FAQ’s

Marble for kitchens

Highlander Stone provides all types of stone counter-tops.

In the past, natural Marble was the number one choice for beautiful kitchen countertops. It is a hard wearing, hygienic and beautiful surface.

Recently, advances in processing technology has allowed even harder materials such as polished granite and engineered stone to take the mantle of “toughest countertop surface”.

But with a little care, a marble countertop can still provide a practical kitchen work surface, and there is nothing yet to compare with the beauty of natural marble.

Fire Rating

Granites have a melting point of about 2,000 degrees Celsius. Engineered Stone will melt at about 400 degrees Celsius. Granite contertops have been known to survive house fires and just need cleaning off before being re-used.

Renovating or Renovation?


Renovations: Thinking of Renovating?

Countertops made of stone will not depreciate with time and will continuously add value to any property where they are installed. Stone presents a surface depth that seems almost three-dimensional. It has a luminance that’s absent from other surfaces. Regardless of its finish, stone creates an immediate impression of elegance, and is considered a definite plus on any real estate agent’s checklist.

Stone should be your first choice when deciding on a material for your counter and counter tops. Stone will provide your home with elegance and sophistication and provide a lifetime of satisfaction.

Countertop is perfectly at home in any domestic environment. We have the most experienced team, and with more than 10 years in business, we’ll be here for you when the others are long gone.

Stone countertops make an excellent choice for renovating an older kitchen or bathroom.

You may be replacing the entire kitchen, including cabinets and fixings, or leaving the original cabinets in place.

One idea worth considering is, leaving the original countertops in place, and placing new stone contertops over the existing surface. A special stone apron edge will hide the old conuter edge. This often works well for laminate countertops, where the original surface is flat and level, and provides an excellent solid substrate for the stone. Gas hotplates generally cope well with this situation, as the gas leads are flexible, but you may have to move the sink plumbing 20mm upwards (which is generally easy).

Splashbacks should be considered. If the existing splashbacks are tiled, they are often not perfectly straight (or the wall behind isn’t straight), and will look out of place against the straight edge of the new stone counter. You may be able to place stone splashbacks directly over the tiles, but consider if there will still be enough room between the splashback and the sink/hotplate edge. The best way generally is to remove the existing splashbacks, and install stone splashbacks in their place.

Porosity, Flextural Strength, Fire Rating, Bacteria, Cleaning

Porosity is the measure of how much liquid can soak into a material. Porosity is a relative concept, and stone is relatively not very porous!

All stones are porous to some degree, and this fact is sometimes used to scare people. But let’s look at some facts about porosity;

People often insist that stone needs extra sealers “because it is porous”. Something to consider is that the absorption rate of engineered stone is 0.05%, while the absorption in granite varies between 0.01% to 0.40%. White Ceramic tiles have an absorption rate of 3%, yet not many people insist that their bathroom and kitchen ceramic tiles need sealers. A high performance concrete is generally about 5% porous.

Never-the-less, Highlander Stone generally applies food-grade “safe” sealers to bathroom and kitchen counters before installation. Sealers slow down the absorption of liquids, generally giving you ample time to clean up any spills before they soak in.

Bacteria and Cleaning

There are some rumors that stone surfaces are prone to bacteria. This is false. Firstly bacteria can not eat stone, so if the surface is clean, bacteria cannot survive. Secondly, studies by the Hospitality Institute of Technology and Management have shown that natural stone surfaces are the easiest to clean of all countertop surfaces (including stainless steel, concrete, tile, wood, plastic and laminate). Also studies have shown that there is no difference in “cleanability” between different types of stone (Granite, Marble, or Engineered Stone), all are easily cleaned to meet the USA-FDA “surface sanitizer criteria” of 5-log reduction in pathogens on the surface.

Does Highlander Stone sub-contract the work to other people?

Highlander Stone is a quality-focused company and does not sub-contract your work. The team that sells you the countertop, is the same team that makes them, and the same team that installs them. We’ve been here over 10 years, and we’ve found it’s better to control the quality of our sales, site-checks, manufacture and installs ourselves and in-house. We don’t take chances with the quality of our work.

Some companies find it cheaper to sub-contract parts of your job out to cheaper contractors. In our experience cheaper contractors mean lower skills, more cutting corners, and more “blame-shifting”.

Highlander Stone, you know you are dealing with the us directly, with no middle men, and no sub-contractors. If you need to speak to us about any aspect of your job, just give us a call.