Your kitchen designer has met with you, educating you about the different types of stone countertops, and now you, the homeowner, have chosen granite for your natural stone countertop.
The next step, which is also the most important, to a successful and pleasing expectation is what we call the, 'hand selection' of the granite slab. You will actually touch, feel and inspect the granite slab in order to find the granite slab that will complement your kitchen layout, touch and appearance of the surface, maintenance, and the aesthetics of your kitchen. Our checklist is to assist you in keeping the following requirements in mind when inspecting the granite slabs to find the one that best suits you.
1. Inspect the stone surface. If you see any blemishes (veins, fissures, spots, etc) that you do not want to see when the granite slab is installed in your kitchen, then bring it to the attention of the fabricator so that those areas can be avoided. Or you might need to choose another slab
2. Discuss how the slab will be cut and the affect it will have on the veining (direction and durability) and aesthetics in the kitchen
3. Notice the feel and texture of the natural fissures, especially found in the colored granite slabs. Are you pleased? If not, choose another slab in the same color family or another color.
4. Discuss maintenance requirements. Who will seal the granite slab after installation? Will it be you or will it be the installer? What type of maintenance will be required going forward? You will need to have a clear of understanding before making your final selection.
5. Ask about the proposed edge detail and how it will affect the aesthetics of the kitchen. Keep in mind that some colors will change over time (which is called 'patina') due to the granite's exposure to sunlight and the environment of the kitchen. There could be a difference in appearance of the edges compared to the granite slab surface. You also want the style of the edge detail to complement the kitchen layout versus consume the room.
6. Tour finished countertops at the factory. This opportunity will allow you to get a realistic expectation of what our edge detail design will look in your kitchen.
7. Ask about the seams of the granite slab. Can the fabricator avoid seams altogether or will the granite slab have to be positioned to be less noticeable? A good Fabricator will be mindful of this requirement.
8. Lighting is very important - You will want to be pleased with this key requirement before making your final selection. Be sure it is a sunny day if outdoors and that you have also observed a sampling of the slab indoors as well. Ask if you can take a sample home with you.
9. Know that 'honed' granite requires a greater amount of maintenance and care due to its matted finish. Talk to your fabricator about choosing Black Honed Granite for the kitchen. This stone, unlike other colors of granite, is not as durable and is less resistant to the kitchen environment (water, finger prints, hot objects, etc)
10. Choose what appeals to you. In making the right selection of granite slab, you want to work with a fabricator whose focus is on developing an informed customer and not just making the sale. After all the technical requirements have been addressed (you might have several colors to choose from), choose the granite slab color that you feel the best about. It's all about how you feel at this point. Go with what's in your heart, and enjoy your choice for many years to come!
This article was written by Charlie Thiede, owner of Rock Tops Granite, the leading experts in granite and marble countertops fabrication and installation. With their use of the latest technology for cutting, shaping and finishing the stone to perfection, they produce the highest quality custom countertops at the lowest price of their competitors. Visit http://www.rocktopsgranite.com to locate a showroom where you can learn more.