julieste

Ballpark $ compare--Carrara, soapstone, Corian, Quartz, Quartzite

julieste
28 days ago

We will be gutting our small kitchen in our winter home which is a mid-range Florida condo. In our primary home we installed soapstone and honed Carrara in our kitchen about seven years ago. I really like both of them and would definitely use them again. But, I also want to think about other options since I don't know if either of these will be appropriate or the best choice or affordable.


I'm trying to do a general ranking of countertop costs. I know that laminate and butcherblock are the most affordable, and I am not completely disregarding them but am trying to get a feel for how other materials compare as far as cost. I want a simple eased edge and have a basic U shaped kitchen with no island.


I saw some Corian samples yesterday that maybe would be okay--Venata White or standard white. I prefer more suede-like, subtle, non-glossy, more organic looks in countertops and have never been a fan of super glossy or fakey looks. I have never really been a fan of granite. I don't like super busy patterns and know that with quartz and granite there are huge variations based on how unique or rare the pattern is.


I am just trying to get a basic idea of cost comparisons. I think from what I have read here, quartzite is the most expensive (maybe). Are all the other about the same cost, give or take 10%-20% or so? Where do soapstone and Carrara fit in as far as range of prices? I'd really appreciate some very general cost comparisons if possible.


Thanks so much.

Comments (38)

  • acm
    28 days ago

    I think prices can vary 3-4 fold between, say, cheapest granites and fanciest quartzes, so even more between laminate and the top end.


    if all you want is ballpark, 10 minutes in the kitchen section of a big box store will give you the answers you need -- they'll hve samples up on the wall in price groupings.

  • PRO
    Sabrina Alfin Interiors
    28 days ago

    I think you just have to start doing some legwork on the weekends. Go to a stoneyard that also carries other countertop surfaces besides natural stone to compare pricing. As @acm says, natural stone can vary in price dramatically depending on the type, and engineered stone isn't always less expensive.


    Keep in mind, too, that it's not just about the material cost, it's also about fabrication and installation. Get recommendations on the fabricators and make sure they are certified to fabricate the material you want.

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  • JuneKnow
    28 days ago
    last modified: 28 days ago

    There is no way to compare costs but visits to showroom. Labor costs are the most variable portion of the equation. Cost of living and labor in NYC are vastly different than Mobile. Materials costs in a port like a Miami will be very different than materials cost in Louisville. A stone can be $40 a square foot or $90 a square foot and be fairly priced in both markets. Stone isn’t controlled by large market share manufacturers the way that many cabinets are.

  • julieste
    Original Author
    28 days ago

    I've been to the big box stores, and they don't carry the materials I am most interested in. So, this means visiting stone yards or kitchen design centers I guess. As are many people in pandemic times, I have been trying to avoid making any unnecessary trips and trying to do some of the "legwork" other ways.


    Since you have told me that granite and quartz can vary widely according to the pattern chosen, can I assume that soapstone and Cararra would be somewhere in the middle of those ranges for those materials? More than the cheapest but less than the most expensive.


    For stones of whatever composition--natural or man-made-- will fabrication costs be the same for a simple eased edge? Or, will fabrication costs also depend on the type of material chosen?


    Thanks you for all of your answers.

  • PRO
    Sabrina Alfin Interiors
    28 days ago

    Fabrication will often depend on the material chosen. Some solid surfaces are easier to fabricate than others. For example, my fabricator charges me more for Dekton than regular engineered quartz because it requires special equipment to cut. It's a very dense and hard material.


    I'd be willing to bet a lot of local fabricators/stone yards are taking customers by appointment because of the pandemic, depending on your location.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    28 days ago
    last modified: 28 days ago

    June will hate what I write, but here goes.

    Look into prefab countertops. since you have a simple U shape, 1 or 2 should be enough. prefabs should be readily available in florida.


    they come in 6, 8, 9' lengths, finished edges on 3 sides. any material. average cost here in Calif, is 400-600 per prefab.


    You hire a fabricator to go get them, transport to your house, where he will cut them to fit on site. That price will vary, obviously, but for a simple kitchen, 1200 range is probably in the ballpark.

    to answer your other question about carrara, true carrara comes from italy. there is a white marble from china that is often passed off as carrara, and that is usually cheaper.



    This is a prefab of Taj Majal quartzite (an expensive slab. ) the prefab is 1800 for this one. 9' x 24"


    quartz slabs like Silestone Eternal, cost about 2200. add another 2-3K for fabrication costs.


    this is the Silestone Charcoal. since you mentioned soapstone, it's a pretty good man made option.


    julieste thanked Beth H. :
  • julieste
    Original Author
    28 days ago

    Wow. It looks as though in my situation looking first at pre-fabs may be a way to go. I didn't think of this possibility since I read so many agonizing posts here about choosing the perfect slab. I guess I should have realized that many of those people are looking for slabs to highlight a gorgeous island that is the centerpiece of their kitchen.


    I guess I will have to start making some phone calls to stone places soon to see what their guidelines are for Covid.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    28 days ago

    Nowhere can be as bad as the restrictions from our gov. in Calif, so I'm sure you can go slab shopping. We can here. Tile/flooring stores are all open .

  • JuneKnow
    28 days ago
    last modified: 28 days ago

    I don’t hate that you post about prefab. You just post from a very California centric microcosm experience and don’t qualify that as the case. Most of the rest of this very large country doesn’t have access to things you take for granite. Pun intended.

    It’s like posting on a cooking forum that you can get fresh 7-9 count shrimp for $2 a pound, when it’s only directly off the shrimp boats in Mobile. Someone in Omaha and 99.9% of the country will never have that opportunity. Someone in Wilmington might, but being a different market, might have a completely different pricing structure.

  • RedRyder
    28 days ago

    Hence,the advice to go stone shopping in her area. All of us can quote what we paid for our countertops but it’s pointless. Every part of the country has different pricing. Each type of countertop has ranges within the material as well.

    Beth gave you great advice to seek out pre-fabs for your house.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    28 days ago

    julieste:


    You need to think more comprehensively please. A thousand dollar difference in countertop costs will be meaningless when you realize that you'll be looking at these tops every morning for years. Money comes and goes; your countertops do not.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    28 days ago
    last modified: 28 days ago

    "You just post from a very California centric microcosm experience and don’t qualify that as the case Most of the rest of this very large country doesn’t have access to things you take for granite. Pun intended."

    oh man, I wish there was a giant eye-roll emoji avail. a little dismissive-like, no?

    June, your comment sounds like there are no trucks, ships or trains that transport anything from the Ports of Calif. The OP is in Florida. Last I checked, they have ports there. And trains. and trucks. It's not beyond the realm of expectation that prefab countertops would be available to the people of Florida. Prefabs can travel just like all the other crap that comes through. They're easily transported, unlike full slabs.

    So if Florida has stone yards w/ rows and rows of slabs, why would you think they wouldn't have prefabs since they both come from the same place? maybe i'm off on the price by $100. Maybe not. I gave her the price paid for here. I'm sure she's intelligent enough to figure the pricing may be diff in her area. But not by much.

    The people that might have to pay more for them or have trouble finding any (and we've already discussed this) are the people in the outskirts of rural america. Miami, however, doesn't figure into your marketing strategy.

    Most of the 'rest of this large country' isn't in the boondocks! you make it seem like calif hoards everything while the rest of the country flounders in poverty and granite selections from the 90's. Hardly the case.

  • peacehope68
    28 days ago

    I’m not sure where you are located in Florida, but I went stone shopping in Central Florida this week and all were open. Masks were mandatory. My only problem was that none of them will give prices. You pick out slabs you’re interested in and they send prices to the fabricator of your choice. Now I have to wait for the fabricator to get back to me on prices and they are swamped.

    julieste thanked peacehope68
  • julieste
    Original Author
    28 days ago
    last modified: 28 days ago

    -All--I understand that different materials have different prices in different parts of the country, but I find it hard to believe that there aren't some general rules of thumb about pricing categories.


    peacehope68--You are describing exactly the situation I was hoping to avoid--going into a shop with no idea of which types of slabs are the Toyota Corolla pricing and which are the Jaguar pricing. It just seems like a really silly way for everyone to operate. Do these yards think that someone who wanted to spend 5K on stone (and that is a realistic price for the project) is really going to spend 15K instead? (Required masks are great!)


    The last time I bought counters it was in the north and the process was entirely different. I chose my own fabricator, but the stone yard gave ME the prices of the stone slab. The fabricator then told me how much installation would be.


    Joseph--I am thinking comprehensively. From what I understand, there could be a much larger price difference than 1K for counters in a kitchen my size. I am not on a strict budget but am trying to look at the big picture and make choices that will reflect the appropriate level of expenditure in this property. That's why I was looking for some guidance in general price ranges. Why would I even waste my time and the salesperson's if I would never even contemplate buying the equivalent of platinum counter tops and am instead looking at regular silver or gold countertops.


    Cook's Kitchen--Very helpful. Thanks.

  • PRO
    Sabrina Alfin Interiors
    27 days ago

    Here's an article I found on the web that shows the ranges for different materials:


    https://countertopguides.com/guides/how-much-do-different-countertops-cost.html


    I don't think it includes fabrication and installation, and as others have said, that will vary greatly by where you live.

    julieste thanked Sabrina Alfin Interiors
  • mxk3
    27 days ago
    last modified: 27 days ago

    To add to the confusion, the slab yards around here do not disclose prices to customers -- their customer-facing prices are categorical (e.g. A-Z, 1-5), they only talk price with fabricators, and final cost of the job which includes the material is between you and the fabricator. Big boxes will show you price/sq ft installed, so you can compare there, but there is not even a fraction of the selection available at a good slab yard. That's how it is around here, anyway -- not sure if it's that way in all parts of the country.

  • julieste
    Original Author
    27 days ago

    Sabrina, great article. Lava stone is definitely out (not that I even knew what it is anyway!)


    mxk--That approach really bo0thers me too.

  • RedRyder
    26 days ago

    Some stone places here (who don’t do the fabrication) have letters to indicate which is lower cost and which is higher (A is least expensive). But the actual dollar price is not available. You need to get the fabricator to give you the final cost. Here (Nashville area) the stone gets picked up by the fabricator, they template it and THEN you get a price. If you bring them a layout of your kitchen, they might ball park it for you.

  • Jennifer Hogan
    26 days ago

    Location plays a big part in cost. You may be in a coastal city with ports and get imports right from the dock or it may need to be shipped from the coast to the center of the country. The labor cost savings of having the granite mined in Brazil can be eaten up by the transport costs and locally mined granite may end up costing less.


    Labor costs are probably even a larger factor. I live in Pennsylvania Dutch Country and used to live in San Diego. In San Diego I could get 10 estimates and 10 different prices and a huge price range. If you were a good negotiator you could usually shave 15-20% off the final bill. Labor costs were also driven down by competition with the illegal laborers.


    In Amish country I can get 10 estimates and they will all be within a few dollars of each other. There isn't room for negotiation. The Amish charge a fair wage for their labor and perform quality work. You are really picking which apple you want out of 5 grown on the same tree.


    I pay far more for labor here than I did in California even though the cost of living here is less. Go figure!


    This link is to remodelingcosts.org and based on national costs. It would probably be the best place to start.


    https://www.remodelingcosts.org/countertop-costs/


    If you want the price for the slab without having to go through the fabricator tell them you are planning on buying a slab for a rustic table and will not be having any fabrication done on the slab. You want to raw edges and less than perfect shape.


    Then to price check the fabricators you can call them and ask what they will charge to fabricate and install a piece of granite that a relative is giving to you that they found in the basement of the home they just bought. Describe the piece you have priced so you are dealing with apples to apples price comparison.


    Sad we have to do this but some industries like to be less than transparent with pricing.

  • julieste
    Original Author
    26 days ago

    Jennifer Hogan--


    Super interesting comments from you. It is too bad that there is not more transparency about countertop costs.

  • JuneKnow
    26 days ago
    last modified: 26 days ago

    No fabricator would deal with someone trying to split out their work like that. You’d get sky high, go away prices. Because you’re an obvious PITA that they don’t need. Even in markets where stoneyards sell direct to the consumer, you have to have an agreed upon fabricator to safely deal with the 1000 pounds of rock. You can’t buy it otherwise. Telling someone you want it for a table still involves the costs of a fabricator’s services for the logistics. It’s not free. It’s a useless attempt at subterfuge that will only bite you.


    There’s plenty of transparency in countertop costs. It’s just different in every location, and depends on distributor and business model both. There is no universal pricing structure from market to market, no matter how much you close your eyes and wish. Transparency involves you with shoe leather and a diagram. Not sitting on the couch internet angst.

  • Zalco/bring back Sophie!
    26 days ago

    Fascinating to see all the different ways countertops are obtained around the country. My favorite source to get a feel for the price of different stones (they only have natural stone,) is Aria Stone in Dallas. Their website shows the slabs and lists the prices. I don't think there is anything cheap over there though.

  • Jennifer Hogan
    25 days ago
    last modified: 25 days ago

    @JuneKnow

    "There’s plenty of transparency in countertop costs. It’s just different in every location, and depends on distributor and business model both. There is no universal pricing structure from market to market, no matter how much you close your eyes and wish. Transparency involves you with shoe leather and a diagram. Not sitting on the couch internet angst."


    I may be a PITA, but I hate discriminatory price practices that harm the less fortunate.

    I am okay with the airlines charging different prices based on availability of seats and popularity of flight times and patterns. The prices are different for different customers, but the prices are publicly available. You can choose to buy a less expensive flight or a more expensive flight. I am also perfectly comfortable with movie theaters offering lower prices for afternoon shows and senior deals. Again, the prices are public, nothing hidden.

    I am less comfortable with Victoria Secret producing multiple catalogs with the same product but different pricing based on zip code, knowing that the more affluent the area, the more money women will spend on lingerie and even less comfortable knowing that McDonald Franchises in neighborhoods with population bases that are more than 50% black average 5% higher prices after normalizing the cost of doing business. McDonald's does not specifically use race to determine the price, so it is a legal method of discrimination, but the end result is that black neighborhoods are paying more and we think they don't know it. Why would they destroy the businesses in their own community? Because they are being charged more for the same product and services than the white community next door. This pisses people off.

    When prices are not public or highly negotiable the likelihood of the vulnerable populations being overcharged is greatly increased. I used the Costco car buying program to purchase the last 3 cars that I bought. Why? Because I am female and my ex was black. We stood little to no chance of getting a good deal at a car dealership. This wasn't necessarily because the sales person was a sexist or racist, but they viewed me and my husband as less knowledgeable about car prices and weaker negotiators than a white male and therefore could attempt to get more money for the car than they would try to get from a white male.

    With the use of the internet and data gathering price targeting vulnerable populations is growing. They use demographic and shopping patterns to identify the highest price a person will pay for a product. Those with low education and income levels or those who have been identified as having debilitated mental capacity (Alzheimer's Disease) are targeted with "deals" that are confusing or purposefully misleading.

    Please explain to me how not showing the price of the material is transparent? What is the likelihood that someone with a high income zip code may be charged more? What is the likelihood that someone with less knowledge may be charged more or duped into paying more for a lower quality stone and being told it is as good as the next stone?

    It is considered perfectly legal to charge the highest price you are able to get from each individual vs charging a fair and equitable price to all buyers. but I find it ethically reprehensible to hide pricing and accurate product information information and agree with the consumer protection agencies that are trying to get regulations passed to limit these types of discriminatory practices.

  • RedRyder
    25 days ago

    @JenniferHogan: there is no doubt in my mind that a service provider will charge more for the same skill (e.g. lawn mowing) in a more affluent area. Contractors probably do the same thing. But we are trying to help someone assess the potential disparity between different products, and even that, as it was pointed out, will vary in price for a bunch of reasons.

  • Jennifer Hogan
    25 days ago

    @RedRyder, I was simply responding to the statement that there is plenty of transparency in the industry. I pointed out that prices vary by location, but bulked at the practice that the local stone yard won't give you a price when you are looking at a stone. There is only one reason for that - it is too apply discriminating pricing. If that only meant that someone was charged more because they live in Palo Alto, I get it. They can afford it. But their local stone yard has the prices jacked already due to the location of the stone yard. In other mixed income areas it is a much more personal assessment and usually includes charging more to the uninformed. Assuming that because you are a woman you won't negotiate the price. Assuming that because your grandmother is old she won't be able to see the flaws in one stone vs the next so it is okay to sell her the one with a fracture that is going to crack at the same price as the one without the fracture. Telling someone that a stone is granite when it is not granite.

    (https://marble.com/articles/fake-granite-countertops).

    After 30 years of watching how we treat the less fortunate in this society I can't ethically turn a blind eye to these practices.



  • mxk3
    25 days ago
    last modified: 25 days ago

    But why can't the prices of the stone be priced per sq ft? Categorical pricing really doesn't help that much when you don't know the price of A, Z or anything in between, only that Z is the most expensive for that dealer, it tells you nothing else. Is B $2/sq ft higher than A or $20? It's hard to make an informed decision when you're shopping for stone. You can't even compare prices between dealers becausetheir pricing structure varies, and they will not disclose what the slab will cost - at least not in my area. So how do I know if I'm paying more at dealer 1 compared to dealer 2 for the same material? I don't and I can't. I can ask the fabricator to work with both locations, but here again the fabricator might tell me the final cost is the same, and he pockets any savings I might have gotten by going through a different dealer. Same with fabricator -- if I'm choosing between a few that have great reputations and there is a difference in the final quote, why is that? Do they get a deal on the stone, are they charging me more for it, what? Again, never going to know. It's a racket. There is a big advantage of shopping for stone at a big box -- you know what you're going to pay. It's probably a crapshoot in terms of quality of the installation but at least the price is the price.

  • PRO
    The Cook's Kitchen
    25 days ago
    last modified: 25 days ago

    Price is the worst thing to shop. Because it assumes a commoditization of what you’re shopping. The counters in your kitchen are not a commodity. They are a combination of skilled labor, mother nature’s’ art, and a huge amount of expensive logistics to get them from a raw dirt covered mountain into your kitchen, polished and pretty.

    In locations where stone is not sold to the end user (most of the US) the end user is not privy to wholesale pricing, because they are not the paying retail customer. The fabricator is the customer. You are a third party to the transaction between wholesaler and fabricator, and have no legal standing in the transaction. Even if you knew the raw materials cost, that has very little to do with the ultimate consumer price.

    You will never know what the SubZero or Maytag distributor pays for a refrigerator either. You will get a selling price from the retailer. That price includes all of the logistics and overhead, including the showroom overhead, as well as profit. There’s about as much profit in appliances as there is in stone. Under 3%.

    The stone industry operates on very thin margins, that rely on a large immigrant labor force to abuse their bodies as part of the price of the pretty shiny things in your kitchen. The world at large was alarmed by the reports of silicosis and lack of safety protections from silica that was resulting in horrible deaths. That’s old news in the industry. It was the dirty secret for a long time. You’re paying for injuries and deaths, and disposable employees, as part of the cost of your stone counters.

    Stone fabrication kills it’s employees on a regular basis. More attention to that only forced some fabricators “underground” rather than to invest in the thousands of dollars needed to handle stone safely. A stone shop needs a bare minimum of 100K in used machinery to start. A bridge saw, water filtration systems, forklifts, rail systems, etc. Most large shops have several millions sitting in a shop, that also has a mortgage. The overhead of each shop will be different. Some shops can do 10 jobs a week and meet those overhead requirements. Some need to do 50.

    Overhead, including safe fabrication practices, and skilled labor, make up the majority of the costs of stone. And this is why there is no uniformity to pricing. That should be obvious to anyone experienced at all in business. Small business owners everywhere are not happy that their skill, service, and safety measures, and intangibles are being quashed down to be judged by a a single inaccurate attribute. Price is the worst way to shop for anything. You can get a $1 ice cream cone, but it may be melted soup by the time you get it.

    The meat wholesaler sells the prime sirloin to a lot restaurants. The public doesn’t insist that it sell for $29 at every single restaurant in their area. They understand that the mom and pop on the town square has a different experience and ambiance than the larger suburban steak only restaurant with peanut shells on the floor, and the fine dining restaurant downtown, with the 300 bottle cellar. Why don’t people understand the same thing about their other product suppliers?

    Price is the worst thing to shop. Shop skill. Shop reputation. Shop safety measures that you personally inspect in the shop. Shop VALUE. Shop the things that make the real difference in the end. It won’t matter if the $3500 guy is the cheap choice if he leaves a 1” gap at the walls, the seams are numerous and don’t match, and he won’t call you back. The $5000 guy who insisted that you needed the 3rd slab. which was factored into the cost, is going to be the better value if there are no issues, and you’re delighted with the result. It’s insulting to the stonecutter in Brazil and the shop foreman in Cleveland both, if you don’t consider and value the huge contributions that they have entrusted to you. Don’t devalue their skilled contributions by making it all about money.

    Price is the worst thing to shop. Pick another criteria, and go and visit the fabricators. Look at their seams, their transport racks, their method of getting the stone into the shop, their water recovery systems, their use of respirators. Even the cars that the employees drive in the parking lot. That tells you a lot about the shop standards and care for their employees. Find that fabricator that you want to work with. All are not created equal. Their skills and abilities are not the same. Not a commodity.

    Then get a total job price. Forget the details that go into it. Your concern isn’t the details of how they price, any more than it is the wholesale price of the steak at the steakhouse. You’re shopping for a RESULT. A VALUE. Price is only a small component of that total.

    Price is the worst thing to shop when it’s NOT a commodity.


    And always tip your installers. They are not the shop owners. It’s their backs that suffer, and they don’t have retirement plans. Always tip the installers.

  • isabellagracepan
    25 days ago

    I am a budget minded renovator, so I can understand why people are looking at price first. I don't think it is unreasonable when people are trying to balance their desired outcome with a set budget. Once people get an idea of the prices, they can figure out where to splurge and where to save.


    For us up in Canada's west cost, quartz starts at around $100 per square foot (this is the price fabricated and installed), local marble (we have a local quarry) is a little bit more, soapstone is a little bit more and granite is cheaper at $65- $90 a square foot. Butcher block is around $50 per square foot and laminate is around $30 (I think). Prices are slightly lower at the big box stores, but the selection is more limited.


    One thing to consider about Corian is how it ages. I have in on all of our bathroom counters in our 15 year old house and I really don't like it. It feels dated and cheap. I don't know if that is the age of it or due to the wear or what, but it is a consideration. I prefer our 15 year old laminate in the kitchen to the Corian! Some people love Corian, and I totally respect that. It is just not my favourite. We will be replacing it all with quartz (bathrooms) and maybe marble (kitchen) when we get around to it.


    Best of luck in your countertop shopping!

  • SashaDog
    25 days ago

    We installed basic white LG HiMacs (solid surface like Corian) from Lowe’s and is was around $23 per sq ft installed. I love the matte finish. My aunt has 35 year old white Corian in her kitchen and it is the least dated thing in her kitchen. She’s never had it sanded to refinish it and it’s impossible to tell it’s age.


    And I believe price is an important factor. When we were shopping for counters, I spent a lot of time looking at quartz. When it came down to it, the adder for going with quartz vs HiMacs wasn’t worth it to me.

  • HU-870650297
    25 days ago

    Quartzite will typically be really expensive. the material cost is high, and many fabricators will charge more to fabricate it as its extremely chippy. It’s very “hard” but also fragile, and most fabricators hate working with it.


    Quartz is a great option. You can get honed options, even in marble and soapstone look-alikes. But it will be a lot more durable and less porous. AND less expensive.


    ***my husband owns a custom stone business.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    25 days ago
    last modified: 25 days ago

    I may be a PITA, but I hate discriminatory price practices that harm the less fortunate.

    Jennifer, Not everything is discriminatory. You left out an important consideration in you McDonalds (and other similar businesses) pricing; the cost of the business to have its store in a low income neighborhood. You do know that insurance is very difficult to get in those neighborhoods and when they do get it, it can be double or triple what it costs in nicer neighborhoods. So, are the insurance companies guilty of discriminatory pricing ? Or do they know that businesses in low-income neighborhoods get robbed , burgled and vandalized at a higher rater, thereby costing that company more money in claims? (and also the business itself in lost revenue)

    You ever see bullet proof glass at the counter in a Mcdonalds in Beverly Hills? Or a bullet proof turn-tray at the drive up window? Prob not. But those are all extra costs a mcdonalds in poorer area incurs. (as well as security guards 24 hours a day) You think the only reason McDonalds charges more for a hamburger in those areas is to take advantage of people of color? No. It's to make a profit above and beyond what it costs to own a business there. Why do you think there are never any good markets or stores in run down cities? It's the cost to the business owner. it's not worth it for them to open a business in a part of town where the risk to reward ratio is too skewed or too small. Thats why the hamburgers cost more. I've spoken to business owners in 'the ghetto' and had my eyes opened when I was told all of this. They don't charge more because of discrimination. They charge more so they can make their rent. A lot of those businesses (like the mom and pop stores you see) actually don't even carry insurance. They can't afford it. I bet you didn't know that markets in those areas need to erect a fence around the entire parking lot to help combat crime. (you have any idea what that costs, on top of all the security, loss prevention on carts, and other anti-crime measures?) I bet you didn't know their shoplifting losses are included in their monthly figures. Where you see discrimination, I see a business trying to offset the cost of crime just by being available in poor areas.

    As for the mail in catalogues and other price differences, well, that's just capitalism. People can run their business as they like. If lingerie costs more to people in affluent areas, oh well. You are free to shop elsewhere. At least they lower the prices so that poorer people can have the same items. I'd say that's a good thing. (and on the flip side of that, buying or leasing a space in an affluent area is much more expensive than a poor neighborhood. So the business owners will charge more for their product to make up the difference)

    If a contractor gives a price for a new kitchen in Palo Alto, you can bet the price will be double or triple his estimate to what he gives someone in Oakland. Ditto a stone yard. Is that necessarily a bad thing? As a buyer, you're free to barter, ask for price matching, or go somewhere else.

    Women have always been treated differently at a car dealership than a man. When I went to buy a a new car, I went alone. I had done my homework and knew all of the tricks and mark ups. I cut off the salesman before he knew what was happening and got a killer deal on my new truck.

    People will always take advantage of other people if they can. And there are plenty of business that do this to the poor, the weak, the mentally challenged.

    This is nothing new. Doesn't make it right, it's just the way it is and how it's always been. Not just here in America, I might add. Everywhere.

    The old adage, "buyer beware" is an oldie but a goodie. Do you homework.

    (i'll also add, that this, though flawed in some respects, is a heck of a lot better than government run business across the board. you want that, move to a communist country)

  • Jennifer Hogan
    25 days ago

    @Beth H,

    "Jennifer, you left out an important consideration in you mcdonalds (and other similar businesses) pricing; the cost of the business to have its store in a low income neighborhood."

    I think you missed the line 5% higher prices after normalizing the cost of doing business. So the cost of doing business in a low income neighborhood was entered into the study.


    I believe in capitalism, but in a society where capitalism is not tempered by morality men sell their daughters to the highest bidder. Slave trade and exploitation are accepted.


    It is our moral code of conduct that differentiates our society from others. Challenging the way things have always been is how women earned the right to vote and blacks earned the right to be served in restaurants and drink from public water fountains.


    I will never forget my mother-in-law telling me how she handled my father-in-laws infidelity. She was walking down Centre Avenue with her 3 children in tow. Her husband was walking up Centre Avenue with a woman on his arm. As she tells the story "I continued walking and as I passed him I looked him straight in the eye and said "Good Morning Mr Hogan" and just kept walking. He knew that I knew and nothing more needed to be said or done."


    She didn't have a choice. She had no education, no ability to earn money and had three children. What more could she say?


    When her children went to one of those integrated high schools she told them "if the police come you raise your arms over your head, get down on your knees and look at the ground." "If they speak to you, answer politely, but do not challenge them by looking in their eyes."


    My own grandmother was given to the more appropriate prospective husband. She and a young man fell in love when she was just 15. He went to his parents and they went to her parents and they decided that my grandmother was old enough to be married, but the boy had an older brother who was not yet married, so she would marry the older brother.


    Studies show that young girls who develop breasts earlier than their classmates reach lower earning levels than girls who develop with or after their classmates.


    We have some serious issues with gender, class and race bias and just because it is the way it has always been shouldn't make it acceptable.



  • julieste
    Original Author
    25 days ago

    This discussion has really veered off into many different areas, for the better I think.


    It reminded me of a journalistic exposé I read not too long ago on NPR. Basically it is saying that silicosis is becoming a very big health risk to workers who are dealing with artificial stone--quartz, Cambria, etc. This is because artificial stones like these are made of resins that can be composed of up to 90% silica compared to about 40% in real stone.


    https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/11/21/777268528/it-s-going-to-get-worse-how-u-s-countertop-workers-started-getting-sick


    Being reminded of this fact alone has, I think, steered me away from those materials and towards marble, soapstone or laminate, or maybe granite (which I typically hate). It's not worth other people sacrificing their health and life so I can have pretty countertops.


    That will at least simplify my need to comparison shop. I guess I still don't understand why a fabricator can't give me some simple pricing guidelines and tell me that comparing "average" level marble, granite and soapstone they would be ranked 1,2 , and 3 in pricing. If I need the same amount, same number of cutouts and seams, and same edging no matter which of those three material I pick, I can't see why such a comparison wouldn't be possible. (I am assuming that the three materials I mentioned all require about the same skill to fabricate, and I think this is a fairly accurate statement.)

  • SashaDog
    25 days ago

    The amount of material you need depends on the pattern on the ‘stone’. One ‘stone’ may require more waste to get well matched seems than another. Also, it depends on your actual layout.

    If you’re looking to just rank material by most to least expensive, most fabricators lost the per sq ft cost of the material. I’m not sure what else you’re looking for?


  • JuneKnow
    25 days ago

    Silicosis risks exist in all stone fabrication. Tile and masonry workers are also at risk. It is not just quartz. NPR got it wrong, in assigning more risk there with only limited info. There are high risks in fabricating ANY type of stone. Natural or man made. Type does not matter. How it is fabricated does. Shops are supposed to be 100% wet fabrication, with full face respirators worn if any dry activities exist. That doesn’t happen in most shops.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    24 days ago
    last modified: 24 days ago

    jennifer, you're assuming it's figured into the study. I bet it's not. There's no way they can figure that in when some cities charge more for insurance and security costs. the variable is too high. Maybe they rounded off a figure and came up w/this figure, but I've learned those figures are never 100% correct.

    as for the other issues, well of course it was a horrible time in history. What your in-law experienced, sadly happened just about everywhere (and is still happening in places like the middle east and India. you make it seem like woman here, back then, or women of color, were the only females on the planet that had a hard time) Most women back then were unskilled and relied on men. Heck my mom had her own stories from the 50's when she was stuck w/3 kids. Had the same issue happened today, she would have been long gone.

    Women have come a very long way. I came to work in a male dominated field in the 80's. looking back at that time, I realize how different things have changed today. (BTW, I developed rather large breasts at 12. In the 70's. before boob jobs were even a thing. Your study is incorrect. I went on to prove myself better than the men I worked with. You're leaving out an important factor; parenting and self confidence. another study that is skewed)

    My point to all of this, was everything is not discriminatory. Sometimes it's just business. not sure how we got onto sex trafficking, but that's a whole other ball of wax.