What’s the Difference Between Stone Fabricators and Installers?
Fabrication and installation are just two of the processes your natural stone kitchen countertop or bathroom vanity will go through to become part of your remodel or new construction project. Both the fabrication and installation processes are completed by professionals, who understand how important their roles are in ensuring you get the most from your granite, quartzite, or marble counter, like the Statuario marble countertops shown above for example. This article will explain these processes and the role the fabricator and the installer will play in your project.
Your stone fabricator is a great resource for help selecting the best natural material for your home remodeling project, including measuring the space to determine exactly how much material is required. Once that’s done, you can start considering the type of stone, the veining, and the color that best suits your design style. Virtual room planning can be very helpful during this process.
Once you have selected the stone for your project, the fabricators can also serve as quality control coordinators to help ensure the product you receive is the product you paid for.
The fabrication process involves a number of specialized tools. Mr. Stone, an online store that specializes in the diamond tools used for granite and marble fabrication, is a leading supplier of the tools used for cutting, grinding, and polishing granite and marble, including diamond blades, power tools, router bits, and handling equipment.
- The fabrication process itself, which typically occurs off of the job-site, involves:
- Inspecting the stone slab for flaws and blemishes, and ensuring it’s laid out to provide the best appearance.
- Cutting the slab close to its final thickness.
- Support rods and/or drainboards are then installed if needed.
- The slab is polished to achieve a smooth surface.
- Lastly, the stone is washed, dried, and then sealed.
Natural stone, like the Cirrus White quartzite shown above, is known for its durability and longevity.
The installation process includes:
- Removing the existing countertops
- Delivering the new countertops to the job site.
- Leveling and securing the cabinet that the slab will rest on.
- Setting the stone in place, joining the seams, and apply the caulking.
Backsplash & Cooktop Cutout
If you have ordered matching granite backsplash, the guys will probably need to make some minor adjustments to those pieces for a tight fit before installing them and setting the seams in the same way as the decks (the main, horizontal pieces of countertop).
If you have a cooktop (as opposed to a slide in range), the installers may need to cut the hole for it out on-site.
With many stones, it is risky to try and transport the stone all the way to your house with that large of a hole. So, our craftsmen back at the shop will usually create notches (get the cuts started). Then the installers will finish the cuts of cook-top inside once the stone is set on the counters. If we need to do it inside, we will use at least one shop vacuum to collect the dust as we cut.
Wrapping up the Details and Cleaning Up
Once all the stone is secured in place, the team will use acetone or denatured alcohol to remove any excess epoxy, caulk, and any dust leftover from the cooktop or faucet hole cutting. We’ll clean and seal your counters, clean up the job site as much as possible, give you instructions on how to clean and care for your counters, thank you for your business, request you to sign the job approval and leave you to admire your new countertops.
You may be curious to know what goes on during installation or how long it takes to complete your kitchen granite or what are the things you need to do before our team comes to install.
For your peace of mind, here is a detailed article about what you can expect when our install team comes to install your beautiful new countertops.
Getting Ready for the Install Team to Arrive
Before our skilled installers pull into your driveway, there are a few things we need you to do:
Make sure there is a clear pathway between the job site (your kitchen or bathroom or basement whichever is the case) and closest entrance. Stone is heavy; so we try to minimize how much maneuvering needed while carrying the individual sections of countertop into your kitchen or bathroom.
If you have small children, for their safety, please make them not to come in the way of carrying the stone.
You may need to cover nearby furniture or articles to protect them from dust, in case you have a cooktop cutout.
If it is a new construction site, other artisans may be working simultaneously. In that case, you need to request them to stop their work at least until all the stone pieces are carried and placed on the cabinets.
The homeowner or their contractor (who can make decisions on behalf of the owner) need to be present during the installation process. Our install team will go over the details of the install and take approval before leaving the site.
What Should You Do During the Installation?
We want the installation to be as efficient as possible, but we also want you to feel comfortable with the process. If you have any questions, please ask them before our installers start bringing in the granite. They will, of course, be ready to answer any questions you have after the installation.
Installing stone countertops requires a lot of focus and precision. Our teams have developed proven game-plans that allow each team member to get their task done, trusting that their partners are following the time-table and preparing for the next task.
So, it’s best to allow our craftsmen to work uninterrupted. Of course, you are welcome to watch (we think it’s pretty interesting), and we even ask that you stay nearby to answer any questions that may come up during the process.