Residential Color and Style from a Certified True Color Expert.

What nobody tells you about using natural stone slab

Before I became a True Color Expert, I thought that a natural stone slab such as granite was the only Be-All-and-End-All choice for kitchen countertops. I have owned white granite slab countertops in my own kitchen, and travertine slab countertops in my bath for seven years.

Beautiful marble-slab countertop.Source: via Ellen on Pinterest

Beautiful buttermilk Caesarstone counter. Source: via Ellen on Pinterest



Here is what nobody else will tell you: seam placement is a very big deal.

Make sure you discuss seam placement with your contractor or fabricator. This goes for any natural slab stone. When “someone” brought in my (supposed to be) gorgeous travertine marble tub surround in four (yes, four) pieces to puzzle them together, I would have died. I would have died, except that the workmen providentially accidentally dropped the whole thing in my driveway and the entire mess cracked to bits. I did not realize that a marble tub surround meant one thing to “someone”, and another thing to me. That a marble tub surround wasn’t necessarily a solid marble tub surround. I envisioned one solid surface surround, no seams other than for the backsplash. The “someone” didn’t even consider that an option due to my oversized whirlpool tub. After all, it is much cheaper to piece a surround together with a separate piece on each side. After asking several friends for referrals, I finally found a fabricator who could make the surround out of a single piece. So much prettier not to have those seams!

In my new kitchen, the same “someone” brought the granite slab for my kitchen island in two pieces. Who does that? Who would want their granite kitchen island in two pieces joined together with caulking right down the center? I stood my ground and out it went, though I am sure it cost a pretty penny to make that happen. Don’t be caught unaware like I was. Discuss this up front.

Know that the “industry standard” which is considered ‘good enough,’ may not be good enough for you. Ask, ask, ask, what you are getting. A big slab of marble or granite is not very easy to send back.

Do I love my white granite? Not enough to use again. Do I love the travertine?  Ah, it’s pinky-beige!  A big no-no as I found out in True Colour Expert training with Maria Killam. And, who else but me will tell you that travertine forms pits over the years?  Soft use, a few pits. Heavy use, huge pits.

Maria, a trend expert as well, offered another material as her favorite. Next time, I will go with her preference of using an engineered solid quartz product such as Caesarstone, probably with a subtle marble-veining look. And, without the dilemma of seam placement, pitting, chipping or heavy maintenance.

8 responses

  1. This is one of the best posts ever!! I am collecting posts for a round up which I will post soon and this post will definitely be one of them!!
    So Awesome!!

    April 5, 2012 at 11:34 am

  2. ps. Great headline too 🙂

    April 5, 2012 at 11:35 am

  3. Rhonda Sievert

    Thank you for this post. I’ve been considering a replacement for my cracked Corian countertops. Although I would love to have white marble, I’m afraid of it, with three teenage boys in the house! I’ve been looking at Silestone Lyra quartz, which looks similar to marble. Thanks for your recommendation. Btw, love Maria!

    May 1, 2012 at 12:53 pm

  4. Pingback: Where I'll be in May & Some Must-Read Posts | Maria Killam

  5. I designed my kitchen island around the size of the slab available, so as to have no seams! And we broke up the perimeter with appliances as well, so we didn’t have any seams (fridge, wall ovens). This is so true!

    May 3, 2012 at 2:52 am

  6. Gretchen

    What terrific advice…thank you for making us all aware and therefore informed. Breaking down the old boy network bit by bit.

    May 3, 2012 at 8:22 am

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