Glossary of Terms

Air Switch-a button installs in the countertop to turn the garbage disposal on and off, eliminates the need for a normal switch, used commonly when we cut down high bars or on an island

Apron Front/Farm Sink-a sink that doesn’t have a granite rail in the front, front panel look like an apron, cannot be used in all applications

Apron-a piece of matching countertop material that is installed vertically under a projecting countertop, usually on commercial vanities

Apron Front/Farm Sink Support-support that is required for an apron/farm style sink, wood bracing to support the sink, we charge to modify existing sink base, restrictions apply

Backsplash-a vertical covering of the wall where a countertop surface meets the wall surface, designed to protect the wall from moisture, backsplashes range from a few inches in height to full height backsplashes that extend from the countertop surface to the underside of the upper cabinets, most standard backsplashes are 4”

Bacteria/Mold-grows on paper countertops and particle board substrates when protective layer is compromised or worn away

Batwing Kitchen-cabinets are installed with two 45 degree angles, 3 pieces, looks like a wing

Book Match Pattern-A vein matching technique where opposite faces of adjacent slabs are exposed, producing a repeating mirror image

Build-up-pieces of material that are secured to the underside of the countertops to fill voids, very common to fill the space from a laminated edge back to the face of the cabinet

Cantilever-a large overhand on countertops, usually supported by a flat steel support or corbel

Cast Iron Sink-a sink made of durable iron alloy and a porcelain enamel coating, fired at a very high temperature which gives the sink a nice glossy surface, available in colors

Caulk-adhesive used to finish the area where backsplashes and/or countertops meet drywall

Ceramic Pro-nano ceramic coating that we apply to marble and other natural stones, the most advanced sealing technology on the market

Chiseled Edge-a rustic aged look, created by mechanically chipping the edge of the stone

CNC-a computer numeric controlled, multiaxis, vertical spindle machine designed to use rotating milling and profiling tools to produce shapes, cut outs and holes, we use a cnc technology to shape and polish all of our edge profiles, it’s a $300,000 investment, most companies would love to have this technology but they can’t afford it so they do it by hand with grinders, it is faster to do by hand, but quality is sacrificed for speed

CNC Tooling-the tools that shape the edge profile, every profile is a set of 7 tools, ranging from very abrasive to fine grit for finish polish, the bits made of steel and are impregnated with diamonds, one set of tools is $4,000 to $10,000, they only last for a short period of time and then have to be replaced

Commercial Material-the lowest grade of natural stone, many companies purchase commercial material to save cost, very common to have large fissures, pits, spots and discoloration

Cooktop-a cooking element that requires a cutout in the countertop, it fits in the countertop, there is a narrow rail or countertop material in the front and back

Corbels-structural support used to support large overhangs (cantilever), usually made of wood

Core Bit-a bit used to drill faucet holes at installation, attached to a grinder, usually 1 3/8” in diameter

Delamination-failure of composite materials, separation between the paper (Formica) countertops and the particle board substrate caused by moisture trapped in the substrate

Digital Layout-we use slab smith software to digitally layout the pieces of the job on the specific slabs before production, this allows us to match grain and color variation, this is the latest technology on the market, no other companies in our market utilize this technology, most companies tape wood templates to the slabs and hope for the best

Dog Ear-a small return that wraps around the corner of a wall at the end of a countertop, usually 1 ½” past the corner of the wall and the width of the overhang

Drop In Sink-a sink that sits on top of the countertop, can be stainless steel, cast iron or granite composite, also referred to as a self-rimming sink

Dry Treat Stain Proof-our standard sealer, it is an impregnating, invisible and breathable sealer that provides long term protection for natural stone countertops

Drywall-common finishing material for most interior walls, it is screwed to the studs, taped, mudded and textured, can get damaged during countertop install, can be easily repaired

Edge Profile-the defined shape of the front edge of a countertop

Epoxy Resin-a resin that we color match and use to secure seams

First Choice Material-the highest grade of natural stone material, cut from premium block, commands the highest price on the market, this is all we purchase, we do not cut corners with commercial material

Fissures-very common in natural stone, they occur naturally in many materials, it is a fracture in the rock when it is mined, it is a visible separation along the crystalline boundaries, will show up throughout the material, a fissure is not a crack

Flat Steel Support-1/4” flat steel supports that we use to support large overhangs, secured into the wood on the top of the knee wall

Free Standing Range-a range where the countertops stop at each side of the range, no material in the front or back of the range

Galley Kitchen-walk thru kitchen, two parallel countertops with walkway in between

Garbage Disposal-an electrical device that is secured to the bottom of the sink and the waste pipe in a kitchen, used to grind up food and waste

Garnet-the abrasive agent that mixes with water to cut on the water jet

Granite Composite Sink-an engineered sink that is made up of granite dust and resins, very durable, available in a wide range of colors

Grinder-a handheld electric tool used to make cuts with diamond saw blades and drill faucet holes with core bits at installation

Grout-a mortar used to fill gaps between tile, in tile countertops it cracks which can cause water intrusion into the substrate, breeding mold and bacteria

Horseshoe Kitchen-U shaped cabinet layout, 3 walls with cabinets and appliances

Integrated Sink-a sink made with the same material as the countertop, common in plastic countertops, very dated look, susceptible to staining and discoloration

Island-additional work surface in a kitchen, good for food prep and seating, free standing unit in the middle of a kitchen

L Shaped Kitchen-L shaped cabinet layout, 2 walls

Lamination-securing 2 pieces of material to each other to double the thickness of the edge profile, an example of this would be a 6cm cornice

Leather Finish-a leathered surface usually has a soft sheen to it, but is much less shiny than the glossy look of a polished slab, leathered granite hides fingerprints, water spots and smudges well, this is a high end luxury finish

LED Lights-typical under cabinet lighting we sell

Level-a tool used to confirm that the cabinets are level so we can install the countertops, if the cabinets are not level the customer will need to fix prior to install

LT55-the computer/machine that we use to template countertops, it is a 3d laser, $20,000 investment, creates dxf file in the home, customer can see drawings on tablet computer in the house

Matte Finish-exclusive finish to Cambria quartz, creates a silky finish, same warranty, durability and 100% non absorbency as high gloss Cambria

Miter-custom edge profile created with 45 degree cut at the edge, this eliminates the visible seam on a standard laminated edge, this edge is only square/flat, cannot be done on any radius pieces

Natural Stone-a product of nature, a stone such as granite, marble, limestone, onyx, slate, travertine, or sandstone that is formed by nature, and is not artificial or manmade

Natural Quartz-a manmade product composed of 93% natural quartz 7% resin and dyes, Cambria is the premium natural quartz in the world

Nesting-the process of laying out the pieces of the kitchen in our software on the specific slabs for the job

One Wall Kitchen-cabinets and appliances on one wall, for smaller spaces, common in apartments and studios

Outlet Cutout-a cutout in the backsplash for an electrical outlet, we cut them at installation

P Trap-a plumbing device that prevents sewer gas from rising through the drain, it is U shaped, water sits in the bottom of the U so the sewer gas can’t escape, very common see staining on the pipes with means there is a leak, causing water damage to the cabinet  

Paper-this is what we call laminate countertops (Formica), it is a thin layer of material that is adhered to the particle board substrate, the material gets worn and scratched, the thin protective layer is compromised creating environment conducive for mold and bacteria growth, the cheapest countertop product on the market

Particle Board-common substrate for paper countertops, made up of compressed wood chips and glue, acts like a sponge when moisture is introduced, harbors mold and bacterial, causes the paper to delaminate from the substrate when it swells

Pencil Liner-small piece of tile used to finish the end of a tile full backslash, it covers the cut/non finished ends, they are usually less than 1” in width and 6”-12” in length

Peninsula Kitchen-connecting an island to an L shaped or horseshoe kitchen

Pitting-small imperfections in the surface of natural stone that result in the porous texture of natural stone

Plastic-a manufactured countertop material that is also referred to as solid surface, made up of resins and additives, scratches and stains easily, it is not heat resistant, the leading brand in the market is Corian, very dated, it is junk

Pop Up Outlet-an outlet that raises manually from the countertop, we drill a hole, install the pop up and plug it into a regular outlet in the cabinet

Porous-refers to natural stone having pits that liquid can absorb into, high likelihood for staining and bacteria growth

Radius Corners-a curved corner of a countertop, our standard radius is 1 ½”

Resin-a clear or translucent chemical, applied to natural stone slabs in the quarry/slab production facility to fill pits and fissures

Schluter Strip-tile edging using to cover non finished or cut ends of tile, a thin piece of metal or plastic, available in multiple finishes and colors

Scoop Sink Base-making a U shaped cut on each side of the sink bas to allow the sink to fit, can only be done with batwing kitchen that has dead space to left and right side of sink base, cannot be done when sink base adjoins to other cabinets

Seam-where 2 countertops secure together with epoxy

Shim-a thin piece of wood or composite material that is used to level countertops at installation

Shutoffs/Supplies-2 small valves in the sink base coming out of the back wall, they supply hot and cold water, if the shutoffs are corroded the can fail and cause a major flood, they can also leak slowly over time causing water damage to sink base cabinets

Silicone-adhesive used to secure countertops to cabinets and backsplashes to countertops

Sink Reveal-3 options for sink cutouts, we always cut to the manufactures spec with their dxf file, we do not allow the customer to dictate the sink reveal: 1. zero reveal is when the countertop surface is flush with the sink, 2. positive reveal is when the countertop edge sits back from the edge of the sink exposing a small portion of the horizontal sink rim, 3. negative reveal is when the countertop extends over the top edge of the sink on all sides

Slide In Range-a range that allows the customer to have a seamless look for any backsplashes, controls are in the front of the stove with a narrow rail made out of the matching countertop material in the back

Stainless Steel Sink-a sink made of stainless steel, the most common sink product we sell

Standard Overhang-refers to the distance that the countertop extends past the face of the cabinets, standard overhang for countertops are 1 ½”

Steel Support with Gusset-support for countertops that mount to a wall, usually exterior, in most cases there are not any cabinets, an L shaped support that has a 45 degree angled support connecting each end of the L bracket, in most cases these brackets are secured to the wall

Substrate-particle board that is used under paper and plastic countertops, when moisture is introduced most substrates will harbor mold and bacteria, acts like a sponge, our countertops don’t have any wood substrates

Template-when we go to the house after the sale to capture the exact measurements for manufacturing with our $20,000 LT55 laser

Top Line of Edge Profile-the defined line where the edge transitions to the horizontal surface of the countertop, our top line is straight because of the cnc, most companies shape edge by hand, top line of the profile is wavy, looks terrible

Trim Under Overhang or High Bar-there is usually a gap under the bottom of the countertop where it meets the knee wall, we will provide trim at a cost to the customers to cover this gap

Undermount Sink-a sink that secures to the bottom of the countertop, this is the alternative to a drop in/self-rimming sink

Vessel Sink-a vanity sink that sits on top of the countertop

Water Intrusion-when a countertop surface (plastic or paper) fails and the substrate begins to absorb moisture like a sponge, harbor mold and bacteria growth and warp and swell causing delamination

Water Jet-the machine we use to cut all of our countertops, uses water and garnet to cut the stone at 60,000 psi (pounds per square inch), allows us to make intricate cuts, all sinks and other cutouts are cut with waterjet, most companies use a manual bridge saw and cut sinks with a hand grinder, their only as good as the person running the machine, hopefully they didn’t smoke their lunch, all of our cutting is done by machine and it is perfect

Water Reclamation-we recycle the water we use in our production process; most other companies just dump it in the sewer, not responsible at all, the EPA will shut them down

Waterfall Panel-a miter panel at the end of a countertop that covers the vertical end of a cabinet from the top of the countertop to the floor

Wet Polish-the process of using diamond polishing pads to make the edges of the countertops shiny, we polish with cnc, it is very consistent and perfect finish, most other companies polish by hand, this is inconsistent and usually hazy, to overcome this they use a wax to make it shine, the wax wears off over time and the customer is left with a dull edge

Zeus Clips-the mechanical anchors that we use to secure sinks to the bottom of the countertops, most other companies use epoxy or silicone, this will fail over time and the sink will fall, when the sink falls it will likely break the supply lines and p trap, resulting in a major flood