HOMEOWNER EXPECTATIONS GUIDE TO NEW STONE COUNTERTOPS
We have prepared this important information for your benefit and reference. It is intended to guide you through the process and set the right expectations to ensure your satisfaction
Quartz and Granite products have remarkable beauty and natural characteristics that make them very hard and durable, they come in a huge array of colors and patterns, and they are easy to maintain, for which they have become the favorite choice for countertops.
Slabs may vary in gauging, coloration, shading, markings, and textures. All of these characteristics add to the uniqueness of the stone. Sublime will not guarantee that all pieces will be consistently uniform.
Granite, quartz and other stones may have fissures that have been filled with an epoxy resin at the quarry or at the fabrication shop.
Potential manufacturing, installation problems or material availability may occur.
Weak spots and fissures in granite may be more noticeable if they separate. Additional cracks may appear after installation, particularly if settling in the home that causes movement or stress on the countertop occurs.
Lighting and installation planes will affect the appearance of the countertop surface.
GRANITE & NATURAL STONE
Granite is a natural stone that contains natural characteristics throughout the slab, such as:
These are not flaws or defects and will not impair the function and durability of the material. The overall appearance of the slab is polished and mirror like, but your countertop will surely contain some.
The extreme hardness, which approaches that of diamonds, makes granite uncommonly durable and extremely appealing for use every day in the home. The sample used to make your color selection is only a representation of the tone and pattern but, because each slab is different, variation in color and pattern should be expected in the slabs used to produce your countertops. It is recommended to take the time to physically view the color and characteristics of the stone that will be transformed into your countertop.
Unsealed, granite can absorb stains such as oil, which can cause dark spots or discolorations. As a standard, we will apply a sealer that will protect your countertop for up to 3 years, then it is up to you to re‐seal every 36 months. You will know when it’s time, when water does not bead up any longer. We also offer a 25‐year warranty dry‐treat sealer that will protect your granite from staining without the need to seal again in 25 years! There is a fee for this service, but it’s totally worth it. The warranty is through the sealer manufacturer: StoneTech (DuPont).
Quartz surfacing is composed of natural materials, 90‐93% of which are the finest quartz and granite aggregates. This natural stone product has taken the best of what nature has to offer in terms of the durability and the beauty of stone. Through extensive engineering, a manufacturing process was developed utilizing intense heat and pressure to increase the color consistency, stain resistance, and overall strength of this natural stone product. Being that quartz is non‐porous, it will not require the use of sealants and it withstands normal wear and tear beautifully. Professionally developed colors are computer‐calibrated to maintain consistency allowing designers and customers to make a close selection from samples, although it is still intended only as a representation of the color. The slab used for your countertop will not be identical to the sample used to make your selection, as there may be some variation in particulate, color and shading, especially in the designs that look like granite or marble. You may also find concentration of crystal, spot, pooling, small pits or veining not present in the sample. These are not considered defects or flaws and will not interfere with the performance of the product.
MATERIAL VIEWING, APPROVAL & LAYOUT
Sublime offers our customers with the option to approve the slab that will be used for the installation. We understand that natural stone can vary in color from the sample that you saw in the showroom, or at the supplier’s location. After completion of the template, Sublime will provide an actual photo of your slab on our SlabSmith program at request. The intent of the software is to demonstrate the grain flow and color variation throughout the countertop with the specific slab you picked out. During the cutting process, Sublime will consider the vein direction and will attempt to produce the finished product with vein patterns running in one direction, when possible.
We will notify you as soon as possible if your project is going to be affected by material availability. Sublime will not provide compensation to you for any delays due to this situation.
PREPARATION AND WHAT TO EXPECT
At least 70% of the total countertop must be supported by cabinets, an island, knee wall, etc.
The type of surface dictates the amount of overhang permitted on a countertop.
The countertop can support the following overhang over a 24” deep base cabinet without additional brackets or corbels:
Brackets, corbels and sometimes legs should provide adequate structural support for overhangs in excess of the above guideline. Supports are usually installed by your carpenter and need to be installed prior to installation of the new countertops.
New or existing cabinets must be structurally sound to withstand the weight of the countertop. Lazy Susan, corners and other spaces should add wall cleats for support.
If you have any questions or concerns about supporting your countertop, it would be best to address the issue at the time of the design, but the final verification will be done by our Measure Tech at the time of measure. He will recommend the kind of support needed and verify that your cabinets are structurally strong.
Cabinets must be plumb, level and permanently secured to the wall or floor.
Cabinets should be as level as possible because the countertop must lie flat within 1/8” to eliminate stress on the corners, cut‐outs, and seams. Consider the help of a professional woodworker to ensure that your cabinets are plumb, level and square. Keep in mind that your countertops will be as level as your cabinetry is. It is recommended that you do this before the measure.
If your cabinets are slightly out of level, we may require placing shims between the cabinet and the countertop to bring up to level, however, in other instances, we may have to install the countertop flat according to the trajectory of your home and tile. We will not be able to install on excessively unleveled cabinetry. Gaps and shims may be visible, so you may want to consider having them covered with decorative trim by your carpenter or contractor.
New upper cabinets that will rest on top of the countertop must be installed after the installation of the countertops. If you have existing upper cabinets, you may need to have your carpenter lift them to allow for countertop installation.
Cabinets on both sides of the stove must be installed so that they are on the same ‘plane’ – front and back; front‐top and bottom, especially if there will be a slide‐in stove.
Cabinet re-facing needs to be done before the countertops are measured.
New flooring should be done before the countertops measure if the cabinets will be moved and reset in place. New flooring installed without disturbing existing cabinets is ok, but keep in mind about dishwasher and stove height that has to remain below countertop level.
Ø The Golden Rule
All cabinetry, including panels, doors, and end panels must be completely and permanently installed prior to the date that is scheduled to be templated.
Never move, add, or adjust the cabinets after our Tech has done the template. The new countertops will not fit and can result in delays and costly remakes for you.
If the cabinets are incomplete or not ready at the time of template, we will not be able to complete it, we will need to return to re‐template and a trip charge will apply.
Some sinks may be too big for your cabinet, so consider the cabinet clearance when selecting a new sink, especially for undermount installation. Get the sink specs provided by the manufacturer prior to purchasing to verify if it works for you. Check that the cabinet is at least 3” wider than the overall sink dimensions (including the rim) and that the depth of the sink does not interfere with the plumbing pipes.
Some sinks like banjo style or ‘D’ shape may not fit and will not allow for multiple faucet holes. Tip out trays and recessed door cabinets may also interfere with the size and shape of the sink.
Ø The Golden Rule
All sinks must be on the job site prior to the date of template, unpacked and inspected, except for sinks provided by Sublime.
Farm and apron sink should be dry‐fit prior to template into correct position, plumb and level with the sink cabinet, but not yet siliconed or glued to the cabinet below.
All cut out information, digital and paper templates must be available at the time of template.
Our Tech will be unable to finalize the template if sinks/ templates are not on site and a return trip may be required resulting in additional trip charges and delayed installation,
SINK CUT OUTS & REVEALS
Some sinks offer multiple cut out template options, like Reveal, Negative Reveal or Flush, while other sinks offer only one option.
A reveal cut out will be slightly wider than the sink opening, ‘revealing’ the rounded rim of the sink. A negative reveal cut out will be slightly smaller than the sink opening and it will have a slight overhang. A flush cut out is the same size of the sink opening. However, we have found that what flush means for one supplier, it may mean differently to another, and some flush cut outs still show a little bit of the rim.
If you are very specific about the type of reveal you want, look for sinks that provide a manufacturer template with that type of cut out. Check with the supplier or directly with the manufacturer prior to purchasing and look for photos of an installed sink.
It is also very important that you are present at the template and that your sink, with paper and digital template, is available at that time, so our Tech reviews the options with you. Sublime will not alter any template recommended by the manufacturer, and we will not be responsible for the way the cut out fits when opened according to the template provided (unless specifically requested with advanced notice). Cheap sinks will usually bring problems with cut out templates and uneven rims, so we recommend you purchase from a known manufacturer.
The cut out for sinks and cooktops opened at the fabrication shop is part of the production process and results in waste that is thrown away 100% of the time immediately after the cutout is made. The waste is usually irregular in shape, unfinished and sharp. Please note that cut outs for sinks and cooktops that are done in the shop cannot be provided. Cut outs opened on site will be left at the request of the customer. The pieces are rough‐cut, unfinished and not square. The installers will not polish or finish the edges on site, as an additional labor cost for this service applies.
As with sinks, not all faucets may work with your countertop design. Some faucets may be too tall when there is a snack bar or ledge behind, they may have a lever too angled, or have a handle that will not turn properly all the way back because it hits the backsplash. Some faucet may have multiple holes that will not work with your sink, so please check if the faucet will work with your sink prior to purchasing.
Ø The Golden Rule
All items to be mounted in the countertops must be on the job site prior to the date of field template, so our Tech is able to check and verify that they work and fit in your countertop: faucets, soap dispensers, air gap, water dispensers, etc. (except for items provided by Sublime). All cut out information, templates and specifications must be at the job site prior to template as well. Changes in specifications after field template will result in additional trip charges and delayed installation.
Cooktop, slide in stove and vents that go on the countertop need to be on site at the time of template and specs sheet available. All appliances including dishwashers, stoves, and refrigerators must be in place at the time of the field template. Our Tech will let you know if you need to remove any appliance for the countertop installation.
To ensure proper fit, some backsplashes may have to be measured after the countertop is installed. If the job includes full height splash; upper cabinets, hoods and range microwaves must be installed at the time of template.
If the walls are bowed or uneven, there will be gaps behind the backsplash because the stone will not bend. Sometimes our crew will be able to caulk between the top of the splash and the wall, but there are occasions that this will need to be done by whoever is finishing or painting the wall surface. If there is existing wall tile, it may not be possible to follow the exact line of the tile when installing a new backsplash under the tile. Our installers will not grout the gap between the tile and backsplash. This is to be completed by a tile installer or the customer. Sometimes, the splash may need to be installed slightly over the tile. Our installers will not remove tile to install the backsplash.
Electrical outlets must be prepped and ready for countertop template and should not be moved. Our installation crew will not place the boxes and wiring in the outlets nor will the plates be installed.
Most stone countertops will have seams and they should be seen as integral part of your project. Our installers will attempt to make the seam as tight as possible, but all seams are visible to the naked eye and can be felt.
Seam width will vary from stone to stone. The acceptable industry standard for seams is up to 1/8” wide and 1/32” rise for every 12” of seam (See Marble Institute of America standards).
The Tech will recommend seam location and will review with you, but we reserve the right to change placement at fabrication, if necessary. During fabrication, great care is taken to lay out the slab to minimize waste, blend the color and pattern, and place the seams in the best location for structural integrity and visual aesthetics. The natural variations of granite make it impossible to guarantee a match or blend in pattern or color from one piece of counter to the next. Seam location factors include job layout, slab size, crew safety, and jobsite accessibility. Stone with a defined veining direction may require additional seams to ensure vein direction for all pieces is consistent. Our goal is to please you and fulfill your specific requests at the best of our abilities with the limitations at hand.
PLUMBING, ELECTRICAL & WOODWORKING
Other professionals may be considered for your remodeling project: a plumber to install shut‐ offs and to reconnect your sink and dishwasher, add plumbing pipes, etc.; an electrician to connect vents, outlets, stoves; a carpenter to lift or remove upper and appliance garage cabinets, to level cabinets, to install supports and brackets, to add a trim, etc.
Our crews are certified stone installers but they are not certified in other trades and may not even have the right tools needed to do quality work. Sublime is not responsible and cannot be held liable for the functionality of existing plumbing lines, fixtures, or equipment.
Also, it is important to know that if the plumbing reconnect is done too early and it results in a dropped sink, this would cause a void in the installation warranty.
If you are doing the tear out yourself, make sure to remove your existing countertops, sinks, faucets and appliances completely prior to the arrival of our crew, and Sublime is not responsible to haul that debris away. The cabinets must be flat, plumb and free of nails and debris.
If Sublime is doing the removal of your existing countertops, the water shut‐off valves must be shut off prior to our arrival. Please be aware that, even the most experienced Tech or installer, is not able to guess what is underneath and behind existing countertops, so there is a slim chance that the cabinets are so out of level after removal that we will not be able to install your countertops until they are fixed. Another thing to consider is that the cabinets may not be as level as desired, so gaps after installation may be expected. Sometimes, a trim done by your carpenter may be an option.
Existing tile often comes dislodged when removing the existing top. The installer is not responsible for replacing dislodged or broken tile.
Mirrors in bathrooms that are affixed to the wall and resting on or 1” above the top of the existing backsplash or countertop are encouraged to be removed before tear out. Any damage to mirrors not removed is responsibility of the homeowner. Our installers will not remove mirrors.
If our installers are doing the tear out, they will haul away the old countertops. Indicate to the installers if you wish to keep the old top prior to removal. In some instances, it will not be possible to remove them whole and the installers will have to cut them in pieces.
Final wall painting or other preparation should not be completed prior to installation, if at all possible.
Care will be exercised during the countertop installation, however, scrapes, punctures, or digs to wall surfaces or cabinetry are possible and sometimes unavoidable in the work area and occur from time to time. These items are considered incidental damage and are the customer’s responsibility to repair. Be assured, our installers will always exercise considerable effort to prevent incidental and minimize incidental damage at all times.
CANCELLATION & RETURNS
Your countertops are custom made and are not returnable and the purchase price cannot be refunded. Cancellations are not accepted after your approval has been received after measure.
CUSTOMER PRESENT AT TEMPLATE
The customer (or designated decision‐maker, like designer or contractor) must be present at the time of field template, and is responsible for reviewing and approving all the details of the countertop with the Tech. Without the customer or decision‐maker approval present, Sublime will not be able to proceed and there may be delays in installation scheduling.
All decisions regarding countertop design, edge selection or any other design‐related items must be made prior to the date of template with your designer or contractor and project manager from Sublime.
The field template and final drawing overrides all previous drawings.
Your initial purchase order is an estimate of the projected price of your countertop project. The final price will be determined after the field template has been completed and we have final dimensions, square footage and confirmation of selections and services.
The final quote price overrides all previous estimates and quotes.
After the field template, your Sublime project manager will send the final quote and drawing to you or your designer for you to review, approve and sign. Our green light to proceed with production and installation schedule is when we receive the signed final quote and final drawing
THE INSTALLATION PROCESS
PREPARING FOR THE TEMPLATE
The field template is the KEY step for best results and we need you to be part of it.
Your new countertops will be fabricated and installed to fit correctly according to the field template specs, details and your approval.
REMOVAL OF EXISTING COUNTERTOPS
The majority of the time, Sublime will use a digital templating system, so countertops can be templated without removing existing tops. However, when templating with tops on, not all imperfections can be found, like inadequate support or cabinets not level; neither can our Tech guess what’s behind and under. Customer should expect wall gaps, gaps between cabinet and countertop, shimming at installation, splashes that may not be high enough to cover old splashes line marks or butt tightly against wall tile.
The above applies whether Sublime or the customer remove the existing countertops.
PREPARING FOR THE INSTALLATION
The homeowner or designated decision‐maker (over the age of 18) should be available during the entire duration of the installation and must be present at the end of the installation to inspect the countertop.
OTHER IMPORTANT STEPS
CUTTING & ADJUSTING OF THE COUNTERTOPS
The installation of stone countertops and splashes will require that the installer trim the countertops and splash at the installation site to ensure the best possible fit. This procedure is usually performed on the driveway or garage, depending on weather conditions. If it is raining, a covered place for the installer to work must be available or the installer might have to reschedule the installation.
SINKS, FAUCETS & APPLIANCES
Our crew will install the undermount sink using the most appropriate method that works for your project. They will also install a dishwasher bar or other method according to what works for your project. Our installers will not install drop in sinks, cooktops, faucets, vents or any other fixture if they are not on site but will need to test fit every item that goes on the countertop, including the plumbing for a vessel sink. You need to have all of the sinks, faucets and appliances that go on the countertop and the plumbing pipes for vessels sinks on site and available at the time of installation. If we need to return to adjust any cut out for items not available at time of install, we will open a service call request and fees will incur.
After the countertop has been installed, the customer must be present to inspect the countertop. An installation customer approval form will be provided, which we ask of you to sign, confirming your satisfaction with the quality, fit, and damage‐free condition of your new countertop. If you are not completely satisfied with the installation of your countertop, please contact Sublime immediately, preferably before the installer leaves the location.
Installation of a countertop is a construction process and residual dust should be expected. The customer may want to drape or cover areas to help contain the dust to the construction area. The job site will be left in broom‐clean condition.
For safety reasons, children and pets must be kept out of work area, or leave the residence for the duration of the install. Heavy items, odors, dust and fumes are part of the installation.
For safety reasons, our installers cannot remove their steel‐toed shoes or wear fabric booties. They will cover the area to protect the floor.
During transportation, a top can break sometimes. If this were to occur, Sublime will remake the top and prioritize the installation of the new top within a few days. Delays may occur in order to have additional stone supplied to remake the pieces. Customers planning parties or events in their home should be cautioned to provide several weeks of cushion before hosting an event in their home as delays on major construction projects are common and occur for unforeseen reasons. No compensation or reimbursement will be provided for delays occurring due to a broken top or splash.
We appreciate your understanding if we need to cancel your installation due to weather conditions that put in risk the safety of our installers on the road or when carrying the heavy stones. Extreme weather, fog, snow storms and blizzards and freezing temperatures are sometimes factors that determine a ‘Snow Day”. We will advise you with as much anticipation as possible, but sometimes we cancel at the last minute, hoping that we don’t have to reschedule your project. We will not provide any compensation for cancellation due to weather.
AFTER INSTALLATION OF YOUR COUNTERTOPS
WHAT TO DO (AND NOT TO DO) AFTER INSTALLATION
Your countertops are covered against manufacturing defects according to each specific brand. Any work required under the terms of the product warranty, will be performed by us in accordance with the manufacturer procedure. We will also administrate any necessary claim on your behalf. Some manufacturers provide replacement of material only in which case, Sublime will charge for fabrication, installation and any other labor required. Please refer to the specific warranty for exact coverage and exclusions.
Chips, fissures, crevices and cracks are not defects, but natural characteristics of the stones. Sometimes we fill them up in the shop, depending on the size. If caused at transportation and handling, they will be repaired at installation.
Your installation is guaranteed for one year from the date it is completed for the components of the job, which includes initial fit and hard seams.
Our installation warranty does not include:
CARE & MAINTENANCE
You will receive a warranty and care instructions packet for your specific countertop brand or material.
Quartz requires simple cleaning with soap and water or regular household cleaner such as Windex or Formula 409. A magic eraser pad removes some of the metal marks that pans and pots leave on the countertop. Occasional scrubbing with a no‐scratch pad and a little SoftScrub is ok to remove hard water residues or for a deep cleaning.
Granite and natural stone may be cleaned with a cloth and warm water or with a granite cleaner such as Granite Gold Daily Cleaner.
SERVICE & MAINTENANCE
We offer post‐installation service and maintenance for a fee starting at a basic service within 50 miles of our location, such as chip repair, seam refill, drill additional hole, attach dishwasher, renew caulk or silicone, etc. Please contact us to get a quote and set an appointment with one of our customer service representatives at 210.495.1053
The template and installation appointments will be scheduled during normal business hours, Monday to Friday.
Please allow 3-hour time window for arrival. The duration of the measure will vary depending on the difficulty of your project. The appointment may take from two to five hours or more. The average installation takes about 4 hours, but it may take the entire day. Please allow enough time for your project.
Template appointment cancellations require (1) business day prior notice during normal business hours. Installation appointment cancellations require (2) business days’ prior notice. If there is a change to an installation date or time, Sublime is not responsible or liable for any compensatory reimbursements.
PARTIES & EVENTS
Customers planning an event in their home should be cautioned to provide several weeks of cushion before hosting the event as delays in remodeling and construction projects are common and occur for many unforeseen reasons
Lead time is approximately 10‐14 working days from signed approval to installation
SELECTION, DESIGN & PURCHASE
Sublime will send the Final Quote and Drawing, 1‐2 days after measure is completed, for review and your approval. We need to receive the final version signed to proceed.
This is our Green Light for your project to go into production, and to be installed in 10-14 business days
Once we receive the signed approval, your Project Manager will submit the order for production scheduling. We can do no changes after this point
Enjoy your new countertops today (and for many years to come)!!
Congratulations! We would love to hear how you are enjoying your countertops and about your experience with our service. If you have a minute, send us an email, call us or write a review in our Sublime Facebook page or website. Our staff is here to assist you with any questions you may have regarding your countertops!
Visit our San Antonio showroom and select from a wide array materials including granite, marble, natural stone, Silestone, quartz and much more. Let us deliver and install it in your kitchen, bathroom or bar and beautify your home.
11210 Gordon Rd., San Antonio, TX 78216
"They were ON TIME every time and did an awesome job! They were professional, courteous, and cleaned up after themselves, my husband and I could not be happier!"
-Tammy Moyer, 09/19/2016