How to Choose the Right Granite Countertop Supplier
Home and office renovation projects make for great daytime TV, but in reality, the process of choosing the right custom granite countertop supplier can be a daunting task—especially at the start.
If you’ve never renovated your countertops before, you might feel a little unsure about the process. How do you get started? How much is it going to cost?
If you’ve decided on granite countertops, you’ve made a great choice. Granite has been one of the most popular countertop choices for decades due to their ability to withstand the everyday wear and tear from busy households. However, a key component to enjoying your beautiful new granite countertops is making the journey to get there as trouble-free as possible—which often depends on the countertop supplier you choose for the job.
Here are five simple, painless steps that will make it easier for you to find the right granite countertop supplier for your project.
Step 1: Explore the granite supplier’s website.
One of the easiest ways to sort a countertop supplier into the ‘save for later or ‘move on’ pile during your research is to conduct an in-depth visit to their website. A countertop supplier’s website should offer at least some of the following resources to arm you with useful information about your project:
- Helpful and in-depth product/service guides
- An easy-to-understand FAQ that answers general care and maintenance questions about granite countertops
- Testimonials from the company’s past projects
- Tools like a room visualizer or 3D edge selector that streamline your project vision
The goal here is to spend as much time as possible in the research stage so that you can make an educated decision on your choice of granite—even before you step foot inside the company’s building. This is your chance to get an exact idea of what you’re looking for from the supplier and jot down the right questions to ask during your showroom tour.
Step 2: Research ratings and reviews.
Today, social media and other review websites let customers evaluate their experience with a business through star ratings and reviews. And these online reviews are powerful decision swaying tools, giving potential customers the chance to see what it would be like to work with the supplier.
Be sure to visit the granite supplier’s pages on places like Facebook, Google, Angie’s List and Yelp to see their overall star rating. It’s important to look at multiple review sites, because not every individual customer will leave a review through every outlet.
Keep an eye out for red flags, but also take note on how the business replies to any unhappy customers to make unsatisfactory situations right. If the supplier has plenty of positive reviews, that’s great – even if some negative ones are sprinkled in the mix. Be alert, but know that some poor reviews are fluke situations that most likely won’t happen to you.
Step 3. Schedule an in-person meeting & showroom visit.
You’ve done your research, looked through reviews on social media and other sites, and you’re confident you’ve decided on the right granite countertop supplier.
Time to schedule an in-person meeting and showroom visit
There will always be aspects of a business that don’t translate via Internet. With most countertop suppliers, scheduling an appointment is as simple as dialing the company number. If you’re not sure if walk-ins are allowed, ask during your call. Some companies may even include forms on their website that ask for simple information about your project to get a head start on planning. Whatever the method, it’s vital to meet the supplier’s team face-to-face before making a final decision.
Some questions you might consider asking during your in-person visit:
- How long does the installation process usually take for the size of the job I’m asking for?
- What’s the company warranty policy?
- Do you offer any post-installation care, like service calls and granite cleaners and sealers?
- How soon could you come out for a template and what’s your typical turnaround time?
If the team isn’t friendly or receptive to these questions, it might be best to move on to a different supplier.
Step 4. Tour the supplier’s showroom.
Before you pick a supplier (or the granite itself), tour the supplier’s showroom to see it all for yourself. Where possible, bring items that will prove to be very helpful during your visit – including a sample of your cabinet wood, dimensioned sketch of the countertop area, pictures of the room/area on your phone for reference. Also, when looking around, inspect any displays for workmanship – installs should be clean and pleasing to the eye.
Although most countertop suppliers will show an inventory of their materials in a multitude of colors and patterns on their website, don’t be surprised if the granite you liked on the website seems to look different in person.
Keep in mind that granite is a natural stone, which means that pattern and shade of darkness can vary even within the same slab. If the naturally occurring pattern and color in a slab you liked on their website isn’t to your liking in real-life, that’s okay. Take time to explore different options (see if you can even walk through the supplier’s yard of full slabs). The representative on the showroom floor should be there to answer any questions and help you make your vision come alive.
Step 5. Get a project quote.
Some suppliers will kick off a project with a quote – so this step might be at the beginning or middle of your process instead of the end. But either way, it’s an important step to follow in a parallel path as you explore the website, reviews and showroom. Requesting a quote shows you’re serious about your project and that you want the supplier to follow up with you.
With that said, value is important.
Granite is not an inexpensive product, so you have to expect proportionate prices for a high-quality job, but you also don’t have to blow your budget. Talk with your representative and get some options quoted to see what works for you and your needs.
Make sure you’re quoted for everything – the material itself, any edge treatments you want, the templating, installation and so on. Your representative at the supplier should provide an overview of everything to expect – and include it all in the project quote. Ask questions and make sure you understand the full process before you sign on the dotted line.
And there you have it! If you follow these simple steps, you’ll be up and running with beautiful new countertops in no time.
Now that you’re ready to get started, request a countertop quote through Eastern Surfaces, your Lehigh Valley granite countertop supplier, today!