I'm doing some early consumer research to identify price points for
existing countertop materials. I'm starting up a company that will
provide a new category of countertop material that will be more
expensive than plastic laminate, but less than solid surface materials
and stone. In order to make sure that we're pricing well, it will help
to get better information about the installed cost of existing
Because the cost of installation varies from region to region, the
final cost seems to vary quite dramatically. If you've installed new
countertops recently, I'd really appreciate knowing:
a. what material did you use?
b. what was the final installed cost per square foot?
c. did you buy through a Big Box, or go to a local specialist?
c. which part of the country do you live in?
Thanks very much for your input...this is exactly the kind of early
feedback that will help us produce something special.
Jeez...give the guy a break. I don't know a thing about him or
his company, but he could be a regular Joe like you or I struggling to
get a new company off the ground. If he's operating out of his
basement, he's propably not going to have the funds to go out and hire
a consulting firm to work up a market analysis.
Richard Johnson PE
Camano Island, WA
What marketing firm? He could do targeted mailings, pick up the phone
and call around (there are plenty of places that have toll free
numbers), plenty of research can be done on the internet from actual
web sites as opposed to random samplings from random people on Usenet.
He doesn't need decimal points, just SF prices from around the country.
Who on here can give SF prices for the entire country?
I appreciate your "give-the-guy-a-break" mentality, Rich, but someone
who expects someone else to do their homework for them is lazy or not
enough of a go-getter to make a business fly in the first place.
What's the use in feeding a delusion in that case?
Anytime you're starting a new company, you should price the product or
service as low as possible. You already have a ball park price range. If
it's better than plastic laminate, and you can sell for about the same
price, while still making enough money to put back into the business and for
expenses, then people will start buying. An accountant can tell you if it's
If your sales are doing good after a year or two, then slowly start to
increase your price. If your sales are doing great after a year, then
increase the price faster. Either way, you didn't lose anything, because you
got your foot in the door.
If you are simply making and selling the countertops, then I don't see why
you need the survey. If you're trying to do installations on a nation-wide
basis, that's a pretty ambitious project for a startup company.
You are right about installation costs being variable around the country so
in my simple mind that should be a non factor. You are trying to sell a new
countertop material not installations. You don't say what this new material
is and I have no idea what your associated costs of producing this material
are. If it were me I would sell it as cheap as what I could afford to
develop a demand. Once you have created a demand you could then adjust the
price accordingly. Since you have no demand yet you need something to spark
an interest in your product. A low price is usually pretty good in getting
people to take a look at what you have. Production costs should be the key
element in determining your pricing IMO. What is this new material?
I appreciate all of your responses. Here's the thing. In my region,
the ratio of material price to installed price varies greatly by
product. At the installed level, solid surface and granite are roughly
equivalent, with engineered quartz coming in at roughly 20% above that.
Laminate comes in at about 25% of the price of SS and granite. So
while it's relatively easy to check the retail price of materials, the
installed price is much harder to get at. In my market, the price
point I'm heading for would be right between plam and granite.
Call me naive, but I was hoping to get a very high level idea of how
these kinds of comparisons look elsewhere, just to judge the
variability. I've never used Usenet before, but a book on new product
development suggested this forum as a good place to get some very
This is certainly not the only avenue I'm persuing, but I felt it
couldn't hurt to ask. Perhaps I was mistaken.
Perhaps you're mistaken on the value of the numbers you'd get here. In
your area, the market you know best, installed prices vary greatly -
it's the same in other regions as well. If someone gave you numbers
that looked great, etched in stone almost, where would those numbers
fall in the bell curve of that guy's area's numbers? Impossible to
tell. He might be dead average, high or low. Without determining what
the deviation is, the numbers are just a shade better than a guess.
If you checked out a Means book, they'd have the range of prices for
the different materials, labor costs, and all modified by a factor to
reflect a particular area. This from their web site:
"City Cost Indexes covering all three-digit code sectional centers in
the U.S. and selected locations in Canada. These cover more than 930
locations in all."
Means is just one of the extimating references that provide similar,
locally modified numbers. Any of those would be far better than a
random response in a newsgroup, and most likely all of the information
you would need to get your pricing in order.
OK, I'll bite. This information is from the Boston,MA area for Fall 2005
1 1/4" Blue Eyes: $95/sq ft
1 1/4" Blue Pearl GT: $65/sq ft
1/4" Radius: $18/linear ft
3/4" x 4" Back splash: $28/linear ft (blue pearl), $39/linear ft (blue eyes)
Undermount sink cutout: $275
Mount sink to stone: $100
Template & installation: $21/sq ft
These figures are based on CNC machined edges which are higher than hand
So what is this new countertop material you are considering? In my opinion,
there is an extremely high resistance to any new building material until it
has developed some track record, but then you end up with a chicken and egg
Rapid Realm Technology, Inc.
What your source book apparently failed to mention is that USENET is
basically a free-for-all. You can get everything from complete *hit to
golden nuggets on USENET. The hard part is finding the gold.
This particular forum (alt.building.construction) has plenty of *hit and a
few sources of gold, as do most of the "alt" forums. You have to have spent
some time here to figure out who is providing which.
Tip one: get a new mail address. Starting a new business using Sun Life's
email is a bad start, unless this is part of your termination agreement with
Tip two: use some common sense BEFORE asking a question here. Ergo: in North
America, construction is a very regional industry. You have given no idea
where the market is which you are asking about. For that matter, you have
not even indicated which COUNTRY. Yes, believe it or not there are people
here from more than just one country/region.
Tip three: you have answered your OWN question so what you are asking is not
what you really want to know.
You have apparently got material costs and know that laminate installed is
25% of granite installed. You can therefore conclude (substitute whatever
your regional market pricing happens to be) that if you want to be in the
middle: granite at $4 per square foot installed; laminate at $1 per square
foot installed; your product should be priced at or around $2.50 per square
Installed price is, of course, made up of materials and labour. Regional
differences aside (and these can be significant), laminate is an inexpensive
material with does not require highly skilled labour to get to the
"installed" stage. Granite, Solid Surface and engineered quartz are all more
expensive materials and require various degrees of skilled labour to get to
the "installed" stage. Within the granite market itself there can be HUGE
variation in the final "installed" price based on the quality of the
material, the complexity of the installation, the distance from quarry to
site etc etc etc.
Final tip: know YOUR product, know YOUR market, set your price. Unless you
are willing or able to provide details of your product and market you will
get no useful information here or anywhere else.
If you are supplying a new building material that is suitable for
customer installation then you should be able to price it slightly
higher than laminate but be prepared to justify the cost. It leaves you
a question of distribution channels. If you want to sell through the
Home Depot, Lowes type stores you will need to come up with a price
that satisfys their buyers.
If the product requires installation by a professional (corian, marble,
granite) then you would supply a price to the installer and let them
add their costs.
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