Learning Center

Decorative Line

Below you will find a list of some of our most commonly asked questions by customers. Can't find the answer to your question? Feel free to contact us, we are always ready to assist you with any questions you may have in mind.

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What is a Fabricator?

A stone fabricator is responsible for the cutting, craftsmanship and installation of the natural stone slabs to meet the needs of your project. As the stone supplier, MARVA works directly with your fabricator to provide pricing and material for your stone selection.


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What are the different types of finishes available?

Polished: Most common; mirror gloss with extraordinary reflections.

Honed: Dull sheen without reflections; finish is achieved by abrasive polishing heads.

Leathered: Similar to an Antique finish, but the sharper edges have been softened through additional brush polishing; helps to create a more warm and inviting feel to the stone.

Caressed: Additional steps added to the leathering process to create a much brighter color tone and gloss look to the textured stone.

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Do I need to make an appointment?

No appointment is necessary for an initial consultation. We encourage you to visit one of our four showrooms, and speak with our trained professionals who can help you explore your options and offer guidance to determine which natural stone product is best for you.  If your project requires special attention our Galleria Consultants are happy to help you one on one. It is quick and easy to make an appointment and we can often accommodate any appointment on the same day or next day.  Please call your local MARVA showroom for assistance in scheduling an appointment.

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What are the costs?

MARVA is a wholesale Distributor who provides pricing directly to Fabricators only. Pricing can vary depending on the stone chosen, the amount needed for the job, special instructions, limiting seams, extra material to account for exotic patterns, and other various aspects of the project. Once you have selected your material at MARVA, we will then work directly with your Fabricator who will then be able to provide you with your pricing.

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How long does the purchasing process take?

There is no set timeframe with regard to the Customer Purchasing Lifecycle as every homeowner presents with a different set of circumstances based on their needs. The fabricator actually drives that purchasing process based on installation timelines.

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What is NSF Certification?

NSF International helps protect consumers by certifying products and writing standards for food, water, air and consumer goods. As an independent, not-for-profit organization, their ongoing public health commitment (mission) is to encourage everyone to live safer. Cambria Quartz and Neolith Sintered Compact Surface Panels are two product lines that MARVA carries that have this certification.

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What is granite?

Granite is possibly the most common igneous rock type known to the general public. Granite, which is named for its "granular" or phaneritic texture, has crystals that tend to be easily seen, although they are generally small. It is a rock that has been used for centuries for many different purposes such as building material.

Granite’s durability, beauty and affordability make it a preferred choice of stone over most others. The colors and patterns vary from stone to stone. Your choice is original because no two countertops are alike. Next to diamonds, there is nothing harder than granite.

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Where can I use granite?

Granite countertops are today’s luxury trend. Granite can also be used for many other interior applications such as flooring, shower walls, fireplace surrounds, vanity tops, furniture and table tops, and bar tops.

Granite is also suitable for exterior use; however, additional complications can arise depending on the minerals in the stone and application. Since each stone is different, please ask one of our team members to check with our experts to determine if your desired stone and application is truly suitable for exterior use.

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How do I care for my granite countertops?

Granite, like most other porous natural stones, needs to be sealed on a regular basis. Due to their porosity, many naturals stones are susceptible to staining and sealing them on a regular basis greatly reduces the chances of stains.

Cleaning granite can be done simply with mild soap and water. Common name brand cleaners that state “natural stone” as one of their applications are also acceptable. Bleach and heavy duty cleaners are not recommended and can damage the granite.

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Are granite countertops heat, stain, and scratch resistant?

In most homes, the kitchen is the central location for entertaining, so it’s important to protect the  integrity of your countertops and keep them beautiful for years to come. Granite countertops are resistant to heat and provide an ideal surface as your kitchen countertops. Yes, you can take a hot pot off the stove and put it directly on your granite countertops; however, we recommend using trivets or hot pads. It is possible for granite (or any stone or quartz) to suffer "thermal shock" and crack, but rare. Granite is a very durable, and handles well against scratches and daily wear and tear. It proves to be a surface that can maintain its strength over time.

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What is marble?

Marble is a metamorphic rock formed when limestone is exposed to high temperatures and pressures. Marble forms under such conditions because the calcite forming the limestone recrystallised forming a denser rock consisting of calcite crystals. The variety of colors exhibited by marble are a consequence of minor amounts of impurities being incorporated with the calcite during metamorphism.

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Where can I use marble?

Marble can be used for kitchen countertops, flooring, bathroom vanity tops, shower walls, fireplace surrounds, table tops, and several other miscellaneous applications. MARVA never fully recommends the use of marble as kitchen countertops due to its increased ability to stain and scratch as a softer natural stone. However, if the end user is made aware of the extra precautions that need to be taken to protect your stone, then your marble countertops will meet all the desired expectations.

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How do I care for my marble countertop?

Marble, like most other porous natural stones, needs to be sealed on a regular basis.  Due to their porosity, many naturals stones are susceptible to staining and sealing them on a regular basis greatly reduces the chances of stains.

Cleaning marble can be done simply with mild soap and water.  Common name brand cleaners that state “natural stone” as one of their applications are also acceptable.  Bleach and heavy duty cleaners are not recommended and can damage the marble.


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Can marble be damaged?

Yes, like any product, marble can be damaged if not properly cared for or cleaned. Marble is typically softer than granite or quartz countertops, and if installed in an area with a great deal of regular use or high traffic, then there is a greater chance of damaging this softer stone.

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Can you scratch marble?

Yes, marble can be scratched or etched. Some marbles are more durable than others, but overall the material is very susceptible to scratches, etching and chipping.

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Does marble stain?

Yes, marble is a porous stone. Any stone that is porous will absorb liquid over time. Regular sealing and quickly cleaning any spills will limit the probability of staining.

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What are the applications for soapstone?

Soapstone actually has many more applications than we often think about because of its overall characteristics. Soapstone can be used for countertops, sinks, bar tops, bathtub surrounds, fireplace surrounds, flooring, and even unconventional things like cookware.

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Can you scratch soapstone?

Yes, it is one of the softest stone types; however, that is a part of its charm. Due to its softer property, this allows soapstone to have a “vintage” look. You will need to lightly use sandpaper to take out minor scratches and then reapply mineral oil or wax to protect and maintain the appearance of the stone. Deeper scratches, however, cannot be removed.

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How do you remove a stain from soapstone?

This is a common misconception. You cannot actually remove a stain from soapstone, but by reapplying mineral oil or wax (depending on which you decided to treat your soapstone with), you can actually blend in the stain where it is no longer visible. However, if you stain soapstone with a harsh chemical, such as bleach,  it is very unlikely that even reapplying oil will blend in the stain.

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What is soapstone?

Soapstone is a natural stone that consists mainly of talc and chlorite. This is a very dense stone—weighing an average of 20 lbs. per square foot! It is a nonporous stone and will not absorb liquids and stains like other natural stones will. Soapstone is also heat resistant. Setting a hot pot on your soapstone counter top won't scorch it or burn it. In fact, some cookware is made of soapstone. If you put in a soapstone counter top, don't cut on it. Soapstone is soft. It's so soft it can be scratched with a fingernail. Over time, the edges will soften and you'll start to see small nicks, scratches, and indentations. If you like the aged antique look, the patina of this natural stone might be perfect for you. It will age gradually and gracefully.

Soapstone is best known for it's heat retention. It is used extensively for fireplace wood stoves, masonry fireplaces, fireplace liners, and pizza ovens. It's also used for sinks, countertops, island tops, chess sets, sills, flooring, and shower stalls.

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What is onyx?

This exotic natural stone is about luxury and glamour. Although onyx is a form of quartz, it is a softer, more fragile material—Great care is needed to maintain the natural beauty of this stone. Onyx marble is most often used as a fireplace surrounds, bar tops, walls or small islands because it transmits light, and is best placed where it wont be used or abused on a day-to-day basis.

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What is limestone?

Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of minerals and crystal forms. It is very common in architecture and frequently used in buildings and sculptures. Limestone is readily available and relatively easy to cut into blocks or more elaborate carving. It is also long-lasting and stands up well to exposure. However, it is a very heavy material, making it impractical for tall buildings, and relatively expensive as a building material.

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What is travertine?

Travertine is a form of limestone that is characterized by pitted holes and troughs in its surface, as well as its relative softness compared to other natural stones. Although the hardness varies, it will still scratch. It's not as soft as soapstone but it can't compete with the hardness of granite. It is sometimes known as travertine limestone or travertine marble; these are the same stone, although travertine is classified properly as a type of limestone, not marble.

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What is Neolith?

NEOLITH is the largest, most high-tech Sintered Compact Surface, which offers the most efficient solutions for the most demanding architectural projects, as well as an extensive combination of colors and finishes, making it a designer product that can be used in numerous applications for interiors, exteriors and furnishings.

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What is Cambria?

Cambria is pure natural quartz. Variation in the natural stone (quartz) color, pattern, size, shape and shade are inherent and unique characteristics to be expected with this product. This does not affect the product performance in any manner. Cambria is durable and more resistant to surface damage than other stone. However, all stone can be damaged by force and no stone is chip-proof. Objects hitting edges particularly at sinks or dishwashers may cause chips. Though a minor knife slip will dull the knife and not harm Cambria, no stone surface is scratch-proof. Surface markings are more visible on monotone colors than multi-colored surfaces. Cambria is not a seamless product, seams are visible. Therefore, the use of a hot pad or trivet is always recommended to prevent heating the product.

Cambria is not a structural support material. 2- cm and 3-cm Cambria thicknesses are for countertops and must be supported. 1-cm thicknesses are for surface finishes such as walls, tub and shower surrounds and fireplaces; horizontal applications such as a tub deck must be completely supported as well. Semi-polished or Honed finishes (1-cm) will not shine.

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