Q1 – How quickly will you supply my granite worktop?
A1 – We aim to fit the worktops within 7 working days of making the templates If the chosen material is in stock. Templating can sometimes be booked with less than a weeks notice but 2/3 weeks would be more usual.
Q2 – What is the usual path to obtaining granite worktops?
A2 – First get a quote either on-line , by emailing a plan to firstname.lastname@example.org faxing a plan to 01767 600872 or over the phone on 01767 314180. Once you are happy with the quote contact us directly to book in for templating.
Q3 – Can you supply marble granite worktops in L, U, S or other complex shapes?
A3 – Yes, this is one of the advantages of having granite. We can supply the worktop in any shape possible within the confines of the sheet size. The sheet sizes vary depending on the size of the block from which it was cut. The largest sheets that we are likely to have are 3M x 2M and there may be additional charges for fabricating complicated shapes.
It is not always possible to have L shapes with some quartz stones as it can increase the likelihood of future cracking, we can advise on joint position from a plan or on the day of templating.
Q4 – What is the longest length of quartz or granite available?
A4 – Granite sheet sizes vary but most are around 3m long and 2m high It is usually possible to have a 3M run. However if you have a cutout then this can reduce the length which it is safe to make the piece. For example in a 620mm wide worktop with a standard 490mm x 560mm hob cutout the longest length in most granites would be around 2.7M.
Standard Quartz slabs are 3.0M long and 1.4M high but some manufactures offer jumbo size slabs of 3.3M by 1.65M. Quartz is very strong so there is no restriction of length based on cutouts as there can be with granite.
Q6 – Do my units need any extra strengthening?
A6 – If you are installing new units then they will certainly be strong enough provided that they are put together as per the manufactures instructions. However it is a good idea to put a batten around the wall to give the granite additional support especially in the corners of the room. Extra support is sometimes required where the worktop is to be joined. Advice can be given on the day of templating.
Q7 – What is so good about quartz and granite worktops?
A7 – Granite looks beautiful, it’s natural and has physical properties unrivalled by any other work surface. It can be cut and shaped into interesting and bespoke shapes therefore reducing the number of joins. Quartz has properties similar to granite but is manmade so it comes in a huge range of trendy colours patterns and surface finishes. It is also incredibly strong so can be cut into long lengths even when including large cutouts.
Q8 – What finishes are available?
A8 – Granite is available in Polished, Honed and leather (satin). Full polished is by far the most popular finish, it extenuates the beauty brings out all the full colour and depth of the stone as well as adding to the stones stain and scratch resistance properties. Honed and leather finish have an appealing slate like look. The stone is more porous in this state and requires sealing. It also shows stains and marks easier than other finishes giving a rustic look that will wear in over time. Most quartz stone manafacturs offer full polish and leather finish, there is not the same consideration of porosity with a leather finish quartz but surface marks will still show more easily.
Q9 – Can I have a sample?
A9 – Marble and Granite samples are available to view on the day of templating or you can arrange to visit the works to view the full size sheets and take away as many samples as you require. Alternatively if you could narrow your choice to 2 or 3 colours we can post them in advance of templating. We have samples of all the major manufacturers of quartz stone in our showroom.
Q10 – What do I need to do before templating?
A10 – Before templating, base units must be lined up, levelled and firmly fixed in place. The units must not move after templating. All necessary information should be made available on the day and units should be free from obstruction. If you have a temporary sink or hob fitted these should be removed before templating.
If you have an undermounted sink then it should be fitted before templating. We recommend fitting the sink approximately 80mm in from the front of the door to the inside of the sink. The sink should be set flush with the top of the units.
Q11 – What should I do before Installation?
A11 – We require parking close to the address, uncluttered access to the work area and may require outside space. Some dust and noise could be made on the day of installation. Please make any parking restrictions or limitations known to us prior to installation.
Q12 – Why are the granites different prices?
A12 – Three factors affect the cost of the stone
1. The relative economy of origin country.
2. The rarity, some stones are in higher demand than production can supply this enables suppliers to put a premium on these stones
3. The production costs, the harder the stone the higher the production costs due to extra wear on tooling.
Q13 – Are there different grades/qualities of granite and how does this relate to cost?
A13 – Although stones are sold first quality and commercial grade, only first quality material is used for worktops. Commercial grade is used for tiles and building fascias. Of the different stones which we sell, there are not degrees of quality but there are certainly differing properties, relating to hardness, weight, porosity and scratch resistance. However these differing properties do not affect the cost. We can advise on each stones properties but for most customers requirements the stones can be considered very similar. Some stones require sealing periodically.
Q14 – Will I need to seal my granite worktop?
A14 – Despite what the sealant manufactures tell you most stones which have been processed for worktop manufacture will never require any sealing. Some stones are more porous than others and if they require sealing, then we seal once before installation, once on the day of installation and then leave you with a bottle of sealer for you to reseal yourself once every 6-12months. Once the stone has been sealed 3-5 times it will never need doing again. The sealing process takes around 15minutes.
Q15 – How do you join the worktop?
A15 – We aim to minimise joins and put them into the most discrete and practical positions. The slabs of granite sit next to each other with a less than 2mm wide gap this is then flush filled with a water tight two part epoxy resin. The joins are not invisible but nor are they intrusively obvious. See example photo
Q16 – Do I need new units?
A16 – No many people decide to just change their worktop. The cost of the worktop would be the same but extra work like removing the old worktops is charged for. If you do not intend to change the tiles then we suggest you have an upstand, this makes for a much better finish. Wooden worktops flex to accommodate any changes in level of the units but granite will not. Therefore we often find that replacement tops require extra packing under the granite. We try to minimise this by raising lowering units if possible. However some older units do not have adjustable legs, in which case the only option is extra packers under the granite. Regardless of the state of the units it is always possible to have granite. Some kitchens require more strengthening than others and because of this it is difficult to give an exact quote from a plan. Usually we ask you questions about your kitchen then give you a best and worst figure which would be confirmed after templating. Many people choose to do the additional work themselves, it which case they usually remove the old worktops before templating, then on the advice of the templater make the additional supports and level up before we come back to fit the granite.
Q17 – Do you have a brochure?
A17 – We have invested in our website instead of a printed brochure.
Q18 – Is granite totally natural?
A18 – Yes but we treat some materials with fillers and sealers both at the source and in our works.
Q19 – How thick is your material?
A19 – 30mm solid has become the choice thickness for granite kitchen worktops but it is possible to have 20mm, 40mm or 20/20laminated or front edge mitre to any thickness. 30mm solid allows for the largest pieces and most complicated shapes because it is stronger than 20mm and lighter than 40mm.
Q20 – Can I fit the Granite myself?
A20 – It is not unreasonable to fit the worktop yourself or have a builder do it for you We will happily advise on the ease of each individual job and assist where possible but mistakes can be costly When things go well it is easy but problems take lots of experience to deal with.
Q21 – Can I template the worktop myself?
A21 – We happily supply worktops from customer’s templates or measurments but we will not fit unless we made the templates ourselves.
Q22 – Do you have a showroom?
A22 – Yes the showroom is located at 83 The High Street, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, SG18 0LA and is open Mon-Fri 9-5PM and Sat 10-1PM, no appointment is necessary
Q23 – Are your prices reasonable?
A23 – For the product and service we offer we are definitely very reasonably priced. We buy our material direct in containers, undertaking all steps of production at our works and having years of experience allows us to reduce the cost of having granite worktops. There are cheaper companies than ours, these tend to fall into two categories. Firstly those which are based abroad, usually Eastern Europe, who send the templates to their factory for manufacture then truck the worktops back to the UK. Secondly UK based companies offering a template free installation. They buy pre-cut, pre-polished “blanks” usually from India or China, and cut the blanks to size on site.
Q24 – Can I put hot pans onto the granite worktop?
A24 – Yes. Granite is formed from molten rock and can withstand huge amounts of heat. However if you plan on putting very hot pans on the granite for prolonged periods it may be a good idea to have some “hotrods” installed (see features page). It is possible that the heat from the pan may evaporate some of the latent moisture in the stone causing a change in colour this will then change back as the moisture returns.
Q25 – Can I scratch my granite worktop?
A25 – Diamonds and Corundum will scratch all granites, quartz will scratch some, but it is difficult to scratch any granite with a knife.
Q26 – Can I chip my granite worktop?
A26 – Not by itself but if you hit it hard with something substantial on a corner, edge or across a cutout is could chip or crack. It is also possible to chip quartzstone but slightly less likely than granite.
Q27 – Can chips in a granite worktop be repaired?
A27 – This depends on the positioning and size but if we can get at it with our StoneLux ultraviolet machine then it is a reasonably simple procedure. The charge is typically £75-150. Alternatively you can buy a small pot of epoxy resin for £10+P&P.
Q28 – Does granite stain?
A28 – – Some stones are more porous than others and require sealing which we do at our works before installation, after this process it is virtually impossible to stain any of our worktops unless you leave strong chemicals or oily dyes for prolonged periods.
Q29 – How do I clean my quartz or granite worktops?
A29 – We recommend using glass cleaner for every day use but you can also use most antibacterial sprays and surface cleaners. A silicone squeegee is a quick smear free way of clearing water into an undermount sink. Cif cream is good with all light colored quartzsrone if you have a stubborn mark.
Q30 – What about lime scale?
A30 – If you live in a hard water area lime scale may show on dark granites. The lime scale is deposited when the water evaporates from the surface of the granite leaving behind the calcium carbonate. This can be removed either physically with fine wire wool, stanley knife blade or chemically with a weak acid solution. Wet the area with the acid using a cloth and rinse with plenty of water.
Q31 – Is granite affected by lemon juice?
A31 – No, the only stones we know of which are effected by lemon juice are marbles and limestones and we would never consider recommending these for use in a kitchen. The only exception is some black granites mostly Indian Nero Assoluto and Chinese Shanxi Black these can react to acid leaving a faint shadow below the surface. We only use Zimbabwe Black granite which does not react in this way.
Q32 – Is there a minimum amount of granite which should be left around cut-outs?
A32 – Yes but it depends on, how large the cutout is, which stone and how much material is either side of the cutout. Is it possible to put strips along the cutout therefore reducing the risk of breaking as well as reducing the number and length of joins required elsewhere. We support our cutouts by sinking reinforcing bars into the underside of the worktop this helps mainly for transport and installation but also after installation.
Q33 – How is the stone fixed to the worktop?
A33 – Most pieces of stone worktop are very difficult to move once they are positioned. However some adhesive is used under the worktop, the adhesive also holds any packers used to level the worktop in place and to give support to venerable parts of the worktop such as hob cutouts.
Q34 – Do you do plumbing?
A34 – Generally no, if we supply the sink we will fix it into the unit, fit the attachments and seal it to the granite but will not plumb the sink in. It is sometimes possible for us to arrange a plumber to do this.