Today we’d like to share a bit of behind-the-scenes action on how we are selecting the perfect stone slab cuts right now for our clients. One of the many beautiful finishes we select in our projects includes stone used for features in kitchens, bathrooms, fireplaces and even home offices. Selecting a stone is only the first step; in order to achieve the best results we also personally select the precise cuts from each slab that will be used.
Whether we decide on a natural marble, granite, quartzite, or a manmade quartz, the colors and veining are unique to every slab we encounter. With the beauty and allure of this uniqueness also comes an unpredictability and challenge. We take care to capture the right balance of color and veining for our desired effect in each piece, before a slab is cut down.
At our “Lake Club Luxe” project we selected this beautiful quartz from Cambria in a soft and warm color palette. The strong veining provides the perfect amount of dramatic movement for the client’s cooktop backsplash. We’re using the same stone on a waterfall island and fireplace feature wall that connects to the kitchen. Although quartz is a man made product, the veining in each slab is still unique, similar to how it would occur in nature.
Our rendering above is of the new kitchen design with a cooktop backsplash in the quartz we chose. This visual would serve as just the goal, until we saw the actual slabs arrive at the fabricator. We visited to view the actual slabs there in person, in order to identify how best to have the fabricator cut the slab to achieve our desired look.
VISITING THE FABRICATOR
A few months following our concept design, we received a call from the fabricator that they were ready for us to come select the exact cuts. The slabs are all moved next to each other for easy viewing. Templates for the cuts were created before our arrival and used to move around on the slabs until we found the right alignment and balance of veining we desired. There’s no telling how long the process will take, with some areas proving to be more challenging than others. In a perfect world we’d be able to pick and choose from several slabs, but with high end stone we need to also be strategic in making the most out of the slabs to minimize wasted material.
SLAB TEMPLATING METHODS
The images below are from the kitchen cut selection for our West Indies on Lido project and are a good example of how the templating method can vary by fabricator. Some use paper templates, wood templates or simply just tape directly onto the stone. From our recent experience we prefer the wood templates for their stability and ease of use while finding the right cuts. Once this templating is finalized, the fabricator does the cutting and installation.
TAKING CARE WITH THE DETAILS
This stone cut selection process varies by project. We typically require our own, in-person selection and approval of cuts for wall design features and for any slabs with strong veining and movement. This helps ensure the most beautiful parts of the slab are used most prominently, and that the design effect we intended is achieved. So if a slab is a solid color or consistent speckled pattern, our attendance at this step may not be needed.
We hope you enjoy seeing what happens behind the scenes, and we cannot wait to share the final installation results!