Natural stone is a product of nature and subject to variations. Characteristics such as veining and mineral deposits will affect each piece. Stone will not only vary from quarry to quarry but from stone to stone. All Natural stone is unique... no two stones are alike. This is one of the most desirable characteristics of natural stone.
It's not recommended. Chemicals contained in these cleaners can react negatively to your stone. They may etch some stones or even make them look dull and lifeless. It's best to use care products made specifically for stone.
Apply a sealer if needed and clean your stone regularly. Don't use acidic or abrasive cleaners.
This depends on the sealer you choose. Some sealers need to be applied every 6 months to 1 year. Others last for 4-5 years.
Backsplash is the area behind and above your countertop. It prevents water and oil from splashing onto your walls.
If sealed and maintained properly, stone is extraordinarily resiliant to bacteria. Many reports and studies are available online.
Usually your contractor will only recommend a different stone if the one you choose is unsuitable for your project... too delicate or hard to work with.
This is one of the most frequently asked questions. And, the answer varies. Stone is usually quoted by the square foot and the cost depends on a number of things: