Learn about how your money is being spent on your stone project
With the recovery from the economic downturn, there is no doubt that consumers are watching their pennies. The internet has become a valuable research tool, and an educated consumer is a smart consumer. However, shopping around for the cheapest price may save some money initially but may also end up costing much more to the consumer in the long run. The best way to decide on a supplier begins with knowing how your project is being priced. Quality materials and experienced craftsmanship are the foundation of your purchase. Your project is generally broken down into five categories: materials, fabrication, template and installation, and profit. The prices you see on our website are based off of raw materials and include all of the waste, so they are not representative of the final price for your countertops. To understand the pricing breakdown for your countertop, material prices are based off of finished materials by square foot.
The stone material makes up approximately 25%-50% of your final price per square foot. Readily available stones—such as Ubatuba—tend to make up a lower percentage, and tend to contribute to a lower portion of the job. There are an abundance of these quarries, therefore making them accessible by any distributor and also retailers, such as Home Depot and Lowes. Unfortunately, there is much less quality control, giving some distributors an open door to lower standards. The other extreme of materials such as Blue Pearl and Soapstone are not found in such high quantities, creating more control on reliability. Exotic stones such as Azul Bahia and Calacatta are comprised of semi-precious stones, and are rare and carefully chosen. These products could actually comprise up to 50% of the total price per square foot of a job, as the cost of labor doesn’t change much. There will only be a slight increase in labor due to the inherent risk of handling a high-end product.
Labor makes up a significant portion of your quote—this is where the specific details which personalize your job are calculated. Edge profiles, polishing, sink cutouts, backsplash, and waste are some examples of such details. The use of CNC and polishing machines helps to produce higher volume and lower overall cost. Others rely on experienced craftsman to complete the process by hand, from start to finish.
Shop overhead cost is another contributing factor to variation in price; staying compliant with OSHA guidelines and providing their employees with insurance reflects the founding principles of the fabricator. Some companies also employ experienced staff to help in the design process and help see you through any problems that may arise.
As with labor, installation is another considerable portion of the overall cost. This process begins with the template and ends with the final details of the installation. Paying a premium to ensure you have a reliable installer is worth the money. Having the same vendor do the template and install helps maximize the communication and minimize the return trips back to the job site., reducing cost and confusion for the end customer. Fully-insured subcontractors and installers are critical to the completion of your job, providing coverage while working in your home. Important details, such as proper seams and seam placement, sealing the stone, and final instructions on care and maintenance help prolong the beauty of your investment.
The final component of the overall project price is profit. There are many reasons a job must produce profit, other than simply making money. A quality fabricator not only deals with a reputable distributor, they provide a safe workplace for their employees. Companies that do this are financially stable and also practice safety according to OSHA guidelines. A shop that meets all these requirements is much more likely to treat your project with the same respect
Knowing how your money is being spent from start to finish will help to protect your investment.
Marble and Granite, Inc. prides itself on serving the industry with the finest quality, hand-picked material. With full time buyers in Italy and Brazil, we have staff dedicated to locating materials, which then go through a series of approvals before being purchased. When finding a marble and granite partner, make sure the material is purchased at a reputable distributor that will stand behind their products with integrity. When selecting a wholesaler, find out if they pull out your actual slabs with a knowledgeable sales representative in a safe, clean, well-lit environment. Being an indoor facility, we allow the opportunity to hand-pick the stone for your personal project, which ensures receiving exactly what you selected. Be cautious of viewing materials outside, as moisture from the environment can darken the stone, while bright sun can make the color look faded. From personally selecting your first quality material at one of our showrooms with an educated representative, to the final details of your installation, you as a consumer should feel excited and confident about your decision.