"The stone was chosen for its veining characteristics," said Susan Tuller, president of Gerrity Stone Inc., the stone fabricator and installer for the project. "This granite has a 'flowed' look to it. It shows movement in the stone. The customers were also looking for some variety, and in the kitchen, they loved the black and gray base with the red movement because it complemented the cherry [wood] cabinets." The stone was imported by Liberty Granite of Stoughton, MA, and distributed locally by Black Bear Granite of Woburn, MA.
The kitchen in the condominium wasn't very spacious, according to Tuller. "They had a very small space," she said. "So, they wanted to use Paradiso Classico because it made the space look bigger. For instance, the Paradiso Classico countertop is very flat looking and gives the illusion that the room is larger. A black countertop would have confined the space."
The owners considered other granites as well, including a Brazilian granite and a granite from Canada. "The country of origin didn't have as much to do with it as the color, the shine and the flow of the pattern," said Tuller.
In total, 35 square feet of granite with a 1 1?inch thickness was used in the renovation. A straight polished edge detail was given to the countertop, according to Tuller. "We chose this in order to coordinate with the lines of the cabinet style," she said. "It's a 90-degree angle, with the top portion of the edge just being softened. It's also known as an eased edge."
Although it has occasionally been popular to mix two different stones in an application today by using one stone for the island and another for the countertop, the owners only wanted to use the Paradiso Classico alone, explained Tuller. "The kitchen is very small, and they didn't have enough stone in it," said the fabricator. "It wouldn't have complemented it at all because the project was a smaller scale."
The installation of the stonework took only two weeks. "Because Black Bear Granite carries over 120 different stones - over 4,000 slabs - they had the material in stock when the customers came to choose the exact slabs," said Tuller. "They were able to hand select them. Gerrity Stone is able to produce 10 jobs per day. That's a quick turnaround time in our industry."
According to Tuller, the biggest challenge they faced was in the structure of the Boston condominium. "It was an old renovated building that had no elevators, and the kitchen was on the fourth floor," she said. "The island alone was 25 square feet, and it was all in one piece. So, the trick was to get the 8-foot-long pieces for the island and the countertop up the stairs and around the corners without damaging the walls or the granite. The island took six men to carry up the stairs and maneuver around the walls and stairwells, but it did go up in one piece with no damage."
Once the granite was in the building, the final field cuts were made. "One of the pieces has a cooktop in it, and we actually cut the cooktop out on site to ensure that the piece wouldn't break," said Tuller. Once the two pieces were installed, they measured for the full backsplash to ensure that it would sit directly on the horizontal piece of granite and run vertically up to the bottom of the upper cabinets. "That's to ensure that there are no gaps or wall space showing, and that's usually what's preferred," said Tuller. "People usually want it to run from granite countertop to base cabinets and it provides a very rich look. Since the stone has a very strong texture, you weren't overwhelmed because it was only on one wall."
According to Tuller, the response to the project has been phenomenal. Gerrity Stone had professional photographs taken of the kitchen and the image was painted on the side of one of their installation trucks. "And we've gotten a dozen calls about how beautiful the stone was, but specifically requesting the name of the stone."
South Boston, MA
Stone Supplier: Liberty Granite, Stoughton, MA
Local Distributor: Black Bear Granite, Woburn, MA
Stone Fabricator/Installer: Gerrity Stone Inc., Woburn, MA