|There are many categories of countertop
materials with many different characteristics
and looks. I will try and explain some of the
most popular ones below.
|Plastic laminate is generally referred to
as "Formica" but comes in many brand
names and colors. The color selections
offered is awesome. With a bit of care
and common sense it will give you years
and years of good service. The basic
drawback of plastic laminate counters is
that your counters will have very visible
|Solid surface is a product generally referred to as "CORIAN", since this
was invented by DUPONT in 1964. In fact the name "Corian:" is a
derivation of the inventor's daughters name "Cory Ann". While Acrylic
resin itself was invented in the 1930's, the resulting Dupont Corian product
became one of the first space age polymers. DUPONT CORIAN is made
up of 100% acrylic resin with a filler of alumina tri-hydrate plus coloring
agents. CORIAN and the myriad of other solid surface brands that use
acrylic resin, exhibit the best stain resistance of any countertop
surface..period! DUPONT has tested the Corian product with about 200
staining agents including sulphuric acid and many other things that you
would never use in a kitchen or bathroom setting. I have worked on and
have tested Dupont Corian myself, for over fifteen years and I have yet to
find anything that will permanently stain it. IT IS THAT GOOD!
|ALMOST ALL MAN MADE COUNTERTOP MATERIALS HAVE A RESIN COMPONENT THAT FORMS THE STRUCTURAL BINDER OF ALL
THESE PRODUCTS. THERE ARE TWO KEY TYPES OF RESINS THAT ARE USED. THEY ARE TOTALLY DIFFERENT IN COMPOSITION
|This product is the better of the two resins. Its molecular structure
allows the molecules to slide past each other giving the product more
flexibility making the finished product less brittle and less prone to
chipping and cracking. Acrylic resin is also u.v. stable in that it is
unaffected by sunlight and is suitable for outside use. Acrylic resin also
gives the product exceptional stain resistance and better performance
when exposed to heat.
|QUARTZ OR ENGINEERED STONE
|THE APPROVED AND LICENSED CONTRACTOR MYTH
|It is a fact of life that if you are in business, you are hit with a daily barrage of advertising to bring in more business. A lot
of these offer to put you on "Barbie's List", "Herman's List". As soon as you send them money then you are "approved"
"screened" or "reliability proven". These "list" people then advertise that you have been checked out and you should
patronize these companies. We are on "Angies List" as some of our customers have recommended us. We do not pay for
this though. When you see a large colorful display advertisement in the yellow pages, guess who is paying for it. These
generally cost up to $20,000.00 per month Another very expensive way to advertise is to get a booth in a home show.
These booths can cost you from $2,500.00 to $25,000.00 for a four day run. This is just the rent for the space. If you buy
from a dealer who has a booth, either the price of your countertops just went up or the quality just went way down. The
lastest trick to save you money is to eliminate the "retailer markup" if you will only come to their showroom and pay over
$5,200.00 to join their buying group. Give me a break! A simple call to the Better Business Bureau will answer all your
questions on that scam. The Houston market is so competitive, nobody pays retail in the first place.
Whether we like it or not, the "Home Depot" and the "Lowes" stores, set the price in the market due to their massive
marketing and high visibility. One of the two advertises "licensed and bonded" professionals, do their work. Unfortunately
there is no licensing authority or license required in this market. Literally anybody with a pulse, a $89.00 angle grinder, a
$20.00 diamond blade and a pickup truck, can be and usually is a granite "fabricator." Almost all of these guys are illegals
and have no insurance. If they get hurt at your house, guess who pays. The unlucky home owner shopping for price
alone, is their prey. These guys have a "tail light warranty" which means that they will guarantee their work until the tail
lights on their trucks fade away. We get calls on a regular basis asking if we can fix jobs these butchers have put in. The
home centers use legitimate fabricators like us but they mark up their prices another 20%. Since they always use the
lowest bidder, so quality is not high on their agenda, and If you like the home center prices, you will love ours. We always
beat their prices by a considerable amount. No matter which countertop provider you choose they always use
subcontractors to do the installation and they are paid about $2.50 per square foot which means they don't spend a lot of
time to do your installation. We use our own employees to install our jobs and encourage them to take the time to do the
installation right with inconspicuous seams and level! We have to do it right because we have an unlimited guarantee.
|QUALITY IS ALWAYS, ALWAYS AN ISSUE
|Like just about everything in life, when you buy granite, you pretty much get what you pay for. There are so many granite
wholesalers and granite importers around they are hard to keep track of. There are few restrictions on who they sell to,
and there are no guarantees. There are many different grades of granite, but there is no formal grading system. A lot of
granite out there is "commercial grade", meant to go on the sides of buildings and in commercial buildings. It is
relatively inexpensive and is quite a bit less than "a" grade granite. Unfortunately, the price of granite is the greatest
issue with some importers, and they will buy anything that is a "deal". We only buy from reputable granite wholesale
yards that carry the highest quality stone. Their buyers actually travel to the quarries and select each bundle and believe
me the quality shows. We have developed long term relationships with these companies that has been built on total trust.
|One must use care when selecting granite for your countertops. When you select a slab, please keep in mind that
nobody can "face polish" the surface so watch for dull spots or imperfections as they don't go away. Keep this in mind if
you see a bad spot. Believe me nobody wins if you buy a sale priced slab because there is always a reason why it is
priced lower. We always ask our customers to select the slabs prior to use, and we will be happy to go with you. We
carefully select each and every one of our "program" colors and always buy the absolute best looking and the highest
quality slabs available in the local market. You are perfectly welcome to select particular slabs from them also, in fact we
encourage you to do so. If you really want to really save money and get excellent quality granite, please consider our
program color granite selections.
|One of the most advertised and most well known products, fall into the category of "engineered stone" or "quartz" the
originator of this product is "CaesarStone' which was invented in 1987, and now being sold in this market. The most
advertised and most popular product is "Silestone" by Cosentino, which came out in 1998. We are a master fabricator of
L. G. Viatera, which came out in 2004, and is an outstanding product. Other brands in this field are: "Dupont Zodiaq"
"Okite", and "L.G. Haus Viatera" "Cambria", "Hanstone". The engineered stone product is made up of 93% crushed
quartz (crushed granite) and is 7% polyester resin used as a binder. It is a very good product and is very low
maintenance and has a high stain and scratch resistance. Heat resistance is not a forte with this product. I have tested it
at 400 - 500 degrees with no damage. It will not take continued heat like this and will darken if it is exposed to heat in the
same place on a continuing basis. With normal use and common sense you should never have a problem. Although It
should never be used outside, It is a great choice for a countertop!
|TOWN & COUNTRY SHOWROOM
1500 BRITTMOORE ST #504
HOUSTON, TEXAS 77043
(713) 647-0455 FAX (713) 713-6855
|2 CENTIMETER MATERIAL VS. 3 CENTIMETER MATERIAL
|HOW IMPORTANT IS MATERIAL THICKNESS?
|STAINING AS AN ISSUE
|Granite normally does not stain with normal use and care, but it can stain if a staining
agent like lemon juice, orange juice, red wine, or other acidic liquid is allowed to sit over
eight hours. This can allow the staining agent to penetrate the sealer and attack the
granite. While we will do everything in our power to take these stains our, we cannot
guarantee success. If this is a concern of yours, you may want to consider a quartz
product or solid surface counters like Corian or Staron. As I have stated previously, no
countertop is perfect and this is one of granite's few disadvantages.
|As I have pointed out before on this website, we are trying to change the way countertops are sold, fabricated,
installed, and guaranteed in the Houston, Texas market area. Too many countertop or flooring companies or
Home Centers try to lure you in with unbelievably low prices, so they can get you into their store. They then
either practice "bait and switch" or start with the "add-ons", like charges for edge profiles, faucet hole drillings,
cutouts, curved counters, or islands with edges on four sides, anything to raise the price. At AMERICAN
COUNTERTOP FABRICATORS we have no-nonsense square foot pricing based on the exact square footage of
your countertops. We offer the most common seven or eight 1 1/2" thick edges at absolutely no charge, and
these are the edges that almost everyone chooses. All of the cutouts and faucet hole drillings are free except for
the undermount sink cutout, which is an extra charge unless you take advantage of our promotional sinks. We
include the 3/4" plywood decking in all of our Quartz and granite installs at no charge. We do not charge you to
come out and measure your countertops like the home centers. All of our countertop people are employees and
none work on commission, which saves you money. All are extremely knowledgeable and can explain all the
details about each product. Another thing separates us from the rest as we guarantee all of our installations,
including the materials used, including the workmanship. If you ever have a failure, even in eight or ten years, just
call and we will be out to take care of it. While it is not a written guarantee, it is good as long as we are in
business. We have been in business for over twelve years and we are not going anywhere. It is easy to
guarantee a job as long as you have taken every precaution to prevent failure, like we do. The next time you come
in ask us about the details and preventive measures that we take.
|WE DO NOT DO PLASTIC LAMINATE AS WE CANNOT
FIND ANY GOOD RELIABLE LEGAL LAMINATE
MONDAY - FRIDAY
8:00 A.M. TO 5:00 P.M.
10:00 A.M. TO 3:00 P.M.
|We offer you the peace of mind that your countertops have been fabricated and
installed using the best materials available and using the most up to date methods in
the industry. We offer our no excuses guarantee which means you don't have to
apologize for a bad seam, an unlevel countertop or a countertop that does not match
the others. Our edges will be even and uniform and the seams as tight as possible.
|PLEASE NOTE: WE CAN TEAROUT AND DISCONNECT YOUR EXISTING PLUMBING TO YOUR SINK AND
FAUCET BUT WE ARE UNABLE TO RE-CONNECT ANY OF THE PLUMBING, INCLUDING THE DRAINS AND
WATER LINES. THIS MUST BE DONE BY A LICENSED PLUMBER AND SHOULD BE DONE PROMPTLY!
WE ARE ALSO UNABLE TO DO ANY RE-CONNECTIONS OF GAS OR ELECTRIC TO YOUR COOKTOP. WE
APOLOGIZE FOR ANY INCONVENIENCE THAT THIS MAY CAUSE, BUT WE ARE PROHIBITED BY LAW, FROM
|THE BOTTOM LINE IN ALL OF THIS IS THAT AMERICAN COUNTERTOP FABRICATORS IS THE HOME OF THE "NO
EXCUSES COUNTERTOPS". WHEN WE FABRICATE AND INSTALL YOUR COUNTERTOPS IN YOUR HOME OR
BUSINESS, THEY ARE TO YOUR EXPECTATIONS PERIOD! AFTER WE LEAVE WHEN YOUR FRIENDS LOOK AT
THEM YOU WON'T HAVE TO MAKE EXCUSES FOR BAD SEAMS, CHIPS, MISMATCHED MATERIALS, OR
WHATEVER. YOUR COMPLETE SATISFACTION IS OUR ONLY GOAL.
|WHAT IS A REAL "CERTIFIED FABRICATOR"