Granite countertops are composed of natural materials and are subject to variations in background color, veining distributions and pattern. Fissures, dry seams, and pitting are naturally-occurring features in granite and are not defects.
These natural characteristics will not change over time and in no way affect the performance of the stone. Absolutely no claims will be accepted after installation.
Because of this we recommend that all slabs of exotic stones be viewed by the customer prior to fabrication.
Placement of seams is at the discretion of Schmidt Countertops. Seams vary from 1/16” to 1/8” and are discernable to the eye and touch. Every effort is made to ensure that the seam is placed in the best location for structural integrity and to make the tops aesthetically pleasing. Natural characteristics of granite make it impossible to guarantee a match in color or veining when seaming two pieces together. Color coordinated epoxy will be used to fill the seam and blend in with countertops.
Your countertop will come with a polished finish unless otherwise specified. Irregularities in natural materials like granite are common, reflecting unique natural patterns and finish that give each granite countertops its distinctive appearance.
Granites may be ordered with a honed, antiqued, brushed, or river washed finish. Altering may affect consistency, stain resistance, and appearance. Honed dark colors can lead to fingerprints, and water spots. Changes in the finish add to the cost.
Granite countertops rarely stain when properly sealed and maintained. 98% of any stains that do occur can be removed with a poultice. Natural marble and travertine are more susceptible to staining. Sealing these surfaces every 6 months is required.
All countertops are sealed twice prior to installation using a specially formulated stone sealer.
You may use lukewarm water and a PH neutral detergent to clean your countertop. Do not use any abrasive cleaners such as Bleach, Comet, S.O.S. pads, etc.
Granite countertops are extremely hard surfaces and very resistant to scratching. Only diamonds, sapphires, and topaz are harder. This means granite is very durable and able to withstand scratches and long term wear. The top should NOT be used as a cutting surface since it will dull your knives. The use of a cutting board or trivet is recommended.
When fabricating countertops, chipping at the edges and corners may occur. These chips are normally patched and are normal characteristics when dealing with natural stone. They are allowed providing the structural integrity of the stone is not affected
Granite countertops are very heat resistant and unlikely to burn or scorch. However, thermal shock or cracks may occur if the countertop is subject to extreme temperature changes. It is recommended that you protect your countertop from extreme heat by using trivets or hot pads.
Seams in quartz are typically more inconspicuous than in granite. The durability of quartz prevents chipping during fabrication. However due to quartz newest colors simulating the characteristics of a natural stone, seams may be more visible with the different colorations and veining in the material. Schmidt Countertops will do the best job possible in placing seams.
“What is Granite?”
Granite is a natural stone, formed many millions of years ago when molten rock from the earth’s core was pushed towards the surface. Granite’s extreme hardness, which approaches that of diamonds, makes it an uncommonly durable surface. It has a natural beauty which makes it appealing when used as countertops and other surfaces in the home. Granite’s natural beauty endures forever. Nations through the ages have chosen granite to memorialize their significant achievements. You can be sure that the granite you choose will stand the test of time and provide many years of enjoyment and service in your home.
“I have heard that granite has small cracks and pits in it. What are these?”
Fissures occur naturally in many stone types. The term fissure is used commercially in the stone industry to describe a visible separation along inter-Crystalline boundaries. This separation may start and stop within the field of the stone or extend through an edge. A fissure differs from a crack in that it is a naturally occurring feature of the stone. All Granites contain some degree of fissure. Some contain more than others. Fissures occur naturally in granite and are not a flaw.
Pitting of the countertop surface, particularly in granite, is a commonly seen characteristic of natural stone. Granites are made up of several different minerals, each mineral having a different hardness. Granites contain quartz, feldspar, biotite, amphibole, ferrous titanium oxides, and other mineral combinations. On the Moh’s Scale, diamonds are the hardest mineral with a rating of 10. Quartz and feldspar have a hardness of 6.5-7 and are very durable. Biotite (small black minerals found throughout the slab) on the other hand is very soft (2.5) and flakes very easily. All true granites have biotite in their composition. Because biotite is relatively soft and flaky, the first few layers can be removed during polishing process. The pits do not make the granite less durable or otherwise inferior, and do not in themselves qualify the slab for replacement. Pits are common in all granite and should be expected when dealing with a natural polished stone.
“My neighbor has granite & there are small chips along the seam. Is this normal?”
Chipping will occur, particularly in the igneous stone varieties, as a result of sawing operations. The exiting portion of the diamond blade used to cut granite may create some small chips. A small chamfer, called an “arris”, of approximately 1/16”x1/16” can be used to eliminate most of these chips. The use of an arris will make the seam appear wider than its actual dimension when filled. Larger chips may be repaired with epoxy or polyester resin if the completed repair is consistent in color and texture with other general areas of the slab. Schmidt Countertops does not normally use arrises when installing granite countertops as it makes the seams appear much wider. However some stones are naturally more brittle and susceptible to more chipping. These stones will be arrised at SCC’s discretion in order to create the most aesthetically pleasing installation. All seams are machined in our shop and when assembled in the field any visible chips are filled with polyester resin.
“I have seen some seams that are not perfectly smooth, why is this?”
The term “lippage” as used in the stone industry, is the planar offset of the finished surfaces of two adjacent stone units. Due to the relatively tight seams used in the countertop installations, even minor amounts of lippage are noticeable. Lippage may be unavoidable due to permanent warp in the slab stock. There should be no detectable lippage at the front or rear edge of the countertop.
Maximum lippage at the center of the countertop is 1/32” (0.8MM).
“Will my granite match the sample I saw in the showroom or store I purchased the countertops from?”
The sample used to make your color selection may not exactly match the slabs used to produce your countertops. Some granite colors, due to the different types of minerals in them, are more consistent than others. If you would like, you may schedule a time to view the lot of material that your countertops will be cut from. We encourage customers to come in and view the material we will be using to fabricate their job. We suggest calling 870-781-9429 to schedule an appointment.
“Some of the walls in my kitchen are bowed and inconsistent. Will the granite follow this bow and conform to the wall?”
Granite is extremely rigid and cannot bend to follow the irregularities of wall. No wall is perfectly straight. Schmidt Countertops measures with top of the line templating equipment. We use the LT55 laser templating system. This device and our CNC fabrication ensures a fit within industry standards. Countertops receiving a backsplash will not be scribed in an attempt to follow the irregularity of any wall. A gap of 1/8” to 1/2” wide (covered by back splashes), is normally used between the granite countertop and walls in order to allow the home framing to expand and contract during the change of seasons, giving the granite room to move slightly.
“I would like to increase the overhang of my new granite countertops on my island to allow for bar stools and an eating area. Can I do this?”
Unsupported overhang cannot exceed 1/3 of the supported top, to a maximum of 6” on 2 cm material and 10” on 3cm material. For larger overhangs, the homeowner or contractor should install supports such as corbels or brackets before the granite installation. Schmidt Countertops has flat metal braces available for purchase. We must have a 2x4 wall to mount this brace. These are not included in the price of the countertop and will appear as a separate line item on your quote. Any braces provided by customer or contractor must be installed before installation. If supports are not installed it could result in additional trip charge.
“I am planning a large party, how quickly can I get my granite installed?”
Customers planning events in their home should be cautioned to provide at least 10-14 days of cushion before hosting an event in their home as delays in major and minor construction projects are common and occur for many unforeseen reasons. During transportation, a top can sometimes break. Tops can also break during the installation process. Should a granite top break during transportation, fabrication or installation, Schmidt Countertops will remake the top and prioritize the installation. However, we will not discount, credit or compensate the customer due to unforeseen breakage during fabrication, transportation or installation.
“Do I need to be there during the measuring / templating of the countertops?”
Yes. The customer must be present during this process to review items such as seam locations, overhangs, radius corners, and other such issues which commonly arise.
“Do I get to keep or receive at no charge the remnants or drop materials from the fabrication of my countertop? Do I receive sink cutouts or cooktop cutouts at no charge?”
No. Most cut-outs are destroyed during the CNC process. SCC customers pay for fabricated square footage unless otherwise specified.
“Do I need to have the existing countertops removed prior to the templating date?”
Not always. Walls are rarely straight, and corners are rarely square. To ensure the highest degree of accuracy, we prefer your existing countertop to be removed. The good news is that Schmidt Countertops has very short lead times. A normal kitchen installation will be completed 7 business days following the template. If you cannot be without your countertops for the duration of our production process, it is possible to template with your existing countertops still in place. We do, however, REQUIRE and backsplashes to be removed. Often, it is not possible to remove your backsplash without removing your countertops. In these instances, both must be removed. Also note, your countertops will still need to be removed prior to installation of your new granite tops. Tear-out of existing countertops is not part of our standard installation. If you need this service provided, ask your project manager for pricing. Schmidt Countertops does NOT include plumbing services. SCC can unhook your plumbing when tearing out but will not reconnect. In certain cases older water shut offs will not turn off and you may need plumber before tear out.
“What other items do I need to know prior to templating?”
Final pricing will be based on actual field measurements and conditions.
Granite, Marble, Quartz & Natural Stone are high end countertops selections with certain colors & slabs costing thousands of dollars. For this reason, installed countertop pricing may vary based on material yield and number of slabs required. Schmidt Countertops cannot and will not be responsible for slab overages based on having to cut extra slabs to complete installation. Confirm all pricing after template and slab selection/layout
Undermount sinks, faucets, and cooktops must be onsite during templating.
It is the CUSTOMER’S responsibility to make sure that the sink and cooktop fit into the base cabinet. (For example: 42” sinks selected will not fit in 30” sink base) Existing countertops should be cleared of items which may interfere with the measuring process.
The appointment to template is the last chance to make changes to the original order. Changes must be made in writing and be faxed or emailed to the Project Managers. They can be reached at 870-781-9429 or faxed at 870-781-0400. To email changes-send to Schmidtcountertops@gmail.com
Changes may delay the installation
Cabinets must be fully installed including all finished panels before templates can be made. Some cabinets are installed with finished panels on the ends and some are not. No panels may be added after templates have been made. Upper cabinets must be installed if the job requires a full height backsplash.
“Does Schmidt Countertops provide services to remove my existing countertops?”
Yes. SCC has on staff crews that will do minor tear-out (for a fee) and, for more extensive work, there are a number of subcontractors that we work with on a regular basis. Ask your project manager for a quote for tear-out services.
“What are some things I should know about the tear-out of my existing countertops?”
The sink, faucets, and dishwasher will need to be disconnected prior to removing your old countertops. Most homes have shut-off valves under the sink. If your home does not have shut-off valves, a plumber should be contacted to have them installed. A countertop installation, in rare cases, may take a few days to complete and shut-off valves for the kitchen faucets must be in place to avoid having the water completely shut off to your home during this process.
There will be some unavoidable minor damage done during the tear out to surrounding walls, existing tiles, and possible cabinets. Countertop installers are not responsible for this damage. This type of damage occurs with most installations and the customer should be prepared to make touchups and repairs once the countertops are installed.
Schmidt Countertops will not discount, credit, or in any way reduce the price due to minor scratches or construction damage.
The removal of existing countertops and the installation of new countertops is a major construction process. There will be minor damage to surrounding areas and some amount of dust and debris will be created.
“Are my cabinets structurally sound to handle the weight of the stone?”
That is a great question. Most cabinets can easily handle the weight of granite countertops. It is often not possible to assess cabinet problems prior to the removal of existing countertops. If significant problems are detected after the removal of the existing tops, either in structure or if the cabinets are not level, the installation of the new countertops may be delayed. It is the responsibility of the homeowner to have the cabinets repaired to acceptable standards of levelness and structure. If the installation must be rescheduled due to cabinet issues and a new appointment day is needed, return trip fees will apply. Countertops can be shimmed and installed with cabinets out of level and flat plane up to ¼”. Beyond ¼” the cabinets must be repaired. Countertops sit directly on top of the cabinets and are held in place with an acrylic caulk. No wood sub-tops are required for 3cm thick countertops.
“What are some things I should know about the installation of my new granite countertops?”
Owner or designated owner’s representative must be onsite during the entire installation process. Owner’s representative must be able to make decisions on issues which may arise during the installation. They will be required to sign the completion forms at the conclusion of the installation.
All seams will be placed at the discretion of Schmidt Countertops. Every effort will be made to indicate seam locations during the templating of your project. SCC reserves the right to move seam locations as needed to cut around inclusions, cracks, or other major irregularities within the slab, or to maximize slab usage. No financial compensation will be allowed for the movement of seams.
Schmidt Countertops standard procedure for undermount sinks is to have a 1/8” to ¼” overhang into the bowl. This is called a negative reveal. Deviation from standard procedures, if it is requested by the customer, must be made in writing and signed by the customer. Aesthetics, hygiene, and engineering factors are the reasons for SCC’s “Standard” practices of negative reveal installations. Cutouts for undermount sinks will be made to follow the sink manufacturer’s specifications upon written request. Overhangs may vary, as sinks may vary slightly in size and shape.
Overhangs at the cabinet are designed to cover or hide inconsistencies of the cabinets. Overhangs will vary slightly over the length of the top. Standard overhang for granite countertops is 1.5”.
Standard backsplash height is 4”. Schmidt Countertops will not be responsible if the backsplash does not cover paint or wallpaper lines. It is the customer’s responsibility to have electrical outlets moved to miss the backsplash or to be included within the backsplash. This must be done prior to the installation. If a backsplash height other than 4” is desired, it is the CUSTOMERS’S responsibility to make that request.
Schmidt Countertops prefers the dishwasher to be installed prior to our arrival. Many dishwasher models have removable clips. You can move them from the top, to the sides of your unit and attach the dishwasher to your cabinets. If you need assistance with this, or if your dishwasher does not have this option, communicate with your project manager about the solution. Should a dishwasher clip become unattached at a later date it will be the responsibility of the homeowner to reattach it.
The plumbing for undermount sinks may be reattached 24 hours after the installation of the new countertops. Reattaching the plumbing before the sink has had time to set may result in the sink moving or dropping. If this occurs, it will be the owner’s responsibility to correct.
The tear-out and installation of countertops is a major construction process. Cooktops and surface-mounted sinks will be cut on-site to reduce the risk of breakage. THERE WILL BE DUST generated during this process. Owner should remove or protect any items in or under the cabinets. You should turn off your heat and/or air conditioning. You may want to drape or cover the area to contain dust. Construction site will be left broom clean. Dust will settle for hours after the installation is over. Customer is responsible for this clean up.
Mirrors that are permanently affixed to the wall and rest on or within 1” above the top of the existing backsplash or countertops must be removed before the tear-out of the existing bathroom countertops. Any damage to mirrors not removed will be the responsibility of the homeowner.
Installers are not allowed to move or reinstall appliances.
It is the responsibility of the homeowner to provide a safe area for our installers to work. There will be many trips between the jobsite and the installation vehicle. The pathway should be clean and clear of debris as well as items of value such as statues, paintings, vases, and other items, which may be damaged. Granite pieces are very heavy and difficult to maneuver. Children and animals should not be allowed near the jobsite. Homeowner should indicate what area is acceptable to use for cutting and staging of material.
Schmidt countertops caulks stone-to-stone. If SCC is asked to caulk wall-to-stone it will be with paintable latex caulk. Color matched caulk is NOT provided by SCC.
All FARM and APRON FRONT SINKS must be installed in place at time of template.
Back sides of raised bars will be 1/8” rolled edge due to profiled edges bumping against faucets.
Apron Front Sinks/Farm sinks are required to be installed before the templating process. Apron front sinks not being installed could result in additional trip charge for template.
The removal of existing countertops and the installation of new ones are major construction processes. There are often time delays in projects such as these. A number of things can happen to offset the estimated schedule of you job. Every project is unique and unforeseen circumstances may arise in the areas of material breakage, personnel issues, equipment, and weather/acts of God. No financial compensation will be made due to such delays. These potential occurrences should be understood and planned for. Schmidt Countertops is committed to the correct installation of your new countertops and will hold to the schedule as these factors allow.