Monday, February 17, 2014

Kitchen Granite

Our base Kitchen cabinets are all installed and ready to have the countertops brought in. It was exciting to have the cabinets installed but now they just seem like boxes until the counter tops are added. With the backsplash between the countertops and window we're a little concerned about how the outlets (sideways with wires sticking out), which are required by code, will look.

The stove will go in the middle with a granite backsplash going up the wall behind it. The drawer microwave will go in the opening in the center. 

We looked at the different types of countertops that are available such as quartz, concrete, silestone and even the ones made out of recycled material but found that we kept going back to granite.

So off to the granite place, with my better half in search of the perfect piece. While there are many places to buy granite from, after receiving high recommendations we decided to go with StoneTek in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

My better half had already made one visit and brought me along on the next one to get an idea of what was available. What a place. Slabs upon slabs of hundreds of varieties and colors of granite and marble from around the world to pick rom. If you're thinking of granite or marble, the choices can be overwhelming. Plan on numerous visits and bring your paint cards...

As would be normal for me, it wasn't enough to just look at slabs and or the types of edges; I wanted to see how they were cut. I got a chance to go into the cutting area and was fortunate to be there when they were cutting a large piece.

We (OK, she) decided to go with a type called Tobacco Brown which comes from Brazil. It's mostly flecks of different shades of brown with flecks of black and clear providing just enough contrast. The large white specks in the picture are actually scratches where somebody (OK, me) dropped a heavy sharp tool on the sample.

A very close up look. While there are tons (literally and figuratively) of granite to pick from, each comes at a price from affordable to you'll need to up your mortgage not so affordable. Don't be afraid to shop around to find the right piece at the right price.

They brought in a template person (templator?) to measure the exact cuts using a laser. This was different then my last house where when I redid the kitchen they came in and made wood templates using strips of 1/4" board and a glue gun. That fit perfectly so I can only expect that this will be even better.

They put little doo dads (I can't find the name of the part and of course, I don't have a picture either) around key points on the cabinets and used the laser to obtain the exact measurement.

From the Laser Products Industries website. This gives you an idea of how the countertop is measured.

So, it been a long winter with the snow and cold and contractor doldrums but it looks like with spring on the horizon, finishing our house is too. It will great to have the counter tops installed and see what the kitchen really is going to look like. While they're cutting the stone, we have a few other things coming up such as adding some additional electrical outlets and paint should be starting soon as well.

Enjoy your week.


  1. Interesting how different your counter templating was done. I like the stone your picked; nice choice. Have you picked your hardware yet?

    I also like those outlets that turn to the side. The outlet placement is the only thing I would change about my kitchen. I saw that in someone's kitchen recently and I think having them as low as possible makes a lot of sense. No need to have appliance cords going halfway up the wall.

    Once the counters go in, it will suddenly feel like a real kitchen.

    1. I'm always amazed how they can take a huge hunk of rock,smooth it out like glass and make it fit perfectly. Outlets are always tough. They never seem to be in the perfect place and you never seem to have enough of them.

  2. I really like what you and your wife chose. We put in a dark silestone 10 years ago. It was a place in rhode island that did it….not sure they were my favorite…I would have liked the piece for the island (10 1/2 feet by 3 1/2 feet) to be one piece but they had to cut it. I don't really think about the seam anymore, although now I am staring at it and shaking my head! Cannot wait to see your countertops in :)

    1. I'm not sure even with granite that they can do pieces larger than ten feet. That's a guess though. Ya, we can't wait ether. It's been a long road but it is getting smoother though.