The countertop vendor you chose to fabricate and install your countertops is the single most important decision you’ll make in the process. Ensure you’re getting the quality and experience you deserve by asking the following questions.
1) Do you hold any professional accreditations or industry certifications?
Make sure your stone fabricator is not just a *dues paying* member of an industry organization, but that they hold MIA Accreditation or some type of certification for compliance, assurance and quality craftsmanship. Also ask if you can tour their production facility.
2) Do you offer different surfacing options such as granite, quartz, soapstone, natural marble, cultured marble, solid surfaces and eco-friendly products?
Check with your fabricator to see if they carry other product choices that might work better for your application and design style. A quality stone fabricator will provide its customers a wide variety of surfacing options and pricing.
3) Do you offer slab viewing of stock material?
Check with your fabricator to see what materials they stock and what their slab viewing policies are. You can often get their best price if you chose from their stock material. You need to understand the timeframe of when you should view material and when you should select the material to be used on your product.
4) Does your company allow me to select which parts of the slab will be used on my project and where they will be used (i.e. template pairing / slab layout)?
Fabricators must balance the economical use of slab material with the final aesthetics of the product. There are often several ways to layout the countertops that require the same amount of material. Some customers prefer certain sections of the slab to be prominently shown on their projects, while others prefer to avoid those sections of stone or put in less conspicuous areas. After you select your material, you should discuss the need, if any, of your participation in the layout of your project.
5) Can I buy my sinks and accessories from you?
Look for a stone shop that also carries plumbing products. Offering sinks and bath accessories allows your fabricator to show you actual products in their showroom that can be coordinated to fit your needs, design style, and budget. It also makes it easier to purchase all of your accessories at one location.
6) Who handles the plumbing for my kitchen sink and/or bath accessories?
Ask your stone fabricator who will be handling the plumbing installation and hook-up. This person should be an expert with plumbing or a licensed plumber.
7) What kinds of warranties and repair service do you offer?
Ask your stone supplier about warranties on their products. Warranties should cover such issues as stains from food and beverages. Make sure to discuss this so you know what the warranty entails and covers, and for what period of time. If your countertop gets damaged, a professional stone fabricator most likely can repair your countertop. Of course, most fabricators charge for on-site work, other than warranty work.
8) Will you help and guide me with my countertop project?
Your stone provider should provide complete one-on-one project consultation, guidance and design expertise. They should provide you hassle-free sales, service and support. Quality stone shops employ highly qualified, experienced personnel who are knowledgeable professionals in their field.
9) Does your company handle all of the fabrication and installation of my stone?
Check to see that your stone source is not sub-contracting to unscrupulous and substandard fabricators or installers. Make sure you know who will be handling the project and that they are a trusted and reliable stone professional.
10) Do you have a selection center/showroom to view products and style and to help me select my kitchen and bath options?
Look for stone fabricators that have a selection center on site to view actual styles and options that are presented in fully installed stage settings. Seeing finished products allows you to get ideas and inspiration for your project.