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Are you dreaming of a beautiful new kitchen, but know that buying new cabinets is more than your budget will allow? Maybe your cabinets are still in good condition and the the space plan works well for you. If this sounds like your kitchen, have you considered a mini re-do that includes new granite countertops?

There was a time, in my old EXPO Design Center days, when I was known as the Queen of Countertop Remodels because I helped so many clients with them. And because of that, I learned exactly what to do, so that stress was kept to a minimum.

Let’s take a look at my list of Designer do’s and don’ts that will help you with your own countertop remodel.

Do: Know what “look” you want to achieve in the space. The granite you choose will help you get there.

Do: Decide if you want a lot of movement (veining) in your granite.

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Don’t buy granite if movement and imperfections will drive you crazy. Stone is a gift of nature, and definitely not perfect.

Do: Decide on your fabricator (the person who will template, cut and install). They often display granite slabs at their warehouse. But sometimes they’ll send you to look at a larger showroom that has more to offer.

Don’t visit a granite showroom without a designer, contractor, or fabricator name. They can call ahead to let the showroom know you’re coming, or they can go with you to help you select. Sometimes a showroom will recommend a fabricator if you don’t know who to use.

Do: Find out your fabricator’s price levels before you visit a granite showroom. Because most of them don’t sell directly to the consumer, they won’t give you a price. But they can steer you in the right direction.

Do: Make sure that you have your sink, and sometimes faucet, when they come to make your template. They will take it with them back to the shop.

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Do: Know that some fabricators require you to purchase an entire slab, and some will only charge you for what you use.

 

Don’t: Ordering less than 25 square feet is not acceptable to most fabricators. Sometimes they have a scrap yard to choose those pieces.

Don’t: Order granite when you’re in a rush to have it installed. From the time they make the template, until the time it is installed could take anywhere from 5-10 business days.

Don’t get your heart set on a granite slab too early in the process unless you’re prepared to make a deposit so they will hold it.

Don’t hang on to a sample that you love and expect it to look the same in 6 months.

Granite sells quickly in certain markets and new shipments aren’t always cut from the same area.  Always inspect your slab!

Counter Edge

Do: Know that there are different edges, and non-standard edges are sold by the linear foot.