The contractor or stone fabricator working to complete your kitchen with a granite or quartz countertop will need to create a template.
This is a full-scale, rigid pattern created in your kitchen and on your installed cabinets. Using thin strips of wood, plastic, corrugated board, or a combination of materials, the template maker will position and create perfectly fitting shapes that will be used as guides for cutting your stone countertop segments.
The template is necessary because working strictly from measurements, drawings and pictures would never provide enough information to be SURE your stone top will be a custom fit when installed. Wall corners that are not 100% perfectly square along their full length, or even minor variations along a straight wall where the stone will meet are just two good reasons for carefully creating a template. Every home and kitchen is unique and cutting your granite or quartz to fit perfectly needs to be done right the first time avoiding any costly errors.
In order for the template to be made correctly the following must be present:
- — Your fully installed cabinets, are solidly in place and completely level.
- — Any appliance such as a stove that an edge of the countertop will meet, or a dishwasher that the stone will cover.
- — Support brackets that will be used for any areas where the countertop will overhang must also be present.
- — Be sure also that final fixtures selected such as sinks, faucets, soap dispensers, and purified water lines ( ANY component that will be part of your completed kitchen and require a hole to be made in your countertop ) are all on-site and available to the fabricator when the template is made. This will ensure proper placement and hole sizes and will aid in determining where seams may be located.
The process of creating the template will also alert your contractor or stone fabricator to any un-documented protrusions, power outlets, specialty hardware in the wall or by a window . . . in short, anything that will require special shaping of the stone precisely for your space.
Another advantage of having a completed template is that it will copy the physical sizes and shapes of the stone pieces that will need to be brought into your kitchen. Knowing ahead of time where there may be tight corners, narrow doorways or even stairs will give a “heads up” to the countertop installers before the stone is cut. If the template cannot be taken out of your home without bending . . . then a piece of granite the same size certainly cannot be brought IN.
Once the template has been made, it is important to leave every cabinet in place and not add new items to them. Obviously, it is equally vital not to introduce new openings or fixtures in the walls along where the Countertop will be installed.