May 4, 2014 by Sarah
The quartz countertops are in, and they are glorious. Ordering & installing quartz countertops from Menards was quite the ordeal, let me tell you.
We went with RiverStone Quartz, sold by Menard’s and manufactured by Midwest Manufacturing.
The color is called Cotton. It is mostly white with flecks of greys and clear glass. It is really quite lovely. A lot of blood, sweat, tears, cursing, and multiple trips to Menard’s went into this whole countertop situation and I am screaming at the top of my lungs right now THANK GAWD IT IS OVER!!! Now for your future planning and reading pleasure:
The Pros & Cons of Ordering Quartz at Menards:
- Price: PRO
With a kitchen sale, plus an 11% rebate on the total price, this was BY FAR the cheapest quartz countertops we found. Figuring in the rebate, we paid about $750. That comes out to about $29/sq ft. WOOOOOPPP! That sure beats the estimate we got for Cambria countertops at $89/sq ft, and IKEA at $69/sq ft.
- DIY Installation: PRO
Some places will not sell the countertop without including installation (added cost). Installation was really easy in our case since we did not need to worry about any miters or really long runs of countertops (this stuff is heavy). The countertops come with installation and care instructions, and there are also videos on the manufacturer’s website.
- Looks Good: PRO
It looks really good. We had a choice of 3 edge profiles, and we went with a ogee edge, which was included in the price with no extra profile up-charge. We thought it would go with the traditional style of the kitchen. It looks much more expensive than it was.
- Helpful Kitchen Dept Managers: PRO
This is common sense, but you will want to design and order your countertops during daytime hours, during the week when the regular staff is working. Ordering or making changes to your order with weekend/night staff is a disaster waiting to happen. I’m guilty, sadly. After a slight meltdown at the store, the manager had to step in and help clear everything up. She called and emailed me with updates on our order, and she also gave me her personal cell number in case I needed to make more changes. She was great!
- Limited color/style selection: CON
They have 18 colors–not near as many as Silestone or Cambria. If you recall, my initial countertop of choice was this beauty by Cambria:
- Long process: CON
After the countertops are designed, a few days later a template is made and shipped to your house, which takes about two weeks. You have to approve the template before they start production on the countertop which takes another two weeks. If you need to make changes to the order after seeing the template, you have to go back to the store and start from scratch, meaning you change the order, a new template is made, shipped, and needs to be approved.
- The in-store design system cannot make custom cuts/angles: CON
The computer program could not make the odd little cut-outs we needed for the IKEA sink or make slight angle changes to accommodate uneven walls. We had to have the kitchen manager draw out the design by hand and send it in to the manufacturer just so we could get a proper estimate. This added about two weeks to the wait time just for the estimate.
I made SEVERAL trips to Menard’s to make sure the measurements were exactly what we needed. Between all the changes and fixing what needed to be done it took about two months for the store and manufacturer to just get the order right. You heard that right, 2 months! The biggest concern was the notches that the IKEA farmhouse sink needed to fit properly.
The people at Menard’s were just baffled by this and did not fully understand why they were needed. IKEA + Menards does not make for a happy couple, apparently.
Once we approved the template online (which was nice) it sends the order into production. They originally said it would take two weeks for the countertops to come in, but it only took one week for us. We didn’t have a big enough vehicle to haul the countertops so we rented a truck from Menards for $18. We picked up the countertops on Easter morning. This is the second time I broke the cardinal rule of only dealing with important things during regular business hours. I am sure all the regulars were at home with their families which is why the countertops were almost dropped and smashed into a million pieces when they were trying to load them into the truck with the fork lift. *slaps hand to forehead*
We got them home without incident, and of course we enlisted a second set of hands from Adrian’s brother to help with the heavy lifting. After schlepping the 3 pieces into the house we let them rest for a good 24 hours per the manufacturer’s instructions. The countertops need to acclimate to the temperature of the room before they are installed or they could break. They also must stay in the vertical position until they are ready to be installed.
The countertops were *supposed* to came with dishwasher clips, epoxy, and color matched silicone caulk that was built into the price. Unfortunately, we were shorted the dishwasher clips and epoxy, and then I opened the caulk and it was completely cured all the way through–because WHY THE HELL WOULD ANYTHING GO RIGHT AT THIS POINT. Just ridiculous. I promptly made my way back to Menard’s where they gave me a new tube of caulk for free, but it was still annoying. I didn’t ask for the clips or the epoxy since we decided that we didn’t need it.
I was really worried about the cutout for the cooktop and whether or not it would turn out properly, but alas, it was a perfect fit. ..only after having to make some modifications to the IKEA cooktop cabinet. The directions for the induction cooktop (read about the one we picked here) did specify that the cabinet may need to be cut to accommodate the cooktop–but apparently we chose to overlook that bit of info way back forever ago when we were designing the kitchen. Adrian used a combo of a circular saw and a hack saw to notch most of the cabinet, while I finished up with a wood chisel and hammer. A router would have worked nice if we had one–add it to the list. All at this point we decided to add some 2x4s behind the dishwasher, and the sides of the cabinets for extra support as suggested by the manufacturer. After properly acclimated, we did a dry run and placed the countertops into the cabinets to check for fit and make sure everything looked right. Thankfully, everything fit. I don’t think I could handle one more setback with these damn things. Then a bit of silicone was placed on the cabinet tops and the countertops were snugged into place. Once the silicone set, the sink was installed. If you recall, we went with the DOMSJO double bowl farmhouse sink from IKEA.
This sink actually sits on top of the counters on either side so it was really easy to install. We had plumbers run the pipes for us. The faucet is also from IKEA. It is a single lever pull-out high arch model that has a 10-year warranty.
The quartz installation was quite easy since we didn’t have to deal with splicing pieces together or mounting a sink underneath the countertop. If I had to do it over I would probably do it again–purely for the price savings even though it was a huge headache. We saved over $1500 by ordering and installing these babies ourselves compared to the Cambria contractor-installed route. HIGH FIVE. WE HAVE C-TOPS! …and they are amazing. I have heard from a few others out there that ordered Riverstone Quartz, including Stacey from D’oh!-I-Y who also went with the cotton color. It sounds like other people have had similar experiences. It is hard to believe we have running water after all this time…sweet, sweet, running water.
And now I leave you with a reminder of what the kitchen looked like 5 months ago: