Frequently Asked Questions

  •  Where do we start?

The initial step is to have a drawing/plans of the areas requiring the stone i.e. kitchen, bathroom,

laundry, al fresco. You can start with an approximately drawn diagram with some basic measurements, showing cutouts for sinks, hotplates, etc.  Next we would strongly recommend visiting our supplier’s (GMG Imports at 12 Arvida Street, Malaga) warehouse and selecting the stone you like to see it in the full slab size. It is very hard to quote accurately without having a specific material as no two jobs are the same and all materials vary in price from colour to colour. Sizes of slabs also vary and we need to consider this when costing up your job.

 

  •  When do we start?

Once a selection is made, we will cost the job. When happy with the quote (making sure that all the details are correct and to the customer’s specification) we will make the initial booking for the job to be carried out. We will require the customer’s signed acceptance of our terms and conditions. In order to secure the material, we will require a 50% deposit.  Only when we receive templates or in the case of wall cladding or flooring measurements, we ask for a further 30% to be paid prior to commencing production.  We prefer to collect the templates from customer’s premises and carry out any final measurement ourselves.  Prior to production we strongly recommend that customers visit the factory where we would like to show how we are going to cut their stone. It is also the customer’s last opportunity to confirm material selection before cutting (once jobs have been cut we cannot accept any issues regarding selection or appearance). The next step is to convert the slabs into bench tops/flooring/wall cladding, staircases, etc. Once the stonework is ready for installation, the client is contacted in order to arrange a suitable date and time. On completion of installation, we ask for the balance of payment to be made.

 

  •  Do I need to seal my stonework?

We strongly recommend that all natural material be sealed with a reputable sealant (impregnating type sealant). If required, we can recommend and organize this for clients. This will ensure that the stonework will maintain its beautiful appearance and minimize risk of stains and make cleaning easier.  The sealant penetrates into the stone itself and does not create any surface film or alter the natural appearance.  If not properly treated with a protective sealant, water, oils or other liquids can penetrate the stone, as all stones are porous to various degrees. Once treated, natural stone is ready for carefree, everyday use.

 

  •  Does it need to be resealed regularly?

It is recommended that tops be resealed as required, depending on the amount of usage the stone is subject to. This can be every two to three years.

 

  • Can I use marble in my kitchen?

Marble is used greatly in European kitchens due to its beauty, class and charm.  However, marble is more porous than granite and therefore more susceptible to staining if fluids are left on bench tops. In addition, there is the chance of more acids being used in the kitchen such as vinegar and lemon juice which can affect the appearance if left on tops.  As marble is a softer material than granite, it can be more prone to scratching. However, to most Europeans this is “part of the nature of stone” and it is not seen to be a deterrent of use in a kitchen.  We would advise a high quality sealant be applied after installation to minimize the above.

 

  •  Do you work with engineered stone and how does engineered stone compare to natural stone?

We work with all stone, natural and manmade. Whilst engineered stone is suitable for many interior applications it does have its limitations.

1) Engineered stone is not suitable for exterior use or where it is exposed to UV radiation.

2) Due to mechanical stress induced by heat, causing expansion and contraction of the material it is recommended that a join be made at every change of direction in benchtops.

3) While engineered stone comes in uniform colours, when cutting bench tops it is important to maintain a direction of the stone. Any change will result in a variation of the colour.

 

  •  How long do I wait for the stonework to be completed once terms and conditions are signed?

The average waiting period is two to four weeks (from pick up of templates/final measurements and deposit being paid). Depending on the size of the job and the current workload times can vary. Work is carried out on the basis of “first come, first serve”.

 

  •  What about appliances, sinks and tapware?

All of the above need to be indicated on original drawings/plans when presented for a quotation. At the time of pickup of templates, we require the appliances to be available on site and cut-out positions (and tap holes) to be clearly marked on the templates by the client or their cabinetmaker.  In the case of under mounted sinks, vanity bowls and flush mounted appliances, they will be taken back to the factory together with the templates. All cut-outs need to be made and finished at the factory.

 

  • Can stone be installed over existing tops?

No. Stone must be affixed directly to cabinet carcasses. Current tops need to be removed prior to templates being picked up by our installers. Should the client require assistance with this, we can organize this but it will attract additional charges.

 

  •  I want to replace my tops while keeping existing cabinets. Do I need to clear out the cupboards?

Installation of tops may require final adjustments and some cut-outs need to be carried out on site during installation. It is therefore recommended that customers remove items from cabinets which will ensure that cleaning is easier after installation.

 

  •  Can existing appliances be re-used with my new stonework?

Yes, however we recommend customers consider the age/quality of the appliances as it can cause serious problems later. New appliances vary in size from older models. Should the existing appliance be larger in dimension from the new one, the cut-out may be too big. All natural and engineered stones is subject to color variation and to replace part of the bench top may not be possible due to this fact.

 

  •  Will I need to hire a plumber and/or electrician?

According to Australian legislation, all plumbing and electrical work need to be carried out by qualified tradespersons. We are therefore not able to carry out any such work. In case of renovations, all appliances will need to be disconnected and removed by qualified tradespersons and refitted after the stonework is installed.

 

  • When does the plumber/electrician reconnect the appliances?

The best time for this is the day after the installation is completed.

 

  •  What are overhangs and which size do I need?

The overhang is a portion of the stonework that hangs over the front of the cabinet panels or doors. This can change from job to job and is determined by the type of stone edge work/ profile, customer preference and trends. This must be determined at the time of templates being picked up. Large overhangs i.e. breakfast bars, must be specified on drawings when a quote is requested. Any change between drawings and final templates is subject to price variations.

 

  •  Is there a limit to the size of overhang?

Yes. We recommend that any overhang of more than 300mm have adequate support either by way of brackets or posts. Stone is very heavy and without support, can either crack and in case of engineered material, sag.

 

  •  Who makes the templates?

Usually the client’s cabinetmaker makes the templates after installing cabinet carcasses. However, we are able to provide templates if required at an additional charge.

 

  • Do I need to be present when templates are picked up?

We would strongly recommend that customers be on site when the installer comes to pick up the templates and appliances. This gives customers a final opportunity to ask any questions and clarify details with the installer on site. In addition, if any changes have been made by the customer, it will ensure that the details are taken back by the installer to the factory.

 

  •  Do my cabinets need to be fully installed prior to installation of stone tops?

All cabinets need to be installed prior to templates and measurements being taken. It is important they are firmly fitted and level. This will eliminate future potential problems with counter tops.

 

  •  How long does it take to install my bench tops?

This can vary from one hour to install a vanity to a full day. Larger projects may require more than one day eg. when a new house is being fully fitted (kitchen, bathrooms and laundry).

 

  •  Do you have a solid guarantee on your product service and support?

Yes we do.  We guarantee everything that we do.  See the Guarantee section of our website for full details.