Friday, January 18, 2013

Granite junkie

One of the many awesome perks of my career is being able to educate my clients about the products we are buying or installing in their home. For instance, when most people think of granite counter tops, they don't picture this:

 Or this:

Why? Because its not pretty. We live in a society where things must arrive pretty. We don't like to know where the meat actually comes from...I mean, we know its from a cow, but when the supermarket wraps it up, all pretty in the plastic, with the stickers and kinda forget it used to moo. Or oink.

Anyway, back to those pictures, wanna know what those are? Those are photos of granite quarries. Yup- the beautiful stone you are used to seeing in kitchens and bathrooms, that people take such great care of, that some people even insist on using coasters on,  that people get crazed about having to seal...come from dirty, dusty, rusty quarries like the ones above. So going from the above, to something that looks like this:

 Or even something like this:

...tends to make people does that all happen? Like, what's the process? Well, here's a little breakdown for you. Once they blow the stone off the side of the rock mountains (honestly, they drill a hole through the mountain, fill it with some kind of explosive, blast it off...cut it down to size and then...), its shipped to wherever. (Yes, this is going to be a very technical education on granite...can't you tell?!) Once it arrives at wherever, lets say, your local granite shop, they have a few ways of displaying's a pretty way to display it in their showroom...(this is Chippewa Stone's showroom and warehouse, below)

And you say, "but that's not what I really had in mind..." they say, "ok, lets go look at slabs..."

Some counter top places have their slabs outside and some have indoor yards. Living in Ohio, I much prefer using companies that have the ability to do INDOOR viewing of their time I had a client tell me, "don't you think leaving the slabs outside is just, asking for someone to come and steal them?" After I giggled to myself, I explained that each slab weighs upwards of a few thousand pounds- and no, not European pounds...So I wouldn't be too concerned.
At first it can be overwhelming looking at all these slabs of granite...which are HUGE. I mean, I'm  5'-6" and I'm tiny compared to the slabs! There have been granite showrooms I've been in which have football stadium sized warehouses. So, be sure to wear your walking shoes while viewing granite...this is NOT the time to wear the cute kitten healed, pointy toed shoes. Leave 'em in the car.

What's great though about viewing the slabs is you get to layout your kitchen (or bathroom) counter. So, if you like a particular swirl or veining through one piece, you can request that be used in a certain area.

Now, let's talk about samples for one minute. If you're one of those people who says, "the sample I took home doesn't look a thing like that slab..."  I always tell my clients, if you have a sample of granite that you love, love, love and now you want to make a selection based on that sample, always view your slab. Why? Because that one little fleck in the granite sample that you fell in lurv are GUARANTEED to not get that fleck in your slab. Hate to burst bubbles, but I'm all about telling it like it is.

And, while samples are a great tool to use to help your hubby understand what direction your heading in, its not a tool to be used to make a final decision on. (Ok, now I'm jumping off my soap box...)

...and that ladies and gentlemen is Granite 101.

(Here's a picture of a slab I absolutely LOOOOOOOOOOOOVE!!!) Swoon!