Congratulations on looking for a stone kitchen or bathroom! This booklet is designed to help you find the perfect kitchen or vanity benchtop and to get it installed properly.
While you will find some information about the different varieties of stone, I only cover this briefly. (In a personal consultation I am better able to learn about your individual tastes.) Instead, much of this guide focuses on installing your benchtop. Many people don't think it makes any difference who they get to install their beautiful new benchtop. Unfortunately . . .
80% of people are dissatisfied with the quality of workmanship on installation!
Why is that?
Well, you've heard about the shortage of skilled tradesmen. This is much worse in the stone industry. The labour market was not ready for the surge in demand for stone. As a result, many totally unqualified 'backyard' operators have got involved in installing stone kitchens and bathrooms . . . with disastrous results.
In addition, many consumers don't know how to look after their benchtop after it is installed.
It breaks my heart to see a beautiful piece of stone that someone invested thousands of dollars to acquire badly installed or suffering totally preventable wear and tear. I worry that it will damage my industry's reputation.
That's why I wrote this Consumer Guide.
I want to raise industry standards by increasing consumer awareness. To equip and empower you with all the information you need to get your stone kitchen or bathroom installed properly and keep it looking fantastic for decades!
And I want to show you how to get great value for money. You see, if you know what to look for, getting a quality job needn't cost much more than a dodgy one!
So, Who am I? Why should you listen to me?
I'm Ethem Deniz Comlekcioglu, a partner at KAY Stone Australia. Our team has a combined stonemasonry experience of over 25 years in both Australia and Europe. We have been privileged to win an HIA Home Award for our workmanship and to become the recommended installer for Mitre 10 VIC Image stores.
A family tradition
To understand the standard we hold ourselves to, you need to understand a bit about our background. My family is from Turkey where stonemasonry is a revered art. (Did you know Turkey holds 60% of the world's marble reserves?)
In Turkey, becoming a qualified stonemason requires a 5-year course and then a further three years supervision . . . and there is a strict entrance exam to even get in. (My father argues this still isn't rigorous enough, he believes you can't become a competent stonemason in under 10 years.) Standards are set high with good reason. . . working with stone is very unforgiving. One mistake and you're up for a new benchtop or an ugly patch up job. There is much, much more to fitting kitchen or bathroom benchtops than meets the eye . . . as you will find out in the section "5 Costly Misconceptions About Stone Benchtop Installation"
A lifetime of secrets – revealed!
Anyway, with stonemasonry as the family business, I've lived and breathed it my whole life. Over this time I've learnt a ton of tips, tricks and techniques to help you steer clear of the "nightmare installations" I see week after week. I'm going to share these 'insider secrets' with you right here in this guide!