Frequently Asked Questions
What is Granite?
Granite is natural stone, formed many millions of years ago. Granite has extreme hardness making it an ideal choice for surfacing materials. Granite also has natural beauty making it appealing when used for countertops and other surfacing products.
“I have heard that granite has small cracks and pits in it. What are these?
Fissures occur naturally in many types of stone. The term fissure is used in the stone industry to describe a visible separation along inter-crystalline boundaries. The separation may start and stop within the stone and extend to the edges. A fissure differs from a crack in that is a natural occurrence. All granites contain some degree of fissures, some more than others. Fissures are not a flaw in the stone. Pitting of the stone surface is a common characteristic of granite, marble, soapstone and travertine. Some Granites contain materials other than quartz as part of the composition. Many of these other material in the stone have a different hardness than Quartz. Some of those embedded materials are flakey and do cause pits or layers to flake off. This is also a natural occurrence in granite. The pits or flakes do not make the stone less durable or inferior, and do not in themselves qualify the slab for replacement. As a matter of fact, many of the more expensive stones, with a high degree of veining can exhibit this characteristic. Customers should expect some of these conditions with the stone.
My neighbor has granite and there are small chips along the seam. Is this normal?
Chipping will occur, particularly in the igneous stone varieties, as a result of sawing operation. During the polishing operation Best Stone Innovation LLC will put a small chamfer on the edge to eliminate most of the chips caused in the sawing operation. The chamfer can cause the seam to appear wider than it actually is. Larger chips are then filled with resin. In general, Best Stone Innovation, LLC does not normally use a chamfer on the edge of a seam. However, some stones are naturally more brittle and susceptible to a high degree of chipping. When these stones present the issue noted herein Best Stone Innovation, LLC reserves the right to chamfer the seams edge ever so slightly to remove the chips. We will do so to create the most aesthetically pleasing installation. All seams machined in our shop or in the field will be filled with resin.
I have seen some seams that are not perfectly smooth, why is this?
The term “lippage” as used in the granite countertop industry, is the planar offset of the finished surfaces of two adjacent stone sections. Due to the relatively tight seams used in countertop installations, even minor amounts of lippage are noticeable. Lippage may be unavoidable due to permanent warp in the slab stock. There should be no detectable lippage at the front or rear edge of the countertop. Maximum permissible lippage at the center of the countertop is 1/32 inch (0.8mm)
Some of the walls in my kitchen are bowed and/or inconsistent. Will the granite follow the bow and conform to the wall?
Granite, Marble and Quartz are very rigid materials and do not bend to follow irregularities of walls. No wall is perfectly straight. There will be areas where small gaps are visible. The size of these gaps is determined by the severity of the bowed wall. Countertops receiving a backsplash will not be scribed in an attempt to follow the irregularity of any wall. A gap of 1/8 inch to ½” wide (covered by backsplashes) is normally used between the stone countertop and walls, in order to allow the HME framing to expand and contract during seasonal changes. For areas without splashes, counters will be scribed to industry standards. Customers must understand, if not using splashes, some deviation will likely be noticeable and this cannot be prevented or rejected by the customer.
What are the maximum overhangs allowed for an eating area?
Unsupported overhang cannot exceed 6 inches on ¾” thick (2cm) stoneand 10 inches on 1.25 inch thick (3cm) stone. For larger overhangs, the homeowner or contractor should install supports.
Do I need to be present during measuring / templating of the countertops?
Yes, absolutely someone must be present. The customer or authorized responsible representative must review the template, including seam locations, overhangs, radius corners and other issues with Best Stone Innovation, LLC employee assigned to template the job. Upon completion of the template, you or your designate, will be asked to sign the template/drawing of your countertop project and or template paperwork. This document will indicate the approximate location of the seams and other specific design information. All templates are final. We do not accept phone in changes. All changes must be in writing and may require an additional/new template along with added charge of $95.00. Once the template is finalized, it will be used for manufacturing and QC checks to the finished stone. If the template matches the fabricated piece, the customer will have no ability to dispute the quality of the stone or any charges/amounts owed against the install. Best Stone Innovation, LLC also has the right incorporate the standard tolerances for machining into the template. For example, if a stone is cut 1/8 short of an end wall, that is within the standard manufacturing tolerances. Customer may NOT dispute manufacturing tolerances or the template after install. All Decisions are final at the template stage.
Do I get to keep any remaining slab material?
Unfortunately all remaining material is the property of Best Stone Innovation, LLC unless specifically agreed to in advance on your invoice. Customers pay for Square Feet, not slabs.
Do I need to have the existing countertops removed prior to the template date? It is not always required to remove existing countertops prior to template. In some cases, special circumstances might require existing countertops be removed prior to template. Walls are rarely straight, and corners rarely square. To ensure the highest degree of accuracy, we prefer your existing countertops be removed prior to template. If you cannot be without countertops for the duration of the manufacturing process, it is possible to template with the existing countertops in place. Best Stone Innovation, LLC does offer countertop tear out service. Countertop removal, haul-off of old countertops, plumbing services and other non-countertop related jobs/services are NEVER included in the price of countertops unless explicitly noted in your pricing proposal.
What other items do I need to know prior to templating?
- Final pricing will be based on actual field measurements and conditions
- If, after field measurement, Best Stone Innovation LLC is required to use additional slabs of material, the price will reflect the added material. Customers should confirm pricing with their project manager after template and slab selection/layout.
- Undermount sinks and cooktops must be onsite during template process. It is the Customer’s responsibility to make sure that the sink and cooktop fit into the base cabinet. Best Stone Innovation, LLC will not be responsible if the items do not fit. We will make every attempt to fit the items but that might require cutting customer cabinets and cutting more granite than expected. Best Stone Innovation, LLC will not be liable for damage or changes to installation to make these items fit properly.
- The appointment to template is the last chance to make changes to the original order/design. Changes must be made in writing and be faxed or emailed to the customers project manager.
- Changes may delay the installation
- Cabinets must be fully installed including all finishing panels before the template can be made. · Customers utilizing a full height backsplash will require a 2nd template and 2nd installation day.
- It is recommended Appliances should be in place prior to template where and when possible. For customers without a range in place, we template to the cabinet stile. If there is a gap between the slide in range and the stone, this is the customer responsibility.
Have your appliances onsite at the template process. What are some things I should know about the countertop tear out process?
The sink, faucets and dishwasher will need to be disconnected prior to removing the old countertops. There may be some unavoidable minor damage done during the tear out to surrounding walls, existing tiles and possibly cabinets. Best Stone Innovation, LLC countertop installers are NOT responsible for this minor damage. This type of damage can and does occur with most installations and the customer should be prepared to make touchups and repairs once the new countertops are installed.
- Best Stone Innovation, LLC will not discount, credit, or in any way reduce the price due to minor scratches or construction damage The removal of existing countertops and installation of new countertops is a major construction process. There will be minor damage to surrounding areas and some amount of dust and debris created in the process.
Are my cabinets structurally sound to handle the weight of stone?
Most cabinets can easily handle the weight of granite countertops. It is often not possible to assess cabinet problems prior to the removal of the existing countertops. If significant problems are detected after the removal of existing countertops, either in structure or if the cabinets are NOT LEVEL the installation could be delayed. It is the RESPONSIBILITY of the homeowner to have the cabinets repaired to acceptable standards of levelness and structure. If the installation must be rescheduled due to cabinet issues and a new appointment day is needed, return trip fees will apply. The return trip fee for a full day countertop install is $300.00 per day. Countertops can be shimmed and installed with cabinets out of level and flat plane up to 1/8” per 120 inch run, depending on slope and length of the deviation. Beyond 1/8” the cabinets must be repaired. Countertops sit directly on top of the cabinets. If shims are used the customer may see gaps under the granite and between cabinets. Best Stone Innovation LLC will not be responsible for these gaps as the homeowner must approve the use of shims, otherwise have the cabinets leveled to flat plane.
What are some important things I should know about the installation of my new countertops?
- Owner or designated representative must be onsite during the entire installation process. Owner or rep must be able to make decisions on issues which may arise on site during installation. They will be required to sign the completion forms at the end of installation. In the event the buyer authorizes Best Stone Innovation, LLC to install the countertops, with no representative available, the customer is in automatic acceptance of the installation and will be consider to have signed the close out documents. Once the close out documents are signed by Customer and Crew chief, with credit cards on file automatically authorize Best Stone Innovation LLC to collect payment in full by use of the credit card. Should we need to return to your home after signing the close out document there is a $45.00/hr fee including trip time. Your deposit for the countertop project is acceptance of this condition.
- All seams will be placed at the discretion of Best Stone Innovation, LLC. Every effort will be made to indicate seam location during the template process, however we reserve the right to move seam locations as needed to cut around inclusions, cracks or other irregularities within the stone or to maximize slab consumption. Absolutely no financial compensation will be allowed for movement of seams by Best Stone Innovation, LLC.
- Overhangs will vary slightly over the length of the countertop. The standard overhang is 1.5 inches. Sink reveals may also have slight variances. We do not offer plus or minus zero tolerances. Customers should expect some level of variance to within industry standards.
- Standard backsplash height is 4 inches. Best Stone Innovation, LLC will NOT be responsible if the backsplash does not cover paint or wallpaper lines. It is the customer responsibility to have electrical outlets moved to miss the backsplash or to be included within the backsplash. This must be done prior to installation. If customer desires a different height backsplash, the customer must make that request to their project manager prior to commencement of template.
- Plumbing for undermount sinks should not be reattached for 24 hours after completion of the installation. If the sink moves due to customers attaching plumbing before 24 hour period, Best Stone Innovation LLC will reset the sink but there will be an additional charge of $45.00 per hour plus travel time.
- The tear-out and installation of countertops is a MAJOR CONSTRUCTION process. There will be dust generated in the process. Owners should remove all items in the cabinets. You should turn off heat and/or air conditioning. Best Stone Innovation,LLC will make a best effort to clean up residual dust prior to leaving but any remaining dust is the customer’s responsibility to clean up.
- Installers are NOT allowed to move or reinstall appliances. All appliances should be disconnected and moved aside during the installation process. If Best Stone Innovation, LLC employees are required to move appliances WE WILL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE for damage that occurs to the appliance or surround areas (example. Floors). Customer acknowledge this provision by not having the items moved and requesting Best Stone Innovation employees to do the work not included in our scope of countertops.
- It is responsibility of the homeowner to provide a safe work environment for Best Stone Innovation LLC employees. There will be many trips between jobsite and work vehicles. The pathway should be clean and clear of debris. New home builders should have an acceptable access way into and out of the property. Properties missing driveways, walkways and steps into the building are not safe work environments. If Best Stone Innovation, LLC employees determine the conditions are not safe for carrying granite countertops into the property a new installation date will need set. Best Stone Innovation LLC will charge the customer for a second installation date at $300.00 per day for a full day if required.
- Best Stone Innovation, LLC caulks stone to stone. If CGM is asked to caulk wall to stone, it will be with paintable latex caulk. Color match caulk is not provided by Best Stone Innovation LLC.
The removal of existing countertops and the installation of new ones are major construction processes. There are often time delays in projects such as these. A number of things can happen to offset the original timing estimate. Every project is unique and unforeseen circumstances may arise in the areas of material breakage, personnel issues, equipment, weather and acts of God. No financial compensation will be made due to such delays. These potential occurrences should be understood by customers and planned for. Best Stone Innovation LLC is committed to a quality installation and will hold to the schedule as these factors allow.
These guidelines are endorsed by the Marble Institute of America and should clearly explain our processes and answer many of your questions.
PRODUCT SPECIFICATION SHEET
Granite countertops are composed of natural materials and are subject to variations in color, veining and pattern. Fissures, dry seams and pitting are all naturally occurring features of granite and are NOT defects. These natural characteristics will not change over time and in no way impact stone performance. Absolutely no claims will be accepted after installation. Because of this we recommend that all slabs of exotic stone be viewed by customer prior to installation.
Seams: Placement of seams is at discretion of Best Stone Innovation LLC. Seams vary from 1/16-1/8 inch and are discernable to the eye and touch. Every effort is made to ensure seams are placed in the best location for beauty and integrity. Natural characteristics of granite make it IMPOSSIBLE to guarantee a match in color or veining when seaming two pieces together. Best Stone Innovation LLC will make a best effort to match the seams but provide no guarantee of conformity for every piece due to slab consumption.
Staining: Granite countertops rarely stain when properly sealed and maintained. Most stains can be removed with poultice. Marble and Travertine can stain more easily than granite. Sealing the surfaces is recommended every six months.
Sealing: All countertops are sealed prior to installation using approved stone sealer.
Cleaning: You may use lukewarm water and PH neutral detergent to clean your countertop.
Chips: When machining granite countertops, chipping at the edges and corners may occur. These chips are normally patched and repaired.