What happens at the granite yard?

tblmomFebruary 20, 2013

We are probably going to take a trip down to the yard later this week to choose our slab. Do they have all the slabs out for you already to look at? Or do you look at specific pictures first and then they'll take out the ones you're interested in?

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At a granite yard I'd hope the actual slabs would be there for you to see. When I picked out my granite the yard had 6 slabs of it. They moved each slab individually so I could select the 2 I liked best.

Have fun and take a cabinet door sample if you can. Tile too if you are changing floor or backsplash tile.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 4:56PM
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You walk through the slabs. You listen carefully. If you are lucky, you will hear one call your name. Sometimes it's just a faint whisper, that's why you must listen carefully.

Take a sample of your cabinet if you can. Take your camera. Bring home samples to see them in your lighting.

And if one shouts your name and your heart is beating fast, by all means, whip out your sharpie and sign the dang thing on the back!!!

Have Fun!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 4:57PM
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We just went through this process this past weekend. If by yard you mean the wholesale distributor than,most of them have all their slabs out, stacked on their side. They are typically not organized by color, because they are way too heavy to move and re-arrange when new inventory comes in.

Not sure where you live - we are in New England so they were all very COLD! They are huge concrete warehouses with all stone so they must be difficult and expensive to heat. So bring warm coats since we spent at least an hour browsing and examining the slabs.

Depending on how much square footage you have of counter, you may need multiple slabs, in which case they will move the front slab using an overhead crane system, so that you can see the additional slabs from that lot. We needed 3 slabs so it was important for me to see all of them.

Be aware that what you think you like from seeing pictures online, or from small samples look VERY different in person. Movement patterns and color variations do not reflect well online. I went convinced that I wanted River White and when I saw it in person it was not at all what I had expected.

It's really fun to see it all so raw and natural. Enjoy it! When i found the "one" I just knew it. Kind of like picking out my wedding dress 10 years ago ;)
Happy hunting!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 4:59PM
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Find out from your fabricator what size slab you need to make your counters. They do not all come the same size, even if they are the same color (name) granite. We needed 3 slabs, but when we found the slabs we liked, (after a long search), they were slightly smaller than most. As a result we needed to buy 4 instead of 3 (which was OK in this case because it was priced right). You can't just assume your countertop measurments are the slab size you need because of the way the edges and seams have to be done.

Definitely take a sample cabinet door, floor tile, paint sample, whatever to help you decide. Prepare to see many wonderful slabs of stone and have a hard time deciding. You may end up with something completely different than you originally had in mind. Take a notebook with you and as you wander through, write down the names, prices, etc of the ones you liked, because you probably won't remember all of them when you get to the end. Maybe take pictures of the ones you like to help you remember them.

I love going to the stone yards. I've gone with a couple friends when they've been choosing their stone. I just love all the beautiful variations and colors.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 5:49PM
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Oooh, exciting! I too am a big fan of field trips to the slab yard.

Don't forget to bring a glass bottle for the scratch test.
Everyone else gave great advice - especially the part about listening to the stones, I love that.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 6:07PM
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Don't forget to bring samples home of your favorites so you can test with wine, lemon juice and oil. Do take a cabinet door and tile if you have chosen some.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 6:15PM
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If you have more than one granite yard in your area be sure to go to at least a couple of them. I knew what stone I wanted and each of the stone yards I went to had the kind I was interested in, but the slabs at the first 3 places just weren't the ones that made "made my heart sing". I found the perfect slab at the 4th place I went to. Even if you happen to know what stone you want, be sure to look at all of them. It is incredible how many different kinds of stones there are.
Good luck and have fun.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 6:30PM
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What beekeeper said, although I didn't have to listen carefully, no faint whisper from my soapstone slab...it screamed "take me home, I want to live with you!":)

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 6:33PM
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Wow! Thanks everyone for all the advice. I am lookinf forward to meeting "the one"!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 7:40PM
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The lighting at the granite warehouses will rarely be similar to the lighting in your kitchen-to-be.

And yes, here in NE wear a warm coat, warm hat, and warm gloves!

Have fun.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 9:10PM
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I also enjoy watching indulgent parents pay no attention as their perfect little angels run and play and jump and tussle among tons of precariously-balanced rocks. I smile waiting for Darwin to do his magic.

Also bring a squirt bottle if you're looking at soapstone. If a "vein" doesn't dry it may be a crack.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 10:41PM
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We took our first field trip a few days ago and we were blown away by the amount of gorgeous eye-candy! The warehouse supplied us with a clipboard and form to keep track of stones we liked. It was very well organized with slabs being numbered on the floor so we know exactly where to find the slabs on a return visit. Thought we knew what we wanted, but after getting a few samples home, we have more stone-hunting ahead of us! Have fun-we had a great time oohing and ahhhing!

    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 8:56AM
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