Updated: Apr 11, 2019
Among the many big decisions you’ll make when remodeling your kitchen or bath is selecting the material for your countertop. Choosing among natural stone, solid surface or laminate materials requires that you give some thought to the kind of use your surface will get. You can read more about countertop materials in previous posts here and here.
Once you’ve selected the best countertop material for your lifestyle and budget, you’ll have to choose a color. With so many options to choose from, you’ll want to narrow your selection by looking at samples available in the Dresser Hull showroom. These samples are useful for homing in on the general color you want in your room, determining, for example, whether you are looking for a warm white or a cool white.
If you decide to go with natural stone or a solid surface countertop, you will want to make a trip to a countertop fabricator to make your final selection from their available slabs. This is especially important when selecting natural stone, as each piece of the material will be slightly different in terms of where and in what density the colors and patterns appear on the slab.
One such fabricator is Discover Marble and Granite, which has three New England locations, including Millbury, Mass., which is convenient to the Berkshires. When Dresser Hull visited there recently, Terry, a customer service representative, shared her extensive knowledge of countertop materials, and led us through the entire selection process.
It’s a good idea to make an appointment before you visit a fabricator. Terry said you should plan to spend 45 minutes to an hour with a representative on your first visit, during which you will be shown through the available slabs of countertop materials. At Discover, appointments are scheduled every hour, and the average appointment lasts 45 minutes.
Once you have selected your countertop slab at the fabricator, your cabinets or vanity will be measured and a template will be created – usually by your contractor or installer – to ensure a proper fit. Once the template is available, you will make a return trip to the fabricator to determine how your selected material will be cut to optimize the color and other characteristics for your countertops.
At Discover, a photo of your selected slab is viewed on a computer monitor and a laser templating system allows a red outline of your countertop shape to be moved around an image of your selected slab on screen, allowing you to specify which areas of the material are to be cut for use in your room.
The type of sink you’ll use and the edge you want on your countertop must also be determined. At Discover, Terry says the edges are usually decided on when customers visit and select their stone. While these things may already have been discussed and determined with the kitchen designer, Terry said they are always double checked at the slab view. Selections also will be reviewed at the time of templating on location in your kitchen.
Finally, Terry said that at Discover, the average time between template and installation is 10-14 working days. Of course, your project may be different. Your fabricator will estimate the timing for each step.
A little bit of time spent at the fabricator can help to ensure many years of happiness with your countertop selection and fabrication. Ask your Dresser Hull kitchen designer about how to get started on your countertop selection.
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