Man’s creative ability to manipulate nature for the purposes of art is inspiring, contradistinguished from the natural world, which is intrinsically beautiful, untouched. Whether Michaelangelo’s David, or Hope Diamond, when man alters nature, the end results transcend the sum of its parts. While the hope diamond was cut and recut, forming and shaping a naturally occurring phenomena, granite, quartz and other natural stones are cut, shaped and seamed to create breathtaking kitchen countertops.
Is That Granite? An Endearing Question
The innocuous question typically comes from friends or guests, in reference and admiration of the quality, and finished look granite allows. While granite is beautiful in nature, the process of sourcing, designing, cutting, installing and mitigating seams is a combination of art and science. One company, installing thousands of kitchen countertops throughout the southeastern United States is Premier Surfaces. Under the guidance of Eric Tryon, CEO, a natural rock and countertop industry expert for over 15 years, they have expanded currently to four locations: Alpharetta, Birmingham, Chattanooga, and Huntsville. With a focus on clients, they have received a laundry list of awards and accolades including Consumer’s Choice Awards, and Atlanta Magazine’s Best Places to Work.
Countertops can either be cheap or quality, which are typically mutually exclusive. Like most things in life, it can be done using composites, inferior products, unskilled subcontractor installation and cookie-cutter designs. Premier Surfaces has risen above the fray by sourcing the highest quality local quarries, securing business partnerships. They also adhere to a strict policy of employee only designers and installers; subcontractor or cheap labor from freelance websites such as Craigslist sound good in theory, but offer no accountability, zero ownership, and corner cutting for the sake of profit margin. Here are factors to consider before choosing any installer or kitchen countertops company:
Can I see and feel the product? Industries such as kitchen remodeling are wrought with pay per lead schemes, and often lack a physical storefront. Be sure to call and ask a company’s actual physical address, and see if it’s a storefront or simply a virtual office. If they pick up the phone using a generic name such as Countertops Installers, it’s also a red flag. The star of the show is the product. Premier Surfaces locations are air-conditioned and well-staffed with experts, not low-level employees, ensuring a friendly, knowledgeable atmosphere for all who enter.
Design & Install:
Designers are built differently. They see possibilities where others see the world in its current form. They tend to be optimists, dreamers, yet pragmatic in regards to their craft. A countertop installer needs to embody all of these traits, as they will essentially be transforming your kitchen. It starts in the mind’s eye, and is verified by reality, through actuality. A skilled designer will be excited and talk in terms of process and end results, whereas a novice will pigeonhole clients into the easiest, less intrusive work-load. Installation, itself is mastery over technology (to mitigate visible seams), and artistry. Subcontractors have little to no ownership over the end result, and view projects as a freelancer – what’s in it for me, mentality. They often lack insurance, licenses, or proper training. Technology is also an advantage. Seams in a kitchen can leave countertops looking sloppy and piece-worked. Premier Surfaces ensures each designer and installer is an employee of the company, a reflection of its brand promise and standards. It’s proprietary in-house technologies and partnerships allow real-time renderings of the finished product before any purchases or cuts are made; once agreed upon, cuts are made precisely, as millimeters matter in design and function, setting the install team up for success, not failure. Beholden to Eric’s core tenants of ownership, excuses and lack of results are never entertained when it comes to client satisfaction and end result.
Reputation / Track Record:
Everyone says they are the “best”. The word has lost all credibility and meaning. It’s not what company XYZ says about itself which matters, its what other people are saying. Fly by night companies rely on lowest common denominator marketing, appealing to the masses, hoping to make a quick buck. The reviews can be limited, or unverified, with before and after galleries either non-existent, or obvious stock photography. Juxtaposed, real companies such as Premier Surfaces have hundreds of testimonials, written reviews and before and after client success stories. In 2015, Eric Tryon was voted Top Entrepreneur in Atlanta, which is one of America’s fastest growing cities. The collegiate awards for both sports and academics for Eric, as well as his company Premier Surfaces exemplify decades of accountability and actions aligning with mission statements, which are often lofty and mere words when not followed.
“You can’t fake steak” – This brilliant phrase is a truism. While some companies can fool some people, some of the time, real companies who work in the countertop space will continue to have a real world presence, quality controlled product sourcing, design and install processes, as well as a track record of customer satisfaction and happiness. Premier Surfaces shows its sincerity through actions, not insincere gutter bidding projects, or cutting corners for the sake of profit. The only corners they are cutting are client-approved and seamless to the naked eye.
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