The Pros and Cons of Precut Granite Countertops
Granite and other natural stone options, like marble and quartzite, make for beautiful and durable countertop surfaces in your kitchen, bathroom and other areas of the home, such as an outdoor kitchen. The only real difficulty in choosing the perfect granite focal point for your room is sifting through the many styles, colors, and patterns available.
You’ll also need to decide whether to get precut granite countertops or go with custom fabrication. It seems like an easy choice from a purely monetary standpoint, as precut granite is typically the less expensive option of the two, but is precut better? And, how does it measure up in terms of quality? What makes one option different from the other, when you get into the details? Here’s what you need to know about the pros and cons of precut granite countertops before you make a decision.
What are Precut Countertops?
Precut countertops aren’t set in stone, so to speak, but as the title implies, they are cut to several standard sizes that typically work for kitchen countertops, peninsulas, islands, bar areas or bathroom countertops, for example. After you select a precut countertop for your needs, then particulars like sink holes will be cut prior to installation and edges will be trimmed, if necessary, to ensure proper fit in your home. There is some level of fitting done, but it’s not the same as complete customization, where you choose the slab you like and it is cut specifically for your kitchen, bathroom, or other countertop surface.
The Pros of Using Precut Granite
Precut granite may be a suitable option for some homeowners. It is less costly than custom granite, can be quickly ordered and is available in popular granite stone choices.
So why is precut granite less expensive? There are several reasons, centering on materials and labor:
1. When granite is precut in large quantities, production is maximized (although quality isn’t necessarily the top priority).
2. Oftentimes, countertops are made from thinner cuts to get more material out of each stone which reduces shipping costs.
3. Less labor is needed to create a precut surface than if you were customizing your countertop.
4. Precut countertops can be installed more quickly because they’ve already been partially cut (aside from the sink and faucet holes) when you choose them. Precut granite countertops come in standard sizes and do not need the same level of fitting done using custom fabrication.
5. Finally, precut countertops aren’t usually offered in as many types or colors as custom granite creations.
Problems with Precut Granite
If you choose to go with a precut granite countertop or vanity, there are some caveats you need to be aware of. As noted, precut materials only come in a few standard sizes, and they may not be right for your particular space.
If the largest cut isn’t sufficient to cover your countertop space or you have a unique layout, you may end up needing more than one piece. This obviously increases cost, but even worse, it could lead to unsightly lines where pieces abut, whereas a custom fabricated surface will not present this problem. Limited types of granite colors and edging can also leave you selecting from options that simply don’t meet your aesthetic preferences.
In addition, some prefabricated countertops come from overseas where they are mass-produced with little oversight, which may lead to low-quality pieces. To cut costs, granite pieces may be mixed with other less expensive materials, such as resin. Often, precut pieces of granite may consist of thinner slabs that are backed by a wood base for stability and reinforcement, which could make them more brittle and susceptible to damage.
The Benefits of Choosing a Fabricator
For some people, precut granite may work just fine, especially if they’re okay with the limited options presented, they’re working with restrictive budgets, and/or their surfaces can easily accommodate precut sizing. If, however, you’re concerned about some of the potential difficulties inherent to precut granite countertops, you should know there’s an alternative that may better suit your needs and preferences.
Working with a fabricator means you’ll enjoy customization at nearly every step of the process, ensuring you get the perfect countertop surface for your home. It starts with selecting the granite slab you prefer for your space. Whether you have a specific type of granite in mind, you want certain color profiles, or you’re seeking a piece with a lot of depth, texture, and movement on the surface, a custom fabricator can take you through a showroom to pick a slab, or work with a supply network to get you options that meet your specifications.
Next, fabricators will work with the latest CAD technologies to create a 3D, digital rendering of your concept so you know exactly what your countertops will look like before they’re installed, giving you the opportunity to make changes before installation starts. There will be no surprises, increasing your chances of satisfaction with the finished product!
Finally, your slab will be custom cut and professionally installed by experts, sometimes within just a few days for your convenience. Going the route of custom granite countertops may entail a little more cost, but you get what you pay for. Considering all you stand to gain from choosing to work with a fabricator, it’s easy to see why so many homeowners skip the precut granite and go this route.
Have a project you need help with?
If you’re considering installing custom fabricated countertops, we’re here to help! Please feel free to visit one of our showrooms in Rye, NY and Bethel, CT where you can view our large selection of granite, marble and quartzite. Our team of experts will be happy to help answer any questions you may have.