Frequently Asked Questions

1. What services or products does Paragon provide?

Paragon is what is known as a Fabricator/Installer. We take slabs of stone and 'fabricate' them into various things such as countertops, backsplash, fireplace surrounds, shower walls, etc. We do not install tile but will install slab backsplash if you so choose.

2. Where do the slabs come from and does Paragon have it's own slab yard?

You can select from at least 6 different slab yards in the Fresno area. We can fax or email you this list. We do not have a slab yard because there are already over 300 color choices available in the Fresno area and we work nicely with all of the local suppliers.We do, however, have a nice selection of 'remnants' in our yard. Leftovers from other jobs that may be all you need for your bathroom vanity. Why buy a whole slab if a piece will do?

3. What is the typical size of a granite slab?

The average slab size is typically 120"long by 72" tall. We will work with you to layout the job to place as few seams as possible in a kitchen, utilizing our new laser templating method and digital layout. Seams are required based on slab size and may be needed for handling purposes as well.

4. Why should I hire a licensed and insured fabricator?

For one thing, if your fabricator doesn't have liability insurance or doesn't pay Worker's comp for his employees, if there is an accident or a problem with the installation, it falls on you to remedy the situation. Your insurance company will not cover you because you knowingly hired an unlicensed provider. Click the wordlicense below to see the status of our license at the contractor's board state license website. You can then search for other company's licenses as well.Click here to check for license.

5. Is that why there is sometimes a difference in the price between the 'pickup contractor' and a legitimate licensed contractor like Paragon?

Yes, for example, we pay over $90,000 per year for worker's comp for our employees. It's expensive to do things right!

6. Is granite a durable surface to use on countertops? I heard it will stain and scratch?

Most of the time when we examine counters that either scratch or stain, they are not granite at all. They are usually marble, travertine or limestone. Granite is the only one that contains Quartz, which is second in hardness only to diamond. It makes up apx 40% of granite slabs. All granite is also treated with an epoxy resin (glue) that is forced down into the slab's surface to fill any fissures and pits before the quarry even polishes it. We also offer a permanent sealer (15 yr guarantee)

7. Can we use marble, travertine or limestone in our kitchen?

We strongly recommend against it. All 3 of these are very susceptible to what is known as 'etching'. This is when the shine will literally be eaten away by anything it comes in contact with that is highly acidic, such as soda, fruit juice, wine, ketchup, mustard, etc. Plus it is easy to stain. At Paragon, we will allow you to put these into your kitchen but we will have you sign a disclaimer and will educate you on care and maintenance. Marble is ideal for low traffic areas such as an adult bathroom, shower surrounds, vanity tops, fireplaces and so forth.

8. Is heat a problem around granite?

Would you believe we actually use torches to dry the stone during fabrication! Granite is very heat resistant and can handle the heat associated with baking trays, pots and pans that are placed on the counter. However it is not recommended to leave a crock pot on your counter all day, since the contrast in temperature under and around it could cause the granite to crack as it is cooling due to expansion and contraction. Not likely, but possible.

9. What do I do to maintain the shiny finish?

There is very little maintenance required with granite counters. Warm soap and water for everyday clean up, or even razor blades for scraping dried on food or built-up hard water deposits from the counter. Non-oil based kitchen cleaners (no Orange Oil) and of course no abrasive cleaners. Products like 409 are OK, but no heavy ammonia sprays, etc. Your granite counter has been machined to a high shiny finish with diamond polishing pads so you can count on them being shiny for generations to come, as long as you don't layer up products that contain wax, etc.

10. I dont think I can afford this!

You may be right, but you should compare prices with other popular man-made products offered today. Although it's more expensive than tile, you can get beautiful granite for the same price as the plastic, poured and molded counters such as Corian and Formica. Granite is definitely 'The Forever Choice'.

11. Whats the difference between Corian and granite?

Corian was invented in the late 60's and was a popular replacement for tile, ridding the kitchen of grout, and because natural stone prices were so high at the time, it became very popular. Now that there is so much Granite and Marble being imported into the US, the prices are in the same range as Corian, most of the time natural stone is actually cheaper.

12. How do I know if I need to seal my granite?

One method you can use is to sprinkle some water on your countertops. If the water soaks into the stone and does not bead up, but instead slightly soaks in causing a dark area, then we would recommend resealing your granite.We are certified to install a permanent solution called Dry Treat sealer. It comes with a certificate good for 15 years which guarantees against any form of staining or discoloration. We can apply it to your tops in our shop before installation or in your home if your counters are already installed.

13. How will I know if my old cabinets can support a new countertop?

Stone countertops will weigh apx. 12 pounds per sq ft. If you are replacing tile counters, the tile is typically set on a bed of concrete which is apx 1" thick. The concrete and tile together will weigh the same or more as 2cm granite so there is no problem if your cabinets had no issues supporting tile previously.

14. Will my countertop have a seam?

We try extremely hard to avoid seams if possible, but the reality is that the majority of countertops will have a seam no matter how hard we try.How is the seam placement determined? Seams are determined by countertop layout, slab sizes, efficiency of slab use, and material size. We involve you in the decision making process by inviting you out to our showroom to do a layout after templates are made. Click Here to see a picture of the layout process.

15. Can I cut on granite?

Yes, Granite is an extremely tough, durable material and in most cases can be used as a cutting surface without fear of scratching the stone (although this may dull your knives). It is still best to use a cutting board.

16. Can I set hot pots and pans on quartz countertops?

NO, Quartz is a good product for kitchens because under normal conditions it will not burn. However, our experience has shown that the manmade elements of quartz such as the epoxy resin can discolor or scorch when overheated. Granite will not be harmed by hot pots or pans.

17. Does granite chip or scratch?

Granite is a very dense material and under normal conditions it is chip and scratch resistant. However, pots, pans and other heavy objects may chip the square edge around a sink area. This has only occured a couple times in our 15 years of existence and is easy to remedy.

18. Does granite stain?

In general, no. All stone is porous to some extent, however granite has very little porosity relative to other stones. Most granite colors will never show moisture but some colors will show a dark spot if a puddle of oil is left on the counter for a period of 30 minutes of more. The spot will eventually dry up and no evidence will show. To be safe, have Paragon seal all countertops before installation w/ our Dry Treat products for peace of mind for years to come.

19. Can granite be repaired?

In general, no. All stone is porous to some extent, however granite has very little porosity relative to other stones. Most granite colors will never show moisture but some colors will show a dark spot if a puddle of oil is left on the counter for a period of 30 minutes of more. The spot will eventually dry up and no evidence will show. To be safe, have Paragon seal all countertops before installation w/ our Dry Treat products for peace of mind for years to come.

18. Does granite stain?

It is also difficult to damage granite, however, if some damage does occur, granite can always be repaired with a mixture of custom-colored epoxy by one of our technicians.

19. Does granite have a completely smooth surface?

Granite is typically very smooth to the touch but not always. Many granites contain small pits and fissures that are naturally occurring characteristics of granite. Some have more than others, and the lighting of the room can make these marks more or less visible. These imperfections will typically be noticed during slab selection. Most of the tiny 'nicks' will run adjacent to veins and color changes. They will be filled in at the quarry with epoxy resin since most granite slabs are now treated during processing, long before they are ever shipped to the Valley. They never open up since granite is not in the process of 'curing' like concrete and the epoxy is actually harder than the stone.

20. What is the difference between 2 centimeter and 3cm thick granite slabs? And what is the most appropriate thickness for the tops?

2 centimeter thick material is apx 3/4" inch thick. 3 cm is apx 1 1/4" thick. Paragon typically uses 2 cm material because of it's ease of lifting and because we prefer to double up the edge, especially in remodels, so the 'laminate' piece hangs down and covers any damage or unstained areas the old tile may have left. Paragon can do 3 cm counters but they are so much heavier that is typically causes us to have to add more seams so that the pieces are manageable. A 2cm island may weigh 500 lbs, whereas a 3cm piece the same size will weigh 750 lbs,rendering it unliftable at your house for installation.

21. I already know how much total square footage I need. How much is your price per square foot to fabricate and install?

We prefer you to come in with a drawing or have us out to your home to measure so we can give you an accurate quotation. It only takes about 30 minutes. Things such as 'bump-outs', arches, narrow raised bar tops with edging on both long sides, etc, will cost more to fabricate per sq ft than standard 24" deep tops against a wall, so it is difficult to guess without seeing your cabinet configuration or dimensions first. However, typical prices in the valley today range from $45. per sq ft to $60 depending on these factors.

22. Why should we choose Paragon?

The Paragon family has the experience you can depend on. Our company, has been in business in the Central Valley for 15 years. All of our sales, fabrication, installation, and support staff are dedicated to customer satisfaction, and to help you with your project from start to finish. Paragon is a fully licensed, bonded, and insured company. (Ca lic # 928276) Using a licensed fabricator ensures that your countertops will be properly fabricated and installed by a contractor who is knowledgeable and experienced in the trade. There is nothing worse than thinking you are saving money by hiring a company with questionable credentials, only to have them make a mess of your job and then you have to call us to tear it out and do it over again, the right way! What have you really saved?Like we always say, 'If you don't require quality you can always hire the cheapest guy.'