a few words about us
KNOW YOUR OPTIONS
ALL NATURAL STONE (GRANITE, MARBLE, NATURAL QUARTZITE, ONYX, AND SOAPSTONE)
MOTHER NATURE MADE THEM WITH:
- Color, pattern and particulate variation within the same slab
- Fissures or tiny hairline crevices which may look like cracks
- Pits or air gaps created during rock formation
- Inclusions or cluster of mineral deposits of any color during rock formation
- Blemishes and dull spots
HUMANS ENHANCED THEM WITH AND BY:
- Polishing the surface to give them a polished, honed, and flamed or leathered texture
- Filling up chips and deep pits with epoxy resin colored to match the stone
These are not flaws or defects and will not impair the function and durability of the material. The extreme hardness that makes these stone uncommonly durable and the combination of minerals that creates their unique look make them extremely appealing for everyday use in homes.
It is strongly recommended that you take the time to physically view the color and characteristics of the stone that will be transformed into your countertop. Touch it, look at it in different angles, and make sure that you approve the overall uniqueness of the stone.
CHARACTERISTICS OF NATURAL STONE:
POROSITY- All natural stone can absorb any liquid which can cause discolorations or stains. As a standard, we apply a sealer that will protect your countertop for up to 10 years, then it is up for you to re‐seal. The sealer only delays the absorption of the liquid into the stone to give you enough time to clean it up, but it DOES NOT make it stain proof.
Some colors are more porous than others, and may require more than one sealing application. If you notice any sealing issues after your countertops have been installed, inform us immediately and we will reseal until the stone if fully sealed.
HEAT RESISTANT- There is no need to protect all natural stone from hot objects. Please do keep in mind that natural stones are cooler in nature and can break extremely hot glass and ceramic upon direct contact.
SCRATCH RESISTANT (GRANITE) but not scratch proof. All stone can be damaged by force and no stone is chip proof. Objects hitting edges, particularly at sinks or dishwashers, may cause chips. Impact from heavy object can also chip natural stone. You can cut directly on it but this practice will dull your knives. The natural lines or veins and high polish of granite hides surface markings very well.
MARBLE, ONYX, SOAPSTONE, AND QUARTZITES ON THE OTHER HAND ARE COMPOSED OF SOFTER MINERALS THAT MAKES THEM SCRATCH, ETCH, and CHIP MUCH EASIER THAN GRANITE
ETCHING- An etch mark is a light and dull mark commonly manifested as glass rings, dull spots, and water spots. These are not stains. They are a result of an acidic substance corroding or chemically burning the surface of the stone. Common cleaning products, foods and drinks like coffee, soda, juice, and salad dressing can etch stone. MARBLE AND QUARTZITES ARE MORE SUSCEPTIBLE TO ETCHING THAN OTHERS
These are man-made engineered stone formed by combining ground natural stone, resins, polymers, and pigments to form a very hard surface with a predesigned appearance.
They are hard, NON-POROUS surface that does not need sealing treatment on the surface. It takes a lot of impact to chip this type of material.
They also have high resistance to scratching, but if they do, scratches are more visible on these surfaces than natural stone due to its mostly monotone design and luster.
Just like any surface, highly acidic or basic solvents can harm the polish of engineered quartz.
These surfaces can withstand a HIGH AMOUNT OF HEAT, but they can be damaged by sudden and/or rapid change of temperature, especially near the edges, as well as direct and/or sustained heating of the top. Placing very hot objects directly on these surface can scorch the stone.
Top mount (Drop In)- Part of the sink sits on top of the surface.
Undermount- Sink is anchored to the underside of the stone countertop.
Farm Sinks- Can both be top or undermounted and must be installed on top of a base cabinet.
Cast iron Sinks- will always require extra support whether it is top or undermount type due to its weight.
D-SHAPED SINGLE STANDARD SINGLE SUPER SINGLE
50/50 DOUBLE 60/40 DOUBLE 70/30 DOUBLE
*** ALL DOUBLE BOWL SINKS REQUIRE AT LEAST 33” BASE CABINET
Corners of stone countertops can be cut square radius
Standard backsplash height is 4” high and same thickness as the countertops. When working with cabinets with existing countertops and 4” splash, we increase the height of the splash as needed to cover paint lines.
Full-height backsplashes cover the entire area between the countertop and the upper cabinets. We may need to measure and install this portion after the countertops have been installed.
Granite Stacked Splashes and Tile splashes are done after countertops are installed. Can be done directly on top of the bottom counter or over the 4” standard backsplash.
OVERHANGS AND SUPPORTS
70% of the stone must be supported.
Standard overhang is 1 ½”
12” Overhang on a regular counter depth is allowed without extra support
Maximum overhangs on Bar tops, Knee Wall caps, and shelves without support depends on the width of the base.
Flat bars, L brackets, Decorative Corbels, and Legs are some of the fixtures used to provide extra support (Final support needed is determined at template)
Supports are recommended at a maximum of 36” apart and secured on studs
Support selected must cover at least 2/3 of the overhang
DURING A TEMPLATE
We use a laser digital templating system. This system is faster and allows us to detect if your cabinets are not level or the walls not square. This system also allows us to take pictures of the job site to refer to if needed. However, we have to utilize manual measuring for very tight areas where the space is too small to set our equipment up. This system of measuring allows for as little gap as possible between countertops and walls that are not straight.
The process takes 1 to 2 hours depending on how much we are measuring.
All cabinets must be completely installed and secured. End panels, false or decorative doors, and any modification that will affect the lay out and measurement of your countertops must be done prior to template.
Completely clear all things on the countertops.
Existing countertops does not have to be removed. However, if you have full height splashes of any material that you are removing, they must be removed before template.
We recommend all appliances and fixtures are present at the time of template, but if not, make and model numbers of all appliances, cook tops, sinks, faucets and any additional hardware are required by then. UNDERMOUNT FARM SINKS MUST BE INSTALLED PRIOR TO TEMPLATE.
There may be areas where your old countertops sit that may not get completely covered with the new granite countertops.
These areas can include walls behind existing full backsplash (we recommend they get removed prior to measure to assess the wall behind the material)
Gaps where the countertops meet walls (when walls are not straight or square or when gap is required to fit stone between walls.
Gap between your new stone counter and existing tile splash (certain existing tops are thicker than our 3CM stones)
There are occasions where countertops are leveled but cabinets under countertops have separated to the top and are not (this is not detected at template)
We will discuss these items and any options that may be available to eliminate these occurrences. Any corrective measure necessary to level cabinets, straighten wall, and install or remove tiles and moldings is the responsibility of the client unless specifically written in the sales order.
We do not assume any liability in the case of cabinets not level and walls not square/plumb which may result in a final assembly that is not 100% leveled and/or existence of gaps between the finished top and wall.
SEAMS or joints between two pieces of stone are often necessary. Placement of seams are determined by the company based on size of slab, pattern and color of the stone, and job site condition. Clients can request for where they prefer the seam but they are not guaranteed.
You can see and feel it. They are more visible on a solid monotone stone than on a patterned multicolored stone.
For stones that are heavily veined or has varying color pattern within the slab, we utilize a SlabSmith, a Digital Imaging System that allows us to show you exactly what your kitchen layout will look like upon request. This is very effective with showing clients how the pattern and veins will come together. However, the colors may not be accurate because it is digitized, so we still advise you physically look at the stone.
You are also welcome to physically lay out your tops on the actual slab after the template is done.
Both are not necessary if the stone selected has a uniformed or consistent pattern.
INSTALLATION (approx. 4~8 hours)
> We strongly recommend you make yourself available all day. This is a construction process. We might need to make modifications on site and possibly come back another day to finish the installation. Times of arrival are subject to change as well.
- Sink base cabinets and cook top cabinets must be completely cleaned out.
- Please take down pictures and wall hangings, move throw rugs, plants and pet dishes.
- Seal off any adjacent rooms. It is possible for any level of countertop construction to create dirt and dust. If this is a concern, tape sheets or plastic drop cloths over doorways and protect any new appliances. This will help keep dust out of the rest of the house. If you have a cook top or drop-in sink being installed, it is possible that the final cutout is completed with the countertop in position, inside your house – this can create a lot of dust. It is possible that your kitchen will require a thorough cleaning once your new countertops are installed.
- We use a very strong adhesive for seams. Please be aware that these chemicals emit strong odors that should go away within a few hours.
- All under-counter appliances (dishwasher, ice machine, trash compactor, wine cooler, etc.) should be installed prior to the countertops. Additional trips to secure these items will result in a minimum charge of $250. Dishwashers are mounted to the side cabinets with a bracket that we provide and install if the appliance is present.
- Undermount sink(s) will typically rest under the countertop with clips or bracket. Additionally, drop-in sink(s) and the cook top (if applicable) will be set in place to verify fit. Additional charges will incur if the appliances are not present during installation and we have to return to make modifications to make it fit.
- Disconnection of plumbing is included with top removal if contracted, but the reconnection of plumbing is NOT unless written in the sales order.
- If Plumbing is contracted, the plumber will be there within the same day but not necessarily right after installation of countertops. Ventilation, ductwork and fuel lines are responsibilities of the home owner unless written into the signed sales order. Plumbing is defined as simple reconnection. If upon inspection, new or additional ductwork and/or piping are required, there will be an additional charge for materials and/or labor. This will all be discussed and agreed upon by the client before the work is done.
- When doing construction in your home our employees will be very respectful to your home. However, although it is unlikely, incidental or unintentional damage is possible. If we remove your existing countertops, our crews try their best to be as careful as possible. There is a chance that your walls, wallpaper, tile, or other wall coverings may be damaged and we will not be responsible for any repairs.
- If you are going to have other contractors doing work in your home, please instruct them NOT to use your new countertops as a workbench. This will avoid damage to your new countertops.
- Any necessary aesthetic improvements to conceal gaps resulting from walls not straight or cabinets not leveled (e.g., additional wood trim) is the responsibility of the client.
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR ENGINEERED AND NATURAL STONE COUNTERTOPS
DO’S AND DON’TS
Do use coaster under glasses, especially if they contain alcohol or citrus juice.
Do use trivets or mats under hot dishes or cookware.
Do use place mats under china, ceramics, silver or other object that may scratch your stones surface.
Do blot up spills immediately to minimize permanent damage to the stone.
Do clean surfaces by wiping with water or spraying with stone cleaner, then wiping dry with a clean cloth.
Don’t use vinegar, bleach, ammonia or other general purpose cleaners.
Don’t use abrasive cleaners such as dry cleansers or soft cleansers.
Don’t use alkaline cleaners not specifically formulated for natural stone.
CLEANING AND SEALING YOUR NATURAL STONE (ENGINEERED STONE DOES NOT NEED SEALING)
Use Stone Savior Countertop Cleaner and a clean non-abrasive cloth or soft paper towel. Using a neutral cleaner will help remove soils (it is not a STAIN REMOVER) that normal cleaning leaves behind. Do not use general purpose cleaners which have alkies or acids in them, as they may damage your stone. Such cleaners that contain lemon, vinegar or other acids may etch the stone and will break down the sealers as well. Using products that contain scouring powders or creams may scratch the surface.
The Stone Savior Countertop Cleaner can also be used on ANY solid surface top as well, no need to have two different counter or vanity top cleaner. It has a very refreshing green apple scent.
Use soap and warm water. This is the most cost effective way to clean your countertops, but overtime, a soap film builds up on the surface of the stone along with hard water deposits, and dirt and affects its polish. So we recommend using Stone Savior Countertop cleaner and polisher in between to maintain the polish of your countertops.
Stone Savior also offers stain poultice in the event your natural stone countertop sustains a stain. Etching on the other hand cannot be corrected by simple solutions. They require buffing or polishing the surface if corrected at an early stage.
RESIDENTIAL WORKMANSHIP WARRANTY
Baltimore Granite Direct, LLC will warrant from the original date of installation for ten (10) years, material that fails due to any fabrication or installation cause. This warranty covers the repair or replacement of failed material that has been permanently installed in a single family residence including seams, sink mounts, seams, and fissures. Caulk, chips, scratches, and cracks due to sudden temperature change is not covered in this warranty. This also warrants a 10-year seal applied by Baltimore Granite Direct,LLC on natural stone provided the counters are cleaned with BGD approved stone savior products only. Use of highly acidic or basic solutions that interfere with the sealer will void the sealer warranty.
The residential warranty is available only to the owner of a single-family residence in which the product is originally installed or, in the case of a newly constructed single-family residence or residence sold within 1 year of the original installation (provided the original purchaser provides in writing the name of the new homeowner and contact information), to the first owner acquiring the residence from the builder or the seller thereof with the granite already permanently installed.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
This warranty applies to Natural Stone and Engineered Stone Material.
This warranty applies only to installations that are permanently installed in residences and that have not been moved from original installations.
This warranty does not cover materials that have not been paid for.
This warranty only applies to materials that have been maintained properly.
This warranty does not cover products installed in outdoor applications.
This warranty does not cover use for commercial purposes.
This warranty does not cover improper use or abuse.
This warranty does not cover additional modifications such as plumbing, electrical, tile, cabinets, etc. that may be necessary to repair or replace the material.
This warranty does not cover damage on countertops resulting from structural movement including but not limited to support failure and cabinet settling.
This warranty does not cover staining, etching, scratching, chipping, and discoloration of natural stone.
Baltimore Granite Direct, LLC is not responsible for damage or injury caused in whole or part by acts of God, job site condition, architectural or engineering design, structural movement, and acts of vandalism or accidents.
EACH ENGINEERED STONE MANUFACTURER HAS ITS OWN WARRANTY ON THE MATERIAL AND THIS INFORMATION CAN BE REQUESTED FROM US OR DOWNLOADED FROM THEIR WEBSITE.
WE DO NOT WARRANTY ANY NATURAL STONE