If you are planning to purchase granite countertops, please take a moment to review the following guide to ensure a smooth installation. If you have any questions after reading this, please feel free to contact your Spencer Granite, co. sales representative at (978) 664-1471.
Removing your existing countertop
We, at Spencer Granite, co. do not remove the old countertop.
All the cabinets must be properly installed and the whole counter area clear prior to template appointment.
We suggest that everything be removed from your base cabinets prior to our arrival. You will find that most of the detail work has already been done in the shop however it may be necessary to do some cutting on site. Do not expect to keep your cutouts, they will be rough sided and they usually break during the cutting process. We do our best to minimize the mess involved but please keep in mind that granite countertop installation can be a messy process.
Sinks, faucets and accessories
It is your obligation to purchase sinks and accessories that fit within the inside dimensions of your cabinet box. We will “loose set” your drop in sink and have it ready for your plumber to mount it and attach any clips, hardware and plumbing. Drop in sinks are always cut on the job, in the house, with the top in place to avoid breakage. When your plumber is done, it is his responsibility to clean and caulk your drop in sink.
Under mount sinks are mounted under the granite by us at the job site and ready for your plumber to attach the plumbing. Our field technician will properly seal the under mount sink to the countertop. Holes will be drilled if necessary, for your faucets, soap dispenser, sprayer, etc. Please know the location for these items before the installation day.
Cook top and ranges
Drop in type cook tops will be set loose in the countertop, ready for your appliance installer to mount and hook up. The cut out for your cook top is done after the new tops are installed. This will create some dust, but prevents from breaking. Make sure the cook top fits the cabinet base. Slide-in ranges will be checked for fit and left ready to hook up and install.
When we purchase and layout material for your project the location of the seams, the grain direction or patterns are considered. If you are present for a template layout, we do our best to ensure that your job is cut as you requested, however there are occurrences beyond our control that will require that we use our professional experience. We can assure you that we do the best job in the industry in keeping seams to a minimum. When you have a seam, it is filled with a polyester material, colored to match the stone as close as possible. Our fabricators and field technicians are trained to minimize seams; however, we strive to make them as transparent as possible.
Backsplashes are caulked after installation. Depending on the stone, the caulk can be colored or clear. We always use paintable material.
Your new tops are sealed in our fabrication shop. We use only the highest quality impregnating sealers. These will give you years of Trouble - free usage. In the future, if you feel resealing is necessary, we will be happy to advise you where to obtain, and how to apply additional sealer. We can also reseal the tops for you for a small charge. We do recommend resealing your granite countertops every year.
** CAUTION** Repairs and natural fissures
Fissures and pits are prevalent in all natural stone; however usually pose no structural anomalies. Whenever possible we try to avoid any large fissures by cutting around them. If it is necessary to reinforce a fissure, it is customary to fill with resin filler and / or reinforce with steel rods on the backside. Fissures are often visible and can appear to look like “spider veins or cracks”. If they do appear in your countertops we do try to minimize their appearance and after they are filled with resin are structurally stronger than the granite itself. If fissures, pits or the natural characteristics of stone are viewed as defects you may want to choose granite that has less, or consider a different countertop material.
You can’t go wrong with just a little dish soap and water. Dry the top after cleaning with a soft rag. Never use abrasive cleaners such as Soft Scrub. Avoid using harsh chemical cleaners such as 409 or Fantastic. No ammonia (Windex, Clorox, etc.). Be careful with cleaners that contain alcohol, or those that dry faster than you can wipe them off. They will often cause a buildup that can make your tops look dull. Avoid chemical cleaners. Do not wax your tops.
Natural stone tops require almost no maintenance. They should remain just as beautiful as the day they were installed with minimal upkeep. As mentioned above, we do recommend resealing your granite countertops every year. Remember it is a natural stone material, made by mother nature, and part of its beauty is in the realization that every piece is different. Each piece has its own personality. Appreciate it for its natural qualities and don’t try to change or alter them.
We hope that this has answered some of your questions about your natural stone installation. Please call us if you have any questions. We wish you many years of enjoyment with your new stone.