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Monday, January 6, 2014

Choosing A New Kitchen Counter top


I have not fallen off the face of blogland world, but I have been busy lately with a couple of things.

First, like most of you I have been taking down Christmas, but this year’s take down is a bit different for me.

I am bound, and determined to purge, and get more organized with my decorations.

On the fringe of this activity is to get the garage cleaned out, and organized. A big job that has needed to be done for longer than I like to admit.

This is going to be a long process but a worthwhile one so wish me luck, I need it!!

Ribbet Edit 2014 KITCHEN COUNTER next

I get to get a new kitchen sink and counter top in my kitchen!!

This is something I have waited for a very long time.

I am a very patient person when it comes to waiting for what I want. 

I would rather wait than just get something during the interim. I have found that temporary becomes permanent in my life. LOL

This is what my kitchen counter looks like now……

bottles 005a_thumb[13]
This tile is 34 years old and has held up beautifully. I have been known to not use a cutting board for cutting a lemon for my tea, or an apple, or an orange on the tile. 

It is a working kitchen, one where we hang out. It has a nice sized breakfast bar area where we eat some meals, the kiddos do crafts, and I set up a buffet here when we have company. 

My little kitchen is a true workhorse.

I now have a chance to make some changes to the counter, sink and faucet. 


In my mind it was always going to be between two products:

Carrara Marble or Tile

I have Carrara marble on my entry hall floor..

Fall Entry Hall 2012 001 (600x800)

I also have it in my guest bathroom…..

bathroom pedestal 014
 I am very aware of the maintenance, and the beauty of this stone.

It meets all of my criteria except for one….


I would have to be more careful with how I use my counters.
I am not afraid of it showing some wear and tear, but I am leery of having to think about my counters every time I go to cut a lemon or an apple. 

I don’t want my guest to feel like they have to be super careful in my kitchen either.

So, I began the hunt for an alternative for a solid surface other than the tile.

I have read so much information my head is spinning. The three top contenders seem to be a quartz products.

Ribbet collage Countertops

I have all three of these products on site……

Countertops 001 (600x800) (2)
This image is on the right side of my kitchen sink.

I compared each quartz product to the Carrara marble.

Carrara comparison 005 (779x800)3
The Lagoon has the least amount of veining and has a bit more depth to it. I can see into the color, it is not flat looking to my eye.

Carrara comparison 004 (796x800)2
Probably the closest as far as the veining but much darker background, more on the beige side.

Carrara comparison 008 (800x600) ribbit
The cambria is the lightest background and is a beautiful product, but it has more of a man made look to my eye.

None of the above are perfect as far as the color of the background so that made me do a bit more investigating. 

I have only looked on line up to this point, but now it is time to do a bit of field work. This is going to take a bit longer than I thought!

I am not in a hurry. I have waited for several years for this opportunity, and I don’t take it lightly that we can do this now. 

I feel very fortunate to be able to even be doing it at all. This will be the last counter top I get in this home so I am going to take my time.

Ribbet Edit 2014 KITCHEN COUNTER next

I am going to look at a larger slab of this material. I am also going to see if I can find some quartzite that looks white enough for me.

Quartzite is not to be confused with Quartz. Quartzite is made by Mother nature and is extremely hard…..
Quartzie is the rock form of the mineral quartz. It is a hard stone, registering 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale. Other attributes that make it a good stone for crafting projects are its density, strength, weather resistance and low porosity.

I have read that there are some Quartzite products in the white family. Now it is time for me to get on the phone and find some local stone yards that might have a slab.

I have also read about Vermont Danby Marble and it is suppose to be a very hard marble and it can be repaired by the homeowner if it gets stained or etched. More on that later.

I feel like I am back working for a client again, but this time the client is ME (she is my hardest client to work for, ever!)

Wish me luck!! I have a lot of leg work and phone work ahead of me.

If any of you have experience with any of the above products please leave a comment!


Toy Carli said...

Thanks for the comments. I too feel this decision requires a lot of research. I'm wondering if each one of those choices is slightly different per slab; i.e., color and veining, at least that's what I've heard. Thanks for sharing your information to date.

Unknown said...

You can't go wrong with those brands of quartz that you chose. I'd steer clear of the quartize, but that's just my personal opinion. It won't hold up as well as the marble and especially the granite.

Dream House Trish said...

How exciting, I will look forward to seeing what you choose. I would love marble when its time for the dream house kitchen but like you I dont want to be fussy with my bench tops, we do craft on our bench as well.
Happy researching!!

A Perfect Gray said...

big decisions! looking forward to your finished kitchen...donna

vignette design said...

The Silestone looks great from your photo. I know you will pick the perfect material for your kitchen. Good luck and have fun! ~Delores

Patty Day @Pattys Epiphanies said...

Kathysue you are so good at this !...We are in the process of replacing one side of our counter for the home to meet resale status. We just picked out what was on the other side of the room. No research, just ordered and handed the man the credit card! When we took down the silly "ledge" the granite never blended in well. It was OK for us, but not for the prospective buyers. When you buy new construction in non custom homes....like we do.....your choices are very limited and very, very generic!!! You are lucky to be able to have the opportunity to research and get quality! Our new place also will be the same. A choice from the developers options!
Have fun !!!!

Tiffany said...

I've seen a quartzite that looks somewhat similar to marble. I think it's called white moon or something with the word luna in it. I'm sorry I can't remember the exact name but I remember thinking it was beautiful in pictures that I'd seen. It wasn't available in our area when we did our kitchen so it wasn't an option for us. It's smart to wait to find what you love.

designchic said...

I understand the issue, but we just put marble in the Beaufort beach house and we love it! We had it sealed after it went in and have had a little etching, but it seems to add character - of course, the house is an 1800's house so I don't mind a little wear. Just giving you another option, but we certainly thought about the other choices. Can't wait to see what you choose!!

La Vie Quotidienne said...

I have Carrera marble in my kitchen and I love it. I haven't had any problems, but I am careful with it. For me the beauty is worth the extra bit of precaution.


Better you than me.....these kind of expensive...once in a lifetime decisions are so dang hard! Good luck friend:)

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Fun fun. Can't wait to see what you choose.

Barbara said...

A recent video by Sarah Richardson chose a quartz called Natural Limestone & Bright White for the island. She did a make over in a home using box store items & as always it turned out great. You can probably see the webisodes from her site www.sarahrichardsondesign.com.
Another one is Quartz Cesar stone called Misty Carrera. I'm sure whatever you choose will be perfect for you. Good luck.


Barbara Bussey {The Treasured Home} said...

We have an almost black granite in our kitchen. It's indestructible! I wish I could accidentally drop a wrecking ball on it and put marble in!

Teresa Hatfield ~ Splendid Sass said...

Silestone is my favorite, but they are all close and beautiful! I am with you on the practical side in a kitchen!
I did the same with my ornaments this year. Cleaned them all and separated them into groups. Broke one of my Radco's, which was sad for 5 minutes.
Happy Tuesday.

Merlin said...

Patience...I do understand patience (waited TWENTY NINE YEARS for a kitchen in our cabin!) and when it came time for counter tops...we went to several distributors, warehouse suppliers, etc. to see the item, touch it, visualize. It was a "no brainer" for me when I saw "thee quartz" of my dreams!! :) franki

Unknown said...

Love the research you've done so far. You will be so thrilled with your final selection, I know!

My friend has Danby in her kitchen and it is beautiful and hers is a busy kitchen with 3 children. Definitely give it a look and enjoy the journey.

Your kitchen is beautiful as is, but I know this will be a fun update for you!

Happiest new year, Kathysue!
xoxo Elizabeth

Stacey {steward of design} said...

I'm gathering ideas for my kitchen remodel someday and I can't wait to see what you choose and learn about alternatives to marble.

Patricia said...

My comment will shock you:

Please leave your white tiles!

They are beautiful!
They make your kitchen different!
They make your kitchen look genuine!
They are much more "European".

Why oh why must we in the US change our homes so often? Why can't we be unique? Why must we spend so much? Keep your tiles, save your money, take a trip!

Lovingly and respectfully recommended

Patricia said...

My comment will shock you:

Please leave your white tiles!

They are beautiful!
They make your kitchen different!
They make your kitchen look genuine!
They are much more "European".

Why oh why must we in the US change our homes so often? Why can't we be unique? Why must we spend so much? Keep your tiles, save your money, take a trip!

Lovingly and respectfully recommended

Anonymous said...

We just had new countertops installed in our kitchen and decided on the Cambria quartz…we love the look. What sold us was the low maintenance…they don't have to be sealed like the granite.

alwaysinasouthernstateofmind said...

We used Caesarstone's newest color London Gray for our kitchen reno (and the Kohler sink you pinned about last night) because I was afraid of the upkeep of marble (especially with three little boys). I couldn't be happier with our choice. :) Adding you to my blog roll...


Jill said...

HI, Kathysue! I am looking forward to following your countertop selection adventure. I have the same exact tile and would love to replace it with a solid surface material in a light color. Thanks for keeping us posted as your journey advances :)