our marble slab + tips on buying natural stone slabs

November 5th, 2011

We found a slab today thay we just love… and its within the budget! The type of marble is called Statuario, and its white with grey veining, but its not as cold/grey as your standard carrera marble.  I think it’s going to be just gorgeous in the kitchen.

Now we just have to pick out tile and have it all fabricated and installed. Yippee!

A few tips that I have for hunting for a stone slab:

• I recommend shopping for a fabricator before you visit suppliers. They will recommend you to one or two suppliers that they have a relationship with, and generally steer you in the right direction. In the end you will need them to do the templating, purchasing, and fabricating of the slab anyway, so might as well get their help from the beginning.

• Have an open mind of what you want, and really look around at all the offerings to see if something speaks to you.

• Visit more than one supplier. There could be varied prices or specials on the type of stone you are wanting, also batches of one type of stone can have different tones and marbling etc, from one batch to the next.

• Expect quality fabrication to cost roughly 2-3 times the cost of the slab. Ouch!

• Don’t skimp on your fabricator. Fabricators generally have pre-negotiated rates on slabs, so you can get a better price than the supplier will quote you if you were purchasing it on your own . Also some low-end fabricators use cheap glue and supplies, and if they are not insured they will not cover the price of a new slab if it breaks while they are doing the fabrication. You can ask your supplier about the reputation of the fabricator that you are working with. Whatever you do, don’t have “cousin jimmy” who “does this all the time” fabricate your slab for you. It’s not worth the money you may save if the slab breaks or if they don’t template it out correctly and you have to purchase a replacement slab to get the correct cuts you need.

• You’re going to have this countertop for a very long time, so take the time to choose something that you really love.

• If you have your heart set on a higher maintenance stone, do the research. A lot of people tried to dissuade us from marble, but I just love the look so much. We found that if you seal the marble regularly, clean up messes that might stain immediately, don’t put hot pans directly on it, and use a cutting board, then you shouldnt’ have any issues with marble (YMMV). Its totally worth it for us to do some upkeep on it to have the look that we want.

• If you are on a tight budget ask a fabricator or supplier about pre-fabricated countertops. If you have standard depth cabinets, this is a great option and can save you a ton of money.


5 responses to “our marble slab + tips on buying natural stone slabs”

  1. Brandi says:

    I love the look of Marble. We have Carrera Marble in our downstairs bath. Just an FYI that you may already know: marble etches & stains. My bath & body works hand soap has made the weirdest oily loking spots on it and they don’t come off. But, if you are okay with imperfection: then go for it. It does make for the most beautiful kitchen surface! Good luck!

  2. libbywilko says:

    Your kitchen is going to be so gorgeous Jen ! Can’t wait to see the next photos 🙂

  3. Michelle says:

    Gorgeous! I’ve been looking for that very look!

  4. Rendy says:

    I’ve been having the same issue with marble! The countertop store thinks I’m crazy for even considering it in the kitchen. That being said, I brought home a sample and sealed one side of it, tested it with balsamic vinegar, washable marker, and a lime wedge. Left those on for 3 hours, wiped them off and the sealed side has NOTHING but a tiny bit of etching from the lime wedge. That I can live with!!!

  5. Jen Allyson says:

    If you really want it, just go for it. Get it sealed and keep an eye on it and you’ll be fine. I recommend Honed because you don’t see etching as much. We only ever got etching from acids, nothing ever stained our marble. The biggest issue was that I was anxious about it and about letting little kids use that part of the kitchen. BUt I tried placemats and such and it was totally fine.

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