Granite countertops conjure up the primordial natural grandeur that appeals to every living human being. Also, they elevate your kitchen to a cut above the rest.
If you want sophisticated quality that says cordon bleu before you've even put your apron on, then prefabricated granite countertops are the way to go. Prefabricated, you say? Yes, those are the countertops mass-produced to set sizes; the "ready-to-wear" equivalent in the stone trade.
We're aware that many people have not encountered prefabricated granite as a countertop option before, so we decided to put together a bouquet of frequently asked questions. Are you tempted to find out more? Check out our answers specially crafted to the questions we're most often asked below.
There is nothing "leftover" or "cheap" about prefabricated granite. Prefabricated granite and granite slab have one thing in common - they are both made of 100% granite.
Custom granite slabs are cut to order. Prefabricated granite, on the other hand, is mass-produced. Not only that, it is cut to standard sizes and then finished, and polished in the factory before being made available for sale.
Prefabricated granite is best suited to projects needing many pieces all of the same size. The whole idea of prefabrication came about because granite countertops are much easier and quicker to install in their prefabricated state.
Standardization applies to the edging of these pieces too. All prefabricated countertops come with a 1.5 laminated flat edge. For more details, go to FAQ #5.
Prefabricated granite, which is manufactured and fabricated in bulk, does away with the need for the distributor or craftsman installing it to have it cut or fabricated.
The convenience the manufacturer gains by pre-cutting and finishing standard pieces in the factory is what makes the huge (up to 45%) cost differential between prefabricated and custom-cut granite. The advantage to the customer is that the turnaround from order to delivery is much quicker for prefabricated than it is for custom granite.
Commerical settings — reception counters in office blocks, basins in ablution facilities, canteen counters, and the like — make excellent use of prefabricated granite. The quality is the same as custom-cut granite slab. And the look and feel of it make one type indistinguishable from the other.
Custom granite slab comes into its own in residential situations where the owners are looking for something designed to their specifications. Having said that, many home kitchens and bathrooms use prefabricated granite countertops, and no one is any the wiser.
With a bit of planning when designing your home kitchen, you too, can take advantage of prefabricated granite, and achieve that classy look that is definitely not the sole preserve of custom black granite slab.
The granite countertop cost is one factor that led to the industry coming up with the idea of prefabricated sections, so that customers could buy the real thing at an affordable price.
Prefabricated granite countertops are definitely made of solid granite. We must dispel the myth that it is anything less straight away. As explained in FAQ #2, the only difference is in the method of manufacture, and the size.
Because of the modular nature of prefabricated granite and natural stone, they are well suited for use as premium surfaces in large-scale installations. Hotels make ample use of prefab granite in hallways, elevators, and dining and reception areas.
Of course, clients need to ensure that there is enough stock in their color choices. We often recommend patterning, particularly for flooring, and full-length wall finishes for showers and bathrooms. A tile pattern tool can be useful in deciding on colors, themes and whether patterning should occur using a single color of granite, or more than one color or shade.
Special architectural projects involving large installations use different colors and textures of granite to enhance striking structural elements. While such projects normally go for custom-cut slabs, drawing inspiration from such architecture and adapting it to prefabricated material is entirely possible.
The standard size of prefabricated countertops is 112 inches x 26 inches x 0.78 inches (20mm). It is strange to mix imperial with metric measurements, but the precise measurement of the thickness of the prefab granite is 20 mm, or 2 cm.
Flat-finish countertops that are 2 cm thick have a 1.5-inch laminated flat edge on one long side and two short sides. For kitchen counters and bathroom vanity purposes, backsplashes in matching granite are 6 inches high.
The very popular kitchen island comes in a prefabricated, standard size too:
108 inch x 42 inch x 0.78 inch (20mm). The 1.5-inch laminated flat edge on all 4 sides comes as standard.
All prefabricated granite is produced with a laminated flat edge. The uniformity of countertop edges helps with ease of installation and maintaining standardized stock with all trade outlets.
Custom-cut granite, on the other hand, offers a choice of at least twelve different countertop edge profiles granite that can add a touch of panache to the overall design. While you should seek advice about whether the edge profile you have visualized can be fabricated using granite, your stone selection (e.g., quartz vs. granite) can also determine which profiles are more pleasing to the eye.
One of the most popular edgings is the curved, bullnose edging, which eliminated sharp edges that can be potentially dangerous when you have small children.
New prefabricated granite countertops in your kitchen can indeed increase the value of a home. The aesthetic appeal of a well-appointed kitchen countertop can often be the dealmaker with potential buyers. As stated elsewhere, the difference between custom and prefabricated granite is not noticeable, so going the prefabricated, cheaper route could pay dividends if you're putting your house on the market.
As much as we are fans of natural stone, let's be realistic, though. For the discerning buyer, every aspect of your kitchen from the number of electrical sockets to good plumbing and white goods is equally as important as extremely attractive countertops.
Perhaps the hardest thing to do is choose which prefabricated countertops you want. By looking at a countertop guide, you can get a better idea of the fascinating range of countertop materials available and the diverse places where granite can grace a space.
If you opt for prefabricated granite countertops, remember that there is nothing stopping you from combining that with a contrasting marble-topped kitchen island or breakfast nook.
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If you have any other questions at all about kitchen remodeling, prefabricated granite countertops or any other product, send us a message via the submission form in the chatbox on every page. Potential retailers or dealers who would like to join our extensive network can get a hold of us via our Contact Us page.
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