These days, there are so many choices in countertops that the process of choosing new ones or replacing old ones might seem overwhelming.
At Creative In Counters’ new Frankford showroom, sales manager Ron Duley wants to help make the process as stress-free as possible, and with more than 250 colors of granite and quartz for customers to peruse, he thinks he can accomplish that.
Creative In Counters has been in business for 35 years, operated by members of the Mikk family, and might already be familiar to those from the other side of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. The company is headquartered in Mt. Airy, Md., and also has a showroom in Annapolis, Md.
It was customers at the Annapolis location, in fact, that led Creative In Counters to see the benefits of a showroom on the shore, Duley said.
“A lot of our customers would come in to Annapolis and say, ‘Hey, can you service us on the shore?’” he explained.
Duley said the Frankford showroom has proven already to be well-located, between the booming construction of the inland areas and the beach towns where customers often need new countertops for renovations or when they are preparing a property for sale.
“It’s a nice mix,” he said.
“If you’re looking to have something done really quick because you’re putting a house on the market, we have something there for you. If you’re looking to build your dream kitchen that you’re going to be in for the next 25 years, we have choices for that as well,” he said.
All the countertops, whether granite, quartz or solid-surface, are fabricated at the Mt. Airy location, and everyone involved in the installation of the products is a Creative In Counters employee, not a subcontractor, Duley noted.
“When we go out to measure, it’s all done with lasers, so our templating is pretty spot on,” he said. “The old way of doing it, with a piece of cardboard and pulling a tape measure, is a thing of the past.
“We have our own manufacturing facility with all the equipment necessary to do it all,” he said. “We have eight edge profiles that customers can choose from for their countertops. They’re all standard. That separates us from the pack. A lot of other companies have one standard edge and if a customer wants any other edge, there’s an upcharge.”
Customer service is always on the forefront for Creative In Counters, Duley said.
“We pride ourselves on being punctual, being on time. We’re going to give a customer a scheduled date for a template, we’re going to give them a scheduled date for the install, and we adhere to those dates.”
Typical “turn-around” time, from picking out a countertop material and signing a contract, to installation, is about three weeks, Duley said.
Although the showroom now has hours six days a week, and Duley said walk-in customers are always welcome, appointments are never a bad idea, he said, particularly if a customer needs a staff member to “guide them through the process.”
Duley said quartz surfaces — whether for kitchens, bathroom or even outdoor kitchens — are on-trend right now, particularly in lighter colors and grays.
“Anything that needs a stone top or a stone cladding of any kind, we can do,” he said.
Quartz countertops, he explained, are actually 94 percent natural and 6 percent man-made material. Customers are gravitating toward quartz, he said, because it is more uniform and easier to match, whereas granite must be chosen by the slab, due to natural differences in color.
“The advantage to (quartz)n is they don’t have to go pick slabs, they can just pick from a sample,” Duley said. “With granite, you should see a full slab, in most cases. With natural stone… from four different blocks, it looks like four different colors.
“If you bought a quartz material, if I show you one piece of it or 500 pieces, this is what it looks like, because it’s man-made. Even though it’s 94 percent natural, they have a recipe that they follow and they bake the slabs, and this is what it looks like. That’s what a lot of people want; they don’t want to have to deal with the variations,” he said.
As for durability, there is no difference between quartz and granite, Duley said.
“They’re both going to last longer than the house. They’ll outlive the owner — let’s put it that way,” he said. Both products are stain-resistant, heat-resistant and scratch-resistant, he added.
For more information, call Creative In Counters at (443) 856-4437. The Frankford showroom is located at 34407 DuPont Boulevard Showroom hours as of Monday, Aug. 5 are Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to noon. Appointments for other times are available if needed.
By Kerin Magill