Purchasing granite from a box store

frontMarch 12, 2014

I know most of you think it is a bad idea to purchase cabinets from a box store. Mostly due to the inexperienced kitchen designers.

What about purchasing granite? I am looking at the Sensa Caroline summer granite. I think it is around 65sqft. I realize they use outside fabricators, but I like the idea of having Lowes stand behind the work if something goes wrong.

Are their prices usually competitive? Is it cheaper to just go directly through a fabricator?

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Granite has come down so far in price, I found I could get a higher grade of granite than what Lowe's was offering, for the price you mention, from my local fabricators. My Lowe's did not offer the wide variety of stone the fabricators do nor could you pick a specific slab. I thought picking stone from small samples was risky. Why don't you ask your local fabricator(s) about getting a guarantee in writing that they will stand behind their work.
You might also check references carefully, any reliable contractor will gladly supply names.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 7:07AM
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What scpalmetto said. My experience has always been that you can find a better deal and selection with a local place.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 8:38AM
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I am also curious, I have to make a decision about granite in the next couple of weeks. I brought home a sensa sample from Lowe's and it is running about $55.00 sq ft installed.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 8:46AM
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Get estimates from several different places. Watch for "extra" charges at all the places but specifically at Lowes or HD. Charges for sink cut outs, different edges, templating, etc.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 11:11AM
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I am a fabricator so my perspective is biased but ...

I have bid work for big box stores but found I had to cut corners significantly to be able to make any money at what the big box store wanted to pay me. I have also secured bids from big box stores and found it was more than I would charge retail.

The only real advantages I can see to going thru a big box store is the financing that is sometimes available and the supposed assurance you will get support if you have issues.

In reality your best bet for a good value is to do your homework and find a competent and reputable fabricator and deal directly.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 11:53AM
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My first stop in pricing granite was HD. Their estimate was about $1K more than I ended up paying from a fabricator. Curious enough, HD would have sent us to the very same slab yard I ended up using.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 12:53PM
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We bought our granite from a Lowe's here in NH. The Lowe's person we worked with was terrific. She sent us to a granite place about 40 miles away where they had millions (slight hyperbole) of slabs. The granite yard serviced way more fabricators than just through Lowe's. We picked our slab. The fabricator templated our cabinets and two weeks later installed it. There was no extra charge for sink/faucet cut out (those 3 holes were included). We chose a very simple edge which was also included. We chose Nero Wave and the price per sq ft two years ago was either $49 or $59 , with cutouts, with edge and with a nice stainless sink included. The installation went off without a hitch and I would recommend the people with whom I worked without reservation. Obviously I am speaking of one Lowe's, one salesperson and one installer, but I would encourage people not to simply assume it will be awful. (BTW, we used Lowe's because neighbors had an equally good experience 18 months earlier)

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 3:45PM
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I went through a local fabricator and had a great experience. They were a about $2000 cheaper than the big box stores I got quotes from. They also did a windowsill, my bathroom vanity (in a different granite), and the top of a half wall in my living room, and were still $2000 cheaper with a higher grade of granite. The big box store quote was for the cheapest level of granite. We had no problems with install but also no seams which seems to be where most granite companies fail. Also everything was included, any cutout, any edge, etc. We got kind of lucky because (stupidly) we did not check references or get a recommendation from others, they just happened to be next to a auto repair place where Dh's truck was getting a new trans. We decided to pop in and get a quote while dropping off dh's truck and really liked the ppl that owned the shop. We also recommended them to my BIL and SIL who used them for their kitchen remodel and who also had a good experience.
I guess I would just strongly urge you to at least check out some local fabricators. It's always best to shop around especially for big purchases.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2014 at 6:36PM
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