When it comes time to update your countertops, you might find yourself overwhelmed by all of the options: Quartz? Marble? Colors? Installation requirements? And what in the world is this thing called quartzite?

We get asked these questions daily during appointments and through our social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter) from customers ready to overhaul their current counters. To help you sort through the ins and outs of choosing and installing your new countertops, here are our top FAQs to get you started:

Q: What is the main difference between quartz and quartzite?

A: The main difference between quartz and quartzite is that quartz is a man-made material that is raw quartz with resin that they are able to press together and create a pattern that is consistent from slab to slab. Quartzite, on the other hand, is a natural stone that comes out of the earth and is made from a hardened metamorphic rock. Additionally, because pigment can be added to quartz, the variety of colors available is greater than the typical white to gray scale of quartzite.

Q: What is the best product to seal marble, and how often should I use it?

A: In our experience, the best sealer to use on your marble and natural stone is Stonetech Bulletproof by Laticrete. This product comes with a 15-year warranty, and when it’s applied correctly and maintained with proper use of safe cleaning products, you should never have to reseal your marble again. Stonetech Bulletproof by Laticrete is available for purchase at Triton Stone.

Q: How long do I have to clean wine off my marble before it stains?

A: It goes without saying that any spills on a marble surface or countertop should be cleaned as quickly as possible, but specifically wine we recommend never leaving overnight. For best practices, try to make it a habit before you go to bed to give your countertops a good wipe down just to catch any stains or spills that you may not have seen. The long-standing beauty of your marble—or any material—will thank you.

Q: What is your favorite material for countertops?

A: Our personal favorite material for countertops is, without a doubt, quartzite. We think it’s the most durable natural stone that resembles the look of marble the most closely without the cost. We do feel that for the current trends and aesthetics we see people wanting, quartzite is definitely the best solution and our personal favorite.

Q: What are the current color trends?

A: Standing the test of time, white and gray are definitely still leading the trend for colors. Lately, we have also seen some of the color tones shift a little bit more towards warm gray. It has a little bit of brown to it, and we’re really excited about that. Although we love white and gray, adding some color is always an excellent way to add a pop to your kitchen or bathroom. Another color that we have seen a lot of is navy blue for cabinets. Again, we love the colorful approaches to adding a splash of color rather than your standard, all-white kitchen.

Q: What is Breton technology?

A: Breton technology is the patented, industry-standard technology used to form quartz slabs. If you are considering using quartz slabs for your kitchen, don’t hesitate to ask about Breton technology.

Q: Will Triton Stone be stocking any of Vicostone’s new colors?

A: Triton Stone has partnered with Vicostone as our preferred quartz partner. We have access to Vicostone’s entire line of colors—including their incredible new colors, which we think our customers will love. Visit Vicostone for their whole line of new and tried-and-true quartz colors.

Q: Is there a granite that looks like Carrara marble?

A: We have to say, this is a question that we get asked multiple times a week at many of our locations: “Is there a granite that looks like marble?” Unfortunately, granite cannot be special ordered to look like other colors. Granite is made a different way than marble is formed, so you end up with different colors and patterns than what you would get with marble. That said, we do have similar colors in granite that would mimic what a Carrara marble would look like. If you’re looking for an alternative material, we recommend looking into quartz.

Q: What is our favorite tile trend right now?

A: Hands down, our favorite tile trend right now is the mixed marble mosaics. There are amazing mosaics that are marbles mixed with brass, copper, mirror, and sometimes, metallic. If you ask us, it’s a really cool, fresh way to update your look and stand apart from the crowd.

Q: How do you care for soapstone?

A: Caring for soapstone is certainly a bit different than other materials. Soapstone comes out of the earth as a slightly lighter grayish color. That deep, rich green color that you see comes from using a mineral oil treatment that oxidizes with the colors in the stone and brings out that richness that you want with soapstone. Once you use a mineral oil treatment, you can clean it with any stone-safe cleaner. However, a mineral oil treatment is what you’re going to want to do from time to time to continue to keep the color rich and true.

Q: Do you carry any marbles that won’t etch or stain?

A: Triton Stone was one of the first—and lucky—distributors to be able to carry the Azerocare marble from Antolini in Italy. Azerocare is a process of baking liquid into the stone that Antolini created to treat the slabs. The results? It prevents the stone from etching or staining—period. Antolini even provides a test kit so you can test different liquids such as vinegar, lemon juice or wine, allowing you to see how the stone will resist the typical etching and staining problems that are common with marble.

Q: Pros and cons of marble in the kitchen?

CONS: Marble is porous; therefore it can stain and etch (the result of an acidic material sitting for too long on the stone and “eating away” at the shiny finish)—something likely to happen in a kitchen full of liquids and acids, such as vinegar and lemon juice.

PROS: There is no true duplication of any natural marble slab, so your design is always one-of-a-kind. For us, that makes the extra maintenance steps 100% worth it every time.

That said, with proper maintenance, your counters will resiliently stand the test of time. We always chuckle when we visit Italy to source the latest materials because their streets are lined with marble that has been there for hundreds of years.

Q: Do I need an appointment to come into Triton Stone? Do I need my own designer?

A: You do not need to have an appointment to come into one of our showrooms, nor do you need to be working with a designer. We are proud to offer in-house design consultants that can help you from the beginning of your project to the end—and every step in between. If you want to stop by one of our showrooms, we will coordinate you with one of our design consultants to help you through the whole process.

Q: Do you need a contractor to purchase tile and plumbing from Triton?

A: Not at all! Customers do not need a contractor to purchase tile and/or plumbing from us. If you are interested in learning more about our tile selections and price points, please stop into one of our showrooms today. From there, we can directly quote you on anything you see and guide you towards a beautiful finished product.

Q: Is it possible to inlay precious materials into marble, such as birthstones?

A: Actually, it IS! We frequently have customers inlay precious and decorative stones into marble and mosaic designs. We recently posted a couple of pictures of finished designs on our Instagram, but there are endless options to choose from. We also work with Galleria Marble who can completely customize any design you dream of—even something based off of something as simple as a drawing. From there, you can pick the materials that you want to be inlaid and they will put it together. It’s a truly special creation to have your design that no one else in the world will have. We are thrilled and grateful for our partnership with Galleria Marble.

Q: What is a book-matched slab?

A: Book-matching is when you take two slabs that are cut out of the same bundle so that they mirror each other when placed side by side. This is a gorgeous application to use when you have a space large enough to see the book-matching in all its glory. Some examples of great locations for this include: behind a tub, one wall of a shower, or in the den where the TV goes. There are endless possibilities with book-matching slabs, and the result is always a beautiful, finished look.

Q: Is it possible to keep my countertops and switch out my cabinets?

A: It is possible, BUT it is not likely for two main reasons. The first obstacle would be removing the countertop intact enough to be able to reinstall it later. The second obstacle would be matching your cabinet layout precisely the way that it was before. Unfortunately, you would probably run into issues with measurements, so while we won’t say that it is impossible, we do find it highly difficult to get the best results.

Achieving the look you want in your bathroom or kitchen doesn’t have to be complicated. To get started or to speak with one of our experienced Triton Stone design team members, please contact us at info@tritonstonela.com or contact your local showroom. With a little bit of guidance and top quality materials, your gorgeous new stone countertops are only a few decisions away.