These customers were referred to us at Arizona Granite by friends who had used us to transform their kitchen with granite countertops. They were kind enough to allow us to photograph the process, and give us their views on the project.
Having Granite Countertops Installed – Our Experience
The process started with a scheduled appointment for Carlos to come to the house to talk through our kitchen remodel project. We’d never really given much thought to installing granite previously, so we were keen to get his thoughts on what we should or shouldn’t do, given the size and layout of our kitchen. He talked us through the various material options, granite, manufactured stone, or marble, outlining the ‘pros and cons’ of each material for kitchen counter usage. It seemed like granite, our initial thought, would be the way to go.
He drew out a diagram of the counters and the island, took some detailed measurements so he could estimate the amount of granite we would need, and gave us some good advice. We decided to lengthen the island a little to give us a little more entertaining room, as we would likely have enough granite to spare, so it would not impact the cost.
We received the estimate a few days later, including a price for two mid-range granite slabs. We would need two slabs for our kitchen, which is pretty normal as it turns out. The Granite slabs are graded and differ in their pricing accordingly, so the actual cost couldn’t be finalized until we had picked out the actual slabs we wanted.
Visiting Granite Showrooms
Carlos gave us a list of partner stone showrooms to visit where we could see the huge variety of slabs available. He would meet us there if we chose, or we could go alone to browse. We decided to go alone because we didn’t really have anything in mind so we thought it might be a long process.
We went to Arizona Tile, and to be honest, the choice was pretty overwhelming. We went armed with photos of our cabinets and floor tile, and we spent a couple of hours there. With the help of a customer service rep, we narrowed our choice and put several slabs on a short 7 day hold, giving them the name of Carlos at Arizona Granite Enterprises as our fabricator. The material is paid for by, and delivered to, your fabricator.
To allow us to consider our choice, we scheduled a time a few days later to go back to Arizona Tile with Carlos to get his opinion and to choose the two slabs we would use from the four that we’d put on hold. That was a much quicker visit; Arizona Tile had pulled out the slabs we’d held for us to view, and with Carlos’ help we identified the best two slabs – avoiding small imperfections in the stone and picking those with the best mica highlights that would really ‘pop’ on our counters.
We also used this visit to pick out a backsplash design; there were a number of combination boards on display, so with help from Carlos, we picked out a backsplash design that would match our granite counters perfectly.
The Final Details
With the slabs chosen and scheduled for delivery to Arizona Granite a few days later, the next step was to have the templates made. Francisco, another Sanchez brother, came out to finalize measurements and to make a plywood template of the counter that had an angle. The granite piece for that counter would be cut as one, with no join, so the template would ensure an accurate cut. Because we were going to use the same sink, they also did a template of the sink to make sure that was cut accurately.
With the templates done, we then scheduled an appointment to visit the Arizona Granite shop to mark out the templates on the actual slabs we’d picked. This was optional for us, but because there were some parts of the granite pattern that we were keen on retaining in certain areas on our counters, we wanted to be involved.
Carlos mapped out the different counters, and the island to ensure minimal wastage and maximum use of the ‘best bits’ of the granite – he showed us where he would recommend that we take the island from, and where we would choose the two counter pieces. He also explained that we would have some material left over, that we could store at Arizona Granite until such time that we wanted to have table tops or maybe vanities made from it.
Carlos also ran through our edging options – we had eight choices to choose from. With his help we picked a style that would complement the contemporary granite that we’d chosen.
Granite Countertops Installation Day!
When installation day came, as instructed, we’d cleared the kitchen counters and emptied the cabinet under the kitchen sink in advance. We had taken out the top drawers and covered the things in the cabinets with dust sheets and blankets. The crew of three arrived (on time) and dismantled and removed our old Formica counters and took out the sink.
They set up a wood-sawing station on the driveway – granite counters sit on a wood base for strength – where they cut the wood to shape before installing the wood bases on the cabinets. Once the base was in place, the under-mount sink was situated, and then it was time to start bringing in the stone.
Once the slabs were in place, the guys glued them to the wood boards to help hold them down, although they seemed so heavy, I’m sure gravity does most of that job for them. Then they set about drilling the holes for the faucet and soap dispenser.
Once the drilling was complete they set about cleaning up the granite; they buffed out a couple of minor scratch marks that were visible, and then applied the sealant. You have to let the sealant dry for a couple of hours; and applying sealant is something we need to do ourselves every 12 months or so with granite counters.
The entire granite counter install process took about 4 hours, and they cleaned up any mess they made really well before they left. They’d even made us a beautiful granite cutting board, which we weren’t expecting. A plumber was scheduled for the next morning to reconnect the water in the kitchen, the dishwasher and the waste disposal, so we had an excuse to go out for dinner that night.
Installing the Tile Backsplash
As scheduled, a different set of guys arrived to do the backsplash the next day; these guys, a father and son team, stayed late into the night on a Friday to make sure they got the job finished the same day.
They prepped the area well to make sure that the newly installed granite was fully protected before they started. It was quite a messy job, with lots of dust, tile cutting (outside) and grouting, but the guys did their best to clean up as they went and we couldn’t be happier with the result.
A New Kitchen – A Complete Transformation
As you can see from the before and after pictures, working with Arizona Granite really has transformed our ‘tired’ 12 year old kitchen into a wonderful new room – even with the same cabinets in place.
I can’t recommend the guys at Arizona Granite enough – they did what they promised on time and on budget, and you can’t ask for more than that.
Contact Arizona Granite Enterprises Today
To get your project started, call 480-610-1900 and schedule a free, no-obligation in-home consultation today.