Choosing the right natural stone for your home may be a bigger task than you think. Whether you’ve opted for marble, travertine, slate, granite, or another type of stone, you will find seemingly endless colors and styles. Deciding on the right type and color of stone is only the first part of the job. It’s still essential to see the stone you want in person before placing your order. Here are a few reasons why.
1. See the Actual Slab, Not Just a Picture
When you see a picture of a sample of granite or marble that you like, remember the stone you get won’t be exactly the same as the picture. As a natural product, every stone slab is different in terms of color, pattern, graining, and pitting. When you see the stone first, you will know exactly what you are getting.
2. Check for Pits and Hairline Cracks
These defects can add beauty to the stone, but they can also increase the chances that it will become damaged with use. The thinner the stone you choose for a countertop, the more problematic these cracks and pits may be. When you see the stone yourself, you can judge how the defects look. The supplier can also explain how they will affect the stone and whether they will work with your application.
3. See How Finishes Look in Person
There are many types of finishes available for natural stone, including leathered, honed, polished, and flamed. Descriptions and pictures of these finishes aren’t enough to capture their beauty or the way the light hits the surface. Unless you’re positive you want a particular finish, seeing a side-by-side comparison in person can help you determine which type of finish will look best in your home and continue looking beautiful after using a safe-on-stone granite polish.
4. See True-to-Life Color
You may know you want a floor or countertop in beige, green, or gold, but there’s no replacement for seeing the color in person. You can bring paint samples, cabinet samples, and anything else you would like to compare to the stone to make sure it will match your design. Seeing the stone in person also allows you to see how it looks in different lights. With many stones, one color may dominate in photography, while another may shine through in person or with natural lighting.
5. Check the Grade
Granite and other types of natural stone come in grades. To understand this grading system, it’s best to see samples in person. The grade for a slab of granite is based on many factors, including the country of origin, the amount of soft minerals, veining, colors, pitting, marks, hairline cracks, and thickness. Low-grade or commercial granite is the most affordable, but it is usually thin and requires a plywood backing for support. This type of stone usually comes from China. High-end grade stone is typically imported from Brazil or India and has more uncommon colors, patterns, veining, and noticeable soft and hard minerals. Seeing the difference may help you decide whether you’re comfortable with a more budget-friendly option or if high-grade granite is worth the price.
Once you’ve chosen your stone and had it installed, it’s important to care for it properly. To learn how to clean natural stone, get in touch with Granite Gold® and find out how our specially formulated granite cleaner can make the job easier while protecting the natural beauty of your stone surfaces. Give us a call today at 1-800-475-STONE to learn more.