Three Phases of Protecting Your Installs
If installing stone countertops was easy, everyone would do their own installs. However, the opposite is true. Countertop installation requires the know how and years of experience you have acquired (or will acquire) over time. There are some relatively simple practices though that can help you to increase profitability by keeping your expenses low through waste reduction. In this article we will examine three phases of protecting your installs of stone countertops.
Before the Installation Begins
The first phase of protecting your installs happens long before the installation ever begins. Often time times, natural stone slabs are hand picked by the designer, architect, or homeowner. As you are no doubt aware, some individuals are pickier than others are when it comes to selecting a specific stone. This can lead to problems if the proper protection of the slab is not practiced before the install. Let's see why.
Imagine that the buyer has searched a long time for a very specific stone and finally found it. It would be troubling, to say the least, if after having searched so hard for just the perfect stone, it got broken between the time it was selected and the time it was installed. Accidents could cause breakage in a few ways, let's look at two of them.
Improper Slab Storage
It may seem like an extremely simple idea that doesn't need to be specifically stated, but an install could go completely wrong while the countertop is sitting in a shop. Improper or careless storage of stone slabs can result in the slabs, panels, or sheets, falling or being knocked over. Therefore, properly storing stone slabs is key to preventing breakage, waste, and ultimately unwanted expenses.
Handling Slabs Safely Before Installation
Any time stone is being worked, moved, or handled in any way, safety should be the number one goal and made a priority. Again, handling slabs in an unsafe manner all too often results in not only broken stone slabs, but injury. For more information about this, check out our article entitled: Safely Handling Stone Slabs. But just know that there are plenty of occasions during the fabrication and transporting of the slab where safety practices can contribute to protecting the install before the material even reaches the kitchen.
During the Installation Process
This second phase we call during the install partially overlaps with the previous one in that the material is still being handled. However, during the install there are some very specific actions performed. Lifting the countertop is one such action. One difference though at this point in the process is that the countertop has already been templated. Since material has actually been removed from slab, the countertop is now more fragile since it has less surface area. Having the proper installation tools protects the install by providing effective and convenient gripping of the slab.
After the Install is Complete
Finally, our third phase of protecting your installs is the after phase. Even after you get everything right up to this point the install still needs protected. Imagine you finished the install and the very next day you receive a disappointing phone call informing you that there is a very prominent scratch right across the surface. You know that when your crew left the countertop was in pristine condition. Yet, another trade followed behind your crew and used the nice empty surface as a base from which they did their work. You get the idea. Even after you done, you still must protect your work. An effective way of doing this is by using protective film for stone countertops. Protection film reduces the number of particles that actually contact the surface. And if you opt for a film that has warning messages on it, you add a measure of protection in form of instructing others that the surface is not to be used.
So there they are, the three phases of protecting your countertop installs; before, during, and after. Each is important, but not complicated. Using the the practices and equipment we have mentioned here will help you boost profitability by eliminating unnecessary expenses.