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Granite Worktops - Truth, Lies and misinformation

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  • edited 25 September 2009 at 10:21AM
    rachelandgromitrachelandgromit Forumite
    826 posts
    edited 25 September 2009 at 10:21AM
    I'm still doing my research into worktops and I was deciding to look more locally (I live around the North West Area). I got in touch with alot of comapnies by phone and email sending my plan through and stumbled across these people http://www.merchanthouseltd.co.uk/

    I don't know if anyone has used these but they are just on the outskirts of Chester. I went to see the factory and was very impressed. They do all the work in the factory and do not cut in the back garden! They come out to template, cutting out a piece of acrylic and then take it back to the factory. I was shown around the factory, how the granite/quartz is cut, work in progress so to speak and I was also lucky that they had just finished a worktop in the black sparkly quartz with polished sink cut out drainer grooves so I could image what mine would look like (very nice)! I had not mentioned previous prices and the cheapest one I had was from an Internet based company who cut in the back garden. The Merchant House gave the same price but VAT was the extra cost (and I did not mention the lowest price). When I thought it was too good to be true, that's when I visited them. I'm not associated with them, but I know I've struggled to find a company providing a good price in the North West. My kitchen isn't coming until Saturday and by time my dad fits it, it will be a good month away before I sort out the worktop but at the moment this place really impressed me. If anyone has used them or has any comments, please let me know!

    Forgot to say - if you have granite, you can pick your slab too if it means that much to you. It looks so much better on a slab than it does in a sample. Really nice!
  • Hi rachelandgromit

    I'm also in the same part of the country as you - would be grateful if you could let me know your experiences with Merchant House Ltd.

    Also, which was the company you refer to where you managed to get the cheapest online quote from?

    I must say, I like the sound of hand-picking the slab of granite for my worktop!

    Uffuffa
  • Hi

    There has been a delay in my dad fitting my kitchen so not had the quartz worktop yet, so can't comment fully on the Merchant House. The online company that quoted me was granitefitters.co.uk
    But I would say definately go to the Merchant House and see their work and how they do things as with the very minimal difference in price I would prefer someone who did not cut in my garden.

    If you are in Manchester you are not too far away from them. Go and see them or drop them an email as they were very quick to respond to me.
  • rizzlarizzla Forumite
    26 posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    alan, great post, very informative indeed. would appreciate if you could recommend me a supplier pls

    basic kitchen 2600mm one side, 2900mm the opposite side, straight, wall to wall.
    will also need a 1500 slab which i will use as a bar.

    so far just been researching online. come across a lot of "3 length worktops for a grand delivered, fitted, + cutouts" which i was going to go ahead with but after reading your post, taking a step back. for each websites ive been looking up their "about us" page to see how they work and what they do etc but still unconvinced.
    some suppliers ive been considering

    granite-care.co.uk
    mistermarble
    tilesandtops.co.uk
  • Alan_M_2Alan_M_2 Forumite
    2.8K posts
    You have a PM

  • mister marble have this written on there website under mining!!
    "These large blocks are highly prized, yet only 10 percent is suitable for granite worktops, whereas the other 90 percent will be used for smaller building projects such as tiling or brick sized material."......erm and the precut worktops you and 90% of internet companies supply.

    Installers that cut on site do so because they do not have workshops and 9 out of 10 DONT have any insurance.
    Although this is a cheaper option the product itself is a much lower quality than if you were to have your worktops/vanity/hearths cut from slab.

    Im sure people will argue this from the trade, however these will be the suppliers who supply the precut/polished.
  • Alan_M_2Alan_M_2 Forumite
    2.8K posts
    I deal with both pre cut and scant material.

    Each has it's place in the market and there is a big market growing for a hybrid of the two - gangsaw cut pre produced countertops.

    I have customers in both industries who embrace both products. Some of the more traditional fabricators use the pre produced material reluctantly, but accept it is opening the market to people who simply wouldn't have been able to afford granite previously.

    Of these companies many offer either a cut on site or template service and fabrication in premises, at different costs of course.

    The problem comes when companies install pre produced tops that purport to be bespoke and produced from gangsaw slab.

  • Hi all,

    Thanks to Alan for a very informative post and discussion.

    I am completing an extension at home and am in the process of pricing for granite worktops and am trying to maintain an open mind on the whole subject.

    As a builder I am used to sourcing materials and searcing for keen prices but I would very much appreciate any advice on the granite worktop front.

    Does anyone have any recommendations for supply in the Swansea area. I'm happy to consider supply and fit or supply only (would need cutting etc though) or any other combination.

    As an alternative I can collect from a supplier and am willing to travel if the saving is worthwhile (and if I can find someone to fabricate etc)

    sorry for the wordy post

    regards

    jeff
  • Alan_M_2Alan_M_2 Forumite
    2.8K posts
    You have a Pm.

  • Hi Everyone!

    Many thanks to Alan for sharing his knowledge with us. I have been reading many posts on the MSE forums over the past few months whilst deliberating about which kitchen to buy and from whom. Having (rightly or wrongly!) bought one from Benchmarx, I am now faced with choosing a worksurface. All along we have wanted granite but in terms of choosing a supplier, it now seems a bit more daunting! Does anyone have a recommendation for a supplier/fitter in the South East Essex area and does anyone have any views on Diapol? I looked at their website and the autoquote seemed reasonable compared to others. I have read other posts about them but have now discovered this thread. Many thanks for any help!
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