01435 867766 granite@caraco.co.uk

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you need from me to get an estimate?

A sketch will be fine, as long as it gives the dimensions and details of any cut-outs you want and which edges need polishing. Send it to us by email or post and we will send your estimate, usually within two hours if it is straightforward.

Do you guarantee the accuracy of your estimates?

If the information you gave us is exactly right so will the estimate be. There are however usually some details that change once we have been able to look at the job. Once we have done the templating we confirm the price to you.

Can I visit your workshop to choose the stone?

Yes, we carry large samples of all our stones. We do not stock the slabs here but can often provide photographs of actual slabs which can be useful if the material you want varies a lot.  We are open Monday to Friday 09:00 to 17:00 and Saturdays 10:00 to 14:00 but please phone first to ensure the right person will be available to help you.

Granite needs sealing?

All our tops are factory sealed with a first class new product that is considered permanent and will help prevent staining. No further sealing is necessary.

Can I use Marble for worktops?

Marble is considered too soft for kitchen tops. Kitchen knives will mark it. It is also vulnerable to damage by acids such as lemon juice and vinegar.

Will you visit us to make templates?

Templating involves taking very accurate site measurements and is best done by our specialist who will then produce a CAD drawing. We will take responsibility for the accuracy of those measurements. If you do your own templates you must accept full responsibility for their accuracy.

What needs to have been done before you template?

It is very important that all the furniture is fitted securely and is absolutely level.  All sinks and hobs must be on site with their fitting instructions and any templates. Range cookers should also be in position. Fitted ranges such as AGAs must be in place. Notes for kitchen fitters.

Can we plaster the walls after templating?

No – this should be done before templating.  Tiling should be done after the worktop has been fitted

I’m just replacing my laminate tops with granite. Can I keep my existing tiles?

Only if we fit upstands to cover the gap. Most laminate tops are 40mm and granite is 30mm

Will you dispose of my old tops and sink?

Only by special arrangement as our installers are not allowed to transport waste materials.

I am just replacing my existing worktops, do they have to be removed before you template?

Yes please, we cannot make accurate measurements if the old tops are in the way. We also need to inspect the cabinets to advise you of any work that needs to be done to ensure that the granite installation will not be compromised. It follows that sinks and gas hobs should be removed also.

Do I have to have an upstand? I don’t want tiles either

Walls are rarely straight and granite is always cut in straight lines and is difficult to trim to fit uneven walls so without tiles or an upstand there are bound to be gaps.

Do I need to be there when you template and install?

Yes please, for the avoidance of any doubt. There always seem to be questions that need answering. Accurate templating is crucial. Your final inspection is an essential part of our quality control so we like you to inspect the fitted tops before we leave.

How thick should granite worktops be?
  • For kitchen worktops we recommend 30mm.  20 + 20mm is sometimes used particularly with more elaborate edge detail.  This method requires a 22mm MDF substrate on top of your units. Please contact us for advice. We can produce tops up to 80mm thick by bonding the 20mm slab to a stiff but lightweight substrate and fitting a dowstand on the exposed edges. We call this process ‘Quartzlite’ For tops thicker than 40mm you may need to reduce the height of the cabinets otherwise the tops could be too high.
  • Upstands and splashbacks are normally cut from 20mm material. Please note that there can sometimes be a colour and pattern difference when using slabs of different thickness.
  • For bathrooms, 20mm usually looks right.
Will my tops be the same as the sample you gave me?

No! Each piece of granite is totally unique. Some colours vary more than others so please ask us for advice. If colour consistency is very important you should consider ‘engineered stone’

How long do I have to wait between templating and fitting?

Because all our tops are produced in Italy in carefully controlled factory conditions it takes around 15 working days. It’s how we keep our prices sensible. We are able to fit temporary tops if required.

Do you connect sinks and hobs when you have fitted the tops?

We are not able to do this for insurance liability reasons. Gas hobs MUST be fitted by ‘Gas Safe’ registered fitters.

Do you make alterations to cabinets?

No but our associated Kitchen company, Hammerton’s Ltd. may be able to help. www.hammertons.co.uk 01435 868611

How do I look after granite and marble?

We recommend e- cloths and K30 which is a special granite cleaner. See the ‘maintenance’ page

Are the joints invisible?

No: Due to the crystalline nature of granite and marble all cuts are bevelled very slightly to take off the rough edges. This has the effect of making the joint appear wider than it in fact is. Joints are bonded with matching coloured resin or clear silicone if there is potential for any movement in the substrate.

The random nature of the patterning in some granite also causes joints to show. This is of course a feature of natural products.

My top has been scratched. Can it be re-polished?

Yes but removing the scratch will create a slight dip in the surface which will be visible. It is almost impossible to achieve the same gloss level by hand as is achieved in the factory. Chips can be filled with matching resin but will remain visible from close up.