United Granite

6315 Howard Ln
Elkridge, MD 21075443-445-3730



Consumer Comments for United Granite

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Consumer from UPPER MARLBORO, MD
Nov 25, 2013
We've known for some time that we would need to put granite countertops in our kitchen. We are not great fans of granite but, given the nature and location of our house, future buyers will expect it. Our previous countertop was bright white and textured like naugahyde. Whoever thought of that combination didn't have to try to keep it clean on a daily basis. Though we have no plans to sell the house for some years, we figured we could enjoy smooth counters until then.

We've looked at granite on occasion over the past year. Since we were not emotionally invested in granite, we looked at Lowe's and Home Depot, thinking they might be cheaper. The "Superior" rating for price at United Granite is not meant to imply that we think $6,000 is cheap. But "Adequate" might not be fair. Its mid-grade ("C" and "D") prices weren't that far off Lowe's and Home Depot's mid-grade prices. The style we picked was a "D" grade at United Granite. They certainly had more varieties available within different grades than Lowe's or Home Depot. In fact, we selected a number of colors we wanted to see from their website but most of them were not at the showrooms in Crofton or Elkridge. However, they had many more that weren't on the website. (Apparently specific styles come and go.)

We stopped in their Crofton store and looked at their granite. It's a large showroom, so we could see lots of full-size examples. (We had gone to another place recommended by Angie's List. They had a lot of granite, but mostly stacked in front of each other, so we couldn't see them as well.) Mehmet, the salesman, was very helpful. He gave us very clear and simply stated opinions on many pieces. He wasn't trying to sell us any particular piece, nor was he trying to agree with our choices just to please us. He just gave us his opinions based on his experience seeing different pieces after they've been installed---how they would go with our cabinets and flooring. (We brought pictures.) We sincerely appreciated his help.

We found two that we liked and, even though we couldn’t yet decide which one would be best, we also decided it would be nice if we had them installed by the time our relatives visited in two and a half weeks. United was able to accommodate this timeline even without our final decision; Mehmet suggested we could also look at their selection in Elkridge, which had some still different colors. He put Sold stickers on both slabs and wrote a contract that gave prices for either of the two we liked and said we could transfer the contract and down payment to a new color if we found a better one at their other showroom.

That was Sunday. Mehmet scheduled a person to come measure our kitchen on Tuesday. He was quick but thorough. We were able to have him also measure our bathroom counters while he was there. We won't be able to do those now, but United Granite will keep the measurements on file for two years. (Measuring is free if the job is large enough. The bathrooms probably wouldn't qualify on their own.)

The following weekend we went to Elkridge to see their granite. The people there were also helpful. They had more colors there, but also had one of the two we had selected in Crofton. We ended up picking that one. As it turns out, Elkridge is the location where they actually cut the stone.

Sami, the manager, called in Mustafah to help. They had four slabs of our color. They let us choose among them for our counters. Mustafah drove their modified forklift (No fork, but a clamp hanging on a chain) and moved the huge slabs around. Not as easily as dealing cards, but they treated it as if it was no more trouble than that.

We picked the one we liked that best and Mustafah, who would be cutting the stone, helped us layout the different sections of our counters onto the particular piece so that we could get the most attractive bits in good places. (E.g. one not very interesting section was placed where the sink cutout would be.) Both we and Mustafah didn't want waste when cutting the large slab, but Mustafah was more interested in helping us finding the most attractive layout.

The man who measured our kitchen (Sorry, I’ve forgotten his name.) had asked if we wanted the peninsula measured as-is, or if we would like a ‘bump-out’ to accommodate seating. We hadn’t thought of that. We decided we would like to have a ‘breakfast bar,‘ but as a separate counter raised six to nine inches above, and extending beyond, the long side of the peninsula. So we had Mustafah measure and cut a piece that we can use in the future to do this. (It will sit in the garage until then.) So that makes the $6,000 price compare more favorably, or even better, than Lowe’s/HomeDepot. Their estimate, in the five-thousands, was for 63 square feet. This breakfast bar added another dozen square feet.

Speaking of price, Mehmet had quoted us a different price-per-foot for the different grades than Sami charged us. (I thought this was so, but my wife wasn’t sure.) When we found our original notes from the previous Sunday and scanned and emailed them to Sami, he honored Mehmet’s quote which was ~$500 less.

This price also included two stainless steel sinks. We had United Granite do the plumbing. The plumbing was an extra $350. (We dithered on that. We’ve done plenty of plumbing. It takes me two or three tries before I get all the leaks solved. After many years of damp frustration we discovered that my wife can do it right on the first try, but she would be busy in the two days between counter installation and her sister’s visit.) In the end it was a good choice to have the plumber do the job. Between the thickness of the granite and the deeper sinks, he had to cut some of the existing pipes. We wouldn’t have been able to do that.

Also, we had picked a double-bowl sink from their catalog. On the day they said they would probably cut the stone my wife noticed that the size of the selected sink was wider than the our old sink---and wider than there was space to put it. We called Sami but he had already noticed this. (“It’s not cast in stone” is a popular saying, but not in their business.)

We couldn’t find the faucet we liked in town so we ordered it online and paid for next day delivery. UPS showed up just as the granite installers (Juan and Lopez, who also lived up to the good experience we’d by now come to expect of United Granite) were putting things away. A little drama for the day!

Only a couple small complaints. One of the seams is slightly raised near the back. (i.e. one slab seems a little higher than the neighboring one) It looks like one slab bumps up against the wall, so maybe the wall is not true.

Also, the corners cut on the peninsula and breakfast bar are a distinctly different radius than the corners on the other counters. We haven’t yet contacted them about this but, based on the service thus far, we expect it will be resolved.
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