We know this process might be daunting, so we have put together a list of some frequently asked questions about marble, granite, porcelain, quartz, tiles, slabs and coutnertops, to help you progress further. If you don’t find the answer you need, please contact us directly.
General Frequently Asked Questions
We recommend granite, quartzite or Phoenix Stone, a quartz based surface, for your kitchen. These materials are highly durable and resistant to staining and scratching. You can even cut directly on the surface – just beware your knives may blunt!
Due to its characteristics, we do not recommend marble in a kitchen that is actively used.
Marble and granite are both natural stones, quarried from the earth. The biggest differences are:
- Porosity: Marble is more porous than granite.
- Stone hardness: Granite is harder than marble, meaning you can cut directly on granite and it won’t scratch.
- Reaction to acids: A marble surface may etch when in contact with acids, whereas granite will be left unaffected.
- Colours: Marble is generally available in a wider range of colours, with more veining
Natural Stone: Our displays represent the tiles and slabs as best as possible. With natural stone, shades and veining may differ so it is vital that a dry lay is done for tiles. If you are worried your slab will vary to the one on display, contact us for a viewing.
Porcelain Tiles: Your porcelain tiles should all be in the same shade range, given that they are all from the same batch. Porcelain tiles are made in extremely high temperatures, which may cause variances in the final product of each batch, but we will always make sure that your tiles are taken from one batch. If there are two batches we need to supply, we will let you know.
Phoenix Stone: Quartz based surfaces are manmade, which means the shade may vary between batches. Our displays are the best possible representation. We will never install materials from different batches.
Ordinary use will not overstress granite and cause cracks, burns or scratches due to its durability. You can set hot pots and pans directly from the oven or stove onto your granite top, just remember that the stone will stay hot for a while.
All stones are porous to some extent, but porosity in granite is very minimal, which means that staining is highly unlikely. However, we recommend that granite is sealed, and that spills are cleaned up timeously.
Granite is a material that will not be affected by normal, everyday use. This is mainly why granite is so highly recommended: it is not only a beautiful stone, available in large variety of colours and patterns, but it should withstand anything short of wilful destruction and high impact blows.
If you wish to do so, yes! Granite is harder than your kitchen knife blades, so while your countertop will not be ruined, we can’t say the same for your knives, so we recommend using a cutting board.
Occasionally seams or joints are unavoidable and necessary due to the size of the chosen slab. We will always discuss joints with you to put them in the best place.
Granite is a low maintenance stone, so as long as it is sealed you can keep up regular wiping down and cleaning of spills.
Contact us for more information about our Stone Wash.
Prices of granite vary, but we have a stone for every pocket! Remember when buying granite you are investing in an almost indestructible, unique, beautiful surface which is likely to last you forever.
The most important thing to do is seal your marble and tend to spills immediately.
Only use pH neutral cleaners – contact us to find out more about our Stone Wash.
Avoid letting acidic liquids or foods onto the surface.
Marble will give you years of elegance, class and style if you take care of it.
Porcelain is less porous than ceramic. It is baked at much higher temperatures which makes the tile harder and more durable than ceramic.
Granite is an extraordinarily hard, durable, resistant, natural stone, available in an array of colours and patterns. This natural stone is ideal for kitchen countertops, bathroom vanities, flooring and wall cladding.
Marble is a softer, slightly more porous material which can be used for bathroom vanities, flooring and wall cladding. Available in a wide array of veining or solid colours, ensuring slabs to be unique. Some marbles are translucent.
Travertine is a stone with similar characteristics to marble but in more earthy colours.
Onyx is a translucent stone with similar characteristics as marble. It is mainly used as a feature piece.
Detailed Differences Between all the Natural Stones
One of the hardest natural stones and almost indestructible (as long as no wilful destruction is taking place). It is resistant to wearing out, heat, scratching, staining, weather and chemicals, in addition to being virtually maintenance free.
Best Use: Granite slabs are ideal for kitchen countertops and bathroom vanities. Granite tiles are also an excellent material for indoor and outdoor flooring, wall cladding and decorative exterior applications.
Colours: There is an array of colours and natural patterns available. Characteristically speckly.
Marble has a timeless style due to its unmatched elegance. Marble is a softer, more porous material which means it is not recommended for kitchen countertops.
Best Use: Marble slabs are great for bathroom vanities, stairs and even as art work. Marble tiles are an elegant flooring solution, for indoors and outdoors. Wall cladding and features are also a popular use for marble slabs. Just remember, dark marble might fade in the sun after many years.
Colours: Available in a variety of solid colours or dramatic veined patterns. Some marble slabs are available in bookmatch.
Travertine is more consistent in colour and generally used for floors. It has similar characteristics to marble and needs to be looked after.
Best Use: Travertine slabs are great for vanities, stairs and even as art work. Travertine tiles are a great flooring solution, for indoors and outdoors, due to the finishes available.
Colours: Earthy tones such as cream, beige and taupe.
Onyx is a truly special and delicate stone with similar characteristics to marble and characteristically translucent.
Best Use: Areas where its beauty can really be exhibited like special features, bars, walls, vanities. Not recommended for kitchen tops.
Colours: Available in a variety of colours including pastel shades of yellow, brown, green, orange and white. Many Onyx slabs are available in bookmatch.
These are manmade surfaces made from natural quartz and resin. This makes quartz-based surfaces extremely durable and non-porous, which makes them stain and scratch resistant.
Phoenix Stone: These engineered-quartz surfaces offer affordability and extreme durability. Made from at least 93% quartz, this non-porous surface is highly resistant to staining caused by acidic household products. The natural quartz within Phoenix Stone makes it extraordinarily hard and resilient, and its virtually maintenance free (apart from daily cleaning). Phoenix Stone is ideal for various applications like kitchen countertops, bathroom vanities and tables.
Best Use: Primarily used in kitchens or bars where the look of marble is wanted, but a durable material is needed. Best used indoors.
Colours: Because these surfaces are manmade, there is a very wide variety of colours and patterns.
When the slabs are cut the edges of the material are left sharp and untouched, so we need to give the slabs a finished, clean look for your job. As per your request, we polish and cut the edges depending on the look you desire.
We have a variety of popular edging choices you can choose from; click here to see what they look like.
At WOMAG we use industry specific words to communicate the various appearances on the surface of our stone. Here is a quick explanation about the finishes we offer.
Polished: A smooth and glossy surface, will have a reflection. Suitable for walls indoor floors.
Honed: A smooth finish with no reflection or shine. Suitable for walls and indoor floors.
Flamed: A rough textured finish suitable for walls and outdoor floors. The is done by subjecting the stone to a high temperature torch flame.
Sandblasted: A rough textured finish suitable for walls and outdoor floors. This is done by applying a high pressure blast of sand to the stone’s surface.
Vein Cut: This method includes cutting slabs or tiles so that the veining of the stone is shown in a linear pattern. (Cutting with the vein.)
Cross Cut: This is the opposite of vein cutting – cutting against the vein. Slabs or tiles are cut to display a wavy or clouded pattern.
Leather or antique: A textured finish suitable for indoors and outdoors. Done by flaming or sandblasting a stone and then brushing it with metal heads.
Filled and Honed (F&H): When small holes in the travertine are filled and given a smooth finish.
You must be very vigilant when choosing certain finishes depending on the location and properties of your material. We have professionals who are always willing to help, so don’t hesitate to give us a call or come to one of our showrooms for further assistance.
Rectified vs Unrectified:
A rectified tile is one that has been cut further after manufacturing to ensure optimum precision and that it is completely square. This allows for the tiles to be laid closer together. This use of tighter joint spacing means that there will be less grout visible.
An unrectified tile has been left to its shape after manufacturing. This will result in an edge that is not as sharp. A wider grout join will be needed. Unrectified tiles are often a more affordable option.
Factors affecting the price of natural stone include rarity of the colour, the transport expenses included when importing from different quarries worldwide, difficulty of working with the material, availability, output, the labour required to extract the stone and breakage occurring while working with materials.
Floor tiles can be used on a wall, but wall tiles are not suitable for floors. Wall tiles are softer than floor tiles and can’t withstand foot traffic.
No. At WOMAG, we give you a quote on the overall job. The amount of material needed is unique to each job, and we will quote you on what is needed.
Since our inception we’ve been acknowledged as innovators who have revolutionised the industry in many ways. We continue our legacy of offering expert advice on globally sourced products which carry our personal guarantee. Exceeding expectations is part of our DNA. And we do so by sourcing and guaranteeing quality flooring and countertop solutions in the latest designs and at the fairest prices.
There is nothing quite like the cycle of transformation which our first love – natural stone – can offer a space. Our team’s commitment to true craftsmanship uses precision and perfection to take this unique product of nature from quarry to fabrication, through to manufacturing, customisation, and finally to installation. Whether the final result is a countertop or feature piece, natural stone and quartz-based surfaces offer an exquisite investment one never regrets.
- Inspiration to create
From inspiration, to purchase to installation, we exist to ensure you are supported throughout your journey with us. By offering inspirational ideas, providing a wide range of the best globally sourced products, offering only the best value, and advising you every step of the way we are committed to bringing your vision for your spaces to life.
At WOMAG we thrive on growing deeply-rooted relationships with our customers, our suppliers and our teams. For nearly 30 years we have been helping our customers create their perfect homes or commercial projects by passionately offering them a world of inspiration, design and style. All of it backed by our service excellence guarantee. We look forward to welcoming you to the WOMAG family.
- Delivering value
We offer premium quality products at surprisingly affordable prices. Whether you are looking for the finest quality marble and other natural stone tiles, bespoke natural stone and engineered-quartz countertops and features, well-priced porcelain tiles or on-trend flooring alternatives, we offer a product and a price that will suit your budget and style.