Countertop installer just measuring with tape, no template or laser.

Timothy Larson
last month

I hired an installer for my quartzite countertop. Two guys came over to my house today to make a template... or so I thought. When arrived, they didin't actaully make a tempalte. The helper asked the owner if they were going to template it but he said they didn't need to because it was a basic layout. All he needed were the measurements to give to his fabricator.

The owner measured, and the other guy wrote down the measurements. They then took the paper template that came with my sink and were in and out in less than 20 minutes. Most of their time there was answering the questions I had for them.

I was going to ask if this is normal and if I should move forward, but I'm going to take the risk on this and see how it plays out. This is my first time replacing my kitchen countertops and I didn't know what to expect when starting this process, so I figured I'd document it for others doing the same later.

When I asked about the fabricator, the installer said the fabricators does jobs for multiple installers. I asked about seams and they couldn't give me an definitive answer without talking the fabricator. I also asked about how much mitered edges would cost as opposed to a standard laminated edges since I have a leathered slab, again he said he has to talk to his fabricator.

I am going to call the yard I purchased my slab from tomorrow to have them deliver it to his fabricator.

When I asked if he would take a debit card. He said he perfers cash "to make it easier to pay his guys."

After he came out to my house, I now know why he was cheaper than all the other quotes I was getting.

Most of the companies I was talking to are fabricators and installers, but this guy just measures, sends it to a fabricator that fabricates for multiple guys, then when it's cut, he picks it up and does the installation.

For those of you wondering how much he is charging... I was quoted $27 per sqaure foot for the fabrication and installation. This is with a 2cm slab and standard lamination, but I should be getting a quote for mitered edges soon. There is no charge for any extra cutouts, a plywood subdeck, and sealing is included. The 2cm quartzite slab was purchased from a local slab yard.

I do have a text message from him saying "if anything happens during installation or in transport we will buy another slab if we need to. If the fabrication is wrong say a missed measurement or something we will buy a new slab. If lamination say splits or seam splits we will come out and repair it."

Part of the reason I'm moving forward with him is that he did someone else that I know's kitchen and did a good job for them (this was about three years ago and I was told they paid $22.50/sqft.) I can't find any information on his business online, no facebook page, no yelp, no google reviews but I'm willing to take the risk... it's just a kitchen.

Anyway, I'll update this as the job progresses (and I may rename the post to something like "Independent Countertop Installer Experience.")

This is my layout, does it seem odd to anyone else that he didn't template or laser measure this?

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