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RE: The Truth About Buying Granite (Follow-Up #93)

posted by: bmh4796 on 10.09.2006 at 10:07 pm in Kitchens Forum

Indian Vyara is GORGEOUS--light and airy. Different from the darks that are so popular these days. It coordinates with slate beautifully as well as honey toned floor. AND it just so happens to be one of the cheapest granites out there!! For the first time ever, I have fallen in love with one of the cheapest of the bunch. Seriously, I walked around and around the mazes of UNPRICED granites on the lot, and when I saw that one, I just knew! It was love at first sight and it just so happens to be cheap. When does that ever happen??

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clipped on: 02.02.2007 at 06:42 pm    last updated on: 02.02.2007 at 06:42 pm

RE: The Truth About Buying Granite (Follow-Up #82)

posted by: paulines on 10.08.2006 at 07:32 am in Kitchens Forum

Lesley,
The big boxes have stone samples priced by the tier system, you may have some luck getting a better handle on cost by checking them out.

My Typhoon Green was around $100.00 sf and included a sink cut-out, holes drilled for the faucet, soap dispenser, & phone cord, ogee profile, seating area detail work & windowsill/backsplash work.

I just referred a couple clients to our fabricator and they were quoted $48.00 sf for Uba Tuba & $86 sf for Blue Eyes (magnificient slabs) - that included all cut-outs & profile.

I think you'll find the more common stones (which include many of the true granites) should run you under $60/sf. The greens, stones with movement and better grades (including Wild West, Golden Beaches, top quality Absolute) should price out somewhere between $60 - 90 sf and the more exotics (including the sodalites) $90 and up.

Additionally, even though more slabs are routinely resined now, it is my understanding that they are demanding a slight upcharge - money very well spent in my book!

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clipped on: 01.28.2007 at 11:25 pm    last updated on: 01.28.2007 at 11:25 pm

RE: The Truth About Buying Granite (Follow-Up #74)

posted by: paulines on 10.06.2006 at 06:42 am in Kitchens Forum

I prefer clear silicon, GFaber.

There are a number of things to look for that constitute a quality job. Scribing the stone, polishing the seams & overhang, an even profile, etc, etc.

Just as important as the technical stuff, is that the fabricator have an artistic eye for matching the stone at the seams, especially if book-matched and/or with a stone with movement.

I do agree with Herus, in regards to the advice folks receive at StoneAdvise - it is written by fabricators, some very good and some not so. They may advise you that a particular stone is brittle, but that should not be a concern for the end-user. Their recommendations seem to be based on their experiences fabricating the stone - not pertinent for how it will perform in your kitchen (although some fabricators upcharge the labor on more difficult stones).

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clipped on: 01.28.2007 at 11:20 pm    last updated on: 01.28.2007 at 11:20 pm

RE: The Truth About Buying Granite (Follow-Up #16)

posted by: herus on 09.28.2006 at 06:48 pm in Kitchens Forum

Sight unseen quotes are commonplace if the stone is also relatively common. Some fabs also quoted us custom stone sight unseen BUT the important difference here is they were significantly higher. This makes me think, although I do not have proof, that they pad the price to allow for any unusual circumstances. For some buyers, this will be goodness. For others, such as myself, who managed to get a great stone at a great price by carefully spec'ing it, this would lead to overpaying. We even visited fabricators who used the SAME yard and quoted different prices on the same stone.

Also watch out for things like tearout, taxes, and cutouts. For example: one fab quoted sales tax on the full price (which was higher to begin with, thus making it higher yet). Our fab quoted tax separately on material and none on labor, the way it should be (might vary by state). Our invoice was accordingly itemized.

The higher fab also wanted $6/sf for tearout, ours took $3. Cutout prices (for sinks, etc) can vary also. Ultimately, you want to get a bottom line of the check you will be writing; a per-square-foot price is subject to smoke-and-mirror tricks although not saying it always is so.

You might also want to set it up to where you pay the fab a separate fee for the templating in case you didn't like their final numbers. I got into a fracas with the goons at StoneAdvice because they kept insisting that 50% non-refundable upfront was industry standard. Well, guess what? I got my fab to agree to no money up front but for the templating fee (usually under $200 and is part of the total job price should you go through with it). May not happen for you, but it's worth a try.

As for getting advice from the crowd over at StoneAdvice, think about whom you are asking: the people who, as a group, stand to benefit by setting you up to expect certain things. There is no way you will get the kind of advice there that you get on GW. Most of GW is made up of people like you and me; consumers who want to be careful and not get ripped off. Yes, there are a few 'pros' here from the various industries who pop up now and then to defend what can be questionable practices. My assertion to them is: good pros are so busy with word-of-mouth business they have no time to hang out on forums selling their point of view. Learn to separate that kind of advice from that of the consumers who have lived the experience you are about to go through.

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clipped on: 01.28.2007 at 10:15 pm    last updated on: 01.28.2007 at 10:15 pm

RE: Counter Top: Practical a MUST but pretty too? (Follow-Up #8)

posted by: stonemaster on 01.28.2007 at 12:33 pm in Kitchens Forum

We sell all types of tops, but solid surface is the best for most homeowners.
Here is the short list.

Laminate, cheap but it has gotten so thin that it doesn't last like it used to, as well and the glue doesn't stick like it used to (EPA and solvent issues). Color and clear layers used to be 5 x thicker than they are now, advances in motor control made it possible to make the paper layers thinner and thinner. The newest textured products are wearing through at a accelerated rate, so get a flat smooth product with as much gloss as you can stand and live with the scratches.

Pick solid surface if you want a top that you can just use and clean when you have the time to clean. You can refinish it yourself if it gets a scratch, which are very rare, but do happen. Almost all damage can be repaired to new condition, the seams are very hard to find and even invisible in most cases.

Granite, stains, scratches, needs sealing every six months to prevent rapid absorbtion of common foods and cleaning products (sealing doesn't eliminate staining, it slows it down so you have time to wipe up the grease or spill). Very high maintance product.

E-stone has it's own set of issues as well, better than granite, but still a poor choice.

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clipped on: 01.28.2007 at 08:14 pm    last updated on: 01.28.2007 at 08:14 pm