Questions about marble install, tell me if I'm missing anything!

fav.auntx2July 10, 2013

It's getting to be countertop time!!! I met with the fabricator today. He's coming onsite tomorrow to look at the cabinets and go from there. I have a few questions, please!

1. Should the plywood stay in place with the marble installed on top of it?

He said he prefers the plywood to come up because if there is any moisture in the wood it would rise through the marble and stain. Also, the slab looked to be 2cm. I didn't measure or think to ask while I was there.

2. His stone source will simply send him a slab and then I will look at it and decide if it's the one I want. Has anyone went through this same process?

There was a remnant onsite of Bianco Carrara that I did like. Unfortunately, I have not looked much at marble to get a thorough 100% idea of what I want, but this remnant seemed to fit my vision. Should I go with my gut instinct that the Bianco Carrara I saw is actually what I want and keep my life easy? Or should I go in search of the ever elusive perfect slab? To be honest, this remnant type is what I am drawn to in pictures and during the brief search sessions I have conducted.

3. I want a stacked edge (mitered, double laminated or whatever you call it). I did not see any examples of his edging work. Is this a red flag? Or should I simply have a written agreement that if the work is subpar to my standards it will be redone at no cost to me.

This is a small shop in my hometown, with the nearest granite yard being almost 2 hours away. This man came with great recommendations. Is there anything I need to be looking for or something I'm overlooking? I intend to have a list to go over in the morning with him and would like to have all my ducks in a row.


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I have read that marble may not be the best material for counters as it can be porous and stain.

I would ask about seams. Most of the unhappiness I read about with stone counters related to the seams.

If there isn't a big price difference, you might want to consider 3 cm stone. I think that is more of the standard (1.25").

I had selected a stone but when I went to select slabs, I didn't like the ones that were available so had to switch. It might be worth the 2 hour drive to view the slabs and make the selection in person.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 11:29PM
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If you can, I would try to make the 2 hour drive and pick the slab.

2cm is standard in some parts of the country (like CA) and some people feel it is stronger because of the base it sits on. I think it is personal preference. With 2cm you always install it over a plywood base, and usually do some sort of edge (usually to get to 4cm at the edges).

Mitered and laminated edges are not the same thing. A laminated or stacked edge is one where a second piece is placed under the main countertop at the edge, with the seam showing in the middle of the front face. A mitered edge is one where the cut is made at 45 degrees, so that the seam is at the top corner and the front face is a single cut. A mitered edge will look nicer if the fabricator is setup to do one, but it will usually cost more money.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 8:35AM
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I live in No. Calif. and 2 cm is the standard on a base of 5/8" plywood, which is code in my jurisdiction. I have a stacked/laminated edge. Because my counter is a dark mottled quartz, with a random yet somewhat uniform pattern, the seam is virtually invisible. I can only discern it in certain light if I get in real close. No biggie. My friends recently had granite installed with a mitered edge and you can't see the seam at all. Don't know how much extra they paid for it.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 11:08AM
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I am a fabricator.

Re: marble; pick the look you want. If you are not aware of the issues that can arise with marble (scratching, etching, staining) then do some research. Marble is beautiful but it's not particularly durable.

yes remove the plywood. Good call by the fabricator.

" I want a stacked edge (mitered, double laminated or whatever you call it)." make sure you understand the difference. A mitred edge (only possible with straight sections) is far more attractive than a laminated edge particularly as a lot of shops have a pronounced line between the laminated pieces. (a 1st rate laminated edge has only a hairline seam).

A Mitered edge typically will cost more and a small shop many not have the machinery necessary to put an accruate 45 degree bevel on the edges of the pieces to be mitered. Ask for a sample.

If it's done right a mitered edge has the grain of the stone "rolling over' the edge such that the stone looks as thick as the mitered edge excluding the vertical corners where the grain transition is unavoidably interrupted.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 1:49PM
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Thanks for all the responses. I've had communication issues now computer issues so haven't been able to check back in.

Thank u for the concerns of etching etc. I am aware of this and have chosen to proceed with marble. Until I change my mind anyway lol

He came today and there were a few red flags ( thanks to my GW knowledge)

First he was 30 min late out of the 4 hour window i gave him to appear. He told me he forgot. Good thing hes nice, but anyhoo....

He said the stone would be 3cm so that's good. BUT: he kept waffling on leaving the plywood. Then when I asked about support for the 15-ish inch over hang he tapped the existing plywood ( which visibly flexed as he did so) and said it would be support enough.

He is creating a sample of his laminated edging for me. I clarified laminated w him. Also he said he would be ok if the slabs he brought in were not what I was looking for exactly. He would continue to exchange until I found one I did like.

So I'm going to seek out other fabricators and go from there. Thanks for all the input! I forgot to ask about seams tho :(

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 8:00PM
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