Universal Form Tops, FAQ's

Get answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

  1. What makes a countertop from Universal Form Tops better than its competitors? You can buy similar looking countertops with the same laminates we use from many sources, but none of them have been doing business in the San Antonio area as long as we have. Started by Jesse and Fred Collier in 1955, we are the oldest custom laminate shop in this part of Texas and we are still owned by the Collier family. The majority of our employees have been with us for more than 20 years and a few over 40 years. We know countertops and we stand behind our products. A lot of our business is from repeat customers and we want our new customers to feel comfortable recommending us to their friends and family. We are not happy until we have earned your respect. That’s what separates us from our competition.
  2. Do you sell to the public? Yes. We have sold to the public for over 55 years.
  3. Do you have a showroom where I can see samples of the products? Our showroom is located at 2106 Danbury, San Antonio, Texas 78217. Our salesmen also carry samples with them so you don’t need to leave your house. We'll come to you!
  4. What are your office hours? Will you work after hours and on weekends? Our normal office hours are Monday thru Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm. We try to reserve evenings and weekends for our own families and to take care of our own chores but, if it’s absolutely necessary we may arrange to work after hours or weekends. There may be additional charges depending on the circumstances.
  5. Do you come out and measure? Yes. In fact, if we are installing we insist on taking our own measurements. If you prefer to install your new countertops yourself, call us and we will be glad to offer any assistance you need.
  6. Do you charge for estimates? We do not charge for estimates within the 30 mile radius of our shop. Costs for estimates beyond that point will be credited if you accept our proposal. In most cases we can provide you with a fairly accurate estimate with your measurements and information gathered with our assistance.
  7. Is there a mileage fee for measuring and installing? We do not charge mileage within 30 miles of our shop. Outside of this area, we charge $2.00 per mile/per trip - one way.
  8. Do you have ready-made countertop (Blanks) in stock? No. We custom build each countertop to exact measurements depending on each individual job requirement.
  9. Can you make custom sizes? Yes we can. All of our countertops are custom fabricated for each individual job so that in most cases we can build just what you want. If we can’t do it, it likely cannot or should not be done!
  10. How long will it take to build my new countertops once they are ordered? Most laminate countertops take approximately 7 working days to complete from the time the order is finalized.
  11. Do you install the countertops? Yes we do, and our installers are highly skilled technicians who take great pride in their work.
  12. Do you warrant seams against water damage? Since laminate countertops are a wood product, there is only so much we can do to protect against water damage. Even though we use the best waterproof glues and epoxies available, we cannot warrant against water damage. In cases where exposure to excessive water is likely, we recommend using a plywood substrate to help negate the effects of too much water. We do have a 1 year warranty against workmanship and defects on all our laminate products.
  13. Do you sell laminate sheets? Yes. We can order laminate sheets in most brands and in a variety of sizes.
  14. Do you stock laminate? No. We order laminates on a per job basis and Formica and Wilsonart brands are usually readily available locally. We will be glad to order whatever laminates you need for your job.
  15. Do you make anything besides countertops? We are primarily set up to fabricate countertops but, over the years, we have fabricated items we didn't even know we could make. Please call us about your project and we'll try to help you any way we can.
  16. Do you sell sinks? Yes, we offer under mount or top mount sinks for laminate countertops. Available in acrylic or stainless steel.
  17. Do you do plumbing work? No. We are not licensed plumbers therefore we do not disconnect or reconnect plumbing or gas lines.
  18. Do you remove existing countertops? We do work with other contractors to assist in preparing for your new countertops. They will remove your existing sinks, appliances, and countertops and then reinstall these after we have your new countertops installed. You will need to arrange with a licensed plumber to disconnect and reconnect any plumbing and or gas lines that may be necessary. Or if you prefer to do the removal and preparation yourself, our salesmen will gladly show you what is needed to allow for the new countertops.
  19. How can I tell if my countertop is installed correctly? Countertops should set as flat and level as possible and the overhang should be as uniform as possible. (Standard overhangs are from ¾” to 1-½” past the face of the cabinet.) The tops should be attached solidly to the cabinets or other supports. There should be no gaps at the walls which require molding to cover. The joint between countertop and wall should be sealed with translucent or paintable caulk. Countertop seams should be flush and tight and should be sealed with color-match sealer, exposed edges should be finished, and sink and appliance cutouts should be of the proper size.
  20. What is the correct way to measure my countertop? Measure the depth and length of your cabinets or spaces, add for overhang on front and ends where necessary, check corners for squareness, verify sink and appliance cutout centers and dimensions, note open ends and wall ends, measure splash height from cabinet to top of wall at half-walls, and check for potential installation obstacles. Again, do not assume anything you have is standard. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call us.
  21. What are some common measurement mistakes that customers make? One of the most common errors is assuming we will automatically allow for overhang. Give us the dimensions you want your countertops to finish; we will not automatically add anything to it. Remember, we have not seen your job.

    Sink and appliance cutouts should be to the center of where you want the hole to be cut and the dimensions are the exact cutout dimensions you want. Never assume there are standard sizes.

    Another common mistake, even by professionals, is not checking corners for the proper angle. Do not assume corners are square. If they are close, the tops can be scribed to fit up to ¾” out of square. If they are outside those tolerances, we can cut the joints to accommodate most angles.

    If you are not sure about proper overhang, sink centers, how to check for squareness, etc., call us and we will walk you through the process. It usually is fairly simple and we are glad to help.
  22. What happens if I order the wrong size countertop? If it is too long, we can re-cut it in most instances. But if it is too short we may have to start over. We will use your measurements to build your countertop but you are responsible for ensuring these dimensions will fit your particular installation. We will gladly assist you in obtaining the correct measurements according to our standards but it is ultimately your responsibility to provide us with accurate dimensions for your job.
  23. Do you take credit cards? Yes, we accept American Express, Discover, MasterCard, and Visa. We do offer a 5% cash discount when paying by check or cash.