In the market for a new countertop? Whether it’s for your kitchen or your bathroom, stone is a great choice. Granite, marble, quartz, and other stones provide durable beauty. Here are some tips for selecting a stone countertop.

5 Tips for SELECTING a Stone Countertop

1. Choose a Thick Slab

You’ll quickly discover that there are many choices to consider, from vein patterns to molding and customization. One of these decisions is the thickness of the stone. You may consider thinner pieces of ¾ inches, but these pieces tend to be more fragile and vulnerable to damages. Thicker pieces are less likely to crack and chip. Initially, you’ll pay more for an inch-thick slab of stone. But, in the long run, you’ll spend less because you won’t have to repair and replace the countertop as often.

2. Inspect Stone Slabs Thoroughly

Stone countertops are an investment and should be treated as such. Don’t settle for countertops with hairline cracks or minor imperfections. Deficiencies may grow as you use the countertop or become more irritating to you once the stone is installed. If you can’t find the perfect stone the first time you look, be patient. Continue searching and waiting until you are truly happy with the slab.

3. Work Within Budget when Selecting a Stone Countertop

If you’re committed to purchasing a stone countertop, you can find affordable options. Along the way, keep some of the following money-saving tips in mind.

  • If you have an under-mount sink, you’ll have to pay more for the slab of stone because contractors will have to cut the stone to fit the sink. Therefore, ask the stone manufacturer which type of sink is best to keep your costs low.
  • There are many types of customized edges to consider. These often vary by manufacturer and fabricator. However, a standard cut is usually the most affordable. Pay attention to additional costs that come with customizing the stone.
  • A seamless counter increases the cost of the countertop, but this is an area where many people are willing to pay more. Most people find they prefer the seamless look, even if they’ve purchased a seamed countertop initially.
  • Although you want to go with as thick a slab as possible, choosing a thinner stone is another way to save money. Carefully balance your desire for a durable slab with the practicality of saving money. One good tip is to continue saving until you can afford a thicker countertop.

4. Research the Care of Your Stone

There are important tips regarding caring for stone countertops. Certain products can scratch, etch, and dull the finish of your stone. Colonial Marble & Granite, specializing in custom stone countertop fabrication and installation, offers suggestions on cleaning and caring for natural stone within their website’s FAQ. Some of their suggestions include using coasters, trivets, and placemats to protect the stone. They recommend cleaning stone surfaces with “a few drops of neutral cleaner, stone soap (available at hardware stores) or a mild liquid dishwashing detergent and warm water”. Note, there are many popular household cleaners that contain acids and they should never be used on stone surfaces.

5. Get an Accurate Quote

Before you get a quote on the cost and installation of your stone countertops, make sure you have a general overview of the project prepared. Prepare a sketch of the room you’re renovating and include specific measurements. Remember that initial quotes are estimates, and the end cost may be higher than that estimate.

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