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Known as the geographic, cultural, and political center of the country, it's no surprise that for homeowners in St. Louis, granite counters are often the material of choice for kitchen and bath remodels. In fact, an old, worn laminate counter may have been the impetus for you to tackle this remodel in the first place. Rest assured you won't be disappointed, but you should understand what goes on to complete a granite counter installation so you can make the best choices possible.
St. Louis Granite Counters: Reputation vs. Performance
Granite is among the hardest, most durable countertops on the market. It won't scratch, chip, or burn, and as long as it's properly sealed, it won't stain, either. The natural grain of granite also appeals to a wide swath of homeowners, leaving it with a reputation as the premiere countertop material. There is something to be said for coveted materials and installations, as they can have a measurable effect when it comes time to put your home on the market. On the other hand, there is no guarantee that 10 or 20 years down the road, granite won't become the next laminate counter. Reports of granite counters emitting dangerous radon have exaggerated the problem, but it has given a reason for homeowners to rethink their reverence for granite. Engineered stone and concrete counters offer comparable, if not superior, performance in a counter, and will even expand the choices for color, grain, and other decorative choices. In the end, you can't go wrong with any of these counters, as they're remarkably similar to begin with, but don't think granite is the only option before you've had a chance to look around.
St. Louis Granite Countertop Installation
Looking at granite counter samples, installation of a granite counter may seem like a relatively simple process, but it takes quite a bit of work and highly-skilled craftsmanship to get the granite from the ground to a serviceable kitchen counter for your home. After the granite is quarried, it is shipped to a distributor who then sells the granite in slabs that must be fabricated and finished to the exact specifications for your kitchen or bathroom. Simply the distance the stone must travel, like the food in your supermarket, accounts for a decent amount of the total price. One of the things you might be told is that the section from the quarry where the granite is pulled determines its color and grain, but it also accounts for its relative quality. Granite from the top layers of a quarry may not be sufficiently compacted to hold up under the rigors of your home. Generally speaking, because the tests are so expensive to perform, samples from different areas of the quarry will be tested. Be sure to ask your countertop contractor about the quality of the quarry and the section where your granite is coming from. Not all stone is created equal.
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St. Louis Granite Counter Contractors
Given the complexity of granite countertop installation, it's important that you find a quality contractor and maintain realistic expectations, particularly when it comes to installation times. One to two weeks is not uncommon, especially if anything goes wrong, as it always seems to. This is exactly what one St. Louis homeowner recently told us after completing a $5,000 countertop installation, "Make sure you have a realistic timeline, and the contractor understands that timeline." Communication is key, but finding the right person for the job is the first step. Each and every contractor in our system is prescreened. Plus, our online customer ratings and reviews will allow you to read what other St. Louis homeowners have said about individual contractors and countertop installation in general.
The Cost of Granite Countertops in St. Louis, MO
That $5,000 mark is about what you can expect an average St. Louis granite countertop to cost, although the size and quality of the granite, along with various labor and transportation costs, can cause some counters to cost as little as $1,000 and others to cost $10,000 or more. This may sound steep to some, but if you do the project right, it should be the last countertop you ever need to install. If you're interested in granite for your kitchen or bathroom, at the very least don't dismiss the project out of hand until you've talked to several local St. Louis countertop contractors.