- What is Countertop Templating?
- The Templating Process
- Step 1. Countertop Design & Paperwork
- Step 2. Home Preparation Before the Templating Day
- Step 3. Templating Day: Inspection of Your Cabinetry & Laser Measurement
- Step 4. Discussion of Seams, Overhangs, & Edge Profiles
- Step 5. Finalization of the Template
- Understanding Countertop Seams & What You Should Consider
- Work With A1 Stone World to Ensure Accurate & Precise Templates to Build Beautiful Countertops
The installation of your natural stone countertop usually takes 2-3 weeks, depending on the complexity of the task. Templating is a crucial process that will determine the success of your kitchen or bathroom remodeling project. We will discuss the importance of an accurate countertop template and what you should be expecting during the process.
What is Countertop Templating? #
First of all, the countertop templating process aims to get measurements of the whole room to ensure that your fabricated stone countertops will fit into your space as well as your appliances. Once you’ve made a purchase decision, we will send our trained technicians to your home to get accurate measurements using a digital measuring device used in high-precision applications.
Importance of Templating #
If you are asking why your countertop needs a template whether it is for your kitchen, bathroom, powder room, laundry room, or other space, here are the key reasons why:
- We need to measure your countertop’s length and width, where its edges should line up, where your sinks will be, and other appliances that need to be considered.
- We won’t be using the square footage we get from you in the fabrication of your countertop. They are not accurate and can lead to problems in the installation. They will only be used as a basis for the cost estimation of your project.
- We use computer-aided measuring equipment which avoids human errors to ensure perfectly installed countertops with guaranteed durability and longevity.
- Digital templates allow you to view a model of your countertop and create changes easier and faster in case you have modifications to make before the fabrication process.
The Templating Process #
Here is an overview of how the templating process is done:
- After the selection of your desired stone style and the design consultation process, we schedule a template measuring date.
- Our team will visit your home for templating which takes 30-90 minutes.
- Our technicians will set up digital measuring devices in the room.
- Sink cutouts, overhangs, backsplashes, and specialty cuts will be considered in the measurements.
- We will scan your cabinetry and walls using the laser.
- The completed template will be forwarded to our fabrication team.
Step 1. Countertop Design & Paperwork #
The first step is to choose the right stone for your project and discuss your design plans to ensure that you will get what you expected. You can book a free design consultation and visit our slab yard to see your options better so you can make an informed decision.
After you’ve chosen your material and style, we will complete all the needed documentation and set a schedule for the templating process. Many companies prefer doing the templating during business hours and won’t schedule on weekends.
Step 2. Home Preparation Before the Templating Day #
To ensure that the templating goes smoothly, make the proper preparations as listed below:
1. Make Sure a Decision-Making Person is Available On the Templating Day #
A lot of issues can occur during the process where adjustments need to be made such as the location of faucets, overhang size, and corner radius. That is why you should assign someone who knows all of the project’s details (preferably the one who signed the documents) to be in the location for the templating.
2. Remove Your Existing Countertop #
Simple kitchens or bathrooms can be templated with your old countertops on. But with more complex layouts, you need to remove your existing countertops before the templating so we can get the most accurate measurements. This also allows us to evaluate the sturdiness and levelness of your cabinets better before we install your countertops to prevent unpleasant surprises.
In addition, we will also ask you to clear your countertop of unnecessary items.
3. Your Cabinets & Appliances Should Be Completely Installed #
If you are doing a major kitchen renovation and have new cabinets, your cabinets should be properly installed, leveled, and anchored. Your appliances, especially your refrigerator and cooktop/stove, should also be installed. If your fridge doesn’t have space restrictions, you don’t have to set them in place.
4. Prepare Your Sink #
If you are buying your own sink, they need to be in the location along with your faucets so we can use them to template sink cutouts. We also offer kitchen and bathroom sinks if you haven’t decided on the type of sink you want yet.
Other Things to Prepare #
Below are other things that you should prepare prior to templating:
- Prepare all specifications of your appliances, sinks, and faucets including other design details such as edge, walls, and backsplashes.
- Decide what other cutouts need to be done such as soap dispensers, faucet sprays, stove vents, and others.
- You don’t need to place your dishwasher yet.
Step 3. Templating Day: Inspection of Your Cabinetry & Laser Measurement #
When the templating day comes, we expect you to have already made all of the necessary preparations. Our highly-trained technicians will come to your home and check your cabinets to make sure they meet the requirements before taking measurements:
1. Inspection of Your Cabinetry #
Our specialists will inspect your existing cabinets for structural integrity and moisture as well as make sure that they are leveled. This makes sure that your chosen stone will fit well on your cabinets and that they can support your countertop.
2. Laser Measurement #
Once we’ve verified the condition of your cabinetry, we begin the templating process using a laser measuring device (called digital templating) to get a highly accurate square footage of the area. Compared to traditional templating, digital templating allows for faster and more error-free measurements.
Below is a comparison of traditional and digital templating and why the latter is a more practical method:
|Traditional Templating||Digital Templating|
|– A skeleton frame is created using coroplast (corrugated plastic) or wood strips which are laid on your countertop’s outer edges and then stapled or glued together to create the template|
– The skeleton frame is placed over your selected stone during the fabrication process
– It allows you to make adjustments on real-world issues on-the-spot like countertop corners jutting out to where your fridge door opens to avoid dents
Wood strips can cause staining on your stone countertop
|– Done by setting up a leveling tool, tripod, computer, and a high-precision laser that shoots out 180-degree light beams to take extremely accurate measurements|
– We can use it on any size and shape of material which is great for complex kitchen layouts
– It can measure the entire room faster and you can make changes and modifications easier
– The obtained measurements can be digitally transferred instantly for finalization before fabrication so you can visualize your countertop
– Your countertops will have less noticeable seams and cleaner cuts for a more beautiful countertop
In summary, we can measure the following using laser templating:
- Sink Cutouts
- Existing Sinks
- Sinks Without Templates
- Top-Mount or Undermount Sinks
- Cooktops, etc.
NOTE: Inform us if you have moved any cabinet after the measurement because we will have to take the measurements again.
TIP: Always ask what method of templating your stone countertop fabricator does and insist on creating a template for every surface on your countertop.
Step 4. Discussion of Seams, Overhangs, & Edge Profiles #
Once the template is done, we will discuss the overhang extensions, seam locations (more on this later), and edge profile options with you and share our expert recommendations. You can share with us the different corners and shapes you want so we can incorporate them into the final template. We will also discuss with you how the seams and their placement may affect your countertop’s final appearance.
Step 5. Finalization of the Template #
We will create a computer-generated model of your countertop based on the template for the finishing touches. We will send you the final drawing for your approval before cutting and fabricating your countertop. Once fabrication is done, we will set the installation date.
Understanding Countertop Seams & What You Should Consider #
Placing seams strategically and making sure they are not noticeable is one of the crucial processes for a flawless countertop. So to help you fully understand the importance of stone countertop seams and why an experienced templator and fabricator are needed to ensure the success of your remodeling project, we will discuss seams in detail here.
What Are Seams? #
Seams are sections where two pieces of stone are molded together. They can’t be avoided whether you are using a natural stone (granite, marble, soapstone, quartzite, or dolomite) or engineered quartz countertops. But, you can have a seamless surface on smaller projects such as bathroom vanity tops that are often made using remnants.
Our goal is to minimize the number of cuts and seams. Also, take note that the overall price of your countertop installation will be influenced by the number of seams. That is, very low quotes might have a lot of seams which will look unappealing. So before you agree to any low-price quotes, make sure to ask your fabricator about the location and quantity of seams to guarantee high-quality installation.
Characteristics of a High-Quality Seam #
- Fewer seams are better.
- You shouldn’t be able to feel the seams.
- They should not appear too visible.
The placement of seams will be determined by your sink and cabinet layouts, but we will make sure that they are strategically placed in non-obvious locations.
Special Seam Options: Bookmatched Countertops #
Seams aren’t always negative. In fact, they can be used to enhance your countertop’s look through bookmatching.
Bookmatching allows you to get dramatic and elegant veins that appear mirrored (similar to butterfly wings). However, take note that this special seam can only be done on specific slabs and not all fabricators can offer this service.
So if you want a bookmatched countertop, feel free to inform us earlier so we can discuss with you your available options. We have the right tools to fabricate bookmatched seams so we can do them in-house which makes the installation process faster.
- Creating bookmatched slabs leads to more waste and more waste means more expense. So before you decide on bookmatched countertops, make sure that the resulting cost is within your budget.
- Bookmatching is usually done in larger rooms where the stone’s full effect can be appreciated. For instance, full-height backsplashes, feature walls, kitchen islands, and shower walls. They are also great at creating high-impact features in commercial establishments like cubicle spaces, reception desks, conference tables, and lobby desks.
- It is important that you always ask your stone fabricator about how they process seams such as their technique for minimizing the seams. We will discuss seam minimization in our stone countertop fabrication article.
Factors Affecting the Seam Quality #
In addition, know that your material and design options including the slab’s size may affect the quality of your countertop’s seams. So, make sure that you choose your countertop thoroughly.
1. Material #
Natural stone slabs may come in different sizes depending on the type of material. This will influence the stone size our team can work with without seams. Also, some stones can be more fragile to ship and fabricate than others such as exotic stones. This limits the options where we can cut and create seams on the stone.
However, don’t worry as our experienced team will counsel you regarding the templating process and seam layout to minimize the cuts and seams to be done.
2. Color #
Dark stones with small patterns will have seams that are less visible compared to lighter colors with a lot of movement and veins. However, there will also be times when darker stones will have more visible seams than lighter stones, depending on the orientation of the pattern. But with our superior workmanship, we will make sure that you’ll have beautifully finished countertops with the right layout regardless of your style choices.
3. Size #
Larger projects may have more seams than smaller ones because we plan the layout of seams to ensure we will have a workable stone size. Stones are too heavy and too large to transport to your home without seams when it’s time to install them. But with our highly experienced team of designers and technicians, we can guarantee that we will position the seams in the most practical places to ensure safe fabrication and installation.
Work With A1 Stone World to Ensure Accurate & Precise Templates to Build Beautiful Countertops #
While selecting the right material and style are critical parts of your stone countertop project, choosing an experienced fabricator who can do the templating process effectively is also crucial. This saves you from unexpected surprises during the installation process.
A1 Stone World has more than 15 years of stone countertop fabrication and installation serving areas in Northeast Florida and has thousands of satisfied customers. Thus, you can rest assured that you’ll get the countertop of your dreams. Some of the areas we serve are Green Cove Springs, Jacksonville, Saint Johns, St. Augustine, and Ponte Vedra Beach.