About Me

Learning About Fire Prevention, Causes and Educating Kids

We all live our lives day to day thinking that nothing bad will happen. We never think that we will be the ones dealing with the cleanup of a house fire. Unfortunately, there are many, many families that suffer the impact of house fires each year. Last year, a close friend of mine was a victim of a house fire and since then, my life has been different. I have spent many hours researching fire prevention, causes, and teaching children about fire prevention and what to do in the case of a fire. It is my hope that my research can help those of you concerned about house fires make the necessary changes in your home and teach your kids what they need to know about fire.



Learning About Fire Prevention, Causes and Educating Kids

What You Might Expect From The Varied Grades Of Granite And Why You Want To Know The Difference

by Pedro Taylor

Granite adds value and beauty to your home. Although you may be aware of both the expense and the precautions you need to take with granite, what you may not know is that granite has several grades. These grades dictate quality, price and ease of installation of the granite. Before you jump on the granite countertop bandwagon, educate yourself a little further on the different granite grades.

Grade A or AA

This is the top-of-the line granite. It has very few flaws -- no cracks, giant color spots or pock marks where the stone cannot be sanded down enough to get rid of little pockets. The quartz in the granite is evenly distributed, with no or next-to-no large crystals. When polished, it is smooth and shiny, like glass. It scratches the easiest, so you will need to follow granite care instructions very closely.

First Choice

There are some flaws in the granite with this grade. You may have a more blotchy color effect, or the bands of color are erratic in their patterning. Usually, the flaws are minute, and your granite countertop installer can work around the flaws if you do not want the flaws to be seen.

Second Choice

Second-choice granite slabs are much more flawed than grade A or first choice granite. There will be more pock marks, bigger quartz crystal distribution or pockets of quartz, and unusual color patterning. Some customers actually prefer second choice granite because of its distinct and varied color patterns and the fact that it can be more sparkly with the extra quartz deposits. It is also very popular because it is significantly less expensive than grade A/AA, and first choice.

Commercial Grade

This is granite at its roughest. It has all kinds of flaws and imperfections, which cause it to be the cheapest of all your countertop choices. There may be cracks filled with resin as well, either from the factory or by the installer. If your granite installation expert charges significantly less for one type of granite in the same grade, i.e., a heavily flawed-but-designated-grade-A piece of granite may actually be commercial grade in disguise. More to the point, some manufacturers and granite installers charge grade-A prices for lesser-grade materials and vice versa. 

Learning to Tell the Grades Apart

Step into a granite countertop shop like Artisan Granite & Marble and ask to see examples of each grade of granite. You will find that despite the universal granite grading system, manufacturers can subjectively class slabs of granite into categories with which a viewer might not agree. Pointing out flaws and discussing what you have learned about granite grades will not only impress the shop owner, but ensure that you do not lose money on granite that should be categorized differently. This  is why it is so important to learn how to tell grades of granite apart.