Installing granite in your kitchen or bathroom is one of the best investments you can make for your home for many reasons. It will always add value on your property and will never age. However, it's not an easy process at all. Choosing and installing granite can be very confusing and misleading. Let’s take a look at the steps to take one by one along with a few tips to help you maximize your investment.
1. Visit the showroom. Start by going to your granite fabricator's showroom. At the showroom you will be able to see samples of available stones as well as learn about pricing. The price will differ depending on which stone you choose.
Typical price ranges per square foot are approximately as follows:
Low end: $39 to $49
Middle: $59 to $69
Exotic: $79 and up
Sometimes edges and radius changes add to the cost, while cutouts for sinks and cooktops will always raise the price.
2. Choose your sink. The most common used sinks are under mount sinks but there are also drop in, farmhouse and wall-mount sinks. There are many material options from porcelain to stainless steel, from brass to stone and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Think about your kitchen habits before choosing one.
3. Choose the edge profile. The edge profile is the design installed on the outer edge of the countertop. Different edges have different prices. Find the right edge for your countertop.
4. Decide on a backsplash. Decide if you would like to have a granite backsplash or a tile one. Most kitchens today have a tile backsplash that starts at the countertop and continues to the upper cabinets. If you like to invest more and have an elegant, trendier look, you can choose a granite backsplash that basically is that your countertop keeps going as the backsplash.
5. Think about your faucet layout. The granite fabricator will need to know how many holes to drill in the granite, and may need to see a specification sheet on the faucet you choose.
6. Visit a stone supplier. Go to a stone supplier to choose your slab. It is a plus if your showroom is also a supplier and offers you variety of slab options. Bergen Marble and Granite offers one-stop shopping for its customers with full service from slab-yard to fabrication. This way you will save time and money.
Tip: Search the boneyard. All granite shops have leftover scraps of granite, and the boneyard is the final resting place for these unwanted pieces. Most shops are willing to sell these for a steep discount. If you are searching for a small piece of granite, start in the boneyard.
7. Template time. The fabricators will visit your home and make a wooden replica of your new countertop. It is important that you are there while the fabricators make the template. The fabricators will discuss where they will be putting seams, where the faucet will be located, how much of an overhang you would like and what type of radius you want on the corners. There are always questions that come up that no one has thought to ask yet. After the template is complete, the fabricators will take it back to the fabrication shop.
8. Template layout. Take another trip to the fabrication shop after the template is made. You can tell the fabricators which parts of the stone you want to use. This requires more work on your part, but it is an optional step to take.
Tip: Ask to see your fabricator's seams. These are the lines where two pieces of stone are joined together. The easiest way to separate the best from the rest is the quality of the seam.
9. Day of installation The fabricator will bring the slabs to your home and set them in place. Larger slabs will require a direct line into the house, minimizing the distance the installers will need to carry it. A standard kitchen will take a few hours to install. You will usually have to wait about 24 hours before you can install the faucet and connect the sink drains.