We've all heard the expression, "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing," and now that the Internet has become an integral part of our daily lives, this is more true now than ever. If you simply do a Google search on "installing granite countertops," you can find some really incredible advice out there. Some of the "granite facts" that I noted include the following:

  • "Granite is heavy" -- so try to have someone help you during the installation.
  • "Measure carefully" -- otherwise the countertops won't fit.
  • Granite can break when struck with a hard sharp object, such as a meat cleaver. (They really used a meat cleaver as an example, perhaps in the spirit of Halloween.)
  • Listed among the "cons" of granite countertops: You cannot change the color of granite once it is installed. It would have to be replaced. (Really?)

Unfortunately, only a few of the sites out there suggested that granite countertop installations are too involved for non-professionals. So once armed with this knowledge listed above, homeowners can do one of two things:

1. They can try and buy blanks to install them with a friend over the weekend. "I'll bring the beer and pizza if you bring the Ubatuba and the glue."

2. Considering the documented ease of installation they just read, they will go down to their local fabricator and question why they are being charged XX per foot for installation when the granite only costs them X per foot.

My personal guess is that most of these "informed" homeowners are going with Option #2, and they are trying to beat down the fabricators to get them to install the countertops for next to nothing. So once again, it falls upon the fabricators to serve as educators to the general public, and to explain that they're actually getting value by hiring a professional -- a lot more value than they were getting a few years ago, in fact.

Again, this is why the quality fabricators out there need to document their completed work and need to establish granite and other stone materials as premium building elements that need a professional touch. They also need to point customers to a "Hall of Shame," where they can see granite countertop installations gone bad.

It seems like a time-consuming effort, but if it increases your percentage of closed sales, it is well worth it.

By the way, the "tips" you can find on the Internet for repairing granite are even more disturbing, but that's a topic for another day.