Get Multiple Quotes
When buying stone, it should go without saying, get multiple quotes from various shops as well as ours. Make an appointment to have your cabinets measured and an estimate will be provided. You could also draw a simple diagram of your cabinets on graph paper, with measurements, and this can dropped off or faxed to us.
Choose and Inspect Your Desired Material
Next, before providing a down payment , insist that you would like to inspect your countertops before they are installed. You are paying top dollar so any honest fabricator should not have a problem with this. We welcome having you in the process of fabricating your stone work.
Placement of Seams
You and your fabricator should agree before hand on the placement of any seams in the material. Certain seams are necessary, but sometimes, the fabricator may sneak some extra seams in to save himself money on material by using left over scraps from previous jobs. This is a very common practice, so watch for it. Granite slabs are always at least nine feet wide, so there is rarely a need for any seams in the countertop less than nine feet in length. In projects greater than nine feet, there will almost always be a seam.
Grain direction applies to materials which have a visible pattern in the material. The granite pattern on all of the countertops in a general area should all flow in the same direction.This is especially important where two pieces join at the seam. They should always “flow” into each other, Otherwise, you will have a bothersome eyesore. This mistake is commonly made by saw operators who lack adequate layout experience.
Look down the “face” or surface of the edges, you should not notice any dull spots. The polish on the edges should match the face of the granite and should be free of swirls, scratches and stains. Insist upon taking a rag soaked in thinner such as acetone, denatured alcohol, or lacquer thinner, and firmly wipe this down the edges. Fabricators who are in a hurry, or do not completely polish the edges will commonly hide this fact with wax. This is very common and many customers will be very unhappy when they have countertops with dull edges when the waxes wear off six months or a year down the road. Watch for this, waxing dull polishes is a very common practice used by fabricators to hide low quality craftsmanship.
Look out for countertops which have been broken and glued back together. Often, broken peices have been repaired using epoxy, super-glue, and even steel rods to hold them together. Sometimes you will see a natural fissure that runs through the pattern of the stone. In most circumstances, you should not be able to feel a crack or fracture that runs through the material. You are paying good money, don’t accept broken stone. At times, the repairs are so good you will not feel the crack with your finger tips and the only way you will notice the repair is by looking “sideways” down the face. Then you will observe where the face has been re-polished to hide the crack. You will notice many deep swirls left by the polishing pads. Inspect very closely and you will see that the fracture has been filled in with glue and polished down. Lastly, keep in mind that certain fissures are a natural and unavoidable part of many types of stone.