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Countertop FAQ's

What is the typical overhang for a counter?

Industry standard overhang for a countertop is 1.5”. We recommend if you’d like to have barstools under your island or high bar to have at least 12” of overhang. If your overhang exceeds 12” on an island or 8” on a high bar you will need to have supportive braces or corbels installed. We do not provide or install those materials.

Will my countertops have a seam? Will the seam(s) be visible?

If your counter/island is more than 60” wide or 90” long a seam is usually required. Curves, arches, or irregularly shaped pieces may also require seams. Empire will determine seam location based on slab size and the most efficient use of material for your layout.
Countertop seams are visible and can be felt. Our professional team of installers ensures your countertops appear as seamless as possible by crafting a tight fit and color matching the adhesive to the material.

Can you disconnect and reconnect my plumbing and appliances?

No, Empire Countertops is not licensed or bonded for plumbing or electrical work. You will need to make arrangements for your plumbing and appliances to be disconnected prior to your install date.

What is your lead time on installation?

Lead times can vary depending upon our current workload and your countertop specifications and material selections. The typical turnaround time for stock material is 10-12 business days from template date. If special order material is required, the process could take up to 14 or more business days depending on material availability from the manufacturer.

Will my granite countertop look like the sample?

The sample shown to you at the time of your selection may vary significantly in color, pattern, and texture from the countertops installed in your home. This variation should be expected, we recommend approving your slabs prior to install. No two pieces of stone are identical. Countertops will not be replaced due to color, pattern, or texture variation.

Please note, for high movement natural stones, significant pattern variation may occur where pieces are seamed together.

What should I use to clean my countertops?

Granite or quartz surfacing can be effectively cleaned with the use of any mild cleaner, including warm water and simple dish soap. Oil-based cleaners, bleach, or cleaners containing harsh chemicals should be avoided.

What can I expect price-wise with granite compared to quartz?

The common misconception is that quartz is less expensive than natural stone because it is man-made. This is not the case. Most entry level quartz products fall in the same price category as mid-range granite. At Empire Countertops, we are proud to offer exceptional quality and service without breaking the bank.

Can I choose to buy material only?

Empire will fabricate your job for pick up only. We do not sell raw material.

Can I provide my own measurements?

You may provide your own measurements. However, Empire will not be held responsible for mistakes. Empire employs dedicated template personnel to ensure your measurements are correct the first time.

Will my walls and cabinets be protected during countertop installation?

Empire will make every effort to minimize damages to walls and cabinets. Some minor scratches to the drywall, paint and/or cabinets may occur during installation. These are considered incidental damage and are the customer’s responsibility to repair. Empire will not be liable for minor damages that occur during normal installation procedures.

Will my granite countertops be sealed?

Natural stone countertops come pre-sealed from the manufacturer. Empire re-seals your countertops a second time after the installation is complete. Your countertops will then need to be sealed again every 6-12 months depending on usage with a penetrating stone sealer available at any home and garden center.

What edges do you have available?

Eased, Demi Bullnose, Bullnose, and Bevel edges are all offered as standard selections. You may choose to upgrade to an Ogee, Chiseled, or Mitered edge for a fee charged per linear foot. You can view them here.

Glossary of Terms

  • Fissures – hairline cracks in the crystalline structure of the material. Fissures are present in all stone but not always visible to naked eye. Fissures are a natural result of the heating and cooling of the stone during its formation.
  • Inclusions – irregular mineral concentrations of color that vary in size within the material.
  • Pits – a natural characteristic of granite in which small spaces between mineral crystals form and can be felt. Pits do not compromise the integrity of the stone but may bother some homeowners.
  • Veining – a pattern of lines, streaks, or veins in the material.
  • Honed – a satin finish with little to no gloss. Darker honed stones show oils and water spots more easily.
  • Leathered – a surface finish that gives the stone a lightly textured semi-gloss appearance and feel.
  • Oxidation – certain stones contain trace amounts of metals that can oxidize upon contact with air or water causing the appearance of rust or staining.
  • Laminated edge – the process of gluing a piece of stone underneath another piece of stone to give it the look of being thicker.
  • Mitered edge – a lamination joint made by beveling two pieces of material together at a 45° angle to form a corner. This makes standard 2 or 3cm material appear thicker without the appearance of a seam.
  • Shim – a thin piece of wood used during the installation process to ensure that countertops are level.
  • Vessel/drop in sink – a sink that sits on top of the counter.
  • Undermount sink – a sink that physically mounts and is installed beneath the countertop.
  • Template – measurements taken to determine the appropriate size (square footage) and layout of your countertops prior to fabrication. AKA field measure.
  • Radius – a rounded portion of the stone such as an arch or rounded corner.
  • Etching – results from chemical or mechanical damage to the countertop surface that creates dull or discolored spots that may be seen and/or felt. Most often occurs in marble tops.
  • Remnant - a section of leftover material cut from a full slab. Perfect for smaller projects such as vanity tops.

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