On my 30th birthday, my husband surprised me with a scavenger hunt that ended with the promise of replacing our kitchen countertops. I was over the moon…and 33 weeks pregnant.
I’d been quite loudly pining for new countertops ever since I finished painting the cabinets. I tried to convince my husband that Carrera Marble would complete the look – as seen in our kitchen inspirations below, but we kept hearing warnings to stay away from marble.
I was desperate to finish the final piece of our kitchen transformation. We were only one step away from completing my vision!
As a means of avoiding marble, we set out to find a beautiful slab of granite that resembled marble in color and veining. It turns out, that’s much easier said than done in NYC without a car.
We priced a granite option at our local stone store. Unfortunately, they insisted we purchase a whole slab when it was far more than we needed, so we were still looking at $4,000+ for our tiny kitchen!
We really wanted to support local business, but red flags started waving when we learned that we were expected to demo and haul away the old countertops by ourselves, all before they came to measure! They casually explained that we would essentially live in a construction site (7-10 days…an optimistic estimate) while we waited for the new countertops to be cut and installed. You mean, your customers seriously agree to this?!!
With a baby arriving any day, this was a terrifying development!
And so, we waited.
Suddenly, it was July! We had a newborn, and life was harder than we’d ever imagined.
There was no way we could imagine making life even harder by choosing to live without a kitchen for a week or more.
And so, we waited.
Being tethered to the home with a new baby, I was spending more time in our kitchen (and our apartment) than ever before. Our tan-brown, very easily staining countertops were constantly in my face and grating on my nerves.
By October, I’d managed to find a highly rated kitchen shop on Yelp. One Saturday, we packed up the baby and headed to Brooklyn. We fell in love with some gorgeous Quartz Master designs, and spoke with the owner about getting a quote.
Calcutta Grey by Quartz Masters
He emailed us that night to ask a few more questions, and followed up the next day with a $4900+tax quote. Apparently, we have expensive taste in quartz.
While trying to decide if paying an extra grand was worth a higher quality product, and excellent customer service, we received another email.
Our shop caught fire yesterday afternoon in the rear and sustained damage both from fire and water. One of our guys suffered 2nd degree burns to face and hands but is ok. See pictures for aftermath. In the meantime since our shop will be out of commission for several weeks. I will check with our partnering fabricators to see if they can take on this project, if its ok with you. Keep you posted tomorrow. Thanks.
Exactly one week after finally making the trek to Brooklyn, this poor business owner’s shop caught fire! What are the chances?!
And so, we waited.
After narrowly surviving our first holiday travel season with a baby, we were ready to give the countertop chaos one last shot. This time, we realized the path of least resistance and headed to Chelsea’s big box stores on a snowy January evening.
From previous countertop research, we knew we liked Silestone Lyra at Home Depot – but something kept us from pulling the trigger.
We decided to look into granite prices at the new Lowes Home Improvement. Unfortunately, their prices were $30-50/square foot higher than what we had seen previously at Home Depot. The associate just shrugged his shoulders about the price discrepancy between competitors, and off we went to Home Depot down the street.
Walking into the quartz countertop area, I noticed a sample-sized chunk of White Arabesque (a mostly white with grey veining pattern I’d never seen before). As a dancer, I loved the name (and the design) and asked my husband if he liked it as well. Without pause, he said he liked it a lot!
This small table also held three promotional signs that caused us to jump into action.
- White Arabesque Special Closeout Pricing
- 10% off Countertop Installation Promotion *Ends Today
- Open a Home Depot credit card and save 10% on today’s purchase
If you know my husband, you know he does not like to make snap decisions. Call it whatever you like, but we found the perfect countertops, on sale, on the last day of a special promotion, all while Kip was happily napping on my chest. It was fate!!
We sought out an employee and practically had to beg her to give us a quote. We wanted to lock in the promotional pricing! She seemed completely confused and her numbers were WAY too good to be true, but she assured us that the contractor would confirm the price after measuring our kitchen. After receiving this number we could still cancel for a full refund.
A hour later, we left Home Depot with a hefty – though far less than expected charge on our brand new Home Depot credit card.
Surprise Countertops! Happy Belated Birthday to Me!
Here’s how the numbers shook out:
- 27 Sqft of New Countertop ($89 per ft after both discounts): $2403
- Undermount Sink (Labor Only): $250
- We supply our own sink
- Countertop Removal and Haul Away ($8 per ft): $216
- Home Depot Credit Card Promotional Savings: -$200
- 10% off purchase, up t0 $200
GRAND TOTAL: $2669
Just over HALF as much as our other two quotes!
We still had to wait for the contractor to come out and measure our exact square footage. (See the huge delays between blog posts haven’t been ENTIRELY my fault – just mostly).
I wasn’t worried, I knew I was pretty good with geometry…and a tape measure…and a calculator.
To Be Continued…
Countertop Installation Post coming ASAP!