Buying New Countertops Online: Good Idea Or Renovation Mistake?

Buying New Countertops Online: Good Idea Or Renovation Mistake?

Buying New Countertops Online: Good Idea Or Renovation Mistake?

Zamrznuti tonovi/Shutterstock

Shopping online always involves risks, as you can’t be 100% sure of your order until it gets to you. While it saves time and effort over visiting physical stores, it still requires a good amount of research before you can be confident in your purchase — and this is also the case when it comes to shopping for countertops. We think buying countertops online can be a good idea, but we recommend incorporating some face-to-face into the process, too

Luckily, there are different ways to source countertops for your renovation project. For example, you can lean on the expertise of people in the industry, like the contractor you’re working with or your cabinet supplier, because they’ll be able to identify what’s best for your situation. If you want to shop independently at a big box store or a local company, arm yourself with as much information as possible — which involves both online and in-person research.

The pros and cons

man inspecting marble countertop slab

Ozgurcankaya/Getty Images

One key advantage of buying new countertops online is the convenience. Online platforms provide a wide variety of options, so you can browse and compare styles and prices without leaving the house. Some make it easy to plan the whole process out on their website, like Lowe’s which allows you to order custom designs based on your measurements and schedule an installation. To ensure you are getting a high-quality product, carefully check the product descriptions, photos, and reviews. For custom laminate countertops head to Home Depot, which has a range of designs starting at $24.30/square foot. The customer reviews describe the patterns and what the experience was like with the installers. Warranty information and return policies are some other things you need to know.

Still, there’s only so much you can know about a product before inspecting it physically. While online platforms provide detailed information, variations in color, texture, or quality may be tough to gauge virtually. This is especially challenging when dealing with unique materials. For example, one of the mistakes everyone makes with marble countertops is buying them online because all slabs are different and need to be viewed in person. Another potential drawback with buying new countertops online is the shipping process, which has the potential risk of damage during transit. You could probably receive a refund or replacement based on this but it would stall your renovation.

Combine online and in-person shopping for success

countertop samples

Ivelin Radkov/Shutterstock

We suggest using all the tools you have at your disposal so you can make the most informed choice. Browse your countertop options online and narrow them down to a few that you’d like to try out, then see if you can order samples. If you’re shopping at Lowe’s, for example, you can get the samples in-store or have them shipped directly to your home — a 4 by 6 white polished quartz countertop sample costs just $8. When you get your samples, you can hold them up in your kitchen in different lights and next to other elements — like the cabinets and the walls — to see how well they fit into the space. You can even upcycle the samples afterward into chic display trays to use around the house.

You can also avoid any problems during transit by placing the order online but doing an in-person pickup. This works when you’re shopping at a local store or yard that already has the slabs in stock. Note that certain materials, like granite and marble, come in large, one-piece slabs so we recommend hiring a professional transport company to handle the move. They have the expertise and the equipment to ensure it gets to your home safely.

Charlotte Gammon

By Charlotte Gammon

Meet Charlotte Gammon, our expert and author. She's our true treasure, as she has got 20+ years of experience in gardening, winery and house design. In early 2000s, she worked for magazine and was in charge of the gaardening section. Later on, Charlotte opened her own designer agency and worked as a designer and decorator. We are happy to have Charlotte with us, as she is our good friend. We value her experience and we're sure you will love the articles she created for our blog.