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Choosing the Right Stone

Mike Gregorio | August 20, 2019

Natural stone is a beautiful product that lasts. In picking the right stone (color, pattern, texture, etc.), there are few things you should keep in mind. Use this guide to help you make right choice.

What to Do to Choose the Right Stone

  • Research- Look at pictures –> Get Inspired with Ernest Maier. We can also point you to local contractors. The internet is great, but be sure that you are looking local if price is important (see next point). Also be cognizant that different vendors/quarries have different names for the same colors: Guide to Stone Color Names.
  • Know Your Budget– Stone tends to be quite heavy, meaning shipping can be quite expensive for non-local quarries.
  • Come into the Yard– Many of our retail yards stock stone. Seeing is believing. Additionally with many of same stone, you will get an idea of the expected variability.
  • Test Drive It– Bring home a sample. Stones can change color depending on the lighting and whether or not its wet (rain). Try it out in these conditions to see if it’s really ideal.
  • Get It Wet- Stone changes color when wet. If your stone will be outside, rain is inevitable and we encourage you to see it under all the environmental conditions it will experience.
  • Sample Matching– If you are looking to match something, bring it along as you come to see it. Materials can change appearance when adjacent
    • If not possible to bring in a sample be sure to color balance your pictures.
  • Take a Tour- Ask and we can point you to places where the stone you are considering has been installed.


Natural stone, may not be the best fit for you. That’s okay

  • Manufactured Stone – If you are looking for a very specific look, it might be best to consider manufactured stones/manufactured stone veneers. Manufacturing processes can provide a greater degree of precision and certainty over a naturally occurring product.
  • Pavers As modular paving units, pavers can create an array of designs that would be more difficult with traditionally quarrying (e.g., circles). Additionally manufacturing can create a more consistent look, or can even replicate natural patterns.
  • Stamped Concretecan replicate stone, tile, brick and even wood. The wide variety of pattern and color choices make it popular and affordable option for beautifying patios, pool decks, driveways and more.
  • Stormwater- Stone is beautiful, but it’s also impervious to rainwater. Installing stone could create or exacerbate a flooding issue. There are many products that address this challenge, including PaveDrain.

The Ernest Maier family of companies is always ready to help. Don’t hesitate to reach out.

VP of Natural StoneMike Gregorio

MD: Gaithersburg

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