Everything you need to know about choosing stone and marble slabs for your kitchen countertops in the San Francisco Bay Area. What places sell stone countertop slabs and what to consider when shopping for stone.
Our marble countertops were one of the biggest purchases in our kitchen remodel and also one of the most stressful. To say I worried about choosing the right stone for our countertops is an understatement! I like to joke that I have a Master’s degree in agonizing about what stone countertops to pick. I just didn’t have a clear vision for what I wanted when we started out and that made everything harder.
I’m going to spill the tea about everything I learned during this process to hopefully help you too! We went to four different places in the San Francisco Bay Area and ended up finding stone slabs for both our fireplace and kitchen at Integrated Resouces Group (IRG) in Brisbane, California (15 minutes south of San Francisco). The cliff notes version of this post is that IRG has the best and largest stone selection in the Bay Area and the best service.
Want more? Read on for everything you need to know about where to find stone countertops in the Bay Area.
I followed all of the local marble places on Instagram and scoured their selections constantly. We considered quartzite and marble for our countertops as we really wanted a natural stone material. The benefits of quartzite are that it is stain resistant, heat resistant, and durable. Marble is less stain-resistant and more likely to scratch. You love the look enough that it outweighs these issues. That was the case for us. We are happier with the exact look that we want, even if it requires more care and maintenance.
Integrated Resources Group (IRG) in Brisbane, California
As I mentioned, we ended up buying our stone slabs for both our kitchen and our fireplace surround at Integrated Resources Group (IRG). Browsing the IRG warehouse was like heaven! Their slabs are nicely displayed and you can see each batch without them having to get heavy equipment out. I loved seeing the hundreds of options right in front of me so I could start to get an idea of what we wanted. It was like going to a museum! All those natural quartzite and marble slabs are like works of art made by mother nature! They also have many many porcelain countertop options as well as quartz and onyx slabs as well as unique slab materials like petrified wood, agates, and fossils.
They have an easy-to-browse and accurate inventory with high-quality photos on their website and social media. That makes it easy to narrow down what you’re looking for before you end up in the huge IRG warehouse in Dublin, California just outside of San Francisco! I browsed the marble slabs and found a few that we liked.
IRG – Best Stone Slab Inventory in San Francisco Bay Area
IRG has the best stone slab selection in the Bay Area, but it was the service we received there that made the experience so memorable. We worked with Alexis and she was incredible! She was funny, knowledgeable, and gave everything to us straight without any BS. Given all the pressure I put on myself about this decision, I was grateful that she answered my phone calls patiently and responded to my emails within a few hours. The woman is a saint!
I also found IRG competitively priced. Their slabs were less per square foot than similar labs at other Bay Area stone companies. We actually ended up coming in under budget (!), which is probably the only time that happened during our entire kitchen remodel.
I recommend following IRG on Instagram to keep up with their slab inventory and also keeping an eye on their website as they update it frequently. They have a new arrivals section that makes it easy to see what has just arrived. Even though we aren’t looking for stone right now, I can’t resist checking it occasionally.
As I said, I could end my review of finding kitchen countertops in San Francisco there, but here are a couple of other places that sell stone slabs in the Bay Area that didn’t work out for us.
All-Natural Stone – Dublin, California
All-Natural Stone in Dublin, California has a decent selection of stone slabs (not as many as IRG). Customer service was hit or miss and they didn’t end up having any slabs that really made my heart pitter-patter. They also have a lot of tile options and they excel at this more than stone I think. They do not share current slab inventory on their website or on social media which is a huge source of frustration.
Pietra Fina in Hayward, California had the second-largest selection of all the places we visited and the service was great. The owner is hilarious. Unfortunately, they didn’t have what we wanted. They were also more expensive on comparable slabs. They do a great job of keeping their website and social media updated with their current slab inventory.
Da Vinci Marble
Da Vinci Marble in San Carlos, California has a beautiful showroom and good selection. Unfortunately, I found their staff quite rude. I had a basic question about one of the slabs and asked a woman who wasn’t with another client. She basically looked at me, told me she couldn’t help me, and walked away. I thought it was just me but looking at their online reviews this seems to be a common experience for other people as well. Their prices were on the higher end and they are closed on weekends.
Tez Marble in Burlingame, California had a pretty limited selection. They apparently aren’t known for the quality of our slabs. One of the fabricators that we interviewed told us to avoid them – so we did!
Tips for Choosing the Right Stone Slabs for Your Countertops & Backsplash
If I had to sum up how we found the perfect marble slabs for our remodel it was patience, persistence, and research.
Two years ago, when we were just starting our kitchen design, we had no idea what type of stone we wanted. We started with our basic priorities. The only thing I was sure of is that I wanted something different than the traditional white and grey calacatta marble. The only thing Patrick was sure of is he wanted a natural (non-synthetic) stone – quartzite or marble. We decided to visit a few stone places in the Bay Area just to see what was out there.
I highly recommend seeing stone in person even if you aren’t ready to buy. This gave us a framework to work within so I could start to look for inspiration on Pinterest and Instagram. I pinned and saved dozens of kitchens, and then put my favorites in a Google Slides document. Being organized really helped, especially because we really didn’t know what we wanted when we started.
When we were shopping for marble, I was able to pull up the Google document on my phone when we were browsing to give the salespeople an idea of the stone we were looking for. The kitchens I gravitated to had a background of white stone with a lot of colors swirled throughout them – warm browns, pinks, and golden tones.
I also followed all the San Francisco Bay Area stone places that had Instagram accounts so I could get regular updates if they got new shipments. It was also a reminder to regularly check inventories on their websites. I did this for almost six months before we picked our slabs!
There’s No Substitute for Seeing the Slabs You Like in Person
Visiting the IRG showroom multiple times and also visiting other Bay Area stone locations like Pietro Fina and DaVinci Marble also helped us figure out what we liked. IRG especially had such a large supply of stone it helped us consider a few options we’d never heard of before.
I checked the inventory of each location at least weekly to see what new slabs had arrived. If there was a new slab I thought could work, I would google “Kitchen with ___ marble” to see what it could potentially look like in our kitchen.
Finding “The One” – Our final marble slab choice
I first saw the Calacatta Paonazetto marble on the IRG website and when I looked at it I just knew.
I was literally like an emoji with heart eyes when I saw it.
Excitedly, I called Alexis from IRG and had her put a hold on three slabs for us. We went in to see it the next day. As a precaution, we had our fabricator inspect the slabs before we finalized the purchase and he said the quality was exceptional. The rest is history!
Even though I truly had a marble “aha moment”, I really believe it wouldn’t have happened without all the groundwork of looking at so many kitchens online, seeing hundreds of different marble slabs, and educating myself about the pros and cons of each stone material.
If you do end up buying marble, quartz, quartzite, or granite for your remodel project, I’d love to hear your story and what you chose! Let me know in the comments. I can also try to answer any questions you have there as well.
P.S. – Here’s what our kitchen looked like before:
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Thanks so much for reading A Side of Sweet! For more Sweet in your life, you can find me on Instagram and Pinterest. You can see more of our remodel journey there as well or here: home renovations.
May I ask who you used as fabricator? Your kitchen is stunning. I happened to put a slab on hold at IRG yesterday.
Kelly Egan - A Side of Sweet says
We used Joel Ayala and he was THE BEST! IRG actually recommended him. http://specialmarbleandgranite.com/