Have you ever wondered why countertops are such a difficult process to buy and install?
The short answer is that everyone has to get their mark-up on your countertop before it can actually hit your kitchen. True but reasonable. While it might sound unfair, this is a heavily guarded and complicated industry. After all, you can’t exactly make and cut granite yourself, right?
Select Your Stone: (least expensive to most expensive) Granite, Quartz, Quartzite.
- Granite and Quartzite are natural stones and therefore will have natural movement and unpredictability to them. This movement is what people love so I recommend looking at the actual slab that you are going to purchase at the stone yard.
- Quartz is an engineered stone manufactured primarily in the US out of crushed natural granite/ quartzite blended with epoxy to create an extremely predictable, durable product in different finishes. You can select your countertop from a small 3” x 3” sample and it will look exactly the same as a large slab (especially one with a solid pattern). But if you are looking at something with a large pattern or are tentative about buying a countertop without seeing the slab, I encourage you to go to the stone yard.
Pricing: The stone yard will tag the item and hold it for one week, but they will not give you pricing. They will need to know who you are using as a stone fabricator, someone who is typically local to you. You will need to have selected this stone fabricator before going to the stone yard to make sure that they get the right information. Take a photo of the slab with its tag so that it can be located again.
- The Fabricator will need a drawing of the countertops in order to give you pricing. With this drawing they need to know what kind of edge, how many finished edges, where all appliances are located and how many holes (ie. sink, faucet, cooktop) will need to be cut or drilled. It’s actually a fairly difficult drawing and important to have accurate.
- At this time they will place the countertop on the slab that you have selected to determine seams and make sure that you have the right number of slabs combined with labor for your estimate from the Fabricator.
Templating: After you have paid the deposit and signed all the waivers, the Fabricator will come to the property and template. In order to do this, the old countertop (if there is one) needs to be removed and the sink, faucet, cooktop, and layout have to be on site. They will make a template out of either wood or plastic that is the exact same size and layout of the stone countertop.
Installation: On the day of installation they will come prepared to cut stone and make on-site adjustments. It’s important to be present to make sure it is done exactly the way that you want it done. As with most things, the easiest way to install is not necessarily the best way. Make sure all the edges are finished and polished as desired, the sink and faucet is perfect, and the back will accommodate the backsplash perfectly.
Because I sell countertops, I handle all of these details for my clients. I do this often and have a strong relationship with all the tradespeople and know what can go wrong (plenty!).