Free quotes for faxed or emailed proposals are given a 24-hour time frame. We will either call, email or fax back the estimate assuming that the contact information is provided to us in the original communication.
Universal Stone Inc. requires a deposit of half the estimated price in credit card, cash or certified check. This payment takes place at the time of the template. If there is no deposit during the template we cannot start the fabrication of the countertop or any other project.
The main difference between granite and marble is that granite is a highly dense material formed deep inside the earth’s core while marble is formed from sediments under the seabed. Both solidify into stone after millions of years but the mineral composition of the two stones makes marble and granite react differently to various chemicals and household cleaners.
We require our potential clients to provide us with the general overview of the project along with personal information such as name, town, state, zip code, a phone contact and, if known, the name of the stone and the desired edge finish. We then can process the specific measurements and respond with an approximate estimate for the job. This information can either be faxed to us or brought to our showroom when the client comes in for a walk through our warehouse.
Do I have to buy the whole sheet/slab? No. We will determine how much material is needed for your countertops. We do not charge you the price of full slabs. You pay for what is required to fabricate your tops.
Universal Stone Inc. accepts credit cards, cash, personal check or certified check only. After the order is placed, the total is broken up into two payments: 50% prior to template and any remaining balances prior to the start of the installation.
We cover a 75 mile radius of Minneapolis / St Paul areas including metro Minneapolis, St Paul, Edina, Minnetonka, Shakopee, Excelsior, Bloomington and surrounding areas.
The whole process is designed for quality and speed. First, the client picks a stone. Then we give the client an estimate based on their specific project. After that, the client can place an template order. From the time the template is made, our clients can expect a typical turnaround time of one week or less.
Universal Stone Inc is the Twin Cities largest fabrication and installation provider. We install 1,000’s of kitchens, bathrooms in residential homes and commercial properties. Please request information for any job. Our license information is below.
We give those windows as an “arrive between” window. We will NOT be there at the beginning of that window always. We try stay on time as much as possible but sometimes things arise at the job site that is beyond our control and may cause us to be at a job site longer than expected. We will do our best to call and let you know if that happens and that we may be arriving later than our expected window. We feel this is the best way to go about the scheduling so we don’t give people windows of 8am- 4pm like so many other repair, cable and delivery companies do.
We are not licensed electricians or plumbers. Therefore, we cannot make electrical or plumbing re-connections. When we leave your home the sink is fully installed on (or under) the countertop, but a plumber or the homeowner will have to re-connect faucets and drain lines. We work with excellent professionals and will recommend a plumber or handyman.
Warm soapy water will do the trick. You can always use cleaners specifically formulated to help clean and protect stone surfaces as well.
It is simply supply and demand and rarity of color. More attractive stones are in higher demand and if they come from a distant land in small quantities the price will be higher. Some stones are actually harder to quarry and thus are more expensive.
Most granite installations will require at least one or more joints called seams. During layout and design, we will try to minimize the number of seams required. The visibility of seams depends on the granularity, color and pattern of the granite. A small uniform grain will not be as apparent as a larger varied grain. A seam in a dark color will be less apparent than a seam in a light color. A dramatic pattern with swaths of color will show more seams than a uniform pattern.
The average kitchen installation usually takes anywhere from 2-4 hours start to finish. This, of course, depends on the size of the kitchen and how complex the project is.
Recommendations to Prepare for Installations:
- Installation Preparedness: Access: Granite countertops are extremely heavy, and installers need clear access to entry ways. Please have your walkways and driveways as clear as possible.
- Cabinets: We recommend that you empty the cabinets under the sink base because they will be drilling the faucet holes on site. Even though we have one guy drilling and another holding the vacuum it is impossible to catch all dust. We will vacuum up our mess, but do not wipe down the cabinetry.
- Safety: Please remove any breakable items and cover items to protect them from dust. Granite installation can create a lot of dust. Our installers do try to control the mess the best they can, but please remember that this is construction and it is by definition a messy business.
- Faucets: Please have ready any faucets, soap dispensers, hot water taps, disposal switches, reverse osmosis spigots and any other items that need to be drilled into the countertops. Your plumber will NOT be able to drill extra holes.
The first sealer application will be applied by Universal Stone when we install your countertops. We recommend that you re-seal your granite every year.
Etching happens when acid in some form comes in contact with a polished marble or limestone surface. This causes a chemical reaction, which removes the polish, or roughens the surface of honed marble or limestone. Proper maintenance and periodic sealing can reduce or eliminate the chance of this occurring.
Granite is naturally formed in most parts of the world, but it is quarried in significant quantities in Brazil, India, Italy, Africa, Norway, Finland, and China. A majority of the most desirable granite slabs we use for kitchen countertops comes from Brazil, India, and Italy.
Granite can be repaired by a granite fabricator for chips or cracks that occur from accidental impacts.
Most countertops are 2 cm to 3cm (1 ¼”) thick 1 ¼” thickness. Some clients like double laminated or double thickness. This is a very elegant look.
Polished: A shiny, glossy surface. This is by far the most popular.
Honed: A matte finish.
Brushed / Leathered: A rough texture. This finish gives the stone both a matte finish with some natural unevenness. Becoming very popular and ideal for outdoor kitchens.
No. You can visit us at any time during our normal business hours. But if you want to work with one of our designers we recommend you schedule an appointment.
Seams are made where the two pieces of stone are put together. The seams are joined with epoxy that is mixed with the color that matches the stone. Then the joined area is smoothened so that only a very thin line is visible.
With our technology we have the ability to perform any sink or surface unit cutout with computer-aided design files. Under-mount sinks (sinks that are mounted under the countertop to avoid showing any rim) are fully cut out and the inside of the hole is polished. The countertop is then flipped over and fitted with special grommets for your plumber to fasten the sink. Self-rimming cutouts are cut 6″ into each corner, leaving some of the straight section to be cut in the field to facilitate safe shipping.
Granite is a natural stone. It is very hard and durable; heat and scratch resistant; and easy to maintain–in every sense, it’s the material of the future. Aside from the practical aspect, granite is very versatile in the design field. It comes in various colors and structural compositions; our yard stocks more than 200 colors from which to choose on site. All stones are not exactly the same. Each lot will have unique characteristics attributed to the specific granite.
Yes, template and installation will be included with your quote.