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Restaurant, Cafe and Commercial Tables - Frequently Asked Questions  
  • What about seating?
  • About Granite Restaurant and Dining Tables...

  • Why not buy thin granite with wood underlayment, it's cheaper and maybe lighter?
  • Aren't granite table tops heavy? Won't freight cost be excessive?
  • Are granite tops suitable for outdoor use?
  • Does granite stain?
  • Can granite be scratched?
  • Does granite chip?
  • Can granite crack?
  • Is granite heat resistant?
  • Is granite sanitary?
  • Will my granite tables look like the samples/photos?
  • Do you make restaurant tables from other types of stone
    (marble, limestone, slate)?
  • Are other sizes available? Colors? What about custom edges?
  • How do I care for granite tables?

  • What about Seating (Chairs)?
    Demand has motivated us to offer affordable seating to use with our tables. We are currently refining our offering of seating and while our presentation of our chairs is not yet finalized, they are available now. Our seating

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    How does granite compare to other common commercial table top materials?  
      Granite Laminate Resin Solid Wood
    Ongoing Maintenance
    4
    3
    3
    3
    Scratch Resistance
    5
    4
    3
    2
    Impact Resistance
    4
    3
    4
    4
    Heat Resistance
    5
    3
    3
    3
    Sanitary
    4
    3
    4
    3
    Cost of Ownership*
    5
    4
    3
    3
    Portability**
    2
    4
    3
    5
    1 = unacceptable >> 5 = excellent
    * Cost of ownership considers acquisition cost, usable life expectancy and maintenance.
    ** Portability refers to ease by which assembled tables can be moved around your dining area.
    restaurant ad bistro tables

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    Why not buy thin granite with wood underlayment, it's cheaper and maybe lighter? Thin granite is always tempting because of its lower cost but it should be avoided. Granite is a natural stone that has imperceptible fissures and weak points. Granite that is 3/8" or less in thickness may not be able to withstand flexing when the table is picked up or moved. When tables are moved, the weight of the base or a person pushing down on the edge of the table will stress the natural fissures in the stone and cause cracks to appear. Wood substrates will not prevent flexure from occuring.

    Another problem with the thin, inexpensive granites is that you will see the seam where the edge piece is glued to the top piece. If you want the clean refinement of granite in your establishment, don't sully it with unsightly seams. You may not see them from afar (or you may) but your customers will see them and pick at them while they are seated.

    In an effort to reduce cracking, the thin granite is laminated to a 1" piece of plywood. Not only does 1" plywood still flex, but it's heavy. The weight of a 1" ply/granite top in 24" round is ~50 pounds... exactly the same as 3/4" solid granite.

    Lastly, the wood underlayment is not waterproof and is therefore subject to swelling... again causing cracks in the granite.

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    Aren't granite tops heavy?
    Granite tops are heavy. Our 2cm granite tops are 35-40% heavier than a 1 1/4 laminate top with the same area. Granite tops are not too heavy to move around the dining area as needed but do have the heft to stay put.

    This often leads to a reasonable, but fortunately incorrect, assumption that the freight on granite table tops is excessive. It is not, as the freight class in which granite can be shipped makes the freight comparable to table tops of other materials. You will need to arrange for the manpower to unload the table tops or arrange for a lift gate delivery (let us know if you elect this option as we can help set it up) as we ship via common carrier and do not usually ship our tops via parcel service (UPS).

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    Are granite tops suitable for outdoor use?
    Granite tops are suitable for outdoor use if made properly. Granite itself is fine, it was created outdoors and will outlive us and our children despite its environment. The important thing to consider is the granite underlayment or how the granite attaches to the base. At Cafe Tables, we make assembly easy by laminating a 16" round or square piece of exterior grade MDF to the underside of the top. The base is simply screwed into the MDF with self tapping screws that we provide. The exterior grade of MDF that we use can actually be left soaking in water for days and will not change shape or stability.

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    Does granite stain?
    In general, no. All stone is porous to some extent, but Granite has very little porosity. Most colors will never show any moisture. A few colors may show some moisture if exposed for a period of time. For example, a puddle of water left on the table for 30 minutes for some colors may show a dark spot when the water is wiped away. This spot will then dry up and no evidence will show.

    Only a few colors demonstrate this trait. Our granite has a sealer applied before shipment. Sealer for reapplication (optional, after years of use) is available from HCI and at tile and granite shops.

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    Can granite be scratched?
    Granite is one of the hardest stones available. It cannot be scratched in ordinary use. A knife blade will not scratch it. It can only be scratched with specially sharpened tools designed to work with granite like tungsten and diamond tools.

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    Does granite chip?
    Properly fabricated granite is only chipped by severe abuse with a hammer or impact tool.

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    Can granite crack?
    3/4" granite will not with ordinary use. Granite is most susceptible to cracks during shipping and installation. Normal use will not overstress this durable material. While breakage is a risk during fabrication and shipping of granite slabs, a properly crafted and packed table top will not crack during shipping and a properly installed table top will not scratch, chip or break under heavy use. Thinner granites (3/8" or less) that are laminated onto wood underlayment is subject to cracking under normal use and should be avoided.

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    Is granite heat resistant?
    Granite is not damaged by temperatures under about 1500 degrees, meaning cigarettes/cigars and the hottest serving pieces will not affect it.

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    Is granite sanitary?
    Polished granite is extremely sanitary. Granite has a very low coefficient of absorption and so, especially when properly sealed, inhibits the growth of bacteria and mold.

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    Will my granite look like the sample?
    Since granite is a natural product, with naturally occurring variations in color, tone, granularity, pattern, etc. These variations are expected and are the source of its natural beauty. Our photos accurately represent typical color, tone, granularity, pattern however we recommend the use of our samples when selection is critically dependant on an exact representation.

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    Do you make tables from other types of stone
    (marble, onyx, travertine, limestone, slate, etc.)?

    We do not at this time. All of these stones are make handsome tabletops but the bulk of our customers use their tables for dining rooms, hotel rooms and office use and we do not feel they are suitable for these applications.

    Many of these other stones are metamorphic stones with a high content of calcium carbonate and are susceptible to 'etching' when exposed to common acids such as those found in lemon juice, red wine and vinegar. This 'etching' will quickly and permanently destroy a polished finish even though the stone neutralizes the acid so quickly that it rarely compromises structural integrity.

    Other stones, such as slate, also have a place in furniture construction but are not as durable for high wear applications.

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    Are other sizes available? Colors? What about custom edges?
    We do work to custom sizes and have fabricated banquet tables, conference tables, sofa tables, coffee tables and a variety of custom shapes and sizes that defy description. Please call for a quotation.

    Hundreds of industry standardized colors and patterns are available in granites suitable for highly durable and usable table tops (not all granites are appropriate for tables). Our five standard colors have been selected to compliment and enhance a wide range of decors from those consistently and affordably available to our factory in Brazil. We are able to offer such an attractive standard pricing by limiting cafe-tables.com's offering to these.

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    How do I care for granite tables?
    The inherent durability of granite insures that your tables will remain beautiful for years to come. Many of our customers care for their granite tables and bars only by wiping up spills and occasionally cleaning the surface with a non-abrasive cleanser.

    Cafe-Tables.com applies a sealant to each granite table shipped. Unlike most sealers, ours is FDA approved for occasional food contact (of course, most sealers used on table tops and counter tops are food-safe, just not FDA approved).

    Glass cleaning solutions such as Windex should not be used on granite as they will degrade the sealant. There is a Windex product available now specifically for use on granite but be sure it is called out as such on the bottle.

    The sealant will hold up through years of commercial use. Should you decide to use your granite tops for decades (try that with other table tops), reapplying the sealer every five to ten years takes no more more time or effort than polishing furniture.

     

    Related Links

    Useful Information
    www.restaurantlayout.com - Information and links on laying out your dining area.

    Materials
    www.FindStone.com
    A great source of information and images on natural stone.