Choosing a nice slab of granite for your kitchen or bathroom countertops can be a lot of fun. You get to see natural stone in all its raw beauty in the showroom before taking samples home, choosing the most appealing option for your interior décor, and returning to the store to make a decision. The next step requires more careful thought: choosing the right contractors for the installation. Select an expert installer for the job. Even if you purchased a prefabricated granite countertop that has already been cut, there are things that could go wrong with the installation if you have no expertise, and you’ll certainly want to avoid such headaches.
Here are a few recommendations when choosing granite installers.
Understand What You’re Paying For
Many natural-stone showrooms advertise prices per square foot that include installation. In many cases, these prices appear to be very reasonable, but they may not actually show you bottom prices, particularly if the slab needs to be custom cut and shaped to your specifications. Many installers will charge extra for cutting out the sink and stovetop spaces, and they may also surprise you with higher prices for beveled edging and waterfall projects.
Get Good References
You don’t have to feel obligated to go with the installers affiliated with the showroom. A good online source for trusted professionals is Angie’s List, where you can find local contractors who get good reviews and are properly bonded and insured.
Evaluate Previous Work
When installers are eager to show you their portfolio of previous work, this is generally a good sign, unless you notice all photos look the same, which usually means they only have experience with installing pre-cut counters. Masonry experts tend to be very passionate about their work and will talk at length about the projects they’re proud of. Another good sign is if the installers don’t bother with flooring installations because they personally prefer counter installations.
Ask About Cuts, Edging, and Seams
When professional installers take on projects that require joining slab pieces, they will take a close look at the batch you’ve purchased from. They do this to ensure their work will result in a seamless surface based on how much pattern variation they see on the slabs. When discussing the edges, they will present options that are not only technically possible according to the grade of your stone, but also aesthetically pleasing based on what your cabinets look like.
Inquire About Finishing and Sealing
Even if you’re purchasing full counters with preinstalled granite tops, the final step will involve finishing and sealing the stone surface. Watch out for an upsell from installers who insist on returning for resealing and polishing your granite countertops. This is something you can do with a high-quality granite sealer that has been formulated for household use.
If you’d like to learn how to seal granite, get in touch with the Stone Care Experts at Granite Gold®. Our cleaning, sealing, and polishing products are safe to use on granite, marble, slate, and all other types of natural stone. Call 1-800-475-STONE (7866) to learn more.