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All About Granite Countertops: An Interview with Brian Johnson of Johnson Granite

By Brian Johnson

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

Founded in 2000, Johnson Granite has grown from a small, family-owned business to a leading supplier of premium surfaces servicing North and South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio. Specializing in both Residential and Commercial work, Johnson Granite offers a wide selection of natural stones, quartz products, solid surfaces as well as wood, eco-friendly options and sintered compact surfaces. Our knowledgeable design staff and experienced craftsman utilize the latest in modern technology to provide excellence in installed surfaces.

What are some of the most popular areas where homeowners in NC are using granite?

While kitchen countertops and bathroom vanities are traditionally the top areas where consumers use granite, other locations are increasing in popularity. More of the bathroom surfaces, such as tub surrounds, shower shelves and thresholds are frequently requested. Fireplace hearths and surrounds are perfect for natural stone. Outdoor kitchens are gaining popularity and are a great application for granite.

Can you briefly talk about some of the benefits of granite?

Granite is a natural product so one of the benefits is that no two kitchens will look the same. Each job is unique. Homeowners typically recoup up to 75% of the cost of a kitchen remodel making the investment in new granite countertops very affordable. Because granite is so durable, it will add a dimension of timeless beauty and value of your home.

What are the basic options that people have when it comes to color?

Natural stones come in many color variations. Most customers have a vision of how they want their countertop to look. Natural characteristics such as veining and the different colors that make up the complexion of the material will have a big impact on how the selected color will look as a countertop. We work with customers in terms of color, hue and natural characteristics to guide them to the best options for achieving their vision. The way the selected material is cut and used in the countertop layout is an important consideration when selecting a material color. Something that is very consistent and solid can be better for certain layouts as opposed to something that has a lot of variation and movement.

What is an edge? Can you explain how people should decide on which edge for a particular area?

Edge profiles are the optional shapes on the exposed edges of countertops. Most granite countertops installed are 3 cm or about 1 1/8" thick, so the edge profile is cut from this thickness. Customers usually decide on an edge profile after they have selected a color as different edge profiles will reflect light differently. Certain edges take more time to fabricate so there may be extra cost considerations. Today we see homeowners who want a bold, thick looking edge profile. This look is achieved by "building up" the edges with the selected material and the cabinets must be built accordingly to accept this option. The look of the edge can definitely make a design statement.

Do you have any tips for homeowners about the fabrication process?

Homeowners are making a substantial investment in their home when they choose to buy granite countertops. The more they can help a fabricator understand their vision, the more likely they are going to be happy with the end result. Like a customer's vision, each piece of stone is different. The fabrication process is how we help a customer understand how the material they have selected will be cut, fabricated and installed to achieve the look they desire. Clear communication on these details before fabrication starts will help the process go smoothly ensuring the homeowner is happy with the results.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

Our sales team is available by calling 800-208-1427 or 336-719-2729. Our showroom is open Monday through Friday 8:00am to 5:00pm and Saturday 9:00am to 1:00pm. Our website is also a helpful resource at www.johnsongraniteinc.com.

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