How do you choose a stone?
The key issue is one of personal taste. There is a vast array of colors and visual textures available, including stone with “movement” – large scale variations in color and pattern. The popularity of colors change with the times. Reliable favorites which seem to defy trends are black, dark green, browns, subtle reds, silvers and yellow/golds. Blue is becoming popular (and expensive) as are stones with more movement. (Note that stones with lots of veins are quite dramatic but usually much more fragile and subject to breakage).
When choosing a granite, ask about its physical properties, hardness, strength, abrasion resistance etc. Any reputable supplier should be familiar with the stone’s properties and refer to ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) ratings, if available. The various countries of origin all give their stones their own names. Importers will often re-name their slabs, then fabricators, installers and retail outlets will often do the same. This not only makes it very confusing for the purchaser but also makes it difficult to shop and compare prices, especially when you go to get a second quote and ask for the color “Golden Princess” and no-one else has heard of it. (I just made that name up by the way) Fortunately the internet can de-mystify the “name-game” with a bit of dogged persistence and a reputable supplier can also help. Some of the larger chain stores are the worst culprits here – trying to hide their 30% to 50% markup of fabricators prices by pretending that they have unique stones
Granite is an excellent choice for heavily used surfaces such as kitchen and bathroom countertops, table tops, and floors. While some synthetic surfaces scratch easily and melt under hot cookware, granite resists heat and cold. Granite is also one of the most bacteria-resistant kitchen surfaces, and it is not affected by citric acid, coffee, tea, alcohol, or wine. It is also nearly impossible to scratch, and with proper cleaning, will not stain under normal use.
A leading consumer magazine recently compared granite with engineered stone, ceramic tile, laminate, butcher blocks, and other manufactured surfaces. Granite received the highest overall performance rating as a kitchen countertop material.
Because of its exceptional strength, granite is well suited for exterior applications such as cladding, paving, and curbing.
You can also go to our slab suppliers websites (below) to browse their stone selections. In many cases this is where you will choose your specific slabs for fabrication, although we have our own inventory specials:
Stone Park, Inc.
235 Harvard Ave
Westville, NJ 08093-1443
European Granite and Marble Group, Inc. New Jersey Location
24 Forge Street
Jamesburg, NJ 08831
MSI International, Inc.
Edison, New Jersey Distribution Center