Granite 101

Stone 101 - Frequently Asked Questions

Through many years of experience in the stone industry MGS by Design has become a leader. Below are a few frequently asked questions. Click on the questions below to view our response.

What sets MGS by Design apart from other vendors?

EXPERIENCE! Dan Nelson, founder of MGS by Design, grew up working in the stone industry. His family has worked in and around the stone quarries of Mexico for three generations. His father was the first to import Travertine to Utah. Dan has been personally involved in every aspect of the stone industry, including supply, fabrication and installation. This is why Dan is known as one of the "Granite Gurus".

SERVICE! We treat every customer like they are the only customer. We are in the business of making people happy. Every project is unique and so is every person. Our customers quickly become our friends because of the value we place on thier satisfaction.

VERSATILITY! When you combine our knowledge, our products, and our craftsmanship then you get a stone company like no other. Come see us and we are sure to have something for you!

What kind of warranty does MGS by Design offer on its products?

An unmatched warranty of 25 years. If we are involved in your project, then we stay involved for 25 years. Look for detailed explanation in our warranty section.

Does MGS by Design offer competitive pricing?

Of course! We have a unique system for estimating costs for each project. We try to utilize your material in the most cost efficient way possible. We ensure that you pay for the materials you need, no more and no less. When you receive a final estimate there are no hidden charges. Your price is the final price for your stone, your fabrication and your installation.

What do I need to consider when buying a granite countertop?

Granite is a natural stone and nothing can duplicate its beauty or match its durability. It is the most practical surface available because it is heat and scratch resistant. Not only is granite practical, but it is very versatile in the design field. It comes in various colors and structural compositions. You are sure to find a color to match your taste. We stock a number of the most popular colors, and we buy from six different suppliers/slab yards across the state. All stones are not exactly the same; each bundle produces unique slabs. This is the best part about choosing your countertops, individuality!

How is granite formed?

Granite is an igneous rock of visible crystalline formation and texture. It is composed primarily of feldspar, quartz, and mica. It starts off as liquid magma deep within the earth's core where it is cooled and compressed over millions of years under tons of pressure. It is then quarried, cut and polished. After that process it can be applied in various ways like kitchen countertops, vanity tops, fireplace surrounds as well as Jacuzzi surrounds and other custom designs. From the middle of the earth to the middle of your kitchen, the entire process is truly amazing. Click here to view quarry photos

Can I cut on my granite?

Only if you want to ruin your good knives. Granite is harder than your knife blades and will dull them very quickly if you use the countertop as a cutting surface. Always cut and chop on a wooden or plastic cutting board.

Can I set a hot pot on my granite?

Granite is formed by extreme heat and pressure combined beneath the earth's crust. It can not be affected by heat from a cook top or frying pan.

Can granite chip?

Usually not! We have seen some rare case but most are from abnormal abuse with a hammer or impact tool. If a chip does occur it can be filled with a granite dust and epoxy mixture and will be virtually unnoticable.

What is the difference between Granite, Marble and Travertine?

In simple terms, Granite is the most durable of the three surfaces. 99% of the kitchens that we produce are Granite. Marble and Travertine are much better suited to areas like bathrooms. These two stones have completley different looks but both are very beautiful. All three materials are comparable in price.

What is your normal turn around time for my countertops?

Our standard turn around time is 10 working days from your countertop templates. Our schedule is the key to our business. Communicating your dates as far ahead as possible generally helps a project move more quickly. There are certain requirements that a customer must meet to have a job completed. To get an estimate for your project, fill out our online estimate form and our sales team will provide you with a free estimate.

The solid surface guys told me granite is porous, is this true?

Yes, of course it is. But it is not a problem like they lead you to believe. All stone is porous, some more than others, but those pores can be sealed. When they are sealed properly they will not accept other substances. Keep in mind, that if something can go in, then it also can come out. Stains can happen, but most of the time they are a result of a granite not being sealed or an individual using the countertop abnormally. For example: a grape juice spill left overnight on a light stone will most likely stain, but how many of us leave spills on our countertops overnight? As long as the granite is sealed properly and you remove liquids and foods in a timely manner, then you should be fine. If you are still concerned then a local company called the Real Seal of Utah will profesionally seal your granite and give you a 15 year warranty against stains, etc. It is an incredible offer.

Is sealing a pain or can I do it my self?

If you can clean a window then you can seal a countertop. We carry a line of stone sealer or you can obtain some at a local home improvement store. Read the instructions for details, but basically you wipe the sealer on and then wipe it off after a short amount of time. You can do this as often as you'd like, with a minimum of at least once every year.

How is granite priced?

Granite is broken into groups. Each group represents a price category only. The groups are determined by how avaliable a stone is in the market, so a group 1 granite is more avaliable than a group 2 granite. group 1 is the starting point for granite and they go all the way to a group 5. Don't let the # 1 scare you, it has nothing to do with the quality of the stone. Most group 1 granite is more durable than other groups. It does not matter to us what group you choose your stone from, we will fabricate it the same way. However, the group of stone you select will have a direct reflection on your per square foot cost.

What is the typical sq. ft. cost for granite?

Your cost per square foot depends on the price of the stone that you select and the detail that you request for the project. A good approach to estimating your cost is take your square footage and times it by $55. This is based on a standard bid (group 1, mitered apron edge, 1 undermount sink cut out, and 4" backsplash). Your final cost also depends on the number of slabs neccessary to complete a project. If you know that you are looking at a group 2 granite then times your footage by $65. It does not take long for an associate to give you an exact bid. The more information we can get about your project, the easier it will be for us to provide you with what you need.

How Does natural stone compare to solid surface prices?

If you are looking at natural stone vs. solid surfaces then you will most likely be suprised. If you are looking at a lower end solid surface, do yourself a favor and get a bid for granite - you may be surprised at how affordable it can be.