Choosing Your Kitchen Granite Worktops
You have chosen your Kitchen and decided you want granite work tops. It is a minefield on the market so here’s a guide to elucidate what to look for and what to do.
So… the place do I begin
You’ve got determined you desire a granite worktop, it is a vital in your list of should haves in your shiny new kitchen, but it is one thing you’ve no expertise of. You’ve read all sorts of horror tales on the internet, Chinese language granite, Indian granite… it is dyed Are the fitters any good Why are the quotes so hugely totally different Let’s try and provide you with a layman’s guide to what’s out there.
Pre produced verses traditional slab granite:-
For centuries granite (and plenty of other stone materials) have been produced in slab type, a block of stone is rigorously selected by geologists, this may be as large as three.5 metres in size, 2 metres excessive and a pair of metres extensive…it’s huge and very heavy. This block of stone will then be transported to production facilities where it is going to be reduce on a huge gang noticed machine into thin slabs (generally 30mm thick). These skinny slabs of granite are then transferred to polishing machines the place they are polished to a excessive shine and any imperfect pieces selected out. These slabs are usually fairly consistent in production and the thickness usually would not fluctuate a lot more than +/- 1mm.
These slabs are then imported into the UK and purchased by traditional stone masons, reduce fabricated, polished and fitted into your lovely kitchen. You will get a bespoke top quality product which ought to meet or exceed your expectations. The difficulty is it should have a bespoke worth tag attached to it.
What if I haven’t got £4k or £5K to spend on granite I am extra your B&Q/Magnet/Wickes/IKEA/Howden buyer than Smallbone or Mark Wilkinson. However I would still like granite can I afford it
Well that is the place pre produced countertops modified the industry.
In granite phrases this continues to be quite a brand new idea. That usually means there are individuals that do not absolutely understand what it’s and the way it works.
When the above mentioned massive blocks of granite are quarried a choice of smaller blocks are also produced at the identical time. Geological occurrences resembling seams, fissures, vents and general inclusions make it impossible to quarry massive blocks all the time. These are used for different purposes akin to tiles and cladding and usually smaller sized requirements. These blocks also get used to provide ready made countertops.
So as an alternative of being despatched off to a big very correct gang saw machine for reducing, these smaller blocks are sent to a different corner of the factory for vertical cutting. That is basically a very massive overhead circular noticed blade (assume very large as in 8ft diameter) that cuts individual slabs at a time to pre required sizes. The material itself continues to be the identical quality however the blocks aren’t as massive and therefore not quite as costly. However the chopping is sometimes not as accurate as gang noticed materials. So a 30mm prime might be +/- 3mm. That means these pieces of granite arrive at something from 27mm thick to 33mm thick… so it’s important when deciding on multiple piece that the thickness are within 2mm if the tops are being joined or touching.
So an organization like mine orders containers of this material, we’ll ask for a variety of sizes reminiscent of 2400mm x 610mm x 30mm or 2500mm x 900mm x 30mm breakfast bars… offering us with blanks. The factory may even polish the edges on these tops to scale back fake stone island jacket labour in the UK.
Think of this like strolling into your favorite big orange DIY retailer to buy a 3 metre size of laminate worktop except it’s granite as an alternative. A proportion of the fabrication is already accomplished, the wastage of a large slab is lowered and it’s easier to handle to start with (one countertop weighs round 140kg, whereas a full slab can be as a lot as 500kg and generally more).
There’s now a hybrid model of the pre produced countertops. On our very excessive quantity granites (notably Star Galaxy) we’re producing a lot material that it has change into financially viable to chop the slightly smaller blocks on gangsaw slicing tools. This gives a much higher degree of accuracy with regard to thickness, the fee of those is barely slightly greater than the common vertical cut material however provides a minimize accuracy of +/- 1mm per slab.
Is it dyed
Some extra unscrupulous producers dye materials, generally Blacks. The UK has an obsession with pure black granite, Nero Assoluto, Absolute Black, Zimbabwe, African Black… identical thing, heaps of different names.
Typically the seams of this product occur with a gray fleck of slight gentle markings in the product. Sometimes the much less scrupulous provider dyes this completely black and sells it as pure black. The dye will eventually wash away over a time frame. There’s nothing you are able to do aside from trust your provider that this has not occurred, it’s not as prevalent as many people make out and usually only occurs with the pure black supplies.
Is it Chinese language, I have been instructed it is Rubbish Is Indian any higher
Nicely, We’ve seen rubbish from both regions, we’ve seen outstanding high quality from both.
What we tend to do is purchase a product from it is nation of supply that manner we’re more likely to get a better end product. Lets a decide one among the preferred stones accessible and explain how this works – Star Galaxy.
Star Galaxy solely happens in one place on this planet, the Ongole area of India. Subsequently it is sensible that I purchase this product from an Indian producer but how come the Chinese language additionally sell it Properly it’s shipped to China for them to process. Frequent sense says if the Chinese language are buying this product in India, transport it to China and the processing it, they’ve to buy cheaper than the Indians to be able to promote it at the identical worth… therefore the standard is generally a little lower.
The flip side of this is we would not purchase Fujian White from India as it happens in China, so stop getting hung up on where it’s come from. If it seems to be good and the manufacturing is nice and the slabs are all comparable thickness then you’ve got in all probability bought a nice stone.
We will add that some of the most effective production we have ever seen has come from China, they’ve invested closely with government help and have purchased out a whole lot of Italian manufacturing firms wholesale and shipped tools to China for production. Things are very different there now than they were two years ago.
Do I want my kitchen templates
Really this is actually down to the design of your kitchen greater than anything. If you have gone the traditional stone mason route, they’ll template as a matter after all. In case your room is an odd dimension, you will have strange shapes, things are out of sq. then it’s possible you will want a template.
When you have a galley kitchen with a three meter length down one facet and the same on the other and it’s all straight then there’s in all probability no want.
So what’s higher, Pre produced or conventional slab set up
This is definitely decided for you by the design of your kitchen.
A daily “L” form or “U” shape kitchen is fairly often the perfect set up for pre produced tops. It’s extremely environment friendly, has very little wastage and may usually be fabricated on site.
If in case you have island or peninsular items, the dimensions of these items will govern which is the extra appropriate match.
Backside line is, a conventional match will price more, you might be paying for a bespoke service to get precisely what you request. Will probably be made to measure from scratch and must be excellent.
Pre produced countertops work in case you design allows for modular sizes and you possibly don’t mind an extra be a part of or two. The upside is it is going to be substantially cheaper. Within the case of simple kitchen matches it’s possible you’ll not even be able to inform the difference between bespoke and pre produced.
Labour and fabrication is what makes granite expensive, it’s heavy, tough to move, troublesome to chop and really troublesome to shine precisely. The more sharpening necessities you have got the extra the value goes up.
A simple reduce out for a over mounted sink will take a great fitter half-hour or so to provide and is more likely to value around £40 – £60 or so. A Franke below mount bowl and half sink with faucet gap, polished minimize out and drainer grooves goes to take some hours (and specialist tools) and goes to run you to £450 or so in fabrication alone. So you may see how one thing so simple as a sink design can alter the price substantially. The rule is, if you are on a finances, keep it simple. Cut back the sharpening keep all of the traces straight and steer clear of curves.
How do I do know I can belief the corporate
Take all the standard precautions. A suggestion is worth it’s weight in granite, so always go that route if you may.
Choose a company that are joyful to let you view the stone or even pick your own slabs earlier than the fit.
Do not be postpone by firms that ask for small or reasonable deposits. This usually is used to weed out the timewasters.