|Are Marble Countertops Cast on Site or in the Shop?|
Some marble countertops are made right where you buy them, while others may come from as far away as another country. If you see a large amount of heavy equipment, or hear the whine of power tools, you are probably buying your countertop where it was fabricated. On the other hand, if you purchase your countertop from an air-conditioned mall with not even so much as a drill bit in sight, your countertop probably came from somewhere else.
If you are buying a countertop which was fabricated on-site, that probably means you are buying directly from the manufacturer or fabricator. Most companies that fabricate marble countertops have outlet stores, from which customers can purchase products directly. If you are lucky enough to live near one of these outlet stores, this is definitely the best way for you to get your marble countertop.
Usually, prices at company-affiliated outlets or direct-selling stores are much lower than prices from retailers or resellers. Retailers generally have to have items shipped from out of state, or even out of the country. This adds a transport cost to the product. On top of this, the retailer adds a margin, from which profits are made. All these costs that you would normally have to pay are cut out when buying from an outlet.
Also, if you buy directly from the fabricator, you are sure to get what you pay for. Fabricators and manufacturers will go to great lengths to make sure their products are not compromised or damaged.
Unfortunately, not everyone lives near an outlet or company store, and most people would not leave the state just to buy a marble countertop. Most people simply rely on retailers and other middlemen when buying countertops and other items.
Retailers are responsible for moving products from manufacturers to consumers, and if you are buying a marble countertop from a retailer, you probably will not see a lot of machinery around. Countertops from retailers are made elsewhere, and in some cases these countertops have come from other countries. Furniture and fixture stores are in every mall across America, and most people prefer the convenience that retailers provide. These stores make shopping as simple and painless as possible. Many even throw in additional services, such as door-to-door delivery and installation assistance.
However, buying a marble countertop from a retailer will probably make the piece more expensive. Retailers have to shoulder the cost of transporting the piece from the manufacturer to you, and have to make a profit besides. In some cases, buying from a retailer can cost up to 50 percent more than buying from an outlet. Also, the additional services retailers offer rarely comes free.
The quality of a product from a retailer is also compromised somewhat. While most are honest and stand by their products, there are some unscrupulous retailers out there. They may try to sell you countertops with cracks and other imperfections in the piece. Marble countertops can easily break while in transport, and some retailers will attempt to gloss over these imperfections.
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