The transition from summer to autumn offers a wonderful opportunity to take on new design projects. Whether you follow the latest trends or not, perhaps you’re craving an upgrade that will enhance the style & functionality of your space for years to come. In this case, you may be drawn to beautiful natural stone for your kitchen, bathroom or even your outdoor living space! When used for any surfacing project, natural stone can be a significant investment in terms of both time and cost. So, when selecting a natural stone fabricator, you’ll definitely want to do your research.
This begs the question: How does one go about locating the most trustworthy & skilled fabricator to help make their natural stone project a success? This article will outline important qualifications that any reputable fabricator should possess.
What is a Natural Stone Fabricator?
The fabricator plays a crucial role in your natural stone design project. They turn a slab of natural stone into a counter top, wall cladding or whatever your project demands. Their skill and experience will influence the beauty and longevity of your natural stone, so it’s important to work with a trusted industry professional.
How to Choose a Natural Stone Fabricator: Key Questions to Ask
Your natural stone fabricator is responsible for transforming your chosen stone material into the stunning finished product you’re envisioning. To select and install a long-wearing stone surface you’ll absolutely adore – now and years down the line – having a reliable fabricator on your team is of the utmost importance. As you compare your options, asking these questions will help you make an informed decision:
- How long have you been in the industry? – Ideally, you’ll want to work with a well-established stone fabricator that has over a decade of industry experience. Generally speaking, the longer a company has been around, the more likely they are to know what they’re doing – and the more customer testimonials they should have for you to review.
- Do you have a showroom I can visit? – While not necessarily essential, choosing a fabricator with a showroom near you allows you to see and feel the different stones they can work with, check the quality of their workmanship in seaming slabs and various edge profiles as well as their creative talent in book matching products. Visiting the company’s showroom will also help you get a feel for the true quality of their customer service and craftsmanship, so you can be absolutely sure of your decision.
- Are you affiliated with an industry association? – Membership in a trade association such as the Natural Stone Institute indicates that a fabricator strives to stay up to date on best practices for using natural stone and serving their customers. As an example, members of the Natural Stone Institute pledge to adhere to the core values of leadership, professionalism, integrity and honesty, as well as to uphold high standards of safety, health and product quality.
- What brands do you partner with? – Aside from demonstrating a high degree of capability and professionalism, a reliable natural stone or quartz fabricator will take pride in collaborating with brands known to provide superior quality products and customer service. While you’re evaluating the fabricator’s credentials, consider researching the brands they partner with as well.
- Have you worked with the type of stone I am interested in? – This is a question that is imperative to ask but is quite often overlooked. The answer may not be a yes always, but the most important thing to note will be the fabricator’s knowledge about the material. They must be able to answer your questions on the stone’s fit for a particular project, does the stone need sealing (and if yes, how often must the stone be sealed) and the warranty on their workmanship.
- Do you have pictures and references for your previous projects? – Apart from their knowledge of the stone and stone type, having pictures and references from their previous clients is especially important in judging the veracity of their statements. Look out for comments on their timeliness, tidiness, and customer service prior to, during and post installation.
An important factor to keep in mind while choosing a fabricator is that the cheapest bid may not always be the best choice for you. It is important to understand and take the value of a fabricator’s knowledge and experience with the product into consideration rather than just the final numbers. An enthusiastic, knowledgeable fabricator will walk you through the pros and cons of the project and be up front on all costs while the lowest bidders might be cutting corners, so ask questions and understand the bids fully before making a decision.
P.S.: Even the best of fabricators will have jobs that have gone wrong for a multitude of reasons that are not fully disclosed online, so don’t let 1 negative comment out of a 50 deter you from considering a possibly great fabricator!
About Cosmos SurfacesTM
With over 15 years in the industry and more than 15 showrooms across the U.S., our 2nd generation family-owned company is proud to be among the nation’s leading stone distributors – and a member of the Natural Stone Institute. We work closely with the most trusted fabricators and contractors and can help guide our clients to choose the most reliable professionals for their design projects.
Our extensive natural stone collection features something for every application and design style, including mystifying Bacural granite sourced from Brazil.
In addition to natural stone, our product catalog also features magnificent, hardwearing engineered porcelain and quartz surfaces, suited for elevating areas throughout the home.
Join Forces with Cosmos SurfacesTM for Your Upcoming Stone Surfacing Project
Whether you are a homeowner or a trade professional, our experienced, customer-focused team is here to help you choose the most ideal material for your project – and ensure it is fabricated and installed to perfection. To see more stunning natural stones and discuss your design with the pros at Cosmos SurfacesTM, visit our website and get in touch with us today!
Color of the Month: Fired Brick
This month’s featured trending color is Pantone 19-1337, Fired Brick! The Pantone Color Trend Report says, “Strong and sturdy, Fired Brick adds gravitas.”
Agate Earth is a type of agate made from a custom blend of hand-picked, semi-precious stones. With tones of brown, red, and black, agate earth is both warm and familiar, a tie back to home and the earth. Strong and durable, agate earth can be installed as countertops, around fireplaces, and more.