new countertops

Kitchen Countertop Installation Contractor

Countertop installation contractors are the professionals who will template, fabricate, transport, and install new countertops in your kitchen or bathroom during a remodel. Selecting the best local countertop installation pro in Atlanta is key to ensuring proper measurements, seamless edges, a waterproof seal with the backsplash, and an overall quality installation. When getting estimates, ask contractors for a detailed breakdown of all costs including materials, labor, permits, and removal of old countertops. Vet installers thoroughly by verifying credentials, checking references, and reviewing previous countertop projects. Signs of a reputable contractor like Southern Oak are having 10+ years of experience, providing written estimates that spell out the full scope of work, and offering a warranty on materials and labor. Taking the time upfront to choose the right countertop installation contractor will lead to exceptional service and long-lasting results from your kitchen or bath remodel.

Getting Accurate Contractor Estimates

Before reaching out to countertop installation pros, do some homework on different countertop materials. Granite, quartz, marble, and laminate options all have pros and cons for cost, durability, and style. Narrow down what best fits your kitchen or bath remodel budget and design aesthetic. This helps set expectations when discussing options with contractors.

Once you decide on 1 or 2 preferred materials, contact at least 3 local countertop companies to provide project estimates. Verify they do professional installations and have examples of previous customer countertops. Ask questions like:

A countertop estimate should clearly explain all project costs. Here’s what it should include:

Countertop Material Costs

  • Type of material (granite, quartz, etc.)
  • Square footage needed for your space
  • Material grade – lower cost options versus premium grades

Countertop Fabrication Fees

  • Template creation
  • Transportation costs
  • Cutting, edging, holes for sinks/faucets

Installation Labor Fees

  • Removal and disposal of old countertops
  • Preparing base cabinets
  • Countertop installation
  • Backsplash installation
  • Sealing seams

Other Project Costs

  • Does your project require building permits
  • Plumbing or electrical work

Reputable companies, like Southern Oak Home Renovations, clearly explain what’s included with no hidden fees. Ask for the total project cost in writing. Having a detailed breakdown allows you to accurately compare bids from different countertop contractors.

It also helps to get references from each pro’s recent customers. Ask if the company delivered on time and on budget. Did they stand behind their work if issues popped up? Checking references helps verify they provide quality installations and good customer service.

Doing homework on materials and getting detailed bids sets you up to pick the right countertop contractor. You’ll know what specific countertop types work for your budget and design taste. And detailed estimates let you fully understand what’s included and how much you’ll pay.

Vetting Countertop Installers Thoroughly

Choosing the right countertop installation contractor is an important decision. Here are some tips on how to carefully evaluate potential installers before hiring:

Review examples of their work

  • Ask potential contractors to share photos of previous countertop projects they have done.
  • This lets you see the quality and style of their work up close.
  • It is best if they have experience with the type of countertop material you want installed.

Check online reviews

  • Search for online reviews of each countertop installation company.
  • Look at review sites like Google, Facebook, Yelp, HomeAdvisor, etc.
  • Be cautious of companies with no or few reviews. Lots of positive reviews is a good sign.

Confirm who will do the work

  • Find out if the company has their own trained installers, or if they subcontract the work out.
  • Get the names of the installers if possible and look them up.

Ask plenty of questions

  • Don’t be afraid to ask the countertop contractor plenty of questions before signing a contract such as:
  • How long have you been installing countertops?
  • How do you ensure accurate measurements?
  • Do you provide any kind of warranty?

Vetting countertop installation contractors carefully takes a bit more time and effort up front. But doing so helps homeowners hire the best pro for the job – avoiding headaches from shoddy work or unfinished projects.

Signs of a Reputable Countertop Contractor

When looking for a countertop installation pro, it’s important to find one with strong qualifications. An experienced contractor who does quality work makes the process smooth.

Look for These Positive Signs:

  • More than 5 Years of Experience. An established company that has installed different countertop materials over several years knows how to do the job right. They can handle unexpected issues. Newer contractors may not have the skills.
  • Provides Itemized Written Estimates. A detailed estimate lists all parts of the project—materials, labor, permits, removal of old countertops, cleanup, and more. This shows they communicate clearly.
  • Offers a Workmanship Warranty. Quality contractors guarantee their labor. They might warranty materials too. If issues come up after the install, you can have them fix problems under the warranty.
  • Shows Examples of Past Countertop Projects. Ask to see photos or visit previous customer kitchens and bathrooms. This lets you check their workmanship firsthand so you know what to expect.
  • Has License and Insurance. Verify they have a valid contractor’s license. Make sure they carry general liability insurance and workers compensation in case of property damage or injuries during the installation.
  • Answers All Questions. They should respond to all inquiries in detail, on matters like how they template countertops for an accurate fit, materials and edges available, their installation process, how long the install takes, whether they provide plumbing and electrical work, etc.

Avoid These Warning Signs:

  • Pushy sales tactics or quotes that seem too good to be true
  • Lack of licenses or partnership with a General Contractor if permits need to be pulled, insurance, references
  • Vague estimates rather than detailed, written quotes
  • Unwillingness to provide straight answers to questions

Choosing a pro countertop installer gives homeowners peace of mind knowing their bath or kitchen remodeling project is in good hands. Use these signs of reputable contractors to feel confident in the company you hire.

Countertop Installation Process and What to Expect

Installing new countertops is a big project with lots of steps. Here is what you can expect from start to finish when you hire a countertop contractor:

Template Countertops

The first thing pros will do is take very careful measurements of your existing cabinets and space. Then they make cardboard templates to test for a perfect custom fit later on. Making a template helps avoid cracked tiles or gaps.

Remove Old Countertops

Next it’s time take out the old countertops. The pros will gently pry off and dispose of your old countertop pieces without harming your cabinets. Removing the old tops properly keeps things clean for the new installation.

Prepare Cabinets

With the old tops gone, contractors check for level cabinets, secure bases, and replace any water damaged parts. Preparing the base right means your new tops will last. Here are key steps:

  • Sand and patch cabinet surfaces
  • Shims added if cabinets uneven
  • Replace broken corner blocks
  • Caulk gaps for waterproofing

Install New Tops

Now the new custom-cut countertop pieces are transported from the fabrication warehouse to your home. Workers carefully inspect materials for flaws first. Then they do a test dry run to guarantee a perfect fit. Finally, your new countertops are permanently installed using adhesive and screws into the supporting base.

Seal Seams

Small gaps between countertop pieces and between the backsplash/wall are sealed neatly with a waterproof filler. This prevents spills and moisture from penetrating. The pros make the joints smooth and almost invisible.

Your contractor should update you along each step. A good pro will also clean the job site every day and protect floors/walls from nicks and debris.

The whole process can take several days depending on countertop size. But when done properly by a quality local contractor, you’ll have beautiful new counters to enjoy for years!

Avoiding Issues with Countertop Installers

Choosing the right countertop installer is key to avoiding problems down the road. Here are some tips to prevent headaches with your countertop installation:

Get Everything in Writing

  • Before work begins, have the contractor put all promises, warranties, and price guarantees in the contract. This includes:
  • Type, brand, and color of countertops
  • Total costs with a payment schedule
  • Timeline for completion
  • Plan for protecting existing cabinets and appliances
  • Having clear expectations upfront prevents disputes later.

Following these common sense precautions helps you avoid headaches with countertop installers. Paying attention upfront prevents having to deal with problems afterwards. Let me know if you have any other questions!

Are you ready to get started with your new countertops?