For business or home we stand alone on budget and time.
1. Create a layout plan
Create a rough sketch of your kitchen countertops. (Accurate measurements are not critical at this point, just do the best you can. If you are getting new cabinets and your kitchen designer has created a cabinet layout, then that will work as well.)
Gather the materials that you would like your countertops to coordinate with (This would be a cabinet door, floor samples, paint samples and fabrics.)
2. Visit a stone professional
Create a list 1-3 companies that have a good reputation. (Start by asking your friends and family if they are happy with whom they used. The opinion of those you trust is more valuable than the best marketing.)
Call the companies you choose to see if they have an onsite slab selection. (Top stone companies usually have access to thousands of colors, but it is always best if you can select your color onsite.)
While you’re on the phone, ask the company if they have a design consultant on staff that could help you with your selection.
(Many stone companies are highly staffed with manufacturing focused individuals and are found lacking when it comes to helping you select surfaces, color, patterns, edging and complimentary accessories.)
3. Compare apples-to-apples
Ask each company for an estimate that includes your plan and selected design details (This should include stone/surface name, color, thickness and the way the company plans to seam your project.
Read the fine print (Be careful, it’s very common for a company to price a ¾” thick stone/surface and another to price a 1 1/4” thick stone/surface with the same name.)
4. Final decision
Consider how each company’s responsiveness (How long did it take to get a proposal? Does the company answer the phone when you call? This is a good sign in determined how they will handle a problem if something comes up.)
Consider how each company plans to seam your project (The majority of people desire less seam that are strategically placed.)
Consider how each company will install your dishwasher (How will the company mount your dishwasher to the stone? Some will cut down on cost by gluing the tabs to the bottom of the stone, which may make repair difficult. This technique usually fails causing the dishwasher to detach from the stone.)
Consider how each company will mount your sink (If they will at all). There are a variety of techniques used for sink mounting, some are not as “long lasting” as others(we have been hired on numerous occasions to re-mount our competitors sinks). You do not want to be left mounting your own sink.
Consider how each company guarantees their work (Will the company fix your seam if it comes apart? How will they handle a manufacturing or installation issue?)
What type of templating, fabrication, and installation techniques are the companies using. The best companies are staying current with some of the latest that technology has to offer such as digital templating and CNC fabrication equipment.
The deciding factor?
Do you think the company you choose will be one that you can refer to your family and friends?