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November 22, 2014

What are Granite Counter Overlays?


So I know there’s a lot of myths out there about something called “granite overlay.” I do get calls every month with, “Do you carry this? What is it?”

I wanted to clear it up for you as best I could. Granite overlay is a system where they have a thinner granite that has an L in the front of the granite. It’s thick enough to where it sits on top of your current countertops, whether it’s formica, Corian, whatever it is, it sits right on top. You don’t remove your current countertops and it goes right in.

Well, that seems like an awesome option. It seems so, so easy. “Why don’t you do it? What’s wrong with it?” And I’d say, “Well, the reason why I don’t do it is because, to me, it serves no purpose for you.”

I want you to understand the history of it because it did serve a purpose at one point. In the early 90’s, when granite was brand new, there were only literally 1 to 5 granite countertop factories in a major city. Because there were so few people doing it, they were backlogged. They would take off people’s countertops, leave them literally without a kitchen sink, and use the countertops for six to eight weeks, then come back in and install them. You’re doing a small, tiny renovation, and it’s as if they’re doing a multi-million dollar renovation where you’re completely out of place for six to eight weeks. They’re just doing two days in the shop, one day install, and all this lag in between due to backlog.

It didn’t make sense.

So a huge nationwide company that I’m not going to name came up with an idea back then that was an override. It had to be thinner because you can’t put the same thickness of three centimeters and carry it over. It’s just too heavy, you can’t even carry it in. It just had to be thinner, usually about two centimeters, which means it’s less strong, more apt to break, lower quality.

A quarry uses the finest looking granite and they’d use three centimeters. The most beautiful, the highest quality. Whatever is not as beautiful, they’d cut in two centimeters and sell that, so just in general, you’re getting a lower, less beautiful product and that’s the system from the quarry. Never mind the structural capabilities of the two centimeters material. They came in, took the measurements, didn’t disturb your kitchen at all for eight weeks, went back in the shop, came back and fabricated and overlaid it all in one day. And everyone loved it! It worked out really, really great.

Well, the response to this new idea kind of dominated for awhile was very popular. The granite companies said, “Alright, we’re gonna have to not remove the countertops and template over the existing countertops, even though it’s by far more challenging, by far takes a higher degree of skill to get it to fit, takes more energy to install, to make it fit because you’re not getting as accurate a measurements, but we’re going to do it.” They were still backlogged and it’s still very very much only ten people, twenty people doing it into the mid-90s. As it gets towards 2000, they were going to adjust to making real, actual granite countertops, and they did.

It took awhile to really perfect it but, by the time they got to me, that’s the only way people do it these days, unless you do new cabinets. That’s the only way I know how to do it. My family and other granite companies knows how to do it, which is you have to work with people’s existing countertops. You can’t remove ’em, so we come in, we template, we understand how to make adjustments, even though it’s not perfect. We do a lot of adjustments in the install and are very good at what we do to make it work.

Then, when we come to install, we remove the existing countertops the day we install, and then we lay it so it’s still just one day, usually. One or two days of you without your kitchen or without use, not the lag in between.

And guess what?

Because there are 150 companies, there are only four to six weeks backlog. And we’re always just two to three weeks because we keep a nice, steady flow, but not too much work coming in to where we’re just too busy. No one does it. We don’t do it. It’s not an issue at all. It’d be more accurate to take off your countertops and measure them, but I’m more than confident and capable of doing it without it. I’ve been doing it for at least 1,000 projects and have had almost no problems, so take that out of place. It doesn’t matter if it’s a little bit nicer. You can choose to do it, but there’s no purpose to have it in existence now and, generally speaking, don’t quote me on this, it actually is more expensive with this unnamed company than us.

So you kind of add everything together, lower quality material, thinner, and you still don’t save any time or money.

Doesn’t really make any sense, does it?

Hope that clears it up for you guys. If not, you can still ask me on the phone anything you like about more detail on the subject.

Thanks again for watching and have a fantastic day!

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