The process starts in places like Brazil, Italy and India, where natural granite is quarried in blocks that often weigh upwards of 40,000 lbs each! The blocks are usually shipped to a factory in Italy, where huge saws run all night to slice through a single block. When done, what are left are slabs of granite about an 1 1/4" thick that weigh 1,000 pounds each. They are then polished on one side, revealing their striking beauty. At that point, they are inspected and purchased by stone distributors in the United States. Finally, the slabs are selected by you and delivered to our shop for fabrication.
Once you've selected a stone, and are ready to move ahead on your project, our project coordinator will schedule a templating appointment and discuss details with you or your kitchen dealer.
Before Independent Marble & Granite can template the following is required:
The base cabinets must be installed (the upper cabinets are not necessary unless you have Full Back Splash), and the surface must be square and parallel, flat and level.
If you are remodeling, existing countertops need to be removed prior to templating, and the surface prepared, as above. Disconnection of existing sinks is to be arranged by you, as well.
Written, detailed directions to the jobsite.
Sinks, faucets & soap dispensers must be at job site at time of templating.
All ranges, stoves, cook-tops, down draft vents that adjoin the stone must be present for template.
A decision maker should be on site throughout templating.
A full wood template (made with 1/4" luan and secured with screws) is constructed so you can visualize how the stone will fit your cabinets.
All details of your project such as stone selection, edge choice, polished edges, backsplash locations, sink location, seam location(s) (if necessary), and of course your name are outlined directly on the wood template in permanent marker.
We review every detail with you to make certain you get exactly what you want.
We require a signature of acceptance on all templates to avoid any confusion or discrepancies at installation.
A "shop drawing" of your project is prepared in addition to the physical templates.
Once a template has been made, we are able to start making your project.
We thoroughly inspect every slab that we receive before we begin the cutting process.
We may ask that you view your slab(s) to assist us in laying out your project (especially with stones containing movement or direction), because you may want to avoid a certain part of the stone while highlighting another.
We cut your project by laying your slab flat on the concrete table of our large bridge saw.
We physically place each template on your slab and cut along the edge of the wood, which ensures the accuracy of every piece.
After each piece is cut, it is labeled with the exact information outlined on the template.
It is then removed from the saw table and sent to the edging and polishing area.
Edging and Polishing:
The rough cut pieces are laid out on our tables in the same manner as they will be in your home.
The templates are laid on top of the cut pieces and checked again for accuracy.
We put all of our seam pieces (if applicable) together and level out to ensure that the seams will be smooth at installation.
If the seams are not smooth, we grind the top of the stone down until a smooth glass-like finish is attained.
An outline of the sink cutout(s), cooktop cutout(s), and faucet holes are drawn on the stone in the appropriate locations.
All sink and stove openings are reinforced with steel on the underside of counter.
We then hand carve the appropriate edge detail into the stone and polish to a glossy finish.
We wet polish all of our finished pieces which ensures a beautiful shine for the lifetime of the stone.
We do not rely on polishing powders, resins, lacquers, or color enhancers to achieve our finishes (these products look great when first installed, but over time will dissipate and reveal a noticeably dull polish).
Sinks can be either a drop-in or an under mount application. Drop-ins (sinks or stoves) are sometimes cut out on site to minimize the potential for damage during shipping.
Under mounts are finished in the shop with a basic eased edge finish (unless otherwise specified). We typically start our under mount sink cutouts at 4 inches to ensure the strength and stability of your stone.
Steel inserts are epoxied into the top on the underside to accommodate sink clips for under mount applications.
All required faucet holes are then drilled according to your specifications.
We drill the faucet holes at our facility to avoid making a mess in your home. However, if drilling the holes at our facility will compromise the integrity of the stone, we will drill them on-site.
A final inspection is made to make certain that the highest quality of work is achieved.
Sealing the Stone:
We seal your countertops with a product called Dry Treat which carries a 15 year warranty and does not need to be applied annually. Dry Treat has been specifically designed to penetrate your stone to create a 3/16” barrier of protection. This product is not a topical sealer (normally used by other fabricators) which can breakdown under normal cleaning conditions, thus needing to be reapplied annually. We apply 2 coats of sealer at our shop to ensure full coverage and penetration of your stone. We have been certified and are an accredited applicator of this product. For more information on this product, please visit www.drytreat.com or feel free to contact us.
An estimated length of time required to complete the installation will be provided.
Actual time will vary depending upon the size and complexity of the job.
Driveway access, available parking (as close to entrance as possible) and an unobstructed path are needed for the delivery truck. Your stone is carried by hand and is extremely heavy.
Any existing or temporary counters and backsplash must be removed prior to our arrival.
Structural support for overhangs (if applicable) must be present.
Cook top/ranges must be available at the job site.
Sinks, faucets, soap dispensers must be available.
We install under mount sinks, but plumbing is to be completed by others.
A decision maker must be present during the entire installation process, to approve installation.
A spray cleaner, as well as a bottle of sealer, is provided to you from Independent Marble & Granite.
An information packet including care instructions is also left for you at installation.
Independent Marble & Granite
83 Daniel Webster Highway Merrimack, NH 03054 (603) 521-7588