Choosing Your Kitchen Granite Worktops
You’ve chosen your Kitchen and determined you want granite work tops. It is a minefield on the market so here is a information to explain what to search for and what to do.
So… where do I begin
You’ve got decided you need a granite worktop, it is an essential on your record of should haves on your shiny new kitchen, however it is one thing you’ve no Stone Island Jackets expertise of. You’ve learn all sorts of horror stories on the internet, Chinese granite, Indian granite… it is dyed Are the fitters any good Why are the quotes so massively completely different Let’s attempt to offer you 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 kind, a block of stone is fastidiously chosen by geologists, this can be as large as three.5 metres in size, 2 metres excessive and 2 metres large…it’s large and really heavy. This block of stone will then be transported to production services the place it will likely be minimize on a huge gang saw machine into skinny slabs (generally 30mm thick). These skinny slabs of granite are then transferred to polishing machines the place they’re polished to a high shine and any imperfect items selected out. These slabs are often fairly consistent in manufacturing and the thickness typically does not range too much more than +/- 1mm.
These slabs are then imported into the UK and bought by traditional stone masons, minimize fabricated, polished and fitted into your lovely kitchen. You will get a bespoke prime quality product which ought to meet or exceed your expectations. The difficulty is it’ll have a bespoke value tag connected to it.
What if I don’t have £4k or £5K to spend on granite I am more your B&Q/Magnet/Wickes/IKEA/Howden customer than Smallbone or Mark Wilkinson. However I would nonetheless like granite can I afford it
Properly that is the place pre produced countertops modified the business.
In granite phrases this remains to be fairly a new idea. That usually overshirt stone island means there are individuals that don’t totally understand what it’s and how it really works.
When the above talked about giant blocks of granite are quarried a number of smaller blocks are additionally produced at the identical time. Geological occurrences comparable to seams, fissures, vents and normal inclusions make it inconceivable to quarry massive blocks all the time. These are used for different functions equivalent to tiles and cladding and generally smaller sized requirements. These blocks additionally get used to produce ready made countertops.
So as an alternative of being sent off to a big very accurate gang saw machine for cutting, these smaller blocks are sent to another nook of the manufacturing facility for vertical cutting. That is principally a very large overhead circular saw blade (suppose very massive as in 8ft diameter) that cuts particular person slabs at a time to pre required sizes. The material itself is still the identical quality however the blocks are usually not as massive and subsequently not fairly as costly. Nonetheless the cutting is generally not as correct as gang saw material. So a 30mm high will be +/- 3mm. Meaning these pieces of granite arrive at anything from 27mm thick to 33mm thick… so it is important when deciding on more than one piece that the thickness are within 2mm if the tops are being joined or touching.
So an organization like mine orders containers of this materials, we’ll ask for quite a lot of sizes similar overshirt stone island to 2400mm x 610mm x 30mm or 2500mm x 900mm x 30mm breakfast bars… offering us with blanks. The factory will also polish the edges on these tops to scale back labour in the UK.
Consider this like strolling into your favorite huge orange DIY store to purchase a 3 metre length of laminate worktop besides it’s granite as an alternative. A proportion of the fabrication is already finished, the wastage of a large slab is lowered and it’s simpler to handle to start with (one countertop weighs round 140kg, whereas a full slab may be as a lot as 500kg and typically extra).
There’s now a hybrid version of the pre produced countertops. On our very excessive volume granites (notably Star Galaxy) we’re producing so much material that it has turn into financially viable to cut the barely smaller blocks on gangsaw chopping gear. This supplies a much larger diploma of accuracy with regard to thickness, the associated fee of those is just barely greater than the common vertical cut materials however offers a cut accuracy of +/- 1mm per slab.
Is it dyed
Some extra unscrupulous producers dye materials, usually Blacks. The UK has an obsession with pure black granite, Nero Assoluto, Absolute Black, Zimbabwe, African Black… identical thing, lots of various names.
Sometimes the seams of this product occur with a grey fleck of slight mild markings within the product. Sometimes the less scrupulous supplier dyes this fully black and sells it as pure black. The dye will eventually wash away over a time period. There’s nothing you are able to do apart from trust your provider that this has not occurred, it’s not as prevalent as many individuals make out and usually solely happens with the pure black materials.
Is it Chinese language, I have been instructed it’s Rubbish Is Indian any better
Well, We have seen rubbish from each regions, we have seen outstanding quality from each.
What we are likely to do is purchase a product from it is country of source that means we’re likely to get a better finish product. Lets a choose one in all the preferred stones out there and clarify how this works – Star Galaxy.
Star Galaxy only occurs in a single place on this planet, the Ongole region of India. Due to this fact it is smart that I purchase this product from an Indian producer but how come the Chinese language also sell it Nicely it’s shipped to China for them to process. Widespread sense says if the Chinese are shopping for this product in India, transport it to China and the processing it, they have to purchase cheaper than the Indians to be able to promote it at the identical worth… subsequently the standard is typically slightly lower.
The flip side of that is we would not purchase Fujian White from India as it happens in China, so cease getting hung up on the place it is come from. If it appears to be like good and the production is sweet and the slabs are all similar thickness then you’ve most likely received a pleasant stone.
We are going to add that some of the most effective manufacturing we have ever seen has come from China, they have invested heavily with authorities help and have purchased out a variety of Italian production firms wholesale and shipped tools to China for manufacturing. Issues are very completely different there now than they have been two years in the past.
Do I need my kitchen templates
Truly this is really right down to the design of your kitchen more than something. If you’ve got gone the standard stone mason route, they are going to template as a matter after all. In case your room is an odd measurement, you have got unusual shapes, issues are out of square then it’s probably you will want a template.
In case you have a galley kitchen with a three meter size down one aspect and the same on the opposite and it’s all straight then there’s most likely no need.
So what’s better, Pre produced or conventional slab set up
This is definitely determined for you by the design of your kitchen.
An everyday “L” form or “U” form kitchen is fairly often the right installation for pre produced tops. It’s very environment friendly, has little or no wastage and can often be fabricated on site.
If you have island or peninsular models, the scale of those items will govern which is the extra suitable match.
Bottom line is, a standard match will cost extra, you might be paying for a bespoke service to get precisely what you request. It will likely be made to measure from scratch and ought to be good.
Pre produced countertops work if you happen to design permits for modular sizes and you possibly don’t thoughts an additional join or two. The upside is it will likely be substantially cheaper. In the case of straightforward kitchen matches you might not even be ready to tell the distinction between bespoke and pre produced.
Labour and fabrication is what makes granite costly, it’s heavy, troublesome to maneuver, troublesome to chop and very tough to polish precisely. The extra sharpening requirements you’ve gotten the extra the worth goes up.
A simple cut out for a over mounted sink will take a good fitter half-hour or so to provide and is prone to value around £40 – £60 or so. A Franke underneath mount bowl and half sink with tap gap, polished minimize out and drainer grooves goes to take some hours (and specialist equipment) and goes to run you to £450 or so in fabrication alone. So you can see how one thing so simple as a sink design can alter the worth considerably. The rule is, if you are on a price range, keep it simple. Cut back the polishing keep all of the lines straight and stay away from curves.
How do I do know I can trust the corporate
Take all the standard precautions. A advice is price it’s weight in granite, so at all times go that route if you’ll be able to.
Pick an organization which can be blissful to assist you to view the stone or even decide your individual slabs earlier than the match.
Don’t be delay by corporations that ask for small or cheap deposits. This typically is used to weed out the timewasters.
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