When choosing the right countertops for your space, there are many things to consider. It can be easy to get lost in the shuffle and all the different options available, so having a checklist can make sure that you tick all the boxes when shopping for countertops.
Set Your Budget
The budget for any project is no trivial thing, and unfortunately it is very easy to go over your allotted number very quickly. While it is true that sometimes a budget does need to stretch a bit so you can get exactly what you want, having a budget in place allows buyers to be wise as they make that judgment call.
Do your research about which countertop materials fit within your budget while still providing the qualities and appearance you desire. Your countertop supplier will give you a quote based on your measurements, the price of the material, and the cost of labor. It is wise to get a few quotes from different suppliers and compare them.
It is typical for roughly 10% of a kitchen renovation budget to go to countertops, and the exact pricing of your countertop installation will be affected by the size of the space you need to cover. Having a good project outline will educate your budget while you are shopping for countertops.
Have a Comprehensive Project Outline
Having a plan makes any construction project run more smoothly. In such a plan, you have many facets to consider: Do you plan to perform the installation yourself or have it done professionally? Can your cabinets bear the weight of the stone you choose? Do you plan to have a sink flush with the countertop, or do you want a lip? What about a backsplash?
A kitchen template can help you account for the cabinets, sinks, and appliances in a room. Remember that surprises tend to cost time and money, so try to plan for the unexpected.
Know Your Materials
Do thorough research on the kind of material you want to incorporate into your kitchen’s design. There are many options available ranging from natural stone to laminate. These are few of our favorites:
- Granite is a tough natural stone in a wide array of designs
- Quartz is synthesized so it doesn’t need to be sealed regularly
- Marble is enduring and looks luxurious
- Quartzite is one of the strongest and most resilient countertop options on the market
You also have the option to mix materials. You might try alternating color schemes or using a different material for a backsplash than you use for the rest of the countertop. Even if you use the same material in one room, that does not need to extend to other rooms in the house. If, while you are shopping for countertops, you find multiple things you like, consider how you might incorporate them all.
Pick Your Edge
Many countertop buyers are surprised when installers ask which kind of edge they’d prefer for their countertops, but this is a decision that should be made relatively early. At Out of the Woods, we offer both traditional and custom-cut countertop edges:
- Half Bullnose Edge
- Bevel Edge
- Crescent Edge
- Square Edge
- 2.25 Miter Edge
- Chisel 3CM Edge
- Chisel 6CM Edge
- Ogee Edge
- Double Ogee Step OutEdge
Consider the Sink
Do you plan on a drop-in or undermount sink? Each has its pros and cons, but we’ll focus on the basics here. Drop-in sinks have a visible lip around their perimeters. This rests against the countertop and requires no special modifications for installation. Undermount sinks, as their name suggests, are mounted underneath the countertop. Crumbs from the counter can be brushed directly into the sink without worrying about a lip. They do require foresight before their installation so the counter can support them.
Request Sample Pieces
Physical samples allow a homeowner shopping for countertops to see how a material will look in a given space. You can compare the accents in the stone to the hues of your countertops. Samples also allow a buyer to get a feel for a material’s appearance in the light of any specific room.
Watch the Warranty
Nothing is foolproof, not even granite or marble. While these materials are designed to last for a long time, checking the warranty is a wise way to make sure you’re not surprised after installation. A warranty can protect the serious investment that is a new countertop. Be aware that warranties do not cover misuse of stone or the other countertop materials.
Shopping for Countertops with Out of the Woods
Sometimes, even with a checklist, shopping for countertops can be an overwhelming experience. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Our professionals at Out of the Woods Custom Cabinetry are happy to help you find the perfect countertop for you.