BEST TIMES TO TEMPLATE YOUR WORKTOPS
In the vast majority of cases we will template a couple of days before installation but this is generally decided depending on the distance of the installation from our Warehouse in Charlwood, Surrey. The further the distance the more likely we are to do it all in one visit. We are also less likely to template prior to installation if there are no polished cut outs involved.
The quality of the finished installation is not affected because we can bring all the necessary machinery to site. We may ask for a few additional measurements so we can pre-fabricate some of the more time-consuming elements before coming e.g. polished sink cut outs.
Your quotation will be based on your plan/measurements. Your installation will then be based on our template which will define the actual shape and look of your worktops. We cannot emphasise too strongly that customers should plan on being present for templating. Please see Note 8 below.
Careful consideration of the following will help to ensure good preparation for templating, and therefore a smooth process to a high-quality installation. You may well want to share this information with your builder/kitchen installer.
1. WEIGHT OF WORKTOPS
As an example, a 2.5m slab of Nero Assoluto granite weighs 154kg (340lbs) so base units need to be of solid construction and in good condition, with adequate support at the back as well as at the front. Islands and peninsulas must be supported in such a way as to avoid any risk of tipping. Our templater will advise on additional support, but responsibility for providing such support rests with the customer.
2. MAXIMUM WIDTH OF WORKTOPS (FROM FRONT TO BACK)
The front to back depth of our standard worktops is a maximum of 650mm. This can be cut back as required but cannot be enlarged! Please be sure to allow for overhang in the calculation of worktop depth. We generally have a 40mm overhang over the carcass (20mm over the doors). Please also be aware that if it is necessary to bring the carcasses off the wall (e.g. to allow for pipes) it may easily lead to a required depth (with overhang) greater than 650mm; this may have considerable cost implications if not clearly marked on the plan on which quotation was based.
3. SINK AND HOB INFORMATION
To maintain the strength around a sink cut-out, we need a minimum of 90mm of granite AT FRONT, BACK AND SIDES OF THE CUTOUT. If there is a tap hole to cut into the back section of the granite we need a minimum of 125mm at the back. For example: if the finished depth of the worktops is going to be 615mm with the tap to go in the centre behind, then the sink cutout can only be 400mm from front to back. (a 410mm bowl depth with 5mm overhang of granite all round is fine). If the sink is too large we may have to increase the overhang or put the tap at an angle to the side of the sink. Please note that granite up-stands/splash-back may also prevent a tap position centrally behind the sink.
Where two separate undermounted sinks are to be fitted side by side, we look for a minimum of 70mm on the central stone strip.
Some sink manufacturers sell sinks that are described as being suitable for either under- or top-mount use. These are generally not the ideal choice as they often have a deeper flange that is not as aesthetically pleasing when fitted, and often leave little room for the tap hole. We would also NOT recommend stainless steel under-mounted sinks which have a tap-hole cut into the sink (i.e. where the tap is attached directly to the sink and does not require a hole cut into the granite). If you have any concerns about your sink, please contact our sales team to discuss its individual suitability for your particular installation.
Stainless steel sinks can be installed safely using simply a silicon bond between sink and worktop. With heavier sinks (ceramic or composite) or waste disposal units a frame must be built before templating to provide extra support. We are not responsible for this work unless expressly stated in the quotation.
With Belfast sinks it is important to ensure that the tap(s) can be plumbed-in after the worktops are fitted. One way to facilitate this is to cut the hole for the waste in the supporting shelf as a slot, open towards the front of the cabinet. In that way the sink can be slid forward under the granite to improve access.
To maintain the strength around a sit-on sink cut-out we need a minimum of 50mm of granite to the FRONT, REAR AND SIDES of the actual hole, and more in weaker stones. In certain circumstances it may be best structurally to use separate slips of granite to the front and rear of the sink. Where a join is required anyway to form a long run such a cut-out may be the best location for it.
Most hobs are designed to drop into the worktop like a sit-on sink. As with a sit-on sink we require a minimum of 50mm to the front and rear of the hob. The same points regarding slips on sinks apply.
In some cases hobs are designed to be flush-mounted (or optionally flush-mounted), dropping into the cut-out so that the top fits flush with the worktop. There is a lot more work involved and so an additional charge will be required.
Dishwashers can get very hot/overheat. In extreme cases this can cause the granite to crack, although this is very rare. Insulation between the top of the dishwasher and the granite prevents this, although we will install without it.
5. TEMPORARY / EXISTING WORKTOPS
These must be removed prior to our arrival for templating unless expressly stated otherwise in the quotation.
6. GAS, ELECTRICS, PLUMBING, DECORATION AND OTHER TRADES
Affordable Granite installers are specialists in stone worktop installations. We will make good all joins between supplied stone: worktops and upstands. Due to the variety of approaches to decoration following worktop installation we only caulk between upstands and walls if arranged on templating. We will fit and seal the sink to the stone, but are not Gas Safe registered or qualified to deal with electrics and plumbing. Unless stated in the quotation, customers need to make their own arrangements for the disconnection and reconnection of services.
It is better to let the silicone set prior to re-plumbing the sink so we would recommend that you arrange to do this a day later.
7. DELAYS TO KITCHEN INSTALLATION
Please contact the office immediately if for any reason the kitchen installation is being delayed so that we can re-schedule.
READINESS FOR TEMPLATING
Please contact the office as soon as you are completely ready for templating/installation.
The following criteria MUST be met before templating can be booked in:-
- Base units must be in their final position and fixed. Any subsequent movement will invalidate the template.
- The units should be level to within 3mm.
- All end panels must be on.
- All hobs, range, sinks & taps etc. must be on site. (Unless Affordable Granite are supplying the sink)
- Any plastering must be completed.
- Temporary worktops (if installed) removed
A TEMPLATE TRIP MADE WHEN THESE CRITERIA ARE NOT MET IS A WASTED JOURNEY AND WILL INCUR ADDITIONAL COSTS.
THE TEMPLATE PROCESS
The template will define the look of the final kitchen. Although much may be discussed at the quotation stage, and sales staff will take a nominal view of join positions in order to arrive at a price, only on templating can the location of all supports be evaluated and join position decided. Final decisions regarding drainage groove direction, flush-mounting of hobs, the use of slips at cut-outs, corner and edge profiles and so forth are also defined at this stage. IT IS THEREFORE ESSENTIAL THAT THE CUSTOMER IS ON SITE FOR TEMPLATING. If this is impossible, please ensure that whoever gives us access to the premises for templating has THE CUSTOMER’S AUTHORISATION to make these decisions on their behalf.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further queries regarding