Sunday, June 8, 2014

Why I Chose CARRARA MARBLE For My Kitchen


Where to begin? I guess at the beginning……

Grab a cup of coffee and proceed!

It was that time in our lives when we needed to spruce up our existing kitchen. One of the hardest decision was what kind of counter tops should we get.

Our 35 year old white tile had served us well, but now it was time for a change.

Goals
I knew I wanted something close to white so the search began.

Carrara marble was an obvious choice as far as aesthetics were concerned. After all I had marble in my entry hall flooring…..

entry hall_thumb[8]

and in my guest bathroom……


IMG_2167

I knew how to maintain marble, but for some reason I was hesitant to use it on my counters. My kitchen is a working kitchen and the hub of my home. I was concerned about staining and etching.

This led me to an exhaustive search for something that would not necessarily give me the same look, but something that had the qualities I needed as stated in my goal, and was practical as well.

When I do a project for myself, or a client I do lots and lots of research to find the base element to use for the project.

I read every blog post, and forum discussion I could get my hands on.

I narrowed it down to four options other than Carrara marble. I will tell the upside and the downside of each…..

FIRST
CAMBRIA TORQUAY
Cambria
This is a beautiful man made quartz product.

Background: Light and bright on the greige side of white.

Pattern: varied throughout somewhat on the busy side.

Color of veining: It varied from gray to slightly green and a bit of gold.


SILESTONE LYRA
Countertops 009 (800x600) (2)

BACKGROUND:  I found it to be on the light side of beige undertone of brown.

PATTERN: Short veining with more speckling.


COLOR OF VEINGING: Charcoal, gray to black.




SILESTONE LAGOON
Countertops 008 (800x600) (2)

BACKGROUND: Light soft with an undertone of beige.



PATTERN:  Very soft veining



VEINING COLOR: Soft grays and some off-white speckling.


I STARTED TO HAVE SOME HOPE:



This particular man made quartz product did make me have hope I could find a product that would suit my needs and design aesthetics.



I did a comparison of the three products……


Ribbet collage Countertops


I even went so far as to see how they would look with my Carrara marble, since the kitchen can be seen from the entry hall.

Countertops 002 (800x600) (2)
This is a picture of the three options on my white tile, you can see the variation in the background colors and the veining patterns.


Carrara comparison 005 (779x800)3
Lagoon and Carrara marble tile.


Carrara comparison 004 (796x800)2
Silestone Lyra and Carrara marble


Carrara comparison 002 (800x440)ribbit1
  
There are two other products that I did not see a larger sample of, but it looked interesting and it had a very light background and that was.

Frosty Carrina by Caesarstone……..

frosty-carrina-caesarstone-lyra-silestone-torquay-cambria-carrara-marble

If you are on the hunt for a practical man made quartz product that does look like a natural stone I found the London Gray, a Caesar stone product, to look like a natural stone. It is on the light side of gray and the veining is quite realistic…..

London gray caesarstone

COMPARISON WITH FROSTY CARRINA

London gray2



FS_STOP_S.T.O.P__23399.1332884842.1000.1000

Let me stop at this point and say….

“Nothing looks like Carrara Marble except  Carrara marble, so if you are looking for something that will fool someone into thinking it is Carrara, none of these products will do that.
“BUT”

If you are looking for a product that has a lighter look, is practical, and a good looking product, these are the products for you.

After going and looking at the products first hand and seeing larger slabs of the man made quartz, my husband and I both agreed we could not get a man made product. We would always feel as if we settled.

  (My Carrara marble countertops)

I am a purist on most counts and since we already had marble in our home we were willing to take a chance on its beauty over having to be a bit more careful with maintaining it’s beauty. 

We made this decision after reading copious amounts of information written on the subject.

None of the above man made products, (Quartz), had the life that Carrara gives. They were more flat and one dimensional to the eye. Carrara had depth and life to it. It was bright and light and just had the feel of my home.

If I were to have a  home of neutrals, grays, beiges or greiges any of the above would give me a beautiful kitchen.

They are all on the lighter side of beige, or gray and I would definitely recommend them to a client for their looks and their practicality.

However I WOULD NOT recommend them as an alternative to Carrara marble, nothing can duplicate Mother Nature as far as the looks of marble.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION!
In my next post I will be posting a very long list of post that I read while I was on my search for new countertops. They were instrumental in helping me come to my decision and hopefully they will be helpful to you as well.

10 comments:

marty (A Stroll Thru Life) said...

Kathysue, your kitchen is so beautiful. I love your marble and it was definitley the right choice.

La Vie Quotidienne said...

When I remodeled my kitchen 6 years ago I had Carrara marble put in, just like yours except with ogee edges. I figured that it had been used for countless generations as a work surface in homes and in commercial situations. After six years of use mine still looks like new. I am so glad you followed your heart and good decorating instincts. It is a beautiful addition to your room.

Patty Day @Pattys Epiphanies said...

The "ONLY" choice!
You did GOOD, Girl!

Linda {Calling it Home} said...

It's stunning and you love it. That's all that matters. Beautiful.

Karena Albert said...

Kathy Sue you made the perfect choice, there is nothing like the real thing!!

xoxo
Karena
The Arts by Karena

e winni said...

Thank you! Looking forward to your next post as I try to make this decision also :)

Centsational Girl said...

I love your thought process! I confess I'm drawn to Silestone and Ceasarstone but totally agree, there's nothing as nice as the real thing!
Kate

Liz@ Infuse With Liz said...

You really did your homework! The choice looks excellent! I remember asking for marble for an entryway once and got shot down right away. They told me it would crack easily and stain so I gave up without a 2nd thought. It's silly when you think about how long marble has been used. There is a reason- it's beautiful and strong!

Teresa Hatfield ~ Splendid Sass said...

Kathysue, you always put so much time and thought into your home design! I LOVE your kitchen.!
Teresa
xoxo

Rattlebridge Farm said...

Just when I was starting to question my decision, I saw your note. I really love this post, and I agree with you 100%. Your marble counters are elegant and timeless. Sigh. So beautiful. I'm scooting along to read the 2nd link. Thanks!