Granite is one of the oldest, most durable and most respected of building materials. Traditionally, it is the material chosen by both architects and engineers when permanence, enduring color and texture, and complete freedom from deterioration and maintenance are prime requirements.
Mini Slab Granite by Sauder Design
Up until now granite is fabricated in large production factories. The sheets are brought into the country in containers packaged in wood. They are ¾ inches thick and vary in size but are average 5 feet by 8 feet. Because of the weight they are handled with heavy machines or overhead cranes. They are taken to the fabricators and there made into countertops.
To do this in a production facility requires going to the site (home) and tracing the cabinets with a template, going back to the shop, cutting and fabricating the stone, putting on the desired edge and polishing it. After that they transport it to the job and carrying heavy pieces of granite into the site and setting it in place. The whole process takes several weeks of planning and processing. It is very expensive because of the machines and labor. There is a considerable waste of material also.
Under-mount sinks are generally used which require polishing the edge and letting it protrude over the sink area. This has a tendency to allow for chipping and the underneath area which is where the silicone holds the sink to the granite allows for a build up of germs and mildew.
The Sauder Design 'Mini Slabs' difference.
Our granite is processed in overseas shops were fabrication is done to pre-set sizes. Being a kitchen designer and dealer Tim Sauder knows what sizes are needed to fit the kitchen industry. After working with granite tile for seven years he knew that ½ inch thick material was enough for a nice top. He has done over 1000 tile countertops in granite.
It is because of this that prototypes of granite were made ½ inch thick with a stone edge. They worked but it was felt that they had too many seams. In November of 2002 the first 'mini slabs' were brought in from overseas. The size fit the full depth of the countertop 25.25 inches and the same ½ inch thickness was kept. They were in random lengths but averaged 4 feet to 5 feet which meant that they could be carried and handled by one or two people. With the 1.25 inch bull nose edge they look like slab granite when set on the countertop. The real difference is that they can be cut and handled on site.
The tools used are all under $500.and not $500,000. Because they are pre- made and in stock, the jobs could be done right away. There is only the wait of scheduling. Mistakes do not hold up the operation because a new piece is available.
With clear instructions people have been able to do their countertops by themselves. With careful measurements tops have been pre-cut before installation.
This appears to be the first 'do it yourself' granite which looks like slab granite when finished. The difference is that the cost is much less.
Again, feel free to contact us,