Whether in the kitchen or bathroom, replacing a countertop is no small task, and choosing between a custom or prefabricated countertop is a big part of the process. You’ll obviously have to consider your budget, but also the intentions for the countertop. While both custom and prefab countertops are made with natural stone, like granite, marble, and quartz, the processes are quite different, and you’ll need to consider which best meet your utilitarian, aesthetic, and investment needs.
Countertops provide a variety of purposes, including food preparation, dining, socializing, and personal hygiene. They also contribute greatly to the décor of a home, and can also affect its value. Here are a few things to consider as you decide on whether custom or prefabricated countertops are better for you.
Prefabricated stone countertops still provide homeowners with the same durability and quality as a custom stone countertop, but they have a standardized, limited range of manufacturing options which greatly reduces costs, making them a much less expensive option than custom countertops. They are still made of the same high-quality materials, but they are cut to certain standard dimensions and only come in specific sizes and shapes. If you have an unusually shaped space, prefabricated countertops probably won’t be an option.
However, if you have a standard kitchen or bathroom, your distributor doesn’t have to do any custom measuring and cutting of the slab, installation is typically much quicker, and overall, a prefabricated counter will usually cost you a bit less. But if you’re just looking for the best price, you may just get what you pay for. Unfortunately, some suppliers carry mass-produced, low-quality countertops from overseas that have been manufactured in bulk with little oversight and quality control.
Prefabricated countertops can also have variances in color consistency since the pieces are not cut from the exact same piece of stone. This sometimes results in noticeable seaming as well. The other drawback with prefabricated countertops is that there is minimal customization beyond color and texture, and even there, the color options are limited to the most popular and common colors, and they generally only come with bullnose, rounded edging.
One of the greatest benefits to choosing a custom countertop is that it gives you a lot more control over what you get. You get to select the exact slab you want, and you get to choose from a wide selection of colors and textures, even with variances in thickness and shape that you won’t find with prefabricated countertops. You can also customize the edge of the stone.
Because they’ll be cut from a single slab, custom countertops maintain continuity throughout, with minimal seams. Slabs can also be cut to any dimensions, which gives you the opportunity to have a matching island, tabletop or bar.
The downside to a custom stone countertop is that installation will be slower, and it will generally be more costly. However, every custom countertop is a one-of-a-kind piece of art, and no two ever look exactly alike. This is an additional reason why a custom countertop is an investment that will bring a higher resale value to your home.
When it comes to the final decision, ultimately, you have to consider your budget and the demands of your kitchen, bathroom, or wherever the countertop is being installed. Visit our showroom at The Granite Place today to check out design options and to speak with a representative about what might work best for you.