Bookmatching refers to matching two or more slabs of stone, so that the two adjoining surfaces mirror each other, like an open book.
How are bookmatched stones created?
The bookmatching process begins when large blocks of quarried natural stone are brought to the processing plant and cut into slabs. The slabs are cut with a gang saw (in a process similar to that of a bread slicer), laid flat to be polished, and then bundled together in the same order they were cut.
To obtain a mirror image, bookmatching requires that two neighboring slabs be polished on opposite sides. When bookmatched slabs are placed next to each other, they open up like a book and show a mirror image of each other.
This video shows slabs being polished at the processing plant.
What kind of applications suit bookmatched stone?
The effect of bookmatched stone is stunning and the results are usually best displayed in larger, uninterrupted applications. Kitchen islands, shower walls and feature walls are the most in-demand bookmatching applications; however, other applications include, headboards, dining room tables, coffee tables and flooring. It’s also a great option for high-end commercial uses, like the backdrop behind a hotel or hospital front desk. Bookmatched stone can look like abstract art, and sometimes people see patterns, shapes or faces in the effect that’s created. The bookmatched Dalmata Marble (featured above) is displayed in our showroom and resembles a classic Rorschach test painting. What do you see?
Can any stone be bookmatched?
No, it depends on the characteristics of the stone. Bookmatched marble is a very common choice since bookmatching works best with stones that have strong veins and linear patterns or plenty of movement. These characteristics are found in a number of different marble, onyx, granite, travertine, and quartzite varieties. Slabs with more uniform patterns such as Santa Cecilia granite wouldn’t make sense to bookmatch because the patterns don’t stand out, making it very difficult to see the effect.
You should also consider the type of bookmatching you want, crosscut or vein cut. Usually, bookmatched slabs that have been crosscut provide the most variation, producing more dramatic patterns, while vein cut slabs produce a more structured pattern. The Dekton Aura slab pictured below is located in one our private workspaces and creates a striking, symmetrical pattern when bookmatched.
Does bookmatching cost more than using a standard layout?
Bookmatching is often more expensive because of layout restrictions. An experienced fabricator can work with you to answer questions about which material and layout would best suit your project. There’s only one layout option to create a bookmatched effect, but leftover stone can sometimes be incorporated into other project areas such as backsplash, shower seats or vanity tops. The Sequoia Brown quartzite backsplash bookmatched below features a rich blend of dark and golden brown, and cream colors complimented by hints of white which make for a dramatic statement.
How do I find out more?
Visit our showroom and browse our slab selection for inspiration on your next project. If you’re looking for bookmatched slabs, be sure to let your sales assistant know when you arrive so we can verify that you’re given the correct slabs that bookmatch each other. Our sales associates are more than happy to advise and make suggestions. Stop by our showroom, call or schedule an appointment and experience it for yourself. Schedule an appointment by using the calendar to the right.