Granite, Marble, Soapstone Countertops - Buyers Guide


Why do you need to think about backsplashes?

In virtually all cases the installation of new countertops will require you to choose new backsplashes.  If you are making the sensible choice of 3 centimeter (1 1/4 inches) thick granite, it is thicker than most existing countertops which use laminate over 3/4 inch particle board, or engineered material (such as Corian) which is only 1/2 inch thick.  Both of these older counters have laminated edges to give a thicker appearance, but this is usually only at the front edge.  In rare cases where a customer wants to retain a tile backsplash with special meaning (hand painted by their grandmother?) the only option is to cut the tile about 1/2 inch up from the existing countertop (if laminate) and hope that the granite/tile interface will fit fairly tightly after the required shimming and leveling of the granite is performed.  Another less desirable option is to butt the granite to the tile and cover the inevitable gaps (walls that aren't straight etc) with some form of tile "quarter-round" that matches or picks up the color tones of the old tile and new granite.

The real solution is a new backsplash - either granite or another tile (ceramic or natural stone).  Most customers should look at this as an opportunity to be more creative with their backsplash.  There is an amazing array of tile options on the market today and an infinite number of designs.  Consider mixing tile shapes, sizes and orientations and look at creating borders and special designs behind cook-tops to add additional flair and elegance.  Tile are also so easy to install that attending a Home Depot class or two and watching HGTV for a few weeks will enable anyone to get creative and save some money by "doing it yourself".  FYI - Heritage Stonecraft now offers tile installation services and we can supply your natural stone or ceramic tile at significantly discounted prices, once you decide what color and size you need.

Of course, as a granite supplier, Heritage Stonecraft is happy to provide full and partial granite backsplashes.  These can look very bold, exciting and unifying.  Very few people choose a full granite backsplash because of the expense.  Backsplashes can add 50% or more to the cost of countertops because it adds up to quite a few square feet.  Then there is the cost of cutting all those holes for electrical outlets and switches.  If you go with a full granite backsplash you should remember that they will have to be fabricated and installed after the countertops to ensure a good fit.