Affording Slab Stone Counters – Granite, Marble & Quartz
There are lots of ways to accomplish the beautiful look and feel of a stone slab countertops for your kitchen or bathroom. Today most homeowners think about granite, marble or quartz, but are concerned about the cost.
Slab Counters – The Cost
The traditional process to obtain a slab counter is to visit the slab showrooms, fall in love with a stone’s color and pattern and hope for the best. The cost of installing stone counters in your home is one of the mysteries of the industry.
The cost is a function of five things:
- The actual cost of the stone you have chosen – patterns and colors vary in price and availability
- The number of slabs needed to do your project
- The number of cutouts necessary – for sinks, appliances, faucets
- The type of edge profile selected – the more fancy, the more costly
- The ease or difficulty of installation – standard cabinets, large islands, size of overhangs
- The first two items are part of the raw material costs from the Showroom where you see and select the stone. The last three items are part of the production costs from the Fabricator hired to actually cut, finish and install your counter.
Controlling the Cost
To some degree, you have control over all of the above items, except the number of slabs needed to complete your project. Your project will need enough raw material (number of slabs) to cover all the counters and unless you plan to dramatically change the layout of your room, this is determined by your floor plan.
Traditionally, stone is only sold in complete slabs. If your project needs 1¼ slabs, you will be paying for 2 and only using about 65% of the stone. Technically it is yours; you paid for it. However, it is too heavy and bulky an asset to keep around the garage – so it simply becomes part of the sunk cost of doing your project with the remnants becoming inventory at the fabricator’s facility. Obviously, the more “waste”, the higher the per square foot price of your new counter.
Minimizing Your Cost
Wouldn’t it be a great idea if you only had to pay for the stone actually used to create you slab counter? Well we at Provanti Designs thought so too. After some research, we have found a company in the Seattle Area that provides just this service. And this company involves a Showroom as well as a Fabricator, taking one step out of the mysterious pricing process. The company purchases large quantities of granite and quartz slabs as part of their Stock Program. The Stock Program includes inventory with a cross-section of popular colors and patterns. This inventory is sold by a square foot price; not a per slab price. So, if your project needs 1 ¼ slabs – that is all you are going to pay for. The per square foot price of each specific project is calculated based upon the raw material price, quantity needed, cuts, specified edge detail, and installation.