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4 Things That Stone Suppliers & Fabricators Alike Wished You Knew When Selecting Your Countertops. Curious?

The idea of installing new stone countertops is usually thrilling—and sometimes a bit scary—because you’ll be living with the decisions you make today for years to come.

No one expects consumers to be experts on stone fabrication or installation, but the better educated you are, the better your odds of having a smooth experience and a happily ever after. Here are a few things industry professionals wish their customers knew.

1-Know Your Stone

Just a generation or two ago, consumers were limited to just a handful of stone choices, both in terms of type and color. Now you need only walk into a stone yard to see an astonishing range of granite, quartzite, marble, quartz, and more. Choose wisely. Harder stones like granite are workhorses, perfect for high-traffic kitchens where durability counts. Softer stones like marble require more care to ensure lasting beauty and can be better choices for bathroom vanities. We educate the end user on what to expect as far as wear, tear, and maintenance here at StoneX USA. There’s a trend toward white marbles right now. For instance, marble has been predominantly used in European homes for centuries and many love how it slowly patinas with subtle etches from use over time. It’s a “living surface” which tells a story of their family over the years. Conversely, someone who wants the surface to always look like the day it came out of the showroom and was installed in their home, or for a growing family who’s likely to subject the countertop to spills, splashes, scratches, and more, it may not be the right choice. Understanding your material options before making your decision can ensure your likelihood of making the right choice for you and your family to enjoy for years to come.

A glimpse of Shopping our Showroom here at StoneX USA located in West Allis, WI

2-Make it Your Own

It’s not enough to select the stone from a Suppliers showroom. Fabricators recommend that you also visit their shop to meet with them. It’s a fabricator’s job to cut and shape your selected slab to fit your exact cabinet dimensions. They will also be responsible for quoting and ordering your selected material. To fabricate your stone, they first make a template of your counters with cutouts for the sink, faucet, and cooktop. If seaming is needed, and most installations require at least one seam, you should collaborate with your fabricator on positioning based on aesthetics as well as technical and logical considerations. The same goes for the length of the overhang for island seating if applicable.

Furthermore, because stones have natural variations and sometimes movement, you should work with your fabricator in determining the best part of the slab to use in the most visible areas, such as the island or peninsula, and which part you may want to position in a less prominent section like your coffee pot side, perhaps because of natural pits or fissures not fond of. Tastes vary from one consumer to the next. Maybe you like the odd inclusion as they add character to your stone, while others may prefer uniformity. In any case, it allows you, the consumer and homeowner, to be a part of the process. This is your home. It’s where your kids do their homework, it’s where you and they relax after dinner, enjoy a bottle of wine with friends etc. You’re going to be spending a lot of time there. As such, you will want to be involved in the process from start to finish including working with your fabricator on the layout, edge profile selection, possibly book matching of veining or incorporating your favorite part of the slab into your most prominent area of your kitchen and other such details surrounding the fabrication of your project.

3-Don’t Be Thrown a Curveball During the Quoting Process

When budgeting your project, be aware of what goes into pricing so there are no surprises to you. No two slabs are alike, which is the beauty of natural stones and what distinguishes yours from the rest. Keep in mind, the cost of the slab is just one part of it. Prices rise the higher the grade of material and the more “exotic” the stone is, but don’t fret. There are plenty of budget-friendly options available here as well. Offering 12 Price Tier Points and 7 different material types in over 350 color options, you can find multiple options that you not only like but can afford. Labor costs can range from 20-50% of your total countertop costs according to some recent studies. As a result, decorative edging profiles, edge thickness, certain finishes, extra cutouts, and your backsplash heights all plan an important part in your quoting process and factor into your price breakdown (Bid) from a fabricator for each stone selection. In addition, some stones are simply more challenging to work with than others and may require more time to fabricate and install and thus will be higher priced than other less exotic or less problematic stones when estimating your project’s fabrication cost. So when shopping around, it’s important to understand exactly what goes into their pricing bids.



Some companies will attract their customers with very low-price estimations and then a la carte everything that goes into the job, from the sink cutouts to the edging so on and so forth. In the end, the customer may end up paying more for their job than they might have with another fabricator’s preliminary big though it may have been slightly higher. This is why it is so important for the homeowner to get several bids, understand their material selections and the limitation of their project before ultimately deciding on a shop that you feel most comfortable working with both in pricing, communicating with them and their shops reviews.

4-Prepare Your Home for Install

On the day of installation, make sure there is a clear path to your front door, along the driveway and walkways, as well as easy access to your kitchen, bathrooms, or work areas. You will need to turn off and disconnect any water source from your faucets in your kitchen or bathrooms. Additionally, you will need to move any pieces of furniture that may obstruct the path, so that installers don’t have to navigate the terrain carrying a thousand-pound payload. And, of course, keep any small children and pets out of the work zone for their safety and ours. Your old counters should be free and clear of any items including small appliances, dishes, and especially items of value or personal significance for easy removal if required. We do not want to find ourselves liable for something that might mistakenly get damaged when this can be easily prevented by moving. It is our utmost goal to make the entire experience from start to finish enjoyable for you and your family and wish only to add to your home’s beauty and esthetics while offering our services.


Understanding the Differences Between Granite and Marble

When it comes to natural stone countertops, two of the most popular options on the market are granite and marble. While they may seem similar at first glance, there are some key differences to note between these material types that can affect your decision when selecting which material you’d prefer to use for your next project. In this blog, we will break down the key characteristics of both granite and marbles in order to help you make the best informed decision.

First, lets talk about Granite.

Granite is an igneous rock. Igneous rocks are formed deep beneath the earth’s crust. Granite is comprised of several minerals which include quartz and mica, but it’s primary mineral is Feldspar. The amount of Fedspar within a granite is actually what gives the ingenous stone the identy of a granite. Granite is formed from molten magma deep beneath the earth’s crust and contains high contents of metal oxides. Durring its heating and cooling process, (Metamorphism) its minerals form a course interlocking grain pattern. This is another key identifying characteristic of Granite. The formation of It, and the minerals it’s comprised of, are why it is a very durable and heat-resistant stone that today has become quite popular for use in kitchen countertop applications as well as many other applications such as headstones, park benches, outdoor bbqs, buildig facing, floor tiles, and the list goes on. Granites have a natural beauty and uniqueness to them which cannot be compared to that of engineered stones. With its wide range of colors patterns, and variations (even within the same color family), each slab is truly one of a kind. This is why no two bundles of the same color type look exactly alike.

Next lets talk about Marbles.

Marbles are also metamorphic rocks. They are comprised of some sedimentary minerals like dolomite, calcite and limestone (which are formed by sedimentation of the earth’s materials occuring mainly inside large bodies of water) and a few other clay type minerals. Durring the Metamophic process, variable crystalization occures to the original mineral (carbonate) while under extreme heat and pressure. This causes the minerals to form tiny interlocking grains fuzing them together. Though comprised of softer sedimentary minerals, the crystalization that occured under intense heat, pressure and time, help to make these minerals stronger and more durrable than other softer, sedimentary stones such as limestone, onyx, and travertines.

Marbles are typically classified by two primary minerals and classified as either Dolomitic or Calcite. Dolomitic marbles are generally a bit more durrable than the Calcite Marbles and can resist acid attack more than Calcite marbles. In their pure form, marble are crystalline and have a sugar like appearance. As ground mineral pass through the rocks, they form vein patterns or colors. Marble’s appearance certainly is a “timeless look” and it’s beauty and elegance has been highly sought after and widely popular for generations. Though used in many architectural features in historical buildings around the word, today, they are also used as a popular choice for bathroom vanities, decorative furniture pieces, stone accent walls, shower surrounds, as well as cut into mosaic tiles and carved into various sculptures and trinkets.

Marble is a heat-resistant stone because of the metamorphic process it went through, however it is not as durable as granite because of its comprised softer minerals, and therefore it is more prone to scratching, staining, and acid etching. Because of it’s softer nature, marbles do require more caution and care than granites do. With that being said, their vein styled patterns and pure white underbases are tough match to compete with in terms of beauty and elegance thus making them a desirous material to incorporate into building projects and design around.  

So how does one decide which one works best for them?

When choosing between granite or marble for your home renovation or new build project , it is important to recognize their differences in mineral makeup and to consider your needs, care rutiens and preferences for the application you with to use the stone for. For example: If you’re looking for a durable and low-maintenance surface that can withstand just about any wear and tear you can throw at it as well as plan for consistent daily use, granites may be the best stone option for you. However, if you prefer the elegance of a lighter marble and are willing to put in the extra effort to care for your countertops and prioritize their cleanliness, a marble may be a perfectly fine option. The application of your stone should play a huge role in your decision as well as your daily practices. Some applications may demand durrability for you and your family, while others, do not require as much. For example: the use of a marble in a bathroom for a vanity or shower surround where colorful and potentially staining liquids are not really used, therefore is not really an issue.  

At StoneX USA, we offer a wide range of natural stone countertop options including many granites and marbles colors as well as quartzites, dolomites, and soapstones. We also offer several engineered stone options such as quartz and porcelain slabs. Our expert sales team here can assist you throughout the process of selecting the right material option for your home project, and provide you with a fabricator referral list for some of our business partners who offer professional fabrication and installation services if you do not already have a shop you are working through. Stop in today to get started on making some material selections for your next home renovation project, and get inspired by the many stone options we have available for you right here in our West Allis, WI showroom.


Granite vs. Marble – Pros and Cons: Which one is better for your countertop needs?

When it comes to choosing the right countertop material for your kitchen, there are many options to consider. Two of the most popular material options are granite and marble. While both are esthetically beautiful and in their practical applications pretty durrable, they have some distinct qualities that might make one a more suitable option for your needs over the other. In this post, we will take a closer look at the pros and cons of each stone type as to better help you in making the right and informed decision for you countertop needs.

Granite Countertops: Pros and Cons

Granite is a natural stone that is mined from quarries all over the world. It is one of the hardest and most durable material type in the countertop market today, making it one of the most popular choices for kitchen countertops. Here are some of the pros and cons of granite countertops:


  • Extremely durable and resistant to scratches, heat, and staining.
  • Available in a wide range of colors, patterns, and surface textures which are each all uniquely different.
  • Adds beauty and value to your home.


  • Contains pores (like all natural stones). A light colored one could potentially stain if not sealed properly.
  • Requires sealing periodically to keep your stone protected and at its best.
  • Can be expensive, depending on the type of granite you may choose as some do contain large quartz crystals and are therefore more rare.
  • Mostly come in grainular patterns that are busier or more colorful than some marbles and engineered stones.

Marble Countertops: Pros and Cons

Marble is another natural stone that is prized for its beauty and elegance. It is widely used and highly sought after. It is a softer stone in mineral hardness than granite which means it may require more caution and care in certain application. Here are some of the pros and cons of marble countertops:


  • Classic and timeless look that adds elegance to any kitchen and value to any home.
  • They can come in neutral colors and shades (less busy in pattern compared to granite)
  • Resistant to heat


  • Soft and porous, which means it can scratch if not cared for and exercising caution.  
  • Requires Sealing (like all natural stone). Can and will stain if not sealed properly.
  • Can be expensive, depending on the type of marble and its rarity.

So, which one will be the best option for you?

Ultimately, the choice between granite and marble comes down to personal preference, cleaning habbits, the needs of your countertop in different applications. (Examples: vacation home that is rarely used, a retired couple that may not cook a lot and are very tidy, a busy active family with kids that may cook frequently) Every family is different and each one’s needs and preferences vary. If you’re looking for a highly durable material that can withstand heavy use and abuse, granite may be the best option for you.

However, if you want a classic and elegant look that has a less busy pattern than granites or maybe you are not bothered about care of maintenance or being cautious with your counterotop or even maybe the look of a warn marble is appealing to you. In all these cases, a marble might work great for you.

At StoneX USA, we offer a wide range of granites, marbles, and other natural stone products to suit your needs. We also stock several engineered stone options like quartz and porcelain slabs. Contact us or stop in today to learn more about our products and services and to view our many material options that we have available for you.

At StoneX USA, we offer a wide range of granite, marble, and other natural stone products to suit your needs. Contact us today to learn more about our products and services.