White Country Galley Kitchen

By Melanie on Monday, 14 October 2019 14:59:40 Category KITCHEN DESIGN

White Country Galley Kitchen

White Country Galley Kitchen - You've chosen your Kitchen and decided you want granite worktops. It's a minefield out there so here's a guide to explain what to look for and what to do.
So... where do I start?
You've decided you want a granite worktop, it's essential on your list of must-haves for your shiny new kitchen, but it's something you've no experience of. You've read all sorts of horror stories on the internet, Chinese granite, Indian granite... it is dyed? Are the fitters any good? Why are the quotes so hugely different? Let's try and give you a layman's guide to what's out there.
Pre produced verses traditional slab granite:-
For centuries granite (and many other stone materials) have been produced in slab form, a block of stone is carefully selected by geologists, this can be as big as 3.5 meters in length, 2 meters high and 2 meters wide...it's huge and very heavy. This block of stone will then be transported to production facilities where it will be cut on a huge gang saw machine into thin slabs (generally 30mm thick). These thin slabs of granite are then transferred to polishing machines where they are polished to a high shine and any imperfect pieces selected out. These slabs are usually quite consistent in production and the thickness often doesn't vary a lot more than +/- 1mm.
These slabs are then imported into the UK and bought by traditional stonemasons, cut fabricated, polished and fitted into your lovely kitchen. You'll get a bespoke high-quality product that should meet or exceed your expectations. The trouble is it's going to have a bespoke price tag attached to it.
What if I don't have £4k or £5K to spend on granite? I'm more your B&Q/Magnet/Wickes/IKEA/Howden customer than Smallbone or Mark Wilkinson. But I'd still like granite can I afford it?
Well, this is where pre-produced countertops changed the industry.
In granite terms, this is still quite a new idea. That generally means there are people that don't fully understand what it is and how it works.
When the above mentioned large blocks of granite are quarried a selection of smaller blocks is also produced at the same time. Geological occurrences such as seams, fissures, vents, and general inclusions make it impossible to quarry large blocks all of the time. These are used for other purposes such as tiles and cladding and generally smaller sized requirements. These blocks also get used to producing ready-made countertops.
So instead of being sent off to a large very accurate gang saw machine for cutting, these smaller blocks are sent to another corner of the factory for vertical cutting. This is basically a very large overhead circular saw blade (think very large as in 8ft diameter) that cuts individual slabs at a time to pre-required sizes. The material itself is still the same quality but the blocks are not as large and therefore not quite as expensive. However, the cutting is sometimes not as accurate as the gang saw the material. So a 30mm top can be +/- 3mm. That means these pieces of granite arrive at anything from 27mm thick to 33mm thick... so it's important when selecting more than one piece that the thickness is within 2mm if the tops are being joined or touching.





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