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Frequently Asked Questions

At Home Design Center, we manage many types of projects and make your home design project a reality. Although each job is customized to meet your project’s specifications and each customer’s expectations, we know many questions can pop up during the process.

To assist you, we have compiled these frequently asked questions along with our answers to help as you begin considering custom work, as well as those related to care and maintenance after your natural stone is installed.

If your question is not answered here, please refer to the Contact Us page and submit your inquiry using the email form there.

Countertop Installation Information and FAQ's

Once you purchase the stone, what’s next? We’ve tried to answer your frequently asked questions about what to expect before your countertop installation begins here.

For custom stone installations, as part of a remodeling or new construction project, Home Design Center is available to schedule appointments for design consultation, measurements and installation. Call us at 251-923-0073.
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What’s included in the price?

Our quoted price includes the cost of stone or material chosen by the customer, fabrication of the stone including edging and sink preparations and the installation of the stone and sinks. Our estimates are tailored to the project we are working on, meaning, that we can add in any additional items that the customer prefers (i.e.: tear out).

What isn’t included in the price?

The price does not include demolition of the existing countertops or flooring, plumbing disconnection before installation or reconnection after installation, supports for overhang or cabinet modifications. However, upon customer request, some of these items can be added into your quote.

How long will it take to complete the project?

After we take measurements and make templates, projects are typically completed within 7-10-days.

How long will the project take if I provide the material?

Between 7-14 days after we take measurements.

Can you visit my home and provide a quote?

Home Design Center has estimators who will come to your home to take templates of the areas you choose once you have paid your deposit. We can do a quote based off of your measurements, blueprints, cabinet drawing and plans. You can upload these on our Contact Us page in the email submission form. If you are unsure of your measurements we will happily send someone out to take these measurements and figure an estimate.

I’m ready for HDC to get started on the project! What’s next?

Call us! We will get an estimator to you to take your measurements and do templates. Once you receive your proposal we require a 50% deposit for your job to be placed on the schedule and begin fabrication.

Where can I see samples?

Visit our showroom at 11746 Foley Beach Express, Foley, AL 36535. Our business hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. We are closed on Saturday and Sunday, however we do take Saturday appointments if scheduled more than 24 hours in advance. We also partner with several local distributors to offer you the most options. You can schedule an appointment with one of our consultants to meet you at one of these distributorships or you can go have a visit on your own. If visiting a distributorship we ask that you let them know Home Design Center is doing your job and they will send your selections to us so that we may give you a more accurate quote.

Can I send you a drawing or dimensions to get an estimate?

Yes. When you send a drawing or the dimensions, please include the backsplash and bars. The sketch your cabinet/tile/contractor company provided you with is also acceptable. However, please note that the estimate can vary based off the drawing and what we measure after cabinets are installed.

How can I send you the drawing or measurements?

Please upload it through via our Contact Us page on our website.

Who will remove my old countertops?

Your contract will not include tear out, however we can arrange for tear out. It is the customer’s responsibility to clear base cabinets before tear out of existing countertops. The customer can also make arrangements for tear out with their contractor or can do it themselves if preferred.

When my old countertop is removed, will I be without a sink?

Yes. HDC is not licensed for plumbing. But in order to create less of an inconvenience, demolition can be completed the day of installation. We ask for you to allow the sink to set for a minimum of 12 hours before placing any objects in the sink that bear weight.

Should I prepare my walls or cabinets for my new countertop installation?

Walls and cabinets should be structurally sound, straight, level and square to avoid difficulties with installation or delays.

How can I ensure accurate measurements are made of my countertop area?

Home Design Center’s team of estimators will do templates when they come to measure to ensure accuracy when fabrication begins. Cabinets should be on the same plane; sinks and cooktops to be part of the custom stone installation should be on site when the first measurements are made. Review your project proposal to verify cutout dimensions.

Should fixtures and appliances be on site during the installation?

Yes. To ensure proper cutout size verification, sinks, faucet fixtures, appliances, etc., should be available during installation.

Are my walls and other adjacent surfaces protected during countertop installation?

Home Design Center is committed to excellence, high quality, and we will take every precaution possible during install. Please be aware that countertop installation is a construction process. Noise, dust, and scratches to walls, cabinets, floors or nearby items are rare but possible. These items are considered incidental damage and are the customer’s responsibility to repair.

Who should I contact with questions about my countertop installation?

Contact Home Design Center at 251-923-0073. We can answer your questions!

Can I cut on my granite countertop?

We recommend using a cutting board, granite will dull your knives if they are used directly on the stone, however, your knives will not scratch granite.

Can my granite countertop be damaged?

Blows from sharp hard objects can cause chips in the surface. If unsealed, dark spots or discoloration may form as the granite absorbs oils. Under normal circumstances, however, heat from pans or contact with burning liquids won’t affect it.

My sample has pits on the surface. Will my countertop have these too?

All granite has these spaces between the various mineral crystals. But they are less noticeable on a larger piece, such as a countertop, because it is polished. Fissures, which may look like cracks, are also not imperfections. These are natural variances in the product, which are part of its unique beauty. Rest assured, they will not affect the function or durability of your countertop.

Will my granite look like the online sample?

Once again, each sample or piece of granite will feature natural variations in color, tone, pattern, etc. The digital images online cannot accurately capture the true color tones due to differences in computer systems, monitor calibrations and photo compression algorithms. We always recommend that you view and inspect your stone in person before fabrication to ensure your satisfaction.

Can I set something hot on my granite countertop?

While granite is not affected by heat from a cooktop, frying pan or even lit flame, we recommend using trivets or other items to protect granite from contact with heat.

Can granite chip?

It’s possible with a direct blow from a hammer or similar high impact tool. However, a chip can be repaired with a mixture of granite dust and epoxy. Save the chipped pieces if your countertop becomes damaged. We can use them during the repair, and no one will ever know it was chipped!

How are seams made?

Seams connect two pieces of stone with an epoxy that is mixed with a color that matches it. When the joined area is smoothed, only a thin line is visible.

Can granite crack?

Granite is more likely to be cracked during shipping and installation. In other words, normal use will not overstress it.

What is the difference between granite and marble?

The biggest difference is that granite is formed deep below the earth’s surface during the cooling of molten rock, while marble is formed from sediments under the seabed. Because of the difference in their mineral composition, they react differently to chemicals and household cleaners. The care and maintenance of these stones will differ from one another.

What is the appropriate thickness for a granite countertop?

For structural reasons, granite kitchen countertops should be thicker than bathroom vanity countertops. The recommended thickness is an inch and a quarter or 3cm.

Does granite have any pits or fissures?

Yes, and these are naturally occurring in the stone. However, these can be minimized with the application of a sealer.

Can granite be repaired?

Yes. Though it is hard to damage granite, it can very easily be repaired with a mixture of granite dust and epoxy.

How is granite formed?

It starts as molten rock well below the earth’s surface, then cooled and compressed over millions of years under tons of pressure. Then it can be quarried, cut and polished to become a natural stone enhancement in kitchens, bathrooms, Jacuzzi surrounds and much more.

Are granite seams visible?

Most custom granite projects require seams, especially if you want to reduce your costs. The visibility is affected by the granularity, color and pattern of the granite. In general, they are less visible in darker stones than lighter ones, as well as stone with a more complex pattern versus a more uniform one.

How do I clean my granite countertop?

For best results, use a specially formulated AGM daily granite cleaner or a mild phosphate-free, biodegradable liquid dish soap, soap flakes or powder which contains no aromatics. After application, let it sit for 30 seconds, then thoroughly rinse and dry with cotton flannel or chamois. Using plain soap and water can lead to build-up and a dulling of the countertop surface.

Does granite stain or burn?

There is very little chance that granite will stain, and it will not burn with ordinary use. Because it has low porosity, granite generally will not show moisture. A puddle of water left for an extended period may leave a dark spot on some colors, but it will dry up without leaving a mark. Prolonged contact with dark pigmented liquids could be an issue for some colors as well. To protect against this very low possibility of stains, our professional team will seal your granite countertop upon installation. The use of AGM daily cleaner also helps protect granite, as it seals the countertop every time it is cleaned.
(251) 923-0073
11746 Foley Beach Express
Foley, AL 36535
Open Monday-Friday
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Closed Saturday & Sunday
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