Installation Day

Piracema White Slab Shower: Planning/ Timelines Part 2 of 3

Continued from Part 1 of 3: April 3rd, 2010 Click for Part 1 of 3.

After we had an understanding of Valerie’s project, we planned out the material acquisition and installation schedule.  In an ideal scenario, all material will have been purchased and warehoused at our San Leandro facility prior to project start. This will prevent any potential delays due to material acquisition.

Material Acquisition:

Walk Through: Our team need to walk through the project with the design review in mind because many details such as the outlet height, door trim thickness do not show up on the drawings.  All of these details affect how we come up with the final design of the stone.

Tile Order:

The job site walk through with the install team, our installers will need to total the quantity of  field tile and trim pieces ordered based on the pattern.  Different installation patterns require a different amount of extra tile, for straight lay we order 10% more and for offset, staggered and diagonal patterns we order 15% more.  The waste comes from the cut tile pieces.

Picking Slabs and Placing Joint and Seam Locations:

Valerie picked Piracema White (this slab varies from grey white to practically grey and green) from our local supplier, GMS Global.   After templating, we identified the slabs which best fit her shower wall dimensions.  As you can see, slab joints need to be placed artistically together. Our project manager and installer designed where the joint and seams will go prior to cutting the granite slabs.

P White Bath vanity P White Bath tub

Granite Counter and Tile Installation in Foul Weather May Cause Delays

“Rain Rain Go Away.

Come Back When It Is Not My Install Day.”


The weather such as heavy rain combined with wind can delay or prolong a tile, granite, or quartz installation. Our installers face two issues, the material getting wet and the San Francisco Bay Area traffic. I will only discuss with you the former since you all know how well we drive in bad weather.

When the guys are expecting heavy rain, our granite and tile installation teams pack their tents so they and the material are not rained on.  When the granite, quartz and plywood get wet, since it affects the drying time, cutting and worker safety.  Tile installation is affected less since the bonding material, thin set is water based unlike granite and quartz which relys on a polyurethane or silicone based adhesives.

This is a makeshift tent when my guys were cutting tile in light rain. During heavy rain, Artistic Stone’s Install teams will use the same tents as one may use for a Tail Gate Party before a football game. Go 49ers!!!


When installing in at freezing or below freezing temperature, the glue will not adhere to the granite surface because is too cold.  This a common challenge for jobs in Truckee, Tahoe or the Sierra Foothills. When installing in these conditions it takes longer than normal California weather for the glue to bond.

In our experience 90% of the rainy day jobs get installed.  We leave it to our installers descretion to decide whether they proceed or postpone. Our installers decisions is based providing you the best install and their safety since wet surfaces are slippery to walk on and counter tops are heavy(15 pounds per square foot).

If you have any specific questions or concerns, please call project manager, Dave in San Leandro about the challenges of rainy day installs.

Piracema White Slab Shower: Installation Part 3 of 3

P White shower

If you missed Part 1 and Part 2 of 3 click the links.

The total install time for Valerie’s job was about 2.5 weeks which included tile and granite installation.

The slab showers and tub surround it takes one day to install each piece. Since the material is heavy (about 15 lbs per squ ft) it will require 3 to 5 guys to maneuver the large slabs in and out of the house.  When our guys are at your home, they will make the final adjustments to fit the wall.  Typically it takes about  1 week of fabrication, before we can install the granite slabs and the counter tops.  Sometimes it is faster, however this depends on our fabrication schedule.

Installation for the shower and tub wall surrounds:

  • Install waterproofing membrane or B grade black paper.
  • Screw in cement fiberboard or blue board.
  • Install slab granite and marble.

For large showers and tub surrounds, this may take more than one day to complete.  These is the overview just no

For the counter top installation:

  • Mount and Screw Plywood
  • Mount Sink
  • Install Slab
  • Drill holes

For Tiling,

  • Level the floors with thin set or cement
  • Lay tile
  • Grout

The square footage and tile install scheme affect the total install time.

Counter Top Installation Day: Demolition Men!!!

Talk about a Dusty and Dirty job.  We should on be on “Dirty Jobs” on the Discovery Channel.  Demolition of the counters is exciting because it is the start of the  install process.  Demolition as you can see in the pictures is not a pretty sight.

Granite, Marble, Limestone, or Travertine (Natural Stone):

Granite removal is the hardest because glue bonds tightly to the plywood and sometimes does not come out as a whole piece. The other natural stones, marble, limestone and travertine are easier to break but no the glue binds equally hard to the surface.  The easiest time to remove stone is with the first 24 to 48 hours of the install because the glue has not fully bonded to the plywood deck.

Tile Counters:

Tile demolition challenges depend on whether it was installed on cement board or floated on cement.  Either way it is challenging.  In the idea world, our teams will remove entire tile sections at once. However, construction is unpredictable because we do no know what the other person did before us.

Solid Surface (Corian, Hi-Macs, Acylic( Cultured marble)

Solid surface such as Corian or acyclic is easier but not routine. The material is often broken into pieces prior to removal.

Laminate Counters:

Laminate counters is the easiest removal but can have surprises also.


  • Clear all the counters tops and backsplash area before Artistic Stone’s teams arrive.
  • Remove all the items in the lower cabinets.
  • Take down all pictures or memorabilia adjacents walls. (Vibration from demoltion will knock things down.)
  • Remove furniture, televisions or valuable which may be knocked over.

If you are replacing the backsplash, we will repair the drywall before  setting tile.  This way, we can get things as level the walls as much as possible.  It is also a code requirement.

What to expect?:

  • Noise from hammering and cutting.  We use hammers, crowbars and a reciprocating saw.
  • Walls shaking.
  • Dust staying airborne for 1 to 2 weeks.

How long will tile removal take?

It depends on your total surface area.  A normal removal will take about 1 to 3 hours.  A large demolition will take a full day.

Window Sills in Granite – Countertop replacement projects

This situation occurs mostly to tile counter top replacement projects.  About 99% of the window sills are not the same level as the countertops when we remove the tiles off counters.   This is because the tiles sit on adhesive material (thin set or cement) which was built-up to the same level as the sill.  The first picture shows how tiles are set on counter tops.

Tile counters consist of several layers.  The first layer on top of the plywood is a waterproof membrane or seen as the green laminate. The second layer is the adhesive which is commonly seen as thin set or cement.  The final layer is the tile and the grout.

Source of picture: found on Google images

The slide show below shows how we installed prefabricated granite pieces on the window sill.

window-sill window-sill-1 window-sill-2 window-sill-3

Piracema White Slab Shower: Project Overview Part 1 of 3


Valerie came to Artistic Stone knowing she wanted to update her three bathrooms in her Castro Valley canyon home.  She came into our San Leandro Showroom with drawings and worked with Helen to get a budget and the overall project time line.

In one of her master bathroom, she had a large jacuzzi tub which no one every used and she wanted to change it out to something newer.  As for the other two bathrooms, one was a shower stall and the other was a tub shower.  All in need of removing old tile or cultured marble.

Valerie’s vision was to bring in a high end spa into her home.  Helen helped her plan the installation time line with her general contractor to coordinate the city’s inspection.  We staggered the installations so only one bathroom was out of operations at a time to way minimizing the impact the remodel has on the family while living at the house.

  • Identify what you like.
  • Bring in your plans for a rough estimate.
  • Work with Artistic Stone Kitchen and Bath to get an on site measurement and project walk through. (This will give us idea of how your home is laid out and how much time it will take for us to compete the job.  The walk through will help us identify any potential installation issues.)
  • Artistic Stone will find the best sized slabs for your project to eliminate waste.
  • Receive a final estimate

Picture above:

Two  book matched piece of Paracema White granite slab were picked so the left and right pieces would mirror each other.  The shower pan was also made out of slab.  The surface was honed and then pitched 1/4 inch so the water would drain properly.

A slab shower is the truly a piece of art in your bathroom.