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Installing Granite Countertops - Tips

Side by side, when installing granite tile as a counter material, and the slab of granite, the differences are mainly found in appearance, installation and cost. This will range counter by counter.

The look of the cut squares, cast a light at an angle over across the surface, there's really no way around this. Whereas the slab is a sheer surface, excluding its rare joints (that are more easily concealed). And here is where tips on installation plays an important role.

Not only in terms of flatness and square set of the total shape(s) in view, but, in the intrinsic reflections from within the marble itself. Really, to reassemble many tiles in its natural stone form is about an impossible feat. It is assumed by many, that the many-squared counter will appear as a composite pattern.

The grout bordering the tiles serve as a visual cue for straightness, and these joints do highlight the separations of granite. While grouts of a color that blend with the stone itself are less obvious as those picked for contrast - joint widths are yet another concern since the slabs practically demand a thin joint for the sheer, continuous surface to maintain its appearance.
Contour is yet another point. If opting for the cut squares, options for the edges & nosing will be limited whereas the slab counter comes in a wide assortment of choices. Though certain edges such as bullnose might be available depending on your choice of tiles, an alternative is hardwood moulding. Too, the radius and custom edges are integrated seamlessly with the fabrication process when forming the slab. When you put on square tiles, ninety-degree corners are the result.

Installing the squares are economical. And while the massive slabs are more than enough of a deterrent for most first time installers; making cuts and getting an acceptable nosing is yet another problem for those not equipped. In addition, most corrections on the slab aren't an option. But with the individual pre-cuts simply discard the square and pull out another.

The boxed cuts are available at home centers along with supplies like thinset mortar, tile saws and grout. Setting is pretty easily accomplished with the thinner squares and the cost considered is much lower per square foot.

Selection however is another matter. There is no doubt the slab countertops provide a continuous match. Although the precut squares will give considerable 'mismatch'. The reasons for this are that the precuts likely come from dissimilar parts of the quarry – to see this just look at the slabs on their A-frames.

This being the case, the best case for the squares is that they come from the same lot numbers. Even if this won’t ensure an exact match, but it will help bring the granite closer.


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