12 Tips for Hiring Countertop Installers

12 Tips for Hiring Countertop Installers

How To
Cabinets and Countertops
By Dikran Seferian August 13, 2022

Today, many love the look of marble countertops in their home. The surface has a timeless look that just cannot be duplicated with faux materials. However, marble and granite and such materials are very heavy and very difficult to work with. They are typically more expensive than any other options as well. This means that they're for homeowners who only want the best for their homes. 

The expense involved in working with granite or marble — or stone, quartz, and other such materials — means that you should never have the job done in any way other than what you expect. A professional countertop installer is an absolute must for this type of job. But before you hire an expert, you may want to take a few factors into consideration.

Contact Several Contractors

Finding the right countertop installer often takes time. You’ll want to get in touch with the contractors you’ve heard or read good reviews about. Make sure to ask them all the relevant questions. For instance, you may want to know how long they have been in the business, how much experience they have with the countertop material you’re going for, and when they can start. It can also be a good idea to see other countertop installations they’re handling at the moment as well as recent projects.

Check for Credentials and Insurance

Kitchen countertops tend to be heavy, making the installation process a bit of a challenge. Having said that, accidents are always a possibility. It is therefore crucial that the kitchen counter installer you end up hiring has the insurance coverage and all the necessary credentials to get the work done as smoothly as possible. A licensed contractor, for instance, will have the training and expertise needed to carry out the installation.

Ideally, a countertop company will guarantee that the installers are insured, bonded, screened, background checked, and where applicable, licensed. In the case of a franchise, the parent company will often guarantee the work. 

Trained countertop installers will have the skills and expertise required to get the job done.

Trained countertop installers will have the skills and expertise required to get the job done.

Look for Recommendations

Make sure the contractor you hire offers quality countertop installation services by asking former clients for recommendations. If any of your friends, neighbors, colleagues or family members have similar countertops to the one you have in mind, consider asking them for referrals. You’ll know the contractor they recommend will carry out a satisfactory job if their countertop looks great.

It’s also possible that you may be buying the kitchen countertop from the same company that takes care of the installation. In that case, consider asking for references and reach out to them. They may even provide you with a portfolio that showcases their work. Should you be shopping for a countertop at a home improvement store, you can ask for recommendations from the sales representatives. 

Request a Portfolio

It’s always a good idea to look through the countertop contractor’s portfolio before hiring them. In certain cases, installers will not provide contact information of former clients, knowing the services they offered were below standards. The best way to get an idea about the quality of work a contractor does — a granite countertop installation, for instance — is to ask for photos of previous projects. Companies will sometimes have photos on their websites, but it’s better to ask for their portfolio. Avoid hiring installers who shy away from providing the photos.

Photos of a contractor’s previous work can help you determine whether the results will meet your expectations.

Photos of a contractor’s previous work can help you determine whether the results will meet your expectations.

Talk to Previous Clients

If you’re lucky enough, you may find clients who are satisfied with the services of a countertop contractor and are willing to provide relevant details. Bear in mind that there are certain questions you can’t really discuss with the installer. By talking to previous clients of a company, you’ll get the opportunity to ask such questions. Some clients may even let you visit their homes to see the countertops in person.

Ask for Written Estimates

Once you have your top picks, you will need to ask them for written estimates. The countertop installers will most likely have to come over and see what they’re dealing with in terms of dimensions and scope of work. They may also ask about the brand of the countertop you’ve chosen. If the countertop is already delivered to your home, the contractors may want to have a look at it before giving you an estimate. 

Inquire About Additional Services

While many countertop contractors may also install sink faucets as well as kitchen backsplashes, their scope of work might not include any plumbing. Other companies will provide additional services besides installing countertops. Some contractors will remove the old countertop for free while others will charge extra for it. You may even come across a company that also handles the installation of kitchen sinks and cabinets, preventing you from having to hire multiple contractors for a full kitchen remodel. Unless you’re only replacing your kitchen countertops, it might be worth taking this into consideration.

A lot of countertop contractors will also provide additional services such as installing sink faucets.

A lot of countertop contractors will also provide additional services such as installing sink faucets.

Area of Service

Certain countertop installers offer their services nationwide while others may be limited to a specific area. As such, it can be a good idea to be sure of the coverage area before hiring a contractor. Countertop service providers will typically add a location search option on their websites. This essentially allows clients to find out whether the company provides its services in their ZIP code. If you come across a countertop installation website that doesn’t have this feature, you can always ask them by phone. 

Ask About Warranties

A decent countertop installation company will normally back its work up with a warranty. Bear in mind, however, that the length of the warranties may vary from one contractor to another. Besides the installation companies, countertop manufacturers will offer their own guarantees on the materials they sell. Before you settle on a contractor for your project, make sure both the materials and the labor come with a warranty to verify that the results are up to standard. 

Consider Scheduling Options

Much like other services, you can usually set up an interview or an installation appointment online or via a phone call. Certain countertop contractors may even allow you to schedule with them using a mobile application. For your convenience, you may want to make sure that the company you’re hiring for the project offers the scheduling method of your choice. Many homeowners, for instance, do not always feel comfortable talking on the phone and prefer to communicate online. 

It can be convenient to choose a contractor that offers the scheduling methods that you prefer.

It can be convenient to choose a contractor that offers the scheduling methods that you prefer.

Inquire About the Process

Installing a countertop may take anywhere from a few hours to a few days, depending on the material and scope of work. Having said that, it’s important that you’re ready for the whole process. You may also want to ask the professionals about the equipment they will be used to carry out the countertop installation. Other details that are worth asking about include the hours of the day they expect to work and have access to your kitchen, how they handle delays in the job and the cleanup policy for when the work is done. 

Follow Your Instinct

Bear in mind that a written estimate becomes a legal document once you’ve agreed to it and signed it. That being said, make sure the contractor you choose has the proper skills and experience to carry out the project. If you’re torn between two equally skilled experts, go for the one that offers lower prices or is available sooner — depending on what’s more important to you. Or if the one you prefer has higher prices than the other, you can even try negotiating a better deal.

Do not hesitate to negotiate a lower price with the contractor of your choice.

Do not hesitate to negotiate a lower price with the contractor of your choice.

DS

Written by
Dikran Seferian

Written by Dikran Seferian

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