CHOOSE YOUR SLAB IN PERSON
Make a trip to the slab yard and see the actual slab that’s going into your house. There is so much variation from slab to slab so you MUST personally view the exact slab you’re purchasing.
GRANITE COMES IN LOTS
Granite is mined from the Earth in big blocks and then sliced like a loaf of bread into slabs. Veins, dots, patterns and other characteristics of the stone will usually be consistent throughout the block from which a slab was cut. It is best if you can get slabs from the same lot that are numbered consecutively. This means the slabs have an even better chance of being identical because they were cut right next to each other.
YOU WILL PROBABLY NEED MORE THAN ONE SLAB
Granite slabs AVERAGE about 55-63 square feet per slab. They generally measure about 9-10 feet wide by 6-7 feet high. If you have a nice-sized L-shaped kitchen plus an island, you can pretty much count on needing more than one slab to accommodate your needs. And keep in mind, a fabricator will generally cut about 3-4 inches off the edges to square the slab. If you’re at the slab yard with a tape measure, remember to subtract this amount off the sides while doing your calculations.
GRANITE VARIES WILDLY IN PRICE
The rule of thumb is – the more patterning and veining in a slab, the higher the cost. Granite is priced according to groups, with “A” being the cheapest all the way up to “exotics”, which can be more than $200 per square foot depending on your location.
GRANITE CAN HAVE MANY NAMES
If you found the perfect granite online and its name is something like Brown Antique, don’t despair if you can’t find it at your showroom. Each showroom, quarry, importer, and even fabricator can have different names for the same granite color. Try Googling the name of the granite you like plus “alternate name” and see what comes up. (Hint: Brown Antique is also called Marron Cohiba.)
CHOOSE YOUR GRANITE FIRST
It’s best if you start your kitchen or bath remodel by choosing the granite you want first. It’s the showpiece that will stand out in the room and set the tone of your design. You can work paint, cabinetry, flooring, the backsplash, and other elements around the colors and patterns of the slab you choose. BUT, if you have your heart set on a certain cabinet or floor, or have to work around existing finishes.
BRING YOUR OTHER ROOM FINISHES WITH YOU TO SELECT GRANITE
I can’t tell you the number of people who say, “I should have brought my cabinet color with me” when they’re at the showroom selecting their countertop, a major investment that can’t be changed easily and needs to be right. It’s nearly impossible to match cabinet, paint, or flooring colors to a tiny sample of granite. Plus those samples are probably not from the same lot, and more than likely not even from the same quarry, as the granite you will choose. Bring a cabinet door, paint chip, tile or wood flooring plank, or other design elements in the room with you when you go to the slab yard.