31 Days to Building Your Dream Home:: Tips for Making Countertop Selections

Yesterday I gave you a brief overview of the countertop selection process. Explaining what a fabricator does and how you go about viewing various materials.

Today I wanted to share a few pieces of advice and offer some tips for making your actual countertop selections.

Tips for Selecting Countertops{Source}

There are a lot of options available to you and it can be overwhelming trying to make the right decision. In some cases, your countertops will take up a large chunk of your budget depending on your material choice, so it’s important to be satisfied and happy with your choices.

Here are a few words of wisdom I wish someone had shared with me from the get-go.

Shop Around

If you are using a building company, they most likely have a fabricator they typically use and have a system in place with. In most cases, they are your best bet for getting the best deal since they do such a large volume of work with your builder. However, my advice, take the time to shop around and get a couple more quotes to compare pricing. Certain fabricators have access to different brands for man-made materials and as a result can have different pricing. Some may end up being significantly lower than others. Different fabricators will also have different natural materials for sale on site and you might like one fabricator’s better than the others. Since you can typically get a better deal on the slabs they have in stock, it’s worth it to take some time to visit a couple of different places and see where you can get the best deal for the choices you like.

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Keep in Mind Slab Size and Seams

A seam is formed when multiple slabs are joined together. This happens when a large surface area is needing to be covered {like kitchen islands, etc.}. Seams aren’t ideal, and for most people, aren’t preferred. Be sure to confirm the slab size and your cabinetry sizes to make sure your surface areas will be coming from one slab and not multiples to avoid seeing seams. With some man-made materials, slabs are offered in various sizes. For example, some quartz brands are offered in half, full and jumbo sizes. If you have a significantly larger island than you might need a jumbo size, which will narrow down your choices and brands to choose from.

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Use a Combination of Materials/Slabs

When working with a specific budget, you might have to consider using different materials or levels of granite in different rooms. If you’ve fallen in love with a higher level granite or man-made material, use this in your higher traffic areas or places that will get everyday use like your master bathroom, kitchen and powder room. Using remnants or a level 1 granite in your other bathrooms or other areas can bring your overall cost down. When piecing different materials and granite together though be careful to choose colors and patterns that mesh well and feel cohesive. Stick to the same overall color family {for example, gray/black, brown, etc} to prevent your house looking like a hodge podge of 9 different types of slabs.

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Lower Price Doesn’t Mean Inferior Product

Just because a granite is a level 1 or your quartz brand has a lower price than others doesn’t mean it’s an inferior product. Like I mentioned before, granite is priced based on rarity. So more rare granite is more expensive and alternatively more common granite is cheaper. But granite is granite and the same qualities that are present in a level 1 are present in a level 5. Just the color variations and patterns are different. Same goes for man-made brands. Just because one brand of quartz is more expensive than the other doesn’t mean it’s ‘better.’ The price increase could be due to the popularity of the pattern or due to location of the company {i.e. if it’s coming from across the country or is made only a few hours away}.

The countertops you select are something you will live with for a very long time and can be a huge investment. Take the time to do your research and narrow your choices down based on what fits within your budget and what will work in your home {style wise and functionally}.

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