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installation Granite is a natural, durable but labour intensive countertop option that's pretty much beyond the realm of do-it-yourselfers.

Like solid surface materials, granite stone is cut and polished off-site, including cut outs for sink openings. That demands a lot of accuracy and coordination to make sure measurements and templates are correct.

Granite is secured to the cabinets with silicone caulk, but one major difference is how it's seamed.

With granite, the joints don't totally disappear, but in a sense, that's what separates natural stone from manufactured products. Scheduling a fabricator is often a matter of timing and coordination—since many fabricators prefer to wait until the cabinets are in.

Installation procedures and information:

Because granite is a natural material and is mined from the quarry in blocks, usually no more than 10' long, you will ultimately end up with seams. Also, because granite is sold in rectangular pieces, you may want to use seams to reduce your costs, such as in a 'L' shaped corner. The visibility of seams will depend on the granularity, colour and pattern. A small, uniform grain will not be as apparent as a larger varied grain. A dark colour will be less apparent than a light colour. A dramatic pattern with swaths of colour will show more seams than a uniform pattern. Most customers have found that the beauty of natural granite outweighs the concern of seams.

They also need to create a template, cut in openings for sinks and take final measurements. It all adds up to a delay of a week or two after the cabinets go in before getting finished countertops.

Countertops are normally secured to the cabinet frames with silicone caulk. Usually, fabricators must make at least one seam on site. But they've developed clamping tools and gluing techniques to create joints that virtually disappear after the excess glue is sanded down.

Learn more about seams and surfaces in our Stone Care section.
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