Choosing slabs and how to cut them
We are very much aware that choosing the right material is a central part of buying granite worktops for all our customers. And when it comes to natural granites, especially stones with a large pattern, it is important to see the actual slabs. We have always encouraged people to visit us and choose slabs for themselves. Sometimes it is time-consuming, but it is great to see the peace of mind that comes from really getting the decision right.
Whether you are looking at one of our stock stones, or you need to see bespoke slabs that we have found for you at one of our regular wholesalers, you will always be welcome to come and see for yourself if getting here is at all practical.
A Juperana Bordeaux Slab from Gerald Culliford
But choosing the right material and the right slab is not the whole story. With “big pattern” stones the actual layout of the pattern within your kitchen is important. Often slabs have natural features that a customer wants to put in a prominent place. Or that they may want to lose altogether! In our experience one person’s ‘feature’ is another person’s imperfection. There is no accounting for taste, and we have had many people choosing to highlight exactly the kind of feature that another person wants to remove.
Obviously, a feature to be highlighted can’t be moved – we can’t get that lovely patch of iridescent crystals to the centre of your island if they are at the edge of the slab! But within limits, our Workshop Manager and his sawyers will do all they can to get the very best from your chosen material.
The templates made in your home are laid out on the stone, and a cutting plan for your kitchen is developed. With some kitchens there may be little room for manoeuvre, but for others there may be a fair bit of leeway.
A lovely slab of Belvedere granite with a textured leather finish.
The process of offering up the templates onto the slabs can involve you, the customer. Obviously, with a granular or sparkly quartz, or a small textured granite like Black Galaxy or Steel Grey, there is little point being involved in this part of the process, as there will be no perceptible difference. But with big patterned slabs we would positively like you to be present. It is YOUR choice of material, and YOUR kitchen that we are dealing with.
Here are some phone pics we took this week of one customer’s visit to select the cutting plan for her Belvedere Granite worktops. Mrs B has been very involved from the very start of the process – I think she has found the whole world of natural stone to be a fascinating adventure. So here she is with Ben, our Workshop Manager, working out the best way to use the pattern in her slabs.
Our customer with Ben, and Naomi, who looked after the sale and bought the slabs in.
Belvedere Granite with its textured finish is a magnificent material – as lovely to touch as it is to look at. Mrs B’s kitchen is precisely the kind of installation where we would expect to work closely with our customer at all stages of the process. It has been a pleasure for us to work with her; I suspect that part of her pleasure in her kitchen down through the years will be not only the freedom to choose slabs that really suited, but also the memory of her own involvement in the manufacturing process.
Obviously, our workshop is a busy place. You are welcome at any time in office hours if you wish to choose slabs, but we may be a little more tied to a schedule when it comes to laying out the template. If you want to be involved in that part of the process, be sure to call in as soon as the template is done and have a chat with Ben about when would be a good time.
A Cosmic White island in the Redhill, Surrey, home of another happy customer who not only came to choose slabs but also helped in the cutting plan.
We are Affordable Granite, the leading installer of granite and quartz worktops in Surrey, Sussex and across the South East. For samples, quotes and any questions connected with any aspect of worktop installation or kitchen design, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01293 863992 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org/ .