Selecting your Counter Top Material

You’re starting your kitchen or bathroom remodel, and are ready to pick your counter material. But how do you choose the best counter top material for your home?

We recommend that you start by talking with your fabricator before you go out looking for materials. They will help you to better understand what to look for and can give you tips such as how many slabs you will need for your project and how big they should be. They’ll also be able to provide you some information about the different materials: quartz vs granite vs marble, etc. Many will have sample pieces as well, such as the sample wall in our showroom shown in the photos below. These can help give you an idea of the variety of stone available before you step into the slab warehouses.

Granite sample wall in Stone Center Inc showroom

You’re now ready to visit one of the many slab warehouses to select the perfect stone for your job. There are literally hundreds of different materials out there to choose from. Even if you’ve decided you like the look of marble, granite, or quartz, there is still a wide range of looks within each category. The number of choices out there can be overwhelming. It’s best if you can set aside a chunk of time, say an entire morning or afternoon, so that you don’t feel rushed.

People generally approach counter top material selection in one of two ways.

  1. If nothing else in the space is decided, you might want to bring nothing but an open mind with you. Wander up and down the aisles and take mental note of what you like and don’t like about the stones. Do you like a lot of movement and big bold patterns, or do you prefer a more uniform texture and color? You’ll likely see one (or more!) stones that you absolutely love. Maybe it’s the unique veining pattern, or perhaps it’s the perfect color. Don’t see anything that speaks to you? Visit another slab warehouse. In Portland, and most other large cities, there are multiples to choose from. And because stone is a natural product made by Mother Earth, even if slab warehouses have the same stone by name, their slabs will look different!
  2. If you’ve already picked out flooring, backslash, cabinetry, etc, then bring those with you. Don’t bring the entire cabinet, of course! But do bring any sort of samples you can. Photos work in a pinch, but colors are very difficult to photograph accurately. That’s why we always recommend you bring in actual samples whenever possible. That way you can lay them next to the slab and see how they work together.

Sample Wall with Marble and Granite Tiles in Stone Center Inc showroom

Whether you’re looking for a granite to be the inspiration for your entire room design, or trying to find the perfect marble to match your cabinet and back splash, we encourage you to take your time. Be open to looking at materials you might not think you’ll like. The stone you select for your counter top material might surprise you! Above all, have fun!  Play with colors and designs. After all, it’s your house!



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