Granite, quite literally, is as old as the earth itself. It is formed from liquid magma, the molten rock found below the Earth's crust, cooled slowly to form a substance approaching the hardness and durability of diamond. Granite's unique properties make it the material of choice in high traffic surface applications such as kitchens and bathroom counters. As a commercial or residential surface, Granite rarely discolors or stains and is extremely easy to clean and maintain.
- Highly Heat Resistant
- Naturally Beautiful
- Chip and scratch resistant
- Stain resistant (with proper maintenance)
- Resistant to mold and mildew
Caeserstone and Hanstone are manufacturers of cultured stone consisting of approximately 90 to 95% Quartz thus making it durable, stain, scratch and heat resistant. They have a very uniform grain pattern and are a worthy option to Granite. However they lack the character and personality of the Granite. From a customer stand point there is definitely a different look to expect with a cultured counter top at no additional cost benefits. In some cases it might be an even more expensive option. This option is for the customer who likes the more uniform look and has a more modern and urban kitchen layout. Granitekraft also specializes in installing Marble, Limestone and Slate counter tops
Marble Counter Tops: Classic Luxury with Modern Style
Ahhhh marble counter tops. Perhaps more than any other stone, marble evokes images of sophisticated extravagance. Once found only in the homes of the wealthy, marble--like granite and other stones--is now a much more accessible luxury for everyone due to improved technology and availability.
Marble Counter Tops: Colors & Patterns
The rich tones of the marble color palette are plentiful encompassing creamy whites and neutrals, dreamy yellows, soft oranges, ocean greens and amazing blacks. The dramatic veining and blending of color shades looks spectacular on countertops and marble floors complement any design. Choose a similar pattern/material and color shade on your floors and walls to avoid a chaotic look.
Marble Slab, Marble Tile and Special Considerations
Marble is available in 2 cm and 3 cm slabs as well as the full range of tile sizes from 1-inch mosaic tile up to large 24-inch floor tile. Marble is a crystalized limestone and therefore can be polished to a mirror-finish, which really brings out the depth in it's color and looks gorgeous.
However, marble polishing is only recommended for counter tops that are lightly used such as a powder bath, tabletop, pass bar or furniture piece, but NOT for kitchen countertops or the wet bar.
Why? . . .
Marble is made of calcium carbonate, which is reactive with acids (fruit juice, soda, coffee, alcohol, salad dressing, etc.) and will "etch" upon contact with acids. Etching destroys the polish leaving a dull, light spot. You'll get these dull spots all over with marble in the kitchen. Also, marble is softer and more prone to scratching than granite. Polished marble is very stain resistant, but still not good for kitchens due to etching. Sealing does not prevent etching.
Love to bake?
One exception to the "rule" stated above is if you are a serious baker. A marble slab is "the" countertop of choice for making dough--that is pies and bread, not money! Although it may feel like you're making money on such a luxurious countertop.
Marble being a natural stone just needs simple soap and water for cleaning purposes. Avoid all kinds of chemicals. Also, it's worth noting that marble is traditionally left to age naturally letting friends and family rub "life" into the stone--stains and all.
Over the years the marble will absorb stains, the patina will change and the stone will begin to reflect the essential character of your home. This is especially true of marble tile floors, which become more beautiful with age and use.
It's hard to resist the quintessential beauty and the feelings of warm opulence that marble conveys to any room. Marble counter tops and marble flooring will add immeasurable value and years of pleasure to your home.
More Ideas. Also, consider using this natural stone for marble bathroom vanities, tile flooring, a marble fireplace, tub decks and marble shower surrounds
A quartz counter top, also known as . . . "engineered stone," is made by combining 93% quartz (an element in granite) with resin and pigments in a process that binds the medium permanently.
The end result is a countertop that has similar properties to granite, such as high heat, scratch and chemical resistance. Silestone, Caeserstone, Hanstone, Zodiac and Cambria are some of the companies that manufacture these quartz surfaces. Each company uses the same process and produces basically the same countertop with the only differences being in the colors available.
No matter which company you choose to buy from, engineered quartz surfacing will look fantastic on your kitchen countertops, kitchen island, bathroom vanity, wet bar or wine cellar.
You certainly will have many colors to choose from and new color and pattern designs are hitting the market all the time, but granite simply affords the largest array of patterns and colors of any material available.
Although Silestone, Caeserstone, Hanstone, Zodiac and Cambria are all made to look like granite, purists note that quartz counter tops lack the depth of color, variety of color and unique patterns of movement that characterize granite.
On the plus side, Quartz counter top colors have a consistency that few granites can offer so there's never a problem matching slabs. Also, many people prefer a uniform pattern that is exactly the same over the entire surface.
It really boils down to what you like. It's hard to beat granite's classic appeal, but you won't notice a difference in the performance or feel of quartz counter tops when compared to granite.
The question is do you like the "look" of man-made quartz. Cost is not really an issue when comparing to granite since you'll pay about the same for engineered stone.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Quartz counter tops from all the brands are a snap to clean. Engineered stone counter tops are non-porous and chemical resistant so you can use almost any general surface cleaner.
But, hot water and a sponge are sufficient for most spills and keeping your space clean while cooking.
Always use cutting boards for food prep and trivets for hot pans. Yes, quartz--like granite--is very tough. It's heat and scratch resistant, but it can be damaged with extreme heat or consistent abuse.
Granite vs. Quartz
It's All Marketing.
Despite marketing efforts by makers of engineered quartz stone to try and convince you otherwise, there isn�t any significant difference regarding performance, function, cleaning or price between granite and Silestone, Zodiaq, Cambria or other brands of quartz counter tops.
Sealing & Cleaning
True, you don't have to apply a granite sealer to an engineered stone counter top... but this issue has been blown way out of proportion because of . . . marketing.
Applying granite sealer is really a very simple and infrequent "wipe on, wipe off" procedure. It is not a relevant factor when deciding between granite and man-made quartz.
And it doesn't take a closet full of special chemicals to protect your granite and keep its luster as Cambria and other quartz counter top manufacturers suggest on their websites.
Hey, to their credit they are just trying to effectively market their product.
A little secret about most granite . . .
After an initial sealing, you could do nothing but wipe it with a sponge for years and it would still look gorgeous.
Minor, easy maintenance performed periodically will, however, give you peace of mind and bring out the best in your granite and natural stone.
And the same can be said about quartz. Care and cleaning is equally easy for either of these counter tops materials.
You may also read that you must seal granite to maintain it's shiny polish. Not true. Sealing is for stain resistance. Both natural and synthetic stone counter tops are polished by grinding and buffing the surface into a smooth shine.
Silestone also tries to claim their product resists bacteria while granite "harbors" bacteria. This is totally false. Studies prove that both granite and quartz are among the safest and cleanest counter tops materials on the market today, but one isn't superior to the other.
Once all this is understood, the decision between granite and Silestone, Cambria, Zodiaq or other quartz counter tops comes down to color, pattern and perceived value for most buyers.
Value & Options
As mentioned Silestone and other quartz counter tops have a limited color palette compared to granite, but a broad range is available to suit many design themes.
Granite enjoys a greater prestige due to its natural uniqueness and is therefore, of greater value in the minds of most homeowners and buyers.
However, engineered stone products make excellent counter tops materials with qualities as good as granite. So if you find that perfect color and pattern from Silestone or other brands, then you can bet you�ll be very satisfied.
Travertine floor tile pattern comes from unique veining characteristics and from gradations, swirls and shifts in the density and tone of the inherent color.
It's typically less dramatic than marble, but it can be equally captivating... and of course it is perfect for that old-world Tuscan design theme.
Pits and pores also developed from the bubbling hot springs deep in the earth near where travertine was formed . . . enhance its rustic charm.
Surface finish options for your travertine counter top and floor are numerous. The most popular finish for countertop slabs is honed, which is a "matte" or non-shiny surface.
Travertine is typically not recommended for kitchen counter tops due to it's sensitivity to acidic foods and it's porosity (when honed) and susceptibility to staining with heavy use. When polished travertine is not very absorbent, however, it will etch very easily upon contact with acidic foods (coffee, alcohol, fruit juice, salad dressing, etc.) and alkaline cleaning products leaving dull spots and "glass rings" that require re-polishing.
Travertine floor tile however, can be tumbled, brushed, undulated, hammered, pillowed, polished or chisel-edged . . . and the pits and pores can and should be filled in otherwise they will simply collect dirt.
Tile Sizes for travertine range from miniture mosaics up to 36-inch squares . . . which makes this stone a great choice for creating simple or intricate backsplashes . . . along with floors, tub decks, showers, walls and fireplace hearths.
Like Marble, travertine floor tile and counter tops must be treated with care. Treatment with an impregnating sealer will protect it from stains and a honed finish will keep you from fretting about dull spots from etching the polish. A honed surface will still etch, but it is not nearly as noticeable as on polished travertine.
Also, routinely using coasters and cutting boards will keep your travertine looking fabulous for years to come. For more in-depth information go to cleaning travertine.
One thing to note with travertine (and really all natural stone) is that they . . . age beautifully. Fears you may have about accidentally ruining your stone are really unnecessary.
Certainly, performing proper care and maintenance is prudent, but unlike almost every other building material in your home . . . stone will not decay. WITNESS THE ROMAN COLLISEUM . . .
Limestone conveys calmness and serenity. Mystique and romance. A very soft, sensuous, and elegant natural stone. Yet, neutral and versatile.
It combines subtleness and sophistication. It's consistent in color adding warmth to the modern and contemporary home.
A flamed surface finish has a rustic feel. When honed or polished, the look becomes more refined. Tumbled limestone has an aged and antique feel. It feels lived in and comfortable. Over time this stone develops a patina creating an old world charm.
Limestone is layered and formed from the skeletons and shells of sea creatures that lived in warm seas millions of years ago. It will often contain seashells and fossils embedded in the surface. It is a unique natural stone and at times, contains visible mysteries of our past within. If limestone recrystallizes or "changes its structure", it turns into Marble.
Limestone is a calcareous stone which is highly reactive to acidic substances such as vinegar, wine, lemons, etc. The stone will react negatively to these acids by etching or dulling and showing rings.
Limestone varies greatly in hardness, density, and porosity from stone to stone. Some limestones are very soft and should not be cut on. Things such as coins, keys, and knives will scratch the stone's surface. Other limestones are very dense and hard and can be finished to a polished or a glossy shiny surface. Softer stones cannot be polished to this high gloss finish.
Some Limestone is very porous (soaks up liquids) and needs to be Sealed. The porosity will vary depending on the type of limestone. Examine the back of the stone. If the surface appears open or sponge like, this is a sign that the stone has a high rate of absorption. It is porous and will show stains easier. Once a stain is absorbed, it will be much harder to remove.
Limestone is used for flooring, walls, and sinks. Limestone is used for kitchen islands, range hood covers, vanities, and for limited countertop use. Fireplaces, statues, columns, steps, pool decks, paving... It comes in slabs (large pieces/blocks of stone) or in tiles. Limestone is versatile.
Usually limestones are lighter in color. The colors are soft and earthy. Lighter creams, ivories, and smoky gray blues. Pastel shades of yellow to pink are available.
Limestone colors range from the creamy beiges to deep browns, reds and blacks. Think of white sandy beaches, falling rainwater, soft green leaves of budding trees in the spring... soft, sensuous colors.
Think about the surface finish you want for your stone. It will impact your look and feel.The harder types of limestone are capable of a high gloss polished finish.
Even though limestone may require occasional sealing and more frequent dusting to prevent scratching, it is a beautiful and durable natural stone. It will last your lifetime. Use great care when choosing limestone. Think of your lifestyle. Think of how you want the stone to look 5 years from today.
The same as the day it was installed? Or, do you prefer the comfortable, aged, lived in look.... limestone will show a patina over time. But, this is just part of the charm of limestone.
Slate is an exotic and unique natural stone. It's stately, sturdy, and durable. This earthy stone exudes warmth. The character of slate stone allows it to fit into a traditional design with an informal time worn look. A real classic old world feel.
Try using a matte finish to create a rich and sophisticated look in your modern kitchen design. A much sleeker and more refined look. This stones at home in a log cabin as well as in an upscale high rise.
Slate was formed from clay on ancient sea beds by the metamorphism(rock structure changes due to heat and/or pressure) of shale and clay. When shale and clay consolidate during metamorphism, it is referred to as foliation. Basically, slate is compacted mud. Sometimes plant fossils are found on the surfaces of slate stones. If you find any fossils, reserve this special piece for a focal point in your stone project.
This is a siliceous stone and highly resistant to the acids found in lemons, alcohol, and cleaning products. These acids won't etch or mar the surface of your natural stone. This characteristic makes slate stone ideal for use in your kitchen.
Similar to soapstone, slate scratches easily. It will scratch and chip around the edges and become weathered or aged looking.
You can use mineral oil to make the scratches disappear. These marks and chips can also be sanded out with a fine grained sand paper or left to add character and charm to your stone.
Depending on where they originate from, some slates are much softer than others. Slates from the US, Canada, and the UK are usually of a harder variety.
Like granite, slate is durable and impervious to heat. It is fire resistant and you don't need to worry about burning or charring your slate countertops. It is a fine grained and non porous natural stone. It won't absorb water and liquids as readily as a marble will. Slate stone has a lower absorption rate so stains aren't a big concern. It's not generally necessary to seal these dark stones.
Slate's main uses include roofing and flooring. This non slippery natural stone is perfect for flooring applications. Other uses include monuments, slate backsplashes, sinks, islands, and countertops
The soft veining and mottled colors of slate are earthy and usually darker. They include variations of reds and turquoise greenish blues as well as softer grays and deep solid blacks.
The multi color slates are rustic and more colorful. Coating slate with mineral oil will help to protect the stone as well as deepen the natural colors.
The surface finish on the denser varieties of slate are usually honed. This is a matte type finish. It's not shiny and reflective like a polished finish. Slate stone is too soft to be polished to a high gloss finish.
Slate surfaces can also be sandblasted. This surface finish is used to obtain a rough textured finish.
A cleft finish will leave the surface of the stone rough and uneven. This is usually used for flooring. The uneven surface texture makes a cleft finish a poor surface choice for slate countertops.
Slate can be rustic and romantic or sleek and refined. Choose the right color and surface finish and you're on the path to creating a unique look with slate that's all you. It won't etch, it doesn't burn, and it's non porous so the maintenance is fairly simple.
Slate is a unique and durable natural stone which will leave a life long lasting impression
Choosing the right natural stone for your home can be a daunting process. However, making some decisions before you start can help. This section explains how Granitekraft recomended Stone Selection Process works, which we hope will make selecting your granite an enjoyable experience.
The showroom hours are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Most of the suppliers are open on Saturdays for atleast half a day. Calling before you go is highly recomended.
Here is what you can expect if your countertops are going to be installed in the following time frames:
One to two weeks or less away from installation:
You are at an ideal stage to pick the actual slabs for your project.
Three to five weeks away from installation:
You can reserve slabs from a particular supplier slab lot TEMPORARILY. Sign a contract with a fabricator of your choice and then have him place final fabricator holds on project specific slabs. It�s very difficult for slab suppliers to hold slabs beyond their hold policies.
Five or more weeks away from installation:
Look at slabs and get ideas for your project. Typically it is too early to hold material or select stone for your project at this time. If you are in the process of ordering cabinets, it is likely that they are at least eight weeks away from being delivered and installed. Come back to the supplier closer to the install dats to hold your specific slabs.
Before You Arrive:
Check out the variety of stones available on the supplier website to get an idea of what color range you like. What colors draw your eye? What will compliment your decor? Have you met with an interior designer? Home decor magazines such as Spaces can also be a great resource.
Come prepared. If possible, bring a cabinet sample, floor sample or other piece of d�cor to see if the stone color you select will compliment your home. A trusted friend who knows your taste is another great resource to have on hand as you make your decision.
When selecting a fabricator, we recommend that you:
Compare pricing. Fabricators are fairly competitive, but it may be worthwhile to take your kitchen layout to several companies to make sure you are getting the fairest price on your particular material.
Make sure that you feel comfortable with your fabricator. It is important to work with helpful people that you trust during this process. Remember, this should be an enjoyable experience.
Ask & Listen. Has a neighbor or friend recently purchased granite? Ask them about their experience.
Go see their work. Ask your fabricator if they have recently completed any commercial projects or any model home installs that you can preview.
Generally, granite countertops go through several processes, to change the undressed slab of rock into the beautiful piece of stonework on your kitchen counter. Here is a beginner's guide to how granite countertops are made.
Raw Material Transport
Transporting granite for stonework is not as simple as loading it onto a truck and hauling it away. Unprocessed granite stones rub against each other, grinding each other to pieces while in transport. If left unchecked, manufacturers could wind up with stone dust to work with.
Trucks are usually fitted with containers that keep stones packed in tight, and prevent them from moving and bumping into each other while being transported. Once at the delivery site, stones are gently unloaded with huge cranes. Usually, these cranes are all that touch the stone while it is still unprocessed.
Cutting the stones requires precision that human hands simply are not capable of. For this reason, stone-cutting saws are usually computer-aided. For countertops, the stones are generally cut into slabs between one and two inches thick. This is much thicker than the actual countertop, giving stonecutters and fabricators more leeway with which to work. Stone-cutting saws are usually diamond-tipped, to provide a sharp, hard cutting edge.
After the slabs have been cut, pressurized water is used on the edges of the stone. This refines the stone and removes coarseness around the slab's rim. The water jets used for cutting stone keep water at pressures of over 100 pounds per square, and the water itself travels over 200 miles per hour. Great care must be taken to prevent injury when using these water jets.
Profiling and Finishing
Once the granite slabs are the correct shape, they are ready to be finished. Usually, this involves sanding the piece with several buffers and different grades of sandpaper. Doing this by hand would be tedious, so most major manufacturers have machines that do this instead. The profiling phase of the production process creates the shine for which granite countertops are valued.
Profiling also helps to harden and clean the surface of the piece. Usually, an unfinished granite countertop will break and chip, because of imperfections on the piece's surface. Profiling evens out these imperfections, and prevents further damage from being done to the piece.
Depending on what is needed for the piece, some final details must be added to it before it is ready to be used. A typical kitchen countertop will probably have a hole for the sink cut into the center of the stone. Rough edges from the excised portion will again be sanded away. Clips and support pins for the sink itself are also added onto kitchen countertops.
Countertops for bars may be left plain, but some customers prefer more texture in their countertop. It is usually at this point that master craftsmen take out the hammer and chisel, creating curclicues and geometric designs along the edge or in the center of the piece.
Finally, the piece is wrapped in bubble plastic, secured with duct tape, and is ready to be transported and installed. The entire process, from unrefined stone to finished usable countertop, usually takes less than a day, with pieces that require heavy detailing taking more time.
The rule of thumb in home remodeling is from the ceiling to the ground. GraniteKraft HIGHLY recommends that you proceed in this order: CEILING >>> WALL >>> CABINETS >>> COUNTER TOPS >>> FLOORING
Under the primary assumption that the client needs a granite slab counter top�..they need to know the following:- There are two options offering pretty similar results.
THE TRADITIONAL CUSTOM FABRICATION:
In this process once the template and layout are completed GraniteKraft picks up the necessary slabs (approximately 9 inch x 6 inch sheets of three quarter inch thickness) at a Stone and Tile Supplier. The FABRICATION PROCESS involves cutting to size as per the templates, the lamination for the exposed horizontal edges and the edge profiling or bull nosing. This process takes anywhere from 5 to 7 days. This is followed by the INSTALLATION PROCESS which includes installing the finished granite or quartz slabs on the counters and the back splash (as per specs) and SEALING of the stone. In the case of the Quartz sealing is not required.
THE MODERN PRE-FABRICATED GRANITES:
Firstly this process is limited for customers with a modular shaped kitchen with no angles or curves. Traditionally begun by the Hotel industry this process picked up momentum in the housing sector in the last 5 years. In countries like China, India and Brazil where labor is cheap 9 inch x 2 inch or 8 inch x 2 inch granite pieces are prefabricated and imported to the United States. GraniteKraft picks up the PRE-FABRICATED slabs from the Pre-Fab supplier. However partial fabrication like additional edges as per customer kitchen specs, under mounted sink cut outs and other island and peninsula pieces have to be implemented. This increases the price by a bit but is still a cheaper option than the custom fabrication. The INSTALLATION and SEALING process however is the same. This process is only applicable to Granite and not Quartz.
- Extreme care and personal attention is paid to the fabrication of the product.
- Over 100 colors to choose from
- 20 to 25 Edge detail options
- Lesser number of SEAMS (joints)
- More control over the final installation of the process and grain matching
- Two year workmanship warranty on the finished product � Edges and Seams
- More expensive than PRE-FAB option.
- Cheaper than custom fabrication
- More of a PRODUCTION OR ASSEMBLY line manufacturing process
- Less care and persona; attention paid on the product
- 25 to 30 colors to choose from
- Maximum of 2 to 3 edge detail options
- More number of SEAMS (joints)
- Comparatively lesser control over the installation of the process & grain matching
- Two year workmanship warranty offered � Seams only
To summarize it if one were to spend a HYPOTHETICAL $10.00 on a CUSTOM JOB then a PRE-FAB JOB would cost $8.00 after all the customizations. However the savings come with certain aesthetic compromises. GraniteKraft would gladly implement either of the two options.
A granite or tile backsplash is the perfect complement to your brand new granite kitchen. Both beautiful and functional, backsplashes not only protect your walls from spills and splashes, but also add beauty and value to your kitchen. When selecting your backsplash there are two major options you must consider before making any final decision: Granite or Tile? At Granitekraft, we specialize in both and all of our installers are qualified to install any backsplash you desire. Granite is an excellent choice for someone who loves the look of their counters and want to provide a more visual surface area of the selected material. Granite backsplashes are very pragmatic as 4 inch and 8 inch are cost effective and full backsplashes have the lowest maintenance.
4 inch Backsplash:
This option is perfect for an individual trying to keep their granite project simple yet elegant. 4 inch Back Splash is the most common size for bathroom vanity tops.
8 inch Backsplash:
This option acts as a solution created to quickly cover drywall damage that may result from removal of an existing 4 or 6 tile or vinyl backsplash. With a 8 inch backsplash, dry wall repair (we do not repair drywall) is typically unnecessary.
Full Height Slab Backsplash:
This option extends from the counter level up to your cabinets. The height can range anywhere between 15 and 24+ inches. Full slab backsplashes are more commonly installed in kitchens than in bathrooms. Full backsplashes make a bold statement of luxury and truly showcase the granite you have selected.
Increasingly a more popular choice, tiled backsplashes offer limitless expressions of artistry and personal taste. Tiles are plentiful in a number of different natural stones such as granite, marble � polished and tumbled, slate, limestone and travertine. However they also come in other materials like porcelain, metal and glass. Pre-designed mosaic patterns that come in one to two foot long sections are becoming increasingly popular and can easily be used for a boarder, accent or an entire wall. Patterns can be tiled horizontally with small off-color inserts every foot or they can be tiled diagonally with a top and bottom border making the wall stand out a little more. Due to the intense labor requirements and drying processes, a tile backsplash is usually a two day process: one day to prep, place the tiles and allow drying, a second day to grout the spaces between the tiles and allow drying and finally sealing the finished product.
The sink is an important feature for any kitchen or vanity. At GraniteKraft, we will be happy to assist you in finding and installing the perfect sink for your kitchen or bathroom project. Buyer must purchase a sink designed specifically to be used for granite counter tops. If you are uncertain, ask your sink dealer whether a sink is suitable for a granite countertop.
Things to Remember When Choosing a Sink:
- Your sink must fit within the space allowed.
- The width of the sink must be less than that of the inner dimension of the sink cabinet.
- A counter top allowance of at least 2.5 inches in front of and behind the sink is required.
There are two main categories of kitchen sinks to choose from
- Under mounted Sinks: The granite is installed on top of the sink. Over 95% of our customers selected under mount sinks.
- Top mounted Sinks: The sink is installed on top of the granite
Your existing under mount sink can never be reused with the new granite countertops. If you want an under-mount sink you must purchase one prior to installation. There is a small chance that a top-mount sink can be reused however it depends on the current conditions of that sink. GraniteKraft installers will examine the top mount sink upon arrival and determine whether it can be reused. GraniteKraft recommends the Buyer have a backup top mount sink, if the current top mount sink cannot be reused.
Seams should be in compliance with annual guidelines set forth by the Marble Institute of America, which states that no seam should measure greater than 1/16 inch in width at any point of the seam.
Buyer should also expect the seam to rise slightly above the granite surface.
By nature, darker granite colors, such as black and green, will have more noticeable seams than lighter colors.
Stones with naturally larger crystals will have more noticeable seams due to possible chipping during the cutting process. Imbedded crystalline minerals such as quartz are hard substrates to cut. Hence some granite will have tiny chips along seams where there used to be imbedded crystals.
Stone is a natural material with inherent variations of color, pattern, and surface textures. Other imperfections like veins, fissures and random grain Movement are what makes natural stone so beautiful. All our customers are advised to actually go to the slab warehouse to hand select their actual slab before the Fabrication and Installation process begins.
YES. All appliances, such as sinks, stoves, cook tops, faucets, hoods, and microwaves MUST be present at the time of installation. However, these items do not need to be installed upon the arrival of the GraniteKraft installers.
GraniteKraft will most definitely on client request send an estimator to the project site to take measurements and give an accurate quote. However other convenient and reliable estimating procedures include faxing or e-mailing a top view elevation of the floor plans to GraniteKraft.
NO. GraniteKraft WILL NOT reconnect gas lines, electricity and plumbing, since we are not licensed in these areas. However, GraniteKraft WILL shut off the water before installations. Under no condition will we reconnect plumbing and gas. Please refrain from requesting this of our installers as we will not assume any responsibility if you do so.
NO. Should a vanity have an existing mirror resting on top of the backsplash, Granitekraft will attempt to remove the mirror at the request of the customer, but WILL NOT be liable should the mirror be damaged during the removal. GraniteKraft WILL NOT reinstall the mirror under any circumstance. Buyer MUST find a professional mirror company to reinstall the mirror.
YES. However, you need to perform the demolition in such a manner as to not directly affect the structural integrity of the existing cabinets. GraniteKraft will assess the condition of the cabinets prior to installation. Should we assess that the cabinets are not suitable for installation; GraniteKraft will work with you to reschedule an install date once the cabinets have been fixed to a satisfactory condition. The job site must be completely clear of all debris and the old backsplash must be completely removed.
NO. All walls adjacent to countertops and backsplashes should be leveled prior to installation.
GraniteKraft is NOT responsible for leveling walls, repairing drywall, or touching up paint. The buyer may contract with a drywall specialist to repair any drywall imperfection prior to or after the installation of the granite. Warping in walls will create gaps between newly installed countertops/backsplashes and the wall.
GraniteKraft is NOT responsible for repairing drywall damage resulting in the demolition. It is impossible to leave drywall and paint in perfect condition should existing counter tops be removed from a base wall. If the drywall repair is not significant, GraniteKraft will replace or fix the sheetrock.
The buyer will be charged $200.00 by GraniteKraft to fix the drywall. Drywall repair will consist of spackling holes and replacing damaged wall sections. GraniteKraft will not tape, smooth or finish the drywall. If the wall is not straight due to the frame, GraniteKraft will follow the frame. If the need for repair is significant, the Buyer needs to find a general contractor to repair the dry wall. Once fixed, the Buyer can call GraniteKraft to reschedule an install date.
Should there be a gap over 1/2 inch wide between the cabinets and the wall directly behind them, there is a possibility that there will be a gap between the wall and the back of the granite countertops. This is due to the fact that the wall is not completely straight. The Buyer needs to fix the wall in order to ensure that there is no gap between the wall and the granite countertop. Should there be a gap less than 1/2 inch wide between the cabinets and the wall directly behind them, the installers may elect to slide the countertop out in order to compensate for the irregularities in the wall. This will cause a small void between the edge of the plywood and fabricated ends of the granite countertops. The void will not affect the structural integrity of the granite.
It will be a joint effort by GraniteKraft and our customers. GraniteKraft will use drop cloth to cover the flooring and base cabinets (if necessary) before demolition. This will help prevent dust from spreading in the kitchen and debris from damaging the flooring. The demolition process will create dust that cannot be avoided. Buyer should cover nearby furniture, and remove any items that could be damaged by dust. Our customers need also remove all drawers and kitchenware under the counter. On-site fabrication and installation creates significant levels of dust, debris, and waste water.
GraniteKraft will make every effort to contain such pollution during the installation process but cannot guarantee a clean working site during the course of installation. GraniteKraft can guarantee that the job site will be left in a similar condition than it was immediately prior to the installation.
Included in your job is the allowance of up to four custom drilled holes for faucets, soap dispensers, air vents, etc. In order to ensure a perfect fit, our customers need to have ALL faucet pieces available at the time of installation. Our customers need to check if faucet pieces fit before the installer leaves the job site. The faucet threads must be able to accommodate 1 � inch.
By California Building Code, if the cabinet is not level to within 1/4 inch in 8 feet, GraniteKraft WILL NOT be able to continue with the installation until the our customers resolves the issue.
YES. You will need to use five-eigth inch plywood on regular cabinets and 3/4 inch plywood on European style cabinets. The plywood must be screwed to the cabinet tops. All cabinet surfaces must be completely level, especially where two separate pieces join together. The maximum level tolerance is 1/8 inch every 4 feet. You should NOT cut out the cook-top, sink, or faucet holes in the plywood prior to the granite installation. GraniteKraft installers will cut out the holes on site.
If the kitchen design calls for an overhang LARGER THAN 6 INCHES, on an island, bar top, peninsula or countertop, GraniteKraft recommends that the customer install a metal support or wood bracket. GraniteKraft can install metal supports but not brackets. GraniteKraft will charge $200.00 extra to install the metal supports.
The natural variations on your stone surface can easily lose their appealing qualities due to damage resulting from everyday wear and tear. Natural Stone is absorbent and has a mineral chemistry that can react in strange ways to conventional cleaners, thus making the proper selection of cleaners essential for daily maintenance of your natural stone surfaces.
Some variation of stones will absorb liquids and oils causing discoloration. Having your stone treated with a water and oil penetrating sealer can diminish this effect. It is recommended that a sealer be applied every six months.
You should apply a penetrating sealer to all of your countertop surfaces. The sealer can be purchased at Home Depot or Lowe�s. Foods and drinks that are often found in the kitchen may contain oils and acids that could stain or etch the surface of your natural stone. High traffic areas or areas that become wet often such as the area around the sink, shower walls and floors as well as vanities tops may need to be sealed more frequently.
You should apply a penetrating sealer to all of your vanity surfaces. Hard water, soap scum, hairspray, cosmetics and perfumes may damage the luster of your natural stone surface.
Bath and Other Wet Areas:
In the bath or other wet areas, soap scum can be minimized by using a squeegee after each use. To remove soap scum, use a non-acidic soap scum remover or a solution of ammonia and water (about 1/2 cup ammonia to a gallon of water). Frequent or over-use of an ammonia solution may eventually dull the surface of the stone. You should apply a penetrating sealer to all bathroom surfaces as well as other surfaces that are constantly wet. Hard water or soap scum may damage the luster of your natural stone. If your shower walls or floors have tile, we suggest having your grout cleaned and sealed periodically to prevent mildew.
Dust and mop the floors frequently using a clean, non-treated, dry dust mop. Sand, dirt and grit will cause the most damage to natural stone surfaces due to their abrasiveness. Mats or area rugs inside and outside an entrance area will help minimize the presence of sand, dirt and grit. Be sure that the underside of the mat or rug has a non-slip surface. Do not use vacuum cleaners that are worn or old. The metal and/or plastic attachments, as well as the vacuum wheels may scratch the stone surfaces.
- Do use coasters under all glasses, particularly those containing alcohol or citrus juices. Many common foods and drinks contain acids that will etch or dull the stone surface.
- Do blot-up spills immediately.
- Do clean your natural stone frequently with warm water and a clean, non-abrasive cloth sponge or mop.
- Do use a neutral cleaner formulated for natural stone or a few drops of liquid dishwashing detergent, will help you remove soil that normal dusting or damp mopping leaves behind.
- Do thoroughly rinse and dry the surface after washing.
- Do protect floor surfaces with non-slip mats or area rugs and countertop surfaces with coasters, trivets or placemats.
- Do use mats or trivets under hot dishes.
- Do keep kitchen countertops and vanities dust free.
- Do wipe off shower walls with a Squeegee after showering. This will prevent hard water or soap scum build-up.
Generally the project involves the purchase of slabs, a possible demolition and dumping, fabrication, installation and sealing. A 50% initial deposit needs to be made on signing of the contract. This payment covers the purchase and delivery of the slabs and 10% of the labor cost. The final balance payment needs to be made on completion of the project.
GraniteKraft has a NO REFUND POLICY once the contract is awarded to the company.
- Don�t place hot items directly on the stone surface. Use trivets or mats under hot dishes and placemats under china, ceramic, silver or other objects that can scratch the surface.
- Don't use vinegar, lemon juice or other cleaners containing acids on marble, limestone, travertine or onyx surfaces.
- Don't use cleaners that contain acid such as bathroom cleaners, grout cleaners or tub & tile cleaners.
- Don't use powder cleaners, or cream cleansers, mildew removers or disinfectants, or abrasive nylon scrub pads, since they can easily etch your stone.
- Don't use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleansers or soft cleansers.
- Don't mix bleach and ammonia; this combination creates a toxic and lethal gas.
- Don�t use general-purpose cleaners such as Ajax, Comet, or Soft Scrub, as they may damage your stone surface, and the effectiveness of your sealer.
- Don't use cork or wood furniture protectors. These can cause severe stains.