WWYD Choose granite without viewing slabs??!

shoregirl_veggieNovember 19, 2012


You were all so helpful 3 years ago when we renovated our kitchen. Since then, I continue to lurk, amazed by your knowledge and helpfulness.

My husband I and recently bought a small condo in Florida (future retirement hopefully). We're in NJ and are renovating the condo remotely.

We had always planned to fly down to choose our granite. Until Sandy hit.

Unfortunately, our NJ home was flooded. We are now managing two renovations and we can't see how we can get down to Fl now to select granite. My husband (NOT TKO) can't understand how I can't just choose something remotely!

We installed beige tile throughtout the small condo and are keeping the white (very white; not creamy white) cabinets.

I like a consistent stone without much movement.

Do you think I can ask the granite yard in Miami to email me pictures of some slabs? Thinking perhaps of Giallo Ornamental or Santa Cecilia. i can let them know that I would like the stones to read more beige/brown with some white.

We have Coast Green in NJ but I'm afraid that granite might be too inconsistent to purchase so far away.

What would you do? Thanks!

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Annie Deighnaugh

I wouldn't pick granite without seeing the slab. However, quartz products are man made so very consistent and no need to pick an individual slab....would you consider quartz instead like cesarstone or zodiac?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 8:26PM
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I'd wait.

Seriously. What's the worst thing that can happen? Next time you go to the condo, you have no countertops. You have to "make do" while cooking. You pile some big cardboard pieces over the countertops. You laugh about it.

BUT you don't end up with a very expensive mistake. And if you do make a mistake, the granite people are going to say, "You should've been here!" The cost of that mistake will fall on your shoulders -- or you'll have to live with something you don't like.

Yes, waiting would be an aggravation, but it's the best of the bad choices.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 8:29PM
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I like both these ideas: wait until you can go (have them put plywood on top of the cabinets) or consider a quartz. I really wouldn't like doing this at a distance even with photos. If your husband is still making "What?" noises, just regale him with some of the granite horror stories from here.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 8:46PM
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Thanks for your quick feedback!
The granite seems to be a less expensive option in the area, though I agree quartz would be a great choice.
I will try to delay the granite selection for as long as I can until I can run down there.
Thanks again.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 8:49PM
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I sort of chose granite without viewing. The slab I wanted turned out to have a crack, and there were no other slabs of that type available in my state.

The dealer had some slabs in their warehouse the next state over, so they sent me some photos. Based on the photos I gave my approval, although I seem to recall I had to the chance to look them over once they came in to the local yard.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 11:31PM
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I am a fabricator.

We always encourage our customers to view the slabs. However, it's not always possible and we sometimes use the emailed photo option. As long as you are not real fussy about the exact color and hue of the stone email is fine particularly for the relatively mundane colors you mentioned.

know that under the best of circumstances due to technical limitations the color accuracy of a monitor is mediocre at best and even a color printer photo (which is much much better than a monitor) is still an approximation due to the limitations of the 4 color printing process. An actual color print from a film camera is most accurate.

in the final analysis it depends on you. if you can accept that the stone might be a little lighter, darker, yellower, browner, or whatever than you thought then it's no big deal. If you are fussy then do yourself and the fabricator a favor and wait. if it's a small kitchen and you have it set up with the fabricator a good fabricator can get it installed for you in 2-3 days after measure.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 11:45PM
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I would wait until I got down there. Because using plywood for one visit is a pretty small downside compared to living with granite I didn't like.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 5:49AM
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I chose mine from a photo -- because there was so little Eureka Danby around at the time and when I found these slabs I just knew I had to act. But I wouldn't recommend. Slabs in real life just look so different from the photos -- the scale, color, everything. I think I was very lucky but nevertheless would not have done this nor recommend unless you feel you might not have another opportunity to get this particular granite.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 7:43AM
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Thanks again for the great advice. I will definitely try to delay this until I can get down there.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 7:12AM
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If I were using my beloved installer, I would not hesitate
to have him install granite. I would not even need to see
the slabs.
But... I have a trusting relationship with my fabricator
and know he would do an amazing job.

Do you trust and know your installer?

If not, go with plywood until you get what you want. I lived
with plywood for a long time until I could find the my
favorite rock. It was worth the wait.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2012 at 7:46PM
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