Design Time & Tile :: Granite Questions
6800 Westside Road, Redding, CA 96001
(530) 241-8693

Granite Mosaic

I am doing a mobile home remodel on a very tight budget, and would like to make a custom countertop with broken pieces of granite countertop I have acquired. I would prefer to cut and glue them together to make one solid surface, but I don't know what materials and process that would entail. Since I have a few sizes and colors, I was also considering using them assembled like a mosaic and embedded in a matrix of concrete. Your input would be greatly appreciated. - Kat

ANSWER: Kat, To seam granite together is a very difficult thing. Just one seam in a counter is time consuming for a trained journeyman. I don't suggest this approach for a novice. However, a mosaic might be possible, but the problem area will be the reveal. I suggest you come down to the showroom and we can discuss your options.

Granite Countertop Preparation

Do I have to put down plywood on top of my cabinets before I have my new granite tops installed? - Royce

ANSWER: Hi Royce! Yes, plywood is recommended prior to installing granite counter tops.

Granite Countertop Cleaning

We installed granite countertops (green with black streaks) in our home a year ago. We have not been happy with them. They are very hard to clean without leaving streaks. We have tried all the granite polishing kits and cleaning sprays - lots of maintenance. We are ready to build a new home and are at a loss of what to put on counters that takes less maintenance, but still attractive. What would you do? - Ray

ANSWER: Hi Ray. I feel that they may not have sealed your slab properly the very first time. I would recommend that you strip your slab and reseal it with a quality sealer. Once that's done properly, I think that you'll find that granite slabs are extremely easy to maintain. I believe that granite countertops are still the best product on the market. Come in and visit us at Design Time and I'll show you the large variety of granite slabs that we have in stock and talk to you about getting your installation job done properly in your new home.

Making Granite Countertop Edges

Hey Mark, I am installing granite tile counter tops in my kitchen. Bull nosing is too expensive so I was told that I could cut the granite and use part for the front edge. How does that stick? What do I need to do to smooth the edges? I heard that using a belt sander will work. Do you know anything about this procedure? - Annie

ANSWER: Hi Annie. Granite tile is a great choice for your counter tops. I would highly recommend that you take your tile to a fabricator and have the front edge of your tile bull nosed, though. Bull nosing granite tile is not as expensive as you may have been lead to believe. A Fabricator will usually charge you around $10 per running foot. The other procedures that you mentioned are very involved and should only be done by a professional.
To answer your question of how they stick the pieces together, they use an epoxy adhesive. A belt sander will not work to shape granite tile. Fabricators use special shaping tools to smooth the edges. Come in and see us at Design Time and we will be happy to give you a list of fabricators.

Granite Differences

I'm remodeling my kitchen and using granite for the countertops. What are the differences except for the obvious ones between 2 or 3 cm granite? Will it make a difference in how long it lasts? Thanks. - Karen

ANSWER: Karen, using a 3cm slab, the fabricator would not have to add a piece at the edges before shaping and polishing, which saves you money in the fabrication step. Another reason some slabs are made to a 3cm thickness, is that some slab materials are not stable enough to be made in a 2cm thickness. As for durability there is really no difference. Com by our showroom at Design Time and I'll be happy to show you a wide variety of granite slabs suitable for your kitchen.

Granite Cleaning Near Sink

I have a lot of hard water build up on our countertop around the sink. It is so bad that I think I would need an abrasive to buff the area. Could you give me a product I could use?

ANSWER: I would first start by trying a solution of vinegar and water approximately 20% vinegar and 80% water using a soft scrub non-abrasive pad try scrubbing the deposits off. Once you have got the deposits off your counter, a maintenance cleaner and protection product such as "Stonetech Revitalizer" should be used to maintain the look. I would also recommend that you eliminate your hard water and future problems by installing a water softener.

Granite vs Prefabricated Countertops

Is there a noticeable difference in quality or durability between natural and fabricated granite counter tops? From a cost standpoint what percent in saving might I expect if we go the fabricated route?

ANSWER: There are only minor visual differences between granite and fabricated granite counter tops. Granite slab countertops are made from a single piece of granite, while prefabricated granite tops commonly are made from fragments of a number of granite pieces, matched for color and pattern. Typically this means that the natural granite slab tops will have a wider variation in visually interesting patterns while the prefabricated granite tops will be less varied as a result of the need to match the various pieces. They will both last the lifetime of the home.