Understanding the Stone Market
Why am I able to see prices on Aria’s site, but my local distributor or stone importer will not tell me the price of their slabs?
Most stone importers in the US operate under the model where they will not sell directly to the end user, and it is even more rare to display pricing. The stone industry was established in a way where the fabricator determines the price of the job – including material plus labor – to the end user. At Aria, we believe in a transparent model, where consumers know the actual value of the material, separate from the cost of labor. We believe fabricators should earn their money based on labor, craftsmanship, and service, and not by marking up the price of slabs.
Is Aria one of the few stone importers/distributors who will sell to me directly (with no middlemen)?
Yes, at Aria we sell directly to homeowners, designers, architects, and fabricators, all at the same price. And with the exception of Southern California, parts of Florida, and other small niches in the U.S., the vast majority of stone distributors will not sell directly to consumer. At Aria, our business model was built around transparent pricing and the convenience of the internet. Aria was the first stone company to offer our entire inventory online, sell directly to the consumer, publicly display slab pricing, and ship to the 48 contiguous states.
Understanding the Slabs
Are the images online actually what my stone will look like?
Yes. We never use stock photos. All of the images are from the actual slabs currently in stock. The main image represents the first slab in the lot purchased. Our slabs are professionally photographed and color calibrated to properly demonstrate the true color of the material. There may be some small variation in color due to difference in screen displays or the natural movement of color within the entire lot. However, the veining and overall look of the slab will closely reflect the actual slab you are ordering. Upon request, our concierge service will send individual photos of your exact slabs to confirm.
Are the project photos shown on the Shop page always the same material that I am purchasing?
The project image will always be the same type of material, but may not necessarily be from the same bundle of material that is currently in stock. Therefore, there may be slight variation from the project photo to the material that you are purchasing. The project photos are displayed to show an example of what this type of material may look like installed. The photos were taken from actual projects, using stone sourced from Aria Stone Gallery.
With natural stone, even though a material can have the same name, 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 is 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, veining, and color of the slabs change from one slab to another within the same lot?
Yes, it is natural for the pattern, veining, and color to vary from one slab to the next; however, since our slabs are sold in sequence, the variation from one slab to the next is minimal. If you have any questions or want additional images of the slab(s) you are considering, call (844) 425-2742 or speak to a LiveChat representative to schedule a video conference or send you pictures of the slabs. Our goal is for you to feel comfortable about your purchase. We understand it is a big investment and probably the first time you are buying stone online!
What does the word “bookmatch” mean?
Bookmatching refers to matching the veining of two or more slabs of stone, so that the two adjoining surfaces mirror each other, like an opened book. Please refer to our portfolio to see examples of “bookmatch” slabs or learn more about what bookmatching is, click here.
Do all of Aria Stone Gallery’s slabs bookmatch?
About 95% of Aria’s stone is able to bookmatch.
How will I know if the slabs I am interested in will bookmatch?
Please contact our concierge to confirm.
Your portfolio is very inspiring. Where did you get these pictures?
All of our portfolio and project images are actual projects with stone sourced by Aria Stone Gallery.
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 Stone Gallery 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 online?
Currently, Aria Stone Gallery does not sell natural stone remnants online.
How do I determine the number of slabs that I need?
Our concierge service are able to help you determine the number of slabs you need based on the layout you have in mind. Aria’s trained associates have years of experience with laying out/templating slabs for a variety of project applications.
Can I put a stone on hold while I make a decision?
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 cannot 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 am interested in your stone, but do not have a fabricator yet. Is there one you would recommend?
While we cannot 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 inquire if they have the correct equipment to accomplish this task. Feel free to read our journal article, “Can You Change the Finish of a Slab?“
How much does it cost to resurface a slab in square feet?
The price varies across the country, and is dependent on the stone and fabricator, but resurfacing a stone is generally 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?“
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.”
How much does an average slab weigh?
It depends on the density of the stone. But in general terms, a slab of 3cm granite weighs 18-20 pounds per square foot and a slab of 2cm granite weighs around 12-14 pounds per square foot. 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 is 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.
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. Read our journal post on which sealer is best for your stone.
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, sealer, and what you are using your natural stone for. Please ask your fabricator or contact our concierge for specific advice. Read our journal post on which sealer is best for your stone.
How do I care and clean for my material post install?
Different natural stones require different care and maintenance. Please view our journal article on how to clean and care for your natural stone.
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 is 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 do not 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 (for example, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org with the fabricator’s contact information, including company name, address, phone number, and project manager name. Aria will coordinate shipment from our Distribution Center to your fabricator 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 contiguous 48 states. Shipping breakdown: 1-4 slabs purchased shipping fee: $1,000; 5-9 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 do not have a fabricator yet, you can still purchase the slabs and then e-mail our concierge service once you have decided on your fabrication partner. Please email the company name, address, phone number, and project manager name. Aria will coordinate shipment 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 with a clamp 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 do not like the slabs once I have received them?
If it is within 14 days of when your fabricator received your slabs, you may return the slabs and we will reimburse you 100% for the slabs. Your only responsibility is for the return shipping fees.
The fabricator did not 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 is 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 has 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 case that you are not satisfied with the slabs you have purchased, you may return them within 14 days of the fabricator’s received date for 100% money back. Your only responsibility is for the return shipping fees.
Who is responsible for my slabs after delivery has been received and before install?
Your selected fabrication partner is responsible after delivery has been received and before install.
What do I do if my fabricator breaks one of the slabs?
It is no different than if the fabricator were to break a slab purchased 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 our concierge service 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 items purchased online 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 will refer you to a trucking company that will ship them back to our Dallas or Houston showroom. The cost will depend on your proximity to Dallas or Houston, although it would typically begin around $3,000 and go up from there, ranging around $6,000 and above. Please note this is a rough estimate as weather, seasons, gasoline prices, weight of material, size of material and many other factors come into play when pricing a freight load.
How long does it take for a refund to be processed?
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 should I do?
You can purchase the slabs now and your fabricator will typically store them for you until they are ready to cut and install. In some cases, you may be able to arrange for a third party storage. Our concierge team can assist you.