Countertop FAQs: Answers to Your Countertop Questions

Our installation services encompass template creation, material selection, fabrication, and the actual installation process, which includes securing the countertops to your cabinets. Our skilled installers will ensure that seams are filled and cutouts for cooktops and sinks are precisely completed. Once the installation is complete, the installers will leave the area tidy and “broom clean.”

While we provide comprehensive installation services, certain aspects are not included. These include the removal of existing countertops unless explicitly specified, adjustments to cabinet leveling and floating walls, clearing out cupboards and drawers, and the removal of drawers themselves. Additionally, our install teams are unable to handle tasks such as disconnecting or reconnecting plumbing (including gas) and electrical systems. They are also not authorized to move appliances. It’s important to note that if your cabinets have issues or the installation area is not properly prepped upon our arrival, this could potentially lead to a delay in your project.

You should schedule someone to disconnect plumbing, electrical and gas just prior to installation and to re-connect these items the day after installation. Since installation is a construction process, there is the potential for dust and incidental damage to the surrounding areas. We advise homeowners to be prepared to clean up settling dust and to make minor repairs and/or touchups after installation is complete.

To facilitate a smooth installation process, we recommend emptying the sink base cabinet and removing the top set of drawers. This will provide our installers with easy access to the countertop during installation. Additionally, please clear a pathway from the entrance of your home to the installation area. If required, designate a level area in your yard for any necessary cutouts, ensuring it is positioned away from objects that could be damaged by dust.

The sample used to make your color selection may not exactly match the slabs used to fabricate your project. Some stone colors vary significantly and some colors are consistent. We encourage you to schedule a time to view the material that will be used to fabricate your job.

You or your designated representative must be present during this process to review items such as seam locations, overhangs, radius corners, and other elements of the job. All cabinets and apron sinks should be installed in their permanent locations and faucets, sinks and other cutout items must be on-site at the template appointment. Our technician will create a template of your job using laser technology, with minimal disruption to your space.

Fissures are a common natural occurrence in many stone types. The term fissure is used in the stone industry to describe a visible separation along the voids between mineral crystals, which may start and stop within the field of the stone or extend through an edge. Fissures and dry seams differ from cracks in that they are a naturally occurring feature of the stone and are not defects. Cracks are a common result of stress from handling, transport, fabrication or installation. If cracks in the stone cannot be avoided during the fabrication process, they will be repaired utilizing industry standards.

Pitting of the countertop surface, particularly in marble and granite, is a commonly seen characteristic and should be expected when dealing with natural stone. Due to the relatively soft and flaky composition of the first few layers of the stone that are removed during the polishing process, pits are often seen throughout the slab. The higher the biotite content of the stone, the more pits it will have. The pits do not make the stone less durable or otherwise inferior, and do not in themselves qualify the slab for replacement. Industry best practice is to not attempt repair of pits, as most techniques will not cosmetically improve the countertop.

Seams are always visible. An acceptable seam will be no wider than 1/8” and will generally be smooth but can be felt. In determining seam placement, considerations include slab size, the customer wants, area layout, site conditions, crew safety, material yield and cabinet structure. Our customer’s wants and needs are always at the top of our minds; however, the final decision on seam placement is at Cutstone’s discretion.

Chipping can and often does occur as a result of sawing operations, handling or restraint devices. Some stones are naturally more susceptible to chipping due to their composition. Larger chips are typically repaired to be consistent in color and texture with other general areas of the slab. All seams are machined in our shop and when assembled in the field, any visible chips are filled on the job site.

Certainly, it is possible to install new countertops over your existing cabinetry. However, it’s crucial to ensure that the cabinets are structurally sound and level. If, upon the arrival of our installers, the cabinets are not level or lack structural integrity, the installation will need to be rescheduled after these concerns have been addressed. Cabinets need to be leveled to within 5/8” over a 10-foot span.

The presence of seams in your countertops depends on several factors, including the chosen countertop material, the layout of your space, and its accessibility. The color and pattern of the surface you select also play a role in determining whether seamless fabrication is possible. In cases where the layout necessitates one or more seams, we will make every effort to ensure that these seams are inconspicuous.

The Natural Stone Institute advises sealing natural stone surfaces approximately every 6 to 12 months. The use of harsh chemicals or exposure to direct heat can degrade the effectiveness of the original sealer, potentially necessitating more frequent resealing. If water no longer beads up on the countertop, it indicates the need for resealing. It’s important to avoid over-sealing, as this can lead to a hazy appearance.

Virtually any substance has the potential to cause staining. Sealing is a common preventative measure to safeguard against staining, although the products used in the stone industry, known as “impregnators,” act as repellents rather than traditional sealers. Sealing enhances the stone’s resistance to staining, though it doesn’t render it completely stain-proof. Many stones may not require sealing; however, applying an impregnating sealer is a widely practiced precaution. Should a stain occur on your countertop, we offer professional products and poultices that can help alleviate the issue.

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We offer a wide selection of high-performance countertop surfaces and custom jobs