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How to Buy a Granite Countertop

Updated on September 2, 2014

How to Buy Granite Countertops

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How to Buy a Granite Countertop

One of the best ways to improve the appearance and design of your kitchen, and increase return on investment, is to install a granite countertop. Shopping for these countertops is not as difficult as you'd think if you purchase one on-line and arrange for a professional to install it! However, there are a few things that you should know about the process of buying granite countertops so that you can make an informed decision about your purchase.This is a beginner's guide on how to buy granite countertops.

Along with my own research, these tips were provided to me by my husband, Jorge Longoria, who has a bachelors in construction science with over ten years of experience as a general contractor in the state of Texas. If you have any specific questions about your construction project, he would love to help you. Please leave your question in the comments below.

Tips for Buying Granite Countertops

Mistakes to Avoid when Buying a Granite Countertop

  • Do not make your own drawing and take it to a large retailer for a price quote. The retailer will look at the drawing and give you a price (ex: $3-4,000) which you might initially feel is appealing. Don't put money down on this job thinking the price looks good! At some point, they will send a professional out to measure the job and tell you that the job will cost more (ex: $7-8,000) due to some discrepancies in the measurements, issues with appliances, etc. Most people will go through with the job anyway since they have already put some money down and the contractor has already started on the job. Instead, always require the professional contractor to come out to your house first and provide you with an exact to-the-penny price before you put any money down on the project.
  • Don't take unnecessary risks. Make sure that the contractor has workman's compensation for his employees and general liability insurance. These insurances cover accidents no matter how small or catastrophic. These accidents can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. If the contractor is not covered, you the homeowner are liable to pay for those damages. Ensure that the contractor can prove to you that he is covered by showing you the appropriate documentation. The general liability insurance should cover at least one to two million dollars. That way you are covered.
  • Don't go cheap! If a price sounds too cheap, there is a reason. The contractor could be using cheap sub-grade materials or using unskilled labor. You get what you pay for with granite countertops. This is a product that will last a lifetime, so do it right the first time.

How to Measure Countertops

Measuring your Granite Countertops

Photo by Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee
Photo by Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee | Source

Measure your Countertops

The first step in buying granite countertops is to obtain the measurements and exact dimensions of your current countertops. The general contractor above recommends that you have a professional come out to measure your countertops. However, you may be adventurous or confident to measure your own. Here is a short video with instructions on how to create your own drawing with measurements of your countertops.

  1. The Drawing - Draw your countertop layout and floorplan view. Do your best to try to keep the drawing to scale. Indicate the location of your stove, or cooktop, sink, dishwasher, refrigerator, and the backsplash.
  2. The Measurements - When you're measuring, be sure to measure from the wall out to the end of each countertop. Indicate the measurement of each individual measurement on your drawing. Measure the back and front side of each run. The last step is to measure the backsplash height and indicate this measurement to the side.
  3. Calculating Square Footage - Now, you can use a free online calculator, like the one HERE, to get your square footage measurement or contact a professional installer with the measurements.

Choose The Color

In her hubpage, Choosing Granite Countertops, Marye Audet recommends picking a color which is traditional (rather than trendy) to avoid your kitchen looking outdated in just a few short years. The traditional colors that she recommends are black, gold, dark green, cocoa browns, and red tones.

When it comes to the amount of veining (which can be beautiful), she recommends choosing a countertop with very little to maintain durability. The heavy veining could be a sign that the stone is more fragile (or that it is potentially prone to cracking or breaking).

Ms. Audet's hubpage also includes helpful information on the pro's and con's of granite, potential health risks, granite overlay, and cleaning your granite countertops. Check out her page! :-)

The Best Place to Buy Faucets and Kitchen Sinks

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The Best Place to Buy Faucets and Kitchen Sinks: eFaucets!

Part of installing the granite countertop in your kitchen will include replacing your existing faucets and kitchen sinks. May we suggest eFaucets as a trusted retailer to purchase your next faucet or kitchen sink. eFaucets, a specialty home improvement store, is the online leader in faucets, fixtures and accessories. They are known as "Your Online Kitchen & Bath Store". Some of their trusted brands include Delta, Moen, Kohler, American Standard, Price Pfister, Danze, Grohe, Giangi, Hansgrohe, Branco, Teka, In-Sink-Erator, and more! With over 40 brands and offers such as low prices, free and same shipping, real-time inventory, and media rich shopping, eFaucets is the place to shop! eFaucets was a 2007 BizRate "Circle of Excellence" award winner. Other helpful features include PowerReviews, BillMeLater, Google Checkout, Paypal, and eBillMe. 97% of what they sell is in-stock and ready to ship the same day. Plus, they will price match ANY competitor in and out of the network which ensures that you, the customer, are happy! Why shop anywhere else for faucets?

To shop eFaucets now, CLICK HERE.

Hire a Granite Countertop Installer

Photo by stockimages
Photo by stockimages | Source

Finding a Granite Countertop Installer

At this point, you want to find a reputable granite countertop installer. Find two to three by asking your friends for personal referrals, searching the internet, or looking in the phone book. Next, be sure to check each of the contractors with the Better Business Bureau and also consult your area's Department of Consumer Protection to ensure they have a good business reputation.

The contractor will provide you with an estimate after taking his own measurements and discussing options with you. He will ask you which edge that you prefer, such as bevel, eased, half or full bullnose, or ogee. Next, he may discuss if you'd prefer an under mount, top mount, or seamed-in sink, along with the faucet of your preference. Each of these factors will affect the estimate price.

Things to inquire about:

  • Request a Seaming Sample - showing the quality of their work.
  • What about a warranty? Do they offer a lifetime warranty?
  • Do they have a granite yard that you can visit to view samples?

When choosing a granite countertop installer, finalize your decision based on these factors: price, quality of samples and work, and referrals. Once you're presented with the contract, read through it thoroughly, make any necessary changes, sign it, and make the required deposits to finalize your order.

Granite Gold Daily Cleaner GG0029, 24-Ounce

Comments Please...

Do you have an experience or tips to share about granite countertops? Tell us about it below.

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    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Melinda, several years ago I remodeled my kitchen. One of the things we did was replace my laminate countertops with quartz. We were advised that quartz if more resistant to heat, doesn't have to be seamed together, or sealed. We did take measurements to Home Depot, picked out the pattern and scheduled installation. To my delight, when the crew came out to measure before installation, our calculations were off - in our favor. We then chose the edges (bull-nose) and had them replace the kitchen windowsill with the same material. The cost actually came in $500 or so under what was originally estimated based on our drawing. The countertops are gorgeous. I just love them!

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