"First time right is a rare case" NOT

oldryderAugust 15, 2013

" it seems having a beautifully done counter top for the first time is a rare case."

I disagree. With a competent fabricator you should know what to expect and get it. We do many hundreds of jobs per year and only have a handful that have unsatisfied customers.

1/2 of those are due to irrational people that no one can make happy or people that choose not to listen to the stone guys advice (like "don't use limestone for kitchen countertops") and then are unhappy with their new tops. On occasion we make mistakes and then we fix them.

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jakuvall

Amen.
I don't see as many tops. I use one fabricator only, not the cheapest, just great service, quality work, rarely an issue..
If we sell it we are totally involved, if they want to shop price they are on their own-I won't shop around. I make very little on tops and will only sell them as part of a project.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 11:07AM
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Iowacommute

Do you have any advice on how to pick a good fabricator? With all of the horror stories on here about beautiful countertops gone astray I feel safer trying to DIY something.

If you have questions we as customers should ask and things we should keep in mind when looking for a fabricator or during the process I think that would really help.

Thank you for the help you guys offer.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 11:21AM
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jancy

Can anyone here recommend someone in the Boston area for stone (granite or quartzite) counters? I will be re-doing my very tiny condo kitchen soon (haven't looked for a KD yet, just getting started) and would love to find someone in Mass. that takes pride in their work with great references.
Thanks

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 11:25AM
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SparklingWater

IowaCommute: below is a link to Marble and Granite which provide answers for both of your questions.

Regarding fabricators, I declined to use my General Contractor's fabricator after both visiting his warehouse as well as seeing he was not on the list below.

Instead I choose a well known area marble fabricator whose seams and edges I saw in person and who adds an acid wash to honed marble before sealer. The feel of the sealed marble top is amazing and worth the little extra which is charged. My fabricator is on the list below, and deservedly so.

Here is a link that might be useful: National certified fabricator list:

This post was edited by SparklingWater on Thu, Aug 15, 13 at 17:45

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 12:08PM
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Holly- Kay

I think the key is a good fabricator like you Old Ryder, and also putting aside the notion that "it may not be great but it's good enough" mentality on the fabricators part.

I saw many install nightmares on GW but I didn't worry in the least about my install because I knew the fabricator's reputation for quality was good. I never dreamed that I would come home to see an awful match. I thought maybe I would think there was too much movement in the counter top but I never was worried about the quality of the job.

My fabricator has a great reputation but if you remember even though the seams were straight and tight there was a really terrible match. Thankfully my KD went to bat for me and they made it right. The new match is so good that the seam is invisible towards the back. They did such a fabulous job the second time with the match that I believe they just got sloppy and decided it was good enough the first time around.

If it hadn't been for GW after the fact I wouldn't have even known about book matched slabs. The saleswoman didn't mention that as an option to get a great match. When I called them the day after install all I wanted them to do was reserve another piece of that granite and I was willing to pay for it even though I shouldn't have had to. The fabricator knew immediately why I was calling so he knew it was questionable but installed it anyway.

I would recommend my fabricator because in the end they made it right but I would also warn the customer to make sure that they make it clear to the fabricator that they expect a good match.

I would urge all fabricators to at least educate their customers in the best way to ensure a stellar install. If that means purchasing more than one slab then the customer can decide if that is in their budget.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 12:57PM
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soibean

jancy, we used CounterEdge in Waltham and we are very pleased with the results. If you use them I would recommend taking advantage of their software that allows you to preview and modify cuts and seams before fabrication.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 4:04PM
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kksmama

Oldryder, you are a great asset to this forum.
I wasn't thrilled with my template meeting today. The guy who came out was not interested in discussing options with me, happy to do "whatever you want" but very short on information/advice. Not concerned with the bows in the wall brought to his attention by the finish carpenter, he says "the backsplash will cover that".
I'm a remodel newbie, this was my first ever templating appointment. It seems more than obvious to me that fabricators should bring some cardboard radius patterns and edge samples to such meetings - it would make it SO much easier for a homeowner to choose!
I'll make a (long) trip to the shop tomorrow to see the templates laid out on my slabs, and I hope I'll get some advice and hand-holding by my GC/fabricator/company owner. I know it was just another day at work for the employee today....but this is something I'll live with for a really long time and for which I'm paying a lot of money. It could be handled better.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 6:23PM
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toepytoe

jancy- I chose Epic Granite and Tile in Weymouth. He installed granite counters for my coworker and the guy who helped install my walls. My counters were cut perfectly. I have no regrets using this fabricator.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 9:20PM
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chrissyb2411

Our solid surface fabricator comes Tuesday, and I'm nervous, mostly because of the horror stories. It does help to know that many people have no such problems.

Unfortunatly our budget was limited, so we ordered our hg countertops through lowes, but the fabricator they use has a good reputation. Finger crossed!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 9:26PM
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Iowacommute

Thank you SparklingWater. Its good to know there is such a group for fabricators.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 10:24PM
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jancy

Very helpful information everyone.
Thank you Toepytoe and Soibean for the recommendations. Appreciate it.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 10:40PM
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Iowacommute

Do you have any advice on how to pick a good fabricator? With all of the horror stories on here about beautiful countertops gone astray I feel safer trying to DIY something.

If you have questions we as customers should ask and things we should keep in mind when looking for a fabricator or during the process I think that would really help.

Thank you for the help you guys offer.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 2:17PM
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jakuvall

The questions I'd ask as a dealer are not the same. Besides, the reason I don't shop around and am so finicky is that I've had issues. Dealers are not immune to problems with stone fabricators.

Best to simply listen to them. Ask "Why should I deal with you instead of the competition?". In this case don't tell them what you're looking for, just listen. "Cheaper" is a bad answer.
Ask for a tour. Pay attention to how happy the workers are. How long have they been working there? Good (happy) employees are more important than shiny new machines. How many are sent on a typical installation? The best I know of send more than 2, but an answer of "it depends on the job" is fine.

On the tour a plus is being introduced to someone in management , the layout guy, or a principal.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 9:23AM
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