Well, things have moved on in the kitchen worktops market since our first tentative reopening after lock-down. When we first reopened and the weather was good, all the enquiries seemed to be for outside kitchens and BBQ areas. Then the weather changed and everyone wanted coffee table tops and worktops for their vanity units.
But now we are really busy with all types of enquiries as the kitchen and extension projects that had been put on hold through lockdown move forward once again. This is really good news and means that we can have our full sales team working to answer peoples enquiries, advise customers and produce quotations for kitchen worktops.
We are still extremely mindful of the need to keep our staff and customers safe and not to become blasé about the virus situation. Customers may visit the showroom by appointment only to maintain social distancing and to allow surfaces to be wiped between visitors. Hi-vis jackets for customers in our workshop are washed after every use. From tomorrow (24 July) we will be asking customers to wear masks in line with government guidelines. Please look at our full policy here.
On site, we ask customers to have the kitchen and access areas free from other trades while our templaters and fitters are working. We have had a few situations already where the templater or fitters have been unable to work because distancing was just impossible. Please work with us on this – if one of our guys gets ill, we will be right back to lockdown with really serious consequences for all of us.
If you are thinking about purchasing new kitchen worktops, it is advisable to arrange appointments early, as we are obviously more limited than we would usually be, when we can only have one set of customers visiting in the showroom at a time.
It is also advisable to place orders in plenty of time; this is partly due to different lead times for different materials. Supply chains have suffered through lockdown, and we now have the summer period to contend with too. Do NOT assume that a chosen material will be easy to source.
We try to keep good stocks of our most popular materials and stock colours, here at our warehouse in Charlwood, but when there are literally thousands of choices of quartz and natural stone, it is really difficult to keep large stocks of many colours.
The most popular kitchen worktop materials at the moment seem to be anything white and with small sparkle e.g our stock Ice Branco by Classic Quartz and also the Carrara Glacier by Bloom Stone that we have had on offer through June/July.
The offer has been so good and this colour has become so popular in the UK that there is now limited stock and the containers are being sold faster, almost, than they can come in.
Our most popular natural stone for kitchen worktops at the moment is Steel Grey; it is a great all rounder and popular in both a polished finish and also in leathered and Satinato finishes. It is one of the easiest natural stones to maintain and also to live with because of its depth of colour and pattern; a perennial favourite.
Materials that are in the UK can normally be reserved by ourselves or bought in to our warehouse relatively quickly; where it is more of an issue is with materials that are coming in from abroad. There have been some back-logs in some of the ports since Covid hit and there are rumours again of a possible re-lock down in Italy. It is also completely normal, every summer, for some of the European manufacturers to shut down for the month of August; when this happens it can take a bit of time to get orders out again when they reopen in September.
These factors combined mean that it is best to place orders for materials earlier rather than later. At Affordable Granite we are happy to reserve or order materials with a deposit. Don’t worry if you are not quite sure as to when you will be ready for templating, we can keep materials until you are ready.
We are Affordable Granite, the leading granite installer in Surrey, Sussex and across the South East. As the UK economy gets back to life after lockdown, we want to be in the forefront of giving great customer service while doing all that is needed to control the spread of the virus. For questions, queries and quotes connected with any aspect of worktop installation or kitchen design, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01293 863992 or by email on firstname.lastname@example.org/ .
Slab and sample images © Affordable Granite.