Every so often customers ask if they can measure up their kitchen for us to make quartz or granite worktops to their measurements, for them to fit. Occasionally the request is for us to template, with our customer fitting, or for the customer to template, but for Affordable Granite to fit. Generally, customers think that this will be more economical, and sometimes it can be. Here are a few key points to think through:
- We only template what we are going to fit; we only fit what we have templated. This is all about responsibility for the installation. If a customer measures, they are responsible for the installation; if we measure, any issues on fitting are our problem. For more about templating, see here.
- Measuring up is harder than it may appear. Understanding decisions about overhangs, how sink-cutout diagrams work, how upstands change things – all of these and more need knowledge and experience. We have made many sections for customers who have then had to reorder because they got a measurement wrong.
- Transporting granite worktops is harder than it appears. Our vans are kitted out with racks for holding the slabs. Family cars or “empty” transits are not made for dealing with our product. In our worst case ever, two London builders picked up £2000-worth of beautiful worktops, only for the ties to pull out of their van on the first corner – every piece smashed!
- Handling stone is harder than it may appear. Enough black granite to cover just two 60mm units can weigh up to 160lbs. It is very easy to break stone with a cutout, or to drop it and break something more valuable – a unit, a floor tile or even you!
- There is more to installing stone worktops than may appear. Yes, it is gravity that basically holds the slabs in place, but getting a precise fit and a consistent overhang, let alone fine-tuning the warp on a piece of stone so as to make a join absolutely flat – these are jobs for a specialist, and with the right tooling.
Having said all of that, there are circumstances where installing your own granite worktops makes sense:
- Where a simple shelf is involved, with no cut outs or joins. In this kind of situation, there is little to worry about with regard to the measurements, and having a double visit of Affordable Granite staff to your home looks like overkill. Sometimes this applies where what is needed is a simple island with no cutouts.
- Vanity tops for cloakrooms and bathrooms are often worth doing yourself, especially if the sink is central, either a vessel with large waste or an apron-fronted or semi-recessed basin. In the latter case, bringing the measurements and the sink to us can allow for a good fit.
- There are other supply only tasks which we never fit anyway – hearths and cistern covers, larder shelves and pizza-slabs. In all these cases, measuring yourself and buying from us on a supply-only basis makes a lot of sense.
- In all cases where the worktops need to be joined, or where undermounted sinks or hobs and upstands are involved, it is a false economy to go DIY. Relative to the value of the overall job, the extra cost of getting us to template and fit easily offsets the hassle of carrying the responsibility yourself. Unless you have considerable personal experience or have a kitchen fitter who has worked with stone, using our full-fit service for anything bigger than the smallest kitchen makes total sense.
For more about our order and installation process, see here. We look forward to hearing from you with your granite worktop enquiry!