Stone Slab Shopping
Selecting your specific slabs for your kitchen or bath counter tops is always a fun experience. Since it is something that we do quite often, we will usually know where to take you and reduce the number of slab yards that we need to visit.
Some yards try to carry “everything”, other yards seem to specialize. The buyers for these yards travel around the world to select the materials they sell. Their experience and taste, along with what they think their clientele is looking for determines the materials they offer.
Many of the yards in Southern California have the slabs outdoors, however it is becoming more popular now to have indoor yards. The benefit of the indoor yard is the slabs stay cleaner, the lighting is more predictable….and in the rare event of rain you can still shop! Mostly we worry about the bright sunlight if we are shopping outdoors, so we love a gloomy day. Bring your sun hat just in case!
We bring the other materials that have been selected for the job with us. It is great to be able to see the cabinetry finishes and flooring with these stone slabs. A good slab yard will also pull out the specific slabs for us to compare, turning them for best lighting and pulling the number of slabs we will need to see what they all look like.
Subtle difference may occur from slab to slab. They are often sequence numbered, which means they are stacked together like a loaf of bread, just as they have been cut. Of course, they can be out of order, some may have been purchased or are on hold.
They also may offer “book matched” slabs, which mean they are reverse polished, so they will match up just like the fold in a book. This is a beautiful option when you are covering a large wall area, such as a backsplash behind a range or a shower wall. Not all slabs are available with this book matched option.
Today’s slabs have many options for finish and texture. They can be polished, honed or leathered. The finish makes a tremendous difference in the color and appearance of the stone.
Many slab yards are also showing engineered stone products. This has helped them to keep the consumer traffic coming their way and expanding out their offerings. Some engineered materials are highly patterned, marble veined, etc., so there is a benefit to physically see these slabs as well! If you are selecting an engineered stone that is all one color, no veining…then you probably don’t need to worry about seeing the entire slab.
Our slab suppliers will hold our material for us, allowing our stone fabricator to pick up the slabs. The fabricator will also inspect the slabs to make sure there are no defects that we might not have seen. Our slab yards are highly reputable companies; they stand behind all their materials…so this is not a problem we have experienced. With so many slab yards to choose from, we do recommend you be cautious and use a reputable company.