Granite, marble, and quartz prices vary - but most will begin at about $55 per square foot installed for the most basic stock colors. As you venture into exotics and non-stock colors, prices go up accordingly, and it is not uncommon to find slabs of granite that go for upwards of $3500 per slab. These are the slabs that look like pieces of art.
In many bathroom remodels, clients desire a distinctive stone, with unique colors and veining. However, it can be cost prohibitive to buy a full slab (slabs are usually 5' x 9' in size) when only a small piece is needed. A standard 30" powder room vanity only requires a piece of stone that measures 31" x 22".
Remnants are just that - they're leftovers from previous jobs. There are many instances where a commercial business - such as a restaurant or hotel may have a large piece of granite left over from a new installation. Believe it or not, there are also residential clients who end up with large pieces of unneeded stone from a new kitchen or a large bathroom remodel. A lot of times, they simply leave that stone with the fabricator, who holds on to it and then sells it at a deep discount to anyone who wants it.
You won't find remnants at big stone yards. Fabricators are the place to go for these pieces. For most of my bath remodels, I try to steer my clients towards searching for a remnant. Most of the time, we find something that they love and we purchase for an extremely reasonable price.
Just recently, I found a really nice piece of "Typhoon Bordeaux" granite remnant. The piece is big enough that we can use it for both of the bathrooms we are remodeling, and we got it at an incredible price.
Searching for the right piece of stone is a pretty time consuming process. It's one of the more costly items you'll spend money on during your project. Take the time to visit some local fabricators in your area before you drop thousands on brand new slabs. You'll probably be surprised by the wide selection available, and if you search long enough, you just might find that perfect piece of stone at a very low price.