The kitchen countertops have been a source of frustration for me. My wants and my needs to do not agree. I want the look of white carrera marble. I heard someone call carrera marble the “little black dress of tile and countertops.” I agree with this. It is timeless; however, it is very porous. That means it scratches, chips and stains easily. From what I understand, in Europe these marks represent character and what they call a patina. In America, most people just see it as looking “dirty”. I tend to disagree with this. I like the patina of marble. My husband on the other hand, would freak out if anything stained or scratched the countertops we spent thousands of dollars on. And if we ever want to sell the house, I’m not sure the buyers would care for the patina either.
All of this said, I still don’t want dark, chunky, swirly, colorful granite in the kitchen. I want it to look simple, streamlined and timeless. I don’t have anything against granite. I’ve seen some beautiful granite on my search for the right countertops. There are some really fabulous-looking granites out there–full of colors, designs, and shapes. They are natural works of art, and they look great in the right kitchens. In my opinion, there are very few granites that look good with bright white cabinets. I had Absolute Black granite with a carrera marble subway tile back splash and white cabinets at my old house. I thought it looked great. It was traditional and modern at the same time. We did not have any problems at all with the care and maintenance of the countertops. It was so easy.
For this kitchen, I want something different. So what are my options???
This is a small chunk of Arabask granite.
Pros– Only grey and white; has a carrera marble look Cons-It is very chunky.
This is honed black granite. Basically it does not have a shiny glaze on it. It almost feels like leather. It is very interesting.
This is Kashmir White granite. It is grey and creamy with dark purpley-red dots.
This is Imperial White granite. It’s a little whiter than the Kashmir. There are no big dots. It’s mostly grey with a little pinkish beige sandy look. It is not chunky at all. It looks like someone has thrown sand out on a table.
This is Bianca Romano. It is also very close to the carrera marble. It also has little redish purple dots throughout. There are some really prodiment grey streaks also.
Soapstone is extremely soft and porous. It has such a great look to it. It’s what they used to make old chemistry lab tables out of. You have to seal it every so often with mineral oil. It also scratches and chips very easily. You can just sand out the dents and dings with sandpaper. After sealing it a few times, it becomes darker.
And this is what it will look like after it’s been sealed. This is just water splattered on it to give the effect of being sealed.
This is quartzite. It is a natural material. It is stronger than granite. It actually has to be cut with a diamond blade. There is almost a translucent aspect to it. I love the smooth flow of the color. This one has a greyish tint to it. It is about twice as expensive as granite. It runs about $94 per sq. ft.
This is a man-made material. They basically just grind up natural stone and compress it. There are a few different companies that make this type of material. Okite sent me a few free samples. It is made in Italy. This material really fascinates me. I think it might be the future of countertops. I saw it in two ads in one of my home magazines. It is super durable. You can order it from the company and have your fabricator cut it for you. I really like the bright white bianca thasos (the one on the left).
These are made to look like marble.
Here are some more examples.
Whew! That was a lot of info!!! What are your favorites?