remodeled kitchen

What Fabricators Wish You Knew About Countertops

Homeowners who are undergoing a home renovation or other natural or engineered stone projects often have certain expectations in mind for budgeting, timelines, and design. However, they aren’t always aware of all of the factors that play into how much their new countertop will cost, or how long it will take to get it cut and installed.

What Fabricators do

As stone fabricators, we can help you choose the material for your home improvement project. The process includes templates or measuring the dimensions of the installation to know exactly how much material is needed. Once this is done, the type of stone, veins, shading, and color can be considered amongst the choices of material available. 

The actual fabrication process involves making a final inspection for stone flaws, including blemishes, fissures, seams, and scratches. Then the slab is laid out to ensure the best appearance of both color and vein texture. The stone is cut to precision on our CNC saw. Edging and any special scribing will further shape the stone, which is all accomplished either via our CNC router or by hand depending on the project requirements. After a multi-step process involving ever-increasing grit polish is used to smooth the stone edges, your stone is cleaned, dried, and finally the sealer is applied (if necessary). All of this typically occurs at our shop so the stone is ready to be installed when it reaches your project site.

Know the Materials 

Just a couple years ago, consumers were limited to just a handful of stone choices, both in terms of type and color. Today, you need only walk into our slab yard to see an astonishing range of granite, quartzite, marble, quartz, and porcelain. Harder stones like granite and quartz are workhorses. They are perfect for high-traffic kitchens where durability counts. Softer stones like marble require more care to ensure lasting beauty and can be better choices for bathroom vanities. 

While we don’t expect you to be an expert you should have at least an idea of what you want or where you are going to use it. We have amazing sales associates and design experts that can assist you in this process. So if you have no idea or just starting feel free to visit our showroom and talk with an associate to help you choose the best material.

Don’t Be Surprised

When budgeting your project, be aware of what goes into pricing so there are no surprises. No two slabs are alike, which is 

the beauty of natural stone and what distinguishes your slabs from the rest. Remember, the more exotic the stone, the higher the price, but there are plenty of budget-friendly options, too. 

But the cost of the slab is just one part of it. Labor accounts for a percentage of countertop costs. In addition, some stones are simply more challenging to work and take more time to fabricate. As a result, decorative edging profiles, thickness, certain finishes, more cutouts and backsplash heights are among the elements that affect fabrication pricing. 

Make it Yours

It’s not just selecting the stone from the showroom or a wholesaler. It’s our job to cut and shape the slab to fit your exact project dimensions. To do so, we make a template of your counters with cutouts for the sink, faucet, and cooktop. If seaming is needed, and most large projects require at least one seam, you should collaborate with us on positioning based on aesthetics as well as technical and logical considerations. The same goes for the length of the overhang for island or bar seating.

Stones have natural variations and movement.  We recommend that you consult with our expert team in determining the best part of the slab to use in the most visible areas, such the island, and which parts of the slab to feature in less prominent sections.