When you’ve decided on natural stone countertops, the next most important decision is choosing a contractor for installation. When properly installed, granite, slate and marble countertops will give you many decades of beauty, durability and performance. When they’re not installed correctly, they may crack, stain or become loose in just a few years.
These tips for choosing a countertop installer will protect your investment in beautifully natural stone countertops.
Make a List of Qualified Contractors
Ask your friends and acquaintances for recommendations on installers for natural stone counters. You’ll hear the good, bad and ugly about local contractors. Ask about the quality of the job, the ease of working with the contractor and whether or not the job was completed on time and within budget.
Make a list of those you hear good things about. You can also find contractors online. Look for independent reviews of contractors in your area.
Continue to look for names until you have a list of three to five contractors recommended to you for their skill, experience and professionalism.
Discuss your Project with Contractors on your List
Most countertop installation professionals give free estimates. Invite each one to your home to review the project. Look at their natural stone samples if you intend for them to supply the material. If you already have it picked out, discuss your selection with them.
Ask questions about their experience and how long they’ve been in business in your area. Find out how skilled and experienced the actual installers will be. Take a look a picture gallery of the natural stone countertops the company has installed. Learn about the sealing process for the natural stone counters and how often it needs to be done.
Ask when they can start the job and when it would be finished. This may be especially important if you’re trying to get your natural stone countertops installed in time for an event such as the holidays or an open house.
Get Multiple Written Estimates
Let the contractors know that you’ll be getting several estimates. This will signal to them that they need to give their best price is they intend to get the job.
Make your Decision Based on Price and Expertise
If you’re spending the money for granite, slate or marble countertops, be willing to pay a bit more to get the best possible installation job. If you believe two countertops contractors will do an equally good job, then going with the one with the best price makes sense.
If one contractor stands out for reputation, expertise and a warranty that backs up the work, invest in the best installer. When your countertops look as good in 15 years as they look on the first day, you’ll be glad you did.