Questions to Ask When Shopping For Stone Countertops

There’s a lot more to stone than what you can see with your eyes. Asking questions before making a purchase can help you decide whether the countertop you want to buy is the right product for you. Working with a reputable stone dealer is also important. The better the dealer, the more accurate and thorough the answers will be. Below are some of the most important questions to ask the sales department before making your countertop purchase.

Does this stone need to be sealed?

Sealants are sometimes used on natural stone to prevent the stone from absorbing oils and liquids. This can protect stone from spills in the kitchen or bathroom, and may prevent stains. Sealant also darkens stone, and can give it a shiny appearance. If you’re thinking about sealing your stone countertops, talk to your stone dealer first. Your stone dealer can help you find a sealant that will provide the finish you want for your counters.

Do the samples match the finished product?

Natural stone comes with variation in colors and textures so that one part of the slab might look very different from other parts. A single sample of a stone slab may not show the many colors and textures present in other parts of the slab. The larger the sample, the easier it will be to get a true sense of what the full slab will look like. Take more than one sample tile if you can. If you see a lot of variation and you’re not comfortable with that, a different type of stone may be better for you.

Will there be fissures or chips?

Fissures are weak points in the stone. Fissures can cause the stone to break, either during installation or after it’s installed. If the stone breaks during installation, you’ll have to buy extra stone just to account for wasted product.

Knowing about the natural fissures in a slab you’re thinking about purchasing can help you decide if that stone is right for your counters. Especially if your counters are long and large, fissures will be less avoidable and more problematic. A good stone dealer will tell you about natural defects in the stone, to help you make a more informed decision.

Is it durable?

Some stone is softer and more vulnerable to damage from cleaning products than others. Your personal habits in the kitchen and the durability of the countertops will affect how your counters look after just a few years of use. Marble, for example, is prone to scratching. Limestone can be etched by cleaning products. If you’re hard on your counters, granite or quartz may be the best product for you.

Where does this come from?

Stone is very heavy and requires a great deal of energy to transport from one place to another. Often, the most environmentally friendly stone comes from local sources. If eco-friendly stone is important to you, find out where the stone comes from and how it is produced.

Have More Questions? Contact an Expert

Thinking about buying stone countertops? Do you have more questions to ask the fabricator, or perhaps questions to ask the installer? Contact Seacoast Stone for the answers to your questions about natural stone countertops.