Back in the day, granite countertops were only imported and used in rich upper-class homes. Nowadays, it’s something that most people look for in buying a new home. We contacted a specialist in home-building, who is a sales and manufacturing dealer in custom home building. He has working in home creating and worked with granite for many years. This is a professional’s list of what everyone needs to know about buying granite countertops.
1. Granite tops can me made by machine or by hand:
Skilled stonemasons create better by hand than tool, while big industry stone companies do most of the work by machine. It’s quicker, but doesn’t look as good. To fill in the gap left by the machines, some varnish the edges of the countertops with wax to make it shiner, but like everything, it can wear off from constant use over time. Talk to your seller if they use polishing wax, and make it so that in your buyer’s contract, it states that they do not. High quality companies that use machines make the employees/workers polish the stone, without wax, after the machine’s work is completed. Ask the seller if they polish the edges, without the use of machines.
2. Ask about seams
Only a small handful of granite manufacturers shape and cut each piece one at a time, while others combine chunks and then finish the product. The sides look a lot better when the sides of the granite countertops are assembled beforehand. Talk with your fabricator and make sure that they install the seams that hold the granite together with an automated stonemason machine. it looks better, levels the edges of the seam, and holds it in place.
3. Ask your company if they do their own installs, or through distributors
Some big warehouses do not install, distribute, or fabricate. Always hire local workers and suppliers who have their own special team that does the manual installs. Putting together is the key to success; you always want local support because most of the time they have more experience in stonemasonry than big chain companies do. So, in this case you could easily buy from a company such as Lowes, but then have your locals do the installation.
See, some out of town and second and third party/group installers/fabricators are usually unavailable if you have a problem with their install. Since local workers/fabricators are close by, they will support you much better. If you happen to live in the Rhode Island area, check out a resource like http://granitecountertopsri.com where you can choose from several local shops that do their own installations.
4. Insist on buying 3-4 CM granite countertops
3cm granite is about 60-70% stronger than standard 2cm granite. When purchasing uncut granite, buy granite from Brazil and Italy only. Most granite is mined either in Italy or South America, and you want to buy from the distributors who either own the mines or buy from the mines directly. The distributors and guarantee and vouch for their quality since they come from the most popular stone/granite mines. While it is true that they are more expensive, it’s worth it because if you don’t likes something you send it back, even without warranty.