Because of Granites combination of strength, resilience and durability it is widely recognised as just about the ideal material for kitchen worktops. But it’s not just practical properties which have led to its desirability. It is also because of its feel and intense lustre that Granite gives everyone the instant impression of luxury and wealth. And because of its unique combination of these natural properties, the popularity of granite worktops has grown significantly over recent years. So Granite worktops look great and have all the benefits of appearance, durability and low maintenance that anyone could ask for in an ideal working surface – but is it actually affordable ?
Most people’s first impression of granite worktops is that they are hugely expensive and only available to those for whom money is no object. In my job with a well known worktop manufacturer, I take numerous calls from people looking for a granite alternatives, often in the form of a quartz synthetic worktop, not knowing that the real thing will actually probably cost less!
Obviously granite is more expensive than the usual laminate or chipboard, but it lasts much longer and once you start comparing it to alternatives like Timber, Quartz and Corian it suddenly becomes a more appealing option! Granite worktops are a long term investment that can easily increase the value of a home. Even if you are not currently looking to sell your house, in the future you may well want to at some point, and any Granite worktops will still be there to help you do that.
The perception that Granite is expensive is a relatively old one. The fact is that Granite has always been highly desirable as the ultimate work surface and, say, 10 or 15 years ago used to be expensive. These days its a different story. There are many more suppliers – often two or three in each major town or city – and this change alone has made granite far more accessible to a wider range of people.
There are also ways you can help yourself get access to this most prized work surface and make it even more affordable. The easiest way to reduce the cost of your granite worktop is by simply cutting out the middle man. By approaching a manufacturer directly instead of going through a kitchen studio you will instantly remove the significant commission based costs which would be added to your bill. Having a kitchen supplier arrange the worktops on your behalf can give you a certain sense of security, however, but to enjoy the benefit of making a significant saving on the final invoice ‘going direct’ is definitely worth considering. Up until just a few years ago most manufacturers would not deal directly with private clients, choosing only to deal with trade. But with more and more fabricators agreeing to do work directly it has become hard for the remaining few companies not to follow suit.
A significant driving force in this change has been the Internet. With its now massive penetration into most homes and offices it has delivered a marble and granite near me super fast and efficient way of finding manufacturers to deal with directly, and you’re not just limited to dealing with local suppliers. You can choose to deal with any supplier from virtually anywhere in the country but, as with any ‘made to order’ items it is essential to take care before you make any firm commitment and to speak to as many different manufacturers as possible and, if possible, even look to pay them a visit.
When purchasing over the internet, however, visiting individual companies may not always be possible. So, in such cases, try to get a personal recommendation if possible as this could offer invaluable information. Try and ask the companies if you are able to contact or visit any of their previous customers in your area or if they can offer written references from any of their past clients.
By contacting several suppliers you’ll be able to build up a picture of who has the best reputation and offers the best value for money. As with many other situations it is often tempting to go with the cheapest offer. Particularly when selecting a Granite Worktop supplier, however, this is not always the best option. From your research of several companies you’ll be able to see that most ‘reputable’ companies are usually offering similar products within the same overall price range. If a company is significantly cheaper, be wary, this is usually for a very good reason!