplace
honed granite
travertine marble
granite fabrication
granite slate
granite pavers

Alameda
Albany
Ashland
Berkeley
Castro Valley
Cherryland
Dublin
Emeryville
Fremont
Hayward
Komandorski Village
Livermore
Mount Eden
Newark
Oakland
Piedmont
Pleasanton
Russell City
San Leandro
San Lorenzo
Sunol
Union City

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94502
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94566
94568
94577
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94601
94602
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94661
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Allied Stone Industries (ASI) (www.alliedstone.com/)
Building Stone Institute (BSI) (www.buildingstoneinstitute.org/)
Contractors State License Board (CSLB) (www.cslb.ca.gov)

Elberton Granite Association (EGA) (www.egaonline.com/)
Marble Institute of America (MIA) (www.marble-institute.com/)
National Building Granite Quarries Association Inc. (NBGQA) (www.nbgqa.com/)

Know What You Want
What to Ask Yourself About Marble and Granite in Alameda County

Now that you've decided to get marble or granite installed in your home in Alameda County, whether in Berkeley, Oakland, San Leandro, Fremont, or Hayward, you need to get ready to work with your marble and granite merchant. You need to prepare yourself so that you get the best service. It's a good idea to ask yourself some questions so you have a good idea of what you want. The better you know what you want, the better you will be able to use your marble and granite merchant's expertise to help you.

  • Do I want a Diamond Certified company that is rated best in quality and backed by the Diamond Certified Guarantee?
  • Where do I want to place stone material – in the kitchen, on the floor, in the bathroom, for countertops?
  • Do I want a stone backsplash in the kitchen?
  • Do I want to use stone panels or am I looking for stone tiles?
  • Do I have a preference for materials – marble, granite, slate?
  • Is the material I am considering right for the application – for example, do I really want to use marble for a kitchen countertop?
  • Is the room where I want to install stone sufficiently completed – are the plumbing and electrical at least roughed in?
  • If I am working in the kitchen, are the cabinets and hardware installed so that measuring for the kitchen countertop will be correct?
  • If I am attracted to stone with naturally occurring features like fissures, am I willing to install a substrate to support the stone?
  • Do I have any concerns or preferences about the epoxies or polyester resins that might be used to install my stone work?
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What To Ask In Person
Questions to Ask Your Alameda County Marble and Granite Fabricator in Person

As you update your home or office in Alameda County, whether you are in Oakland, Berkeley, Newark, Dublin, San Leandro, Fremont, Hayward, Alameda, or Union City, you will spend a good deal of time with your marble and granite fabricator.

The most important time will be during the preparation of the shop drawing and any templates derived from the shop drawing. The shop drawing represents the final design of how the stone will appear in your home or office, so spend the time to get it right.

Ask all the questions you need to ask, and persist until the shop drawing looks the way you want your installation to look. You might want to prepare a list of questions to remind you what to ask.

Some of those questions might include the following:

  • Can you show me where the seams in my marble or granite countertop will be placed?
  • How will the veining in the marble run once the stone is cut?
  • Can you show me how you will match the marble veining across different cuts of the stone?
  • Can you cut the marble slab so that the fissure falls where the strongest support is?
  • I have a heavy iron sink – do I need extra support or framing for it to protect my stone countertops?
  • Can you show me the options for cutting the edges of my stone countertop?
  • Can you cut the corner of the marble or granite so that there is no seam across it?
  • I am installing granite/marble tile; can you please lay it out first so that I can approve the color shading and how the veining runs?
  • I want to extend my new marble/granite countertop so that it is cantilevered. Will I need corbels to support it?
  • Can I change the sink from top-mounted to under-mounted with these granite/marble countertops?
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  • What To Ask References
    Questions for Former Clients of Alameda County Granite and Marble Contractors

    It's best to choose a Diamond Certified marble and granite fabricator because all certified companies have passed an in-depth ratings process that most other companies can't pass. If you want quality from a marble and granite company in Alameda County and the greater Bay Area, you can have confidence choosing a Diamond Certified company. Diamond Certified reports are available online for all certified companies. And you'll never be fooled by fake reviews. That's because all research is performed in live telephone interviews of actual customers.

    If you can't find a Diamond Certified marble and granite firm within reach, you'll have to do some research on your own. If you do, it's wise to call some references provided by your marble and granite company. Keep in mind, though, that references provided to you by the marble and granite company are not equal in value to the large random sample of customers surveyed during the Diamond Certified ratings process. That's because references given to customers from companies are cherry-picked instead of randomly selected from all their customers. So the contractors will likely give you a few customers to call that they know are satisfied.

    If you do call references on your own, specifically ask for a list of the company's 10 most recent customers. This will help avoid them giving you the names of only customers they know were satisfied.

    1. Were you satisfied with the work your marble and granite installer did? Why or why not?
    2. Did your marble and granite installer leave the work site clean and tidy?
    3. Did the marble and granite fabricator come promptly and work consistently throughout the day?
    4. Did you choose your stone at the fabricator's or separately?
    5. If you bought your stone from a supplier other than the fabricator, did the fabricator help with getting trade pricing? With arranging to move the stone from the supplier to the fabricator?
    6. Did you use stone tile or stone panels?
    7. What room or rooms did you use marble and granite on?
    8. Did you use resin-impregnated stone and did you have any issues?
    9. What stone did you install and what kinds of sealants or impregnators did you have applied, if any?
    10. How long have you had your stone and have you noticed anything you would do differently?
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  • Review Your Options
    Find and Hire a Good Marble and Granite Company in Alameda County

    The Diamond Certified symbol has been awarded to companies that scored Highest in Quality in an accurate ratings process.

    Your choice of marble and granite company will directly impact the quality of your stone and the installation process. So consider the following questions before deciding on the best marble and granite company in Alameda County for you.

    • Who will source the stone, you, your fabricator, or you with your fabricator's help?
    • What kind of stone will you use – do you want a hard granite for a kitchen countertop? Or are you willing to risk staining from acids and scratches, and use a marble countertop in the kitchen?
    • Where do you plan to install the stone – and will your marble and granite fabricator recommend the appropriate stone for the application?
    • Does your fabricator share your concern about using the proper sealants or impregnators, taking into account both the stone's intended use and the chemical nature of the sealant or impregnator?
    • Does the marble and granite fabricator offer beautiful designs and show good sense in the placement of seams, cutouts for sinks or other appliances, as well as other design details?
    • Does the marble and granite fabricator welcome you into the shop drawing process, getting your input during the design process?
    • Does the marble and granite installer offer trained technicians to measure your space so that the dimensions are correct?
    • Does the marble and granite installer offer good customer service and do the installers demonstrate that they are trained in stone and stone tile installation?
    • Does the marble and granite installer demonstrate knowledge of industry standards, such as recommended tolerances for stone thickness, installed stone levelness, and seam (aka joint) width?
    • Does the marble and granite installer provide written estimates and written agreements when work must deviate from standards because of the stone's nature?
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  • How To Work With
    Before You Hire an Alameda County Marble and Stone Installer

    Before you hire a marble and stone installer to work in your home or office in Alameda County, whether you live in Pleasanton, Oakland, Berkeley, Fremont, Hayward, Union City, Alameda, or San Leandro, a little due diligence will serve you well.

    Look for established companies that focus on offering trained service personnel. Your company must have a license from the state of California. They may have a mason's license, or a tiler's license. Always check their advertising for the license from the state of California, then go to the Contractors State License Board website and check that the license is valid. Ask several firms for written, detailed estimates before working with any.

    Make sure you understand exactly what your fabricator offers – will they source the stone or help you work with the stone supplier? Many will help you get trade discounts from suppliers and work with the supplier to move the stone from the yard to the fabricator's shop. But it's up to you to find out what those relationships are and how you might or might not benefit from them.

    You should have a good idea of various stones and their properties. A good fabricator can help you choose the appropriate material, but you might be more open to their suggestions if you understand more about the stones.

    You should also have a good idea of the room or rooms where you want to put the stone and how much other construction is being done in those rooms so that the rooms are in the appropriate state by the time the marble or granite is installed.

    Now That You've Found Your Marble and Granite Installer in Alameda County
    Once you've found the right marble and granite installer for you in Alameda County, whether in San Leandro, Fremont, Oakland, Berkeley, Hayward, or Union City, be prepared to work with them. Often the marble and granite installer can help with recommendations about what material to use.

    Collaborate with the marble and granite installer on the design of how the stone will be installed. Pay particular attention to how the marble or granite is cut, so that veins or other distinctive markings and features are highlighted or disguised, as you wish. Also pay attention to where cutouts are needed for sinks and appliances. Be prepared to discuss seam, or joint, placement, and pay especial attention to the seams where different materials adjoin each other.

    If they are a concern for you, discuss the sealants or impregnators used to protect the stone. You may also want to learn a little about the adhesives used to adhere the stone. It's a good idea to ask about whether additional support or substrates are needed to support the stone.

    Make the Job go More Smoothly for your Alameda County Marble or Granite Installer
    Make the job easier for your Alameda County marble and granite installer. Whether your home is in Berkeley, Oakland, Fremont, Hayward, San Leandro, or Newark, make sure there is no one else there to conflict with the marble and granite installer on the day of installation.

    Make sure that plumbing and electrical are at least roughed in. Don't ask a marble and granite installer to do plumbing or electrical work. Make sure there are clear pathways, especially since stone is heavy. Be present so that you can approve the layout of the stone or stone tiles before it is adhered into place.

    If you can't be there, get a designated approver to be there in your stead – you really want someone to approve the final layout before it is set. Be sure you've asked all the questions about sealants and impregnators before the job begins and have read the labels prior to application.

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  • Be a Good Customer
    How Can You Be a Good Marble and Granite Company Customer?

    It's the marble and granite company's responsibility to put in quality marble and granite using the best possible installation techniques. But you play a big part in the success of your marble and granite company, too. Here are a few simple steps you can take to be a good customer when hiring an Alameda County marble and granite company.

    • Be clear and upfront with the marble and granite company. Let them know what you want from your marble and granite, the long-term outcome you're expecting and specific ways they can satisfy your expectations.
    • Remember, a friendly smile goes a long way!
    • Before you hire a marble and granite company in Alameda County, restate your expectations and goals, and reiterate to the marble and granite representative your understanding of the agreement. Most problems with local marble and granite companies occur because of a breakdown in communication. By being clear about your expectations and theirs, you can avoid most conflicts.
    • Ask your marble and granite company if you should call to check on the progress or if he will call you with updates.
    • Be sure your service representative has a phone number where they can reach you at all times while they're installing marble and granite. The work will move along more smoothly if your marble and granite company can reach you for any necessary updates, questions or work authorizations.
    • When your contractor contacts you, return calls promptly to keep the marble and granite company on schedule.
    • Pay for the marble and granite company's work promptly.

    Why would you want to be a good customer? Marble and granite companies in Alameda County appreciate customers who are straightforward, honest and easy to work with. Your good customer behavior sets the tone from your end and creates an environment conducive to a good relationship. Things may very well go smoother and any problems may be more easily resolved.

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Check The Work
Check the Marble and Granite Work Against the Estimate and Invoice

Your marble and granite installer should give you a written estimate and invoice. Be sure that they are detailed and include separate line items for materials and labor. A single lump sum will not help you understand the charges, since it is not clear what it covers.

Check that the material installed is the designated material. Check that any substrates, or additional supports, that were needed are installed. Check that any sealants or impregnators that were to be applied are actually applied. Check for level surfaces, level stones, and small seams, or joints.

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Written Warranties
Ask for Your Alameda County Marble & Granite Installer for Warranties

Start by asking your marble and granite installer what warranties they provide on their stone and installation services.

It's possible for stone to get chipped or cracked, or otherwise damaged in transit or during installation. Ask about repair and replacement policies if your stone gets damaged. Also ask about warranties for service. Stone and stone tiles should last for a long time, but it takes skill and training to install them properly. Ask whether and for how long the installation is guaranteed.

For example, on new granite countertops, you may want a little give to allow for normal stresses, but too much give will cause the stone to crack. Ask the marble and granite installer if they guarantee against this and similar defects in the work.

Regardless of the specific terms of the guarantee coverage, your written warranties for granite and marble installation should include the following:

  • The granite/marble contractor's name, physical address and state contractors' license number.
  • Details of what is covered by the warranty.
  • Your responsiblity for placing a warranty claim on your marble or granite installation or products.
  • All exclusions or terms must be in writing to be valid.
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Top 10 Requests
Popular Marble and Granite Services Provided By Local Stone Installers

Marble and granite have many applications. Your Alameda County marble and granite installer should help you create a beautiful design, cut the stone to display its best attributes, and install the stone so that it wears for a long time. Below are some of the most common requests made to marble and granite fabricators.

New Floors
Marble, travertine, and other stones or stone tiles are popular for floors. A polished stone will create a shiny floor, or a honed stone will have a smooth but more matte appearance.

New Kitchen Countertops
Granite is the most popular choice for kitchen countertops. It is very hard, which makes it resistant to scratches. Marble is sometimes used, but as a much softer stone, it scratches fairly easily and is also vulnerable to acids like lemons or tomatoes, and also to some household chemicals or abrasive cleaners.

New Bathroom Countertops
Many like the appearance of natural stone in the bathroom, and bathroom countertops can also be chosen to highlight dramatic bowls and fixtures.

Office Kitchens
Office kitchens are not as drab as they once were. The hard-wearing nature of natural stone makes it a good choice for areas with lots of traffic.

Stone Cutting
Cutting stone well takes real training and a feel for the stone. The best cutters can reveal the natural beauty of the stone. They may also be able to cut so that the parts of the stone that you don't like are not as obvious. A good stone cutter can cut so that veins can be placed to run in the same direction.

New Backsplash
As far as marble and granite installers are concerned, a backsplash is separate from the countertop. If you do want a countertop, mention it to your marble and stone installer. You will need to choose material for your backsplash and design it as well.

Design
Your marble and granite installer can help you design your stone installation. They should especially help you understand the importance of seam, or joint, placement and help you cut your stone to take best advantage of the stone when it comes to seam placement. The marble and granite installer should also be familiar with different materials and sensitive to color shading and vein placement.

Technical Knowledge
Many of us just want a beautiful countertop, or kitchen, or bathroom. We rely on the marble and granite installer to have technical knowledge and be aware of industry standards. For example, the marble and granite installer should be able to advise on how long the distance between supports should be, based on the stone thickness and type. The marble and granite installer should also know how wide seams should be, how to join different pieces of stone, and whether a subtop, or other substrate support is needed.

Edge Cutting
The edge of a counter can contribute greatly to its appeal. The edge is one of the most significant parts of the cost of a countertop. The marble and granite installer will offer you a choice of cuts for the edge. The thinner an edge, the more vulnerable to chips.

Stone Repair
Stone can chip from being handled, or it may have fissures, which occur naturally. In some cases, chips, fissures, and cracks can be mended using a resin to fill the space. Smaller chips may be sanded down, though this will make seams appear wider. Your marble and granite installer may be able to make small repairs if your stone gets damaged over its lifetime.

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Glossary Of Terms
Glossary of Terms Used By Local Marble and Granite Contractors

You may find it helpful to know a few industry terms when you speak with your marble and granite fabricator or installer. Use the glossary to help inform your conversations and better understand what your granite & marble contractor tells you.

abate
A stone carving term, it means to remove material so that the remaining parts are left standing out in relief.

abrasive finish
Refers to a surface that has been finished or polished so that it is not reflective. The size of the grit used to make the surface can make a difference.

abrasive hardness
A rating that measures how well stone will wear when subjected to foot traffic.

absorption
When referring to how much water a stone will absorb, the result is described as a percentage by weight.

accelerator
When used in masonry, refers to material that is added to concrete or mortar to make the curing go faster.

acid wash
An acid wash is a method for distressing a stone surface by applying a substance. Acid washes work best on calcareous stones.

adhered
Refers to a stone veneer that has been securely fastened using a bonding material on an approved backing.

admixture
Admixtures are substances that are introduced into mortar or cement as the water, aggregates, lime or cement, are being mixed to form the mortar or cement. Admixtures may act as colorings, water repellants, or accelerators.

aggregate
Rocks or particles of rocks, they can be naturally occurring, such as sand or gravel, or manmade, such as crushed concrete. Aggregate may be used as it comes without cohering material, or it may be mixed into mortar or concrete.

alkaline
An alkaline product is more basic than acidic. Alkaline is in some sense the opposite of acid. Carbonate of sodium is alkaline.

allowable capacity
Refers to how much load a stone anchor can safely bear.

anchor
A metal fastener that connects dimension stone to adjacent stone units or to a structure. The corrosion resistant fastener may be flat or round.

Also known as: straps, dovetails, rod cramp, rod anchor, eyebolt, dowel

apron
When you have a projecting stone top, an apron may be added as a decorative or trim piece that comes down below the overhang. For example, if you have a countertop that overhangs a cabinet, an apron may be added to the very top of the cabinet, where the cabinet meets the countertop.

arris
A noticeable area where two surfaces meet that have been ground down.

artificial stone
A manufactured product that tries to reproduce the look of natural stone.

Also known as: engineered stone, cultured marble

ashlar
Refers to the placement of square or rectangular stones on a facade. Random ashlar has differing heights and lengths so that the placement appears random. Coursed ashlar looks like horizontal lines, while stacked ashlar looks like vertical lines.

axed work
Refers to a stone surface that has been hand-dressed so that it displays tool marks made by an axe, bush hammer, or pick.

back anchor
An anchor that comes out of the back surface of a panel of stone. In contrast, other types of anchors push into the edges of a stone panel.

back-parging
Refers to applying adhesive material to the back of the stone or other material to be applied. Some adhesive is put on the back of the product to be installed, while the rest in the bed where the product is to be installed. Back-parging is designed to make sure the entire unit is adhered to the base.

Also known as: back-buttering

baluster
One of a series of short, vertical pieces that support a railing or coping. Together, all the pieces, both supports and railing, form a balustrade.

Also known as: balustrade

belt course
A horizontal, continuous series of stones placed in a wall that creates a division.

bleed
When corrosive metals or materials such as putties, mastics, or sealing compounds make a stain on a surface.

blending
Refers to a design technique for laying material in which the material is placed randomly, so that is does not display a uniform color. The area of non-uniform color is then contrasted with regions that do have a uniform, but very different, color.

book match pattern
Refers to a technique for matching veins in natural materials. In the book match pattern, the opposite faces of adjoining slabs are used, so that a mirror image of the veining is seen. Polishing enhances the visibility of the veining.

boss
A stone that sticks out and that will be carved in place. Or, for a Gothic vault, the craving that disguises the rib junction.

bugged finish
For limestone, a smooth finish achieved by grinding it with power sanders.

chamfer
A technique that creates a flat treatment from grinding or cutting that will get rid of the sharp edge where two surfaces converge.

cladding
For the exterior of a wall or other structure. A stone veneer that is not load-bearing.

cleavage
Refers the areas where natural stones are likely to naturally break.

Also known as: cleft

honed
A honed surface is very smooth but has very little or no shine.

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Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ for Granite and Marble Contractors

Q: Why choose a Diamond Certified marble and granite installer?
A: Diamond Certified helps you choose a marble and granite company with confidence by offering a list of top-rated local companies who have passed the country's most in-depth rating process. Only marble and granite companies rated Highest in Quality earn the prestigious Diamond Certified award. Most companies can't pass the ratings. American Ratings Corporation also monitors every Diamond Certified company with ongoing research and ratings. And your purchase is backed by the Diamond Certified Performance Guarantee. So you'll feel confident choosing a Diamond Certified marble and granite company.

Q: Why does it matter what stone I choose?
A: Stones have different characteristics, based on their mineral composition and density. Granite is a very hard stone that resists both acids, for example, lemons and tomatoes, and scratches, from knives or abrasive cleaners. For this reason, it is very well suited to the kitchen countertop. Marble, on the other hand, is a relatively soft stone that scratches easily and is vulnerable to acids from cooking and household cleaners. Knowing a little about stone characteristics will help you choose your stone, or know about the possible outcomes if you choose a stone less-suited to the particular application.

Q: Why do I care about stone cutting?
A: Stone is a natural product that varies from piece to piece. The stone may have fissures or other characteristics that are beautiful and you want to show off. A skilled stone cutter can cut the stone to highlight its best features. It's also important have veins running the same way, in veined material. A skilled cutter can get the most from your veined material, cutting so that the vein runs in the same way across several pieces.

Q: Why are the stones or stone tiles laid down first without adhesive – doesn't that take longer?
A: Laying the stones or stone tiles without adhesive first may add a little time to the project. But it's a critical step to make sure that the seams are where you planned them to be, that the stones look good together, and, especially for stone tiles, that color gradations or veining look good.

Q: Why can't I look for a single kind of contractor's license?
A: California has many different kinds of contractor's licenses. There is a specific license for masons – people who install and build with stone, concrete, brick, and similar materials. There is also a specific license for those who install tile. There are also broader categories of license that the masonry work might be done – for example, if you install stone as part of a landscaping project, the landscaper can install it. The important thing is to look for a current, valid California license and check that there are no complaints against it.

Q: I want marble for my kitchen counters. Is this a good choice?
A: If you choose to go ahead with marble for your kitchen counters, be aware that it is susceptible to scratching and acids. It will stain easily. You might want to look into sealants, though they will not handle the problem completely. It's a good idea to always protect the surface with a cutting board.

Q: I applied a sealant to my countertop. Do I have to do anything else?
A: Sealants help protect stone, but they are not a guarantee. If you do use a sealant, the sealant becomes the first layer to be hit by acids or abrasives. The sealant takes the brunt of it all. Because of this, the sealant should be replaced at regular intervals. Ask your marble and granite installer about the intervals or check with the sealant's instructions. You might also want to look into impregnators, which go below the surface of the stone. These impregnators are designed to prevent liquids from seeping into the stone, since all natural stones used in the home are porous to some degree.

Q: My marble is pitted – what should I do?
A: Pitting is considered a natural feature of marble and other stones. Most recommend that you do not do anything to try to fix it. It does not damage the durability of the stone.

Q: Do I want resin-impregnated stone?
A: Sometimes stone surfaces are coated with resin in an attempt to fill in pits, fissures, or other naturally occurring characteristics in the stone. The method has some drawbacks. Aesthetically, the edge of a resin-impregnated stone will never match the top, since the resin is not applied on the edges, and resin typically darkens the stone's color. There are some edge-darkening products, but they mainly don't work.

In addition, a colored resin may change color in ultraviolet light, making the stone not recommended for outdoor use. The resin may also interact with sealants to make a cloudy or blotchy surface. The resin may also hide fissures, so that it's impossible to tell where the stone may be less structurally sound.

Q: My stone includes a beautiful fissure, can I keep it?
A: Absolutely. These unique characteristics are what make stone so attractive to so many. You should just be aware that the fissure area may require extra support and may be slightly more vulnerable to chipping.

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