Sunday, July 25, 2010

Granite, it's all natural

Choosing granite for a counter top can be very tricky. If your counter is small, like a vanity, a remnant is the way to go.

If you need more material then you will need to select full slabs. What? When you go to a showroom they will have small samples to show you but many times they are old and from slabs that are not available. Also many marbles and granites have a lot of variation and you need to see the whole slab. Some are very dramatic and have a lot of "movement" or large strong pattern. Some will have areas you do not like and many times the fabricator can work around that. Others may have flaws. It is really important to inspect every slab you are going to use.

Looking at slabs for me is great fun. It never ceases to amaze me that these slabs are cut out of the side of a mountain somewhere in the world. It is Mother Nature in her glory. When you go, bring anything that will help you make a good decision....they might even be an interior designer, a friend who has experience with choosing a counter top ....but also a drawer or door or sample of your cabinet finish, sample of your wallpaper or floor tile or even a photo from a magazine of your inspiration room. Can't bring samples? Take a photo.

Where to go? Ask your contractor or get a referral to a fabricator. Don't have one? Stop in several marble and granite showrooms and they will refer you to one. Go prepared not just with your samples but many times these granite yards are outside.....if you are wearing sunglasses....take them off when you look at the slabs so you can see the true colors. I like to bring water to drink...or sometimes they have bottled water for you to drink. Not only can it be hot but dusty.......and don't wear black, like I sometimes do, because the dust gets all over you!

Have fun! I would love to know your slab selecting stories and send photos of the end results.


  1. Thanks for the good information! I liked the 2nd slab of granite - what is it? I have 3 small vanity tops to do and want a light look with not much movement. The cabinets are dark walnut. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Betsy

  2. Dear Betsy,
    Glad you find this blog helpful. I must confess I do not know the granite you like. I did not make note of the name before I posted the photo. I chose it because I liked it too! It is a good example of a granite that has just enough pattern to make it interesting without being too busy.
    If you are doing 3 vanity tops at the same time do you want to use the same counter top in each? Perhaps a fabricator would have a large enough remnant so you would not have to purchase a whole slab. Crema Marfil marble is very pretty and is used extensively in bathrooms. It has the more subtle movement that you are looking for. Marble, however, is not quite as durable as granite. It would look excellent with your walnut cabinets. Another option would be a quartz remnant. Quartz is usually more expensive than granite (and more durable) but not if it is a remnant. Recently I used Colonial Gold granite for a vanity. The slab I chose was not very gold but more cream. Each slab of a particular granite will look different, sometimes alot different if it is cut from a different block. Also different suppliers might have different names for their granite.
    Keep me posted. Good luck and Happy Decorating!