All of the latest news about Stone Store, our products and our
people – plus industry trends and updates.


A fireplace wall can be a great place to create a monolithic stone look. This one we made out of Dekton, an ultracompact surface with great visual texture. It would make great countertops too.

Dekton Sogne fireplace wall

New Calacatta marble slabs

We just received a new batch of polished Calacatta marble slabs from Italy today.  Very white background, grey and gold veining.  Relatively calm but with a little movement.  And a bargain, at least for Calacatta.


After Harvey – Countertop removal

So we just had our first day back in business after Hurricane Harvey, and from the sound of it people are getting back to work.  A few neighborhoods are still flooded or in danger of flooding, but most have moved on to assessing the damage and figuring out what to do next.  We have fielded a bunch of calls about removing peoples countertops, so here’s what I recommend:

First of all, take tons of pictures of everything. More pictures than you could ever imagine.  If you want the insurance company to pay for it, take pictures and add notes. 

Get all wet stuff out of your house immediately.  Especially carpets and soggy sheetrock. Cut above any wet sheetrock. I think 4′ is the height of most sheetrock panels, so cut way higher than you need to.

For countertops, don’t assume you can remove them without breaking some pieces.  And even if you can save them, don’t assume you can reuse them.  We have trained professionals that have a better chance of removing countertops without breaking them, but sometimes they still crack. Also, matching pieces is very time consuming and difficult.  Even with quartz tops, different batches don’t usually match, which makes for bad seams. Do not plan on being to match something perfectly just because you know the original name.

So for insurance reasons, if your cabinets have to come out, then you should plan on buying new counters too.

And our final piece of advice, be very careful about contractors.  We will eventually hear about lots of people whose contractors disappeared with deposits without doing the work, or people whose remodels took way longer than expected because the contractor was too overloaded. Be very careful about vetting these companies to make sure they are legit.  Sometimes you have to pay a little more for the good ones. Check Angies List, BBB, or the GHBA for references.  Companies with physical locations tend to have leases and equipment that are expensive to abandon. Businesses with longstanding ties to your community tend to be trustworthy.

Once you have a contractor, realize that all upgrades are out of pocket, and as you go through the process you will want upgrades.  Whether it is design details like nice countertops or a mosaic backsplash, or functional items like a nicer cooktop or faucet, unexpected expenses will come up. And you will probably have to pay for these up front, so keep a little cash put to the side to keep your project moving forward. Most things cost more today than they did 5, 10 or 25 years ago, so be careful valuing the stuff in your house by old receipts.

I am going to try to get some opinions from insurance companies and contractors we deal with often to update this post with better information.

Unusual marbles

At this point, if you are looking at kitchen countertop options, you’ve probably seen Calacatta marble kitchens. Polished, honed, even satin and leather finishes.  You’ve seen Carrara marble kitchens.  You’ve seen engineered quartz versions by Silestone, Caesarstone and all the rest of them.  Now the sintered surfaces have taken it to another level.  Neolith, Epic, Sapienstone, Dekton, Laminam, Stonepeak, Fiandre and more are all producing incredible large format slabs of Calacatta and Estatuario marble that don’t stain or scratch.  They are in magazines, on TV, in restaurants and bars, and at your friends house, and they are beautiful.  Some are understated and some are big and bold.  Each one unique and incredible in its own way.  We’ve done them in classic old world kitchens and clean contemporary kitchens, and each one turns out better than the one before it.  If you’ve been to Italy, you’ve seen it in museums, delicately carved into sculptures but also on the countertops in the restrooms or on the floors.  To us it is the definition of classic style, always contemporary, having been used for centuries and will go on being used for centuries. I cannot recommend against this stone.

But if I was to offer an alternative in the natural stone world, there are some “new” marbles popping up.  Less used and maybe a little more difficult to imagine, but beautiful and definitely unique.  Now marble is coming out Turkey, China, Brazil, the U.S. and more, offering a wider variety than ever before. Here are 2 that are on a ship coming to us right now.  They book-match to incredible patterns.  Probably harder to match with a tile backsplash, but you can use it as backsplash too! Or go with a simpler tile than normal.


Dalmata marble slab

Panda White marble slab

Grey marble

Over the last few years we’ve seen a lot of white marble. Its classic and beautiful and makes complete sense. It works in all kinds of different styles, plus it looks great in kitchens and bathrooms.  There are a ton of variations from dramatic to subdued, and lots of different secondary colors from oranges to blacks to greys to cream. Recently we’ve had a few more people come in looking at different grey slabs.  Marble, limestone, soapstone and quartz all come in different shades of grey.  Bardiglio and Grigio Verona are 2 Italian marbles that we’ve used lately.

Bardiglio marble slab

Bardiglio marble slab

Grigio Verona marble slab

Grigio Verona marble slab


Showroom under construction

If you are planning on visiting this week, let us know as we are redoing all the floors (Thank God). We’re still open, just running a little lean as all the samples are boxed up. We should be back in full by next week (February 25th at the latest).


Before we looked like this

Patchwork quilt flooring

Patchwork quilt flooring

Then briefly like this

Turns out there was perfectly good concrete under the old tile

Turns out there was perfectly good concrete under the old tile

Then today it finally started to come together. The 4’x8′ tiles are incredible. Large format tiles are such a game changer.

Starting to get a feel for the new floor

Starting to get a feel for the new floor