“We hand selected the materials in the kitchen on a visit to [Cereser’s] factory in Verona, Italy,” said Adam Bauer, president of Planet Granite. “The U.S. Rep. Mirco [Biasio] walked us through their factory showing me the resin treatment for Taj Mahal [quartzite]. I was impressed with the heat treatment and vacuum system used in their production line. It is simply the greatest factory I have visited.”
Bauer was also impressed that stones such as the Taj Mahal, which was used in St. Aubyn’s home, were resined and treated three times to fully penetrate the fissures. “I absolutely think it’s worth paying a dollar or two more per square foot for the higher-end materials,” he said. “Getting quality slabs is well worth it on the front end rather than the tail end in the shop.”
According to Bauer, St. Aubyn liked the look of marble for the kitchen, but wanted the functionality of granite, so he chose Taj Mahal white quartzite for the island. “On the perimeter countertop, we selected a dark granite, [Antique Brown], to contrast with the white on the island,” said St. Aubyn, adding that the Taj Mahal countertop has a 6-cm edge detail. “As we have three children under 10, the ability to keep the leathered appearance clean was important to us. Additionally, the more matte finish differentiates it from the ordinary. Both the island and the perimeter are 6 cm to give the countertop a more substantial look. We did two different edges in the kitchen. The island has an ogee over bullnose edge, while the perimeter has a more simple edge.”
According to Bauer, the client loved the contrast between the Antique Brown and the Taj Mahal, both imported from Cereser. “The attractive juxtapose of this kitchen is that the perimeter is round, circling the kitchen with the square island in contrasting color,” said Bauer. “A polished finish on the island with a quartzite gets the pragmatic use as it’s a very hard material, but they still get their leathered surface, which they loved for the remainder of the kitchen.” The same Taj Mahal quartzite was also used in the master bath and the butler’s pantry.
For the island, Planet Granite fabricated it with one of its Park Industries Fusions from Park Industries of St. Cloud, MN. To achieve the ogee and bullnose edge, the fabricator relied on one of its Park Industries Titans. “For us to cut the bullnose liner, we cut a 12-inch piece to fit on the cups,” explained Bauer. “Then depending if the material has vein flow or not, we will edge both sides, or one side. We found it more pragmatic to have substance when processing smaller pieces so we make them larger edgework, then cut the liner down to prepare for the gluing stage. My crew loves the ADI bits for the Titan. I have found and tried less expensive bits, but my team won’t let me change. We get longer life from ADI and the finished bullnose, etc.; have no lines on the final bullnose for miles.”
When cutting the radius pieces and liners on the Fusion, Bauer said it made the process much easier than before the waterjet. “Cutting big 6 cm jobs before the waterjet was 10 times more difficult,” said Bauer. “Now we simply program the liners, and they glue on there with precision fitting. We then use the wire brushes on our air-driven hand polishers to get the same factory leathering surface the slabs had. I should point out that Park Industries has played an important role in getting us the equipment to become a safe and productive shop. We have zero silica dust in our shop from all the Park equipment we invested in and can now produce a much larger volume while not sacrificing quality or safety.”
For the sink vanity in the powder room, St. Aubyn chose Galaxy Black granite from Cereser, with a polished chiseled edge. The granite is complemented by an onyx sink that is recessed into the granite and under lit. Planet Granite chiseled the top of the Galaxy Black granite and then polished that chisel — giving it a chiseled/polish look. “We put an onyx vessel in with a light underneath for translucence,” said Bauer. “I liked to claim this edgework because I made it up one day, but I’m sure plenty of fabricators are rocking the polished chisel.”
The downstairs bar and countertop in the movie theater feature Toureg granite from Brothers in Granite of Brazil, with a 6-cm chiseled edge. “In the bar area, we chose something with a little more flair since this is an area meant for entertaining and fun,” said St. Aubyn. “The Toureg granite has a lot of movement and sparkle, which we liked for that area. This countertop is again, 6 cm, and we chose a chiseled edge for a more informal look.” St. Aubyn also liked the movement in the Golden Sparkles granite from M S International Inc., located in Orange County, CA, and used it for the hearth in the bedroom as well as the gym area.
Finally, the countertop in the laundry room was fabricated from Absolute Black Supreme granite, which was purchased from a local supplier, Stone Collections. “The laundry and craft room uses a simple Absolute Black Supreme granite with a bullnose edge,” said St. Aubyn. “We chose this for a functional granite that is used for projects and crafts.”
Planet Granite used two crews to install all of the stone for this project. “By now the installers are so smooth with such an insane task that I’m usually just taken back on how efficient we have become,” said Bauer. “Back in 1999, I used to roll up to houses and had to pay the concrete guys to help me get an island that big into a house, and it was always so sketchy. Now with mobile slab movers, glass racks and seasoned guys, we just nail it quickly and efficiently.”
According to St. Aubyn, the whole process done by Planet Granite was seamless. “Planet Granite took a lot of care and time to make the granite perfect, and gave much attention to detail in the process,” said. St. Aubyn. “As we have built several homes, we had a general idea what we were looking for, but Adam and the entire Planet Granite staff were able to make our vision a reality.”
Builder/Homeowner: Jared St. Aubyn
Stone Fabricator/Installer: Planet Granite, Colorado Springs, CO
Stone Suppliers: Cereser, Verona, Italy (Taj Mahal quartzite, Antique Brown granite); Brothers in Granite, Brazil (Toureg granite); M S International Inc., Orange County, CA (Golden Sparkles granite); Stone Collections (Absolute Black Supreme granite)