Why Use Stone?
Many ask why to use stone instead of other surfaces. This is an easy one! First, there is no comparison in the look and quality of natural stone when compared to other surfaces. Why do you think almost any synthetic surface IS MADE TO LOOK LIKE STONE? Whether you like the high polished, gleaming shine of Granite or the toned down, rustic style of Soapstone or honed Marble, Granite, or Quartz, there is absolutely nothing like the real thing. Second, Natural Stone adds value to a home. It’s a well-known fact that upgrading a kitchen or bath will almost always get you 100 plus per cent on your investment if you decide to sell. Natural stone does NOT depreciate in value like synthetics and NEVER EVER goes out of style–it is already millions of years old, so you can expect it to far outlast your cabinets or house or neighborhood for that matter. Third, having natural stone in your home creates an automatic conversation piece. Visitors are always curious about what kind of surface it is, where did it come from, how old is it? And you are the only one in the WORLD with the particular stone you choose. Stone is unique, ancient, bold, and no two pieces are the same!
What Stone Should I Use?
There are a variety of different types of stones and agglomerates. These should be taken into consideration based on the application. Granite is the hardest and most durable of the choices. It is resistant to scratching and heat, and is quite dense and therefore resists staining as well. It is the optimal choice for a Kitchen or any other surface for that matter. Marble, travertine, limestone and onyx are softer, more porous, and more consideration should be given as to where these products are installed. Bathrooms are generally the selected choice of area for these stones. Using Marble in a kitchen will result in a worn, matted and stained eventual finish, which is actually an old world or rustic look many are trying to accomplish. For more information on selecting a stone, call us (386) 615-8080 for professional information.
What Color Do I Choose?
There are hundreds of granite and marble colors to choose from and to make things more complicated, these colors change in shading and texture as the stone is quarried. Please come into our showroom and take a tour of our yard to view a wide variety of slabs and sample pieces. Click the “New Colors” Tab below to see a few things we’ve recently brought in.
- ASK AROUND Talk to others who have had some work done. Referrals are probably the most important aspect in the fabricator selection process. Although most fabricators will do a fine job, sometimes things like communication or customer service are a problem.
- DO SOME RESEARCH Resources such as Angie’s List can be very helpful. Just one bad review could be very telling. A fabricator should be willing to do whatever it takes to make the customer happy. A simple internet search could also clue you into things like lawsuits or even criminal records.
- VIEW THE WEBSITES OF LOCAL FABRICATION SHOPS Doing this can tell you a lot about the business. You may find they are simply a cabinet shop or reseller. Some fabricators will have pages to show their inventory.
- DO NOT CALL AROUND AND ASK FOR “SQUARE FOOT” PRICING Doing this is probably the worst way to shop for granite. Square footage can be easily manipulated. Some companies charge square footage based on a minimum, others charge based on the slab size and not the kitchen size. As an example, we once had a customer come in with a price of $29 a square foot. She was being charged for 116 square feet even though her kitchen was 84 square feet. (they were charging her for the full price of 2 slabs rather than her actual usage) Another problem with square footage pricing is there are scores of extras and add-ons that can raise the price drastically. ALWAYS get a written quote based on an accurate drawing or a visit to the home by the fabricator.
- VISIT A FEW FABRICATORS After you have done the above research, make a visit. How did you feel? Was there a lot of pressure, like you were buying a used car? Did you feel comfortable with the visit? You should feel like the person you were dealing with has a knowledge of what they are selling. Find out important details like where the seams will be located, how the corners will be finished, what extra charges there may be, how the sinks will be mounted, etc.
- SELECT YOUR SLABS AND GIVE A DEPOSIT Never select your color from a small sample or “square”. (Unless it is a quartz product like Cambria or Silestone) Marbles and Granites have a wide range of movement and color shading. There also may be certain unfavorable characteristics that you might want to have the fabricator avoid. Depending on the color and movement of the stone, you may also need to approve each individual slab. Most companies will require a 50% deposit. If you are asked to pay in full before the work is completed, RUN.
The most important thing in selecting a fabricator is definitely NOT the price. Although this is certainly something you need to consider, it should not be your defining factor. There are companies that do excellent work and there are companies that are a little cheaper and do terrible work. You will likely find that if you shop 3 or 4 fabricators, they will be very comparable in price. You should also not necessarily choose your fabricator based on the colors they have in stock. If you find a stone you like at one fabricator but you really would like to use another that does not have the color in stock, see if that fabricator can order it. Most all fabricators buy from the same suppliers.