Frequently Asked Questions
Granite is a natural stone that consists of the minerals, quartz, feldspar and Mica. Natural veins, fissures and mineral deposits combine to give granite its beautiful and natural appearance. Its extreme hardness makes granite uncommonly durable and extremely appealing for use every day in the home. Fissures and small pits are common and in some cases can be filled during fabrication or installation. Granite does require sealing annually if you choose not to add our permanent sealer.
Quartz is an engineered surface composed of 93% quartz crystals and 7% polyester resin. Quartz has taken the best of what nature has to offer in terms of the durability and the beauty of stone. The manufacturing process was developed utilizing intense pressure and heat to increase the color consistency, stain resistance and strength of this stone product. Being non-porous, Quartz does not require the use of sealants, and it withstands typical wear and tear beautifully. Professionally developed colors are computer-calibrated to maintain consistency, allowing designers and customers to make the perfect selection from samples.
Granite has emerged as the most popular kitchen countertop material because of its natural beauty and durability.
- The elegance of granite countertops add value to homes
- Granite does not depreciate in value
- Granite can take the heat of a hot pan
- It’s a “one of a kind” natural surface that has an almost luminous look
- It’s easy to clean with warm water and a mild detergent
- It is more affordable because of the abundant supply
Granite is naturally formed in most parts of the world, but it is quarried in significant quantities in Brazil, India, Italy, Africa, Norway, Finland, and China. A majority of the most desirable granite slabs used for kitchen countertops in the USA come from Brazil, India, and Italy.
In fact, granite countertops require very little maintenance. Mild soap and warm water is recommended for cleaning. Granite should, however, be checked yearly for sealing.
Yes & No
Only diamond is harder than granite. Diamond is scored a 10 on the MOH’s hardness scale. Granite is scored 7. Steel bladed knives cannot scratch granite, however, a ceramic knives can.
Other natural stones like Gneiss and Schist are commonly called granite, but they do not have a MOH score of 7 and can likely be scratched by most knives.
The center for disease control did not find any evidence to suggest that bacteria could grow in granite.
Granite was tested for Radon emissions and found to emit very insignificant levels of Radon. Granite is found to be safe for usage in homes without any harmful effects. You can read the report on this research at the website of the Marble Institute of America.
A good number of granite colors that are very beautiful with a variety of colors and veins that flow in different directions, are not truly “granites” in strict geological terms. Though they are commonly called granites, they are actually Gneiss or Schists stones. True granite stones scale between 6 and 7 on MOH’s scale of hardness (diamond hardness is 10). Whereas, the MOH’s scale for Gneiss and Schist is less than 6.
In order to strengthen these stones to be used as countertops, they undergo a process called resinization, where epoxy resin is used to fill the weak spots of these stones. These slabs, with the visually filled lines, do not break or crack once they are installed, with proper care. If any problem does happen, it will happen during fabrication or transportation.
Mascarello, Copenhagen, Louise Blue, Barricato, Betularie, and many more popular stones belong to this category. A lot of customers do not mind the fill lines and visual imperfections because of the beauty of these natural stones.
If you are a perfectionist, and do not want any imperfections, then you should choose another type of stone.
12” is the ideal overhang for comfortable seating without hitting your knees on the cabinet, however, the overhang does need to be adequately supported.
A final measurement (template) must be completed prior to the cutting of your countertop(s). It is your responsibility to make sure the following is completed prior to the technician’s arrival.
- Countertops surface should be free of clutter
- Cabinets must be completely installed and leveled
- Cabinets must be properly secured to the floor and walls
- All sinks must be identified, selected or supplied to ensure proper fit
- All other aspects that could affect fabrication and installation must be identified
- Appliance garages must be installed after the countertop is installed
- Farm sinks should be installed prior to template
In order to begin fabrication of your new custom countertop several things must happen.
- “Final Quotation” and signed acceptance complete
- Template at the job site complete
- Material and ALL selections complete (including edge detail, sink, cooktop, faucet, etc.)
- Purchase transaction completed (Down payment received)
Once all of these items have been completed you can generally expect your new countertop to be installed within 10-14 working days. The installation schedule shall be discussed to ensure all expectations are met.
Occasionally a delay may occur. This can be due to several unavoidable reasons. SCI will alert you ahead of the appointment to reschedule, however this is not to be misconstrued as a provision of our warranty or that SCI will be liable for any consequential damages resulting from a delay.
The stone countertops are places on the cabinets and, after ensuring that everything is leveled, a bead of silicon is applied at the intersection of the cabinets and the underside of the stone. This is sufficient to hold the countertops in place in a normal situation.
If the cabinets are not leveled, which is not uncommon, we have to place shims underneath the countertops to level them. In this situation our installers place small blocks of wood pieces rinsed in epoxy to stabilize the shims.
You do not need to buy full slabs. We stock a wide variety of stone that is sold by the square foot.
We do not level your cabinets. You will need the help of your carpenter or your contractor for that.
When you come visit our showroom you will paired with one of our in-house designers at no additional cost. With the experience of installing thousands of kitchen countertops, our project managers can help you enhance your project.
If you don’t see it in our inventory we can gladly get if for you.
We are open to the public. You can visit us at any time during our normal business hours. Appointments are recommended when ever possible.
Availability dictates the price of granite. Our stock granite is sold by the square foot which makes the pricing very competitive.
Granite can be serviced by a professional granite fabricator and may require a professional opinion. Chips or cracks that occur from accidental impacts can be repaired on a case by case basis.
Granite can withstand very high temperatures. Placing hot pans or a hot kettle will not cause any damage to the granite’s color or stability. However, it is recommended that you use trivets because of other reasons.
- Polished: A shiny, glossy surface. This is by far the most popular.
- Honed: A matte finish.
- Brushed: A rough texture. Suitable for outdoor kitchens, though some designers like to use it inside as well.
It’s not uncommon to see some small pits on the surface of the granite slabs. These pits are formed during the polishing process, when some of the weaker components of granite, like Biotite, flake off from the surface. This happens at the granite processing plants in different countries where the granite is quarried and polished.
The pits themselves do not make the granite less durable or inferior for use in countertops, but the look and feel of the granite with the pits may bother some clients. It is a better if you discuss these issues with the fabricators before you make the final decision on your stone selection.
We do not recommend that you have the pits filled because no compound can adequately or permanently fill these spaces without visually affecting the surface of the stone. The best practice is to discuss imperfections with your fabricator before selecting the stone, and if you really hate the pits you should consider a granite that has no visual imperfections.
If you use high quality impregnating sealer, you should only have to reseal your granite every three years. If you use a cleaning liquid called Revitalizer made by DuPont, you will not have to reseal your countertops ever. A gallon container of Revitalizer only costs $39, which will lasts 2 to 3 years depending on the size of your countertops.
Granite countertops can often be extended beyond the cabinets to give an added functionality to kitchen spaces.
The standard overhang is 1 ½” from the face frame of the cabinets. This gives a good visual appearance because it creates a ¾” overhang from the door fronts. You can compare this to the 1” overhang typical of the laminate countertops you are looking to replace with granite.
The actual overhang may slightly vary depending on how straight the countertops are installed. Having the cabinets not installed in a straight line is not an uncommon problem. Our professional templaters will discusses issues with the homeowners to understanding variances and expectations.
We can extend the 3 cm granite countertops up to a maximum of 8” from the cabinets unsupported. We can be a little more liberal and extend them 10” with stronger granite verities.
We have to be careful when we install upper bar tops that sit on a 5” knee wall. These overhangs have to be supported by steel braces placed under the countertop and then screwed into the wooden studs in the knee wall.
Any granite countertops with more than an 8” overhang should be adequately supported by steel braces.
Extended islands, higher level bar tops, and peninsulas are some of the areas of the kitchen that may have an extended overhang, up to 12”. The placement of wood or metal supports that extend from the cabinets, sometimes called corbels, can hit your knees and are not visually appealing. The ideal solution is to place steel bars, secured adequately, and is a permanent support that is almost invisible and does not hit your knees.
You may choose to do your own demolition of any existing countertop you have, or you may decide to have SCI do this for you at an additional cost. This determination should be complete before the “final” quotation. Depending on the nature and requirements of the demolition there may be some services that SCI cannot perform (electrical etc.) so be sure to discuss the demolition process with SCI.
This is an exciting time and your new countertops have arrived. Installation times can vary and some complex installations may take several days to complete. Before the installers arrive, please check the following:
- Cook-tops, ranges, downdrafts, hoods, top mount/under mount sinks, or anything else that may require on site cutting/placement must be at the jobsite. They should not yet installed or attached.
- Sink plumbing and garbage disposals must be disconnected. Our installers will need to move the sink into position at installation. Faucets must also be removed if they are still installed. Prior to installation, discuss with SCI what services they can and cannot provide.
- Provide a clear and easy path free from any obstructions for countertop delivery. Anything that can be damaged or cause injury is your responsibility to move out of the way to ensure that it is properly protected.
- The installers will need access to electricity and water. Some detailing will be required on site and there will be some dust so please make sure things are covered and protected.
- It is recommend all drawers and shelves below the countertop installation be removed where possible and emptied in any case and the contents be covered to avoid unavoidable dust and debris.
- All appliances must be disconnected and removed prior to installation. This may include refrigerators. The installers will require free access to all countertop edges during the installation process. It is your responsibility to remove and disconnect all appliances prior to the installer’s arrival. Our employees are not responsible for damage to appliances that have not been properly removed as noted in this document.
- We recommend that you remove wall mounted (hanging) mirrors or glass shelves. If you elect to leave these items on the walls during the demolition and installation process we will not assume any liability for damage and/or replacement costs.
- All support brackets and corbels must be installed prior to the installation.
- Final payment is due at installation, please be make arrangements to pay the balance to the installer.
While replacing the existing laminate countertops, many of our clients choose to keep their current tile backsplash. However, you must consider the following points for better results:
- The thickness of laminate countertops is 1 ½” and granite, marble, or engineered surfaces, like Ceasarstone, are 1 ¼” thick. The replacement causes a visible gap of about ¼” between the new granite countertop and the existing tile. This scenario applies in cases where the tile goes all the way down to the countertops. You can solve this problem by using one of the following methods: Applying caulk in the gap with a matching color to the existing grout. The new caulk line will be about a ¼” thickness instead of the tile grout line of about 1/8”. It is barely noticeable and an acceptable compromise.
- If you have kept the grout from the original tile installation, you can use that grout to fill the gap. This is the best case scenario.
- You can purchase and install a trim line from any tile supplier that fits between the tile and the granite countertop. This should be done by your tile installer.
- Installation of a 4” back splash of granite over the existing tile. This is another commonly used option.
- In case the existing tile goes up to the 4” back splash of laminate countertop: 4” granite back splashes have to be placed between the granite countertops and the existing tile. You can choose to have 4 ½” height granite back splashes to cover the rough area created by the removal of the existing laminate back splash.
Seams are visible if you look carefully at the countertops. However, the goal of a good granite installation company is to make them as inconspicuous as possible.
But we can refer you to a great cabinet maker who we have worked with many times before.
SCI services the Kansas City Metropolitan area and surrounding areas up to a certain mileage.
Dishwashers have to be attached to the under surface of the kitchen countertop to prevent tipping the machine forward when the door is opened. The attachment also prevents vibration during the dishwasher’s operation.
We attach the dishwasher with a well-designed and patented bracket. This attachment is rigid enough to secure the dishwasher safely, while still allowing you to easily remove it in case you need to repair or replace the dishwasher in the future, without having to call a granite fabricator to do so.
Newer dishwasher come with side attachment clips so that the dishwasher can be screwed to the cabinets as well. This has to be done by your cabinet installer or remodeling contractor.