Once you have approximate measurements for the stone you will need, you can come to our shop to take a look at some of the options we have to cut from. Once you decide which one you like, you will also need to choose an edge detail
Once you've chosen your stone and removed the existing countertops, take accurate measurements of your base cabinets. Precisely measure the tops of the base cabinets by measuring the distance from the wall to the fronts along the entire length of the wall.
Note: You may want to have the fabricator visit your kitchen to check if anything there may affect how the countertops are made, such as wall bump-outs or exposed pipes. Our techs can come to your home to take measurements.
An even more accurate way to give measurements is to make a template. We sell plastic template paper at our shop. Scribe the template using a scribing tool so that it fits snugly against the wall along the entire run of cabinets, then trace the front edge onto the template. In your template, you must measure the exact locations of cutouts for sinks, cooktops, faucets and soap dispensers. Be careful not to allow a span of more than 2 feet between cabinets, such as a span over a dishwasher, and allow no more than 6 inches of unsupported overhang with 2-centimeter stone and 9 inches with 3-centimeter stone.
If you plan for an undermount sink, make note of that on the template
Pro Tip: Accuracy of measurements is extremely important when it comes to stone countertops. If you don't feel comfortable getting accurate measurements, you can always set a date for us to take the measurements to ensure a perfect fit.
Check to make sure your base cabinets are level across their entire length. If not, unfasten the base units and level them using shims. It's not a good idea to use shims directly under the stone countertop as this will create small voids that could cause the stone to crack under pressure.
Once your countertops have been cut, it's time to get them home safely, which can be tricky. 3 cm thick stone can weigh 25 lbs per square foot. If you have a pick up truck or similar, we can load the stone in your vehicle with our crane. If you do not have a large enough vehicle, we offer delivery with our Peterbilt truck.
It's important to always carry the countertops in a vertical position rather than flat, to avoid cracking or breaking the stone. TBefore picking up the countertops or having them delivered, clear out a space in the kitchen area to store them upright on edge until you're ready for installation.
Once you have the slabs home, it's finally time to install them. First, dry-fit the countertop to ensure an accurate fit. When lifting the countertop, take extra care to support the granite where it's weakest, such as along cutouts for sinks or cooktops. Lay the slabs directly on the frames of the lower cabinets. An additional substrate isn't required for support.
Make sure all the edges fit snuggly and securely, including the seams between slabs if you have more than one.
If you have multiple slabs, now is the time to fit them together. With the slabs flush and level on the cabinets, place painter's tape on each side of the seam to minimize the mess. You'll join the butt seams using color-matched two-part epoxy, which you can purchase from our shop. Pulling the slabs together tightly will require a seam setter, which you can rent from most hardware stores.
Before mixing your two-part epoxy, familiarize yourself with the seam setter tool. The epoxy begins its setting process the moment you mix the two parts, so you will want to work efficiently. Once you're ready, mix the epoxy according to the manufacturer's instructions and thoroughly apply to the seam using a small putty knife.
Once applied, pull your tape and mount the seam setter on each side of the seam, about 1-1/2 inches from the seam. Tighten the tightening screws until you feel resistance, then attach and turn on the auto pump - the tension created will ensure that the edges of the seams remain flush as the epoxy sets. A seam setter also ensures that the top edges of the seams remain flush with each other. Once the epoxy is set, remove the setter. Then carefully shave away any excess epoxy using a single-edge razor.
Pro Tip: When cleaning off wood, granite or other surfaces with a razor blade, hold the razor as flat and straight as possible to ensure you don't gouge the surface.
Now that the seams of the slabs are joined, it's time to secure the stone to the cabinets. The sheer weight of the countertops is nearly enough to hold the stone in place, but you'll still want to run a bead of silicone along the underside perimeter of the counter, where the stone meets the cabinet top. We use Clear GE Silicone.
With your installation complete, finish by applying sealer to your countertops; this will protect the stone and prevent any deep staining. Simply wipe it on evenly with a clean, soft cloth, making sure to get full coverage, then let dry for 24 hours. Once sealed, move forward with your backsplash, sink and appliance installation.