Generally, on a stock color, you are only paying for the square footage actually used. If the stone you select is a custom order slab then it will be necessary to pay for the entire slab. Slabs are always sold intact. Buying random slabs is similar to buying fabric. Like a seamstress or tailor, your fabricator buys the raw material and sells you a completed installation. In the price is included the cost of transporting the material, making field measurements and templates, cutting, polishing, bringing the pieces to your job site, and fitting them into place. How much material he needs is determined by the layout and the amount of waste. The fabricator will lay out your job in a way that will minimize the amount of waste material while maximizing the natural beauty of veining and pattern. At Great Lakes Granite and Marble, our policy is to only make the customer pay for the actual square footage they use of the material unless it is a special order material.