Natural Stone Selection Guide

Natural Stone Selection Guide

Good planning is essential to when you are remodeling. The success of your project begins with selecting the right stone and having the knowledge base to make the right decisions throughout the process. We hope this practical Guide to Selecting Natural Stone will be a useful tool for you. Please use the knowledge of our experienced staff to guide you through your selection.

Before you start looking for the right stone make sure that you have selected your stone fabricator. A stone fabricator is the person or company who will purchase the natural stone from us in the form of slabs and then cut, shape and craft the stone, as well as install the finished product. MGSI as a wholesale supplier quotes slab prices to your fabricator. Your fabricator quotes the job to you and can advise you on the details of your fabrication such as: edgework, how many slabs you need, what thickness of material you need, what is the most appropriate finish, how to care for the finished product. If you are working with a designer or contractor, they can usually provide you with a reference to a natural stone fabricator.

So, now you have a stone fabricator… how do you select the right stone?


What do you look for when choosing natural stone? More than anything make sure that the stone is suitable for your application. Our showroom stocks a variety of stone – Marble, Granite, Onyx, Limestone, Travertine, Soapstone, etc. How do you know which stone is the best stone? While marble and onyx are quite beautiful with their passionate colors, bright whites, and intense swirls and markings, think twice if you are putting in kitchen countertops. If you love to cook or have children, this isn’t the best of combination. These stones, as well as travertine are best saved for lighter trafficked areas.

Granite Soapstone and Quartzite on the other hand are very durable natural stones and work wonderful for kitchen countertops. These stones will last many life times with heavy use in your kitchen.

Marble, Granite or Limestone? Consider carefully what your stone will be used for. Find more about the various types of natural stone in the Natural Stone Information section of our Resource Center on our website to help you decide which type of natural stone may work best for you. Browse through these FAQ’s on using natural stone in your home.

Consider Care & Maintenance. Once your project is completed, you will have to live with it. Browse these useful Stone Care FAQ’s
If you are still uncertain, let our knowledgeable staff help you.


Natural Stone Countertop

Semiprecious Stone Top

Color is important in your project. You will look at it every day. Narrow down your color preferences. How do you choose a color or narrow it down? Look at color charts and granite samples to get a feel for what you like. What colors make you feel good? When you’re out and about, pay attention to what others have done with color.

Do you like darker stones? The darker stones tend to be heavier with less chance of staining or discoloring. They also need to be sealed less frequently. But, they tend to show fingerprints and dust more readily. If you have a smaller kitchen, a dark stone may make your kitchen appear smaller.

If you love the look of lighter colored natural stones, they will expand a small room and make it seem larger. Dust and fingerprints aren’t so apparent. But, lighter stones are more apt to stain and they need to be sealed more frequently.

Look at the different patterns… solids, swirls, dots. There are so many to choose from, you’re bound to find one that’s totally you. Go with the look and color you love.

Visit our showroom and look at our extensive collection of natural stone. You may find it helpful to bring samples of other materials from your project, such as kitchen cabinet samples or floor tiles – it may help you to narrow down your final selection. If you need to borrow a cabinet sample during your visit, we have a limited selection available.


Quartz Countertops

Quartz Tops

Selecting the right stone finish for your application will has aesthetic as well as care and maintenance implications.

This is how the surface of your stone is going to look – shiny, matted or textured.

MGSI stocks natural stone in a variety of finishes: polished, honed, as well as a range of textured finishes, varying from the very subtle “vellutato” finish, to the more coarse “flamed” finish. Ask your natural stone fabricator or designer about the pros and cons of the different finishes for your project before heading out to look at stone. Then, make the appropriate selection.


Granite Kitchen Coutertop

Granite Kitchen Top

If the budget is a concern, understand the cost of the stone before making final selection. While we can quote slab prices only to your fabricator, we can advise you about the price range of the various materials. Ask your fabricator what range you should be selecting from if you would like to keep your project within certain budget. If your project involves tiles we would be happy to quote tile prices, and sell tiles directly to you.


Soapstone Countertop

Soapstone Top

So you have decided which stone and finish will best suit your project. Next you will need to select the actual slabs to be used in the fabrication of your project. We recommend that you visit our warehouse to physically select the slabs. Why?

Stone is a natural material, extracted from the earth as an identifiable type, but with significant variation in color and pattern. Also, some materials are called different names by different vendors. Even materials with the same name differ from lot to lot.

Once you select the slabs in our warehouse, we will reserve (“tag”) them for you. We are reserving the selected material under the name of your fabricator and communicate your selection respectively. If a stone fabricator is specified, we will hold the material for 30 days. If no fabricator is named and you are still searching for one, we will reserve the material for 7 days. It is your responsibility to contact us with the name of your selected fabricator. If we do not hear from you within 7 days, we will remove the “tag” and proceed to sell the material.


Selecting a proper edge adds beauty to your project and integrates the stone into the overall design. Check with your fabricator to learn about the various edge treatments. Communicate any specific requirements in the stone fabrication and stone treatment to your fabricator. He can advise you on how to best integrate the various aspects of your project.

Countertop edge


Onyx Countertop

Onyx Top

Most Natural Stone needs to be sealed. Sealers can provide insurance against most staining agents. Ask your fabricator whether your stone needs sealing, which is the most appropriate sealer for your project, and how to maintain the surface and integrity of your stone after the finished product is installed.


It is essential that natural stone is properly cared and maintained after the installation, to ensure long term satisfaction. Please take the time to review information provided in the Care & Maintenance section of our website and establish a proper maintenance program for your stone. Natural stone is easier to maintain than you would expect. With proper care, it will last for generations.

We want your project to be a success and have the knowledge and expertise to help you. Please do not hesitate to call us with questions.

Disclaimer: Please note that the information on this page is a general summary of industry-accepted tips in stone care that we have compiled to help you in your stone selection and care. Please note that natural stone varies substantially. Ask your stone specialist what works best for your particular stone.

Marble & Granite Supply of Illinois, Inc. will not be responsible or liable either in tort or contract for any injury or damage, loss of direct, consequential, punitive or accidental, or any similar damages including, but not limited to loss of profits damages, arising out of the use, or inability to use the information in this article.

Marble & Granite Supply of Illinois, Inc. does not make any warranty, representations or guarantees, express or implied, with respect to the information provided in this article.


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