Understanding Natural Stone Products
Granite is a rock consisting of a variety of minerals like Feldspar, Mica, and Quartz. It is beautiful and extremely durable material, making it a wonderful choice for your new countertops. However, there are a few items you should be aware of before the installation of your new countertops:
- Being that granite is a natural material, it will vary in coloration, shading, veining, and surface texture. Therefore, perfect coloration and veining matching is not guaranteed. These variations are normal, acceptable, and show off the natural beauty of granite.
- Some stones may require the use of fillers, resins, and reinforcing rods to repair their geological flaws, voids, fissures, or lines of separation which occur naturally.
- It is the customer’s responsibility to approve their selected material prior to fabrication.
We will gladly go over the material with you.
- All stone is considered porous, and should have an impregnator, or sealer applied after installation. We will apply the first coat of sealer upon installation. We recommend that you seal your stone annually thereafter. It is a quick, easy process that will ensure your satisfaction with your granite tops.
- Sometimes it is necessary to put seams in your countertops. Seams are common and perfectly acceptable. We do the best we can to camouflage and hide them, but especially being the homeowner, you will always be able to see and feel your seams
Fissures vs cracks
Fissures in granite are incredibly common, especially in slabs with a large dramatic design.
In the slab yard, with the slab sitting vertically, these fissures are present and yet not always easily visible. In the excitement of choosing an exquisite slab, it’s easy to stand back and focus on the slab as a whole instead. However, it’s when your countertops are installed and the sunlight shines through the window onto your new horizontal surface that you are likely to notice a fine web of what seems to be cracks. These are, in fact, fissures that naturally occur in granite. The difference between a crack and a natural granite fissure is an important aspect of enjoying the natural beauty of granite.
Sunlight streams across your new countertops and your stomach drops. OH NO. Are these cracks? Is my countertop going to fall apart? Have no fear, you are only looking at normal harmless fissures.
These fine little lines are what are known as “fissures”. Fissures are tiny edges in the composition of the minerals that your countertops are built of. Fissures are present in a good portion of the granite, marble, and travertine slabs that are available. They often help make up the artistic look of the slab you chose. They are not cracks. A fissure in a slab of granite is a natural cleft in the rock caused by nature. When the stones form underground, a gap may develop in the material for any number of reasons, and this gap presents as a fissure when the slabs are mined from the ground. Rock mining companies pull stone out of the ground in large rectangular cubes, then slice those cubes like bread. The slices become the individual slabs, and if those slabs have gaps or fissures, the mining company will fill them in with quartz crystals and a penetrating resin. The resin used to seal these fissures lend itself to the overall strength of the slab itself.
Actual cracks will be different in composition than fissures. Cracks are not solid, so they will have an opening that debris can fall into. If you find cracks like the one shown below in your countertop, we should be able to help you fill and hide them from view. This can still be done without any compromise to the strength of your counters.
Cracks in granite occur when there is an accident after the slab is resonated and polished. Cracks will go all the way through the stone and be detectable by touch. This is the result of unintended breakage, and is not already filled in with quartz, resin, or epoxy.
A real crack. It does not follow the pattern of the granite and consists of a gap that debris can fit into.
Measurement Process & What To Expect
Preparations are necessary prior to the scheduled measure appointment to ensure the accuracy of the precision cutting required for your new countertops.
- Clear all areas. Everything needs to be removed from the countertops and free of microwaves, coffeepots, etc.
- Cabinets have to be installed prior to our arrival in order to maintain our appointments scheduled with other customers.
- Please secure your pet(s) in a room other than the area(s) to be measured.
What to Expect
- Our Templator uses a precision laser and a tape measure to verify measurement accuracy. We try to keep on site fabrication to a minimum.
- It may be necessary to move your stove. Our laser requires targets, and your stove opening needs fit properly.
- Our laser is generally set up in the center of the room to hit all target points and create a digital pattern. The digital pattern is used by the fabrication to cut your countertops.
- Please do not bump, move or kick the laser while we take the necessary digital pattern.
- If possible, please watch from a distance and avoid walking the area(s) while the laser is in operation.
- Our Templator will review all your information with you once the pattern is complete and has had time to inspect the area(s) where countertops will be installed. We will be happy to answer your questions and address your concerns once this process is complete.
Reviewing Your Measure/Template
- Once the template is complete, we will review the square footage information with you.
- Our Templator will let you know if something is out of the ordinary or requires additional preparation prior to installation.
- Questions regarding seam location can be addressed.
Granite Installation and What to Expect
At least 70% of the total countertop must be supported by cabinets, an island, knee wall, etc. The type of surface dictates the amount of overhang permitted on a countertop. The countertop can support the following overhang over a 24” deep base cabinet without additional brackets or corbels:
- 6” Granite or other natural stone countertops (10” UNSUPPORTED)
- 12” Quartz countertop
Brackets, corbels and sometimes legs should provide adequate structural support for overhangs in excess of the above guideline. Supports are usually installed by your carpenter and need to be installed prior to installation of the new countertops. New or existing cabinets must be structurally sound to withstand the weight of the countertop. Lazy Susan, corners and other spaces should be added wall cleats for support. If you have any questions or concerns about supporting your countertop, it would be best to address the issue at the time of the countertop design, but the final verification will be done by our technician at the time of measure. He will recommend the kind of support needed and verify that your cabinets are structurally strong.
Cabinets must be plumb, level and permanently secured to the wall or floor. Cabinets should be as level as possible because the countertop must lie flat within 1/8” to eliminate stress on the corners, cut-outs, and seams. Consider the help of a professional woodworker to ensure that your cabinets are plumb, level and square. Keep in mind that your countertops will be as level as your cabinetry is. It is recommended that you do this before the measure. If your cabinets are slightly out of level, we may require placing shims between the cabinet and the countertop to bring up to level, however, in other instances, we may have to install the countertop flat according to the trajectory of your home and tile. We will not be able to install on excessively unleveled cabinetry. Gaps and shims may be visible, so you may want to consider having them covered with decorative trim by your carpenter or contractor. This may be particularly noticeable to you if you’ve previously had laminate countertops, as granite does not bend to accommodate the waves in your drywall or cabinetry.
Not all faucets may work with your countertop design. Some faucets may have multiple holes that will not work with your sink, so please check if the faucet will work with your sink prior to purchasing. As such, we cannot be responsible for a faucet you did not buy from us.
On Installation Day, our technician will take your new faucet out of the box, show you where they are drilling the holes and then place the faucet back in the box. You will need to be present for this process.
Due to the wear and tear on old faucets, particularly the rubber gasket, we will not be responsible for used faucets.
We use paintable caulk or a closely color matched caulk for your granite backsplash installation to the walls to fill voids and gaps between walls and the backsplash. We cannot touch up your wall paint; it is your responsibility.
We also have a selection of sinks to choose from. We offer Granite Composite, Stainless Steel, and Porcelain sinks.
Before you make a selection you will need to decide which type most suits your needs.
- There are different scratch resistant properties to each type of sink.
- There are different gauges to the stainless steel sinks.
- Double sink proportions range from 50/50 -60/40 -70/30.
National Granite does offer a plumber service to hook up to existing plumbing, or you can arrange to have this done with your own professional. If for any reason additional work is necessary, such as pipe extending or shortening, our plumber can give you a quote for these charges. We also recommend that customers consider updating old garbage disposals.
National Granite has a 1-year warranty on products and services, although scratches and dents are not covered under this warranty.
Our Granite Composite sinks carry a limited lifetime warranty. Please refer to our detailed Manufacturer’s Warranty to see exactly what is covered.
We also recommend that you refer to our Manufacturer’s maintenance instructions for the care of your new sink.
Proper Sealing Instructions
Things you will need:
- Clean Towels or Paper towels
- Granite Countertop cleaner
- Clean rags
- Purchase a WATER BASED sealer that is made for granite countertops. Your local hardware store should carry various sealants for granite countertops.
- Remove any items that you may keep on your countertops and set aside
- Remove any crumbs or dust from the countertop by using a soft clean rag.
- Clean the countertop with a stone cleaner. Mist the area and let the cleaner sit for about 30 seconds before scrubbing with a sponge. Dry the area with a clean dry towel.
- Use a clean cloth or paper towel to apply sealer to the granite countertop.
- Allow the applied sealer to dry for three to five minutes.
- Allow sealer to dry completely, depending on the sealer brand you are using, drying time could take from 20 minutes to an hour.
- Complete this process at least once a year to help keep your countertops looking like new
Do’s and Don’ts of Granite Care
- DO use a sealer once a year
- DO use a water-based sealer
- DO clean on a regular basis
- DO wipe up any spills immediately
- DON’T use vinegar, lemon juice, or other cleaners containing acids on your stone
- DON’T use cleaners that contain acids such as bathroom cleaners, grout cleaners or tub and tile cleaners.
- DON’T use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleaners or soft cleaners, Eg: Comet.
- DON’T mix bleach and ammonia; this combination creates a toxic and lethal gas.
- DON’T ever mix chemicals together unless directions specifically instruct you to do so.
Stop In or Schedule an In-Home Estimate
Visit us in store, contact us here or call 330-721-1914.