Marble, slate, granite, or soapstone – there are numerous types of natural stone that work beautifully on a kitchen or bathroom counter. Whether you’re choosing an exotic stone, or something more commonplace, it’s important to remember that a stone slab should not be selected from a sample, or from a showroom floor.
Natural stone countertops are made from 100% natural rock material that has been cut and polished or honed to your specifications. This means that they their colors or vein patterns have not been manipulated or created in a lab.
While this is where the beauty of natural stone comes from, it also means that no two slabs of stone are ever exactly the same, and that stone slabs coming from different lots may appear widely different in color or vein pattern. Therefore, the sample seen in a showroom may appear darker or lighter, and may have more or less veining than the slab you will ultimately install.
For some stones that have little to no variation, such as Absolute Black granite, this is less of a concern than stones that can have extreme amounts of color variation ranging from yellows to blue, such as Costa Smerelda. For stones that have large amounts of color variation, the showrooms samples should only be used as a guide to narrow down the selection of stone to a few basic color groups, or by size, durability, and price.
Once a few stones have been selected as possibilities, it’s important to visit the stone yard to see the actual pieces or slabs of stone in stock. This gives you the opportunity to see the color and veining pattern for yourself and determine if the true color of the stone matches tile and cabinet choices as well. If necessary, a section of the stone can be tagged for use, or a small sample may be obtained to use in further material selection.
Don’t fall for a bait and switch of using a showroom sample as your final color and vein predictor of a natural stone counter. Always visit the stone yard for an accurate portrayal of what you will be receiving.