Stone Supplier vs Big Box: Where Should I Buy My Countertops?

Stone Supplier vs Big Box: Where Should I Buy My Countertops?

May 15, 2018

Whether you’re designing your dream kitchen, giving your bathroom a makeover, or adding a dramatic fireplace surround to your living room, there is no shortage of resources for natural stone. It may be tempting to go to a big-box store for all your home improvement needs, but beware: you won’t receive the same expert knowledge and personalized service as you would with a local supplier or distributor.

Your home is your sanctuary, and we understand that you want it to be unique to you – your style, your functional needs, and your budget. As a local, family-owned business, MARVA is your true partner throughout your project and beyond, to help you find exactly what you need.

Local stone suppliers like MARVA offer superior selections and more reliable customer service than large chains, and you always know where to find us.

Bigger Selection

One look at our showroom and you’ll see – we have more options than any chain retailer. MARVA offers all of the hottest natural stone options, including marble, granite, limestone, soapstone, onyx, travertine, quartz and more. With a vast array of selections, however, come plentiful considerations regarding which stone type is right for your project, based on how the stone will be used and what sort of maintenance it will require. MARVA’s highly trained and specialized Galleria Consultants are available to help answer questions and guide designers and contractors through the selection process for each project. We will discuss your vision for the final product, the traffic that the surface needs to withstand, and where it will be used. Based on that information, our Consultants will make a recommendation for the product that will function best according to your specific needs.

In addition to natural stone like marble and granite, MARVA is the exclusive stocking distributor for Cambria quartz and Neolith Sintered Compact Surfaces, which are made from natural materials, but fortified for additional durability. Between the array of products, and the catalog of designs for each brand we carry, MARVA is certain to have an option that suits your style, and the premier customer service that you deserve.

MARVA® Showroom - Aisle of Slabs

Some of the options offered by MARVA® include:


As a multifunctional workhorse of a stone, granite is the go-to for beautiful, durable stone. Granite can stand up to water, mild abrasions, and heavy traffic with little wear and low maintenance. In a kitchen, granite is ideal for areas that will be exposed to pooling water, like around a sink, as well as sharp knives and hot pans. Since granite is very bacteria-resistant, there’s no need for the harsh cleaners; soapy water is all you need to wipe away any dust or dirt, making it perfect for a kitchen, where hygiene is paramount.


Marble remains a classic option for a high-class, luxury look that can be adapted to nearly any design style. With diligent care and regular maintenance, marble can exude sophistication for a lifetime.

Neolith Sintered Compact Surfaces

Neolith surfaces combine the very best natural raw material with state-of-the-art technology to create high-tech, durable slabs that are resistant to scratching, stains, extreme temperature, moisture, chemicals, and more. For the serious home chefs, Neolith opens new possibilities to experiment in the kitchen without worrying about damage. The thin and lightweight nature of Neolith slabs - weighing only 3.5 lbs/sq ft in the 6mm thickness, and 7 lbs/sq ft in the 12mm thickness – is perfect for anyone seeking a minimalist aesthetic. Home cooks can prepare food directly on the surface without a cutting board without scratching the surface, and easily clean up afterwards, since the nonporous surface won’t absorb bacteria-harboring liquids or harsh cleaners.

Cambria Quartz

Cambria takes the best of natural stone and enhances its durability, making it a perfect surface for modern life. Made of 93% natural quartz, one of the hardest minerals on Earth, and 7% resin, Cambria products are harder than granite or marble, rated a 7 out of 10 on the Mohs scale, so their surfaces are unlikely to crack or scratch. Cambria surfaces are maintenance-free – they never need to be sealed or reconditioned, and cleaning requires no more than a warm, soapy cloth. They’re also heat-resistant, so the design won’t fade due to the ambient in a kitchen. Another benefit to Cambria is that the designs are consistent, and can easily be matched for future remodels.

Industry Knowledge & Expertise

Stone is our business, not a side offering! Our consultants work directly with homeowners– answering questions, making recommendations, and educating them about the differences in surfaces, maintenance, style options, and trends. When working with a stone supplier, you can be certain that you will be connecting with someone who is an expert in helping you find the perfect product for your needs.

MARVA is an industry leader in natural stone, taking an active role in many organizations dedicated to sharing and encouraging the best practices and latest information about stone, design, and fabrication. Industry organizations in which we participate include:

  • MIA (Marble Institute of America)
  • NKBA (National Kitchen & Bath Association)
  • NARI (National Association of Remodelers)
  • NAHB (National Association of Home Builders)
  • ASID (American Society of Interior Designers)
  • AIA (American Institute of Architects)
  • ISFA (International Surface Fabricators Association)
  • Various local Chambers of Commerce

Through our involvement in these organizations, we are committed to the latest and best practices regarding kitchen and bath trends, stone characteristics and maintenance, and how to help you with your natural stone project.

At MARVA, we have a staff of natural stone experts to advise you every step of the way. Whether you’re choosing the perfect material for your fireplace surround, or determining which countertop project will best suit your lifestyle, MARVA is the ideal partner.

MARVA® Showroom - Exterior Front of Richmond Showroom

Personalized Attention

At MARVA, we are committed to providing an excellent client experience for everyone who sets foot in our showrooms. Clients are given one-on-one attention from our Galleria Consultants to help them select a material, and learn more about different stone type and design options. We know that you are excited about building a house or renovating your property, and we share that enthusiasm.

MARVA® Showroom - Salesperson Walkthrough

Our Consultants love discussing the products we offer, from the origins of a stone, to the durability of a Sintered Compact Surface versus a straight-from-the-quarry product. Our showroom is open to walk-ins, so that you may come and see full slabs in person and get a better sense of our stock and your options. And since our consultants work with natural stone every day, we know what’s trending. Whether it’s cutting-edge stone surfaces, or the latest trends in color and pattern, we can advise on the best choices for your project. In addition to the firsthand experience with homeowners and home design professionals, we regularly attend trade shows and training sessions about the latest products and fashions. Whether you need advice on a type of stone, popular finishes, or how the different edge designs can complement your aesthetic, we are passionate about natural stone, and want to share our knowledge with you.

There are several factors involved in choosing a countertop design, from aesthetic, to lighting, budget, exclusivity of the design (a rare stone design might not be the best choice if you’re open to further renovations, because you may not be able to match the stone later on), and more. Our consultants can also guide you through the different finish options and edge profiles available for your stone selection. Whether you wish to create a luxury aesthetic with high gloss counters and multi-layer stacked edges, or something toned down with a leathered finish and minimalist edges, MARVA’s Consultants can take you through your options. We want you to love your countertops as much as we love our products.

MARVA® Showroom - Salesperson Consultation

Local Connection

MARVA has been in business for over thirty years, with five convenient locations throughout the Mid-Atlantic. As an original stone supplier, fabricators and homeowners can rest assured that we will be present and available long after the project has been completed. Whether you have questions about how to maintain your stone or the warranty coverage for your surfaces, we are your partners throughout the process.

We also take pride in our community involvement and support of local charities to help serve the area that we consider home. We have contributed to organizations that use our products to offer housing to underserved populations, such as the Gary Sinise Foundation - Smart Home Project, Habitat for Humanity, Rebuilding Together Richmond, and more. Additionally, we support local charities for community members in need, including the The Willow Tree Foundation, Christmas Mother, National MS Society, Bon Secours Forensic Nursing, and others.

By supporting your local stone distributor, you are supporting a company that you can trust to give back to your community, while also creating a partnership that will last the lifetime of your stone. MARVA Marble and Granite is your hometown supplier of beautiful natural stone, as well as your personal consultant. Stop by one of our showrooms today to see more of what MARVA Marble and Granite has to offer.

Currently in the middle of a renovation or deciding on a design for your kitchen or bathroom? Schedule an appointment to speak with a Galleria consultant or come browse our showroom.
You can also get inspired by looking through our gallery.

Like What You're Reading?

Get more articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.

Inspiration Gallery

View Inspiration Gallery View Inspiration Gallery

We understand the industry,

because we are in the industry.