Countertop FAQ

How may we help? At Pius we are always willing to help, which is why we’ve compiled this list of frequently asked questions for your countertop purchase and installation. Get your answer quickly by searching the questions below.

Q: What is your process for receiving a quote for a kitchen/bath remodeling project for one or both of the following materials: cabinets and countertops?

A: We suggest that customers stop by any of our showroom locations and take a look at our cabinet and stone inventory styles/selection. If you would like to receive an estimate you can either email the following information to general@piuskb.com or give it to us when you visit our showroom. Please note all of the following:

  • Remodel measurements (include the centerline for any plumbing/ductwork, placement of electrical sockets, the width of any obstructions or pass-throughs such as windows and doors as well as their relative placement, ceiling height, existing appliances)
  • Appliance specs if you are replacing your current appliances
  • Pictures to note of any existing soffits, appliance placement, etc.

Your current layout is not necessary, but it’s definitely helpful and a list of the changes you want is also helpful to move the process along.

Q: What is your countertop stone selection policy?

A: When purchasing a natural stone or manufactured quartz countertop there will be inherent variations in color/shading/patterning in the material. Therefore each slab will be different. We do offer the courtesy of letting customers select their countertop slabs on the day of install with their installers. If he/she is unable to choose their slabs on the day of install, the slabs will then be chosen for the customer by a Pius professional.

Q: Why does the showroom slab differ from the warehouse selection? Do you sell the showroom slab?

A: Showroom slabs can differ from what shipments we receive in our warehouse for a number of reasons. Pius makes it easy to know when stone selection is recommended with a low, medium and high variation rating on each showroom slab. Natural stone or manufactured quartz countertops that have inherent variations in color/shade/patterning in the products. Therefore each slab will be different. We will only be able to sell showroom slabs if inventory is low however, showroom slabs will be sold as is with no returns.

Q: I live in a condo/apartment, will you still be able to install our countertops?

A: In the instance that a job-site cannot provide adequate working space for our countertop installers, we are able to template the countertop space and cut materials off site. In most cases, installers will need to schedule a day to template and then return on a separate date for the actual installation of materials. Depending on the location of the jobsite additional trip charges may occur. Customers are also responsible for checking if there are any HOA restrictions, provide access codes and communicate any other restriction to Pius Kitchen and Bath before the day of installation.

Q: Will Pius do any plumbing? What is included in a “sink cut-out?”

A: Pius Kitchen and Bath is not responsible for any plumbing work, electrical work, wall repair, or any additional work service not included in the final invoice. We suggest letting your countertops rest and harden for 24-48 hours after installation to begin plumbing work.

The sink hole cut-out includes the hole for the sink itself (sink must be on site on day of installation) and the faucet holes. The faucet must also be on site on the day of installation as any return trips will incur additional trips charge costs.

Q: Will Pius Kitchen and Bath apply my sealant?

A: Pius Kitchen and Bath does not offer sealing countertops as a service; this is because we do one-day installations.We recommend our clients wait 24-48 hours after installation before sealing your natural stone countertops as materials need to rest and harden. Pius also sells a variety of GranQuartz brand sealants, making it easy to know what should be used. Pius representatives will be happy to recommend the right sealant for your particular stone and natural stones should be sealed once a year.

Q: What are fissures?

A: A fissure is defined by the American Geological Institute as, “An extensive crack, break, or fracture in the rock, which may contain mineral-bearing material.” A fissure differs from a crack in that it is a naturally occurring feature in the stone that may be found in other areas of the same slab or other slabs of the same material.

If you notice a fissure in a certain area, more than likely there will be other areas in your granite countertops that contain fissures as well. Remember to keep in mind that granite is a product of nature. While markings, veining, pitting, and fissures are common, they do not affect the quality of the stone. These are not defects rather the characteristics that are inherent to natural stones.

Q: What is veining?

A: Granite is a metamorphic rock. Veining in natural stone happens because of the minerals found in the earth at the time of formation. Impurities such as iron ore, and other minerals create different colors of veins, as well as adds to the natural beauty of the stone. Natural stone with veining is popular because of its uniqueness and the look of a natural color flow throughout the natural stone.

Q: Does granite emit radon gases?

A: All natural stones contain a small amount of radioactivity because of the minerals that are in them, elements like uranium, thorium and potassium. Radiation is all around us, an average countertop contains less than that of outside air. Radon is in the air we breathe, the water we drink and in the soil we stand on. Compared to other sources the radon from natural stone counter tops are practically non-existent. For more information you may contact the Marble Institute of America. www.Mable-institute.com

Q: Do you charge for installation of backsplash?

A: There will not be an additional amount for the labor of installing the matching 4” backsplash however, if the customer decides to forgo using the matching 4” backsplash the labor costs will remain the same. *Pius Kitchen and Bath cannot install mosaic, glass or tile backsplash.

Q: Will natural stone/manufactured quartz chip, stain or scratch?

A: Chipping- Natural /manufactured stone will not chip unless you are heavily abusing your counter top with excessive force (standing on your countertop is never recommended). Depending on the stone, the most prone areas for chipping would be any 90 degree edges, areas around the sink or square edges. Chipping is not covered under warranty and most can be repaired. Keep any chipped pieces if possible and see the care and maintenance tab of chip repair recommendations.

Staining- Spills should be addressed as quickly as possible. Blot the spill the spill with a paper towel to help keep the spill contained. After blotting, flush with clean water and mild soap. Dry the area thoroughly with a soft cloth and repeat as necessary.

Scratching- Our natural stones/manufactured quartz are designed to withstand a high amount of protection against scratching. However, our natural stone/manufactured quartz is not indestructible. You may cutting bread and foods directly on the surface, but it is not recommended and one should always use a cutting board.

Q: Can I put a hot pans on my quartz?

We highly suggest a hot pad or trivet when setting down hot objects. Direct contact with extremely high heat can cause damage/discoloration to your quartz surface.

Q: Will Pius perform demolition of my existing countertops?

A: Pius does not perform demolition or install countertop underlayment/support unless explicitly expressed and charged in the final invoice. If Pius performs demolition, there may be unforeseen wall repair and/or additional labor to restore kitchen; Pius is not responsible for any additional costs/delays incurred by customer.

Q: Do I need my appliances onsite on the day of my countertop installation?

A: Yes and no. These following appliances must be on-site on the day of installation: any third-party sinks, cook-tops or slide-in ranges, and downdraft ventilation.

The following appliances must be removed from the kitchen on the day of installation or risk potential damage from the subcontractors installing countertops: stoves, dishwashers, and any refrigerators directly adjacent to countertops.  

For clients purchasing 3CM material, the client is responsible for purchasing and installing any necessary dishwasher mounting brackets prior to installation. Pius will not mount any dishwasher, or adjust the height of any stove due to the possible impact on the countertop installation post installation.

Q: Will Pius caulk my backsplash?

A: Site conditions rarely feature square and/or warped walls due to regular construction settling. Backsplash and paint-grade caulking will be required to cover any gaps between the drywall and countertop material. Pius will not perform nor is Pius responsible for any caulking.

Q: When will I need additional overhang support?

A:  If any section of your countertop will overhang the cabinets, consider how you will support this area. Overhangs of 6 to 12 inches are possible without bracing, depending on the material, but anything over 12 inches will need additional overhang support. Pius Kitchen and Bath does not supply customers with overhang support and this must be purchased at a third party company.

Q: Will my countertop have visible seams?

A: Most countertop installations will require at least one or more joints also known as seams. During the layout and design we will try to minimize seams required. With that said, our care in manufacturing ensures that edges fit together very tightly to help lessen the appearance of visible seams. You will however be able to see and feel all seams.

Q:What is the difference between a mitered seam and a butt-joint seam?

A: A mitered seam is a joint made by beveling each of two parts to be joined, usually at a 45° angle, to form a corner, usually a 90° angle. Mitered seams are required for quartzite materials that have horizontal veining. A butt-joint seam is the most common countertop seam in installations and is defined as a seam that in which two pieces of countertops are joined by simply placing their ends together without any special shaping.

Q: What does your Quartz consist of?

A:  Our Quartz is comprised of 90-93% Quartz and 7-10% resin depending on the stone as these percentages are of weight. These are the numbers our manufacturer has given us and we do not have specific numbers for each variation.

Q: Will you deliver my stone if Pius is not installing my countertops?

A: No, Pius is unable to deliver countertop materials to customers who are not also having Pius install their countertops.

Q: Will you measure my space for me?

A: Because we charge per 9’ slab, we typically can bid with high accuracy with just rough measurements and clear indications for finished edges; also our subcontractors install on-site therefore making the appropriate adjustments to any measurements during the day of installation. Therefore, If a customer is only purchasing countertops Pius will not come to measure your space; if you intend to purchase cabinetry we do offer a measurement service for a non-refundable $150.00 deposit that will be applied to the final invoice (depending on the product line you purchase). Please see the cabinet FAQ for more information regarding cabinets and cabinet measurements.

Q: Do you have stones samples?

A: Pius kitchen and Bath does offer stone small stone samples.

Q: When will my installers arrive on the day of install?

A: Pius installers will arrive on the day of installation between 11:00am-1:00pm. Client must also understand that there are acts of nature or circumstances that prohibit installation, i.e., snow or accident, and installation may be rescheduled to next possible date.

Q: I have a contractor. Can I use their resale certificate/get contractor pricing? 

A: No, resale certificates cannot be used unless the customer purchasing is the certificate holder. While we do offer unbeatable prices to all customers, customers without resale permits do not receive contractor pricing.

Q: Why does the showroom slab differ from the warehouse selection? Do you sell the showroom slab?

A: Natural and manufactured stones countertops have inherent variations in color/shade/patterning in the products. Therefore each slab will be different and this is not something Pius professionals can control. Our Pius professionals will help choose stones that flow well together to the best of their ability however, it is the client’s duty to inspect the slab prior to installation.

Q: Do you sell your slabs by the square foot? Do I have to purchase a full slab?

A: Pius does not sell slabs by the square foot rather by pre-fabricated slabs. You must purchase a full slab as we do not sell by the square foot. We do offer customers with smaller jobs (such as a bathroom vanity) the option of purchasing remnant material however these pieces are sold as is and final sale with no returns.

Q: What does pre-fabricated mean?

A: Pre-fabricated slabs come from our manufacturer pre-cut to fit our standard kitchen and bathroom cabinets as well as wider pre-edged pieces to accommodate bar tops, breakfast nooks, islands and peninsulas. The pieces come pre-cut with finished/polished edges (slab sizes will determine finished edges), which in-turn saves our customers on fabrication cost and time.

Q: Why is plywood sub-top necessary for 2CM materials?

A: It is necessary to have plywood reinforcement under your 2CM countertops because it offers additional support as well as raises the countertop to the standard counter height.

Q: Will Pius service my area? I live in Arlington.

A: We do offer installation for customers who live outside of Seattle proper with an additional long distance fee. Please speak to a sales associate for more information.

Q: I live in Arlington; can Pius fabricate my slabs and I pick up to install myself?

A: No, unfortunately we do not offer fabrication services unless we are installing materials.

Q: I’m doing the plywood sub-top myself, do I need to have the sink cut-out done? Also I have an overhang, how much overhang do I need on the sub-top?

A: Yes, customers choosing to install their own sub-top must have the cook-top/sink cut-outs done before installation. For 26″ slabs the plywood should be 24″ deep or flush with the cabinetry frame. As for island slabs that are 36″ the sub-top would need to be 33″ and finally for 52″ slabs the plywood sub-top would need to be 48″.

Q: Am I responsible for having the levelness of my bar-tops/countertops or will Pius countertop installers make this level for me?

A: Pius professionals are not be responsible for ensuring the customers cabinets, bar-tops or countertops are level before installing the countertop material. The customer must ensure the surface is level before installers arrive.

Q: I have a contractor. Can I use their resale certificate/get contractor pricing? 

A: No, resale certificates cannot be used unless the customer purchasing is the certificate holder. While we do offer unbeatable prices to all customers, customers without resale permits do not receive contractor pricing.

Q: How does my kitchen sink attach?

A: Our Pius installer will install 2CM and 3CM undermount sinks and have different techniques for each countertop thickness. For 2CM undermount sinks the customer will need to indicate the reveal they would like either positive, negative or zero.

2CM- If the customer has an undermount sink usually the outer lip protrudes about 1”-1”1/2 out. This gives the home owner the opportunity to decide the reveal they would like. Once the customer has decided on a reveal, the 2CM undermount sink installation requires the installer to cut the plywood reinforcement so that the sink lip will rest on the plywood. The installer will then seal where the sink and the countertop meet using a silicone caulk.

3CM- 2”x4” pieces are attached to the frame of the cabinet running front to back one on each side. The sink will fit between the two 2”x4” pieces and the sink lip will rest on the 2”x4”’s. The installer will use silicone caulk to caulk around the inside of the sink where the countertop and sink meet just like the 2CM slab.

Q: Are there ADA restrictions to the depth of the sink?

A: Yes, 6” is the max depth of a ADA-complaint sink, and you must account for the additional height contributed by the thickness of the slab. We can special order UO301 18G sink 5 ½” H if needed for the customer. Please make your sales associate aware of this during your ordering process as if sinks are not on site during installation additional trip chargers will be incurred.

Q: What to do if they have cracked vitreous china sinks?

A:Unless provided by a 3rd party manufacturer, Pius does not carry any manufacturer warranties on our products.  The client is ultimately responsible for checking/inspecting the job after it is done.  Our install teams have to have 5 plus years experience in order to work for Pius. Installers are trained to spot these kinds of imperfections. In the instance something is damaged during install we require our contractors to alert Pius and have the item replaced. If a customer cracks or damages the sink themselves customer must be aware that this will incur additional labor and material costs.

Q: What to do if the sink is “detaching”?

A: With time sinks will need to be resealed to ensure the small opening between the counter and sink says air tight to prevent water damage to drywall and cabinetry. Pius recommends doing this once a year along with sealing your natural stone countertop. One good indication is if the sealant is turning black it’s time to reseal. This will be standard maintenance required by the customer. If your sink is “detaching” at a noticeable rate and your installation date was less than 6 months ago please contact a customer care representative as soon as possible.

Q: I had emergency come up, how do I reschedule?

A: Please call 206.382.6638 and speak to our scheduling coordinator as soon as you’re aware of needing to reschedule. We will try to accommodate a new installation date for you as soon as possible however, customers must be flexible.

Q: Why are they cutting other people’s slabs on my property?

A: If Pius is installing a smaller slab job consisting of two (2) slabs or less installers will have multiple small jobs assigned to them that day. Your sales associate will go over the possibility of having contractors cut another job while installing your slabs as well. This will be by approval only.