Granite kitchen worktops are crated and shipped upright. The crates must be unloaded and unpacked upright.
Granite worktop pieces should be carried upright upright; never flat, which will risk their fracture. Always store granite worktops upright on its long edges, supported at approximate 500mm centres on pieces of timber. Never rest or lay one piece of stone directly against another or risk surface damage.
Before fitting granite worktops to Base units position the base units, level them up and fix them securely to the walls and each other. Fitting any end panels, pilasters etc. Remove and store the doors and drawers until the tops have been installed. Fit the wall units after the tops have been installed.
Fitting Support Rails
Fix support rails to the walls where granite worktops will not be supported by base units e.g. over built-under appliances, e.g. in corners where the units do not reach. Tops that span two kitchen appliances side-by-side must be supported: either by an upright panel fixed between them or by 40mm high solid timber rails fixed across the front and back of the span.
Prepare and install the pipework for water and waste for sinks, and the gas and electric supplies for any kitchen appliances.
Preparation for apertures formed with stone rails
(single and double leaf tops)
4 sided apertures for lay-on kitchen appliances and sinks:
The upper parts of the base unit(s) below the granite worktops rail must be reinforced to support the kitchen worktops properly. Any twisting in service can make the granite worktops joints fail. At the front of the base unit use metal angle brackets to strengthen the joints between the chipboard top rail and side panels. This top rail will also need stiffening across its span if the stone rail starts and finishes towards/near the middle of the chipboard rail. At the back of the unit: fit a timber support rail, minimum height 40mm, to the wall and another if necessary between the sides of the base unit in a position the support the front of the rear granite kitchen worktops rail.
Trial fitting Granite Kitchen Worktops and installation gaps
a) Lift granite worktops into place
Put each piece of into place to check the fit, alignment of cutouts, etc., over the base units.
Lift them upright, stand them on their rear edges and gently lower them into position.
b) Fitting Granite Kitchen Worktops and expansion gaps
Allow installation gaps of 2mm between tops and wall surfaces. The gaps accommodate thermal and any structural movement and prevent the granite worktops edges from grinding together in service.
c) Belfast sink position
Move the Belfast sink into place. Measure or mark the position to fix it later.
The front edge of the worktops should align with the centre of the thickness of the sink front wall.
d) Alignment of surfaces
Check that the surfaces of adjacent pieces of granite worktops align at corner joints and around openings formed with rails. Shim as necessary using strips cut from high impact polystyrene sheet (HIPS) or similar material.
Fixing Granite tops down
Stand tops on their back edges again.
Fix and seal in any undermounted bowls in accordance with their manufacturer's instructions. Use clear low modulus silicone sealer.
Bed any Belfast type sinks onto their units with silicone sealer in the position determined in part (c) above.
Put beads of low modulus silicone sealer along the top surfaces of the base unit; over their ends only and any other structural supports, also around the rim of any Belfast sinks. Lower the granite worktops into place and clean off any surplus sealer. Seal between the walls and any tall units around the granite worktops with a small bead of clear silicone - even if their edges are to have upstand or tiling. Add more silicone as necessary around the rims of the undermounted bowls and form a smooth cove around the underside of the stone openings. Smooth and trim the joints between adjacent pieces of granite kitchen worktops.