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Book-Matched Slabs Explained

Post by: Camila da Paz | Source: Architectural Digest

Natural stone isn't just stone. Every slab is distinct, some more subtly grained while others are vividly expressive. No matter your preference in pattern, a recently popular trend towards book-matched slabs is the material at its most statement-making.

But what does "book-matched" really mean? Book-matching occurs when the veining and movement of an individual slab is mirrored by its "slab sister". Meaning when placed end to end, the veining and movement carries on from one slab to the other creating a continuing flow or pattern. The process of book-matching occurs during manufacturing when alternating sides of the slab are polished. It adds cost and time to the finishing process and not all natural stone is suitable for book-matching.

Natural stones with strong movement and veining are best suited for book-matching.  Many varieties of marble, quartzite and travertine have the right characteristics befitting a book-matched installation.

When considering your overall interior design, it is important to carefully consider the type of book-matching: veincut vs crosscut.  Typically, book-matched slabs manufactured crosscut offer the most dramatic and varied patterns where book-matched veincut slabs offer a more structured and striated patterning.

"Fundamentally, I am all about finding interesting and authentic ways to incorporate nature into most of my designs," says interior designer Jeremiah Brent, who sprung for book-matched marble in the bathroom he co-designed with his partner Nate Berkus for their Manhattan home. "Book-matched marble is one of the truest ways to showcase the natural beauty of the stone and can become a statement piece of art."

We know what you're thinking: Acquiring two mirror-image slabs of natural stone is probably very costly, right? Not necessarily... Compared with engineered stones and porcelain, natural stone can be the most affordable option, depending on the material you choose.

After you pick the slabs you love, with the right clarify, definition, and veining, it has to then be professionally 'sliced' from one flat slab into two even flatter slabs by your fabricator. Come installation day, you'll want to be sure the two pieces line up precisely right. It's no minor undertaking.

But, due to its high-impact look, a small piece of book-matched marble goes quite a long way: "Use it in places where it can not only be appreciated, but also transition through the years seamlessly," Brent says, like on "bathroom walls, kitchen islands, fireplace mantels, accent walls and even on the floor." And if marble is starting to sound like too dull for you, remember that it's possible to book-match other natural materials, too. It instantly makes a space feel custom and elevated."

Let me know in the comments if you like book-match slabs design!

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