Countertops from Home Depot?

dcward89March 10, 2014

We have made the decision to get Corian for our new kitchen. I fell in love with their newer pattern, Witch Hazel. Anyway, has anyone here ever purchased counters of any kind from Home Depot and were you satisfied with the experience...quality of fabrication, installation, etc.? I don't like that you have to pay the full bill up front for your estimated square footage/fabrication before they will even come out to measure/template. I just worry that we have no leverage if something goes wrong. The other side of the coin however is that they are currently running a sale on Corian and we could save quite a bit of money over the local "countertops only" kind of place that only require 1/2 down and 1/2 when finished.

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We purchased our Silestone from HD during a sale. Paid full amount upfront but after install a few months later (our scheduling decision, not theirs) we were refunded the difference between the quote and the actual. They round up measurements slightly to give that wiggle room in the price. The communication with the installers was ok, not as good as a small, local shop. The price difference was significant--nearly $2000 less than one quote. The quality of the install was good. Minimal seam, only one seam when initially was told it would likely require two. Great reveal on the sink cutout and nice job on the on-site cooktop cutout. Overall, very pleased. Hated to not use a local fabricator, but the savings add up when you are trying to manage a budget.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 11:24AM
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Hi, we bought a granite countertop from HD and the experience was mixed. The contractors whom they referred us to were quite incompetent and made two errors in the cutting process: 1. the corner was not rounded despite a very clear rounded corner with a stated diameter on the diagram, and 2. there was a gap over an inch wide between the countertop and the wall. They tried to tell us that it was ok and that they will hide the gap with backsplash... They really tried to fight us on recutting/refund.

I have to say that HD was pretty great at working with them to get us a brand new slab and new countertop without any extra cost for us. I am not sure how they split up the cost of a new slab and recutting, but we didn't have to pay anything extra on top of the original amount. I know that it all depends on a local HD manager, but ours was pretty great. So overall - the contractors/local company they work with was horrible, but HD made it right at the end.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 11:48AM
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I think that in all cases Home Depot sub-contracts out the templating, fabricating, and installation of countertops. So one person's experience with purchasing countertops through Home Depot won't indicate much about what you can expect, even if that person went through the exact same Home Depot store as you will, they could have ended up with a different sub-contractor, so the experience could be very different.

I have heard it suggested that Home Depot demands a lower price from the sub-contractor so that Home Depot can add a mark-up and still seem competitive with independent fabricators, which can siphon off much of the profit in the transaction, which already has a relatively low margin. Therefore the sub-contractors they use would seem to be those that cannot otherwise fill their own schedule. Which might mean that fabricator is:
1) New to the business and haven't done enough jobs to have their own referrals.
2) Highly skilled, but tired of running the business end of the job, (or perhaps not good at running the business end)
3) Highly skilled, but new to the area or newly out on their own.
4) No good at fabricating, or installing and few of their jobs generate positive reviews or recommendations or additional business.
5) Something else.

However I think Home Depot won't even tell you who they would be using ahead of time, fearing that you'd take your business directly to that fabricator, and cut them out of the deal. That is probably why them demand full payment upfront.

To me it seems that asking about people's experiences with Countertops from Home Depot, is analogous to asking has anyone dated someone through (for instance). For mileage may vary (considerably).

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 11:49AM
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Actually, Home Depot does use local fabricators...they don't have their own installers. I would think you would probably have more leverage with Home Depot if there was a problem than you might with directly finding your own installer. I think Home Depot simply provides steady work to decent installers, but with the padded profit margins reduced. To the OP, I simply suggest that when you get an installer assigned, you ask for references from previous jobs (and/or check them out on Angie's List). If you are concerned after checking references, get Home Depot to assign some other firm before any work is done

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 12:57PM
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Since you know actually what you want get estimates from other places besides HD or Lowes.

Oh, it sounds like you already did get other estimates.

This post was edited by debrak2008 on Mon, Mar 10, 14 at 13:05

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 1:00PM
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Make sure that you look on the Corian site and check out the example they show of seams in this material.

It is a big swirly pattern and will have very obvious seams.

I don't mean this to dissuade you from using it if you like the pattern, just be aware that the pattern change at the seam will be very obvious even if the seam is undetectable by feel.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 1:24PM
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Kudzu, FYI the HD we went through used a local granite company for their granite installs, but the Silestone contract was with a company 5 hours away in another state. So OP's MMV depending upon product and store. I got the name of the contracted fabricator/installer prior to purchasing as researched their reviews online. That gave me the confidence to use a company which was out of state. The actual templater/installer lives in our city and gets the product cut and ready to go shipped up to him from their fabrication shop and he comes back to install. Just a little more background info from our experience. Again, I am pleased with the outcome.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 6:09PM
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For what Homer Burrito pays their installers, just be happy that it (kinda) fits.

You want quality? Use a quality installer/fabricator.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 7:23PM
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i just had a conversation with an older gentleman at a granite place about his horrible install from hd. in our area(albany,ny) both lowes and hd use installers 2 hours away and apparently lowes is on their third installer from that same city. that doesn't sound positive so despite the great pricing, i will not go that route.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 7:59PM
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If you are worried about price leveraging... pay by credit card (NOT debit card). You can dispute charges later as needed.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 8:13PM
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We used he for our lg quartz countertops, and had a fabulous experience. The fabricators are hired out. We spent some time talking to the install guys, so we got the scoop. They are not so much "local". We live in southern nh. Our fabricator was from Canada. It was about a 6 hour drive for them to get to us. They are located just across the border from Vermont, and our templeter was from Vermont. They do all stone countertops for hd in New England and parts of ny. They do them in batches. The guys drive down with all their installs and spend a night or two in a hotel. They actually ended up calling us at 4 the night before our scheduled install. They had finished the last job early and wanted to know if we were ready. Yes please! They did a fabulous job, had all the right equipment, the seam is fantastic. The template was so good everything went in nice and tight without a hitch. The original amount we were quoted (and paid up front) was right on, no changes. I did, however, use a credit card (not debit) for that transaction so that in case something did happen I would have some leverage.

Now, we originally planned on a solid surface countertop from lowes. That whole experience was painful. They were almost sneaky in the way they were not upfront about up charges. By the time we had gotten the adjusted price after templeting the cost was close to double! And the guy who came out to template did not give me a good vibe about knowing his stuff.

We also looked at independent fabricators. But there prices ran about 40% more for the exact same product (same msnufacurer, same color) quartz. I attempted to negotiate a price closer to the big box, but they wouldn't budge at all. At 40% more I couldn't justify it.

Anyway, that's my story.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 8:23PM
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We got Corian from HomeDepot 10 years ago. Loved it, installers were great, no issues, NEVER saw a seam. No complaints at all, in fact I did love that Corian except for the white sink--yuck! It has driven me now to a black sink!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 8:31PM
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sum5463- Thanks for the info. I live in an area where I have about 8 Home Depot stores in a 20 mile radius, and I forget that other people don't have as many options because they don't live, or don't want to live, in a major metropolitan area like that.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 8:59PM
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I have Corian from HD..
We initially went in and picked out the "lesser" type formed counter top because I loved the color.
After some time, it got later and later, they admitted that their supplier could not get some of the ingredients for the one we picked. They offered us an upgrade to Corian for free. We also got the undermount integrated sink for free(that was the deal they were running when we purchased the original set up).
Oh and when it was finally installed on site they rounded a counter top hang over at no cost too.
They were not very forth coming with the "problem" just kept putting me off a week, and another week, then another until I got VERY insistant.. But they made up for it.

I would reuse Corian in another kitchen and even HD.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 9:11PM
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I previously did fabrication for Home Depot and have several friend fabricators that do/did Home Depot and Lowes work. Those accounts sound good to many fabricators due to volume and consistent work. In most cases the big box stores demand more for less from the fabricator making it tough to make a profit unless they cut corners and take shortcuts. In my area fabricators will service box stores in a 400 mile radius but receive no travel time. The end result can reflect this.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 8:48PM
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After I sold my solid surface fabrication business, I went to work for a fabricator who had contracts with several HD stores. I will match the work we did for HD against any work any where, any time.

When you buy solid surface, estone, and granite by the boxcar load, you get tremendous leverage with manufacturers. That said, I just had a friend who serviced 13 HD's over a large area tell them to take a hike because they threatened to take his account when he wouldn't add stores that were several hours away.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 9:42PM
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