Custom countertops add beauty and elegance to your kitchen. Installation is a multi-step process, starting with the selection of the material and ending with the installation process itself. Knowing what to expect can help you step-by-step as you choose the right stone, get quotes, and select your contractor.
Explore Your Options
Start the process of installing new countertops by choosing countertop material you like. Most homeowners gravitate toward natural stone because they love its durability, beauty, and longevity. Natural stone is also low-maintenance. Some of the most popular options include:
- Granite was the go-to countertop material for many years. Homeowners love granite because it’s very hard, scratch-resistant, and available in a range of colors and patterns. Granite needs to be resealed periodically to increase its water resistance.
- Marble is prized for its enduring beauty. This material comes in a range of colors but most homeowners are attracted to white and gray options. Compared to granite, marble is a softer stone that can scratch somewhat easily. It needs regular maintenance in order to maintain its appearance, and regular sealing to prevent it from absorbing liquid.
- Quartz is the new kid on the block in the world of stone countertops, but it’s quickly surpassing granite in its popularity. Quartz is even stronger, longer-lasting and more durable than granite. Best of all, it does not require regular sealing to continue looking its best.
Most homeowners need to know how much they can expect to spend on their new countertops, and in order to know that, they must first take measurements. Measuring counters is easy and yet not entirely intuitive. Some tips:
- Measure twice to ensure accuracy.
- Draw a diagram of your kitchen including drawings of the counters, then record the measurements on the diagram for easy reference later.
- Make the diagram to-scale, if possible.
- Include your sink and cooktop in the countertop square footage.
To get the square footage of your counters, measure the length and the depth. Multiply the length by the depth, and then divide by 144. Keep this number handy for your conversations with stone contractors, as this will become important information when you’re placing an order or getting estimates.
Select a Contractor
Select the right contractor to install your countertops. Start by contacting at least three contractors, to compare their prices and their product. Communication is important when considering contractors. Ask each contractor questions to get a sense for how that contractor communicates. They should answer all your questions to your complete satisfaction.
Other factors to consider include:
- Portfolio. Take a look at their previous work to get a sense for their style and quality.
- References. Contact at least two references before signing a contract with any contractor.
- Contract. Read the contract well before signing and don’t sign unless you’re comfortable with the terms.