Granite counters are a highly prized addition to many kitchens. The slabs of stone that make up these counters can be expensive, though, so purchasing just the right amount of stone is important to keep costs down. Measurements of the kitchen counter combine with design criteria to form the answer for each kitchen of just how much stone will be required.
Covering the Cabinets
To determine how much granite is needed to cover the kitchen cabinets, measure the existing counters or the cabinets themselves. Measure from the wall above any partial backsplash made of counter material out to 1-1/2 inches past the edge of the cabinets. Most granite counters will measure 25 to 25-1/2 inches deep. Measure each long run of counter lengthwise in inches and multiply by 25.5 to get the number of square inches in each section. Divide by 144 to get the total number of square feet of granite for each section of counter. Subtract slide-in stove spaces, but keep the area for stove cuts and sinks intact; these cutouts are purchased with the stone.
Most fabricators offer the option to have a 3-, 4- or 5-inch backsplash of granite added to the design. To determine how much extra granite you will require for this, first decide on the height of the backsplash. Measure the length of each wall that the granite will be abutting in inches. Multiply this by the number of inches in the height of the granite backsplash and divide by 144. This is the extra amount of square footage you will need to complete the job.
If the kitchen has a peninsula or an area of the counter that could be used as an eating area, extra depth will be required. The granite will need to extend past the cabinets far enough to accommodate leg room or chairs pushed beneath it. Without support, the granite can extend 6 inches past the edge of the cabinet. With support such as a steel plate, or decorative brackets, it may extend as much as 12 inches past the granite. Take measurements for this section of the counter separately, adding in the extra depth required to complete the job.
It is rare to find pieces of granite large enough to cover kitchen counters with no seams. Even kitchens broken into sections with cabinets at the end of each run will frequently have at least one seam, or break in the granite.
If your counter top has several long runs of counter that turn corners into adjacent runs of counter, you may need additional granite to make the transitions as unobtrusive as possible. By purchasing extra stone, you may give the fabricator room to move a seam to a less obvious location, such as around a sink cutout, rather than in the middle of a run. Talk to the fabricator at the time of creating the template to determine if extra granite will be required to help hide seams and, if so, how much.
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