counters

before i pick out the paint color (some shade of "white") for the cabinets, i wanted to get a general idea of what type of counter we'll be using. we've spent the last few weekends visiting showrooms, talking to stone fabricators, and getting estimates. when i started this whole process, i wanted marble counters. at some point i talked myself out of marble because of the maintenance requirements. then we went to look at counters, and now i want marble again.

granite is just too new and shiny, i don't think it will look right in our house. i also considered soapstone, and just recently removed it from the list. it is a little darker in color than i'd like, and i've not heard so good things from people who have had it installed. there are some quartz (silestone, cambria) counters that i think are ok, and could work, but i don't get excited about them.i am excited about marble. we were first drawn to carrara, and have actually found it to be less expensive than some of the other options. but some places won't even install it in a kitchen, and this has me worried.

then we saw a few slabs of danby marble. the slab above is mountain white, and below is mont clair. many people have recommended the danby over the carrara for kitchens, we've been told that it doesn't stain as easily and is harder than carrara. on all marble, it seems that the biggest problem is etching, and that a honed finish is recommended because the etch marks will not be as noticeable. luckily, i prefer the honed finish.
i've done research, i've read opinions on blogs and forums, i've talked to "stone experts". but i'm having a hard time getting options from real people who have installed marble in their real kitchen. so i thought i'd ask you all - anyone out there have marble counters? if so, what kind? honed or polished? do you seal your counters? have you had major issues with staining/etching?

i know that the marble will patina. i know it will age. i actually like the character of the material. i just don't want to have to worry about a giant noticable spot forming in the middle of the counter. i like to cook, and the counters will be well used.

any assistance would be appreciated!

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8 Responses to counters

LifeBegins@Thirty said...

I LOVE marble counters in kitchens. SO gorgeous. However, having marble in my bathroom now, I think I'd take a pass on them in my kitchen. They really are high maintenance.

I'd probably do a dark stone on most of them and maybe do a marble on the island (if I had that kind of dream layout).

We are constantly stressed about the marble. PLUS it is soft-ish and dropping a pot on it by accident could cause damage.

Katie said...

yikes - thanks for the comment! we would have a butcher block island top, so we would most likely do our prep work in that area.... but i would also hate to install the marble and then stress about it.

Sara @ Russet Street Reno said...

I wouldn't do marble, but that's mostly because I'm a slob, a clutz, and I drink boatloads of red wine! Well, I do when I"m not knocked up. I wanted the look of soapstone without the oiling, so I chose Aqua Grantique (also called Phantom Green) granite for a similar look without the soapstone issues. In a suede finish, of course!

Jessie said...

We have carerra on our kitchen island. I LOVE it. We seal it twice a year, which takes about 10 mins, and haven't had any stains. We do have some scratches and a nick where I dropped a cast-iron frying pan on the edge. I knew it would look worn in and wanted it to look like a patina-ed french table. If you can't stand the idea of scratches, bumps, and some stains, do not install it.
You can see our kitchen at shadeofabeechtree.blogspot.com

matthew said...

marble is like a Jersey Housewife; nice to look at but very high maintenance. And oddly enough, always 11 degrees cooler than the air around it. I would go for concrete and get a marble slab for rolling out pastry dough

Dennis and Su said...

We have Cambria Brownstone quartz and love it! We've had it over a year now and it looks just like it did when they installed it. We use our worktops all the time including rolling pizza dough and pie dough on them and they clean beautifully with zero maintenance.

Hey, you asked!

You can sorta see it in this post: http://rx19jones.blogspot.com/2011/06/getting-closer.html

Katie said...

jersey housewife? probably the best comment ever... maybe it's just misunderstood??

i should have added that marble is the only material that mike and i can agree on as far as appearance. i have yet to find a granite that i like, but have found many "solid" looking quartz products that i think could work. mike does not like the solid quartz. this is not supposed to be the complicated part!

thanks for all of the opinions, keep them coming!

Jo Ro said...

I don't have marble in my kitchen, yet I do have an entire marble bath - and I am not sure i'd do it again. It does discolor.

It is beautiful though.

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