FAQs - Finch's Stone & Marble Ltd, Kitchen worktops, Wigan, Liverpool:
Finches granite Company Information
Frequently asked questions

FAQ's

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Frequently Asked Questions


Finch's Stone and Marble are a family owned and run company who specialise in importing, fabricating and fitting many types of stone such as granite, quartz, marble and slate. We are not the cheapest manufacturer but we are very competitive on a like for like basis and will do our best to beat any competitors quote.
 
We only use the very best granite, marble slate and quartz from proven established granite quarrys & international producers such as Ingemar, Pisani, Beltrami, International stones and from high quality manufacturers of quartz surfaces such as  Silestone, Caesarstone, Technistone, diresco and cimstone. All these companys have to meet our rigerous standards to supply us with material.
 
constant reinvestment in our company with new machining technology and techniques keep us infront of our competitors while offering the very best finished product on the market.   
 
While not the biggest company in the stone trade we feel that our meduim size enables us to take a hands on approach and commitment to quality that is lost with bigger companys. From your first vistit to the compleation of fitting you will be dealing directly with one of our 3  family directors who also work on the factory floor to ensure our standards are maintained. When you call us it will be the owners/ directors of the buisness you are talking to not a call centre or receptionist, a rarity these days we are sure you will agree!   
 
As always we are only a phone call away so if you have any questions or problems we will be only too happy to help.
 


All the granite products sold by us are genuine granite, produced from natural rock and are first quality. We only make granite or quartz worktops from solid 30mm material. We do not use thin layers of material over your existing worktops. We can also produce thicker looking worktops up to 100mm thick upon request.
 
We are able to sell at such low prices because we import directly in slab form from a host of international suppliers and UK based importers/ distributors. In addition our prices reflect the fact that you are cutting out the "middle man" as you are buying from the very people that fabricate the slabs into your bespoke worktops and fit them in your home.

We supply most of the north-wests major kitchen retailers, building and construction companies, fireplace retailers, architects and designers. We also deal with the public directly supplying anything from a small hearth or vanity unit to a full granite or quartz kitchen surface.  

 
 
 


 
Quartz is a great material to use for kitchen worktops as long as you use a reputable brand. We only use companies that have a proven track record, UK based offices and most importantly 90 to 95% quartz in their products all made on Breton machinery.
 
Quartz is the hardest mineral stone in nature after diamond, saphire and topaz. Quartz has 7 Mohs hardness degree on the Mohs scale, which is rather close to that of diamond (10 Mohs), and this enables Quartz surfaces to be virtually scratch-free even against metal or similar utensils while proving life long high resistance to abrasion even in areas of intensive pedestrian traffic. Quartz does not easily crack or rupture during fabrication or transportation thanks to its high coefficient of resistance to bending and impacts

Unfortunately with the demand for quartz worktops at an all time high there are a number of unscrupulous manufacturers selling cheaper material, usually coming from china & the far east that has only 40 to 50% quartz content. This material is totally unsuitable for kitchen worktops as its to soft and would damage easily due to the low quartz and high resin content.

We will only supply from the very best manufacturers such as Silestone, Caesarstone, Technistone, Quarella, Cimstone and Diresco. With all of these manufacturers we are sure that you will find the colour you are looking for amongst the 400+ colours available.

To see the different brands available and colour options please click here


Granite Surfaces 

For the purpose of explaining granite for use in the home as worktops, fireplaces and vanity units amongst other uses we have tried to keep this description simple(but it did turn out a bit long!!). For a more in depth explanation of granite as a material and how it is formed please click here 

Granite is a natural quarried rock. Natural stones have a  microporous structure of varying degree, some have hairline cracks, pot marks and fissures. Some granites can be water absorbent and thus prone to stains and spotting and can be inherently unsound. Much of this depends on the actual stone used as the description of granite covers many types of granite stone with different properties.Granite needs more care and attention than quartz surfaces but many of the pitfalls and problems such as absorption and its fragile nature can be overcome by stain repellent treatments and manufacturing in a better way(possibly with more joints to reduce stress on the worktops weak points)

When cut and polished, if scrutinised too closely, granite worktops may reveal what appear as faults and imperfections that are inconsistent to the rest of the material. These may appear as pot marks, natural fissures in the surface polish and irregularities in the surface markings / texture of the stone.


It is usual to provide slabs that have been stopped, cramped and filled / treated with resins to ensure they arrive in a perfect condition. So, if additional repairs / treatments are carried out in our workshop or on site, they may not automatically constitute a fault
When irregularities in the surface markings are excessive, unsightly, unavoidable and prominent, the slab will be rejected by Finch's and returned to the quarry . Provided the structural integrity has not been compromised and remains intact granite slabs with inherent problems can still be regarded as "being in a perfect condition.”
Commercially, the cost implications of quarrying such large blocks of granite, then shipping them around the world for processing into the polished slabs are titanic. It is because of this, the natural imperfections and irregularities that characterize the surface markings, should be looked upon and enjoyed for what they actually are…….the very characteristics that lend the granite its individuality and emphasise the natural beauty. The true reason, that granite has become so prized and appreciated. Customers do not realise that most of the very expensive granites are the ones with the most problems!!
Other options would be simply to buy more material, which would create a great deal more waste, resulting in further costs and delays that will inevitably get passed on to the customer. So if the customer is intolerant of natural imperfections and the various characteristics, then the choice of granite and marble for work surfaces and vanity tops could be deemed inappropriate and you should opt for quartz as it is manufactured.  It is for these reasons that a visit to the workshop to view, choose and approve the material prior to manufacture is highly recommended. Your opinion may well differ from ours, and it would be very disappointing should you arrive home to find the stone does not live up to your expectations.
Rest assured we will not compromise the strength, aesthetics, and quality of any material or installation. It is for this reason we reserve the right to reject material that we regard as being poor quality. (i.e. badly processed and calibrated) This can sometimes lead to short delays during the manufacture; A "catch 22” situation! Although, a reflection of our commitment to quality.

With all that said, quartz worktops simply cannot compete with granite for its dramatic flair, natural distinctive grain and flowing patterns that make each piece unique. We cannot stress enough that granite is a natural, living ,very unpredictable and  beautiful material that is prized for its diversity yet the price for this is its natural floors and variations. The upshot of this is simple " view the slabs that your worktops will be cut from before you buy!"

You are welcome, at any time before you buy to view our granite selection!
                  

Quartz Surfaces 

Unlike other natural stones, quartz compact structure, made with resin, which is free of hairline cracks allowing no liquid penetration, makes it virtually stain-free and easily cleanable with daily cleaning agents, even only with a damp cloth and a little gel detergent.Quartz surfaces will not contain pot marks, natural fissures in the surface polish and irregularities in the surface markings as it is a manufactured product. 

Quartz surfaces such as Cimsotne, Silestone, Caesarstone, Diresco and Technistone are accredited by a hygiene certificate to be a special surfacing material that does not allow for a favourable environment for bacteria growth owing to its compact structure. Quartz is not affected by the wearing effects of common kitchen elements like vinegar, lemon juice, olive oil and wine that may damage natural stones. Quartz maintains its brand new look and clean appearance as on the first day for many years without any need for polishing or sealing unlike marble or granite. Since natural stones are limited to natural reserves, suppliers cannot always procure the demanded quantity at the desired amount and colour alternatives. Yet, quartz can be produced in a rich variety of styles and alternatives, meeting various expectations and needs.

For a more in depth look at natural quartz, what it is and where it comes from please click here    



 



Quartz
Quartz  is very resistant to all kinds of cracks, chips, scratches and stains. However, like most materials, excessive force and/or pressure may cause damage to the surface.  Rapid changes in temperature can cause damage to granite or quartz worktops.Always use pan stands with plastic feet( avoids scratches) to ensure that you do not damage your new work surface.

Granite
Granite is highly resistant to all kinds of cracks, chips, scratches and stains. However, like most materials, excessive force and/or pressure may cause damage to the surface.Granite is one of the toughest natural stones on the planet, making it the perfect choice for any indoor or outdoor project.
A mineral with a higher number can scratch the ones below.  Because granite is composed of mainly Feldspar and Quartz it has exceptional resistance to scratches.

In years gone by, corundum tipped tooling was used to cut, shape and polish granite.  Nowadays diamond tipped tooling is used.  A steel knife blade has a rating of 5.5 and therefore can not scratch granite easily, sand and grit (on bucket and garden mug bottoms!) contain corundum and can effectively etch polished granite.  Minerals of equal rating can scratch each other, for this reason we strongly advise you use plastic or wooden chopping boards. Rapid change in temperature can cause damage to granite or quartz worktops.Always use pan stands with plastic feet( avoids scratches) to ensure that you do not damage your new work surface



Quartz and granite are more heat resistant than other surfaces and are not affected by temperatures lower than 150°C (300°F). However all stone material can be damaged by sudden and rapid temperature changes. Therefore, we suggest that hot pots and pans never be directly placed on the surface. We also recommend a hot pad or trivet be placed on the surface under cooking units such as electric frying pans, crock pots, or roaster ovens.



QUARTZ 
Quartz Surfaces are non-porous due to the physical properties of the quartz components of the surfaces. Quartz in itself is an inert, non-absorbent mineral and therefore makes it’s surfaces resist most stains caused by fruit juices, liquid food colouring, coffee, tea, wine, grapes and soft drinks. It is important to note that quartz maximum stain-resistance qualities make sealers and waxes unnecessary.

GRANITE
All natural stones, due to their granular construction, are porous to a greater or lesser extent and most granites fall into the latter category. To reduce the slight ability of granite to absorb liquids, the surface should be  treated with dry treat - stain proof that penetrates the surface and fills the microscopic voids between the crystals. . 

unlike other sealants dry treat does not need to be re-applied every 6 months.



All the world-wide great manufacturers of compound stone use the patented Italian Breton technology in their production process.

Our Quartz manufacturers such as Silestone, Cimstone, Caesarstone, Diresco, quarella  and Techinstone  are the the only companys  that use  such a high quantity and and quality of the best quartz available to make a  technologically  superior material consisting of surfaces that's 90% to 95% of raw quartz to produce quartz based compound stone. 
High quality production, a broad product range including surface texture options and customer oriented sales system are the corner stones of our  manufacturing philosophy of unconditional costumer satisfaction that firmly stand behind our products.

You may find cheaper quartz surface alternatives by trawling the internet or ebay type websites but we do not use these products as an inferior product will lead to customer dissatisfaction and the removal and replacement of worktops that would cost us time and money, not to mention the most important factor - customer satisfaction. Remember that our most important asset in business has always been and always will be our customer satisfaction and recommendations from our previous customers.We know that this is how or business succeeds and grows!.
     





Natural granites and quartz surfaces from proven manufacturers, are a much better surface than corian. Because Corian is made primarily from resin and is much softer and more prone to scratches, ware and damage. Our granite and quartz surfaces are made from of pure quartz and sealed quality granites, mineral stones that are naturally quarried and very hard wearing. Granite and quartz glossy elegance and unmatched durability come from their composition of natural products that have proven the test of time. Corian and its derivates are 100% acrylic or polyster resin based products without any stone aggregates. Therefore, Corian and similar solid surfaces lack the natural shine and reflection of natural stones. Since they are less hard wearing , this makes them easily scratched and less resistant to abrasion. In addition to which it's resistance to ware and tear is less than that of granite and quartz alternatives.Our products will last a good deal longer in a working environment.   

Granite and Quartz are both safe for preparing food when properly cleaned.

Granite and quartz need to be cleaned before and after preparing food like any other kitchen surface you may use.
Granite may need slightly more attention in this area due to its nature but with a good sealant and cleaning product this will be no problem. We sell all products that will meet your needs. 
Quartz compact and stain-free structure is not only impervious to liquid but also to moisture and food residues, not allowing for a favourable environment for the bacteria gowth like salmonella or e-coli. All out quartz products have been certified to be the safest surface for food preparation by NSF International Certification from National Sanitation Foundation, an internationally leading certification center, confirming that quartz surfaces used as kitchen countertops fully comply with NSF 51 standards for Food Equipment regulating "safe materials for direct contact with any kind of food”. It is safe to use granite quartz countertops, Once properly cleaned Quartz and Granite worktops for both residential and commercial purposes has been certified to be as safe as stainless steel. Quartz has also been certified by the prestigious independent German Product Analysis and Safety Center LGA GmbH to be free of any bacterial growth after exposure to moulds and resistant bacteria. The same hygiene certification has reported on  all our quartz brands to have an excellent overall cleanibility making it completely safe as to microbiological hygiene after cleaning.


There are several ways to get a fast accurate quotation.....
  • Fill in our on-line quote form  by clicking here
  • You can download a quote form to fax or email back by clicking here 
  • Fax a dimensioned sketch/ worktop plan to 01257 255769 and within 24 hours our estimating and pricing department will return your fax or phone you with your quotation.
  • You can see an example of a worktop plan by clicking here. 
  • Phone us with your requirements and rough sizes for us to give you a "ball park" costing. We would however need to see a final sketch & material selection to give you a firm quote.
  • E-Mail us with an attached plan or your sizes
  • Call into our factory with your plan/ rough drawing. This is probably the best idea as you can view materials in our stock yard, discuss your exact requirements and take samples of the Granite home with you.

 



These are not the final measurements that will be used so you don't have to worry about being exact at this time.99% of customers choose to make use of our templating and fitting service and so exact sizes will be taken by our trained stonemasons/ granite fitters when they visit your home. Please feel free to call us if you are unsure of your sizes or need any help.

To see an example of a worktop drawing for quotation click here 
For details on our template and fitting teams click here 
for template and fitting conditions click here 


Yes, but you will need to remove the existing worktops before we arrive to template and arrange for disconnection and reconnection of services. This can also be arranged by us for a separate fee using a gas safe (corgi registered) plumber.  Please note that the existing worktops may be thicker than the granite which is 30mm with a tolerance of +/-2mm but there are ways around this problem.

For more information on replacing existing worktops please click here 
 



We have done over the years, but our kitchen worktop installations are mostly concentrated in the north of England as  this makes both environmental and economic sense to both ourselves and our customers. We can supply to all areas in the U.K and our prices for the actual worktops are the same if you are 2 or 200 miles away. The only difference in cost would be the extra time and travelling costs for our fitters.This would be detailed separately on your quotation.  



Yes, we are more than happy for you to visit our factory if you wish to view large slabs before fabrication, in fact we actively encourage it. You are welcome at any time, without appointment to visit our factory during normal opening hours.

If you are unable to visit us we would be able to send a sample of the material out to you in the post. If the material is a natural stone such as granite then we can also email a photo of the slab. Obviously this is still nowhere near as good as looking at the slab in person. 

 







Finch Granite
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