Why Homeowners Should Never Buy A Quartz Countertop From Home Depot, Lowe's, or IKEA
This page is part of the affordable kitchen remodeling series, created to help homeowners design an elegant kitchen that fits their budget. You can access the entire series here.
With so many places to buy quartz countertops from, there’s no benefit from buying from the big box stores at all. This isn’t an across-the-board condemnation of them, they’re great places to buy many, many different items - it’s simply that quartz counters aren’t one of them.
These cabinets are from IKEA but the quartz worktops are bought locally. Image Src
This doesn’t mean that you can buy your quartz from literally any store except these three. Where to buy them is an entirely different topic, but if you want to know where to get the best quality countertop at the lowest possible price, I walk you through that right here.
There are some very specific reasons to avoid the big box stores, so let’s start with some typical big retailer problems and then have a closer look at Home Depot, Lowe’s, and IKEA.
Why Working With Big Box Stores Is A Colossal Mistake
The problem with buying quartz from these huge retailers is that it’s not their main focus. They sell a ton of different things, and countertops are often an afterthought, or something they sell for the sake of being a ‘one stop shop’ for kitchen renovations.
When you’ve got an entire kitchen renovation to do, it’s definitly convenient to get everything from the same store - but you will be doing your kitchen a major disservice.
Things like hand tools, small quantities of lumber, common repair parts; those all make sense to get from the same place. But unlike those products, it really does make a difference where you buy countertops, because the big box stores don’t actually make your countertop. Instead they work out deals with local contractors to fabricate and install them for you.
As part of those deals they are trying to pay the local companies as little as possible, and not because they want to pass those savings to you, but because they want to maximize their profits. Their prices aren’t cheaper than buying directly from a local fabricator, and in many cases they are more expensive.
They’re just a middle man and they are keeping you from getting to know the people you are actually going to hire. By letting them choose your contractor you’re literally rolling the dice and hoping that they select a skilled craftsman for you. Unfortuntaly, not every company that the big box stores works with is a skilled craftsman.
Would you rather hire your contractor directly than work with a middle man?
There are a few ways to go about finding them. My favorite is to ask your friends for referrals. You can make it as simple as asking your Facebook friends for recommendations.
The most important part about choosing a contractor is getting multiple price quotes, three at the very least. So if you can’t get enough recommendations from friends, websites like Yelp and Google business lsitings are a great resource.
If you want to skip that hassle you can also fill out the form below. It will put you in touch with local contractors in your area that would love to have you as their next customer.
This huge chain of stores sells just about anything you may need for your home. If you’re building a deck, they have deck screws and bags of concrete for the footings. If you need a hammer they have 20 to choose from. If you need to patch your driveway they carry small bags of asphalt.
Home Depot sells one of the best brands of quartz, called Silestone, as well as a couple others that aren’t as well known. Silestone is a fine product and I wholeheartedly recommend it. But you are forced to choose what color you want from a small sample that’s just a few inches wide at best.
To make matters worse, they’re far from the cheapest. According to Quality Stone Concepts, a stone fabricator in Virginia, they are way overcharging their customers and pulling the classic bait and switch.
When it comes to buying quartz countertops Lowe’s is basically Home Depot reincarnated. They also sell Silestone and a brand called allen + roth, which I admit that I know nothing about other than Lowe’s sells them. They’re probably decent quality but I would not consider them one of the major players in the quartz industry.
The Swedish giant is famous for offering ‘build-it-yourself’ furniture for incredibly low prices. A dorm-room staple, IKEA also has higher-end furniture that you wouldn’t guess came from IKEA. In addition to that, they have everything you need for a complete kitchen renovation from cupboards, to major appliances, to storage, and even cooking utensils.
I want to like IKEA, I really do. I love walking around the store and trying to resist buying all the cool things that seem to be around every corner, but countertops are definitely not one of those things.
IKEA sells a brand of quartz countertops called Caesarstone. Reviews are mixed for them. Some people love Caesarstone and lot’s of people do nothing but complain about them. They aren’t a brand that I would recommend based on what I have been told by multiple fabricators. On more than one occassion I have been told that they sell mediocre products and have customer service to match.
The most important thing to learn from this page is that all big box stores subcontract out to local companies, and that you can hire them directly instead of letting Home Depot, Lowe’s, or IKEA act as a middle man. By cutting out the middle man you’ll more than likely get cheaper prices, a larger selection, much better customer service, and you’ll have a true countertop professional asnwering your questions.
Skip the over priced middle man that lacks any true knowledge of what they are selling and go directly to the source. Here’s how to do it.
Would you like to design an elegant kitchen that fits your budget?
Here are a few articles I wrote that can help.
- 10 sly but simple cheats that save more money than buying stuff on sale
- How to cut the cost of cabinets by 20% or more
- Get the lowest price on countertops, flooring, lighting, and appliances
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Page Last Updated On Oct 23, 2020 by Scott Jenkins
QUARTZ COUNTER TOPS FOR A MODERN FARMHOUSE
It all started with a little laundry room re-vamp last year. It always seems to happen that way. We had The Home Depot install Calacatta Gold Silestone quartz counter tops in two little sections of the laundry room. We absolutely loved it, craving more of it in our home!
The kitchen was the PERFECT place for us to stare at it all day long. The previous granite was fine, but earlier last year we installed a built-in banquette and were never able to find the original granite to top it with. After months of searching we found out that it had been discontinued. In order to make the kitchen flow and not feel choppy with mis-matched counters, we decided that this would be the perfect place for the Silestone quartz countertops we loved so much in the laundry room.
We love working with The Home Depot for installations because we always know they will do a great job. They handle everything with care, cleaning as they go and constantly seeking your opinion to ensure you’re a part of the process and pleased with how it’s going.
NEW COUNTERTOPS THAT ARE BUILT TO LAST
We couldn’t be happier with our decision on the low-maintenance Calacatta Gold Silestone quartz countertops from The Home Depot backed by a 25-year warranty. The light gray veining allows for the perfect pop against the clean white surface. It adds just enough warmth and character without moving too far out of that “timeless” category.
Our little banquette suddenly became the hero for nudging us to go with full quartz in the kitchen.
First the laundry room, then the kitchen… what’s next? I suspect that over time we will slowly be converting the entire house over to our new favorite material.
How Home Depot’s $35/SF granite magically becomes $82/SF
Last week on my lunch break, at my wife’s request, I stopped by Home Depot in Virginia Beach to get some gutter guards and trash bags. I did something that I swore I’d never do. I mystery shopped one of my largest countertop competitors: Home Depot.
I was intrigued by the sign outside that read granite for $35 sf, and thought I’d investigate.
I sat down with my sales person. We’ll call her Cheryl. Cheryl was a lovely lady, she was friendly and helpful. I have nothing negative to say about my experience with her. I provided Cheryl with hand drawings of my kitchen which equaled 49.05 square feet. I selected two options (Giallo Ornamental Granite and White Arabesque Quartz.)
Cheryl asked s few specific questions, about my job and calculated a total number. I was preparing myself for the final number to be somewhere around $1,732.5 based on my square footage and the advertising outside. Cheryl presented me with two quotes, one for $4,005.60 and the other for $4,790.40.
Being in the industry, I was expecting this bait and switch tactic, as Home Depot and Lowes are not my only competitors who employ this tactic. So, I thought this experience would make good reading for those of you who follow “The World’s Most Boring Blog.”
A Quick review of the Giallo Ornamental Granite quote discovered the following:
- Giallo Ornamental was a Level 3 granite, which was not $35 a square foot, but in fact $54 a square foot. A quick review of Home Depot’s “Level 1” stones reminded me of trip to a Super 8 Motel.
- I was charged $445.50 for “edge detail.” All I requested was a “basic bullnose” edge. I came to find out the only edges they offer in their “included” price range was a “flat square” edge, or a Bevel (which I actually kinda liked).
- Next, I noticed a charge for $269 for double bowl 18 gauge sink, at QSC they are complimentary.
- After that I noticed a charge of $250 for mounting and polishing said sink.
- I was also charged $392.40 for removal and haul away of my existing countertops, which I thought was a good deal, but wasn’t offered the opportunity to do it myself.
All of these additional charges brought me to a grand total of $4,005, which based on my 49.05 square feet equaled $81.66 a square foot out the door. The quartz option reflected the exact same pricing structure at almost $97.68 per square foot.
In conclusion, there is NOTHING wrong with shopping at Home Depot or Lowes, just don’t buy their granite or quartz countertops. Buy their Hammers, nails and grills, but don’t overpay for your countertops. Come see why Quality Stone is the best priced, best reviewed countertop company in Hampton Roads. We have shorter lead times, lower prices and more industry expertise. We will gladly beat any written quote from Home Depot or Lowes and that is a Guarantee.
Quality Stone Concepts
1373 London Bridge Road,
Va Beach, VA 23453
757-275-9382 or www.qualitystoneconcepts.com
What is Cambria?
Cambria is the leading brand of Man-made Quartz Surfaces used for Kitchen and BathroomCountertops. Made in America, out of Grand LeSeur & Eden Prairie, Minnesota, Cambria is a Family-Owned Business that proudly employs over 2000 employees nationwide.
Quartz itself is a rock hard mineral found in nature. The stone scores a 7 on the MoH’s Hardness Scale, three spots behind Diamonds, which are known as the hardest rock/gem/mineral on Earth (so hard you can cut with it!). The only thing hard enough to scratch a Cambria Countertop is another piece of Quartz itself.
Cambria mines their own Quartz from their proprietory mines, searching for only the purest white pieces. The finished product ends up being an “Engineered Stone,” made up of 93% Crushed Quartz, and 7% Resins, Binders, and Pigment.
During the Manufacturing Process, the material is bound together with a small amount of binder, which renders the stone poreless, unlike Granite. Being Non-Porous, Cambria NEVER needs to be sealed like its Natural Stone Counterparts Granite and Marble. The finished product is an Ultra Durable, Scratch Resistant, Stain Resistant, Maintenance-Free Slab of Engineered Stone.
Depot home quartz white countertops
Kitchen in Progress
We have so much going on over here, haha. But our kitchen countertops went in yesterday, and we’re in love! I can’t believe how much bigger and brighter the room looks.
A couple of weeks ago, I shared initial plans for our kitchen. And it’s so exciting to see it all happening. I’ll do a full (very honest) review about the experience once everything’s finished, but wanted to share a few more details today.
Why we went with Home Depot
Because we weren’t doing a full kitchen renovation and only needed countertops and a backsplash, we decided to just go with a big box store. We’d originally wanted to go with Ikea, but the design team there told us that they wouldn’t install countertops if we weren’t buying cabinets. (Bummer.) So then we looked at Lowe’s, Menards and Home Depot… and ultimately went with Home Depot for the following reasons:
- It was the best bang for our buck. When we booked everything, Home Depot was having a big sale on kitchen countertops. With a 20 percent savings, the removal of the preexisting countertops, the new countertops, and the installation totaled $5,500. I’ll include exact prices and do a cost comparison when I publish the comprehensive review, but I believe that with the promotion, the countertops cost $69 per square foot. In higher-end stores in Chicago, similar countertops were priced around $90 per square foot. (In case you’re wondering, removal of the backsplash tile, the tile itself, and the installation came to $2,543. So all in, about $8,000 for both countertops + backsplash.)
- We liked a particular quartz. We really liked Silestone’s “Statuario” quartz countertops, which my brother-in-law used in his recent home renovation, and it was only carried at Home Depot.
- We didn’t have to make very many decisions. Building off of that, we loved the idea of just copying Charlie and making things as painless as possible. We’re really tired, haha… and we’ve been doing renovations for a long time now. And while renovations can be fun, they can also be draining! Because we copied, the only decision we had to make was the type of edge. It took about 20 seconds. (We went with “Eased,” which is the sharpest edge. 😝)
- The turnaround was the quickest. Only three weeks! Pretty spectacular.
The countertops and backsplash
Again, we chose Silestone quartz countertops in “Statuario”, which is Home Depot’s most popular quartz. We LOVE them. Meant to look like marble, they have very subtle veining that doesn’t appear pixelated. (We found that so many quartz countertops’ veining looked super fake!) Sure, it’s pretty obvious the countertops aren’t real marble, but the look is beautiful and I can’t get over how much they brighten up the room!
One thing to note is that Home Depot almost never has samples in stock, I guess because it’s so popular. I literally never found one, and I visited a bunch of stores. (They have cardboard samples, but the cardboard samples are NOT accurate in terms of color.) Home Depot does, however, sell a sample online, and I would highly recommend buying that so you can see what it would look like with your cabinets.
For the backsplash, we went with Jeffery Court Carrara White 3×6 Honed Marble Wall Tiles, and we plan on installing them in a herringbone pattern. It’s just a standard marble subway tile, though a lot of people have DM-ed me on Instagram saying that they have it and love it, so that makes me feel good about the decision! (We brought home some samples from Home Depot and then just went with the one that we liked best. They all looked REALLY similar to me, though!)
I should mention that I was nervous about whether the warm white cabinets, cooler quartz countertops and (real) marble backsplash would clash. But I’ve seen SO many designers do it, and I love how it looks! The different whites somehow complement each other.
How it’s going so far
So far so good! I was a teensy bit worried about going with Home Depot, just because I assumed a giant company wouldn’t put much care into our project. But things have gone very smoothly, and everyone’s been friendly and helpful. Thus far, the process has entailed:
- Going into the store and committing to/paying for the countertops with a rough estimate of how many square feet we’d need.
- Ordering a sink, faucet and garbage disposal. We were told that we needed these things at the house before the field measure could take place.
- A field measure. This took about an hour and a half, and it occurred about a week later. Btw: Home Depot contracts this out to another company, but that hasn’t impacted us at ALL. No extra work whatsoever; Home Depot handles everything, and they’re the point of contact.
- Prepping the kitchen. We were told to remove everything from the countertops and the interior contents of any drawer that would be exposed when the original countertops are removed.
- Installation day 1: Preexisting countertops and backsplash were removed, and new countertops were installed. Countertops came already cut; the only on-site cuts that the team needed to do were cuts for the faucet. (Small holes.) Again, this is done by the company that did the field measure.
- Installation day 2: Plumbing hookup. (Different team. Note: The faucet appears to be hooked up in these photos, but Mitch and I just placed it in the holes because we couldn’t wait to see what it would look like!)
- Installation day 3: Backsplash installation. (Different team.)
Of course, I have a few things I’m worried about because HELLO. ;)
- The countertop on the desk (not pictured) doesn’t touch one of the walls, and it doesn’t look like the tile will cover the gap. But verdict’s still out on that one. Not sure if there was a reason for that… or if they already have a plan. (Only noticed it last night after the crew had left.) We’ll know more soon!
- The desk drawers need to be tweaked. They’re harder to open and close now. I’m definitely going to have Home Depot fix that!
- Dust. Dust comes along with nearly every renovation project, but I suppose I assumed that it would be minimal with this one, since the majority of the cutting takes place off site. But the dust even made its way up to the girls’ rooms! So if you’re considering going with Home Depot, I would ask for the crew to put some plastic up. And if they won’t do it, put it up yourself!
I’ll include more about this stuff in the “full reveal” post, but I’ve linked up everything below.
Sister, don't go. She half turned to me, and at that moment she looked like an antique statue. In the light of the moon, the clean and noble line of her body. Was sharply outlined: the curve of the neck and shoulders, the straight posture of the Amazon, the silhouette of heavy thighs, strong legs, dark curls gathered in a bun.
You are welcome.
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That's for sure - I said, not hiding Brittany's surprise so far thinks that they are doing well. So that's why she shuddered so that time, it is not surprising that after mentioning her daughter, she agreed to my terms. We ate in silence while we watched the news.