When it comes to renovating your home, there are a myriad of questions to answer, from design aspects to budget, and sourcing to contracting. We at The Granite Place thought we’d offer some insight when it comes to shopping in our showroom and finding what works best for your project.
Can I select my own slabs?
Yes. Customers are free to browse our collection of natural stone in the warehouse and in the yard. Our knowledgeable sales team can answer your questions about design, explain important considerations regarding care and maintenance, and guide you toward selecting an option that fits your needs. For customers interested in engineered stone, we carry Radianz Quartz as well as porcelain panels.
What surface finishes are available?
Talk to your fabricator about the finish you prefer. The most common finish is polished, followed closely by honed. A polished finish will lend a shiny surface to the stone, much like a glossy photograph. Polished finishes are most popular in granite and quartzite. A honed finish will give the stone more of a matte, or satin finish, which is more popular in marble. Both are smooth but the honed finish is less reflective. A leathered finish is a matte finish with texture that evokes a more natural feel and is also not reflective. It is popular among all types of natural stone.
If you see a slab at TGP that has already been finished and you’d prefer a different texture, your fabricator can refinish the stone to match the look and feel you desire.
What is the typical overhang from the base of kitchen cabinets?
The typical overhang for a natural stone countertop is 1 to 1.5 inches from the base of the cabinet below. The extension of the countertop over drawers and cabinets helps to keep crumbs, spills and other debris from falling into the drawers and shelf-space below. It also helps to make standing at the countertop more comfortable by allowing toe-space.
What is the typical overhang for a breakfast bar or bar area?
To provide for comfortable seating, including ample space for your knees and feet, the overhang for a bar area or breakfast seating should be approximately 12 inches. The overhang can be extended farther if a homeowner desires, but reinforcements may be required.
Where do you source your natural stone?
Our natural stone suppliers are located all around the world. Brazil is among our top suppliers and is one of the largest exporters of natural stone in the world. Brazil provides us with granite, marble, quartzite and most of our exotic stones, such as blue Bahia, Patagonia and Fusion. From Italy we import many of our classic marbles, such as Carrerra and Calcutta Gold. India has several marble and natural stone quarries too. India is where we source the popular Fantasy Brown marble, which is among the strongest marbles available. We also import quartzite, granite and marble from Africa. Our engineered stone, Radianz Quartz, is imported from South Korea.
Is natural stone easy to clean?
Granite, marble, quartzite and engineered stone are all easy to clean, but it’s always a good idea to check product labels to make sure they are formulated for use on natural stone surfaces. Some abrasive or caustic products can damage both natural and engineered stone, as well as other surfaces.
Why can’t you tell me the price of the natural stone?
The Granite Place never discloses pricing because the final price of the stone depends on fabrication and installation costs. We don’t disclose pricing for the same reason a lumberyard can’t tell you the cost of your kitchen cabinets. TGP is a wholesale business that sells directly to fabricators. However, the general public is welcome to peruse our inventory and tag slabs they are serious about buying.
Most customers who come to the store have a home renovation project in progress and are already working with a contractor or fabricator. For customers who are not yet working with a fabricator, we can make recommendations. We work with a reliable network of fabricators. Fabricators are expected to work within the budgets of their clients and will advise them on the grade of stone to select to stay on target.
Most fabricators set their own pricing structure and will categorize natural stone into different price levels, typically from 1 to 6. Entry level stone is level 1 and the least expensive option, while 6 is more expensive. Exotics, such as Blue Bahia, are a category of their own and are the most expensive stones.
Our sales staff is happy to help customers stay within the quotes established by their fabricators by guiding them to the level of stone the fabricators recommend. It is not possible for us to know exactly each fabricator’s pricing structure though.
TGP sells natural and manufactured stone directly to fabricators, and fabricators turn the stone into a finished product, custom-made for their clients. While fabricators take the wholesale price of stone into account when pricing their service, a cheaper stone doesn’t necessarily mean a cheaper end-product. There are other factors the fabricator must consider, such as the cost to measure and cut and the cost of installation, all of which includes labor. Some stones are more difficult than others to cut.
By selling directly to the fabricator, customers are also shielded from the risk of damage to the stone from the time it is purchased to the time it is installed. If a slab breaks in transport or during the fabrication process, the fabricator is responsible for buying another slab to complete the job.
What is the difference between a wholesaler like The Granite Place and a Fabricator?
A wholesaler like TGP imports natural stone from around the world to sell to retailers. Most natural stone retailers are also fabricators. Some fabricators have limited space and cannot hold retail inventory on site. Such fabricators will send their clients to The Granite Place to select the stone of their choice.
As an importer, TGP goes directly to the source of our product overseas to select the best slabs to bring back to the warehouse. We import only first quality stone and we employ inspectors to scrutinize each slab before it is loaded in a container to be shipped across the ocean. We only import and display our slabs for customers to view and tag.
The fabricator takes the slab from The Granite Place and does everything else, from measuring and templating, to fabrication and installation. Some fabricators display slabs in their yard for direct purchase. If a customer doesn’t find something that meets their needs in the fabricator’s yard, the fabricator will refer the customer to their supplier, like TGP, to view a wider selection.
We hope this helped to clarify some of the questions you might have had, and if you are in need of any further assistance, don’t hesitate to stop by our showroom and speak with a TGP sales rep!