Marble and Granite countertops; local shop versus Big Box Retailer
Odds are, when you’re ready to start your kitchen or bath remodel, a big box store is probably the first place you think to look. It’s true they carry a wide variety of products, and they do eye-catching marketing campaigns to get you in the door. But, don’t be fooled by these stores and their “low prices.” The big box store isn’t necessarily the cheapest or best place to purchase materials for your project…especially if your project involves a natural stone countertop. Big box retailers typically offer the most basic stones, unlike this boldly patterned countertop shown below.
Countertop by Capstone Marble and Granite/Boston; Photo via Houzz.com
When you deal with a local fabrication shop directly you have the advantage of getting all your answers straight from the person who is going to shape your beautiful kitchen. Unlike the big box stores, they focus on quality rather than mass production, so they work hard to ensure you get the most for your investment. After all, you’re the one who is going to tell your friends and neighbors about your experience.
Pay particular attention to special sale prices. Anything labeled as a “deal” in a big box store may end up costing you more in the end. And note that some of the big chain stores have been known to charge way more than what a local stone shop will charge for a specialized edge detail.
Another big difference between your local stone fabrication shop and the big box retailer is that your local fabrication shop offers you endless options in terms of letting you visit good and reputable Stone Suppliers to view the slab, or the layout, before it’s cut. This helps you avoid costly problems once the stone is cut, plus it ensures your satisfaction with your final choice. You may like the color sample you see in the store, but there is wide variance among slabs and a particular kind of granite may look completely different from one slab to another. Some may be significantly lighter or darker. Some may have a lot of pattern movement and some may have far less.
The bottom line…do your research. If you’re not particularly well versed in a particular realm of your project, don’t assume a big box retailer to be the “expert.” Unfortunately, these stores rely on the fact that many homeowners simply don’t want to take the time to do the research. A little homework can make a big difference. Visit www.marbleandgranite.com for more advice on getting started. Our showrooms in Westwood, MA and Milford, CT are managed by experienced, professional and friendly salespeople who can walk you through all the important steps while addressing your concerns and questions.