What to look for when selecting a granite worktop supplier
1st September 2019
The domestic home improvement market has been enjoying a surge in demand over recent years; remodelling a home is an important investment and one that a lot of people are choosing to make. With a competitive marketplace comes a whole host of different options and choices around quality and price. However, sensible buyers want to purchase wisely too.
Selecting a granite or quartz worktop is no exception to this rule, with homeowners wanting to choose wisely for an investment which will impact every day on their family life. Granite & TREND Transformations has pulled together this document to help you make your decision by considering some key criteria when selecting your new granite, quartz or marble worktop supplier.
1) Level of work required
The first thing to consider is how much of my kitchen needs to be changed. Am I happy with the layout? If you are happy with your kitchen layout, why pay for unnecessary carcasses when they are in perfectly good condition? New carcasses can add up to 40% to the cost of your new kitchen!
If your layout suits you fine but your kitchen is tired and you want to update it or create a new look, then your best bet is to contact a kitchen renovation company rather than a kitchen showroom. This will save you time, money and disruption. Make sure you go online to check out ideas of what you would like your new kitchen to look like.
Kitchen before the refurbishment
Kitchen after the refurbishment
So much can be changed to your existing layout, it will feel like a completely new kitchen and can be done in a fraction of the time of replacing a full kitchen. In a kitchen renovation, everything can be changed – worktops, doors, handles, flooring, cabinet doors and drawer fronts, appliances, tile splashbacks etc. It’s a brand new kitchen!
2) Customer Reviews
It’s always advisable to check what previous customers have to say about the company you are planning to buy your granite or quartz worktops from. Are they reliable, honest, a pleasure to deal with? What is the quality of their work like?
One way this can be demonstrated is through third-party review websites like CheckaTrade.com and Trust Pilot to name just a few – which are 100% author authentic. A popular place to search for honest feedback on a company at present is on social media sites like Facebook. You will also get a feel on how the company responds to any complaints.
3) Product Knowledge
By having a fabricator or kitchen designer with in-depth product knowledge across all the quartz and granite ranges means, as a customer, you get exactly what you are looking for, and maybe even what you didn’t expect! Make sure you ask to be shown all the latest colours and if there any promotional offers currently running. A selection of previous kitchens done would also be a useful insight. An experienced fabricator or designer will also be able to offer advice on the right style and colour to complement your chosen kitchen and advise on any possible negatives with, for example, different surface finishes, or difference between granite and quartz.
3) Quality of workmanship
Obviously, you will have checked the company’s reviews on various social platforms, but another indication is do they come across as passionate and knowledgeable about the work they do? Companies work in different ways, from recruiting their own in-house fabricators and installers to outsourcing and subcontracting the work to third parties.
Having different personnel across jobs can sometimes compromise quality as important details can be left off. Is the fabrication work carried out in a factory environment or with handheld tools in your back garden? All these factors affect the quality and also price you pay.
An experienced fitter and fabricator will ensure the joins are as discreet as possible, using professional seaming tools to level and butt the joins together making them inconspicuous using colour match resins rather than unsightly silicone. Uneven, loose or ill-fitted joins will create problems in the future so make sure this part of the installation is done properly.
Gap on the worktop
How not to do it! How it should be done……
Check previous work done by the company if possible. Do you know anyone who has used this company before so you can check that the edges are finished properly, and you are not left with unsightly edges and gaps in the worktops? Make sure your kitchen is done properly, the first time around as we all know how frustrating it is to keep calling out workmen to finish off little jobs.
How not to do it!
4) Viewing the product
There are many ways to view a company’s product; the starting point may well be the company website to give you an idea of the range, types of products sold but also will give you a feel of the quality of the company. Is the website informative; does it look professional? Do the products look good and interesting? Does this company offer all the products I am going to need for my new kitchen or am I going to have to visit lots of different suppliers?
A showroom This is a very useful way to get hands-on experience of the products. The website will never be able to show you the exact colour and patters on the granite worktops. It’s vital you see it in person before you make your final decision.
Home visit Why not look at how the product will appear in the exact environment it will end up? Lighting can change the look and feel; natural light will make the worktop look very different to showroom lighting. The best way to understand what will work best in your kitchen is to see it in your kitchen.
In summary, when deciding on your worktop supplier, there are a few key things to think about:
- What do I need doing? Is it a full kitchen refit or is a kitchen renovation?
- Do I have enough time for a full installation? We all lead busy lives. Make sure you have the time for your old worktops to be ripped out and replaced. Or do you want to consider quality, quick solutions like the top that fits on top?
- Have I got the time to manage different sub-contractors? A kitchen requires many different professionals – sales team, designer, fabricator, fitter. Have you got the time and knowledge to manage each of these or would you rather use one company who keeps the entire process in-house?
- Does the company offer the range of worktop I require? Heat resistant, stain resistant, range of colours and materials? Is there a need for a heat resistant worktop in my kitchen? If you want something that is stain resistant to heat, make sure you choose the right worktop. If colour ranges and different materials are your thing, do your research.
- Check out the company reviews. This is a quick and easy way to get a feel for the level of quality and service of the company. Try and physically see a kitchen or worktop fitted by this company, check the level of workmanship closely. Once it is fitted, it is a lot more difficult and inconvenient to retro fix it.