These days, it seems as if you can find marble and granite on practically every street corner. It’s true: you can buy natural stone from almost anyone, from a guy selling out of the back of his pick-up truck to the big box home improvement stores. But, turning that slab into a beautiful, durable, well-functioning part of your home or office is something else altogether.
We know our clients are looking for better answers to their questions. They want creative, elegant solutions for their remodeling challenges. They need resources and choices. They come to us because they they’ll be able to pick the exact right stone for their project. They know that we source all our materials locally, and that they can see exactly what’s going on with their project and have a hand in the process every step of the way, if they choose.
A Custom Granite Project is Less Expensive Than You Think
When shopping for marble or granite countertops, the first question most customers usually ask is, “what’s the price per square foot?” It seems like a logical way to make the decision, but there’s actually a lot more that goes into the price of a project than just the price of the stone.
A lot of our customers start their search at places like Home Depot to get an idea of what their project might cost. They’re drawn in by the prices they see on the slabs. But, of course, there’s so much more to it: design, fabrication, installation, and more. When they bring those quotes to us, they’re surprised to learn that our prices are usually lower. The reason is simple. “I think we’re always under Home Depot because we’re eliminating that extra middleman," Rob says, "I do all our pricing. I can’t tell you the last time somebody said to me ‘Oh, you’re more expensive than Home Depot.’”
Better Workmanship: Fewer Seams Means Durability and Beauty
Price isn’t the only difference. The experience and craftsmanship of Washington Marble & Granite’s master fabricators and installers goes far beyond what you’ll find through the big box retailers, according to Ron. “With Home Depot countertops, you are not going to see rodding, which means there’s a weak point somewhere. If somebody were to stand on the granite or the quartz product in front of the kitchen sink, it may crack. That’s one of the reasons why we put those rods in. You will also find that most times a fabricator will come out to your home with smaller pieces of stone than two men can handle. We were on a job recently where we had five people carry in one massive piece of granite. Bigger pieces mean fewer seams. That doesn’t happen with a Home Depot job.”
Better Selection: Natural Stone From Around the World
As one of our customers, you will have a world of stone to choose from. In addition to 100+ colors we keep in stock in our yard, we have close working relationships with distributors in greater Washington that stock even more colors. You can see samples of the stone we stock here.
Some factors that affect the cost of natural stone:
- Location of where the stone is cut and polished. Granite, marble and all natural stone is carved out of quarries in huge rectangular blocks. To be readied for use as countertops or flooring, the blocks must be cut into slabs, polished and then distributed to the rest of the world. It’s not unusual for a piece of stone quarried in Russia to be shipped to Italy, still the center of the stone world, for cutting and polishing, adding to the cost of that particular slab.
- Shipping. It takes a lot more than a FedEx envelope to ship stone to its final destination. Slabs are usually shipped via large container ships. That means there are also tariffs that must be paid for the stone to enter the country.
- Exchange Rates. Stone coming from Europe is priced in Euros and then converted to dollars. Since exchange rates fluctuate, it’s often possible to see spikes in prices.
- Cost of Labor. South American countries, like Brazil, have much lower wage scales than European countries, like Italy. Countries with a lower cost of labor can sell their stone for less. Latin American producers also ship direct to the U.S., eliminating a middleman.
Solid Surface Options
Caesarstone, Silestone, Zodiaq, Cambria, and Hanstone are man-made products that are composed of a roughly 93% mixture of natural quartz aggregates with pigments and polymer resins. Better known as “solid surface,” they are all basically the same product, just a different brand like Ford and Chevy.
These mixtures are then molded and cured into slabs and the end product is an extremely durable material that is consistent in color. While it doesn’t have variation of natural stone, such as veining and movement, the consistency of color makes it a great product for ultra-modern and modern style kitchens. They are great for bathrooms too because of the pure white color options they have.
One of the other great things about these Solid Surface tops is that they cut very clean. This means that you can have nice crisp corners and you can also miter the edges to get a thicker, beefier look. Solid surface does present you with many different options to take your designs, so let your creativity take you to new places!
We have many different samples of all of these products at our showroom, so make sure to come visit us and take a look! We are located in Ijamsville, MD and serve the entire state of Maryland and Washington DC Metro Area.