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Unread 06-01-2005, 05:55 AM   #1
SueK
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Granite Countertop Questions

Background: almost finished building a new house. We'll be building our own kitchen cabinets (5th time we've done this and I could brag for pages on my husband's skill ) We've had marble on an island before and loved it, but you guys have about convinced me that is not the way to go. (For what it's worth, though I can't remember the name of the marble, it had only one small etch mark in 7 years. Looked great and I loved it for baking) Anyway, this time we're looking at granite tiles for the counter and island tops. Backsplash will be beadboard (arts & crafts/cottage look).

I'm sure I'll have more questions as we think this through, but here's for starters:
1. Are all granites equal? Should my choices be governed by only aesthetics or.... ? Right now our heads have been turned by (black) Ubatuba, Galaxy Green, and Baltic Brown. We've thought about doing Absolute Black, as well, but I'm concerned about all that black showing every speck of dust, etc.
2. Can you guys give me a quick run down of the basic underlayment layers to support the weight of granite? We've got John's book and I've surfed this site (too much!). The deflecto is fine re: the floor support (we over-built this sucker!), so just really concerned about the cabinets themselves.

Quick update on an old project you've helped with: We layed the Ditra on our foyer and master bath floors this past weekend. Slick once we got over the intimidation factor (new tricks for old dogs thing and the beer did help). When we get the tile down I'll post some pix.

Thanks so much!
Sue
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Unread 06-01-2005, 06:02 AM   #2
bbcamp
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I can't help you much on the choice of granite, but we have project threads using all the ones you named.

As for supporting your granite, think of your countertops as an elevated floor: double wood subfloor, supports every 16 inches or so, a good underlayment, that sort of thing. Your cabinet sides will provide almost all the support you need, except where the cabinets exceed 24 inches in width. For the wider cabinets, add supports between the face frame and the nailing flange. The 2 layers of plywood can be 5/8" thick each. The bottom layer can be recessed into the frame of the cabinet so the thickness does not look so great from the outside.
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Unread 06-01-2005, 12:57 PM   #3
GraniteGirl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SueK
1. Are all granites equal? Should my choices be governed by only aesthetics or.... ? Right now our heads have been turned by (black) Ubatuba, Galaxy Green, and Baltic Brown. We've thought about doing Absolute Black, as well, but I'm concerned about all that black showing every speck of dust, etc.
No - all stones are not equal. In fact none of the ones you named is a true geological granite. But not to worry! The good news is that they should all be great for use in a kitchen - better than most true granites, in fact

The stones you mentioned are all practically impervious and should not even require sealing. (To be on the safe side, test with lemon juice and olive oil to see if they would stain or etch. Stone is a natural material and is subject to variation)

Absolute Black is iffy. There are some African and Chinese stones that may be doctored to appear black or even worse, contain some calcium fillers (this happened naturally when the stone was formed) These materials are sub standard and will not be good for use in a kitchen due to fading and etching.

Most of the lighter materials - Santa Cecilia, Giallo Ornamental etc. will require sealing, but with a great product, even this should not be an issue when deciding on a stone. You do get some doozies like Ghibli or Shivakashki that really do not belong in a kitchen due to their composition, but with a little research those could be avoided.
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Unread 06-02-2005, 03:08 PM   #4
SueK
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Adriana & Bob ~ Thanks SO much! Just the kind of info I was looking for. Really appreciate it. Now we can just return to the agony of making a choice

Sue
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