AUTHORS Sharon Inetas | Sky Marble and Granite, Inc
A common question that arises, as homeowners go through the process of finish choices, is what stone is the best choice for me? As in most finish selections there are so many selections from which to choose. How do you narrow down the playing field?
Photo Credit | Real Stone and Granite Corporation
Step one, selecting what category of material.
Make a laundry list of priorities you would like your countertop to have similar to qualities you cannot do without in selecting a home. Are you going to stay awake at night worrying about the possibilities of red wine stains the morning after entertaining? If so, you are going to lean toward a stone with less porosity? Will seeing every speck of dust or drop of water play havoc with the definition of clean? Then Absolute Black polished would not be your first choice due to its highly reflective properties.
Photo Credit | Colonial Marble and Granite
Step two, color.
Have you determined a color palette for the space the stone is intended? Is the stone going to determine the surrounding colors and textures or are you applying stone to an existing color scheme? Color selection can affect the type of stone selection as well. Engineered (man-made) stone, such as quartz products, were produced to bring colors into countertops that were either non-existent in natural stone or not as common and therefore were quite expensive.
Photo Credit | John Bynum Custom Homes, Inc.
Step three, pattern and texture.
When clients walk among the slabs, they determine quickly whether they are a spot person, a speckle person, a movement person (stones that create a wave), a wow factor person, or a minimalist. Your eye and emotional response determine these selections. You will find that your selections will be similar in pattern but could vary a bit in color. In this case a review of your goals, cabinets, flooring, and walls will finalize the color.
Currently, texture is playing a bigger role in the selection process. Due to more sophisticated stone processing techniques, there are more available choices in an array of slab selections. Leathered finishes are becoming more popular. Like a honed stone, the finish has little or no shine. Unlike honed, which has a smooth surface, leathered is textured with a slight bumpy surface when you run your hand across it. The effect is warm and inviting. Another plus is that the texture tends to seal the pores of the stone, which is not the case of a honed surface.
Photo Credit | Cincinnati
Step four, budget.
Most often there needs to be a balance of wants and desires and budget. In the case of stone, usually one of your finalists will be either in your budget or near it. If you have that number in mind, it is good to tell your stone designer so that selections you choose from are in that range.
Keep these steps in mind when you take the walk among the slabs. You will find that it will be an exhilarating process. The end result will be owning your own customized piece of nature that will create the look and feel you want in the heart of your home.