Q: I am not sure where to start with colours and don’t know what I want, Quartz or Granite, can you help?
A: Yes we can definitely help you choose the right countertop surface for your space. Consultations in our showroom at Surface Elegance are complimentary, we welcome you to come by and visit. Please bring measurements, pictures of your space and anything that you think will help us to get an understanding of your vision.
Q: How and when can we start the project?
A: Usually the countertop is one of the last things to be installed. The cabinets need to be fully installed and leveled within 1/8’’ allowance. Any adjustments or wall repairs should be complete before we come in. If you are supplying the sink make sure that the sink, faucet, stove and or cook top and refrigerator are on site but not installed or in place. This gives the templator everything he requires in order to record measurements with accuracy and avoids any errors or delays. We are here to answer any questions you may have pre and post counter top install.
Q: Which countertop holds up the best over time and is the best price?
A: All of the materials available are competitively priced and will usually vary within a few hundred dollars with the exception of exotic stones. Both man-made and natural stones are beautiful and will last a lifetime if maintained properly. Always follow the manufactures maintenance recommendation and check for available warranties offered.
Q: Do you install cabinets?
A: We are a countertop company and that is all that we do. We are not responsible for cabinets or supports required. We do not touch, move or install appliances. We do not offer plumbing and we do not secure dishwashers. Our expertise in in template, fabrication and installations of countertops only.
Q: I don’t want any seams in my counter top, can this be done?
A: The templator will work with you to try and accommodate any request. Seams may be required due to countertop length being larger than the slab allows, weight, design, getting through doors, into elevators etc.
Q: How long will it take once I purchase to have my countertop installed?
A: From the time of sale the first thing that will take place is your laser template. From this point it will be approximately 10-15 business days to be installed. Every effort is made for expedience.
Q: I have quotes from different companies and the prices are significantly different, Why?
A: The comparison must be made for the exact same material and thickness. It is true you can find a wide difference in prices. There are many small independent companies that charge based on a few factors. They may be new and inexperienced and desperate for business. No name and below grade material is available to fabricators at a fraction of the cost. The best thing is to look for a fabricator that is experienced and authorized to sell brand name material. Surface Elegance is a Division of Uniform Custom Countertops. We have been successfully fabricating countertops for builders, box stores, designers, contractors and the general public since 1998. We only deal with reputable brand name manufacturers and together we have you covered with material, fabrication and installation warranties so you can feel comfortable should you need assistance in the future, we will be there for you!
Q: How do you install an undermount sink?
A: For stone, quartz and solid surface countertops the undermount sink is installed using a silicone adhesive which is all that is needed to keep it in place. We will not screw into the stone as it will void most stone manufacturers warranties. If you have a sink in mind read the installation specifications and inquire with the manufacturer of the countertop material what they would recommend that will not affect the warranty.
Q: Can you advise on the sink size? I am afraid to buy too big and have it not fit.
A: When shopping for a sink first get the cabinet measurements and have them with you when you go shopping. Next you would have to decide what type of sink you want. A topmount, undermount, apron, vessel. You can do some research on the internet and visit some of the larger sink suppliers, they will provide a measurement guideline:
Q: I have designed and installed my own custom island and I am curious how much a typical stone top weighs?
A: Generally natural and man-made stone can weigh approximately 20-25 pounds per square foot. Properly installed cabinets and supports for overhangs will be sufficient to hold the weight.
Q: Is it true that Quartz is scratch and heat proof?
A: Quartz is one of the most practical and user friendly countertops to have. Most manufacturer’s warranty their material but still always use care with your new top. Quartz is a durable surface, it is heat and scratch resistant not “proof” always use a cutting board and trivet.
Q: My friend said that wine stained her quartz countertop. Please clarify is Quartz stain proof or not?
A: Quartz material is bacteria and stain resistant which means it will not absorb or penetrate the material. Highly acidic liquids, if left overnight for example will stain the surface and can be removed with a cream cleanser and soft cloth. Check with the manufacturer for recommended cleaning products.
Q: I am so happy with my new counter top! Is there any advice on care and maintenance you have for me?
A: First thing to do is register your countertop with the manufacture for warranty purposes. Care and maintenance information can be found on the manufacturers website.
Q: I really wanted granite but I noticed cracks and pin holes in most of the samples, is this a sign of a defective or low grade material?
A: Absolutely not! Granite is a natural stone created by the earth over thousands of years. The vein like cracks and the pin holes are not a sign of a defective material but a result of heat and pressure that have happened naturally. These little nuances are what adds to the beauty of natural stone. Romans used granite and marble to construct the columns of their buildings! As long as it is maintained correctly it will last as long as Rome’s Pantheon!
Q: Can a chip or scratch be repaired?
A: Yes to a certain degree, it depends on the depth and size . Our skilled technicians will do their best. The repair will be noticeable.
Q: I love my existing tile back splash and plan on keeping it. Once my laminate countertop is removed there will be a 3’’-4’’ gap on the wall can you make a matching piece in stone.
A: Yes we can make a 3’’-4’’ backsplash in the matching countertop stone. Once the countertop is installed, meaurements are taken and the backsplash is installed at a later date. Gaps may be visible.
Q: I had an accident, Liquid Draino splashed and ruined a portion of my L shape counter top. My quartz counter top was installed four years ago can I replace only the portion that is stained?
A: We would not recommend this for a couple of reasons. First of all the colour may be discontinued and most importantly colour and dye lots will not match and the difference will be noticeable. You would have to replace the entire L shape countertop.
Q: I am interested in a Granite countertop and was wondering how often it would need to be sealed.
A: Granite is a natural stone which is porous and will definitely need to be sealed annually to keep it looking its best. You can purchase a sealant from your local hardware store. To see if your countertops needs a sealing treatment, place a bead of water on your countertop. Wait 10 minutes, if the bead of water is still there the counter top is still protected. If the bead of water has been absorbed into the countertop you know it is time to reseal.
Q: How much overhang am I allowed before it requires support.
A: Quartz and Granite: 2CM thickness up to 12’’ and for 3CM up to 15’’ can be unsupported. Anything higher will require support in the form of brackets or posts/legs.
Q: I plan on removing my own countertop, how should the area be prepared in order for you to template?
A: Once the countertops have been removed from the area the most important thing is that the existing cabinets are leveled within 1/8’’ allowance. Any wall repairs should be completed. Our staff will also advise at time of sale and will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Q: Why is the cost for existing granite stone removal so expensive?
A: The weight and removal of natural stone is labor intensive and takes more time. With natural stone removal and disposal, extra care is taken to not cause any damage to the cabinetry and surrounding area sometimes cabinetry damage is unavoidable due to how it was originally installed. As a homeowner you need to be aware of this potential issue and know that Surface Elegance will not be held responsible for cabinetry damage that may result from removal process.
Q: I am doing my own plumbing, when is it ok to reconnect?
A: We recommend you wait 24hrs before re-connection in order to allow the silicone to set for undermount sinks and counter tops.
Have a question? Send us an email and we will get back to you!