L & L Granite, LLC

 

 

 

Countertop Options

With hundreds of options for countertops and kitchen surfaces, it′s best to narrow the scope by deciding how long the counter should last, how durable it will be, how difficult to install, and how costly.

Stone and quartz countertops are durable, and when cared for properly, they will last a lifetime

Countertops have come a long way since the days when laminate was king. By combining form with function, they set a tone and a standard. Be it the classic elegance of granite or the sleek feel of stainless steel, countertop options abound.

Stone Countertops 101

Granite is sold in slabs to insure the grain and color of all of your countertop surfaces match, but your cost is calculated by the square foot area of your countertop (standard countertops are calculated at 26" deep). If the particular slab your countertops were made from measured 54 square feet and you countertop area measured 50 square feet, you would only be charged for 50 square feet. The square footage includes cutouts for drop-in sinks or drop-in appliances like some cook tops. Don’t forget to count the back splash in your estimate.  If you measure the cabinets and provide us with a drawing of your countertops, we can give you the cost per square foot of the granite you select and calculate your cost.  The cost of granite varies according to color and pattern chosen.

Several factors affect the price of granite, but the most important are supply and demand. Supply is the affected by the accessibility of the quarry, the uniformity of the stone within the quarry, and the stone's workability. A granite that is exquisitely figured, one that contains rare colors (e.g. blue), or one that is found only in a third world country will be more costly.

Once a customer has selected granite as their countertop material, the next step is to choose a color.   The color and pattern for your kitchen countertops is a very personal choice. Most of the time, but not always, the top will be the focal point of the kitchen. Patterns and colors vary greatly so there will always be a piece of granite that will fit in with your decorating ideas. L & L Granite has over 100 slabs to choose from.

Stone Countertops

Granite is a primordial stone with naturally occurring variations in color and pattern. These variations, referred to as 'movement', should be expected and are the source of its natural beauty.   Also, keep in mind that the veining in the granite can effect color perception. Sometimes two different grain sizes occurring in the same slab will appear to be of a different color. Mineral concentrations may cause patches that appear darker or lighter.

Every slab of granite varies somewhat  within any given color and pattern. If you are unfamiliar with granite,  a granite slab ordered may not be identical to a sample you are shown. While the samples are intended to represent the quarry's product, each slab may differ slightly in color and veining. Indeed, even a single granite slab will have color variations from one end to the other. This lack of predictability gives the product its unique character and adds an element of nature into human-designed spaces.

For this reason, we recommend that you take the time to select the slab intended for your countertops.  We will escort you through the granite slab inventory where you can choose the best granite slab for your countertops. That is the only way to make sure you get exactly what you want. While color options are numerous, it's usually best to choose a specimen that is stocked locally because of the cost difference. If a slab has to be special-ordered, the freight would be prohibitive and the lead-time could be several weeks. In addition, the customer would have to agree to accept the color and markings sight unseen.

Fabrication and Finishing

Fabrication costs can significantly affect the final price. Generally, the more complex the shape of the project and particularly the shape of the finished edges, the higher the price will be. Fortunately, a single thickness plain polished edge makes an excellent appearance and most customers choose this standard.  Occasionally, a customer will want a custom edge pattern, possibly to match the edge to detailing on the cabinetry, and this can also be done. But keep in mind that if the fabricator has to buy custom cutting bits, he will add their cost to the price. Granite is usually polished to a high gloss finish.

While we sell finished pieces,  slabs are always purchased intact. The price includes the cost of transportation, making field measurements and templates, cutting, polishing, delivery, and final installation. The total material required is determined by the layout and the amount of waste. L & L Granite will try to lay out each job so as to minimize waste yet maximize the natural beauty of the veining and pattern.

Because granite is usually sold in slabs no more than 10' long, most countertops will require at least one seam. And since granite is sold in rectangular pieces, using seams may also reduce the costs, as in an 'L' shaped corner.

Seams will always be visible in granite. Their visibility is affected by the granularity, color and pattern of the stone. Seams on a small, uniform grain or dark color will not be as noticeable as they will on a larger variegated grain or lighter color. A dramatic pattern with swaths of color will similarly highlight seams more than a uniform pattern.

Engineered Stone

Engineered stone is a quartz-composite product mixed with colored pebbles, polymers, and epoxy. It has an even pattern and less color options than natural stone. So, if a kitchen calls for more stone countertop space, it′s easy to order the same pattern and shade. Engineered stone is an extremely durable product that takes the heat and resists stains. Engineered stone is one-and-a-quarter inches thick, and is installed using epoxy. At $50 to $100 per square foot, engineered stone is as costly as granite. Engineered stone slabs are normally smaller than granite slabs, resulting in the possibility of having additional seams.

Solid Surfacing

Solid surface countertops offer seamless acrylic faces with seams that are only visible from the underside. With solid surfacing, sink and countertop materials can be integrated to create a fluid, graceful line. Solid surfaces come in a rainbow of colors, patterns, and styles, including stone and glass look-alikes. They are stain and heat resistant, with more edging and border options than natural stone. Scratches are easily softened with a non-abrasive scrubbing pad.


L & L Granite, LLC  *  1580 Buffalo Shoals Rd, Statesville, NC   *    Phone (704) 528-6060