A smart consumer shops around. But finding the cheapest quote for stone countertops may only save you more initially and actually cost you more in the long run. There are certain things you don't want to skimp on, like the quality of materials and the level of craftsmanship. To be able to properly compare different quotes for stone countertops, it's important to understand how you arrive at the total cost. A stone countertop project can be broken down into four categories: materials, labor, installation and profit.Materials
should be about 15 to 25% of the total cost. When comparing wholesalers, you want to compare whether the materials are coming from a reputable distributor who will back the integrity of their stone. A wholesaler that offers exotic stones means that they are working from quarries that are not found in high quantities and, therefore, require a high level of quality control and reliability. Extremely accessible stones like ubatuba are a sign of a low end wholesaler with less quality control.Labor
is where a significant portion of the total cost is found, from 25 to 35%. The price you are paying for labor is covering the parts of the project that include edge profile, polishing, sink cutouts, backsplash and waste. There are a few things you can look for and compare in a fabricator to determine whether their employees are experienced craftsman. Fabricators that utilize a CNC and polishing machine are using these in lieu of experienced craftsman, who do this work by hand. Also, whether a fabricator upholds OSHA guidelines and offers their employees insurance is a good sign of the quality of their labor.
Between 35 and 45% of the total cost, the installation
is where you want the most of your money to go. In comparing different installers, first and foremost you want one that is fully insured. Secondly, you want to find one that has the same person do both the template and the installation to reduce the chance of mistakes as a result of miscommunication. When you are paying for a good installation, you should be getting perfect seams, proper sealing and instructions on care and maintenance.
Finally, about 5 to 15% of the total cost goes towards profit
. A quality distributor needs profit not only to keep their doors open but to maintain a safe working environment for their employees and to meet the requirements of OSHA guidelines.
As we explain in an article we wrote on understanding stone countertop pricing . . .
"Knowing how your money is being spent from start to finish will help protect your investment. From personally selecting your First quality material at Marble and Granite, Inc. with an educated representative, to the final details of your installation, you as a consumer should feel excited and confident about your decision. Remember, you get what you pay for."
So when you are shopping around as a smart consumer often does, stop by one of our showrooms at 125 Old Gate Lane in Milford, Connecticut or at 270 University Avenue in Westwood, Massachusetts.