Before You Buy
What do I need to consider when buying granite or marble?
Because they are natural stone, both granite and marble have been blessed with a remarkable natural beauty that has captivated humans throughout the ages. Although sample stones are intended to be representative of the color and texture, the material quarried at one time may differ slightly in color variation from one end to the other, and slabs ordered may not be identical to the sample or picture you've previously seen. Interior designers and architects have come to view this tendency of natural stone as an advantage. Slight irregularities can be pleasing, introducing an element of the natural into human-design spaces.
Do my existing countertops need to be removed for templating?
To ensure an accurate fit and quality installation, we do require the existing countertops to be removed prior to templating. You may do this yourself or contract us for the removal. We will schedule both templating and installation ahead of time, so you know exactly when to expect us, and you won't be without a functional kitchen for an extended period of time.
What kinds of finishes are available in natural stone?
Marbles and granites are typically shipped from quarries with a polished, or shiny, face. Limestones are usually available in a "honed" finish, which is smooth to the touch, but not shiny.
What kinds of edge details are available?
We can do any kind of edge detail that you can imagine... from the simplest straight polished edge to an elaborately detailed edge. Our most popular edges are straight, half-bullnose, full-bullnose, beveled and ogee.
Can I do one area of my project now, and complete the remainder of it in the same color at a later time?
Yes, but not without potential complications. As natural stones are quarried, changes in shade and pattern occur. Therefore, finding an exact match at a later time might not be possible
Do I need to reinforce my cabinets or floor when installing natural stone countertops?
Although granite is heavy, typically between 15-20 pounds per square foot, any level base cabinet will support the top. Granite needs to be consistently supported rather than having reinforced supports. Cabinets need standard cross supports and brackets for any overhang greater than 12". The weight of the countertops is distributed equally over the kitchen, so your existing floor supports will suffice.
Generally, how does the cost compare to other surfaces?
Initially, marble and granite cost about the same as solid surfaces, but the price must be weighed against performance. Marble and granite are far more valuable than synthetics in much the same way that diamonds are more valuable than rhinestones. The depth and character of natural stone cannot be matched by any man-made surface. Natural stone does not depreciate with time and adds value to your home.
Is polished marble too slippery to be used on a bathroom floor?
Any polished surface is slippery when wet. As with any other hard surface used in a bathroom, caution should be used when exiting the shower and tub areas, as well as any other area that is wet.
I'm building a house, when should I select my stone?
Because natural stone has variations, it is not a good idea to select a stone too early. Colorations can vary, and the veining from one shipment to another can be quite different. Once the cabinets are 3-4 weeks away from being installed it is a good idea to finalize your selection based on current inventory
Will my countertops have seams?
Not necessarily. A typical slab size is somewhere between 7 and 10 feet. Therefore, your countertops may not require a seam. Many people do not have a problem with seams, but if you are concerned about them you should discuss this with your fabricator prior to fabrication. How and where it is seamed should also be discussed with the fabricator. Often the seams are so tight they are difficult to notice, however communication with the fabricator is essential in order to avoid confusion or disappointment regarding seams.
Which type of sink is best for granite ? Under mount or drop-in?
This is a matter of personal preference. If installed properly, both types of sinks are sanitary and safe. The ability to wipe off the counters directly in to the sink and the aesthetic appeal make under mounted sinks the most popular. Typically an under mount sink installation would be an additional expense ( though minimal ) due to the finishing process of the edges around the sink.
Will my sample match my actual slab?
Because of the movement and veining in natural stone it is difficult to accurately represent stone with a small sample. Also, stone varies from shipment to shipment, so if you have a sample from a previous shipment, it may not match the current supply. It is advisable to view the actual slabs at the G&L Marble showroom nearest you or at the shop prior to fabrication
Should I approve my slabs before they are fabricated?
It is always a good idea to approve the slabs prior to fabrication. This will help to prevent and surprises or disappointments once the material is installed.
Can granite be used outside?
Yes. There are a handful of granites that can change color when exposed to UV rays, but it is very durable and can be used outside. Granite is often used for outdoor kitchens, as pavers for driveways and walkways, as stair treads, and as exterior cladding on commercial buildings.
How can we have as few seams as possible?
On average, granite slabs are approx 110" x 66". Though in some colors, 120" slabs are not unusual. While planning your kitchen, keep these sizes in mind. Extremely large islands may require a seam or the color selection in unusually large slabs will be very limited.
What is the thickness of my countertop?
All granite countertops that we install are approximately an inch and a quarter or 3cm thick. Because it is a natural stone, slabs can vary in thickness by an eighth of an inch. This thick material is used for structural reasons and does not need to be installed over plywood; the countertops can be installed directly on your base cabinets. Some marble and other types of stone are only available in 3/4" or 2cm thickness. This material should be limited to bathrooms or other lower usage areas.