Your Expectations —- The Process —– Terms
WHAT IS GRANITE
Granite is a beautiful natural stone and a product of nature, cut out of mountains in “blocks” and then cut into three (3) cm. slabs – one and one fourth inch thick. You should not expect a product of nature to be perfect like a man made surface. Natural stone inherently lacks uniformity and variations of color shades, spots, and pattern movement, should be expected. Each slab may have color variations from one part to another. Some granite colors have small “fissures” (tiny surface lines) that occur in rocks, — this is normal. A few granites have long elongated fissures that go deep into the granite and could open when cutting. In some granite you may see pits, divots, chips or indentations on the surface and/or sides of the granite, or on the bottom of the slab / counter top. Fissures, pits, divots, indentations, and chips may need to be filled with resin or epoxy, and does not weaken or in any way speak to the quality of the stone. That’s part of the natural mountain rock. Granite is the second hardest natural stone in the world. Only diamonds are harder. ALL OF THESE INCONSISTANTIES ARE PART OF THE UNIQUE BEAUTY OF GRANITE. Reemphasize the thought —- granite is a beautiful natural but imperfect mountain rock.
PICKING YOUR GRANITE
When you select a color from a sample, remember that a sample is just a small piece of — one large slab — and the sample may not be an exact match to the slabs from which your countertop will be fabricated. A sample may not show the range and variations of color and movement created by nature, in the entire slab. If you chose a granite color with lots of movement – it’s best that you pick your slab. A sample will not provide the over-all look of the granite movement and color variations on the slab used to cut your kitchen.
When you visit a slab distributor take a flashlight – so you can see the color and slab quality under the best direct light. Don’t let beauty be the only factor when you pick your slab, check the slab for cracks, pits, divots, marks, lines, or any other imperfections that would be objectionable to you on your finished counter top in your home. It’s always helpful to bring a cabinet door and or a floor tile too. Reject any slab that does not meet your approval. Examine the slab thoroughly. Be a smart buyer. One man’s imperfection is another person’s beauty — and we are cutting and polishing your counter top from the slab you select. Select a good slab. If you do not select a specific slab, and direct us to cut and polish an inventory slab that you have not inspected, be prepared for any of the above-described conditions as part your finished counter top. Again, granite is a beautiful natural but imperfect mountain rock.
Everything stated above applies to Marble, Lime Stone, Soap Stone and Onyx too.
QUOTE and TEMPLATES
After you select a granite color and we determine the amount of granite you need, you will be given a written quotation. The quote will include everything from beginning to finish. The only factor affecting your quote is the price of the granite color you pick. We do not spend one cent more cutting, polishing, transporting and installing the most expensive from the least expensive granite. After you accept our quote you should contact us and tell us to make templates. Your request to make templates activates our contract and the production process begins.
If you are replacing an existing counter-top the first step is to make templates from Koraplasti with your participation and with you making decisions. Templates can be made without removing the old counter top. In rare cases we may need to remove the old counter top, then reinstall and reconnect your sink & faucet.
If you are installing new cabinets we can make templates after the base cabinets are set. It is very important that your contractor have all trim work, bump out legs, end panels and any other additions in place so the templates can be fitted accurately.
SINK BOWLS and EDGE PROFILES
When we make templates together you will need to select a sink bowl and an edge profile. We provide 8 models of superior 16 gage (25% thicker than 18 gage) under mount -stainless steel sinks with insolated bowls, available in various bowl configurations. We also have 16 gage stainless veggie and bar sinks and Porcelain vanity bowls – white or biscuit. We also provide very heavy duty composite sinks, in various colors. If you are using a farm sink, the sink must be mounted in place, before templates can be made. You can choose one of four free edge profiles or 2 other profiles at low additional cost.
DESIGN SUGGESTIONS AND SUPPORTS
As we make templates together, we will make counter top design suggestions about many little features and details, but you will determine the final decisions. If you have a raised bar top, with an overhanging eating surface, or a cabinet level overhang, we can recommend what kind (if any) supports are needed when we make templates. Usually supports should be constructed after the counter top is installed. But not 100%. A “rule of thumb” is that an overhang can be 12” without supports — but every situation is different. Raised bar tops always need support
When the templates are finished the granite will be cut just like the templates we designed together. Your quote may need to be adjusted based upon final square footage, after the template is finished. Normally there is little or no difference, but the templates will tell the story. Our square foot math calculations are always an open book for you to review.
FABRICATION AND SEAMS
Your counter top will be cut from the slab you picked that on average will measure approx. 70”x 120”. (Each slab is different). The final templates that we designed together will be placed on the slab and cut according to the template. The low price is based upon using the least amount of granite to produce your counter top. Because of slab length & height restrictions, pattern flow match up, weight, hauling installation logistics, ( Kitchen access, cabinet configuration, ceiling height, room size — etc.) it will be necessary to cut you counter top in various lengths that must be seamed together. What is most important is that the flow of the pattern movement (grain) and color variations are matched as close as possible. With some slabs, color variations, are impossible to avoid; and pattern movement is impossible to match. We try hard, but can’t guarantee complete matches. Match ups are determined by visual experience factors that we have achieved by experience over the years. For example (only an example) we may cut on piece from the top of the slab and an enjoining piece from the bottom of the slab or from left of center or right of center to get the best results. The location and number of seams will be kept to a minimum, but they are necessary, and will to be determined by Arco-Iris exclusively with consideration to all the factors previously mentioned. While you should expect seams, many, but not all, are virtually undetectable. Seams are most visible in black and dark brown colors and “plain pattern” and solid granite colors (little or no movement). Back splashes, are almost always seamed. Arco-Iris will determine the location and number of seams exclusively. During fabrication we will cut in and polish your sink bowl opening and put on the edge profile that you chose.
Depending on workload, installation can normally occur in about two – three weeks after templates have been made. Be sure that on the day of installation you have on site, your sink, faucet, free standing range or drop-in cook top.
CABINET ISSUES – BE ALERT
When we remove the old counter top from your existing cabinets, it’s almost certain that you will need small support wood behind the dishwasher and/or lazy Suzan. Normally nothing else is needed.
If you are installing new cabinets be sure that your contractor/cabinet installer – installs your cabinets so that they are perfectly level – (side to side – front to back). Do not accept cabinets that are installed out of level. Un-level cabinets can cause serious granite problems, (cracks) and cost you additional money for granite. Be alert and assertive – check your cabinets with a level.
FITTING THE COUNTER TOP
The most common problem installing a counter top on existing cabinets is un-level cabinets and walls that are not straight and or “out of square”. Granite does not bend, and cabinet and/or wall problems will affect the appearance of your job. Cabinets must be perfectly level to seam granite pieces together. Some problems can be mitigated by calking or shimming; and in some cases scoring and cutting away the drywall will be necessary to adjust the countertop, in order to make it fit.
(usually drywall cuts are covered by the backsplash). Occasionally granite will be cut on site ( field cuts). Seams and end pieces – drop –in cook top holes are the most common. These are normal installation modifications and nothing for you to worry about..
Installation on new cabinets could require the same modifications just stated —but in addition serious cabinet installation flaws (cabinets out of level) could become costly to you. Before granite problems arise (cracks) make sure your cabinets are level.
If you have a raised bar top we will install the granite on the support wall ( 2 x 4 — 2 x 6 ) and support the raised bar top overhang with temporary wood legs (stilts) that will support the bar top until your contractor installs the permanent support system. Do not remove the temporary supports until the permanent support system is in place
Please remember — Arco-Iris is a granite counter top company, we are not cabinet designers, builders or installers or general contractors or a remodeling company. We install granite on your cabinets and against your walls. We do not fix serious cabinet problems.
FINAL STEPS – INSTALLATION
After your counter top is installed –we will silicone the granite to your cabinets and silicone the back splashes to the counter top where the two meet, ( it will be virtually invisible ), but we do not calk above the back splashes against the walls. Here you will want to apply “paint able calk” — so you can paint over any gaps. After painting — the gaps will disappear from eyesight.
We will attach your sink to the granite with adhesive ( no clamps or brackets are needed) and drill faucet holes, and cut in the cook top hole if applicable. You should not hook up the plumbing until the next day so the sink will “set-up” and be firmly attached. We will attach the top metal grips on your dishwasher to the bottom of the counter top with 100% silicone. Do not open the dishwasher door for 12 hours to let the silicone “set –up”. This attachment method will allow your dishwasher to be moved out of position for repair or replacement in the future. We will install your counter top without the dishwasher in place and explain the simple attachment method to you.
We can disconnect your existing plumbing and/or electric but we are not licensed to perform plumbing, gas or electric reconnect work. We can, however, suggests a qualified, inexpensive plumber / electrician. He does excellent work, and his price is low. You will pay him directly.
Please note that the installation crew will attempt to keep dust in your home to a minimum, however, on-site hole drilling, cook top cutting and other cutting —- necessary to fit your countertop, could cause dust. Silicone caulking —- will need about 12 hours to dry, and you may have to remove excess caulking with a razorblade or solvent after it dries. We will clean up after installation, but you should expect to perform minor clean up after installation.
GRANITE CLEANING and SEALING
Wipe up spills as soon as they occur. Clean your granite with normal soap and water. Once every 3 months you can clean your counter top with “denatured alcohol” purchased at H.D. for $8.00 in the paint department. This cleaning will take 10 minutes. One pint will last a year. This is optional cleaning, but it will clean your counter top as antiseptically clean — as a hospital. Wipe off the alcohol cleaning with mild soap and water.
If you use an exotic granite color, we can seal your granite with a new 15-year super sealer and provide you with a 15 year warranty, for a small cost. You will not need to seal your granite every year. When you have a spill, use common sense by quickly wiping up the spill. If a spill is left to sit overnight, especially if the liquid is grease, oil, coffee, or wine, the granite may darken.
The contract begins when a customer accepts the Arco-Iris quote and invites Arco-Iris to make templates. The quote amount is based on one visit for making templates and one visit for installation. If Arco-Iris must return for additional visits – the customer will be charged a trip charge based on labor time and distance, unless the additional trip is the responsibility of Arco-Iris. At the time templates are made, a deposit of seventy percent (70%) of the quote is payable, the remaining thirty percent (30%) plus any amount for additions and modification is payable at installation. If issues arise that are outside normal installation and payment procedures, Arco-Iris, reserves the right to be paid in full before addressing further issues and performing additional work. Customer agrees that the granite remains the property of Arco-Iris LLC, even after installation, until the total amount of the contract has been paid in full. If Arco-Iris must remove the counter-top for non-payment, the customer agrees to allow Arco-Iris to re-enter the property and remove the counter-top, and agrees that Arco-Iris will keep the deposit paid by the customer. Customer agrees and consents that this transaction / contract/ occurs at 231 Walker Lane Edgewood Kentucky 41017, Kenton County Kentucky (regardless of the installation location and/or address of the customer in Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana or West Virginia and/or the location where the contract is signed) and that the law of Kenton County and the State of Kentucky prevail. Customer further agrees and consents to the jurisdiction and venue of Kenton County, Kentucky, for any action arising out of this Agreement or the relationship between the customer and Arco-Iris LLC.
The customer acknowledges that he/she has read, understands and accepts this document (“teamwork”) as the terms and conditions and mutual responsibilities of this transaction.