If you love remodels that utilize natural stone, and want to see how it’s all done, you’ve come to the right place; from picking your slab to installation, we have all the information you need! Here is everything that you will find out about our remodel in Dallas, Texas:
- The cost of the natural stone and labor
- Before and after pictures
- A few pointers that can help you with your remodel
- The final result
Though we are experts in our field and have completed thousands of stone projects in the Dallas area, no two projects are alike. Our advice may not apply to your specific project so, as with all things you find on the Internet, you should approach this information with some skepticism, and be prepared to do a little research of your own before embarking on any kind of remodeling project.
Before we get into all of the details, it must be said that we love working with natural stone. There’s something very exciting about taking a space that someone’s had to “put up with” for years and transforming it into the room of their dreams. Every time we come in with a new countertop, vanity, or (in this case) shower walls, we get to see the homeowner’s face light up with excitement. However, we must give credit where credit is due. We would be nothing without the beautiful slabs of natural stone that mother nature has provided us.
Now, let’s get to the project at hand!
Martha’s Shower Walls and Kitchen Countertops
Our client, Martha, was referred to us by a local interior designer. She had recently purchased a new home in the University Park area of Dallas, but was not very happy with the look of her kitchen and bathroom.
The old granite was outdated and had begun to turn yellow. Martha really wanted something that gave the home a sense of subtle luxury, but she also wanted it to be unique. After some research, she decided to use Sea Pearl Quartzite for her bath and Taj Mahal Quartzite for her kitchen.
Selecting the material wasn’t easy, though; committing to one type of stone when there are hundreds of options can be a daunting task. Some stone companies send their clients to local stone yards without helping them do research beforehand. This is a recipe for disaster, as it often leads to “option paralysis.” So, let’s take a look at how we do business.
Here is our first tip for completing your stone project:
- Look for Inspiration – Try to find between 1 and 4 pictures featuring materials that you think would work with your overall design. You don’t have to know the name of the materials; the pictures will do the trick.
- Contact Us – Email the inspiration pictures to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: “Help me find these materials!” We’ll let you know the name of the materials, and if you’re in Dallas, we can even tell you which stone yard stocks keeps them in stock. This will save you a lot of time, so please don’t make the mistake of driving to every stone yard, only to find out they don’t have the right material.
- Make a Selection – Finally, go down to the stoneyard that stocks your desired materials, take a good look at each color, and select a winner!
So, back to Martha’s situation. After she selected the material she wanted, it was time for us to give her the total price for her project. She booked an estimate with us so we could collect the exact dimensions of all her pieces. Note: you don’t need to have the material selected before booking an estimate, you can book an estimate any time and then select the material afterward.
If you’re looking to remodel, feel free to book an estimate with us now!
The dimensions collected during the estimate are used to provide our clients with the precise cost of their project. These measurements are extremely important because we need to know exactly how much material will be required. In Martha’s case, we needed:
- 2 Slabs of Taj Mahal Quartzite, and
- 2 Slabs of Sea Pearl Quartzite
Here was Martha’s final estimate for the project:
Notice that we break down our estimates into two sections: material and labor. We like to be completely transparent with our clients during every step of the installation process. The material price shown in Martha’s estimate is the wholesale price we get from the stoneyard. The labor price is a flat rate we charge for completing the stone work. There are no hidden fees and no funny business.
The Fabrication Process
Fabricating Martha’s quartzite shower walls is something most fabricators would not even attempt. Here were the specifications:
- Wall Size: 110 inches x 55 inches
- Wall Weight: about 800 pounds per side
- Material: Sea Pearl Quartzite 3CM
These shower walls were monstrous, but that’s not even the biggest issue. Fabricating quartzites should only be done by an experienced fabricator with the right machinery. Quartzite is harder than most granites and poor fabrication can ruin the material. It is a 7 on the Mohs hardness scale; to put that into perspective, diamonds are a 10.
On that note, here is our second tip for your stone project:
A fabricator working out of the back of his truck will always have the cheapest price, but at what cost? If you’re looking for a quality product, and craftsmanship that will last a lifetime, we urge you to avoid shopping for the lowest price in the remodeling industry. We get calls from customers on a monthly basis who decided to work with the “cheaper guy,” only to realize that they made a huge mistake; now they need us to replace countertops that were either poorly installed or poorly fabricated. Paying twice for work that could have (and should have) been done right the first time is not a smart move, so always check the reviews
To give you a better idea of this project, here are a few pictures:
Martha’s Taj Mahal Quartzite kitchen countertops were a lot simpler to fabricate than the shower walls. Taj Mahal Quartzite is a very delicate material. It has a creamy beige color and is primarily made up of translucent natural quartz crystals.
For Martha’s kitchen, we decided on a 2” mitered edge to give the stone a thicker appearance. To do a mitered edge, we needed to adhere a 2” strip of the same material to all of the countertop edges. This method has become extremely popular, mostly because it is a clean look that gives the countertop more of a “butcher-block” look.
Here is what a mitered edge looks like:
The giant island was definitely the star of the show in Martha’s kitchen. We lowered the kitchen’s pre-existing bar to create one main island centerpiece.
This brings us to our third tip for your stone project:
Cut and lower bars in your kitchen to create one island.
Open concepts have been all the rage lately. However, kitchens often have high bars right behind the sink countertop. These bars can be cut and lowered to countertop height to allow for one main island in your kitchen. Islands are spacious, create an open feel, and can serve as amazing centerpieces. Now, back to Martha’s project…
Cutting down the bar:
Looking for an island like Martha’s? Tell us more about your project here!
The final step of our successful remodel was installing the stone in Martha’s home. Installing Martha’s kitchen and bathroom took about a week in total. Unlike most trades, stone fabrication is mainly a process carried out at our fabrication shop. All the countertops we install are precut, polished, cleaned, and sealed before arriving at your home. This makes our work very clean, unlike many other installation trades. Fabrication can get quite dusty, so we try to keep on-site fabrication to a bare minimum.
A few more pictures of the installation:
After all was said and done, here is what Martha’s project looked like upon completion:
Here’s what Martha had to say about it:
“I used Econ Granite to get quartzite installed in my kitchen and master bathroom. I needed a company that could find the right material for my new home, and install it CORRECTLY. The install was super clean, and very professional. I’ve had many designers complement the craftsmanship, I refer them to Juan and his team at Econ Granite without hesitation. Very high quality, beautiful products, professional install, and no mess to clean up afterward. I couldn’t be more pleased!”
If you’re looking for stone installation done right, contact us now to book an estimate!