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Seams

Seam placements are at the crew's discretion, but we do take customer preferences into account. The following factors affect seam placement:

  • Access: Are there stairs, turns, elevators? How big are the door openings?
  • Slab size & fragility
  • Vein matching
  • Support
  • Appliances: We can put seams through drop-in cooktops or sinks to minimize their appearance, but we try our best not to place them over dishwashers or through under-mount sink cut-outs.

Support

  • Cantilever rule: Two thirds (2/3) of the length of an overhang must be supported to keep the weight of the top from flipping.

    If you have a 6 inch knee wall with 1 inch overhang on the inside, then you can only have a 2-3/4 inch overhang on the outside.

    All raised bars need supports.

  • The standard overhang without supports for 3cm stone is 12 inches. However, if the stone is fragile (e.g., marble or an exotic with lots of veining) it may need to be less. Always err on the side of caution.
  • The standard overhang without supports for a solid surface and 2cm stone is 6 inches.
  • Supports need to be placed every 30 to 36 inches.

    You need to be careful with islands. Some will have two legs at the end of an overhang that is over 12 inches, leaving the entire length floating in between. This is not structurally sound. The longest length of a floating countertop in between supports should be 3 feet.

Inside Corners

Inside corners on stone tops cannot be left at a sharp 90 degrees, as this creates a stress point that could potentially turn into a crack. We have to radius them at least 3/8”. This includes zero radius sinks; they must be rounded on the corners.

TEAR-OUT

Tear-out may seem simple, but it’s usually not. Everything that touches the countertop needs to be taken into consideration.

  • Plumbing: Plumbing must be disconnected before we arrive. We legally cannot touch the plumbing.
  • Mirrors: We are not responsible for nor do we remove mirrors. In bathrooms, often the mirror is installed directly on top of the splash without additional support.
  • Splash: We cannot always cover paint lines. Laminate countertops sometimes have coped side splash that comes out past the top. Stone cannot do this.
    1. We do not remove full height splash unless we are replacing it with full height splash.
    2. Be careful of inset side splashes
  • Appliance Garages/Columns/Upper cabinets: If you have a situation where anything is installed on top of existing countertops, a contractor needs to be contacted to do the removal. We do not have the means to remove or structurally support such items.

Cabinets

cabinets must be plumb, level & completely secured.

  • It is the customer’s responsibility to make sure cabs are level. Cabinets should truly be shimmed from the bottom if they are out of level and we do not offer this service.
    1. We cannot tell if the cabinets are out of level at template if countertops are in place.
    2. If needed, we can shim between the top of the cabinet and the tops up to 1⁄4”, or sometimes a little more if it is a dense stone. This does leave a visible gap, however.

Trim

We do not remove, install, or supply trim. However, it may be needed in the following circumstances:

  • If a laminate top has a lip-over and the cabinets were painted afterwards, then there could be a strip of a different color cabinet at the top.
  • If cabinets are out of level and we have to use shims, there will be a gap.
  • IIf existing countertops are thicker and they have something that butts up to the old countertops, there will be a gap (tile, appliance garage, etc.).

VERTICAL APPLICATIONS

Vertical applications involve an increased fabrication charge.

  • Because the thickness of stone varies, in order to properly butt up underneath an object we may need to install vertical applications during a second trip.
  • If there are electrical outlet cutouts in a full height splash, all we can do is make the cutout. If an extended box or longer screw is needed to make the faceplate work, a contractor will need to be hired.

Cutouts

  • All under-mount (polished) cutouts are done in the shop. These pieces cannot be saved.
  • Drop-in (unpolished) cutouts are usually done in the field. Depending on the fragility of the stone and the length of the top, they may need to be done in place on top of the cabinet. This does create dust, but it cannot be avoided.

    1. If the customer asks the crew for an unpolished cutout, they can leave it. However, it is heavy and rough. No additional fab will be done to the piece. It is what it is.
    2. f the customer forgets to ask for it, we will not provide another piece for them.
  • Customers sometimes ask if they can have a polished cutting board made out of their cutout. While this is possible, it involves an additional charge.

Outdoor Use

  • Quartz is not meant for outside use. The resins will fade and yellow in the sunlight.
  • Exotic stones are often filled with resins at the quarry and, similar to quartz, these are not UV resistant. They can discolor and fissures can open up.
  • Outdoor tops need to be sealed frequently to prevent stains. Leaves, animal droppings, and other environmental factors can all cause staining.
  • Keep in mind that the darker the color, the hotter it will become in direct sunlight.