- Key Things to Consider When Choosing a Slab
- Step-by-Step Guide on Choosing Top-Quality Slabs That Will Perfectly Fit Your Project
- Lastly, Choose a Reputable Countertop Fabricator and Installer
Your kitchen is among the most important areas in your home. It’s where you prepare meals for your family and entertain guests. So, you would want it to look its best. One way to do that is to install a stone countertop. But with so many different types of stone available, how do you know which one is right for your project?
Here are a few things to keep in mind and a step-by-step guide to selecting stone slabs for your countertop to ensure the success of the overall project:
Key Things to Consider When Choosing a Slab #
Before we proceed to the steps on choosing the perfect slab, consider your style, kitchen size, budget, and usage:
1. Your Preferred Style #
Consider the overall design of your kitchen including the color scheme which is the most important one to ensure that your countertop will complement your existing design.
Also, what type of style are you going for? Traditional? Modern? Rustic? There are certain slab colors and styles that would look better on specific design themes.
Other factors you need to consider in relation to style are the following:
- Your color preference (light or dark)
- The color and finish of your cabinets, flooring, and backsplash
- The lighting in your home
2. Your Kitchen’s Size #
Aside from your kitchen’s overall design, your kitchen size is the second most important deciding factor you should consider to avoid overwhelming your kitchen. (A1 Stone World offers templating services to make sure that you get the right countertop size for your kitchen.)
Here are the basics of choosing a matching countertop color and pattern based on your kitchen’s size:
- Choose light colors and simpler textures and patterns for smaller kitchens to give the illusion of more space. Busy patterns will make your kitchen look cramped.
- Choose light colors for dark kitchens but dark slabs with light veining are a good alternative too.
- You can try either light or dark slabs in different textures, patterns, and veining in larger kitchens.
3. Your Budget #
The price of countertops will vary greatly depending on the material’s type, quality, source, and rarity.
Here are figures to give you a rough idea of how the most popular countertops are priced:
- Marble: $$ – $$$$$
- Granite: $$ – $$$$$
- Quartz: $$ – $$$$
- Quartzite: $$$ – $$$$$
- Soapstone: $$$ – $$$$
- Butcher Block: $$ – $$$$
- Concrete: $$ – $$$
If you want an honest estimate of your whole countertop installation project cost, contact us. We offer affordable countertops that can fit any budget.
4. How You Will Use Your Countertop #
Countertop materials also vary in durability. They have different levels of hardness as well as stain, scratch, and heat resistance. So before you choose, consider how you will be using your countertop.
Here is a comparison of the common kitchen countertop materials for your reference:
Also, here are a few questions you can ask yourself in relation to functionality:
- Will you be using the slab as a fireplace surround, kitchen countertop, or vanity countertop?
- Do you want a material that you can cut and place hot pans on without damaging the surface?
- Do you use your kitchen often?
- Do you have children?
Your answers to these questions will determine the material that will best match your lifestyle. Heavily used kitchens that often get exposed to moisture and heat as well as surface scratches will need more durable materials such as granite and quartz.
Also, consider maintenance. There are countertop materials that are easier to maintain than other options. So if you use your kitchen a lot, choose a low-maintenance surface.
Don’t hesitate to contact A1 Stone World. Our professional team can help you choose the right material to meet not only your budget requirement but also the functionality you want.
Step-by-Step Guide on Choosing Top-Quality Slabs That Will Perfectly Fit Your Project #
Here are the steps you can follow when choosing the best stone slab for your remodeling project:
Step 1. Prepare the Important Things You’ll Need Before Visiting a Slab Yard #
Before you go to a slab yard, make sure to prepare the following:
- Your final preferred overall design
- Your kitchen counter’s size
- Your preferred stone material, color, pattern, and texture
- The questions you want to ask your fabricator
- Samples of your interior design elements
- Camera and a notepad
Check out our guide on what to have prepared before visiting a slab yard for a more detailed discussion on these.
Step 2. Visit a Slab Yard #
Once you have done the proper preparations, it’s time to visit a stone yard to view the actual slabs.
This step is important because countertop experts can give recommendations on the right countertop options for your project. (And whether the materials and design style you initially chose will really fit the functionality you want or not.)
A1 Stone World can help you make an informed decision regarding these.
Step 3. Shop by Color & Budget #
Ask to shop by color and budget to make your choosing process more organized. Better if you already have a specific color range and budget in mind so you can make narrowing down your options further easier.
As you go with your selection, do the following:
- Compare the slab colors, patterns, and textures and see which one complements your existing interior design (flooring, cabinets, and backsplash) best.
- Take photos and notes of each of your potential options for easier final comparison.
In addition, here’s a guide to choosing the best slab color for your decor. Choose:
- The same slab color as your cabinets but with a contrasting vein color
- Contrasting cabinet and countertop color with veins that have the same color as your cabinet
- Shades matching the two colors for dual-colored cabinets
In addition to shopping by color, ask the stone fabricator to show you slabs that are within the range of your budget. Take note that there are a lot of factors that can affect countertop prices including the stone’s size, color, availability, and grade.
Note: Some fabricators will only give you a general price tag until you’ve made your final pick.
Step 4. Check for Quality & Flaws #
Narrow down your options further to fewer varieties by assessing the quality of individual slabs.
Some important factors you need to take a look at when doing your quality checks are:
- Surface pitting
- Color concentrations
- Shade variation
- Cracks and other imperfections
Note: The more qualities that the slab has of these, the pricier it will be.
Take note, however, that most of these are natural characteristics of stones that can’t be avoided. So, make sure that you inspect the slabs meticulously to make sure that you like their overall appearance.
Also, ensure that you view the slabs at different angles, distances, and lighting.
Other qualities you need to check are:
- Polish – It should be uniformly smooth. It is common to fill natural gaps in the slabs using epoxy as long as the area is polished even to level with the stone’s surface.
- Thickness – Countertops are usually 1-inch thick or more. Thicker options are sturdier.
- Edges – The slab’s edges should have been properly cut without sharp parts. It should be smooth.
Step 5. Ask for Samples #
Most often, there is a discrepancy between what you see in a showroom and how the stone will actually look in your space.
So, better if you ask for several take-home samples and try placing them side by side with your cabinets, walls, and flooring once you get home. This will ensure that all of your interior elements will match your countertop.
Note: The look of small samples can be drastically different than the full slabs.
And one last thing, better ask about return and warranty policies before you make your final purchase in case something goes wrong.
Step 6. Put Your Chosen Slab on Hold #
Lastly, take note that not all stone countertop fabricators will be willing to give you samples. Thus, it’s important that you put your final choice on hold before you proceed to other slab yards. Most stone fabricators will allow this without any extra charge.
Putting your favorite option on hold will also make sure that it won’t be sold off while you are looking around for other options in other yards. Also, some fabricators will only give you a specific price for your slab once you have made your final decision.
And before you leave, inquire about their templating process. Aside from ensuring that your countertop will perfectly fit in your kitchen, this also makes sure that your favorite parts in the stone will be visible on your counter. (Not hidden or cut off.)
Lastly, Choose a Reputable Countertop Fabricator and Installer #
Following this guide is a good start to finding the best stone countertop for your remodeling project. However, choosing an experienced countertop fabricator and installer will have a big impact on the overall success of your project.
A1 Stone World is a reputable countertop company with not only premium luxury countertop slabs but also excellent customer service that will assist you all throughout the process. We have been serving areas in Northeast Florida including Jacksonville, Green Cove Springs, St. Augustine, Saint Johns, and Ponte Vedra Beach for over 15 years. Set an appointment now!