Understanding the Stone Market
How can I see prices on your site, but my local distributor/stone importer won’t tell me the price of their slabs?
Most markets in the US operate under the model where stone importers won’t sell or even display pricing to the end user. The stone industry was established in a way where the fabricator prices out the job – including material plus labor – to the end user. At Aria, we believe in a more transparent model where consumers should know the actual cost of the material and the labor separately. We believe fabricators should make their money on the labor, their craftsmanship and service, and not by marking up slabs.
Is Aria one of the few stone importers/distributors who will sell to me directly (with no middlemen)?
Yes. With the exception of Southern California, parts of Florida and other small niches in the U.S., stone distributors won’t sell to the end users. At Aria, our entire business model was built around the transparency in pricing and the convenience of the internet. We are the first stone company to offer its entire inventory online, direct to the consumer with transparent pricing and shipping to all 48 continuous states.
Understanding the Slabs
Are the images I’m seeing online what my stone will actually look like?
Yes – we don’t work with stock photos. All of our pictures are from the actual slabs we have in stock for sale in the U.S., and represent the first slab in the lot we purchased. Our slabs are professionally photographed with color calibration to properly demonstrate the true color of the material. There may be some small variation due to displays on your screen and where the slab is in the lot, but the veining and look of the slab will reflect the actual slab you are ordering. After purchase, our concierge will coordinate sending individual slab photos of your exact slabs to confirm.
Is the installation photo example shown within the material page the same material as the one being purchased from?
To clarify, the installation image is showing the same Aria material as shown. However, please note it may not be showing the same bundle of material as what is currently in stock. With natural stone, even though a material can be named the same, the look and feel can change from bundle to bundle. If you would like clarity on whether the installation image is from the same bundle of material, please contact our concierge for additional insight.
The website indicates there are 8 slabs available in the material I like. I need two slabs. After the actual slab virtual viewing appointment post purchase, can I pick Slab 1 and 6 from the bundle, for example?
No. The picture on the website is from the first slab of the lot. When we purchase stone from our suppliers, there’s no defined number of slabs per lot. It might be 5, 12, 20, 50 or any other number. We only buy what we think is the best quality. In order to preserve the ability to bookmatch, we can only sell slabs in sequence from slab 1 then 2 then 3 and so on.
Does the pattern of the slabs change from one to another within the same lot?
Yes, it may vary some – but since all of our slabs are in sequence in most cases the variation from one slab to the very next one is minimum. If you have questions or want more or additional pictures of the slab(s) you are considering, give us a call and we can schedule a video conference or send you pictures of your slabs. We have a dedicated concierge service to help you along the process. Our goal is for you to feel comfortable and assertive about your purchase. We understand it’s a big investment and probably the first time you are buying stone online!
What does “bookmatch” mean?
It’s the process of finishing (I.e polished or honed or leathered) the front side of the first slab of the lot and then the back side of the second slab to create a butterfly effect where veining and overall movement of the first slab is mirrored on the second one. Please refer to our portfolio to see examples of “bookmatch” slabs.
Do all of your slabs bookmatch?
About 95% of our material book matches.
How will I know if the slabs I’m interested in will bookmatch?
Please contact our concierge to confirm.
Your portfolio is very inspiring. Where did you get these pictures?
Just like all of our images of stone for sale are real photos or our actual inventory, all portfolio images are actual projects we furnished slabs for. Every portfolio image is from Aria stone sold throughout the US and internationally.
I know you have two locations in Texas. Has Aria sold slabs throughout the United States?
Yes – though our physical showrooms are in Houston and Dallas, we have worked on stone projects in all regions of the country.
How long have you been in business?
ARIA opened its first gallery in the U.S. in 2013 but our management team has been in the stone industry since 2005.
Understanding the Process
Do you sell by the square foot?
No – we sell whole slabs. The square foot pricing noted on our website is for reference only.
What if I only need half a slab?
We sell by the slab, not the square foot, so if you only need half a slab, you will still need to purchase the entire slab.
Do you sell remnants?
Not at the moment.
I don’t know how many slabs I need – how do I determine that?
Our concierge service can help you determine the number of slabs you need based on the layout you have in mind. We have trained associated with years of experience laying out/templating slabs for a variety of projects.
Can I hold the stone I’m interested in on hold?
No. While we understand the importance of color matching slabs with tiles and other decor items and therefore the convenience of having slabs on hold, we simply can’t hold slabs. The same slabs we sell online are being sold in our physical galleries and are sold on a first come first served basis.
I’m interested in your stone, but don’t have a fabricator yet. Is there one you would recommend?
While we can’t guarantee we will find you a fabricator for the budget you have in mind, our concierge team can work with you to find an experienced fabricator in your area.
Can slabs be resurfaced/changed to a different finish?
Yes, though this would be something your fabricator would need to do. Please contact your fabricator for pricing and if they have the right equipment to accomplish this task. Feel free to read our journal article, “Can you change the finish of a slab?” here.
How much does it cost to resurface a slab in square feet?
It depends on the stone but it usually is priced between $7-$15 per square foot. Please contact your fabrication partner to acquire an exact quote.
Does honing the slab make it more susceptible to staining?
A polished finish acts as protective layer against stains. As you grind off the polished finish, you will inevitably open up and expose more pores than if polished. To help avoid stains, the fabricator will most likely use a penetrating sealer to help to fill in some of the exposed pores, leaving you with more time to clean any spills. Please feel free to read our journal article, “Can you change the finish of a slab?” here.
Will honing the slab effect the color?
When a stone is polished, you will most likely see more pronounced colors and hues. When a slab is taken from polished to honed, you are essentially taking away the depth and hues that are brought out by the polished coat, oftentimes resulting in a lighter colored slab. Depending on preference, a fabricator can use a color enhancing sealer, which mimics and restores the color without the shine of a polished surface. For additional insight, please feel free to read our journal article, “The Differences Between Honed and Polished Finishes” here.
How much does an average slab weigh?
It depends on the density of the stone. But in general terms granite weighs 18-20 pounds per sqft for 3 cm slabs and 12-14 pounds for 2 cm material Marbles slabs are about 20% less.
Slabs are heavy. Do I need an architect or engineer to figure out if the weight is too significant for my project?
In most cases, a fabricator is all you need. If it’s a more complex application like a ceiling or an entire wall on a high rise building, then we recommend you work with an architect or engineer.
Should wall applications use 2cm or 3cm materials?
We recommend 2 cm for weight purposes.
Do you recommend using a sealer?
Yes, we recommend that all natural stone is sealed to help protect your natural work of art from any spills or messes that life throws your way. Please read our journal article regarding why you need to seal your stone here.
What sealer do you recommend?
We recommend any Nano sealer. For example, one option is Dry Treat sealer. This new nano sealing formula is designed with smaller particles that are able to close more pores in the stone, creating a stone that is more impenetrable to stains. It is important to note that you should speak with your fabricator and check all fine print and warranties before deciding which sealer is best for you. To read more on nano sealers, click here.
How often do I need to reseal?
Note that sealers also require some type of regular maintenance. Whether that maintenance is every few months or every few years, it is greatly dependent on your type of stone, your sealer, and what you are using your natural stone for. Please ask your fabricator or contact our concierge for specific advice.
How do I care and clean for my material post install?
Please view our journal article on how to clean and care for your natural stone here.
Design & Templating
How do I find a designer?
Please feel free to contact our concierge team for assistance. We have dealt with hundreds of designers throughout the country and are happy to help you find one that’s right for you.
Do I need a designer or fabricator to purchase slabs through you?
No, we are proud to sell direct to the public.
What if I don’t have drawings/plans?
Our concierge team can help you determine how many slabs you need based upon the application, design, and layout.
Purchasing & Ordering
How can I order additional materials?
Please visit our website to see if the product is still available with the same product code noted at the end of the title of material. This product code indicates that the material is from the same bundle, ensuring that it has consistent movement and color as your previous slabs. After confirming the code (i.e. A50) matches your previous order, indicate how many additional quantity you need and process order.
What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept cash, check, and credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express).
Once I select my fabrication partner, who do I notify?
Please email [email protected] with the fabricator’s contact information, including company name, address, phone number, and project manager’s name. Aria will coordinate shipment from our DC to there and will notify you regarding the logistics.
What are shipping costs?
Shipping is flat rate based on quantity of slabs purchased regardless of destination in the continental 48 states. Shipping breakdown: 1-4 slabs purchased shipping fee: $1,000; 5-10 slabs purchased shipping fee: $500, and 10 slabs or more purchased is free of charge.
Are my materials insured during shipping?
All orders are shipped with full insurance.
What happens if my slabs arrive damaged?
We take measures to ensure that all products leave our warehouse in perfect condition, but it is possible that goods can become damaged during transportation. As a result, we only use insured carriers. If damage occurs in transit, upon arrival of the goods, the purchaser or the fabricator must inspect all merchandise. All damages must be reported to Aria Stone Gallery in writing along with images illustrating the damage within 24 hrs of receipt. Aria Stone Gallery will process freight claims on your behalf at your request. We will arrange the return of the slabs with the insurance company and will process a full refund upon documentation approval. There is no additional cost incurred for approved documentation of damaged material.
Where are my items shipped from?
Our Houston distribution center.
Does Aria Stone Gallery ship to international locations?
Yes, Aria Stone Gallery ships to international locations. Please contact our concierge for additional freight costs that may apply.
How long will it take for you to deliver my slabs?
It depends on which part of the country the slab(s) are being shipped to, but typically anywhere between 1-3 weeks. Please contact our concierge for a more specific timeline depending on the shipping address.
Who is the shipping company?
We work with third party logistics company that provides an insured carrier.
Where should I ship my stone to?
Please use the address for the fabricator of your choosing. If you don’t have one yet, you can purchase the slabs and e-mail our concierge service once you’ve decided on your fabrication partner. Please email the company name, address, phone number, and project managers name. Aria will coordinate shipment from there and notify you of the logistics.
Delivery & Receiving
How will my material be delivered?
LTL deliveries are curbside delivery unless a lift gate truck and/or pallet jack to your specified fabrication partner and are thereby authorized to inspect and accept condition on the material on your behalf as the final determination. The fabrication shop must have a forklift for unloading the materials at their facilities.
How do I advise if there is a material issue?
Contact our concierge service within 24 hours of receipt of goods for any delivery discrepancies.
What type of setup does the receiver need to have to accept delivery of the slabs?
The fabrication shop must have a forklift with a clamp for unloading the materials at their facilities.
What if I don’t like the slabs once I’ve received them?
If it’s within 14 days of when your fabricator received your slabs, you can return them and we will reimburse you 100%.
The fabricator didn’t inspect my slabs upon receipt and there is damage to them. What do I do?
We always advise our clients to confirm with the fabricator upon receipt of materials to inspect the materials within 24 hours. The fabricator should have done so. Please contact our concierge as soon as possible to discuss the situation at hand.
What happens if there’s a crack, or something wrong with the slab once I receive it?
All natural stone has some natural imperfections like pits (small indentation), fissures (superficial ridges) or fill (a larger pit that’s been filled with resin). We will be proactive and advise you if we see anything out of the norm before shipping you the slabs. However in the eventuality that you are not satisfied with the slabs you have purchased from us, you can return them, within 14 days, for 100% money back. Your only responsibility is for the return shipping fees.
Who’s responsible for my slabs after delivery has been received and before install?
Your selected fabrication partner.
What do I do if my fabricator breaks one of the slabs?
It’s no different than if he breaks a slab he picked up from a local stone distributor. In the case of breakage, the fabricator is responsible for it. Most reputable fabricators either have insurance or the financial means to buy a replacement slab for you. If this happens, call us and we will do our best to find something that will work with the rest of your slabs.
Returns & Refunds
Can I return products?
Returns of stocked items are allowed within 14 days after receipt to our distribution center and return shipping is made payable by the purchaser.
How and where would I return my stone if necessary?
Please contact our concierge for assistance. We’ll refer you to a trucking company that will ship them back to our Dallas or Houston showroom. The cost will depend to your proximity to Dallas or Houston, although it would typically range around $1,000 to $2,000. Please note this is a rough estimate.
How long between does it take a refund to be sent back to me?
We process refunds as quickly as possible, but please allow 14 days from the day we receive your returned slabs.
I want to purchase stone but my project is 2 years out. What do I do?
You can purchase the slabs now, and depending on amount of slabs we could storage them for you or find third party storage provider. Our concierge team can assist you.