How To Maximize Savings When Countertop Shopping

Prices can vary widely on stones like these. Let's make sure you're getting the best value for your dollar.

There’s a big problem with the way most of us shop for kitchen countertops, and it’s costing us a lot of money.

The majority of homeowners do this:

  • find a local stone yard
  • pick a slab they like
  • get a price
And that’s it. A more savvy person might visit a second or even third stone yard and pick another stone and get another estimate.

But here’s the problem with that approach. You’re not comparison shopping because at each place you picked a different stone so you have no idea how much of that price is labor versus material.

Do you want to be able to save hundreds or possibly even thousands of dollars if you have a very large kitchen?

Then you’ll find the next few paragraphs extremely enlightening.

What The Stone Yards Aren’t Telling You

What a lot of stone yards won’t freely offer up is that you can go visit one of their wholesalers and check out all of the slabs that are available to you. It might seem strange to visit a wholesale company but they are open to the public.

The fabricator isn’t doing anything wrong by not telling you about this. After all, they probably have a decent selection for you to choose from at their shop, but they would rather unload something that they already have in stock versus having to purchase a new slab from their wholesaler.

Another huge benefit of picking out a slab at a wholesaler is the selection. Most local fabricators may have 30 or so different stones for you to choose from, but in most cases the wholesaler is going to easily have 100 or more. And even better is that there’s probably more than one wholesaler hiding in your area.

Just do a Google search for “granite wholesalers near me” and they’ll turn up. And don’t worry if you’re looking for soapstone, quartz, or quartzite and not granite. The companies you find with that search will more than likely carry all of them and many more you have never even heard of.

How To Get The Lowest Price

Once you pick out the exact slab that you want you can reserve it or “tag” it as it’s usually referred to in the industry.

Now it’s time to head to the fabricators to get prices. Since they all will be paying the same amount for the material you’ll be doing true comparison shopping and seeing how much of your bill will be for fabrication and installation.

Now all you have to do is give your kitchen sketches to the fabricator and let them know you have tagged a slab over at a wholesaler. Just give them your contacts info at the wholesaler and they will take care of the rest.

How Many Quotes Should You Get?

Getting 3 quotes from different fabricators will be enough to make sure that nobody is over charging you. If you’re lucky all the prices will come back very close and you will get to choose the company that you had the best rapport with and that made you feel the most comfortable.

How To Find Fabricators

You probably have one or two right in your hometown, but in most cases you’re going to have to branch out a bit. Here’s how to find them:
  • Your best resource is family and friends that have had their kitchens remodeled recently. Ask them for recommendations first.
  • After that you can use the internet to drum up a couple more if you need to. This is a bit of a roll of the dice but by reading their reviews you can get a pretty good idea of what sort of operation they are running.
  • Try the Yellow Pages. It may be hard to believe in this day and age but some “old school” businesses are hard to find on-line.
  • Ask the wholesaler for recommendations.
Of course you should be checking their on-line reviews as well, but I think you’ll find that in this industry most will be positive or at least you’ll find very few negative ones. My favorite places to see what consumers have to say is the BBB, Yelp, and their business listing on Google.

How To Make Finding Fabricators Easier

Instead of having to go out and find local contractors, they can come to you. These contractors are all fully screened, their licenses have been verified, and their backgrounds are checked for you.

To find these local companies add your basic project info to the form below. You’ll most likely get better prices as well. This happens because each of the local fabricators that receives your info knows they aren’t the only one that got it, so they know they have to bid competitively to earn you business.

It’s up to you how you want to handle it. If you’d rather skip the step of having to thumb through the Yellow Pages, compiling a list using the internet, and sorting through their reviews, you can put your basic projects info into the form below and you’ll be contacted by up to 3 local companies that are ready to start as soon as you are.

Updated: March 1, 2017