Debunking the Remnant Myth – What is a Remnant and How Can It Be Used?
A remnant is a small/medium piece of stone that has been cut from a larger slab. Often when we cut a countertop from a slab of granite, marble, or quartz, there are unused parts of the slab that become remnant pieces. These remnants are then used for smaller projects, such as vanities, shower seats/ledges, fireplace surrounds, or furniture pieces. Remnants can be a great option when a homeowner wants to use natural or engineered stone in a unique and affordable way!
One of the biggest myths about remnants are that they are cheap or come at a discounted price because they are “leftover” or unwanted “waste” from another project. While remnants do originate from larger slabs, they are not necessarily waste. Often, fabricators such as Marble Granite World strategically decide how to cut countertops out of slabs with the intent to maximize use of the slab, while reducing waste. This helps keep costs down for the customer. Furthermore, it allows us to set aside remnants to be used for future projects.
While remnants are smaller pieces of marble, granite, quartz, or other natural stone, this does not necessarily make them “cheap” products. Since remnant sizes may be closer to the actual size of your small project, that means less waste is involved to produce your piece, thereby helping to reduce the price you pay for that marble, granite, or quartz. If a homeowner wants to use a remnant of an exotic granite, a White Carrara marble, a high-level quartz, or a specialize quartzite, the price for the remnant may not be as cheap as you would hope. Keep in mind that while the size has decreased, thereby reducing waste costs, the value of the actual stone remains the same. It is still the same premium quality product as the slab it came from! A common misunderstanding about remnants is that they are “cheap quality leftovers.”
For example, if a homeowner wants a new master bathroom vanity countertop that measures 60” x 23”, it is advisable to use a pre-cut remnant piece closer to the size of the vanity countertop they desire, rather than cutting a granite slab that measures 120” x 75”. Cutting a full granite slab would create more unused material, resulting in the homeowner paying a higher price to account for waste. By choosing to use a remnant, the homeowner is reducing the amount of natural or engineered stone that is wasted.
The next thing to keep in mind when thinking about remnant costs is additional labor cost associated with creating the project! At Marble Granite World, our fabrication costs are included in our price! This includes the costs of cutting and polishing the piece. Add-on labor charges would include things such as special edges, additional faucet holes, multiple installation or templating trips, or any other custom requests. Even if the remnant can be sold at a reduced price because it fits closer to the size of the project, any potential additional labor costs need to be included in the homeowner’s budget for the project.
Best Uses for Remnants
Due to their often-smaller sizes, remnants are best used for smaller projects such as bathroom vanities, fireplace surrounds, small bar tops, small kitchen islands, coffee tabletops, thresholds, shower wall caps or any other custom projects! Remnants are not suitable for kitchen remodels, as kitchen countertops tend to be large enough to use up an entire slab. Also keep in mind that here at Marble Granite World, we never recommend seaming to remnants together, as it’s often difficult to find two remnants that are identical to each other in color and pattern. If you have any questions about the size of your project and whether using remnants for the project would be feasible, do not hesitate to contact us! Our sales staff are experts at helping you find the right fit for your project while helping you to cut costs!
How to Find a Marble, Granite, or Quartz Remnant
The best and most cost-effective way to search for a remnant is to search for a stone that best fits your project and minimizes the amount of waste! If you can find a stone in your pre-determined price range that maximizes the stone used and minimize the amount of waste left over, this can usually lead to the best priced remnant. It also helps to pre-determine your budget before shopping for a remnant and to share the price point you’d like to be around or under with your Marble Granite World sales associate! This allows our sales staff to provide better direction an
d guidance in the remnant yard. Marble Granite World has a wide variety of remnants and it can be overwhelming to look for countertops if you don’t have a clear budget set.
Remember, not all remnants are made the same – they come from specific projects, so the amount of a color may be limited. Remnants also come in all shapes and sizes so there is often a piece for every project! At Marble Granite World, our remnant yard is constantly changing due to the different projects coming through our shop, so we have a wide variety of marble, granite, quartz, and other natural stone!
Call us at 336-992-5214 or send us the details of your project for help finding the perfect remnant for your next project! Stop by and check out our large inventory of remnants at our showroom in Kernersville, NC!