Whether you own your home, are a landlord, or a real estate investor currently flipping a property, you understand the appeal of granite and marble or quartz countertops. What you many not particularly appreciate is the cost of a slab or two of granite or quartz to replace your kitchen and/or bathroom vanity counters. Enter pre-cut/prefab countertops, a choice many people didn't even know they have.
Difference Between Prefabricated And Slab Countertops
Prefabricated stone countertops have been cut to certain standard dimensions before arriving at the distributor. The standardized, limited range of manufacturing options can often greatly reduce costs, which are then passed on to the consumer. Thus, if you have a countertop in your home that fits one of these standard dimensions, choosing prefabricated stone will be a much cheaper option than having a slab custom-fit. Installation also tends to be a lot faster, and most prefab stone suppliers even throw in a backsplash for no additional cost.
These are custom-made countertops created from a single slab of stone. Homeowners can go to a supplier and choose the exact piece of stone they want, and there is virtually an endless range of colors and textures available. Although these slabs are quite costly, no two are alike — you’re truly getting a completely unique, one-of-a-kind piece of art.
Because your countertop will be cut from a single piece of stone, there will be continuity in color and texture throughout, even if multiple pieces need to be cut and seamed. Seams will also be less noticeable, and you can customize the edge of the stone as well. A slab can also be cut to any dimensions and to suit nearly any project, from islands to tabletops and more. The installation will be slower and more sometimes more costly, as the supplier will need to make a template of the countertop before cutting the stone and if the project is complex, it may take additional time to get the stone into place and secured.
Cost Savings Per Sq Foot
Prefab countertop averages $300 for 108" of stone at counter-depth (25.5"), whereas a slab will run you upwards of $1000 in materials alone. When your kitchen 107" or less in a continuous length and 25.5" counter depth throughout, you can easily use a prefab instead of incurring full slab costs.
Best Place to Use Prefab
Galley and Single-wall Kitchens, Small Kitchens, Outdoor Kitchens (covered). These are typically 25.5" wide and less than 107" long, making install a snap, with no seams to hide.
Double sink bathroom cabinet counters. The install team will remove 4" from the back edge to use as a backsplash required for code compliance in most places.
You will still need to find an installer to cut sink holes and make appropriate cuts, possibly re-polish an edge or create a nearly invisible seam. This will add to your costs, but not quite as much as custom slab work will.
In the case of a seamless center island (over 25.5" in width on a single plane), the prefab won't make good sense unless you simply don't mind a seam.
Counter Lengths Over 107"
In the case you have a 107"+, a seam can be hidden easily at an apron-front farm sink, for example, so two pre-cut slabs will work, and still considerably less expensive than a full slab. But if the seam is in a prominent place, you'll probably want to opt for the custom slab or just make peace with the seam.
When you're ready to purchase new countertops Surplus Building Materials has everything you need from granite, quartz, and marble options all ready to be seen in our huge warehouse!