Frequently Asked Questions
This is the most important page on our website, because here is where the majority of your questions will be answered. If your questions are not answered just click on the "Contact Us" link to find a convenient way for you to get your question answered.
Granite and marble purchases are a first-time purchase for approximately 90% of our clients, and many customers do not know which questions to ask.
Buying granite or marble is not like buying a refrigerator. If I go to HomeDepot, they are not manufacturing refrigerators. They have already been produced. The only differentiator is the service and price, at the time of purchase.
The reason this purchase is remarkabley different, as a fabricator, we take the raw stone and actually manufacture the stone into its final product here at our shop. The process by which we do that is completely varied by fabricator to fabricator. That inherent variation will naturally produce variations in the end result. From the way we template, to fabrication, and lastly installation, Storia has its own procedures that have helped us consistently exceed our customers expectations.
First and foremost, Sergio, the owner, does all templating, and oversees all operations of fabrication and installation. If you're still not convinced, we'll be glad to have you meet any of our customers, and more importantly my customers would be more than happy to "show off" our work!
*Note - Make sure to ask if other Granite and Marble companies fabricate locally. There are some companies who will fabricate in other cities, and ship down the granite. Do you trust your stone in the hands of someone whom you've never met?
What material should I use for my countertop?
Marble vs. Granite
We know more than likely you've seen marble, kitchen countertops in the latest issue of architectural digest or a mock layout at a design center. It can be done, and has (looks incredible), but did you know that Marble is a more porous stone? This means, there's more of a chance for stains. If you're okay with the stains likely occurring, then marble is an option for you.
Granite vs. Quartz
To understand the differences, customers have to understand what Quartz is and why its called Quartz. A Quartz countertop is a man made product that takes small granite chips, dye, and polyesther resin (fancy name for glue) puts them all together in a furnace and out pops a slab of Quartz. You may know Quartz slabs by their manufacturers' names such as Silestone, Technistone, Compaq Stone, Caesar Stone, Zodiac Stone, etc. The list goes on and on as more manufacturers begin to make slabs. The reason why these slabs are called generally Quartz slabs is because Granite is composed of 3 materials, the main component is Quartz, the others are feldspar and mica. In essence what you are purchasing is a bunch of granite chips glued together. In terms of hardness the Quartz slabs are as hard as granite (remember: it is made of granite). The only thing that makes me wary about Quartz products are some of the claims that the manufacturer has made, which I have heard through customers. Examples include
"You can't stain Quartz."
"The Quartz tops are anti-bacterial"
"You can't burn Quartz."
If you read the fine print, all of those statements are followed by resistant. I recommend Quartz products to customers who want the strength and durability of granite, but in a more consistent pattern, than might otherwise be found in natural stone.
Is marble more expensive than granite?
The answer simply is "it depends." Granite and marble are generally grouped into different price categories or "levels." Again different fabricators will use different approaches to how they price their granite or marble. But for us, a level 1 marble will cost the same as a level 1 granite.
Pricing is a delicate issue that should be addressed. At Storia, I always ask the customer to allow me to price out their project based on measurements they bring in, or set-up an appointment with me to go measure their project. Most consumers ask how much do you sell your granite or marble per square foot. Like the fabrication process, pricing is not
standard and simply asking for per square foot pricing can be deceiving. For example, a fabricator tells you over the phone that his granite starting price is $48 per square foot, and you call another fabricator and he tells you $54. Your first inclination is to simply conclude that the fabricator who has just quoted you $48 per square foot without seeing your layout and set-up of your countertops would be cheaper. "Caveat emptor", a popular Latin phrase meaning let the buyer beware. The natural questions you should ask are:
What is included in the $48 per square foot?
What edge does that include?
Do they charge for Radius Cutouts?
What about Outlet hole cutouts?
Undermount sink charge?
There are even more questions to be answered, so if you want an idea of how much a particular fabricator would charge you for your project, have him take a look at your project and give you an accurate estimate, not just toss out a random number and hope to confuse you into thinking you have found the cheapest fabricator. Then go to his fabrication site and see if they have a showroom. Ask them to show you how they fabricate.
What makes different color granites more expensive?
There are technically different grades of granite, but at Storia Marble & Granite, Inc., we only buy first choice (the best) for all colors. All fabricators should do this but do not. So in our case the quality of the stone is not a factor in the different levels. The color itself is the determining factor price. Natural stone is quarried all over the world, and in different locations and conditions. Depending on the location of the stone and how easy it is to extract will naturally affect its cost. Also shipping from countries that are further away from the United States will have an impact.
As my wife says, "if it sparkles, then it's usually more expensive." Still have questions?