How to Choose a Fabricator
What is important to consider when choosing a fabricator for my job?
Experience, experience, experience! One of the biggest mistakes homeowners make is hiring their handyman who has installed ceramic tile on the floor or bathroom counters and walls to fabricate and/or install natural stone slabs and tiles. While 4”x4” ceramic tiles are very forgiving and easy to manipulate around uneven spaces, a six-foot long piece of granite must be cut perfectly in order to fit tightly against a wall which is, more than likely, off-plumb. An experienced, licensed stone fabricator will be able to install your counters with a minimum of cutting, and tight seams where cutting is necessary. A good fabricator will have photos of his work, and will be happy to let you see some of his jobs in person.
How is the job price determined?
Fabrication charges are figured based on the ease or difficulty of cutting and installation (are there a lot of corners to seam or uneven walls, or is it a straight counter?), and the edging detail for counters (simple edges such as square-edge being less labor-intensive than double-ogee, for example.) A good fabricator will charge between $30 and $60 per linear foot for a counter installation, and between $4 and $9 for tile installation (These prices are based on current 2010 market values in the Southern California area, and may differ in other regions of the U.S.)
Will the fabricator seal the stone before completing the job?
In many cases, no! Do not assume your stone has been sealed by your fabricator. You often must request that he do this, or, better yet, read our FAQs on stone sealing and do it yourself.