How long a wait is too long for countertops

whit461March 20, 2013

We love and hate everything about our remodel, so we are no different than anyone else. But I just had a call about when to expect countertops to be ready to install, and I am upset since I do not think it should have taken this long or been handled the way I have been handled. Tell me if I'm really being an A _ _.

Cabinets were installed Thursday and Friday and the installer even came in Sunday afternoon to do the final door adjustments and minor checklist things.

Counter measurer came out Tuesday at noon, on time, and measured and left.

Today (Wed), I get a call from the fabricator that since it is after 1:30, they can't get their order in to the slab yard to have it delivered tomorrow, so it will be next Thursday before the 2 marble slabs are delivered to the fabricator. Now the kicker. She tells me "best case" is that counters will be ready to install in 2-3 weeks after that! Really?

With the delay of getting the marble, that's 3-4 weeks earliest before my counters are ready. They have had it on their schedule since the beginning of February. We were delayed with cabinets only 4 days (not their fault, my fault). I was originally told it will take 7-10 days to have the counters done.

Nightmare stories aside, should I just shut up and wait the 4 weeks or more with a grin on my face? Or is this really taking twice as long as it should. The fabricator said she was sorry, but they are just backed up.

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For this area it doesn't seem like that long. I was told three weeks from templating to installation IF the slabs were at the fabricator prior to the templating. We are doing quartz so we don't have to approve where the templates go on a specific slab. We ordered our slabs more than a month prior to the cabinets going in so we would be sure they would be sitting at the fabricator waiting for them to work on as soon as templating was finished.

It seems to me like your slabs should have been delivered to the fabricator a long time ago, so that seems strange and maybe you can use that argument to get yourself bumped up on the schedule.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 3:21PM
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6-8 weeks was the norm for the longest time during the boom. Then the slowdown hit, and a lot of fabricators went out of business. For the ones that are left, now that business is picking up, lead times are also increasing. 3-4 weeks isn't uncommon for my good guys right now. For the hungrier poorer quality fabricators, it's less, but I won't use them.

Oh, yes, for some Cambria colors, the lead time has been around 3 months because it's been so popular that production can't keep up.

Take a deep breath, a glass of wine, and enjoy the anticipation!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 3:33PM
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We were given a choice by our KD: One fabricator could do it in one week, the other in three. The one-week option was super-pricey, so we went with the three.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 3:48PM
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We are just putting in new counters. Our fabricator (a good one) is scheduling templating for several weeks out. Then we were told it is 2-3 weeks between templating and install.

So, it is starting to sound like the same story all over with many fabricators.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 4:00PM
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My cabinet maker told me that it would be at least 3 weeks from the time the Cambria fabricator measured for the template (after base cabs are in) to install.

Cabinet construction won't start until the end of June, so this is just the standard lead time. I've been waiting 10 years for this remodel - I can wait a few more weeks!

Cabinet man will cut particle board for us to use while we wait. I'm thinking I might have to have him cut a hole for the sink so we can hook up temporarily - though it will be summer, so we can hose the dishes off in the yard.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 4:41PM
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my cambria was measured and installed in a week! my slabs were picked out earlier and stored at the fabricators so everything was ready to go! one thing i should have made the fabricator do that i did was have them measure exactly where to place the whole for the faucet. they put it in the right place but if they had placed the faucet on the counter before they drilled the hole they would have noticed that when the faucet is on, the spray of water is closer to the front of the sink instead of the middle. this spray closer to the front of the sink causes more of a splash on me! i have to make sure that the water pressure is on the low side so i don't get splashed. make sure they check where the water lands in your sink before they drill that hole!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 5:15PM
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beachlily z9a

My cabinets were installed on Sunday and Cambria was templated on Tuesday. Just called them today and the install will be on Mar. 29, ten days from template. They have had the slabs onsite for 3 weeks.

Just a note for people ordering Cambria. I was at the shop this morning for a side job using Cambria. Our templater was there and told me that they were just moving my slab into the shop for cutting. We went in to look and I was amazed. The Praa Sands slab was a lot of white with occasional streaks of the gray and black. The sample I was showed is medium dark with very little pure white in it. This works for me because I wanted white granite when I started shopping. However, this reaction would not be typical with the significant variation I saw in the product.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 5:39PM
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Update. After going to the slab yard to pick out two slabs of marble, I got a call from the fabricator. Miracles do happen. She tells me they will install on April 3rd, just shy of two weeks from today! Someone at HD stepped up.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 11:14AM
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Any decently managed shop should be able to deliver a typical residential kitchen in 5-7 days. The actual fabrication process in a typically equipped shop takes only 1-2 days. A shop that makes you wait 3 or 4 weeks or more is doing that simply because they can't run their business any better than that.

They'll scream about "backlog" but one must ask "why don't you work off your backlog and then go to a regular short turnaround operation?" - and the answer is because they don't know how.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 1:39PM
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Thanks, Oldryder. I completely agree. I manage a large logistics center and can't imagine simply shutting down the business because it's 5:00 pm and walking away. We work down the backlog and then adjust. Anything different and our customers would find someone else to do the work.

Sailorgirl is right. The slabs should have been at the fabricators since the time I paid for them. That would have taken a full week out of the delay.

I will give the fabricator props that I did get the call that my countertops would be installed on April 3rd. So that's two weeks, or half the time they had told me yesterday.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 1:47PM
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" The slabs should have been at the fabricators since the time I paid for them. That would have taken a full week out of the delay. "

Another reason: the fabricator should have the slabs at his shop prior to the measure so he knows the actual usable slab size. Occasionally the placement of a seam will be dependent on slab size and an inch or two more or less of usable length (or height) can mean the difference between a seam where the customer wants it or a compromise.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 2:07PM
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it took 5-6 weeks from when the stone was delivered to templating to install for my kitchen. they were done wrong and the whole thing needed to be torb out, i had to go find new stone and start all over again, including finding a new fabricator.

i say count your blessings it could be much worse!

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 2:33PM
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We originally wanted maple countertops, but once the fabricator mentioned a 14!!! week wait after the 50% deposit had cleared, we reconsidered. We have quartz, which too about 10 days from template to install.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 5:46PM
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