The definitive guide to getting a new countertop
October 21, 2019
The stages of getting a new countertop:
From inventory to installation.
Countertops, as you probably already know, are our specialty.
But what does that actually mean? And better yet, why should that matter to you? It matters because we’re your personal design experts!
We are literally here to help you achieve your dream kitchen by guiding you through the process of choosing the right options for you, your lifestyle and your space.
We’re here to guide you through the entire process – like your own TV renovation host, minus the corny jokes!
We’ll walk you through the stages on the way to your Instagram-worthy kitchen.
(Oh, and by the way, follow us on Instagram!)
Step 1: Take inventory and set a budget
Renovations are no joke. They can be stressful and often expensive if you don’t have a plan.
Download our E-book: Counter-Intelligence – Tips and Tools to Simplify your Kitchen Renovation
If you are trying to decide whether or not you should replace your countertops as part of your next kitchen renovation, we can help you decide. A few questions to ask that should get you thinking:
- Are your countertops scratched, dented, have scorch marks, or stains on them?
- Do the countertops in your kitchen not quite fit your personal style?
- Are your countertops made of a material that doesn’t work for your lifestyle (such as a high-maintenance, delicate countertop when you have a house full of small children)?
- Does the layout of your kitchen need a better flow?
- Do your countertops have chips in it, mold, or that are rotting due to water damage?
Keep in mind that you might not necessarily need to get brand-new countertops – it may just be a matter of refurbishing and focusing more on maintaining your current countertops.
If you do need (or want!) to replace your surfaces, get serious about your budget. Be realistic about what you can spend on the entire renovation and consider how much you’re willing to put towards your counters.
If you’re not sure yet, don’t worry. We can help!
Step 2: Consult a professional
That’s us! Our in-home consultations are where the magic begins.
The right advice can help you make the best decisions about materials, designs/colors/textures, applications, and costs.
Our design consultants will make sure to understand your needs and provide you with the best service and premium countertops available on the market.
The benefits of our free in-home design and estimate consultations include:
- We bring our showroom to you. Our reps are equipped with product samples so you can touch and feel your next countertop before making any decisions.
- Knowledgeable and experienced design consultants. FLOFORM has spent the last 55 years selling, fabricating and installing countertops. We know our stuff.
- A holistic approach to countertops. Picking the perfect countertop for your space becomes easier when you can consider the floors, cabinets, walls, and lighting of your home when making a decision.
- On-the-spot quote. We can typically provide a cost estimate before we leave your home.
- Convenience. We come to you. No need to run from showroom to showroom.
Want to know what it’s really like to have one of our team members come to visit your home?
Let one of our consultants walk you through his favorite parts:
To be as ready as possible for your own consultation, be sure to:
- Research ideas and inspiration for your project. It will make your in-home consultation a lot more useful.
- Use only licensed and insured contractors. Make sure every contractor that steps in your house is licensed and insured, like FLOFORM.
- Get it all in writing. Make sure that you and your suppliers are on the same page from start to finish.
- Plan the total look. Make sure to consider how a new countertop surface will work with other facets of your space (i.e. cabinets, flooring, lighting, walls, etc.)
- Explore how lighting impacts your design choices. Lighting can make a HUGE difference. Explore different options.
- Consider resale value. You want to consider this if you are thinking about putting your house for sale.
- Find a source of feedback and trusted advice before you begin. Whether it is information from online reviews or a friend/neighbor, consulting people who have done it before always helps.
- Be bold and pick what you love. After all, that’s what our life is about!
Step 3: Make your choices
With all of our incredible options in material, color, and finish, we know it’s not always easy to choose
But we’re happy to help you consider all the possibilities – regardless of your price point.
On the premium end, quartz countertops are extremely durable, virtually maintenance-free, and non-porous meaning they are completely food-safe, will not absorb any bacteria and do not require any chemical sealants, polishing or reconditioning.
Quartz surfaces from manufacturers like Hanstone and Cambria are offered in over 200 colors to work with any design or desired style.
However, as you can imagine, when compared to other countertop surface options, quartz countertops tend to cost more upfront to purchase and install. Given their beauty, durability, and performance, they remain an ideal choice for homeowners who want reliability and timeless style.
Wood or butcher block from Caribou and Corian solid surface countertops are additional options that offer many benefits at a lower price point. Caribou uses its proprietary End+Edge Finish to offer a rich, warm wood surface that is food-safe, waterproof and maintenance-free.
Corian Solid Surface delivers high performance and outstanding aesthetics. Additionally, solid surface allows for integrated sinks, seamless backsplashes, and inlays, with a collection of over 100 colors.
Even if you’re working with a tighter budget, you can still have a beautiful finish.
Laminate is an excellent scratch-and-impact-resistant option surface that is available in hundreds of colors and textures that can be made to look like stone or wood.
While it requires ongoing maintenance, we can provide you this cost-effective option from the top industry brands like Formica, Wilsonart, Pionite, Arborite, and Nevamar.
Regardless of what material you choose, we can help make sure it fits your budget and style.
Step 4: Finish the look
You’ve done your homework and have selected the countertops that work best for you. Now it’s time to add in the little details that will bring everything together.
The countertop edge profile you select will affect the efficiency, safety, and style of your kitchen or bathroom. Take the time to understand the various edge options and what works best for you.
A backsplash typically runs from the countertop to the bottom of the upper cabinets. While some choose to paint this space, others invest in either a tile backsplash (think classic subway tile) or an integrated backsplash using the same countertop material.
There are actually a lot of things to consider when choosing a kitchen sink. From size and shape, color, material, number of bowls, and more, there is more to picking a sink that meets the eye. Pairing it with the right faucet/tap that complements and rounds out the overall design aesthetic requires more choices about function, finish, shape, etc.
Time spent here will not be wasted when you see the final product.
Step 5: Sit back and let us bring your dream to you
You’ve picked out your perfect material and finish. And the order is in!
We’ll set up a date and time that works for you and then it’s time for us to bring your long-awaited countertops!
But first is template day. We come by to take some final measurements, digitize them and get your final approval. Then, often a few days later, it’s time!
Installation day is one of our favorites!
When we load up your new surface and transport it to your home, we take every precaution to ensure it’s safe and protected.
That’s why you might notice that your countertop isn’t cut precisely for your kitchen yet and that is has a special suction device attached to it.
It’s all to make sure what you’ve invested in will be installed with the same integrity and shape you’ve seen in samples. Learn more:
To prepare yourself, and your kitchen, for when we’ll come to install new countertops in your home, be sure to:
- Drape or cover areas nearby so that dust is contained in the construction area – countertop installation can be messy! But don’t worry because our highly-trained service crew will leave your kitchen in broom-swept condition before leaving.
- Open a window to increase the airflow into the kitchen. Chemicals and glues are often used in the installation process and have a strong odor (but are not a health concern with an open window). What should you do if your room has a glue smell?
- Clear your countertops completely and move all appliances (including large pieces, like refrigerators) out of the way.
- Have any currently existing fixtures disconnected and removed prior to our service crew’s arrival so that the installation process is efficient. We can remove and reinstall plumbing in addition to the countertops (just be sure to confirm this ahead of time, when booking your installation).
- Make sure a decision-maker over the age of 18 is in the house during the entire installation, which will usually take just three to four hours.
Want a sneak peek of the process from when we drive up to your final inspection? We have you covered:
The last step? Enjoy your beautiful new countertops!
Are you ready to start your own countertop process? Fill and submit the form below to set up your Free In-Home Consultation or come down to any of our locations – we can’t wait to meet you! =)