As a seasoned project manager for a premium natural stone countertop fabricator, I can advise you on what to look for in this life-changing acquisition. The cost of granite counters has been reduced dramatically. These luxury counters are now standard in everything from sprawling estates to the standard suburban split entry. You should have a better grasp of granite counters after reading this article.
Due to increased market rivalry, natural stone prices have dropped significantly. Using cutting-edge technology and the rise of automated fabrication have brought down prices. They last a long time and always look great.
However, doing your research before committing to a granite countertop is essential. One cannot generalize about fabricators. Big-box retailers entered the market some years ago and ate away at smaller shops’ share.
You may be wondering if it is acceptable to accept the lowest offer. Natural stone countertops are one area where the adage “you get what you pay for” rings especially true. All granites look the same, right? Each fabricator should have the same opportunity to purchase granite slabs from distributors. However, experts in this field are hard to come by.
Poor craftsmanship from other fabricators has forced my company to replace the stone tops in several homes where we have worked.
A local fabricator offers significantly lower rates than the competition. Because of their low prices, they were able to win over some of our potential clients. However, we applied the same tactics to ourselves to demonstrate our higher quality to the client. Let’s face it: some customers care simply about cost. Regarding customer satisfaction, the Better Business Bureau has given this organization an F in my area.
Most people’s primary source of wealth is their home. When constructing a new house or renovating an old one, fresh worktops are an essential component. I wouldn’t worry about saving a few hundred dollars unless you’re confident in the integrity of the cheaper fabricator.
If you don’t use a reliable company, several problems may arise during fabrication and installation. It only takes a quick search on Google for “bad granite countertop installs” to get the idea.
When choosing a fabricator, keep these points in mind:
Is the retailer’s fabrication done in-house, or is it outsourced to a company you won’t be able to contact?
2) Take a close look at the items they have on display. Pay close attention to the joints (the places where two parts meet). Do they complement the natural tones of the stone? Is their width no more than 3/32″? Is the seam almost flush (some lippage due to stone deformation is permissible)? Is the finishing on the edges uniform and straight? Keep an eye out for uneven corners and undulating edges. Remember that the pieces on display may very well be their finest efforts.
Third, look at how long the firm has been operating. Everyone needs to get their feet wet, but just as many “chop shops” opened during the housing boom of the early 2000s, so will they during this new possible housing bubble.
4) Ask if the service (not the material) comes with a guarantee.
5) Verify that clips and silicone secure the fabricator’s under-mount sinks. In my experience, some firms only utilize silicone, which leaves the sink vulnerable to breaking at any time. Sink support clips are provided and are secured with bolts (holes are drilled in the underside of the granite for this purpose).
Last but not least, strive for progress, not perfection. Granite (and other stones) will always have imperfections, and that’s part of what makes them so unique. In addition, cabinets aren’t always square or level. Installs are more challenging because walls are rarely straight. That is to say, count on excellence, but not perfection. Approximately 20 pounds per square foot, natural stone is cumbersome and challenging to work with.
These suggestions can help you make an informed decision while shopping for granite countertops. Your home would not be complete without countertops. The timeless appeal of natural stones like granite and marble makes them a wise choice for high-traffic areas like the kitchen and bathroom.