Q: Where does natural stone come from?
A: Natural stone material comes from over 20 countries. Most of the industry's granite comes from Brazil, India, Africa, or Chinese quarries. Marble is frequently imported from Italy, Spain, and Mexico. Slate is imported from Brazil, India, and China, while travertine and limestone come from Spain, Portugal, Mexico, and Peru. Natural stone is formed when mineral sediments are exposed to millions of years of heat and pressure. These minerals make up the variety of colors and patterns that are the characteristics of natural stone. Various types of stone, in a multitude of colors and textures, are found around the world.
Q: Will my stone look like the samples?
A: Not necessarily. Since stone is a natural and unique product, it will vary in color, tone, granularity, pattern, etc. These variations are expected and are one of the sources of its exceptional beauty. European Stone Concepts stocks over 150 colors. We will be happy to have you select the actual slab we will be fabricating.
Q: Why is one material more expensive than another?
A: Typically, stones with lots of movement are the most expensive materials, but there are numerous factors that contribute to the cost of each different type of natural stone. Quality materials offer the finest processing and the most aesthetically appealing selections. For that reason, there is a surcharge over commercial grade materials. At ESC we only purchase first quality material that is why our prices are the best in value. Some pricier materials contain semi-precious stones which have a higher market value in other industries. Lastly, a material may be more costly because it requires more skill and careful attention during processing and fabrication, increasing the cost of the finished product.
Q: Can I choose my own slabs?
A: Yes! We are happy to have you approve the slabs that will be used in your project.
Q: Do you do any fabrication?
Q: How big are slabs of stone?
A: The size of the slabs will depend on the specific stone being considered. On an average, granite slabs are 108” x 60”, although you may find some that are larger. Marble, limestone, travertine, and onyx slabs will usually be smaller.
Q: How thick are the slabs?
A: Natural and man-made stones are available in both 2cm (3/4”) and 3cm (1 -1/4”) thicknesses.
Q: What is the difference between 2cm and 3cm slab material?
A: While there is no difference in durability between 2cm and 3cm material, one may be more appropriate than the other for your project. Some materials are only available in one of the two sizes. ESC has the expertise to guide you for the best stone to use in your project.
Q: How much does a slab weigh?
A: While the density of each stone and the slab size will affect the weight, 3cm granites or marbles weigh about 20 pounds per square foot and 2cm granites or marbles will weigh approximately 17 pounds per square foot.
Q: Do you have remnant pieces of slabs for small projects?
A: Yes and many times if you purchase a kitchen from ESC, we are able to price the remnants at a large discount. Our remnant pile has all levels of stone to help complement any project you are working on.
Q: Can natural stone counters overhang the cabinets?
A: Yes and it should. Our standard and most popular overhang is 1 ½” (one-and-one-half inch); however, this may be changed for a number of reasons, such as cabinet configuration or personal taste. The overhang on islands, meanwhile, can be as much as 14” but will require support due to the weight of the stone.
Q: Will seams show in a natural stone countertop?
A: Seams will be visible depending on the granularity, color, and pattern of the stone and the competence of your fabricator. Since ESC is accredited by the Marble Institute of America we are required to have seams that are smaller than 1/16th of an inch making them nonobtrusive. Because stone is a natural material and is mined from quarries in blocks that are usually no more than 10 feet long, seams are part of almost every kitchen. Seams are made by placing a small bead of color matched epoxy along the line where two straight, smooth cuts join together.
Q: How are sinks installed in natural stone countertops?
A: A cut-out can be made in the stone to accommodate the type of sink you choose. We can also fabricate custom sinks out of that same material as a countertop. ESC stocks several kinds of undermount
sinks, including single bowl, 50/50 bowl, 60/40 bowl, bar sinks, and “D” bowl but has access to all of the major manufacturers.