Thursday, December 10, 2009

Solid As A Rock

The countertops, island, and desk in our kitchen still have the original Formica on them. They're pushing 20 years old, and it's time for an upgrade. After a lot of research, Tony and I decided on a company who will install granite for us early next year. Today I went to the granite wholesaler to pick out the slabs of stone that will be made into our new countertops.

Tony and I tried to do this project last weekend. We met our designers at the warehouse, only to learn that the people who were authorized to move the stone weren't available. Although I was disappointed I couldn't cross the task off my list, we got a great tour of the facility while we were there. The huge warehouse had several long aisles with granite slabs of every imaginable color and pattern. They were standing on end, several deep, lining both sides of the aisles. Each type had a sign on the floor in front of it that told its name, and sometimes what country it came from. We had seen a lot of samples when we got our estimate, but the stones looked much different as complete slabs.

When we got to the last aisle we saw the style we'd chosen. The slab that was in the front of the stack had several occlusions (large splotches of minerals) that looked like ink stains. That's NOT at all what we wanted, so I made an appointment to come back a second time to look at other slabs.

The warehouse had been quite cold on Saturday, and I wasn't looking forward to being there in today's frigid weather. I was pleasantly surprised. All the truck bays were closed, and there was a heating system that was working pretty well. I still kept my coat on, but didn't need to pull out my gloves.

It was fascinating to watch the process of slab moving. It was a two person operation. One worker drove a crane with large rubber-lined tongs on the end. The second assisted him by using a crowbar to move the top of a slab forward a couple of inches--enough to put a wedge in. That gave the tongs a chance to slip in between the two pieces. He secured a fastener on the tongs, which allowed the piece to be picked up a few inches and moved out of the way.

After they pulled several pieces out, I was able to make my selection. Each slab had a unique SKU numbers that they wrote on my paperwork. They also stuck labels with my name on the two slabs. I signed off on my decision, and it was done. The warehouse will call my company and let them know the slabs are waiting.

I'm really looking forward to seeing the finished product!


  1. I've had a granite countertop for a few years, and there are good parts and bad parts. Mine is black with orange/red/beige/gray spots, and it is next to impossible to find a raisin or chocolate chip on it. :) I picked out the slab as well, but they didn't need to move any of them for me - that sounds like an interesting experience.

  2. So great to see the whole slab - they always look so different than the tiny sample square! Lucky you checked the whole piece! Best of luck with your renovating :-)

  3. Granite is apparently fantastic for baking. I blame any of my botched baking projects on my lack of granite countertop.

  4. Isn't it cool how they move the slabs. It is so important to look at all of the ones in the style that you want. I found two slabs that we needed last year and I'm so glad we looked at all of them because I almost settled for one that was not "perfect" - had black splotches, which I was assured could be left out of the final placement. But right below that one was the "perfect" one. You were right to put your name on the two you wanted.

  5. I have a piece of green granite for pastry/bread making and it is lovely, I can't wait to see your kitchen when it is finished xx