granite countertops

Granite Countertops FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What is granite?
Granite began as a hot, 1400 degrees Fahrenheit, mass of magma or molten rock. The magma rose upward and came to rest and solidified into granite. The granite has been pushed upward, and the land above it has been removed by erosion. The result is a granite deposit that lies just beneath the earth’s surface where it can be easily quarried. Granite is the hardest rock.

The end result is a very uniform, speckled stone that ranges in color from black and gray tones to pinks, browns, reds, greens, and whites. Granites are quarried throughout the world in the form of huge blocks and then reduced into slabs. These slabs are then carefully crafted by fabricators who process them into the final product.

What is the thickness of the stone?
The stone is available in two thickness sizes: 3/4” and 1 1/4” (2cm and 3 cm respectively).

What are some characteristics of natural stone?
Stones are a natural-honed or polished rock; not factory – made. There are many inherent variances in all stone – color and shade variations, geological flows, irregular markings, voids, pitting, veins, fissures and lines of minor separations. However, these characteristics are part of the natural beauty of the stone and will not impair the function of wearing qualities of the material.

Are veins weak spots in the stone?
Not necessarily. Some veins are strictly color variations in the stone. However, in some materials natural flaws can exist within the vein, which enhances the color and is characteristic of that stone.

Is granite more expensive than man-made materials?
It depends on the granite. Availability, color and country of origin are major factors that affect the price of granite. If the supply of a particular stone is short and demand for it is high, the price will reflect that. Given that stone is a natural product imported from all over the world, the price spectrum is wide. However, many granite colors are offered at the same price or sometimes less than man-made products.

Why is there such a variation in the prices of natural stone?
There are many factors affecting the price of stone, mainly availability, supply, color and freight. Some stones are readily accessible, while others exist in remote locations. Due to weather conditions, some natural stones are only accessible during certain times of the year.

How durable is natural stone?
With a simple, regular maintenance program, natural stone will last far longer than the building in which it was installed.

How do I maintain my granite countertops?
We will provide you with detailed instructions but the bottom line is just soap and water. We seal all of the slabs before cutting even begins and this protects your stone from staining. You should re-seal after the first year and then every three to five years as needed.

What do I need to consider when buying natural stone?
Because it is a natural stone, granite has been blessed with a remarkable natural beauty. Inherent in such natural products is a certain lack of predictability. Clients who are less acquainted with the material expect the granite ordered to be identical to the picture or sample they were shown. Although sample stones are intended to be representative of the quarry’s product, the material quarried at one time may differ slightly in color and veining from the sample. Moreover, even a single marble or granite slab will possess a certain amount of color variation from one end to the other.

Do I need to use a cutting board on my granite countertop?
We don’t advise that you do any cutting on you granite countertops. Granite is extremely hard, which results in the quick dulling of your kitchen knives.

If I perform my own existing countertops removal, how much do I have to remove?
All countertops, build-up, screws, nails, and backsplashes must be completely removed. If wall patching or skim coating is needed after everything is removed, it will be easier to complete before the granite countertops are installed.

What styles of edges do you have?
We have a wide variety of edge styles. We have several default edges as well as more elaborate, custom edges that you can upgrade to for a small additional price. Please see our Edge Profiles page for more information about the kinds of edges we offer.

How many seams will I have in my new countertop?
We are sure to get the most accurate dimensions and least amount of seams for your kitchen or bathroom. Our installers are artists and perfectionists who try to avoid seams as much as possible. When a seam is necessary, our installers will match the granite so it flows as if it was one piece.

How do I get a quote?
Click here to file a form or to speak to our sales representative. Granite prices vary by color. Click Here to see a small sample of the many colors we carry. You will also need to provide us with the dimensions of the area that you would like the granite countertops fabricated for. The actual dimensions rather than total square footage will be necessary for us to give the most accurate estimate possible, the more accurate they are, the more accurate your estimate will be.

After I pick out my colors and approve the estimate, what happens next?
If we are installing the countertops, we will contact you to schedule dates for an appointment to get a precise measurements of your countertops as well as for installation. It usually takes 10 business days to fabricate and install the countertops.
If we do the fabrication only, without installation, we fabricate the countertops as soon as the payment is received and we ship it or you can pick it up.

Do I need extra support added to my cabinets to support the weight of the granite?
Most cabinets should be strong enough to support the weight of granite countertops. Additional support will be needed for any overhangs larger than 10”, or if you are having granite installed on a half wall with overhang to create a sitting area. If at the final measure appointment you do not have adequate support, your measurer will let you know what kind of support is needed and where you can get it.

What is the whole process of getting new countertops from FactoryPlaza.com?
Select Your Material
To select the color you can:
A) view the granite colors at www.factoryplaza.com
B) order a sample from us
C) if you reside around Chicago, please visit our showroom

Get An Estimate
To get an Estimate, we can either send a representative out to your home or business and measure your existing countertops or cabinets or if you have a layout drawing with measurements, you can fax or email it to us.
Click here for more information and an example of a layout drawing.

Sign a Sales Order
Once we receive a signed Sales Order we can put you on our calendar. We usually have about a 10-day turnaround time. In other words, from the time you sign up until we can actually start the work can be 2 weeks, so plan ahead.

Template
On the specified date, our representative will come out to your location and create an exact “template” of your countertop to ensure the best possible fit. You will need to be all ready by this date – all appliances should be on-site for accurate measurements. The home owner (or designated decision-maker over the age of 18) must be present during the entire template process.

Installation and Completion
We will install you new countertops on the specified date. The home owner (or designated decision-maker over the age of 18) must be present during the entire installation process for walkthrough and signoff on the job. Installation of natural stone surfaces does not include removal of your old countertops unless agreements have been made to do so. After installation is complete, the crew will clean up the work area to leave your home or business as it was found before installation. During the final walk through, the crew will explain proper care and maintenance of your new countertops. Once you are fully satisfied, the crew will collect the remaining balance due.