Countertops for kitchens
Is natural stone your dream come true kitchen countertop choice?
Natural stone is a wonder from nature (with a little help from man with Quartz countertops.)
How to choose a countertop company
- How long have they been in business?
- Do they have great testimonials?
- What is the company culture like?
- Do they have a passion for customer service?
- Do they mill the natural stone in-house?
- Do they have installers with a fanatical commitment to quality?
- Big Box or artisan level family-owned business?
- Curated natural stone selection on-site?
- No cost consultative process to help plan your project?
Let’s dive a little deeper into this incredibly important decision making process
There are two factors to consider to determine the best choice for your natural stone countertop options from a longevity aspect.
- How long has the company been in business as a whole.
- What is the experience level of the owners and craftspeople within that company.
Malcolm Gladwell stated it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become the best at anything. Craftspeople may take years and years to make themselves true artisans and to hone and use their skills to become one with the stone.
The expertise of a company shows in their company culture. Are they the best? Is the culture fanatical about customer service? The level and types of service available goes right across the customer service spectrum. Production, selection of your countertop natural stone surface and installation are all as easily important as the stone itself.
Pick a company with the dedication and commitment to Granite, Marble, Soapstone and Quartz countertops. There are a ton of choices for your kitchen counters:
- Stainless steel
- Butcher block
- Recycled glass
- Laminate countertops
- Tile countertops
- Wood countertops
- Concrete countertops
All of the above have pros and cons, some are durable, stain resistant, easy to clean but none can match the best option (in our opinion) natural stone.
Make sure the company you choose specializes in natural stones including marble, soapstone, granite and engineered quartz. Natural stones demand a level of expertise and quality above the average and deliver a beauty and function that makes them so popular. Quartz along with Granite easily comprise 50% of kitchen countertops installed each year.
One way to decide if a countertop company that specializes in natural stone materials is for you is testimonials.
Do both commercial and residential customers testimonials show they think they made the right choice when choosing a company to work with enhancing their kitchen countertop project?
- Are the clients natural stone countertops all they dreamed of and do they tell their friends?
- Does their clients home or business counters garner gasps of amazement from the friends, family or customers?
We’ve had our new kitchen for over a year now and I want to thank you for the beautiful job you did cutting and installing our countertops… You were so easy to deal with, I felt like I was talking to a very honest and trusted friend (not a company or a box store worker). I’ve had so many compliments on the countertops and am so pleased to be able to give your name and company and tell them how easy you are to deal with. I think the best part of dealing with you is, this is your business and you make sure everything is done to your satisfaction. You are proud of your work, and I am proud to have a part of your work in my kitchen… Thank you so much. Oh yes, my brother and wife were so impressed with your work, they also purchased their new countertops from you, and they LOVE them also… Thanks again.
Anna SpenceMartock, NS
Do they mill their customers countertops in-house?
Engineered Quartz countertops, Granite countertops, Soapstone and Marble countertops are all wonderful materials to work with. That being said, the level of expertise and craftsmanship needed to produce your world-class countertops to incredibly precise tolerances is immense. You must make sure your countertop company has only the highest level milling and polishing machinery in their factory as possible.
You want a company that curates the selection of natural stone, mills it in-house and then delivers and installs it to precise levels is imperative for your peace-of-mind.
Your home deserves the best and this “vertical integration” model ensures control of the process of your dream kitchen from start to finish. What good is beautiful countertop surface if it is badly cut or carelessly installed. You can easily ruin a countertop with marvellous colors and patterns without many years of experience in production and installation.
Do they have world-class installers?
An often overlooked yet integral part of kitchen countertop installations is the install.
It is easily missed as something ultra important. Pro installers can make or break the look and feel of your kitchen no matter what the countertop materials.
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Companies must use installation pros when people buy their Marble, Quartz, Granite or Soapstone counters from them.
A natural stone countertop company will not be popular with their clients if they use shoddy installers. The look of the whole project depends upon fanatical commitment to details.
People have made the decision to install high-quality materials in their home. They are looking for solid materials with great colors, a wonderful surface that are popular with friends and family. Imagine your beautiful solid Marble installation marred by uneven lines and gaps.
You have gone to all the trouble of working through choosing your slabs and narrowing your choice of countertop materials down to Granite, Marble or Soapstone, no ceramic tile, stainless steel or butcher block for you. Only the best heat resistant, stain resistant material will do.
Then you watch your kitchen design go up in smoke with shoddy countertop installation. Stain resistant has been made moot. Design does not matter anymore. Agonizing over your options has become wasted time. All the wonderful options have gone by the wayside because the look of your Marble choice is ruined with the use of bad installers. You buy the best but that does not matter.
Ensure you choose the best installers around. Don’t be the one that installs popular kitchen countertops in your home and scrimp on the install.
Big Box or Artisans?
When your are buying the countertops of your dreams for your home you need to decide on what type of natural stone company you may want to buy from.
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Big box stores have access to some natural stone materials that look ok but may be of lesser quality than curated stone collections coming from more artisanal kitchen and countertop design companies.
This can be a con when dealing with a big box. They are very good at serving their particular niche market, the question is are you one that picks something that is available or do you pick the option that gives you the type of materials that are heritage quality?
All Granite, Marble, Soapstone and Quartz slabs are not created equally.
The design you envisioned for your kitchen depends on the quality of the available options you have. Concrete, wood, tile, laminate can be used in the home, but might not be so popular with you once installed. You can’t just like your choice as many do, you must love the choice you made out of many options.
Design your kitchen with the types of material you may want to buy in mind. Turn up the heat and rejoice in the choice you made.
Curated selections on-site?
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The secret to heritage class countertops is the material you choose to look at and finally install.
Granite countertops are superb. Granite is a classy, elegant and wonderful choice for your kitchen. You will have a hard time going wrong with Granite.
But what is the best way to choose you kitchen countertops?
You must see the slabs that might call to you. You must touch them and see if the material resonants in your heart. You will KNOW the right choice only when you interact with it in person.
This is not nearly so important when you are looking at kitchen material like laminaate countertops, wood countertops or tile countertops. The limitations and cons of wood, tile, laminate are easy to see. Wood is not heat resistant, laminate might stain, etc.
” alt=”If you have made your choice of wood, stainless steel or laminate countertops for your kitchen don’t look at the beautiful stone material in this display of a legacy class of Granite countertops.” />
Make sure you go and look at a well curated and large variety of slabs your potential company has in stock.
Your kitchen design deserves the best countertop material you desire. No disrespect to butcher block or the people who love butcher block countertop material, but, the countertop materials that most desire are natural stone. The countertop material selection of 75% of people around the world.
The beauty of your kitchen does not depend on how easy to clean your counter material is. It comes from the glow, elegance and class countertop materials made of stone.
Finally, the consultative process.
Your choice of countertops can be confusing. You have decided against concret and many other choices and are going with a natural stone.
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The first step in making your decision should be made in a consultation with a caring passionate professional.
They can help guide you and the kitchen countertops of your dreams. They will give you the unvarnished pros and cons of each countertop choice.
They will go over your countertops strengths and weaknesses depending on the use you and your family will put it through.Beautiful countertops are magnificent but they also must be functional and make sense.
Putting a Marble countertop into a heavily used kitchen with rambunctious family members may not be the best choice.
” alt=”Different countertop choices to ensure the countertops of your dreams will function well. Choose your countertop with both form and function as imperative. ” />
Make sure the countertops of your dreams do not become the countertops of nightmares by harvesting the decades of experience you potential company provides.
Pre-planning the kitchen of your dreams will lead to years and years of delight with your new dream kitchen.
To recap that information above.
There are an unbelievable amount of choices when you begin thinking of your dream countertops. Many people wait for decades until they take the plunge and start planning to finally implement the heritage class countertops they deserve.
Your supplier must be in tune with your desires. They must be on the same page so they can make your vision come true. That being said, they must also help guide you on the perfect choice for you and the needs of your family.
The ability of them to guide you is based on years of experience, passion, commitment to quality and a fanatical pursuit of customer service. Selling you the most expensive solution is not the type of company to deal with.
They also need to control the process of curating outstanding raw materials for you to choose from. Then they need their own factory so they can mill and polish and produce your countertops to exacting tolerances.
Finally they must have a crack team of professional installers to ensure your dream kitchen is perfectly placed when you come home.
The kitchen is the heart of the home and home has become so much more important to our families during these trying times.
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Hopefully you have found this information to be useful in your journey to your new countertops. If you have any questions or would like to chat we would love to have you contact us. We know you have many options and we would be honoured to be one of them.