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Find a Countertop Installation Near You

How to Find A Good Countertop Installer Near Me?

Countertop installation is a major part of kitchen remodeling projects that can bump up your property resale value by seven percent, representing a 53 to 77 percent ROI on the national average for such installations. However, the installation of countertops is a delicate task involving complex skills and specialized tools. Errors in cuttings, laminating, reshaping, and placement add significantly to your expenses since you have to replace broken or damaged materials. Besides, handling a countertop installation on your own leaves you exposed to health hazards from silica dust and wood dust. More than 250 Americans die annually as a result of silicosis caused by silica exposure.

As such, leaving your countertop installation to a certified specialist near you is a smart choice to save money, protect your health, and improve your property value and lifestyle. To hire a quality workman nearby, ensure your countertop installation contractor answer the following questions satisfactorily:

  1. Are You A Licensed Countertop Installation Contractor?

    Depending on the state or municipality and their specialization, your countertop installation contractor may hold a general, home improvement, stonemasonry, or finish carpentry license. To determine the licensure requirements for countertop installers in your area, contact the state licensing board or consumer protection agency. A license attests to the skills and experience of your contractor to finish your job appropriately and in line with established industry standards.

    Though you have picked a contractor near you, Insist on seeing a copy of the contractor’s license before signing off on the contract. You are permitted to check out the validity of the contractor’s license by calling the licensing agency. It is also common for stone workers in this industry to hold a certification from one of the leading industry institutions like Home Builders Institute, International Masonry Institute, and the Natural Stone Institute. You may request to see a copy of such certification for more assurance on their workmanship.

  2. Are You A Bonded and Insured Countertop Installation Contractor?

    Before hiring a countertop installer nearby, ensure that they are appropriately bonded and insured. This helps ensure that you are protected from possible financial risks that may be caused by damages to your property or injuries that may occur during the job. In addition, a bond helps provide cover to ensure that you are sufficiently compensated in a case where the hired countertop installer is not able to deliver accurately, leaves the job without completing it, or does not meet all the contractual obligations.

    Furthermore, general liability and workers compensation insurance are vital policies that countertop installation contractors must have. Countertop installers may also hold business vehicle insurance because they transport fragile, heavy, and expensive materials to worksites. For instance, granite and quartz are strong and durable countertop materials, however, they can easily be damaged in the transportation process.

    It is necessary to verify your countertop installer’s insurance by requesting to see a copy of their insurance and bond certificates. After which you can contact their issuing agency to confirm that the insurance and bond certificates are legit and unexpired.

  3. What Kind of Work Are You Specialized in?

    Countertop installation can be done with a wide range of materials, depending on the choice and more importantly, your budget. For instance, while granite countertops are very classy, attractive, and durable, they are also the most expensive, as opposed to laminate and ceramic countertops that are quite affordable.

    It is the responsibility of the countertop installer to provide professional advice on the type of material that is most appropriate for a particular project. For instance, a porcelain countertop is a great choice for a kitchen project as it is heat resistant and is 30% stronger than granite.

    Hence, ensure the countertop installer that you will be working with is experienced in handling the material that will be used. Some types of countertop materials include:

    • Granite Countertops
    • Quartz Countertops
    • Laminate Countertops
    • Concrete Countertops
    • Marble Countertops
    • Solid Surface Countertops
    • Recycled Glass Countertops
    • Countertop Tile and Backsplash
    • Butcher Block Countertop
    • Eco-Friendly Countertops
    • Tile Countertops
    • Lava Countertops
    • Reclaimed Wood Countertops
    • Stainless Steel Countertops
    • Porcelain Countertops
    • Antique Barn Wood Reclaimed Countertop
    • Volcanic Lava Stone
    • Recycled Glass in Resin
  4. Who Will Do the Work?

    Typically, countertop installation can be single-handedly done by a professional if it is a small project. However, a countertop installer may decide to work with their apprentices, colleagues or subcontractors nearby, if the project is a massive one that requires other skills like plumbing. If you have got a large installation project, ensure to find out from the countertop installer, the specific number of people or professionals that they will be working with and if their involvement would increase your total bill. Insist that any additional laborer working on the countertop installation must be properly licensed, bonded, and insured. It is recommended that you examine copies of the contractor’s insurance certificates to verify their claim.

  5. Do You Offer Warranty?

    Competent countertop installers provide warranty on the service they provide. A warranty may be written, verbal, or implied. It is a form of guarantee that the service rendered will last long and if any faults arise within a specified period, the service provider will be accountable and will take responsibility. It is not enough for a countertop installer to verbally guarantee the efficacy of their service, ensure that the warranty and its coverage are clearly stated in writing for future reference.

    In addition, ensure that the countertop installer uses products that have good warranty coverage. Most countertop materials have a warranty, but it is important to confirm this before purchasing. Ensure you fully understand the terms and conditions of your warranty before signing off on the countertop installation contract.

  6. Will This Job Require a Permit?

    Although permits are issued by local municipal/city government offices for home improvement projects that alter the structure of buildings, countertop installation projects typically do not require permits. However, for a countertop installation project that may make major alterations to a building, it is necessary to obtain a permit before commencing the project. A contractor hired near you may be able to provide guidance on which project requires a permit, regardless, ensure to reach out to your local building authority for clarification on whether your project will require a permit or not. If a permit will be required, it is the duty of your hired contractor to obtain it from the local municipal authority.

  7. Will You Provide References?

    It is important to examine the work history and possibly past projects of any countertop installer near you you intend to work with before hiring them. It is not enough for them to merely talk about their experience and how successful their past projects have been, providing references is more important. The FTC recommends you request from your contractor references of at least three clients for whom they have carried out a project that is similar to yours. Ensure to contact these references to verify the contractor's expertise and credibility.

    You may also find independent local reviews from former clients of your potential countertop installer by checking public websites like Better Business Bureau, Google Review and Yelp.

  8. Do You Have a Business License?

    In the United States, there are over 30.7 million small businesses, which implies that close to 100% of the businesses in the country are small businesses. The Small Business Administration requires that these businesses possess a business license before they are authorized to legally operate. Ensure that the countertop installer you are looking to hire has a business license. You can verify the validity of their business license by contacting the Office of the Secretary of State in your area of residence.

What are Common Countertop Installation Problems?

Some problems that may be caused by poor countertop installation are:

  • Countertop cracks: Although countertop cracks may occur in the sink area due to continuous moisture in that area, some cracks actually occur during installation. Most countertop materials are prone to cracks if not properly handled. Note that a crack may also be a symptom of a larger problem.
  • Granite piece mismatch: Installing countertops requires extra attention as failure to do this can lead to the slabs being placed wrongly, leading to a mismatch. This will disfigure the design of the countertop and make it look unattractive.
  • Extra-visible or uneven countertop seam or caulk: An expert countertop installer is expected to leave an inconspicuous and even countertop seam, but if not properly fixed, the seam will be bumpy, extra-visible seam, and will totally diminish the look of the countertop.
  • Heat and sun damage: This occurs when the wrong material is used for a countertop project that will most times be exposed to heat or sun. However, there are some heat-resistant materials, therefore, ensure you seek advice from an experienced professional countertop installer before choosing a material.

How Much Does Countertop Installation Cost?

The cost of countertop installation varies between $1,859 and $4,149, depending on the size of the project. Some materials are more costly than others, hence, the type of material to be used may also affect the cost. Countertop installers may charge per hour or by area or volume. The costs range from $15 to $70 per sq. foot for the countertop material and $10 to $30 per sq. foot for labor, for a total of $25 to $120 per sq. foot. Countertop materials cost between $1 and $190 per sq. foot, with an average of $15 to $70 per sq. foot.

Listed below are some of the average installation costs:

Slab countertops $10 to $15 per sq. foot
Small tiles $20 to $30 per sq. foot
Countertops removal $50 to $300l
Countertops replacement $25 to $120 per sq. foot
Granite countertops $2,000 and $4,500, depending on the size & quality
Soapstone countertop $2,700 to $4,200
Slate countertops $1,100 to $5,000 for 55 sq. feet.
Limestone countertop $1,100 to $5,500.
Waterfall countertop $1,000 to $3,000 in addition material price
Marble countertop $3,000
Travertine countertop $1,150 to $3,600
Laminate countertops $400 to $2,500
Ceramic or porcelain tile $1,800
Concrete countertop $3,300 to $7,200 for 55 sq. feet
55 sq. feet of wood countertop $1,550 to $3,800
Butcher block countertop $1,700 to $5,000
55 sq. feet stainless steel $3,900 to $7,200
Recycled glass countertop $3,700

Costs of countertop materials include:

Granite $15 to $140 per sq. foot
Marble $15 to $190 per sq. foot
Soapstone $20 to $70 per sq. foot
Slate $20 to $60 per sq. foot
Limestone $10 to $70 per sq. foot
Engineered Stone Quartz $15 to $70 per sq. foot
Corian $20 to $75 per sq. foot
Acrylic $13 to $30 per sq. foot
Ceramic/Porcelain $1 to $28 per sq. foot
Concrete $50 to t$100 per sq. foot
Wood $18
$38 per sq. foot
Butcher Block $10
$35 per sq. foot
Stainless Steel $60 to $100 per sq. foot
Recycled Paper Composite or Stone $45 to $70 per sq. foot
Glass Slab $45 to $135 per sq. foot
Glass Tile $10 to $40 per sq. foot

Other associated costs include:

Polishing
$4 to $6 per sq. foot
Edging
$5 to $45 per linear foot
Cutting a double sink
$115
Installing a tile backsplash
$950

What are the Factors that Affect the Cost of Countertop Installation?

The cost of countertop installation is mostly determined by the materials used and the size of the project. However, other factors may also influence the cost of a countertop installation, such as:

Whether the existing surface needs to be removed before the new countertop is installed
Whether the countertop material to be used requires resizing to fit a tricky space
Whether the project requires staining, edging, grouting, or sealing
The installation technique to be used

What Qualifications Should a Countertop Installer Have?

A high school diploma or equivalent is sufficient qualification to start out in the countertop installation trade. Countertop installers typically learn the trade through apprenticeship and on-the-job experience. Apprentices learn skills like blueprint reading, design specifications interpretation, mathematics for measurement, building code requirements, and safety and first-aid practices. At the completion of apprenticeship, the technician may seek further training to ascertain the mastery of advanced skills with industry-leading institutions and manufacturers of countertop materials. Some of these advanced skills relevant to countertop installation include woodwork, stone cutting techniques, and plumbing. Inquiring about your installer’s technical educational background helps determine their qualifications to handle your job.

Do I need a Countertop Installer or a Handyman?

The complexity of measuring and cutting skills required to perfectly install stone or other material countertops is one key reason to involve only a specialist. Secondly, countertop materials are quite expensive, hence, replacement cost due to mistakes will significantly impact the total installation expense. Most countertop materials such as soapstone and granite are fragile and can break or crack easily if they are installed incorrectly. Also, Handymen are not trained to pay attention to sealing or lamination and failure to do this appropriately will lead to quick damage or deteriorate your countertops.

Furthermore, a handyman’s insurance policy may not cover for damages suffered on your project. Hence, you remain liable for property damage and medical bills for injuries suffered as a result of your project. Also, note that handymen, being jack of all trades, may not be conversant with the industry laid-out countertop installation standards.

What are Common Post Countertop Installation Expenses?

Basic countertop installations typically do not require any additional expenses after installation, as professional contractors properly clean up the finished work, leaving a flawless finish. However, for some, you may need to pay to remove and haul away the old material, move or replace any plumbing pipes, or rewire fitted appliances. Note that additional expenses are mostly covered by the client, except if the initial agreement with the contractor states otherwise.

Does Homeowner Insurance Cover Countertop Installation Problems?

Homeowner insurance provides indemnity in the event of accidental damage or loss to your property. However, a standard homeowner insurance does not cover damages caused by natural disasters like earthquakes, storms, floods, or routine wear and tear. Therefore, countertop installation problems that arise from a natural cause may not be compensated. A homeowner insurance policy only covers structural damages caused by vandalism, explosions, theft, or any other disaster listed in the policy.

Ensure to carefully read through your homeowner insurance terms and conditions to understand the extent of coverage, although in most cases, the extent of coverage is determined by the type of material used for the countertop installation and the age of the house.

Can I Use Digital Payment to Pay For Countertop Installation Services?

Yes, you can use digital payment to pay for countertop installation services. Like most small businesses today, more countertop installation contractors near you would accept bank transfers or eWallet or credit card payments as preferred options compared to cash. Electronic payments facilitate easy receipt and record keeping. However, it is important to note that not all countertop installers may accept digital payment services. Hence, if you intend to use a digital payment method, ensure to inform the countertop before hiring them.