Granite is an igneous rock, the end product of the underground cooling of magma. Extremely tough and durable, its composed of three main minerals in varying quantities and colours, which give each type of granite its distinctive look. Crystalline in nature, those crystals can be so fine as to be virtually indistinguishable like in Absolute Black, or big enough to make a stone super-distinctive , like Baltic Brown.
There are two general looks to granite, those that are monolithic, and those that give the appearance of veining. The former are very consistent in look, the latter full of the appearance of swirling movement. Colours range from total black to whiteish.
Limestone is commonly beige in colour with variations from grey to yellow, it has a fine grain and because of its sedimentary origin it is not unusual to find small fossilised shells in it. Because it’s composed mainly of crystalline calcium carbonate, it reacts with acids.
Limestone is mostly composed of skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral and molluscs, although chemically precipitated limestone’s also occur. When subjected to intense heat and pressure while underground, it metamorphoses into marble.
Marble is a granular aggregate of crystals of calcite and sometimes dolomite, there is a huge variety of colours and characteristics depending on the quarry locations and country of origin. All marble was originally limestone and pure white in colour, the variations in the stone features are caused by the different sediments in the original deposits. Marble can be divided into 3 groups veined, not veined and breccias. The latter is different due to ovular inclusions in a basically uniform material.
While marble, granite and limestone are the main three stone types that are relevant here, there are others;
SANDSTONE: This is, like limestone, a sedimentary rock, but instead of being composed of calcium carbonate, it’s composed of sand-sized grains of quartz or feldspar. Like sand, sandstone may be any colour, but the most common colours are tan, brown, yellow, red, grey, pink, white, and black. Sandstone usually allows percolation of water and other fluids and are porous enough to store large quantities.
QUARTZITE: As marble is a changed limestone, quartzite is a changed sandstone. When sandstone is cemented to quartzite, the individual quartz grains recrystallise along with the former cementing material to form an interlocking mosaic of quartz crystals. Most or all of the original texture and sedimentary structures of the sandstone are erased by the metamorphism. A tough rock, it’s also water and acid resistant.
SLATE: is a metamorphic rock also, this time from clay or volcanic ash. The rock reforms in a foliated form, heavily layered and very fine, making its use for roofing tiles possible. Slate is frequently grey in colour, especially when seen, en-masse, covering roofs. However, slate occurs in a variety of colours even from a single locality; for example, slate from North Wales can be found in many shades of grey, from pale to dark, and may also be purple, green or cyan.
CONGLOMERATE: is a coarse grained rock composed of gravel sized particles (>2 mm) that are typically held together by a finer grained matrix. True conglomerates are made up of rounded particles, while Breccias are angular. Breccias are often formed violently, flash-floods in deserts, undersea landslides, sinkholes etc.
TRAVERTINE: is a form of limestone deposited by mineral springs, especially hot springs. Travertine often has a fibrous or concentric appearance and exists in white, tan, cream-coloured, and even rusty varieties. It is formed by a process of rapid precipitation of calcium carbonate, often at the mouth of a hot spring or in a limestone cave. In the latter, it can form stalactites and stalagmites. It is full of holes that are often filled with cement or resin when used in construction.
Yes they do, not just between different types of stone, but a single slab of marble can exhibit dramatic changes in colour and feature. Most granite is quite consistent and a worktop will change very little, if at all. Limestone and sandstone are prone to great changes in colour and shade.
Marble has a huge range of variation. Colour can change subtly or dramatically in a single slab, veining can change colour, shape and direction. Different parts of a quarry, even moving along the rock face just a few metres can provoke huge changes.
Here at Sussex Stone & Ceramic, we go to great lengths to accommodate your wishes and give you the best quality end result. That comes from our wide supplier base and deep levels of expertise.
Engineered stone is a composite material made of crushed stone bound together by an adhesive, (most commonly polymer resin, with some newer versions using cement mix). The two common stones used in producing these products are marble and quartz. The application of these products depends on the original stone used.
For engineered marbles the most common application is indoor flooring and walls, while the quartz based product is used primarily for kitchen countertops. Unlike terrazzo, the material is factory made in either blocks or slabs using giant presses capable of imparting many thousands of tons of pressure.
Yes we do, samples can either be viewed at our showroom where we have large pieces on display or we can send them direct to you home address upon request, you can also arrange to visit the factory site to view our slabs if you need to see a larger panel before deciding.
Because engineered quartz is a manufactured product its size is very consistent and so we can safely say that 3-metre long worktops are achievable.
Most granite’s and marble’s are also often available in lengths up to 3m, but not all, so if you have long units let us know and we can advise on suitable selections.
A template is a two-dimensional replica of the area of your required granite worktops. We take precise measurements of the kitchen units and cut outs for hobs and sinks, all of the shaping and overhang required. Our templates will formed either in correx plastic, or using an advanced digital laser templating machine.
This is then used by us to manufacture the stone work tops, ensuring accurate cutting and finishing on our state-of-the-art CNC machines.
New units should be adequate providing they’re constructed to manufacturer’s instructions, they may still require some extra batons as with older cabinets, however our representative will be happy to advise you on the day they visit to template.
We try to minimise the joints and put them in practical places, the joints have a small gap (2-3 mm) which is then flushed filled with a resin to make a waterproof seal. The joins will be visible but will be done in such a way they are unobtrusive.
Because of the weight of this product it is normally difficult to move once in position, so a small amount of special adhesive is enough to fix them securely.
Absolutely not!! A vast array of shapes can be catered for. Want a round table? No problem. Curved corners, ‘U’-shaped layouts, different shaped sinks etc. Sussex Stone & Ceramic have advanced waterjet-cutting capabilities, and some of the finest CNC stone processors in the industry.
Feel free to contact us if you have any unusual requests.
All stone is porous or permeable to one degree or another. Granite and Quartz are far less so than marble and particularly, limestone, but our recommendation stays the same for all. Even if your worktop has had a sealer installed, spillages should be cleaned up as soon as possible. No material is totally impervious to staining and marking in one form or another, and the longer spillages are left, the greater the potential for issues.
A sealer should be applied to most materials, which will greatly slow any penetration of the stone surface and give you that extra time to clean it up. It’s a relatively cheap thing to add, and can be reapplied at later dates to keep things strong and healthy with minimal effort. Call us for more advice.
No material, no matter the claim, is totally chip and scratch resistant. However, granite and quartz are highly resistant to it and make fine work surfaces. Marble and limestone generally are much easier to damage in day to day use. Always use a chopping board, we can even make you a matching one when you order your worktops, as continued chopping with modern steel cutlery on any surface will eventually degrade its look.
If your worktop is chipped or scratched it’s often possible to repair with some stone-formulated resin. This can be coloured to match closely in most circumstances, but the nature of the stone and the damage will have a bearing on how unobtrusive the finished repair is. It usually looks fine upon completion.
Again, granite and quartz are highly resistant to heat shock, but we’d have to question why you would want to. A hot-pad stand would reduce the chance of spillage and impact damage for remarkably little cost and inconvenience. So yes, you can and damage would be unlikely, but we’d recommend otherwise.
Unlike most of our competition, we’re fully active in the commercial market. We undertake multiple high-end residential projects at any one time, including some of the most prestigious addresses in London like the 85 apartment Star & Garter by Richmond Park.
The quality we have to provide for these £30m+ residences is the same you’ll receive for your own kitchen, fabricated on the same machinery by the same staff. Guaranteed.
Absolutely we do. Not only do we undertake every part of the work, we do so with well trained and talented staff, all using state-of-the-art machinery. We have a large factory unit in Framfield just a couple of miles outside of Uckfield.
We source our natural stone from all over the world, and use only the very best engineered quartz for your needs.
Yes we do, it’s located at Unit 1, Croft Works, Diplocks Industrial Estate, Hailsham, BN27 3JF – please come and visit us we are open 6 days a week.
It displays a wide range of different engineered and natural stones, as well as our fireplace designs. Our staff can discuss your requirements from worktops through to underfloor heating, or you’re just free to browse.
For day to day maintenance, usually nothing more than a soft cloth soaked in warm water with a little neutral detergent in it is all that’s required. Dry it off with a clean soft cloth or even paper kitchen towel.
Limescale can be removed with a number of special stone cleaners. Nearly every supermarket chain in the UK usually keeps a few of these in stock. Don’t scrub surfaces with coarse wire wool. Avoid all acids, bleaches and aggressive household cleaners.