Superwhite quartzite sample etched!

ShareherFebruary 5, 2012

I'm back to square one for my island slab. We found a great slab of superwhite quartzite and took home a sample this weekend. I left a lemon slice on the stone overnight and voila! There is a very obvious etch. I'm so bummed. Have others had this experience? I thought the whole point of quartzite was that it didn't etch. We also liked the luce di luna, but the stone yard does not want to give us a piece because it is pricy and he doesn't want to break the stone.

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beekeeperswife

rats

I have a sample of it too right now.

Let me get out the lemons. Although, I'm not going to worry about ever letting one sit on it overnight. Unless the party gets THAT wild. I'm going to try just splashing it on and then wiping it up.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 3:18PM
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Shareher

Agreed. I'm going to try for just a minute or two and see how it turns out. Let me know about your test.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 3:20PM
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beekeeperswife

I don't have any lemons. Just a billion limes.

So, I've squished lime juice on it...waited a little bit, wiped up. Perfect.

Now I have a 1/2 lime just resting on it face down.

My sample isn't sealed, but I thought I'd test it anyway on the staining:

I have that red hot sauce, sirachi sauce
A pickle
yellow mustard
pool of white vinegar
Texas Pete's sauce
and a Pickled beet.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 3:51PM
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lavender_lass

Bee- What if you leave the lime juice, overnight? Just to be on the safe side.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 4:04PM
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MichelleDT

Can't wait to see the results - this is the same stone we are looking at.

Fingers crossed!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 4:05PM
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Shareher

My sample doesn't really look like the slab I am considering so now I'm wondering if the yard gave me a sample of marble not the white quartzite. Probably it's wishful thinking.

I emailed the stone yard guy to check.

I also tried a 1 minute, three minute, and 10 minute test. The one minute looked fine, but the three and 10 minute left areas of decreased sheen. Much less noticeable than the big white spots, but still there.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 5:00PM
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remodelfla

is the sample sealed?

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 5:02PM
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Shareher

Mine is not--will that change the etching? I thought that sealing would prevent staining but wasn't aware that it would protect from etching.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 5:06PM
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erinct

Shareher . . . I hope it turns out to be marble. We've had SuperWhite for a little while now and it's been bulletproof! We tested a lot of stuff including red wine and lemon on a corner that broke off and it didn't etch or stain at all. It's a beautiful stone so I hope it works out for you. And beekeeperswife that sample you have is stunning!!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 5:08PM
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vickevette

I had also been considering quartzite after reading here that it would not etch like marble. I took home a sample of the one called "Fantasy Brown," and the same thing happened with lemon left overnight--a very noticeable etch, just like marble. My stoneyard rep said Fantasy Brown is "calcite based" same as marble. So I am wondering the same thing, is it really a quartzite--and if so, why bother with quartzite over marble?

Maybe one of the stone experts out there can give some guidance on what constitutes a "true" quartzite, and if its chemical make-up fosters etching, or if some of the stones commonly called quartzite are really marbles.

Seems like there are so many people on this forum who want the look of marble, who go for quartzite to avoid the issues with marble, but why not just get the marble if quartzite etches too?

I will note that with the Fantasy Brown sample, lemon juice left a minute or two did not etch, unlike marble, where the etching is instantaneous.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 6:30PM
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breezygirl

One of the many things I've learned here is that not every stone is identical to others of the same variety. Just because Erin's SW didn't etch, doesn't mean that your SW won't. That's why it's advisable to get a sample of the slabs you're interested in and do your own testing. (Assuming you CAN get a sample. Some of the stone yards in my area wouldn't give samples of the more expensive stones either.)

Another thing I've learned? Yards call stones by whatever they want. In one yard SW may be quartzite or granite or marble or...... True geologic classifications be da@mned. Remember, these people aren't geologists.

Sealing won't prevent etching, but should minimize staining. My Carrara, sealed both by the fabricator and by me, has a couple of faint stains. I have more than a few little etches.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 7:02PM
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sochi

My luce di luna quartzite doesn't stain or etch at all. It is sealed of course. There have been many threads where people have tested quartzite and it etched, many others like me with no problems. I can't explain it, except perhaps mis-identification of stones. I suggest not writing off an entire class of stone (i.e. quartzite), but if the sample you have etches, don't do it (if you don't want to deal with etching). But don't let that stop you from trying another kind of quartzite (as so many of us have had no problems with etching).

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 7:30PM
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lavender_lass

Breezy- How are you doing with the etches and stains? Are they bothering you or are you okay with 'the process'? I'd like to know, as I'm still thinking about a little marble in the kitchen...and I hope I'm laid back enough to be 'cool' with patina :)

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 7:31PM
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bodhi

I wrote a bit about this issue in a recent post I started showing all the Super White slabs I recently viewed. There's a very wide range of responses when it comes to this stone and I've come to believe that it does indeed contain calcium sometimes and some of this super white will indeed etch. It seems to etch much less than marble, and maybe it won't at all if you get a good piece of it. But there are enough people out there that have had it etch to convince me there is a decent chance this stone will etch some if you put it in your kitchen. If that bothers you, then Super White might not be the best stone for your kitchen.

One place I was at actually swore to me this stone was a very hard marble. He said they recently had a big debate over this stone and what it should be called and classified as. This guy seemed pretty knowledgeable and he said he actually put it in his own kitchen. He said it can etch but not nearly as easily as a normal marble. He said he left coffee stain on his counter over night and it didn't even stain at all so he was pretty convinced it was durable. I forget if he said his had etched at all though.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 7:52PM
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lisa0527

I had a long talk with one of the salesmen at a local stone yard about quartzite. They had some White Princess that they were only selling honed and leathered...because it both stained and etched despite sealing twice. They've had other batches of the same stone that were absolutely bullet proof...no etching and no staining. So I can only echo what others have said...every slab/batch is unique and needs to be tested.
We went with Madre Perola quartzite in a polished finish. 5 weeks and no staining or etching yet. And definitely not being careful with it.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 1:06AM
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mailfox7

Anyone have experience with BKF etching quartzite? Lemons, ketchup, hot sauce, mustard, red wine, vinegar, coffee, oil, even bleach not a problem, but BKF, yikes!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 6:58AM
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beekeeperswife

I'm back.

First let me say this is a piece of Superwhite from a fabricator that also has a tile showroom. We popped in there on Saturday just to look around. I have not used this fabricator and will not be using this fabricator. But they had samples of SW, so I asked for a piece.

Nothing stained my sample. They told me it was not sealed. But I'm not sure I 100% believe that, since the fabricator I have used previously had told me their slabs come in to them with some sealer already on them, and they just add sealer when they are fabrircated and delivered.

Now, onto the etching.

I did leave the stuff on the piece for over an hour, about 1.5 hrs. As I said, no staining. There was a slight etch from the lime and the vinegar. Only visible if you squatted down to see it at the right angle with daylight behind it. The kitchen lights didn't allow it to be seen very well.

Next was to leave the lime on overnight..."Wow, that was quite a margarita party last night....I forgot to clean up before passing out"....kinda scenario.

Yep, it left a visible etch. My world? This isn't happening.

Here's a photo:

I think I'll still go for this stone. When I tested my marble piece, all that had to happen was a splash of lemon juice etched it. This seems like a splash won't really hurt it as long as you clean up.

Red wine. Drats. I didn't try it. I will and I'll report back.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 8:10AM
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Shareher

Thanks for the follow-up. I also compared with a piece of marble and agree that the marble etched instantly while the superwhite did not. But the SW had an etch mark at 3 minutes, albeit quite faint. I don't think in my real life that I will leave lemons or limes out on my counters overnight, but there could be splashes that I miss when I'm wiping up. I'm disappointed that this stone etches. It might not be a deal breaker, but I'm going to investigate the luce di luna. I'll post again if I get a reply from the stone yard.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 9:11AM
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cjc123

I have shared before that I have Super White. I have had an etch here and there happen. But a month later the spots vanished. I NEVER would Not wipe down the counters after entertaining or for that matter living our daily life in the kitchen. It was not a chore to get the "men/boy's" of my family to be a bit more careful for example mixing salad dressing over the sink, cutting board or dish towel. After spending all this money on the remodel I expect a little more care to be taken. :) Kind of like taking your shoes off at the door, making your bed when a guest in a house. That being said, I wouldn't recommend it to a few friends/family because I know how they live - just like I would HIGHLY recommend it to others that I know. Every fit is personal But I LOVE my SW!!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 9:35AM
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roarah

Eight years ago when I shopped for a marble substitute, I found the more it looked like marble the more it also acted like marble. The greyer quartzites etched less tho than the whiter ones. Good luck on your search. There is no perfect marble substitutes....

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 9:42AM
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thrilledtobuild

Our Super White etches. The lemon-left-overnight test left an etch like Bee's above. And Barkeeper's Friend? It's no friend to my stone!! It looked pretty gnarly. I will say that most acids left little to no etching if wiped off in the 1 to 3 minute range (BKF etches instantly). By the way, the stone sample I used for testing was sealed and was a piece off of our actual slabs.

In the end, the allure of the SW was too strong. We installed polished SW in the kids' baths, the butler's pantry, the mudroom, and the basement wet bar. As for the kitchen, we had them hone those slabs so the etching will be less noticeable. We don't do well babying things, so I know there will be etching. And I honestly think I like the honed better! It is so beautifully soft I can't stop touching it. If I'd known how good the honed was going to look, I may have had all of it honed!!

Good luck with your decision! I agonized over it, and I'm happy we went with the SW.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 10:06AM
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beekeeperswife

I tried the BKF on the sample. YIKES!

First off, I have no idea why anyone is using that on any counter! Really. It made the etch rougher to the touch, and it also etched the surrounding area.

I'm thinking about testing that comet and blue side of the sponge theory that is suggested for marble.

What the heck....it's a sample piece. They expect us to do this right?

I'll be setting a small fire on it later...lighter fluide with a match! lol

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 10:28AM
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Debbi Branka

What is BKF? And Thrilledtobuild - we have 3 pieces of marble that we are testing. 2 polished and 1 honed. We are going with the honed, but I keep telling my husband that it feels like my newborn grandson's skin! It's so soft and "warm" I just can't stop rubbing it!

1 Like    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 10:30AM
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beekeeperswife

barkeepersfriend, not to be confused with BKW --Beekeeperswife.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 10:42AM
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Shareher

The stone yard said that the SW isn't true quartzite. It's actually a mixture of quartzite and dolomite. Sounds like the dolomite component etches.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 10:49AM
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Debbi Branka

Thanks for the BKF/BKW info!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 10:56AM
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cloud_swift

Quartzite is metamorphized sandstone. Therefore it is mainly composed of quartz (silcon-oxygen tetrahedra) - a mineral that doesn't etch. Marble is metamorphized limestone (calcium carbonate). Both minerals are whitish and the stones get colors from the impurities mixed in.

Quartz is very hard and should only be scratched by things like diamonds. It is harder than granite. Marble is soft (for a rock) - softer than steel. So if you want to know if a sample was marble mislabeled as quartzite, you could test for hardness. If a steel knife can scratch it it's not quartzite.

Nature doesn't have to align itself to strict categories so these stones that are etching might be mostly quartz but have some calcium-based mineral mixed in. If so, it might still be a hard stone so it wouldn't get the wear patina of scratches that a marble might but could get etch marks.

Whether quartzite is porous or not depends on how it metamorphized - did all the little pores get filled in by the process of heat and pressure that pushed the sand grains together. It can vary a lot. Our quartzite is low porosity, but I've read of others that are very porous. Sealing fills in pores so that isn't a big deal.

Sealing doesn't change the surface of a stone so it doesn't stop etching. It is just filling in the pores. If the type of stone can be dissolved by acid, that will still happen.

Our quartzite (which is one of the colorful ones with only small white areas and streaks) doesn't etch and we don't baby it. It gets exposed to a lot of limes and lemons as we have trees.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 10:58AM
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thrilledtobuild

Hi BKW - that's Beekeeperswife, not Barkeeper's Friend (hee hee!)-
I use the BKF on my pots and stainless steel sink, not the counters, but occasionally there's cross-contamination. And by "usually," I mean when my husband scrubs the pots. But he's scrubbing the pots, so I'm not complaining...much!

    Bookmark   February 6, 2012 at 10:58AM
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Shareher

Just a quick follow-up. I was able to get a sample of the luce di luna. I tested it with lemon juice and it had no etching at all. There was a dark spot at first from the liquid which completely dried off--I'm assuming this won't happen once it is sealed.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 12:13PM
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beekeeperswife

I love that stone too. However I have U shaped kitchen and I'm thinking that the lines won't work for me.

Although I did see a stone the other day where the lines ran on an angle. That could probably work out.

So are you going with this one?

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 12:32PM
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Shareher

Im still stewing. The superwhite etched too much for me-- if it's going to etch anyway, I'd do marble. I'm going back out Sat to pick either Luce di Luna or madreperola. I'm leaning towards the LDL, but I'm a little nervous. Some of my friends love it, and others are turned off by the linear veining.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 12:37PM
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thornhill

We had luce di luna installed about a month ago. We are not super careful people. Red wine, lemon juice, and curries have all made contact and probably been left for quite some time. We have not seen any evidence of staining. It came from Ciot in Toronto. We have a few slabs, so I took photos of a couple so you could see the variation.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 1:03PM
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Shareher

Ooh--I think it is beautiful. Do you have any pics of your kitchen as a whole?

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 1:12PM
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thornhill

I just took a few. We have done nothing since we moved in, so please forgive the lack of back splash, kitchen chairs, missing stool, etc.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 2:04PM
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Shareher

Your kitchen is beautiful! It's so helpful to see the LDL in a kitchen that isn't too modern. Our kitchen will be fairly traditionally styled, and all the pictures I've seen on the Internet show the LDL with a more modern or contemporary look. Thanks a million for the pictures!!!

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 2:15PM
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Shareher

Thornhill--one more question if you don't mind. What edges did you use on the counters?

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 2:17PM
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thornhill

They are eased edges. Feel free to message me if you have any other questions.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2012 at 2:47PM
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NikkiBeerli

I am in S. Calif. and can not find white quartzite anywhere! I also want honed....anybody have any suggestions for me?

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 8:36PM
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nsddds

Shareher
I'm curious to know if the Madre Perola that you were looking at was a granite or a quarzite? I recently purchased my Madre Perla and was told it was granite. But I've read it's also been called a quarzite here on GW?

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 10:40PM
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Shareher

I was told that the madre perola was a true quartzite and the sample we has didn't stain, etch, or scratch easily. We ended up buying a slab of white macabus, which is the same as luce di Luna, but the lab was cross cut not vein cut so it isn't linear.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 11:22PM
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shappy

Nikki

A couple of months ago I was at a place in Anaheim that had two of the most beautiful white quartz slabs (don't know the name)--it was the The Marble Yard--Dale runs the place. He did my breakfast room and my daughter's kitchen --the nicest guy ever and super helpful, one of the most pleasant transactions ever. Well he didn't do it, his fabricators did, who were outstanding. Give him a call.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2012 at 11:53PM
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NikkiBeerli

I want to put some info out there on the etching of Super White: I was told yesterday that the 'Super White" that a lot of people were selling as quartzite or granite is really dolomite. And dolomite etches. You can tell which one it is: looks like boulders.
I am curious if this is what the people above were testing? The man who told me this seemed very knowledgeable and honest, but who knows?
And thanks for the info, Shappy
. I am going there today.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 10:37AM
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Pipdog

Nikki, you might also want to try Bedrosians. They have a couple locations in the OC - I went up to the one in Sylmar. They had Super White -- this was last year, but I know they typically carry it. Also, not sure where you are in SoCal, but there are a ton of good stone places in Burbank/North Hollywood area.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 6:49PM
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Shareher

NikkiNbeerli--I heard similar information. Our granite yard told me that the superwhite was a blend of dolomite and quartzite. The dolomite etches.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 7:20PM
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cloud_swift

We bought our quartzite (Azul do Mar) from Bedrosians (in Sacramento. We were very pleased with them. We had already said that we were willing to buy the slabs that they had, but bigger slabs would allow us to have 1 seam instead of 2. They checked their other locations, found bigger ones about 120 miles away and shipped them to Sacramento for us to consider.

If you go to one of their yards and they don't have what you want, you might ask them to check inventory at their other yards.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2012 at 10:18PM
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Lightning123

Message to Beekeeperswife: we're making a decision this week on granite. We LOVE the superwhite but with a young family, we're worried about etching and stains. I know you had early etching. How do your quartzite counters look now? Any advice would be appreciated. Would love to hear from others with white quartzites, too!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 3:01PM
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firstmmo

I had White Princess and that stuff was bulletproof. No lemons, limes, red wine or anything would etched it. I had it honed. My quartzite counters were from Africa. DaVinci Marble and Tile in San Carlos, CA (Northern CA), has a bunch of it. Usually 10-15 slabs. The color has changed a bit since they pulled my slabs out of the quarry though. Many of the slabs are more gray and have greenish/bluish specks in areas. It's still a wonderful material and it reads very white.

With my new kitchen (framing going up this week!), I am still trying to decide if we are going to use White Princess again. I loved it, but my new house has a slightly different feel to it so I'm on the fence.......

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 8:59PM
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lcskaisgir

firsthouse_mp, I am going to look at some slabs of White Princess today so I'm glad to hear that yours was bulletproof! I have it narrowed down to superwhite, naica, and hopefully the White Princess. Sooo scared of the superwhite with etching even though I love it:)

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 10:25AM
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Trebruchet

My background is in the solid surface and engineered stone industries. It just amazes me that folks will overlook the flaws of natural stone when cost effective and beautiful alternatives are available. Someone's not doing their sales job.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 10:30PM
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lcskaisgir

Trebruchet, I have actually attempted to consider Caesarstone. I went online, chose 4 colors that I like, and ordered samples ($24 charge). However, it has now been well over a month and, despite several emails and phone calls, I still have not received them. So much for their customer service! I know, practically speaking, that a quartz is probably a better choice for my family. However, nothing compares to the beauty of a natural stone. The real question is...will it still be as beautiful after the abuse it receives in my house!

    Bookmark   October 11, 2013 at 11:21PM
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Trebruchet

lcskaisgir:

"...will it still be as beautiful after the abuse it receives in my house?"

No. It will not, unless you can convince yourself that etches are "character". Yes, they can be removed professionally, but wait 'till you get that bill.

Some of the new engineered stones are imitating natural stones very well.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2013 at 9:16AM
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