Granite is one of the popular natural stones, which is widely used in the construction industry. Across the world, around 100 different varieties of granite are available with each being unique in terms of design patterns, shades and color combinations. It is regarded as one of the most durable stones and a great choice for construction purposes due to properties like strength and resistance to acids/alkalis and ability to withstand extreme high or low temperature. If maintained, granite can shine and last for decades; hence it is necessary to choose granite wisely as it is going to stay at your property for long. For these, several points should be considered before making a granite purchase. Below discussed are the points one should keep in mind while buying granite for various applications:
1). Visiting a Granite Showroom: A granite showroom is a great place to look for granite, where you can see different varieties of granite under one roof. Here, you also get a chance to select the best suited color or design that matches with the space of its installation.
2). Collecting Samples: Different samples can be gathered from the showroom that can be further placed in the room, where the installation is required. This way, one can easily compare different samples and choose matching or contrasting shades that goes well with the place, where it has to be installed.
3). Deciding the Best Sample as per the Match and Requirement: It is suggested that one should perform a few tests before making the final selection:
- Porosity Test: Pour a few drops of water on the surface of the sample and let it sit for there for 15 minutes. Thereafter, clean the water with a paper towel. If you find any traces behind, then the test sample is highly porous and can’t be considered suitable in terms of its water absorption capacity.
- Acid Resistance Test: Keep overnight a lemon wedge on the edge of the sample. After removal of the wedge, if you observe dullness in the shine of the sample or appearance of patches, then the sample granite is not suitable for long term use, especially as kitchen countertops.
4). Recording the Dimension of the Top: Make the final selection and by using a measuring tape, calculate the size of the length and width of the countertop for which the granite is required.
5). Searching for Granite Fabricators: Referring directories, internet research or personal referrals can be considered to locate at least two or three granite fabricators in your town or city.
6). Collecting Estimates from Fabricators: Fabricators usually visit home, take measurements and discuss options with customers. Don’t forget to discuss these two things with the fabricator:
- Select the edge that suits you the best from different edges available in the market. You can ask whether the chosen edge is available with the fabricator or not.
- It is recommended to discuss whether you require an under-mount, top-mount or seamed-in sink with the fabricator. Moreover, let the fabricator know that what type of faucet, you are planning to buy. Discussing all these will eventually help you to estimate the cost of fabrication.
7). Asking Fabricators for Seaming Samples: Seaming is the point, where two pieces of granite are joined together. This will give a clue about the perfection of the fabricator’s work. Ideally, two pieces should be matched and clubbed in way that they appear to be a single piece.
8). Confirming the Fabricator’s Warranty Policy: Thoroughly check things that are covered in the warranty policy and conditions under which the policy is applicable. Many fabricators offer a life-long warranty on workmanship.
9). Visiting Granite Yard’s of Fabricators: By this you can get an idea of the quality of granite available with a particular fabricator. This will also help you to learn about the quantities and varieties that a fabricator can offer.
10). Reviewing Estimations and Selecting the Best Fabricator: Factors like price, quality of material, fabrication work and referrals are to be considered while finalizing a fabricator.
11). Picking the Exact Slab That your Need: Within a same variety of granite, differences may occur in terms of veining pattern as well as color; hence it is suggested to pick the exact piece that you want from the granite yard of the fabricator. This will avoid any problem to occur during the installation phase.
Apart from these, two additional points should be kept in mind during the process of granite installation:
- Get the sealing done by the fabricator. It is a transparent, protective coating over the granite surface that extends the life and shine of the same.
- See whether the installation is done perfectly or not. An improper installation may lead to seam damage, cracking and chipping of granite in future.