July 06, 2021
Are you wondering how to calculate your countertops? Believe it or not, it’s a little trickier than it appears but the process is consistent so I thought I would share with you how we do it and you can take it from there.
- STONE SELECTION. We use a lot of quartz (fabricated stone) and we have thousands of samples in the showroom for our clients to select from. Online research is an alternative as well, but we always order a sample for approval. The goal is to make sure that the stone works with all the other materials in the kitchen – cabinetry, flooring, backsplash tile, hardware, light, and plumbing fixtures.
- If using a marble, granite, or quartzite you will need to go to the stone distributor (like Marble & Granite or Boston Granite Exchange in MA) to select your stone. They will not give you a price, just tell you what is more expensive in relation to the other stones. They do not fabricate the stone so they will send it to your selected fabricator.
- We always have the floor plan because we have done the cabinetry drawings. So we draw over the cabinetry plans in a CAD block and make them a color that correlates with the selected stone. This block is transparent so that the sinks are visible. Each of the blocks is carefully dimensioned. Kitchen cabinet depth is always 25” deep and Bathroom vanities vary from 22” – 18” deep x width.
- We send this drawing to our stone fabricator with the stone selection, and they get us a price. They lay the dimensions that we have given them on the slabs in their software. They do need to know how many sinks and the rough sizes because they charge to cut the hole and finish the edges.
- Once we have the price approved and the deposit received, we place our order and get in the queue for templating.
- When the cabinetry bases are set and installed we schedule the template. The sink and faucet must be on site for the template so that they can see what they are working with. Sometimes they take the sink with them and sometimes we buy the sink from the stone fabricator, it all depends on the circumstances and how complicated or custom the project is. Our templater uses an electronic tool to get everything absolutely perfect and some use very thin wood, either way, this is the most important part of the entire process.
- I usually close my eyes during install – a lot. Watching very strong men struggle to lift the stone upstairs, around corners, and onto custom-made cabinetry always makes me super nervous. But I am there to make sure that if something happens, I know exactly what the situation was. Typically, they have to cut the cabinet in order to get the sink in which also seems counterintuitive but is simply a reality and you won’t ever see it and it won’t hurt the cabinet. When the installer leaves the counter, the backsplash and sink are installed and ready for the plumber.
This is how we handle the process and it’s a lot for a whole house. If you are just doing a simple vanity, you can go directly to the fabricator and they will take good care of you (provided they are a good company). My friend in Denver tells me that the countertop industry there is run by the Russian mafia. Somehow, I don’t doubt this in the least. The industry took me a long time to figure out and find a good industry partner (and it’s not in the Seacoast). It is far more complicated and expensive than one would ever expect. Good luck and enjoy your new stone!