There are many reasons why seams are placed in a countertop. Most commonly it is due to material size. Slabs come in varying sizes and shapes, if a counter top is larger than the material selected a seam will be needed. In addition to slab size, seams may be needed due to job site conditions including elevators, stairs, ease of access, and our ability to install a top in a safe manner. Additionally, material strength is also a consideration in the size of fabricated stone. While seams are often necessary Tile Market of Delaware will take every necessary step to limit seams as much as possible. Seams will be place at the sole discretion of Tile Market of Delaware based on the material selected for the job and proper support in the countertop area according to industry standards.
We will take every reasonable step possible to create a visually appealing seam by making sure the grain of the stone is going the same direction, and the two pieces being seamed are cut from the like sections across the slabs. However, many of today’s natural stone slabs vary so much that at times seams will vary in color and shading. Some seams will be less noticeable than others due to the material and not by workmanship.
Seams will be set to industry standards and will not be more than 1/16” wide with no more than 1/32” lippage. Lippage is a stone industry term that occurs when the plane of the two seamed counter tops are not completely flush/smooth. Due to the tightness of the seams even minor amounts of lippage are noticeable. Lippage may be unavoidable due to the permanent warp in the slab stock.
Unsupported overhang should not exceed 1/3 of the supported area to a maximum of 6” in marble, 10” in granite, and 12” in quartz. For larger overhangs supports must be installed, such as corbels, brackets, or steel. Tile Market does offer several types of supports available for purchase. Supports will need to be supplied and installed by you or your contractor prior to template.
Pitting of the countertop surface, particularly in granite, is a commonly seen characteristic of natural stone. Granites are made up of many different minerals, each having different properties and hardness. During the polishing process the first few layers of the softer mineral will flake away leaving a pit. Large pits can be filled, while most of the smaller ones cannot. Pits do not make the granite less durable or defective and are common in all granite and should be expected when dealing with polished natural stone. Fissures occur naturally in many stone types. The term fissure is used in the stone industry to describe a visible separation along inter-crystaline boundaries. This separation my start and stop within the field of the stone or extend though an edge. A fissure differs from a crack in that it is naturally occurring feature of the stone. All stones contain some degree of fissures, some more than others. Fissures are not considered a flaw or a sign of defective material.
These are actually fairly common occurrences. In fact many slabs have already been repaired at the factory. If this does happen, we will repair the counter top according to industry standards as set forth by the Marble Institute of America. If this occurs during installation, Tile Market will at their discretion either repair the top on site or back at the shop. Every effort will be made to expedite such repairs.
Certain natural stone slabs have a high mica content. Mica on the surface will shale off creating an uneven surface. Sometimes these can be filled however other times they cannot. Not all slabs have these issues however, it is very important that you run your hand across the surface of the slabs to be used for your project so that you understand the texture before your counter tops are fabricated.
Yes. The customer must be present at time of template to review such items as overhangs, radius corners, sink and faucet layouts, and other such items that commonly arise. You will be asked to sign the drawing and check list of your project. If the customer is not present at time of template this will cause the job to be put on hold until all specification are approved via shop drawings and could delay the scheduled install date. It is also important to be present at time of install to inspect the finished product, sign the install checklist and make the final payment.
These items are outlined for you in our Pre-Template Checklist.(Download)
While it would be more convenient to keep the old tops on until install it is necessary for several reasons. First, we need to inspect the cabinets for structural integrity, support for the stone, and how level or plane the cabinets are. Often existing cabinets will need some sort of modification either in support or plane, identifying these issues at time of template allows the customer the time to have these type of issues corrected prior to install, thus not delaying your project. Second, it allows us to get the best possible template. We will have clear, unobstructed access to template all the walls, sinks cabinets and range openings. This is also necessary for our Ten Year Warranty to be valid.
We recommend that you replace your existing splash when replacing countertops. If you decide to keep it in place be aware that your previous laminate or solid surface countertop was 1 1/2” thick, and 3cm natural stone countertops will be approx. 1 3/16” thick. This will leave a gap of approx. 3/8”. There are several ways to deal with this. First, you can have your contactor build up the top of the cabinets to close the gap. Second, you could source a tile trim piece from our showroom that your contractor can install. Third, one row of tile could be removed by your contractor and a granite splash made to fit between the new countertop and tile.
Most cabinets can easily handle the weight of granite tops. If any additional support is needed our templater will review that with you at time of template. Any necessary modifications are the responsibility of the homeowner.
These items are outlined in our Install Checklist. (Download)
Yes. We offer a 10 year residential workmanship warranty on all of our installations. We also have a 15 year Stain Free Warranty available for purchase. See Warranty details