COUNTERTOPS: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE

Your countertops are a main, essential part in your overall kitchen or bathroom design. There are a wide range of looks, durability levels, and prices. However, you can find something beautiful for every budget if you’re willing to give and take. You will be using your countertops every day for many years, so it’s important to choose something that you love, as well as something that will hold up well to your lifestyle.

Your countertops are also one of the most expensive pieces of your kitchen or bathroom, so this is an investment that needs to be thought through and not rushed into. Because of the constant of questions we get regarding countertops, we’ve decided to create a guide to all things countertop, an all-encompassing measure of what you, the home or business owner, need to know.

INDEX: (Clicking will take you directly to that section)

Additional links will be added to each section to provide more clarity on each topic if needed!


QUARTZ

Quartz countertops have been soaring in popularity. Not only for the amazing colors that you can find in quartz, but for the strength, durability, resistance to heat or stains, and it’s amazing antibacterial surface. The price runs from mid to high, depending on the brand you choose, the color, the thickness, and how many cutouts your kitchen will have.

 

 

It can be equally as expensive as granite, more expensive or less expensive, depending on the style of granite you’re comparing it to. There is literally no downside to quartz if you can afford it. Quartz countertops will also give you a great return on investment should you decide to sell. Quartz is also considered more eco friendly. Click here to shop our quartz products!

The Origin

Quartz countertops have been inside homes for over 50 years, and for good reason. When the natural elements within this material are combined by human ingenuity, the eventual product competes with the natural stone in both durability and look.

This process was created by the Italian company, Breton S.p.A, in the early 1960s. This company was established by a man named Marcello Toncelli, who wanted to open the market on “absolutely innovative and at the time practically unexplored: developing new technologies and manufacturing industrial plants for producing compound stone,” according to M S International, Inc.

Quartz countertops took Italy by storm, and ever since, been focalized in European kitchens. The trend did, however, take longer to hit the States. Mainly, because styles and tends take time to manifest across the pond, but a couple decades later, American consumers were all over it. By 2004, HGTV reported a massive increase in U.S. sales, increasing by 60%. The boom began and continues to do so.

 

naranja-cool-silestone-why-buy-quartz-countertops

 

 

How It’s Made

Now, there are some quartz countertops that are made quite similar to granite, but these days, quartz countertops are usually engineered. This process is quite simple. They’re formed by combining 90% ground quartz (the natural hard mineral) and 10% of resins, polymers, and pigments.

The result is an extremely hard surface. Depending on just how ground the quartz was will ultimately determine the pattern in the product. If it was coarsely ground, the surface will have a “speckled” appearance, but if it was smooth, it will have a more solid look to it.

At Builders Surplus, we carry two of the best brands that supply these beautiful countertops — Cambria, Silestone, and VICOstone. Cambria Quartz is mined and made ENTIRELY in the United States. Shop local my friends.

Thickness Options: Standard thickness for Quartz countertops are 3cm, but you do have the option in going with a smaller thickness, down to 1cm, for less money, or all the way up to 6cm, for more. The choice is yours.

 

The Good & The Bad

Pros

  • A tremendous amount of colors; vast selection
  • Consistent Color
  • Very low-environmental impact. Cheers to the saving the world
  • Undoubtedly the hardest of all the countertop surfaces
  • Stain, Heat, and Scratch Resistant
  • Sealing not required
  • Man-Made
  • Great Resell Value
  • Antibacterial Surface

 

Cons

  • If exposed to direct sunlight, expect to see some discoloration over time
  • A little more difficult to hide seams than others
  • Costly

 

 

Helpful Links:

    1. Why Should I Buy Quartz Countertops?
    2. The Hottest New Cambria Quartz Colors
    3. Countertop Materials Compared
    4. Homearama Kitchens: Trends in 2017
    5. Contact a Designer

Granite

Granite has been the most popular countertop option since the late 80’s. It can range from moderately priced to high priced. Now, granite does require sealing as it is a porous material, so maintenance is a bit higher than with quartz. This countertop material is extremely heat and scratch resistant and there are some beautiful colors to choose from. We offer in stock, prefabricated granite that fits most kitchen layouts, or custom granite to fit any layout. Buyers love granite, so this is a great choice if you’re going to be selling. Click here to shop our granite selections!

granite countertops

Granite Countertop

 

The Origin

There are some that would say granite is the pinnacle of American architecture, having been used to construct some of the most profound establishments in our nation, like Mount Rushmore or The New York Library. It’s no secret that this natural stone has been used throughout the ages, which is why it’s no surprise that this material snuck into households everywhere, but at a cost.

Because of the price point, it was only often found in rich, luxurious homes. Not to say that it wasn’t out of reach for the average homeowner, but most houses in the 1980s — when granite countertops initially hit — were made of laminate.

 

 

As technology progressed, granite was massively produced and started to appear in middle-class homes in the early 1990s, much like quartz. Because this product began as a localized industry, costs were pretty affordable. In addition, imports arrived from places like Brazil and India, and in such an influx that granite became readily available. Thus, another boom.

 

How It’s Made

The majority of the granite countertops that’s imported in the States derives from Brazil, and also India. They’re quarried from these two locations….and the process begins! The suppliers cut the blocks into the appropriate sizes. This is done by running the stone through  massive saws that pierces the granite at ease, however, it can take up to an hour to cut through each of these slabs.

 

Granite countertop obsession - Granite Mining

 

From there, it’s time to polish the slab’s surface to really get that sleek, finished look and reveal the granite’s true beauty. This is done by running the slabs through polishing machines. Each machine has gigantic polish pads that slowly, gradually buff the stone and brings out the shine.

 

Granite countertop obsession - granite cutting

 

 

Once they’re all shined and primed, they’re set into sections of 5-7 slabs, usually in the order they’re cut to maintain the consistency of the swirls and patterns. They’re then distributed to the U.S., to major distributors (like MSI) who then, in turn, sell them into households across the nation.

Thickness Options: Standard thickness for granite countertops is also 3cm, like quartz, but it typically stops there. Sorry, folks. Think of it this way, though, that’s more money in your pocket!

 

The Good & The Bad

Pros

      • This is a 100% natural material, which definitely has its advantages
      • Not as strong as the aforementioned BUT it’s no slouch; durable, physically strong
      • Unique, in that every cut from slab is going to be different; Exclusivity
      • Excellent selection of colors
      • Consistent color
      • Good for resell

Cons

      • Once again, nearly impossible to hide the seams in this material
      • Porous Material
      • Costly
      • Sealing makes it more high maintenance and because it’s porous it can stain easier, even when sealed.

 

Helpful Links:

      1. Granite Countertop Obsession: How It Started & Why
      2. 5 Best DIY Granite Countertop Cleaners
      3. Prefab Granite Countertops: Affordable Elegance
      4. Granite Edges: The Finishing Touch
      5. Contact a Designer

Laminate

Laminate is the most affordable option. It is not very stain or heat resistant, but it holds up fairly well to scratches. It is decently low maintenance and they have some amazing color choices these days! Its the perfect option if you’re on a strict budget and higher end cabinets are more important to you. We also offer laminate in prefabricated slabs or custom order. Click here to shop our laminate selection!

Also, if you plan on going the custom route, there’s almost an unlimited number of color choices to choose from! They’re also available in hot, trendy styles like wood-look and stone-look, and the like! These options are priced based on the design, not the square foot, because it needs to take into account your end caps, cut outs, meters, build ups, side splashes, and more.

Note, too, that when it comes to pricing, laminate uses linear feet and not square feet. Very important information, people. Write that down.

 

laminate countertops

Laminate Countertops

 

The Origins

Interestingly enough, the origin of laminate countertops begins with the ingenuity of two electrical engineers — Daniel J. O’Conor and Herbert A. Fabor. They found out that high-pressure plastic resins could be used to make electrical parts, replacing the mineral mica, hence the name, Formica. The official company, The Formica Products Company, was established in 1913.

By 1930, the company began to to shift from industrial applications to more decorative appliances. It became a huge material for a variety of settings, including cafes and night clubs.

During WWII, the company focused on military production, and after, during that positive post-war era, Formica became its own entity. And ever since, it’s been casted into households across the nation.

 

 

How It’s Made

Countertop laminate is made by combining layers of paper and resins into a single, semi-rigid plastic sheet. Brown Kraft paper (the same as paper grocery bags) is used for the bottom layers.

A decorative sheet that bears the visible color and/or design of the laminate countertop goes in the middle and translucent sheets of paper form the top layer.

 

Laminate Example – Click to see more options

 

Of course, more than three sheets of paper comprise a sheet of laminate. Multiple sheets of paper are used in each layer and the total number of sheets varies and overall thickness depends on what type or grade of laminate is being manufactured. All paper layers are soaked in a resin, which serves as a glue and binder.

The layers are then pressed together while cooked, which forces all the papers and resins to chemically bond into one plasticized sheet.

These sheets can then be cut to size and glued to a plywood substrate on-site for custom laminate countertops or they can be bonded to laminate countertop particle board forms of various lengths that already include the backsplash and edge detail.

These pre-fabricated laminate countertops allow for even faster and easier installation.

Thickness options: Standard thickness for laminate countertops is 1.5 inches.

 

The Good & The Bad

Pros

      • Cost; Laminate is undoubtedly the most cost-effective approach
      • Compared to the others, easiest on install
      • This material is incredibly long-lasting
      • It’s nonporous, so no sealing needed
      • Many colors to choose from that mimic granite and quartz

Cons

      • Definitely easiest to damage compared to others; not as durable
      • Unlike the other materials, laminate does not add resale value to your home
      • Weak resistance to stains, heat, and scratches

 

 

Helpful Links:

      1. Wilson: Laminate Countertops With a High End Look
      2. How To Do a Kitchen Remodel On a Budget
      3. Countertop Materials Compared
      4. Perfect Rental House Remodeling Materials
      5. Contact a Designer

 

Butcher Block

Butcher block is always a custom order option. It’s a beautiful choice for a warm look. It does require more maintenance than the other materials, but if that is not your main concern, then it’s definitly something to look at. It can be affordable or pricey depending on the type of wood and the grain that you choose.

 

Butcher Block Countertops

 

The Origins

It’s origin isn’t abundantly clear. Some say the butcher block started in China and made its round toward the West, others say it originated in Europe. While it’s true beginnings are plainly specified, it’s purpose is. If you identify yourself as a “foodie”, this countertop is for you. It’s seen in industrial kitchens all across the U.S. Chefs are able to slice-and-dice without worry of ruining their countertops.

Because of its durability and ability to withstand the even the toughest of measures, coupled with the its social following, this type of countertop is an extremely hot trend at the moment. And rising in temperature.

 

How It’s Made

Butcher Block countertops are made simple enough. They’re usually fabricated by stripping down various types of wood to the preferable size and then glued together by an industrial adhesive. It is then clamped down on all edges and sides, spaced evenly apart (which varies depending on size) and left overnight for a maximum bond.

Then the fun part begins. They can be stained, but usually occurs is a few coats of Epoxy to maintain and seal the natural look. In any case, the end result is a beautiful countertop, perfect for foodies!

Thickness Options: Typically, these custom countertops stay at around 1.5 inches, as well.

 

The Good & The Bad

Pros

      • A custom look that is not often seen in kitchens
      • Expresses an edgy, quirky kind of feel
      • Perfect for foodies and those that LOVE to cook!
      • Versatile in color; You can stain it to your heart’s desire
      • Scratches can be sanded out

Cons

      • Porous material, so you HAVE TO seal it; prone to staining if you don’t
      • It is a bit costly, being a custom product

Helpful Links:

      1. Custom Countertops: Butcher Block & Concrete
      2. Countertop Materials Compared
      3. Kitchen Remodel: The Complete Guide
      4. Contact a Designer

CULTURED MARBLE

Cultured marble is an extremely sought after countertop item, but it needs to be noted that its purely for bathrooms only. At Builders Surplus, we carry a variety of colors that are sure to fit your design & style. From the bold look of Boulder to the sleek, classic look of White Swirl, each color is made to amaze.

 

The Origins

Cultured marble hit the scene in the late 1960s by a group of small and provided a less-expensive option to actual marble. Essentially, it felt and looked like the real thing minus the care of high maintenance. Needless to say, the material swept the nation and took over the bathroom scene.

 

How Its Made

Cultured marble in itself is basically a mold generated from marble, cast to create specific pieces like bathtubs, shower walls & pans, and in this case, sinks, countert0ps, sidesplashes, and backsplashes. It’s created by a mixture of 75% marble dust and a liquid polyster resin. A monstrous stand mixer affixed to floor blends the ingredients together until they’re liquid smooth, and then color is added.

This blend is then set into molds to a manufacturer or supplier (such as ourselves). Once molded, the contents sit to harden before a gel is applied to them. It’s a pretty neat and cost-effective process as opposed to the usual quarried stone.

Thickness Options

Standard thickness for cultured marble is 3 1/4 inches.

 

The Good & The Bad

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Non-porous material
  • Semi-resistant to stains, heat, and scratches
  • Environmentally-friendly

 

Cons

  • Limited color selection as opposed to natural stone pieces
  • If gel coating becomes damaged by deep scratches or gauges, porous filler material will be exposed
  • Not as durable as natural stone countertops

 

Helpful Links:

  1. How to Choose a Bathroom Vanity Top
  2. Contact a Designer
  3. Affordable Style: Cultured Marble Vanity Tops

BATHROOM VANITY TOPS

Ah, now for that beautiful piece that sets atop your vanity, blending the overall style and design of your bathroom in magnificent fashion. It’s important to note that you have a plethora of options to work with if you’re willing to go the “custom” route, but we’ll break that down.

In-stock Vanity Tops

Generally speaking, this is going to be the most cost effective approach. To put it into perspective, our store carries about 10 colors, in both granite and quartz, with prices ranging from $119.99 to $549.99, depending on the size and color.

We carry 22 x 25 single bowl tops all the way up to the behemoths, the 22 x 73 double vanity tops. Obviously, the price accommodates the size of the vanity top, the larger the top, the more expensive. Additionally, the color has a role to play in price, too.

Thickness Options: 2cm and 3cm

 

Custom Vanity Tops

Like I previously mentioned, this is definitely your more expensive route, especially when you’re talking about $100/sq. ft. with Cambria. Now, it’s true, in this world you 100% get what you paid for, and Cambria is definitely the best in the business.

The custom part heavily resides in the size of the countertop. If you don’t want to be restricted to the in-stock sizes, this is the route you may have to go, but keep in mind that most of those countertop sizes coincide with your standard vanity. But to each his own.

Thickness options: Much like your quartz countertops, standard thickness for custom vanity tops is 3cm with the option of going thinner or thicker for lesser or more money.

Helpful Links:

  1. How to Choose a Bathroom Vanity Top
  2. What to Look for When Buying a Bathroom Vanity
  3. Contact a Designer

COUNTERTOP FINISHES

Now, it needs to be said that finishes are mostly for stone countertops, like Quartz and Granite. Below, I’ll discuss the most popular finishes: Polished, Honed (Matte), Leathered, Flamed, and Caressed. Comparable to its name, the finish can drastically change the way your countertops look.

It can change the sheen, or reflectiveness, and also the overall maintenance of the surface. Pretty important, indeed.

Also, it’s important to note, most Quartz companies will only use polished or matte finishes because the others have the tendency to affect the stone. The other finishes are mainly for granite pieces.

Polished

The polished finish is the one most often thought of when considering countertops. It is the finish that makes your stone countertop look like a literal sheet of glass. Because of this breathtaking characteristic, it is no wonder why an elegant, stylish countertop is often associated with this type of finish.

Silestone Polished

 

It has the tantalizing tendency to ‘wow’ and amaze, and is often referred to as a main focal point. Again, this is why the finish is so important because its effectiveness on the overall appearance. It’s become the norm for all households sporting a stone countertop. It’s beautiful, blissful, and extremely eye-catching.

This finish brings out the richness of the color in your countertop, giving that extremely smooth look and shine that’s so heavily sought after. It’s also boosts the maintenance of your countertop as well! It cleans really well and brings maintenance to an all-time low. It is the LEAST porous finish, which means if you’re looking to completely prevents stains, this is definitely the way to do it.

 

 

Honed (Matte)

Honed, or often referred to as matte, is without a doubt one of the hottest countertop finishing trends out there right now. Why? Because it’s incredibly unique. If you’ve ever witnessed a matte-black car stroll by your way then you know of its effect. Its peculiarity draws the eye, and you almost can’t help but to stare.

 

Cambria High Gloss (left) and Cambria Matte (right)

 

 

It’s sheen is almost the complete opposite of the previous finish — meaning — there is none. To an extent. They’re not mirror-like or reflective in any way, but they definitely take to natural light. Because of this, the finish tends to hide imperfections much better. If you do have any scratches or dents, one would have to go looking for them.

The downside? They’re a little bit more porous, which means they’re not completely stain proof. So, be careful on spaghetti or taco note, but know that you can make a mess or two without there being a complete and total catastrophe.

 

Leathered

One of the newest finishing techniques, a leathered finish will give you the natural look of your stone countertop. It gains its name by its ‘leathery’, textured look. Like the honed finish, it’s not reflective at all and tends to fit perfectly in a rustic setting. Likewise, it’s become a fan favorite, especially in contemporary-styled homes.

The process seals the pores in, so this surface is perfect for heavily-used areas like the community bathroom or that large expanse of kitchen space you use primarily to prepare meals. As far as maintenance goes, you should note that this type of finish needs to periodically cleaned with a microfiber cleaning cloth and the appropriate cleaning agent to maintain its wondrous look.

Sidenote: Excellent when applied on darker granite slabs. It really brings out the fine finish.

 

Flamed

Keep in mind that this finish can only be applied to granite countertops, BUT if you do have this type of material, you should definitely consider it. This finish is creating it by subjecting the stone countertop to extreme heat. The effect is an exquisite one. The extra high heat causes the colors to burst in color and reveals a change in color.

My suggestion would be to use this as exterior option, like an outdoor kitchen or barbecue area. It also provides a rough texture to accentuate it rugged look.

 

 

Caressed 

This finish is simply a variation of the “leathered”, but just a little bit more shine. This is another one where the process seals the pores, so you can be stain (and worry) free. Definitely a nice blend, and if you’re looking for something a bit more rugged in your granite countertop, but without the “flamed” look, this is 100% the one for you.

Whichever finish  you choose, it’s sure to be one that raises eyebrows and provokes many “oohs” and “ahhs.” Just remember to be careful about which one you pick in terms of how porous the surface is and how low or high-maintenance the finish leaves your countertop!

 

Helpful Links:

      1. Silestone Quartz Finishes & Textures
      2. Daltile: Granite Countertop Finishes
      3. Contact a Designer

STONE COUNTERTOP EDGES

There are many things that go into purchasing a new granite countertop, such as deciding on the color and choosing between the different granite edges. When you first sit down with one of our kitchen designers, the first step will be to take measurements of your kitchen, or work off of the measurements that you provide. If you are completely gutting the kitchen, you will have the flexibility to virtually choose exactly what you want for your space. After layout, the next step is to decide on the granite color. This is definitely one of the most fun decisions to make. We offer 20 colors in our custom granite line, and 8 colors in our prefabricated granite.

Lastly, you will choose the finishing touch for your countertops; your granite edge profile. The edge is the shape created and the end of the slab that you will come into contact with on a daily basis. There are a wide variety of edges to choose from, but our Louisville and Newport, Kentucky stores offer a total of 9 different edges. We will discuss the Basic Edge Profiles, Premium Granite Edges, and Unique Granite Edge Profiles.

Basic Granite Edges:

 

Basic-Granite-Edges

Click to see more granite options!

The four edges shown above & below are some of the most common & are virtually always included at no additional cost, no matter what fabricator you’re using. These are offered free with our custom granite selection.

  • The straight edge is the most basic, with a hard chiseled edge.
  • Beveled edges tend to be more popular in kitchens with traditional décor.
  • The 1/4 and 1/2 bevel is a nice variation on the original bevel that highlights the thickness of the countertop. It allows you to have the decorative edge while still showing the depth of the 3cm stone.

Our granite is 3cm thick, which is the standard width. Anything smaller would be at risk of breaking, and thicker would potentially be overkill and quite costly.

STRAIGHT GRANITE EDGE

Straight-Granite-Edge-Profile

Click here to see more countertop options!

The above example is that of a straight edge, sometimes called the “pencil” edge. This is the most basic edge that you can choose, however, with the right granite, it still looks phenomenal!

BEVELED GRANITE EDGE

beveled-edge-granite-edges

Click to see more countertop options!

The beveled granite edge is quite popular. It adds a touch of geometric flair to any countertop. It is not overly ornate, but does add some visual interest.

 

1/4 and 1/2 BEVEL EDGE

one-fourth-beveled-granite-edge

 

 

The 1/2 and 1/4 bevel are very common as well. The bevel is less dramatic and is a more subtle touch to your granite edge. The profile is sleek, without being too chiseled. I see this very often in bathroom granite vanity tops. These both have a shorter pitch, which is the flat edge on the top, and a longer rise, which is the bottom edge pointing down. This is a very sophisticated profile that will work well with all styles from traditional to contemporary.

 

Common-Granite-Edges

EASED GRANITE EDGE

 

Eased-Granite-Edge-Profile

Click here to see more countertop options!

 

The eased granite edge is another popular choice. The slight curve adds movement and tames the sharp edges that some dislike. This profile can be seen in many kitchens, old and new. It is simplicity at it’s finest. With the right granite, you simply want to highlight the beauty of the stone, which the eased edge does perfectly.

 

1/4 RADIUS GRANITE EDGE

one-fourth-radius-granite-edge-profile

Click to see more granite countertop options!

The 1/4 Radius edge is a variation on the eased edge. Instead of offering the secondary curve on the bottom, it chooses to only arch at the top. It provides all of the benefits and simplicity of the eased edge. The 1/4 Radius edge is a perfect blend of the Eased edge and the Straight edge.

HALF BULLNOSE EDGE

half-bullnose-granite-edge-profile

Click to see more countertop options!

The half bullnose edge adds a greater curve to the room than the 1/4 Radius or the Eased Edge. Of the basic granite edges, this profile shows off the thickness and sturdiness of the slab.

TOP & BOTTOM EDGE or 1/4 ROUND EDGE

t&b granite edge, granite edges

Click to see more granite options!

In the 1/4 Round T&B, or Top & Bottom, the profile looks exactly as it sounds. There is a slight curve on the top and bottom of the edge, creating a slightly round, slightly pitched edge that is a favorite among many.

Premium Granite Edges:

 

Premium Granite Edges

OGEE GRANITE EDGE

Ogee-Edge-Granite-Edge

Click here to see more countertop options

The Ogee Edge is one of the most widely known and well loved of all of the premium edges. This granite profile is elegant, decorative, and makes a statement. This granite profile looks perfect with traditional styles and adds fair to rustic decor as well. It can be used in contemporary spaces, but it is not something that you see often. Modern looks tend to opt for the sharper or more straight edges. This ornate profile adds drama and excitement to your space. Although this granite edge is a premium profile, it is included at no cost in our prefabricated granite, making the value that much higher for our clients.

FULL ROUND EDGE

bullnose-granite-edge

Click here to see more countertop options!

The Full Round Edge, Also called the Bullnose, is a completely rounded profile. This look works best with traditional, transitional, or the rustic/farmhouse style. Again, curves and contemporary don’t always make the best pair. We offer this edge in many of our prefabricated granite as well, meaning that you are getting low price & high quality and design, which is something that you can rarely find in today’s world.

DEEP OGEE EDGE

Deep-Ogee-Granite-Edge

Click here to see more countertop options!

The Deep Ogee is a variation of the Ogee. It is not one that you see too often, but it definitely makes a statement when it does pop up. The deep swooping edge just screams elegance and high design.

INVERTED BEVEL EDGE

Inverted-Bevel-Granite-Edge

Click here to see more countertop options!

The Inverted Bevel is another one of the premium granite edges you might be interested in. This edge looks very similar to the Knife edge, which we have not listed due to the fact that is is very rare and is not asked for often. However, the uniqueness of this edge can really make your countertops stand out from the rest. In this edge, the steep pitch is going upward instead of downward.

Unique Granite Edges:

ROUGH EDGE

rough-natural-granite-edge

Click here to see more countertop options!

Rough or natural granite edges are really something special. This look will work with any style and really highlights the natural beauty and uniqueness of the stone. This is one of my favorite edges of all!

ROPE EDGE

 

rope-edge

Click here to see more countertop options!

The rope edge is an incredible profile that you don’t see very often. This edge takes real skill to fabricate and a unique home to put it in. A nautical feel is a perfect fit for this type of edge, but it can work well in traditional or even rustic style homes.

TRIPLE WATERFALL EDGE

triple-waterfall-edge

Click here to see more countertop options!

The Triple Waterfall edge is slightly more common than the two listed above, but is still considered unique. The three tiers make for a stunning focal point and add interest to your countertops. This ornate style screams elegance and high end quality.

 

Laminate Countertop Edge Profiles:

Laminate countertop edges are completely different in terms of name, as those that we discuss when dealing with granite or any other solid surface countertop. They names can be quite confusing, actually. The combinations that can be achieved with laminate countertops are endless. They can be just as unique and ornate as those of their solid stone counterparts.

If you have any questions regarding granite edges, laminate edges, granite or granite installation, the team at Builders Surplus is ready and willing to help. We strive for excellence in everything that we do and believe that paying attention to detail is what ultimately sets us apart from our competition. Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this article, please share it with your network though the social share buttons below. Subscribe to our newsletter on the home page of our website for more incredible design & renovation content. Happy Remodeling!

Helpful Links:

      1. Cambria Edge Profiles
      2. Granite Edges: The Finishing Touch
      3. Contact a Designer

WHAT IS PREFAB?

Prefabricated countertops are simply large slabs of the specific type of material that can then be customized at install. Typically, these slabs come in standard sizes and are then cut to specification depending on the customers want and needs.

Prefab granite countertops will only work for some kitchen layouts, so you first need to identify if you are a candidate for these affordable granite countertops. There are only a few things that would disqualify you from prefabricated granite countertops. Those would be kitchens that have corner sinks or that have kitchen islands greater than 74″ in length. We offer full size slabs, which are 25.5″ in width and 109″ in length.

 

Cant-Do-Prefabricated-Granite-Countertops

 

We offer kitchen island slabs that are 36″ wide and 74″ in length. If your island is greater in length, you would not be a candidate for prefab granite countertops, on your island at least. Contrasting kitchen islands are popular, so if this is your only concern in purchasing this style of granite countertop, I would look at all the options first. Because of the angle of the corner sink, the pre-cut slabs will not be able to connect appropriately. They will form an L in the corner, instead of the angle that the sink creates.

They’re usually available in a number of edge profiles and finishes, so it covers the majority of people’s catered interests. There’s a common misconception that pre-fab countertops mean “cheap”or “poorly built,” but that is definitely not the case. They’re just perfect for customers who simply need a standard sized countertop.

 

Benefits

Prefab granite has a number of benefits. First of all, it is our most affordable option. Prefab granite countertops start at $39.99 per square foot, which includes all installation and fabrication. Typical countertop installation costs include several hundred dollars for any sink cutouts, and an additional cost for installation.

Another benefit of these granite countertops is the color choices at such a great price. You are able to get group A and sometimes group B granite for a much lower price than you would find elsewhere. The groups are not necessarily determined by quality of the granite, but of the color and the demand for that color. We have some beautiful colors available in our prefab granite selection.

 

 

 

 

Prefab-Granite-Countertops-Kitchens

Prefabricated Granite Countertops

 

The premium edge is FREE! Another uncharge when getting granite countertops installed is the additional cost for the edge. There are many different edge choices and it really depends on your preference, but they are typically always an additional charge. You will pay more for what is considered a “premium” edge. All of our prefab granite countertops come equipped with premium edges already on them for no additional cost.

Check out our available colors!

  1. Black Crystal
  2. Spray White
  3. Verde Butterfly
  4. Santa Cecilia
  5. New Caledonia
  6. Diamond Flower
  7. Canelle
  8. Butterfly Yellow

 

Prefab-Granite-Colors Builders Surplus Louisville Newport Cincinnati

 

 

They’re usually available in a number of edge profiles and finishes, so it covers the majority of people’s catered interests. There’s a common misconception that pre-fab countertops mean “cheap”or “poorly built,” but that is definitely not the case. They’re just perfect for customers who simply need a standard sized countertop.

They’re also sometimes negatively referred to as “imitation stone,” but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Prefab countertops are made from REAL granite, marble, and quartz.

Everything about these countertops are the same as other natural stone countertops; they’re just less expensive, use less stone, and can be made in larger quantities. That’s it.

Sidenote: Don’t forget that we do prefab laminate, as well!

Helpful Links

      1. Prefab Granite Countertops: Affordable Elegance

THE FINISHING PROCESS

This is where we get down to the nitty gritty, y’all. You’ve picked out your beautiful countertops, and now you’re eager, super ready to get them into your home. When it comes to the tail end of this process, there’s one word that NEEDS TO BE expressed: precision.

If measurements are off by even 1/8 of an inch, it can be chaotic. It’s important to check, double check, and triple check your numbers. Luckily, you’ll have some highly talented professionals that will assure you of this. In other words, when we do your measurements, accuracy is guaranteed. We can 100% validate our preciseness, but if you have an outside installer doing the measure work, you, the customer, will have to validate them.

 

 

How to Measure Countertops

 Stone

Measure your countertops in sections, as shown below. Multiply the length in inches by the width in inches. Repeat for all sections. When you have your sections measured, add them together. Divide them by 144 (the number of inches in 1 square foot, 12″ x 12″). This will give you your square footage estimate. Include any sink cutouts in the square footage. Most countertop depths are 25.5″.  As you can see below, the full width in example 1 is 125.5″, but because we broke it into 2 sections, we are only using 100.5″ in that sections measurement.

Measuring Granite CountertopsEXAMPLE 1: 
Section A:   100.5 in x 25.5 in = 2563 sq in
Section B:     60 in x 25.5 in = 1530    sq in

Total = 4093 sq in

Now divide by 144 to obtain square footage,
Each sq foot has 144 sq in (12 x 12).

  • 4093 sq in / 144 sq in = 28.42 sq ft

EXAMPLE 2:
Section A:     72 in x 30 in  = 2160 sq in
Section B:     54 in x 30 in  = 1620 sq in

Total: 3780 sq in

  • 3780 sq in / 144 sq in = 26.25 sq ft

Measuring for Laminate Countertops:

Go to the back point of your countertops, which is up against you wall or backsplash. Measure from end point to end point, to get linear inches.

 

Cutouts

Before you sit down with your designer, it’s nice to have some rough measurements and a sketch or two of your design. This gives the designer something work with, and they’ll be able to tell you your options. For example, if you have an island, bar, or peninsula, there may be a change in price.

During this initial meeting, your designer will come up with a square footage based on your measurements. Just to get a clearer understanding of what you’re working with. From there, you’ll talk about your backsplash and edge options, both elements that can adjust price.

You’ll then purchase your countertops from the quote your designer gives you. After this, the fabricators of the countertop will call you setup an appointment to remeasure.

 

Planning

 

Templating

Now, before the fabricators visit your home for a remeasure, a couple things have to be done. The sink you’ve purchased must be there, and the base cabinets have to be mounted. Again, precision is key, so the more materials available for measurement, the better. Also, if you have a farm sink (a very hot trend at the moment) they, too, have to be mounted.

The fabricators will come in and take measurements either by laser point or with a traditional tape measure, making sure each is accurate before moving onto the next step. From there, they’ll discuss your sink cutout options, whether you’d like an overmount, undermount, etc.

Now, most companies will charge you for each sink cutout, but at Builders Surplus, the first one is free. The second one usually costs extra, but the fabricators will tell you exactly how much when they visit. They will also discuss how much of a “reveal” you have, which just means how much the countertop and sink shows in the cutout.

After all of this is decided and confirmed, the fabricator will then contact the designer and go over any changes, upgrades, and relay the exact measurements at this time.

Installation

And here is where the waiting game begins. As a rule, the materials typically take a couple of weeks to come in. Once they do, our installers come in and put in the countertops. Now, it’s also important to note that they will only attach the sink, but not the plumbing.

Also, installation is already written into cost at Builders Surplus, so you won’t have any additional charges afterward. Once everything is fit and snug, you’ll most likely want to wait 24 hours before using it to let the adhesive bond properly, and then you’re good!

 

Installation

 

Helpful Links:

      1. Contact one of OUR designers!
      2. The Top 5 Kitchen Remodeling Mistakes Homeowners Make

Feel free to share/pin the these images, including the one below – an all-encompassing chart comparing each countertop material!

A COMPARISON OF COUNTERTOPS

 

Kitchen Remodel Countertop-Comparison

Click here to see more countertop options!


 

 

IMPORTANT THINGS TO NOTE:

      • Entire process takes about 3-4 weeks
      • Different materials have their own little quirks — custom granite has its own characteristics
      • Quartz will have consistent pattern
      • Most laminate comes with 4 in. backsplash
      • Granite needs to be sealed every 10-15 years (used to be every year)
      • Quartz doesn’t need to be sealed

 

 

In Conclusion

Your countertops have the ability to accentuate the style of your kitchen, and in doing so, tie everything together to make one harmonious design. It’s within our hopes at Builders Surplus that you realize the many options you have when it comes to this highly significant factor in your remodel and understand that we want to help you 100% of the way. Please don’t forget that we offer free kitchen design consultations for all those interested. It’s a chance for us to get to know you, your wants and your needs, and we promise try to adhere to them during the entire process.

If you have any further questions regarding our kitchen countertops and the materials we offer, feel free to give us a call or come to any of our two locations!

 

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