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Blog articles by Greg Palmer.
 Josiah Olhava
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 Josiah Olhava
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May 01 2013

There are many aspects to ensuring that our customers end up with the most perfect end result possible. Right at the top of the list is getting a realistic, best estimate, job start time for our part of the work. For us this means a true `ready to template’ date.
With stone slab installation experience going back 24 years, one of our constant ongoing battles has been communicating the true meaning of ‘ready to template’ to those we are new to working with. We have a ‘Page 2’ (see below) in our contracts which outlines all the steps required to get to that stage. This is the start of the job for us – when it’s actually ready to template. Following this outline helps take out as many of the variables that can cause problems as possible. All of these steps are based on Marble Institute of America guidelines, combined with many years of seeing how mistakes can happen, even when it would seem impossible. The first and fourth items on the list are the biggest reasons for delays and sources of resistance from contractors and home owners…
1. Sink must be set flush with plywood subsurface ( or be sitting in place for self rimming sink ), and should have at least ¼” of play in all directions. Sink templates must be available.
4. All plumbing fixtures removed from sink. Faucet and fixture holes to be drilled in stone, must be marked on sub surface - both size and position. ( any onsite drilling of core holes subject to extra charge )

There are hundreds and thousands of sink and faucet combos available, so we suggest that those who may want a say in looks and function (homeowner, designer, architect), those responsible for hooking up the plumbing later (plumber), and the contractor if involved (coordination), should position sink where desired or necessary, and locate position of holes for faucets and other plumbing fixtures. We want the sink template that comes with the sink because it will give us the best chance of making the perfect shape, and to build complex shape templates to fit every sink is inefficient. Having the plumbing holes marked for size and position means they have been checked and will work. Then we can drill holes (with flowing water cooled diamond core bits) in the shop, which is much safer and tidier than doing so in your home. Giving us the sink, and saying 'glue it on', or 'mount to stone with anchors' could result in having to throw everything away and start again. We had a classic case of that with a small vanity top recently, where a designer was working with us to coordinate measuring, and the contractor came in to complain bitterly about having to do this prep work himself – ‘other places just make a hole and glue the sink on’, he said. they went ahead and did the work under protest, and found out immediately that the sink was too big and there wasn’t enough room for faucets. Following his request would have resulted in having to
start again, and doubled the cost and time factor. Obviously the consequences are potentially even more costly and heartbreaking with something the size of a kitchen.
Aside from the fact that MIA strongly advises against putting anchors in any 3/4" thick stone, we’d never adhere a sink to stone here in the shop, as it compromises safety of transport and greatly increases likelihood of breakage in trying to install the stone top. Manufactured ‘Quartz’ products like Caesarstone, Silestone, Pental, and Zodiaq, do not permit use of anchors – the warranty would be voided. Natural stone - be it granite, marble, limestone, travertine, or any other, is often more risky than quartz for overall strength, but only before we get it adhered to your cabinet top. For those with an open mind, taking every last variable out of the equation by making sure the combination fits and works properly, before fabricating a stone top with finished sink hole, really is logic that’s hard to fault. Yes, there is no question that it’s possible to get lucky, but for so little effort why put so much at risk ?
There have been an increasing number of fabrication shops out there who just don’t care, and will cut corners in all directions to keep prices cheaper. There are less and less of them around, and it’s not just because of the downturn in construction and home improvement. This is the classic case of where ‘cheaper’ is very seldom ‘better value’. Failures add up. While we always strive to be cost effective – this is not an area where compromise is prudent. There are very few things as permanent as what we are providing for your home or business, so we suggest just a little care in the initial stages is a sensible way to start.

Greg Palmer (co-owner)

Our Page 2

Important: Homeowner/Contractor - Other Contract Terms and Conditions
Prior to Northbay Stone Works templating your project, the following requirements need to be met.
1) Sink must be set flush with plywood subsurface ( or be sitting in place for self rimming sink ), and should have at least ¼” of play in all directions. Sink templates must be available.
2) Any other appliances or fixtures that interact with stone must be at the jobsite, and have been ‘dry’ fit.
3) Plywood subsurface ( normally 5/8” thickness ) must be well fastened to cabinets (extra attention needed at sink rails, and sometimes steel or other stiffening. i.e. no deflection ). For countertops with single thickness edges ( i.e. no lamination ), plywood must be inset, so that top surface is flush with top of cabinet.
4) All plumbing fixtures removed from sink. Faucet and fixture holes to be drilled in stone, must be marked on sub surface - both size and position. ( any onsite drilling of core holes subject to extra charge )
5) Plywood subsurface must be level and flat and cut flush to cabinet faces. Remember - any high spots (e.g. screws, or lippage at plywood joint ) raises the entire stone surface.
6) Appliance garages must be set after counters are installed.
7) “L” and “U” shaped kitchens, need to have true right angle turns . All cabinet faces must be straight.
8) Overhanging stone counters need steel reinforcement in plywood subsurface tops ( or any other method suitable, to eliminate deflection of plywood. e.g. brackets, corbels, steel frame, etc. )
9) Opening for ‘slide in’ range or cooktop must be perpendicular to front edge of cabinets on both sides. A ledger, or properly installed support, must be in place if filler strip is needed behind appliance. Completing the list above will result in a superior end product
Extra charges may apply if sink hole templates are not available, or need to be modified in any way. No anchors used for attaching sink to slab, unless by special request and at extra charge. If splash dimensions cannot be finalized at initial measuring ( other than for full height splashes ), extra charges may apply. Northbay Stone Works is not responsible for filling, or appearance of caulk joints over 1/8” between slab and wall surfaces. If any changes occur between templating and installation, to any surfaces interacting with stone (e.g. wall finishing, cabinet alignment or leveling, absence of drawers or doors, etc. ) Northbay Stone Works may refuse to install stone. Northbay Stone Works, takes no responsibility for reconnection or reinstalling of any appliances, plumbing and electrical fixtures, and cabinet trim or other carpentry work.
Slab remnants belong to Northbay Stone Works, unless specified. Small remnants may be made available at no charge if we are notified by time of layout / approval. No remnants stored or saved after final day of installation.
Any difficult jobsite access conditions (e.g. steps, long distance from parking to house, steep slope, low overhead clearance, etc.), should be disclosed before time of contract completion.
Northbay Stone Works may apply an additional charge, based on ‘Labor and Materials’, for work performed to correct or allow for any of the above items, or for any sub surface preparation considered necessary. A minimum charge of $200 will be applied if any condition exists, which necessitates an extra trip for templating / measuring, or for installation purposes.
Administrative charges may apply for time spent on more than one Change Order.

I have read and understand the above terms and conditions. As Owner/ Prime Contractor I agree to pay and perform in accordance therewith
SIGNATURE_____________________________________ DATE __________