I first heard about Sprovieri's Custom Counters years ago when we ran an article about small sinks. Architect Claudia Skylar had worked with this Addison-based fabricator to create an integrated sink/countertop made of Corian for a tiny vanity she custom-designed for one of her clients.

I kept it in the back of my mind because I knew, eventually, the yellow cultured-marble countertop in my bathroom would have to go. I finally made the long drive west out to Sprovieri's (more time on North Avenue than I ever want to spend again) the other day, and I have to say, it was worth it.

The 40-year-old company generally works with kitchen designers and contractors, but was very welcoming when I walked through the door. They have a compact showroom that displays as many options as you need, without going overboard: granite, wood, quartz (about ten lines, including Silestone and Caesarstone) and solid-surface products, such as Corian. That said, they have tons of options that are not displayed, which can be requested.

But the well-edited showroom is not all. People come here from all over Chicago for the remnants. Since Sprovieri fabricates onsite at its 50,000-square-foot facility, there are plenty of leftovers from various jobs. In a courtyard adjacent to the factory, hundreds of countertops made of limestone, quartz, granite, marble and other materials—ranging in sizes from four to eight feet long and generally about four feet wide—stand on their sides, ready for a new home.

That doesn't meet they're all just a bunch of desperate slabs. The best pieces find homes pretty quickly: HOLD stickers are ubiquitous. That's why you should arrive ready to purchase. "The trick is to come when you have chosen your cabinets and know exactly what dimensions you need," says owner Chuck Sprovieri. If you pounce immediately, you may save up to 30 to 40 percent off the regular ticket price. Of course, delivery and installation will still cost you. 

If you have no luck in the remnants area, you will still score with a new product. But keep delivery times in mind. Popular styles, such as Caesarstone's London Grey quartz countertop, which mimics a gorgeous, slightly-smoky marble, can take up to eight weeks (the product is made in Israel). Also popular is Cambria's quartz, which provides the look of granite without the need to seal and reseal.

As for my new countertop? I saw it across a crowded courtyard—a nice hunk of Caeserstone that will be in my bathroom soon.