Benson Stone Company | 1100 11th Street Rockford, IL 61104 | 815.227.2000

Project Guide: New Granite Countertops Made Easy

kitchen design with island, quartz countertop, and subway tile backsplash

Benson Stone Co. makes the process of installing new granite countertops as easy as possible. We’ve created his handy guide, detailing what to expect throughout your project. It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3…

1. Quotation & Material Selection

A simple drawing and measurements are all we need to provide you with a reasonably accurate estimate for your new granite countertops. Measure the width, length, and depth of the countertops, and make a rough sketch of your kitchen layout. Mark which edges are exposed, which are against walls, and whether you want backsplash on those walls. Also note the location and sizes of the sink and cooking surface. The price quoted will be subject to change after templating, depending upon final measurements and material selections. The more detailed your drawing, the more accurate your initial estimate will be.

Helping you choose the right material is one of our specialties. Our knowledgeable staff is always ready to guide you through the selection process with helpful design advice. Also, our showroom is filled with granite samples, along with 10 fully decorated kitchen displays showing a variety of granite and quartz tops.

One of the best things about choosing granite from Benson’s is that most of our customers are able to select their granite right here, from in-stock slabs. Our warehouse showroom is filled with all of our popular colors, including many one-of-a-kind exotic slabs from around the world. You can also browse a variety of our stone slabs here on our website, including granite, quartz, quartzite, marble, and soapstone.

planning the edge of new granite countertops

2. The Template

What is the template?

A template is an exact pattern of your kitchen, ensuring a precise fit for your custom countertops. A template crew will come to your home and, using a highly accurate laser, they will record an exact pattern of your tops directly into a digital computer file. The Drafting Department uses that digital file to finalize the exact cuts for your new tops. This process begins immediately, so it is imperative we have all of the details about your job in advance of the template.

Scheduling a Template

Once you’ve received an estimate and made your final decision, we will complete some paperwork consisting of:
     Signed job contract showing the details of your job
     Detailed terms and conditions of the sale
     50% deposit
The measuring for your countertops will occur Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. A responsible party (decision maker) must be on-site to confirm all the project details. Any changes made to the job after templating may delay installation and could result in additional charges. To avoid any additional trip charges, please give us at least 24 hours notice if your job is not ready for templating at the scheduled time. Cabinets that sit directly on your countertops (e.g. appliance garages, bread boxes, etc.) should be on-site, but not installed prior to template.

Pre-Template Checklist

Before crew arrives to measure your countertops, please use this checklist to make sure everything is ready.
     Countertops of work area must be cleared
     The sink and faucet must be present for measuring to occur
     Have cooktop slide-in or freestanding range on-site
     Cabinets must be fully installed and level

Adjustments to Quoted Price

Any differences that occur between your quoted countertop and the actual templated countertop may result in an adjustment to your quoted price. Also, your job may be placed on hold pending a signed “Change Order”. Any issues need to be addressed within 24 hours in order to retain your original installation date. If the issues are not addressed promptly, the installation could be delayed.

IMPORTANT: All appliances that will be placed in the countertop (including sink, faucet, cooktop, downdraft, and accessories) must be on site at time of templating. Other appliances, including dishwashers and refrigerators, should be on site to ensure proper countertop measurement.


Granite countertops can overhang cabinets approximately 10 inches without needing additional support. Corbels or steel supports may be required where countertops extend beyond that distance. Benson’s is able to supply and install steel support brackets in many of these situations. See your salesperson for details. All other supporting structures (e.g. cabinets, columns, pedestals, etc.) must be installed prior to the time of templating.

A Word About Seams in Your Granite Countertops

There are many factors that go into determining seam locations, such as:
     Manufacturers requirements and recommendations
     Grain direction or “movement” in the granite
     Actual slab size of the stone chosen
     Layout of the project
     Fabrication requirements and restrictions

We exercise great care in having as few seams as possible, and in making those seams as inconspicuous as possible. Stone seams will be visible and noticeable to the touch. However, at Benson’s we slightly bevel and polish the top edges of each joint to remove any roughness. A precision clamping device draws the joint as tight as possible and aligns the top edges for a flush fit along the entire joint. The small amount of epoxy that remains visible in the joint is color matched to the granite. All these extra steps (neglected by many fabricators) make our joints smooth, clean, and attractive. Input from the customer on seam placement is welcomed, and Benson’s will attempt to accommodate those wishes wherever possible. However, final placement of the seams in your new granite countertops is at the discretion of Benson Stone Co.

granite countertop with under mount sink hole

A Word About Sinks

The standard edge treatment at undermount sinks is an Eased Edge. The edge of the granite will overhang the inside edge of the sink between 1/8” and 1/4”. Any variation of these standard treatments must be noted on the signed contract.

The Granite Countertop Manufacturing Process

With today’s technology, your granite countertops are put into production very quickly. Portions of the manufacturing process are done with high-tech equipment, and other parts are hand-worked by our talented craftsmen. Our state-of-the-art computer controlled equipment produces accurately dimensioned granite tops with smooth consistent edge profiles, avoiding the wavy ripples seen with hand-produced edges. Skilled craftsmen, using hand tooling, put the finishing touches on every piece before it is complete.

fabricator polishing granite countertops in the benson stone co shop

Removing Existing/Old Countertops

Benson Stone Co. can remove your old countertops and dispose of them, or you can handle the removal yourself. If you purchase countertop removal service from us, we will remove and haul away your old countertops. Our standard fee is based on removing laminate tops. Please advise us if you have any other type of countertop. We do not tear-out, remove, or dispose of appliances, cabinets, etc.

If we are removing your existing countertops, you will need to have the cooktop disconnected prior to our arrival. We are not responsible for any gas, plumbing, or electrical work required to complete the installation of your new countertops, unless contracted to do so. Rarely, unforeseen conditions arise during tear-out that may result in additional charges. You will be notified immediately if this occurs. Benson’s does not provide any additional labor needed to repair your cabinets or walls.

If you have existing countertops, and have not contracted with Benson Stone Co. for removal, please be sure to have all work completed prior to our arrival for new countertop installation.

worker using a level for granite countertop installation

3. Granite Countertop Installation

Installation of your granite countertops is done Monday through Friday during normal business hours. If, for any reason, you need to cancel your scheduled installation appointment, please give three days notice so we can reschedule quickly and efficiently. As with the template, the responsible party must be on-site at the time of installation to sign off on completion and to make final payment for the job.

Most installations are completed within 4-8 hours. However, a second date may be needed to complete countertop installation on jobs where full height backsplash is ordered. Standard procedure for jobs with full height backsplashes is to template them after the countertop decks are installed. We will then return on a second date to install the remaining splashes.

Pre-Installation Checklist

     Old countertops must be removed unless your contract includes removal
     All sinks, faucets, and appliances must be on-site
     Have cooktop/downdraft, slide-in or freestanding range on site
     Confirm that sink and cooktop fit within the base cabinet
     Items in lower cabinets removed to protect them from dust and debris
     Cabinets and kitchen floor must be clear of boxes, lumber, and other construction debris
     Schedule your plumber and electrician to reconnect plumbing, gas, and electrical, the next day.*

*If you have contracted this service with Benson’s, we will handle the scheduling. You may be without a sink for up to 48 hours.

White granite countertops in a kitchen


Protecting your belongings

  1. Clear or cover all items from within the lower cabinets
  2. Please take appropriate measures to protect any sensitive items
  3. Remove or protect items in areas adjacent to the work area
  4. Please have your pets tucked safely away

The installation of your countertops may generate dust. We will try to contain the dust in a reasonable fashion. Also, during installation, the installers will require clear and easy access from the driveway or street to the project area.

Dishwasher Attachment

Dishwasher must be in place. Most modern dishwashers can be attached to the cabinetry rather than the countertop. Your plumber can take care of that when he hooks up your dishwasher. If the dishwasher must be mounted onto the countertop, Benson’s will attach it for you, provided the dishwasher is on-site at the time of countertop installation.

Paint Touch Up

Keep in mind, this is a construction or renovation project, and it usually involves moving large and heavy materials within your home. Occasionally, although rarely, minor marks may occur on walls, especially around the backsplash area. You should be aware of this possibility, and be prepared to spackle or touch up your paint.

Thank you for the opportunity to work with you. We hope that you will enjoy your granite for years to come!