The Two Reasons You Absolutely Must Hand-Select Your Slab for the Bar in Your Basement Finishing Project

One of the most exciting parts of your basement finishing project is selecting the countertop for your wet bar. One popular selection is granite slab, or a similar type of natural stone.

In my early basement finishing days, I was invited to visit my granite vendor’s stone slab yard where they keep thousands of granite, marble, travertine, slate, quartzite, onyx, and limestone slabs. That visit was a fascinating experience and every trip since has been a real pleasure!

If you decide that part of your basement finishing project should include a natural stone countertop for your wet bar, bathroom countertop, shower seat, mantle, etc. congratulations! You’ve made an excellent choice! However, don’t fail to consider this…

Most homeowners who select granite or another type of natural stone for their basement finishing project do so in their home or, at best, at a local flooring shop/design center. They usually are presented with a small sample, maybe as large as 6″x6″ if they are lucky.

Not Only is Hand-Selection Fun, but the Benefit to Your Basement Finishing Project are Significant

The problem with this approach is two-fold. First, natural stone can exhibit significant differences in color, pattern and movement, even within the same “color” of granite. For example, if you decide you want “Venetian Gold” granite (a very popular color), and you looked at two slabs of “Venetian Gold” granite, they could potentially look very different. Some colors have vast differences, other colors have very small differences, but there is almost always some difference.

Second, the number of samples available to select from in a typical design center is usually very small. 40 to 50 different colors may sound like a lot, until you realize that the local slab yard may have 4 to 5 times as many colors as the design center is showing you!

If you are considering natural stone slab, before your basement finishing project even starts make sure to find out if you will have the option of hand-selecting your granite slab. Not just the color, I mean actually physically picking the slab that will be fabricated and installed in your home.

The main advantages to hand-selecting your slab are quickly apparent when you arrive at the slab yard. A good slab yard may have as many as 250 different types of granite (and other natural stone), with multiple slabs in each type (4 to 50). Your first impression might be awe as you see the vast quantities of slabs at the yard.

Don’t let that overwhelm you though, a good guide will quickly help you filter through the ones that don’t apply to you, and in no time you’ll have narrowed it down to the winner. Now, you get the advantage of picking the exact slab you want in your home. As they move the slabs so you can see all that’s available, picture how your finished bar will look and the colors, patterns, or mineral movement that you do or don’t want permanently in your home.

Look at the Difference in these Two Slabs.  Both are Crema Bordeaux.  Imagine Your Surprise if You Expected the one on the Right for the Bar in Your Basement Finishing Project, but Got the one on the Left Instead!

If you select your own slab for your basement finishing project you’ll love the experience of visiting the slab yard. More importantly you’ll love the slab that is installed in your home because it wasn’t picked for you from the next available slab; it was picked by you especially for your project.

Just think how proud you’ll be in the coming years when you tell all your visitors, “and over here is our wet bar, we hand-selected the countertop ourselves from over 1,000 different slabs!”

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