Need Silestone information

Hello group.. Need some collective info if I may :-) We are building a new house and the countertops are Silestone. I had the same in my last house but due to it being a gallery kitchen there were no seams. This kitchen being larger, has one seam to the right of the sink. When they first installed it the seam was obvious, and then it appeared they had sanded it down a bit. Then they came back and worked at it again and they made it smoother but the media of which the seam is made of seems rough and catches your fingernail and dust. My thought is that it should be perfectly smooth like the rest of it.. I am hoping some of you out here that have Silestone may have some with a seam and can share with me what the seam should look like..The builder called me and wants us to look at it again before he pays them as he thought too it was a bit rough..But again I have never had any with a seam before. Thanks a million everyone!!!!
John
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Hello John!
I imagine you've already been to the web and searched for Silestone.... Try asking the question at http://www.europeancompany.com/index.php
I've contracted with them for a Silestone countertop (to be installed 10/11) and they've been quite good at answering my questions. My installation will include 2 seams and the potential visibility of the seams has been dogging me...
Could you post their reply to the newsgroup?
Rick
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Hi Rick, Thanks for the link..I did send them a message but being I am not a potential customer they may not respond but will see. If they do I will post here.. Thanks! John
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On Wed, 6 Oct 2004 12:28:37 -0500, "John"

The seam should be invisible to the eye and touch except under *very* close scrutiny. Ask any respected pro who does solid surfaces and they'd agree.
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: Hello group.. : Need some collective info if I may :-) : We are building a new house and the countertops are Silestone. I had the : same in my last house but due to it being a gallery kitchen there were no : seams. This kitchen being larger, has one seam to the right of the sink. : When they first installed it the seam was obvious, and then it appeared they : had sanded it down a bit. Then they came back and worked at it again and : they made it smoother but the media of which the seam is made of seems rough : and catches your fingernail and dust. My thought is that it should be : perfectly smooth like the rest of it.. I am hoping some of you out here : that have Silestone may have some with a seam and can share with me what the : seam should look like..The builder called me and wants us to look at it : again before he pays them as he thought too it was a bit rough..But again I : have never had any with a seam before. Thanks a million everyone!!!! : : John :
Hello John...
European Co. is out getting the countertop installed right now.... The installer is being quite meticulous with the seams. No more than 1/32" - 3/64" gap and perfectly flush. No small feat seeing as I installed the cabinets myself - LOL
I'm staying out of the way, other than a quick peak now and then.... Nothing is more 'frustrating' than watching someone else do the labor <grin>...
I'll get some pictures posted as soon as possible...
Rick
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I've tried posting 4 pics to alt.binaries - Subject includes 'Silestone'
--
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: I've tried posting 4 pics to alt.binaries - Subject includes 'Silestone' :
or simply go to http://www.nctimes.net/~pray/House.htm
Rick
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Hi Rick, Thanks for posting the pictures, they look nice! :-) Is that silestone "rosa grey"? John
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'Blue Safita'
Rick
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Engineered Stone:
More than 35 years ago the Italian company Breton, that is also known for their fine machinery, invented a new way to make marble blocks from small rocks who were left behind in the quarry. The binder for this new block was cement and the process was done by vibrating the block under vacuum. The first production of these small sized blocks started in 1965. The first vacuum breton plant for the production of large blocks using the mixing and vibration under vacuum process was installed for the Italian company Santa Margherita in 1968.
Later they made blocks from small pieces of marble and granite rock and when a block was hardened they used a gangsaw to cut it into slabs. Calibration and polishing is the same as with marble and granite. The advantage of this new process was that the slabs where stronger and the patterns more even. The finished product was ideal for making floor tiles and when they were polished it was hard to tell that this new product was not a natural stone. In fact it was for more than 90%. Knowing the old terrazzo process you could say that this new product was just one step further using the same natural raw material. When the sorts of granite they used became smaller and harder (and later quartz) they had to invent the slab plant to produce more efficient, it took them more than 24 hours to cut a granite/quartz block . A slab plant makes a slab with a polyester resin (6%) instead of cement and the slab is calibrated and polished after it comes out of the press and the oven. Today the latest Breton system is the Terastone system, look for more details at www.breton.it
Uses for Engineered Stone: Most engineered stone plants (located in more than 30 countries) produce blocks/slabs for floor tiles or wall cladding who are perfect for high traffic areas like airports, shopping malls. For the last 10 years there is a growing market worldwide for engineered stone countertops, vanity tops, buffet counters, shower walls etc. etc. At Erbi in The Netherlands (where I work as a product manager) we were in 1991 the first Dutch company that made kitchen countertops out of this new material. We selected the quartz based material for it's overall good qualities and the ability to produce the best colors that could match with our Dutch kitchens. We still design and develop our own colors together with the people of Caesarstone.
Engineered Stone Types: 1. Quartz based Many of today's engineered stones used for countertops consist of natural quartz. Quartz is very heat resistant, has a very low absorbency and is not sensitive for household acids (only made in slab plants)
2. Granite based Mainly used for tiles and wall cladding (block plants) For countertops it's in combination with quartz (block and slab plants)
3. Marble&Limestone based Mainly used for tiles, wall cladding and vanity tops (block plants). In combination with resin the absorbency is lower but it's still sensitive for acid. Because the absorbency is low it's very dificult to use an impregnator. (block plants)
4. Additives Pigments, glass, mirror, seashell, fossil, metal, minerals, crystal, etc.
Brands of Engineered Stone: 1. Cosentino from Spain and the US known for their Silestone 2. Quarella from Verona known for their tiles worldwide 3. Sdot Yam (Israel) known for their Caesarstone and good colors 4. Santa Margherita near Verona is the oldest company in the business 5. Stone Italiana also from Verona 6. Technistone is a Czech company 7. DuPont USA is known for their Zodiaq 8. etc.
How to Select an Engineered Stone: Think about the application (floor, countertop,shower wall etc.)
Consult an expert before you buy
Use only quartz based material for countertops
Engineered stones with resin have a higher thermal expansion than cement based, this is very important for flooring.
Test the material yourself on cleaning, scratch and acid resistancy and don't expect any wonders from sealers and impregnators because they won't last long or don't work at all. If the material is not good enough than forget it, go for something else.
Testing on scratch and stain resistancy: would recommend to use a waterproof marker stain, clean that with a new piece of Scotch Brite and some mild kitchen polish. It's hard work but you'll see the result and you can check if the material is getting dull. With quartz based material you won't have a problem and you don't need thinner, alcohol or other stuff to do the trick. Test it yourself is the best way to understand the quality of this material. After you've bought it you have to do some cleaning anyway. When you do your test with a pocket knife or with something made from metal don't get confused when you see a metal colored stripe, you can clean it because it's not a scratch.
Finish: Honed is less reflective so it can give peace to an area with a lot of light and it's also not as slippery. It's harder to clean because the surface is rougher and on darker colors you notice grease spots sooner.
Polished is easy to clean but it can't reach the high gloss level of granite. You can only repolish floors, on countertops made from quartz it doesn't give the same result as when it was done in the factory. You can check it with the reflection of the light.
Cost: When you try something different than a bullnose than pricing can be very competitive. For a Bullnose or semi Bullnose you need expensive equipment and it's very difficult to get a good result on dark colors. Colors with some larger quartz are very hard on diamond tools so you pay the price for that. There are a dozen of other options if you have some fantasy.
Basic Cleaning: (for this part I used the Caesarstone website www.caesarstone.com)
The long lasting finish requires only simple and routine care to maintain its good looks. Cleaning with a damp cloth and a little liquid detergent will do the job. Because quartz based engineered stone is impervious to stains, it will withstand exposure to tea, soda, wine, vinegar, lemon juice, and strongly colored spices. Just wipe away and the surface is like new again. To remove grease spots from a honed surface you might need some mild kitchen polish
Stubborn stains or dried spills Any multi-purpose cleaner or detergent can be used on these stains. For extra-stubborn spills, use a green scouring pad to shift the dirt. It won't damage the tough surface. Cleaning liquids like bleach are also good for removing stains that seem to be hard to remove at first.
Spot Removal To remove adhered materials like food, gum, nail polish, dried paint, first scrape away the excess with a sharp blade. If there are any gray metal marks on the surface, one of the regular cleaning agents will remove it. Finally wash and rinse the surface in the normal way.
Polishing quartz based engineered stone is non-porous and will therefore keep its lustrous gloss and ultra-smooth surface without polishing. However occasional home polishing can enhance stain resistance and ease of cleaning. Any granite-polishing agent may be used.
Heat Resistance quartz based engineered stone can tolerate moderately hot temperatures for brief periods of time without warping, discoloring or otherwise being damaged. This makes the surface ideal for kitchens because a tray from the oven or an accidentally misplaced hot pot will not ruin the countertop. However, take care to avoid direct contact for a long time with very hot pots.
Tough - Yes, Indestructible - No As with any surface, quartz based engineered stone can be permanently damaged by exposure to strong chemicals and solvents that undermine its physical properties. Do not use products that contain trichlorethane or methylene chloride, such as paint removers or strippers. Avoid any highly aggressive cleaning agents like oven/grill cleaner that have high alkaline/PH levels.
Should your surface accidentally be exposed to any of these damaging products, rinse immediately with water to neutralize the effect.
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