So you’ve decided to renovate your kitchen and you want granite because it is naturally beautiful, easy to maintain, heat resistant, and long lasting. You start searching around for suppliers and have made a list of places to check out.
When getting started you might think that shopping for granite is a pretty straightforward thing, right? Well, if you disregard certain aspects of the buying process there can be some serious disappointment in your results.
Simple solution, consider these 10 things:
It is always good to set a maximum for what you are willing to spend. But don’t let it hold you back when searching for a stone. Your budget has everything to do with the type of stone you can buy. As long as you consider the cost of installation with the cost of your stone, you can certainly find something in your price range.
This might seem like a common sense thing to consider, but if you don’t have proper measurements you may end up short, and you certainly don’t want to pay for too much. So measure the length and width of your counter. Also consider whether or not you want granite for your backsplash. Calculate area for this space as well. Add up the dimensions in inches, then divide by 144 to find your measurements in sq. ft.
- What Materials
When you visit granite suppliers they’ll most likely have various types of stone like marble and quartz, which can sometimes look identical to granite. These materials are different in their upkeep and susceptibility to staining. Consider checking out our article on the differences between the types of stone (input countertop comparison).
- Color Scheme
It is always wise to bring in samples or pictures of the space, countertops, stains, etc. anything that will help you decide on a stone by making sure it matches with the other elements of your design.
Ranging from rich black stone to stones with a lot of color and movement in its pattern to everything in between, there are hundreds to choose from. What adds to the difficulty is the variations of light when viewing the stones as opposed to the light in your kitchen, bathroom or other space.
- Basic or Exotic
Based on the concept of your design/ project you will have to determine whether or not you want a basic stone or and exotic one. A basic stone will typically be black a beige or any solid color with little to no pattern. It is a stone that delivers consistency to your design that is often perfect for classic or modern design, or any project that expects to have clean lines. An exotic slab has more movement, more colors and typically more crystals within its patterns. Often times exotic stones have a natural flowing look to them. This can be very advantageous for designs that hope to bring movement and energy to their project.
Are you going to put a sink somewhere in your design? Make sure to tell your fabricator so that when they make their cuts they make the right ones. I say this because there are different types of sink mounts (dropin, undermount, etc.). Some fabricators may even charge extra for making these cuts. So to avoid unexpected fees, communicate with your installer about every part of the design.
Also consider that there are multiple ways to “finish” the surface of your stone slabs.
Polished, leathered, and honed are the most common choices for stone finishes. Polished refers to the glossy, reflective, and smooth finish that is most popularly chosen by homeowners and contractors.
Leathered is a finish that leaves some of the natural texture of the stone. It is not glossy, nor reflective, and appears darker under light than a polished stone would.
Honed is somewhere in between leathered and polished; neither glossy nor textured. Honed surfaces are flat, and smooth but have more of a matte finish.
If you have a preference be sure to make this known so that suppliers can show you those specific stones.
- So where do you start: material or installer?
It is always wise to find your material first as it will help you to get more accurate pricing when you start working with a fabricator. You can always find a fabricator to fit your needs, but it’s much harder to find the right stone for the right price. Finding the right stone is where you have all say and creativity in your design and what the results will look like. Finding great prices on premium stones should be your top priority.
- Choosing the right fabricator
Ask your supplier for recommendations. They will already have a network of fabricators and will know who does the best work, this is especially helpful if you have any special requirements or design elements that you want to incorporate. Finding installers that can work with your specifications can be a real chore. So make it easier and ask the supplier to recommend someone.
Your fabricator can recommend a specific product to seal your stone depending on what type of stone you select. You can also ask your fabricator to seal it for you. Another solution is to buy cleansers that seal the stone each time you clean it. These products can be bought at Target, Home Depot, or many other brand stores.
By taking all these things into account you are sure to end up with the results you want, for the price you want, and will less hassle than you’d have otherwise.