There are hundreds of granite slabs to choose from and selecting just the right one can be an overwhelming chore. Here are some tips that can make it easier;
If you have a lot of natural light in the kitchen, dark countertops may work. They hide dirt well and paired with stainless steel appliances or light cabinets can have a high-end appearance, but in a darker room a black or dark top can make the room look spooky or just plain dreary.
A light countertop can brighten the kitchen particularly if you have little light or dark cabinets and are not looking to change them. When selecting lighter colors make sure some other feature of the kitchen adds color or pick a slab with color in it so the room does not look washed out or lifeless.
Lighter colors may make the kitchen feel bigger
Always view the actual slab that will be used in your home. Many colors have similar names but have different grades and slabs with the same name might go from bright and lustrous to dull and washed out.
Bring tile, cabinet and other samples to match with your slab.
Try to view in the same type of lighting that you have in your home. A slab viewed under bright warehouse lighting may look far different than when it is under warmer residential lighting. If you can not bring the lighting to slab warehouse bring a sample of the slab to you kitchen.
Ask if the slab is dyed. Many slabs are died to bring out the color but when it is cut and the edges are polished the un-dyed side may appear dull. A good fabricator can dye the edges but it is a tricky and expensive process.
If you select a slab with a lot of veining or movement make sure you understand what part of the slab will become your countertop. Dramatic swirls and patterns may be faults in the slab making it harder to work with in the shop and may impact appearance and longevity if not prepared correctly.
Use two colors of granite, one for the countertops and one for the island. This can add a dramatic touch and spice up the kitchen.
If you are on a budget make sure you ask the price ranges first so you do not spend hours picking out a slab to find out it will not fit the budget.
The kitchen is the working center of your home. Lighting can make or break the design. It can also be adjusted from bright food prep illumination to cozy intimate family dining.
Plan your lighting early because relocating lighting can be expensive.
Layered lighting means providing various lighting systems to highlight different features and for different uses; task lighting for food prep, general lighting, accent lighting to highlight artwork or unique features.
Add ambient lighting to create a warm welcoming such as central lighting, table hanging lamp, or downlights at the perimeter.
Add accent lighting to highlight special features.
Choose lighting that matches your home’s style
Do not undersize the lighting or overwhelm the room with bright light.
Control lighting so a variety or looks can be achieved.
What a consumer needs to know when purchasing a stainless steel sink
You need to select your sink carefully because all sinks are different and if the sink fails it can only be replaced with a sink from the same manufacturer. You don’t want to replace a bad sink with another bad sink.
Make sure you get certified 304 stainless steel, so the sink matches kitchen appliances and the finish last longer. Many sinks today are made of lesser steel such as 301 or completely unknown 301 stainless has less chromium so it is not a lustrous and has less nickel so the finish will not last as long. Uncertified sinks can be anything.
Sinks with machine finish are more consistent. Hand finished sinks will have an inconsistent finish, particularly on the top rail.
Sound pads are often sold as a benefit but almost always the more sound pads, the cheaper sink because they are making up for thinner or poor quality steel. A good sound pad on the bottom is all that is required on a good sink. Most sound pads are made from recycled tire and can have an unpleasant odor in the enclosed space under the sink.
The best sinks are individual drawn (pressed) and then welded together. This makes method produces a heavier and quieter sink with less stress and stretch marks.
Building codes require sinks be certified by an independent agency (usually UPC) to meet ASTM 112.19.3. To be certified the sink needs to have the manufacturer’s name or logo and the stamp from the certifying agency. If both are not present then the sink does not meet code. Many manufacturers self-certify or just stamp the sink as certified without the actual certification.
Who is responsible for the warranty. If the sink does not have the manufacturer’s name or logo, who will handle the warranty? Make sure sink experts are standing behind the sink not just importers who buy, sell and then walk away.
The two primary model codes. Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) and International Building Code both require that sinks be certified by and independent agency to meet ASTM112.19.3. Below is an excerpt from a presentation we did for one of our customers on certification.
The Best Stainless Steel for Stainless Steel sinks is Certified 304-grade steel.
304 Stainless Steel has 18% Chromium and 8% Nickel. The Chromium gives the sink its luster and it will match the kitchen appliances which are also made from 304-grade stainless steel. The Nickel hardens the finish so it does not age. Here is an excerpt from a presentation we did for one of our customers.
There are four qualities that distinguish a quality a Stainless Steel Sink from the “free sinks” that are used as an incentive to buy countertops.
Better production processes
A professional to stand behind the sink.
In this article, we will discuss one of the better processes, Individually drawing each bowl then welding the two bowls together. Here an excerpt from a presentation we did for one of our best customers.
Here is a checklist of what to look for when you are buying a stainless steel sink for your new granite or quartz countertop.
Certified 304 stainless steel so the sink will match you appliances at install and for the life of the sink. – Many sinks sold as 304 are not so you need to ask if it is certified by and independent agency such as UPC to be 304. Many sinks are drawn from 301 stainless steel which has less chromium so they will not match your appliances and less nickel so they will age faster.
Sinks with bowls that are individually drawn before they are welded together. This makes the bowls more even and heavier which means it is quieter. A welded 18 gauge sink is heavier than most sinks sold on the internet as 16 gauge.
All model building codes require that sinks are certified by and independent agency usually IAPMO (UPC) to meet ASTM112.19.3. To meet this requirement, the sink must have the manufacturer’s name or logo on the sink, so it is visible after installation and must have the independent agency’s mark stamped on the sink. In the case of UPC, it is their shield. A sticker provided by the manufacturer that states the sink meets UPC requirements does not meet the code requirement.
Does the sink have a sink professional to stand behind the sink? Many sinks sold on the internet are sold by companies with no inventory and no expertise regarding the products they offer. Companies like ANO are working with customers daily to resolve issues, so they do not return.
When you get a free sink, do not accept it just because it is free. You are buying your countertop for a lifetime. Make sure your sink will last as long as the countertop. If the free sink goes bad, it can only be replaced by another low-quality sink. Don’t let you expensive countertop project look second class for the price of a cheap sink.
Thank you for visiting ANO's Eclipse Warranty Page. On Dec 29, 2017, Eclipse Stainless, Inc. ceased operations. Don't worry, ANO's got you covered. We have in stock a few models of Eclipse sinks that do not match our current cutouts should someone damage an existing sink and need a replacement. ANO also has a stock of Eclipse faucet replacement parts. For more information visit www.ANOsales.com/eclipse-stainless-warranty/