FAQ


Why buy 3cm thick stone?

Dauter Stone makes all its stone countertops from 3cm thick slabs (almost 1¼-inch), instead of the thinner 2cm thickness (3/4-inch). The strength of 3cm gives more design flexibility in that unsupported spans, within guidelines, and large spans with limited support, are possible. Three cm counters can be manufactured and delivered in shorter time periods. The 3cm solid profile does not show the epoxy joint line of the 2cm built-up profile. What does this mean? The 2 cm is decorative grade thickness. Because of its relative fragility (lack of strength), it requires the support of ¾-inch plywood, which is laid on top of the cabinet boxes and sits under the finished stone countertops. In order to hide the plywood at the front counter edge, an additional narrow strip of 2cm slab is glued with epoxy under the front counter edge, and then the “double-up” profile is polished to a finished state.

A Dauter Stone stone countertop is made with 3cm thick slab, which is structural thickness. It is 50% thicker than the 2cm, and is more than twice as strong. The plywood support is unnecessary, and therefore the built-up profile is also unnecessary. The resulting monolithic product is much stronger and does not have the epoxy joint. An epoxy bond is impermanent, unlike granite. Epoxy degrades over time and the bond will at some point let go which could leave a damaged front profile. This is a shame when stone is a product that will last more than a lifetime. Quarried natural stone is after all millions of years old already.

As well as choosing 3cm thickness, it is best to choose your stone colour from actual slab stock as opposed to just samples. Some manufacturers custom order all slabs after customers select from samples. As stone is a product of nature, there can be surprises when the actual stock comes in and doesn’t match the sample. Dauter Stone customers choose not just their colours but inspect their actual slabs from our extensive stock.

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Are there special maintenance procedures I need to follow?

Day to day maintenance requires only a wet cloth to wipe and a dry one to dry so as not to leave water spots on the shiny surface (similar to cleaning a mirror). When periodic disinfecting is desired, lemon juice or vinegar can be used. Bleach is not recommended. It will not harm the granite but it does break down the impregnator. We highly recommend our 3 in 1 Cleaner Polisher Protector spray, available inexpensively at our showroom. This can be used sparingly as frequently as once a week and as infrequently as every 3 months, and will remove any hard water buildup and restore lustre, as well as reinforcing the impregnator.

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Are there special cleaners I need to use?

Yes. Because of the sensitivity of these types of stone to anything acidic, it is important to use PH neutral cleaners only. A cleaner that is specifically for marble is fine. Murphy’s Oil Soap, diluted with water, available at most grocery stores is fine. We recommend Dauter Stone’s own 3 in 1 Cleaner/Polisher/Protector spray, available inexpensively at our showroom.

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Can I throw away my cutting boards?

No. Granite is harder than stainless steel and so will not be scratched by most knives, but cutting on granite will dull the knives and shorten their service life. There are one or two colours that are softer and can be scratched with knives (eg. Black Galaxy) so it is best to exercise caution.

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Can my granite be broken?

Yes. Your granite countertop from Dauter Stone is a minimum of one-inch thick (2.5cm) up to almost one inch-and-a-quarter (3cm) thick. It is very strong but not at all flexible. One-inch granite is approximately twice as strong as three-quarter and the thicker granite is stronger yet. Vulnerable areas are the narrow strips found in front of the sink and cooktop. We do not recommend tip-out drawers in these areas as they minimize the support for the countertop. Dauter Stone reinforces the area in front of your sink with a stainless steel bar insert, which is an excellent safeguard against breakage. Some caution needs to be exercised, such as never sitting, balancing or standing in these areas, and never allowing any child, guest or tradesperson to do so.

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Can my limestone or marble be broken?

Yes, although breakage is rare. Dauter Stone provides the extra thick 3cm stone slabs that are very strong. The front sink edge is the most fragile place in any stone countertop. NEVER stand on this edge or allow a tradesperson or anyone else to stand, sit or learn here.

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Does the soapstone come already treated with the mineral oil?

No. This is done after the countertops are completely installed. The oil is applied easily with a cloth, allowed to soak in, and then the excess is wiped off. This process is repeated, approx. twice a week for the first 3 months or so, then once a week for another 3 months or so, then once a month for about six months. Thereafter, apply as needed (when colour lightens). Mineral oil is readily and cheaply available at drug stores.

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Does the soapstone come in different colours?

No. The soapstone is always a blue-green grey colour. Untreated it is light grey. For countertops, it needs to be treated with pure clear mineral oil. DO NOT USE VEGETABLE OILS. When saturated, the permanent colour of the soapstone will be a dark blue-green grey.

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How durable are soapstone counters?

Solid rock is simply the best countertop. Soapstone will last a lifetime. It is completely heat- resistant to any kitchen source of heat, such as pans from the oven or right off a hot burner. It will not stain. It is very dense, providing no space for bacteria. It needs no special care, other than the initial saturation with mineral oil.

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If I do get a scratch, can it be repaired?

Fine, almost imperceptible scratches will come over years of use. All home finishes will show some wear over time. It is better to live with this kind of wear than attempt to repair it. Scratches can only be removed by repolishing the surface, and the resulting finish will not be as smooth and shiny as the original factory finish.

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Is my granite heat-proof?

Within normal kitchen use tolerances, yes. This means that pots and pans from the stove or oven that are boiling water or cooking food can be placed directly on the countertop without causing any damage. If however, the metal is red hot from superheating it will be hot enough to burn the granite and cause irreparable damage. Red hot metal has reached a temperature of over 500 degrees C or 1200 degrees F and is hot enough to burn granite.

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Is my granite indestructible?

No. Nothing is indestructible. But granite may be the most durable countertop on the market, and with reasonable care should last and be beautiful for a lifetime.

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Is my granite scratch-proof?

No. Granite is scratch resistant because it is so hard. However anything as hard or harder than granite will scratch it. Examples of things that are hard enough to scratch are granite, diamond, and fired ceramics with broken or rough edges.

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Is my granite stain-proof?

No. Granite is very stain resistant because of its density and the polishing process also helps to smooth the surface and make it non-porous. To prevent any absorption of water, your granite counters have been treated with a high-density impregnator so that water will bead on the surface and not soak in. This impregnator lasts for years and is simple to reapply. Oil and grease should not be allowed to sit on the counter for hours but should be wiped up. If a darker area appears from oil or grease, it can often be reabsorbed by applying baking soda to the area, wetting it and taping plastic overtop to keep it wet overnight. This process can be repeated until the “stain” is completely removed. If this process is not effective for a bad grease mark, we have a commercial absorber that can be applied on a service call. There are other rare substances that have caused a problem, such as Play-Doh, but only on lighter coloured granite. Most problems can be prevented by not leaving “leaking” items on the counter for long periods. Defrosting items should be put on a plate, etc.

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Is my limestone and/or marble heat proof?

No. Limestone is more heat resistant than marble, but it is best to exercise caution. Hairstyling products like curling irons should not be left unattended.

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Is my limestone and/or marble susceptible to scratching?

Yes. These are sedimentary rocks and are composed of totally different minerals than harder stones like granite. The finish will scratch and wear with use, from grit pushed or walked into the surface, from objects pushed or pulled over the surface. This results in a wearing away of the initial shine, when a shiny polished surface has been chosen. This is a major reason why a smooth but matt surface called honed finish is used in areas that will receive constant wear, such as flooring. The honed finish will still scratch and wear but this is less noticeable on a non-shiny finish. Using stone polishes and waxes can renew shine to some degree. Repolishing can be done on site but is expensive and does not prevent future wear, so it is best to expect and tolerate some wear over time, as with any finish you put in a home.

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Is my limestone and/or marble susceptible to staining?

Yes. These types of stone are significantly more porous than granite or soapstone, which allows foreign substances to soak in and cause staining. Anything acidic, such as coffee, tea, wine, fruit juice, soda pop, vinegar, ketchup, acidic or corrosive cleaners etc. will etch the surface of limestone and marble instantaneously and permanently. The polish will be gone in the area of the spill, even if it is wiped up immediately. This is why Dauter Stone does not recommend limestone or marble countertops in the kitchen but only for bathroom vanities or desk areas. Exercise caution cleaning glass over a limestone or marble vanity top. Just use water and a towel l to dry, or if using a glass cleaner, protect the vanity surface with spare cloths or towels.

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Is there danger of breakage at the front sink edge or the span over the dishwasher?

There is no danger of breakage at the span over the dishwasher. A support strip is required to facilitate the installation of the dishwasher. The front sink edge is the most fragile place in any kitchen counter. This strip should be a minimum of 4 inches deep. Dauter Stone reinforces the area in front of your sink with a stainless steel bar insert, which is an excellent safeguard against breakage. Some caution needs to be exercised, such as never sitting, balancing or standing in these areas, and never allowing any child, guest or tradesperson to do so.

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Soapstone is quite soft; doesn’t it scratch easily with normal counter use?

Yes, but because soapstone has a pre-stressed or sanded finish, and not a smooth shiny finish, the scratches are not noticable. They disappear with oiling. Soapstone is extremely dense even though it is soft and the scratches stay very superficial. In the unlikely event that a deep scratch does occur, it can be easily sanded out with 80-grit sandpaper.

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What about chips?

It is possible, though it occurs infrequently, to chip the edge of your counter if something heavy is whacked or dropped on the edge. Chips can be repaired by a service call, usually by filling the gap with clear epoxy. This method gives a smoother and less visible repair than attempting to glue the chip back in, though it doesn’t hurt to save the chip just in case.

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What about marking, veins and variations in my stone?

Limestone and marble are products of nature and every slab is unique. Variations of colour, texture, patterning and finish are inherent to the product and make it distinctive and beautiful. Absolute uniformity is rare. Veining is characteristic of limestone or marble veins cannot be avoided in making countertops. These are not flaws or weaknesses but are part of these stone’s character. Dauter Stone makes every effort to ensure that the appearance of the slab is acceptable when customers pre-approve their slabs before countertop production begins.

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What about markings and variations in my granite?

Granite is a product of nature. Every slab is unique. Variations of colour, texture, crystal structure and finish are inherent to the product and make it distinctive and beautiful. Absolute uniformity is rare. Dauter Stone makes every effort to ensure that the appearance of the granite is acceptable when customers pre-approve their slabs before countertop production begins

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