Once you decided to upgrade your kitchen or bath with new granite or quartz countertops, the next step it to pick a granite company. Whether you rely on referrals from friends or family, choose a company who sent you a flyer in the mail, or find a fabricator online, you’ll need to evaluate their trustworthiness and quality.
There are a few different types of companies that sell and install granite countertops. How do you know which is right for you?
Here’s a quick overview of the four main types of companies you will encounter when you start looking for granite:
Getting Granite from Big Box Stores
Big-box home improvement stores like Home Depot or Lowes sell granite, marble and quartz installation services. Almost every home-owner has used these stores for parts and tools, so it’s often a first stop on the granite search.
Many people choose to purchase their counters from big-box stores are that they are well-known brands, offer warranties, and will presumable be there to address any issues or concerns if they arise. In other words, you don’t have to worry about their legitimacy.
These stores offer promotions time to time and often offer bundle discounts cabinets, countertops, and home appliances together. They may also offer financing on the countertops purchase, so that you can get your countertops now and pay later.
However, believe it or not, big-box stores are quite often more expensive than local small-business fabricators because they don’t do any of the fabrication and installation in-house; they outsource all their work to local fabrication companies.
By and large, the sales people at the big-box stores are not stone experts. They may not be able to answer all your questions or offer unique solutions for complex custom kitchen countertops. Even when they are friendly and doing their best, they just know enough basic sales information to close the deal and give your specs to the subcontracted companies that will actually do the cutting and installing.
Granite from your Cabinet Supplier
A lot of cabinet companies provide granite options for their clients. If you buy your granite from the folks who are installing your cabinets, you get the advantage of one stop shopping. Cabinet designers will also have more skill in matching cabinets and countertops.
But again these companies all get their countertops fabricated and installed by a subcontracted fabrication shop. More middle layers costs more to the end user and less expertise available when you are making important decisions.
Granite supplied by the Remodeling contractor
General contractors and remodelers usually have relationships with one or two granite fabricators. This lets them make a bit more money while offering their clients an extra service. It relieves the home owner having to find a reputable fabricator themselves. Quality standards and scheduling all get taken care of by the contractor. If you trust your contractor, this can be a good way to go, but again, the more layers to the process, the higher end cost for the client.
Purchasing directly from a local Granite Fabricator
These day, the abundance of information and reviews online makes it easy for home owners to purchase granite or quartz countertops directly from local stone fabricator. By going right to the source, you have the opportunity to research their reputation online and check out their facilities and stone quality in person.
By buying your granite from a local company who focuses on just that service, you’ll be able to discuss all the details of the job including seam areas and project layout with the people who will actually be doing the work.
But cutting out the middle-men, your bottom-line price will be less than all the other options, and you can directly contact the stone fabricator if any issues or concerns arise.
There are many reputable fabricators, often members of Marble Institute of America, who practice best standards of stone industry and ethical practices.