Granite Countertop Material Available for Home Kitchens

Question: We are remodeling our kitchen and would like to have granite countertops. Here in Visalia, Calif. I have been unable to find a source. I would like to use granite for the look as well as its toughness. It was used in a kitchen in the July, 1985 issues of House Beautiful magazine.

Answer: Be prepared to spend plenty of money for the countertops! According to Bob Papasian of Bedrosian Building Supplies, 4285 N. Motel Drive, Fresno 92711, granite is perhaps the most premium of premium countertop materials and it's priced accordingly.

Bedrosian is probably the closest supplier to you. Papasian said that when you call Bedrosian, be sure to ask for Gary, Larry or Bob.

According to one of my favorite books on kitchen design, "Advanced Kitchens" (James E. Russell, Creative Homeowner Press, 1981), granite for countertops must be installed in sections consisting of one seamless piece. This means that proper strengthening of base cabinets must be done to support the weight of the granite.

It also may mean that that your base cabinets and drawer sections will be "quite narrow because the run will be interrupted every foot or so by front-to-back dividers that support the countertop."

The book classes granite with slate, saying that granite is the more expensive of the two, "but it will withstand heat, moisture, stains and scratches better. It also can take a high polish; slate cannot."

Lois May, director of design at Maybrik in Los Angeles, likes the look of granite for a luxury kitchen.

She supplied me with the Fresno source and suggested that anyone interested in granite countertops should check Yellow Pages listings for "Marble-Natural." Marble and granite are usually sold by the same firm.

Los Angeles residents--and those who visit here--can see granite countertops at California Kitchens, 2305 W. Alameda Ave., Burbank--across the street from the Disney studios--and Kitchen Gallery, 466 N. Robertson Blvd., Beverly Hills. Both tops were installed by United Marble & Granite, 1782 N. Main St., Los Angeles. Sol Vicari of the firm said that the countertop at California Kitchens would cost about $3,000 to duplicate.

IN THE MAIL: Ruth Chady of Canoga Park suggests the use of tung oil for keeping brass and copper from tarnishing (July 28, 1985). "I don't like the yellowish-orange cast that lacquer coating gives to brass and copper," she wrote. Thanks for the suggestion, Ruth.

Dale Baldwin will answer remodeling questions of general interest on this page. Send your questions to Home Improvement, Real Estate Department, Los Angeles Times, Times Mirror Square, Los Angeles 90053. Baldwin cannot answer questions individually. Snapshots of successful do-it-yourself projects may be submitted but cannot be returned.

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