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Matt Meiser
06-11-2012, 9:55 AM
I already asked about flooring and next up on a first-floor laundry and half bath remodel is counters. We've already put granite in our two full baths and we'll be putting it in our kitchen when we redo that. Since all the other tops in the house will be granite, I hate to do anything else in there even though its a utility area, and it is very visible since that's the bath visitors most often use. They have to walk through the laundry to get to the bath.

The laundry has a 58" long 26" deep counter top and the half bath has a standard 31" x 22" top. I'm not going to do back splash on the counter because it virtually never sees water. With the wainscoting I'm doing I'll just have a rail at counter height. I think that will look better than a backslash. That's what was recommended for some areas in my parents' kitchen where the counter met the side of a cabinet in relatively dry areas and it turned out great and is holding up fine. Bath will need a standard back and side splash.

Any advise shopping for granite to keep the costs down?

Jamie Buxton
06-11-2012, 10:12 AM
In my area, there's two pricing plateaus. In the higher-priced approach, the fabricator starts with big sheets of stone -- 5'x9'x3/4" or the like. He cuts out what he needs, doubles over the edge, mills an edge profile, cuts any sink openings, and installs the result. In the lower-priced approach, the fabricator starts with prefab counters. In a factory someplace, the big sheets of stone have already been cut into useful standard shapes, and the edges have been doubled and profiled. Doing this work in a factory overseas saves you money, perhaps 30%. The trade-off is that the stone choices in prefab aren't as great as in the full-custom route, and you can't get odd shapes. But your counters sound straightforward.

Matt Meiser
06-11-2012, 10:30 AM
We used the prefab ones from the big box store for the two main baths. I'd probably have done that again here but in adjacent rooms I want matching stone. I think we are going to pay the granite company that did my parents' kitchen a visit this afternoon.

I don't necessarily want "cheap" but anything we can do to save a little on a small job like this is more what I'm thinking.

Belinda Williamson
06-11-2012, 11:09 AM
Ask for "remnants". If you can do your own installation you'll get a much better price. Provide measurements and or a template. Take your sink and faucet to the fabricator and ask them to mount the sink for you, and core the appropriate openings for the faucet. Pay cash if possible. If you were closer I'd do the job for you. :)
Most back/side splashes are 4". Make sure when you measure you account for the thickness of the stone and make your splashes high enough to cover the attachment line of the old splash. Feel free to message me on FB or PM me here if you have any questions.

Dick Strauss
06-11-2012, 11:29 AM
Matt,
Belinda is right about remnants. CEC has a remnant yard on the west side of their building. You have to take what they have or wait for more scrap. I think the pricing is in the $35-50/sqft for remnants even for the more expensive granite options. For your smaller counters, remnants are the way to go since they have a large selection of smaller pieces (we were looking for 80" pcs for a double sink counter and didn't see a lot we liked)

I'm shocked by what they charge to make a sink hole at various places...$~250 per hole seems like way too much considering they don't match the sink that well and they don't polish the underside for undermount situations based on their showroom samples! The two sink holes almost doubled our counter estimate.

FYI-I think they also charge $50-75 for the template and $150-175 for the install.

Peter Kelly
06-11-2012, 11:30 AM
As above, making your own template out of 1/4" Luan and doing your own install will save you a fair amount. I've done this a lot over the years with kitchens and bath vanities I've made and it always worked out well.

Matt Meiser
06-11-2012, 12:33 PM
Dick, CEC is where we are headed. They did my parents and did a great job.

The underside isn't polished on our big box tops either.

I'll ask them about self installing. These SHOULD be easy. Famous last words!

Peter Kelly
06-11-2012, 1:07 PM
As long as it isn't an enormously heavy top or in an awkward location, installation is nothing more than a dry test fit and a few blobs of silicone once you're ready for the final thing.

Dick Strauss
06-11-2012, 1:10 PM
I contacted CEC based on your recommendation. Their showroom is great and the people seem to be very friendly. I was a little disappointed with their lack of attention to detail for the undermount sink options. We previously had granite counters with undermount sinks installed at another house (not in this area) and didn't have this issue.

Belinda Williamson
06-11-2012, 1:20 PM
Matt, the easier the tops are for them to make, the cheaper. If you and the missus aren't terribly picky about the sink go with a Kohler 2210 undermount with an 1/8" overhang. This is the most common sink cutout in the industry. Installation should be easy, just remember to NEVER carry stone horizontally or flat. It can be placed flat in your vehicle to get it home, but always carry tops vertically.

Matt Meiser
06-11-2012, 5:43 PM
Well, we found a couple perfect remnants which are on 72 hour hold. We should have a quote in the morning. If I template and install then we save $225. They will deliver for $75. I'm most concerned about transport, but the extra $150 over that seems like cheap insurance so we'll probably have them do it.

The stone is black with gold flecks in it which looks awesome with the stained sample I took. We chose a standard looking white sink that's included in the base sink cutout price.

Belinda Williamson
06-12-2012, 7:47 AM
The stone is black with gold flecks in it which looks awesome with the stained sample I took. We chose a standard looking white sink that's included in the base sink cutout price.

Black Galaxy, one of my favorites. Glad you found something you like.

Matt Meiser
06-12-2012, 3:36 PM
Actually I think It was ubatuba? Galaxy we liked too.

Belinda Williamson
06-12-2012, 4:09 PM
Actually I think It was ubatuba? Galaxy we liked too.

Oh, Ubatuba . . . well, to each his own. :rolleyes: Actually Ubatuba should be green with gold. Most commonly used granite in the universe. At one point several years ago we had six Ubatuba jobs going through the shop at one time. I have to admit that my kitchen and guest bath counters are Ubatuba, but not by my choice.

Matt Meiser
06-12-2012, 4:15 PM
Well maybe I remember wrong. It's back and gold. There were two we liked that they had enough remnants for. We chose the one with bigger gold flakes.

Belinda Williamson
06-12-2012, 4:27 PM
Not saying you're wrong, Matt, just that most Ubatuba is green. Your fabricator may import from a different quarry and the Ubatuba may tend more towards black.

Matt Meiser
06-13-2012, 7:50 PM
Is it normal to get charged the templating and install fee for each piece? For some reason they split it into 2 quotes but I didn't catch them in time to ask this evening.

Belinda Williamson
06-14-2012, 7:51 AM
Is it normal to get charged the templating and install fee for each piece? For some reason they split it into 2 quotes but I didn't catch them in time to ask this evening.

I'm not sure what is the standard for your area, Matt. Back when we did residential work, templating wasn't broken out separately. Installation was because it was labor, which in Georgia is not subject to sales tax. If you are doing the templating and installation yourself certainly there should not be a charge. The only time I every charged a separate templating fee was if the homeowner or builder told me the job was ready for templating, and it wasn't, and a second (sometimes third) trip had to be made to the jobsite.

Mike Cutler
06-14-2012, 1:25 PM
Is it normal to get charged the templating and install fee for each piece? For some reason they split it into 2 quotes but I didn't catch them in time to ask this evening.

Matt

That would be up to the individual business.
We are also currently having granite work done, kitchen remodel, and the templating is part of the entire project that will be two kitchen counter tops and a center island top.
If the granite guy can all three templates at the same time the charge is the same. If I'm not ready yet to have the center island template done, at the same time as the counters, he would charge me an additional fee because he would have to schedule to come to my house twice, which seems fair to me, as I shouldn't have hime come down in a piece meal approach because I'm not ready.
At his suggestion we put off the templating to allow me enough time for me to level the floors, and install a new subfloor, redo the walls, build the center island stand, and kitchen cabinets, and move the appliances and vent hood. I got a ton of work to do, and actually may have to eat the second template fee, as the counter work will be done soon and I don't want to wait to have a semi functioning kitchen until the center island is built and installed.
Bottom line for me; No, each piece was not billed seperately to template.

Belinda
We are using madura Gold Granite, gorgeous stuff. Additionally, our upstairs bathroom has an Uba Tuba counter and it as as you wrote, green, with gold flecks. I know that when we were looking for the Madura Gold, some suppliers had it under a different name. Maybe a trade thing?

Belinda Williamson
06-14-2012, 2:39 PM
Belinda
We are using madura Gold Granite, gorgeous stuff. Additionally, our upstairs bathroom has an Uba Tuba counter and it as as you wrote, green, with gold flecks. I know that when we were looking for the Madura Gold, some suppliers had it under a different name. Maybe a trade thing?

Madura Gold (AKA Kashmir Gold, India Gold, and New Colonial Dream - just to name a few) is a really nice color. It is very common for importers and fabricators to rename stone as a hindrance to price shopping. If you came into my showroom and asked for Soleil I would be a bit puzzled (which incidentally makes it look like I don't know stone), but if you showed me a sample I would recognize it as Madura Gold. I have an "AKA" notebook that has really grown over the years. A current customer previously did business with a west coast supplier who renamed stone. The customer keeps asking me for a sample of "Blackbird" and in six months I haven't figured that one out.

Ubatuba (AKA Verde Ubatuba) is also available with more gold flecks which turns it into Verde Marbrasa. Interestingly, the longer you leave stones like Ubatuba in the son, the more gold flecking will be visible. I don't know why.

Another reason stones may have different names but appear very similar is that as the stone is quarried one block may have features not seen in other blocks and new name is assigned.

Matt Meiser
06-14-2012, 3:27 PM
It was a mistake on their part. Fixed and deposit paid. It is ubatuba just must have been blacker than normal. Now we have to choose a floor and I have a lot of work to do.