ilovecupcakes

Stone countertop help needed!

Andrea
2 months ago

Hi all, I'm looking for a countertop for our kitchen and like the look of the silestone eternal calicotta gold but I really wanted a real stone and a honed finish. I've looked at SO MANY quartz options but I'm just not loving how man made they look to me.
I want white and relatively simple (aka not too busy or bold) because we have natural walnut cabinets and they have a lot of movement. We are going for contemporary and we need a jumbo slab for the waterfall island. Can anyone give me advice or other recommendations?
We are not super messy people (I won't be leaving a spill overnight) but we do cook a lot (oil will be present in my kitchen, etc). I want durable but honestly it doesn't have to be bullet proof, we do take care of our stuff.
THANKS!

Comments (32)

  • Ali K
    2 months ago

    If you want to avoid the fake “man made” counter look I would avoid quartz, it’s basically plastic and never has the movement of real stone. I would go visit some stone suppliers and check out granite or quartzite slabs.

  • Helen
    2 months ago

    I can only repeat Ali K's post above - go to a good stoneyard and look at slabs. When I was remodeling, I also looked at manmade materials but there was something "off" to me in terms of what I wanted.


    My friend has had marble counters in her kitchen and has had them for about 15 years. Her husband is a bit of a slob and they certainly haven't pampered them. She had a portion of the slab made into a kitchen table which was used extensively by her family. There are no issues with it - some moderate etching which really can only be seen when the light hits it and you really look for it. Periodically she has had it sealed which is not a big deal.


  • Related Discussions

    Unusual counter top sink that doesn't stain!

    Q

    Comments (7)
    Do you think mixing something very modern like stone, metal or glass will work in an otherwise traditional setting? I plan to have a roll top in the middle of the room and then knock part-through to the current bathroom (the bathroom is moving next door into the single bedroom) and put the high level flush loo and shower around the corner. I like nooks and crannies and general quirkiness! If I could put a step in somewhere I would! The front of the current bathroom will then be walled shelving storage for shoes, I was thinking. Also, do you know much about the new perspex wall coverings you can get instead of tiles? It'll be metro tiles otherwise. Lastly, anyone experienced the bathroom/original floorboard/water-tight scenario? I really want the floorboards to stay. I get a bit carried away when it comes to my lovely house!!!
    ...See More

    Kitchen bar counter need help choosing material

    Q

    Comments (1)
    Could you attach a piece of clear acrylic sheet over it?
    ...See More

    I need opinions on Caesar stone counter colours.

    Q

    Comments (3)
    Hi there, From experience the closest to Quartz composites which look like Carrara Marble are Quartzforms Veined Michelangelo, or Unistone Bianco Carrara. We don't deal with Caeserstone too much here anymore (no reason, just so many options available we tend to pick our favourties!) but from a look through our samples Caeserstone London Grey has the look of the marble, although a little more grey overall. We would also advise strongly against putting marble in a kitchen, it is too porous and for such a large amount of money it can be damaged so easily. Generally the Quartz manufacturers are very good at imitating other stones, it won't look like a fake marble, just one that can take a bit more heavy use than marble can! Good luck!
    ...See More

    Need a White Countertop - Alternative to Marble??

    Q

    Comments (12)
    Hello Melissa. We get asked this all the time! Each piece of marble is so unique, with beautiful veining, which simply cannot be copied when it comes to a composite. However, Silestone 'Lagoon' & Caesarstone 'London Grey' tend to be P&P clients favourites. Another design trick to get some of real marble into your kitchen is to use a Simple white or grey composite with a lovely real marble splash back... I would only recommend this behind a sink though. See the attached that I reference often including a P&P kitchen with Caesarstone 'London Grey' worktops. Good luck! Best, Camilla (P&P)
    ...See More
  • Andrea
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @Ali K and @Helen quartzite is one I've been confused about. Any personal stories or information you want to pass along on those? Unfortunately we want white and more marbly so granite isn't really a match as that's not a naturally occurring granite color and/or pattern. but i 100% agree there's just something "off" to me, they're beautiful in the showroom but i really want that natural look of a honed stone, it seems so earthy to me.

  • Helen
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I have no personal stories about quartzite. It is supposed to be more "bullet proof" than marble but from what I have learned on this forum, a lot of slabs are sold as quartzite which are actually marble. There is a way to test for quartzite which I can't remember since I wasn't looking for quartzite.

    Authentic quartzite is more expensive than marble - or so I've read. Maybe someone else will have actual experience with quartzite.

    As I posted, my friend's marble looks fine after 15 or so years. I am really familiar with it because we do a lot of cooking together as she has the better and bigger kitchen :-). She is a friend from childhood so she is more like a sister than a friend - just adding this as I am more intimately familiar with her kitchen than I would be for a casual acquaintance.


    ETA - I have marble counters, floors and shower floor in my bathroom and have no issues. My designr said I need to seal it periodically which is not a big deal. With my marble, I do exercise reasonable precautions like not dying my hair in the shower - which I didn't do anyway and use a cleaner that is supposed to be for marble. The counter in my master bath is honed French Vanilla because I didn't want a really strong veined look as I wanted a softer look. The floors are also honed but they are a basket weave Calacatta and I have a large mosaic marble tile in the shower - I think it is from Greece and it is pretty "veinless" as the style is from its being shaped into a subtle leaf design :-)

  • Andrea
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @Helen my parents have marble and after 15 years it's cool but it's a little messier than i wish. they cook a lot too and no stains really aside from the high iron water and etching as it's honed. so looking for something i guess a little less likely to etch and stain than that. maybe quartzite will do? i'll have to try another stone place, the one i went to basically had a lot of quartz options as i believe most people end up with that who doesn't want to seal and maintain (which doesn't bother me). i appreciate your info on the quartzite too, i didn't know there was a need for a test for it but i'll look into that!

  • Shannon_WI
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    "Unfortunately we want white and more marbly so granite isn't really a match as that's not a naturally occurring granite color and/or pattern."

    That is incorrect. There are the granites in the Alaska White family, called Alaska White, White Delicatus, White Springs, Lennon, Bianco Antico or a few other names. These names are sometimes used interchangeably at stoneyards. The slabs in this family of granites vary significantly in how much white, black, gray or taupe they each have, so you must go to a few stoneyards to see different ones. This family of granites is fairly bulletproof, resistant to stains, and won't etch. But they will not fulfill your requirement of "white and relatively simple (aka not too busy or bold)". Something has to give in your requirements. If you want the beauty of Mother Nature, it will have all the variety that Mother Nature offers.

    Or, you can get one of the Quartzes that is white with little pattern. IMHO, if you are going for a modern-walnut-cabinets look, I think a white Quartz would be best. See pics below.

    Regarding "We are going for contemporary and we need a jumbo slab for the waterfall island" - this forum sees almost every day a post about the woes of fabricating a waterfall island. The waterfall islands are so "in", they are even seen in tract builder homes due to their popularity, so every contractor with the most minimal stone fabricating skills is saying he can do them. Seriously, be certain your fabricator has a lot of experience, or you will be among the daily posters here about the problems with their waterfall. Also, when you said "jumbo" slab, that says to me that the island is too big, and you won't be able to clean the middle of it easily, or walk around it easily in your kitchen.







  • Andrea
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @Shannon_WI the granite above is absolutely beautiful but not what we're looking for right now, we really don't want to go into the grays and i can't find anything really white. Our island needs a jumbo slab for length, it's really not that big but then again i'm sitting at an island right now that's 10.5'x5.5' and i have no problem cleaning it so i guess it's all personal preference. we do have a fabricator that we have used in the past (as has our designer for decades) and is very experienced so i'm not so concerned with their ability to fabricate a waterfall edge, it's more just finding a stone that i love. everyone wants to talk me out of natural materials but i really want something more natural and without the plastics as we don't use plastic in our house unless we can't avoid it. plus i just think the natural stone is beautiful...doing a honed or matte finish in the quartz just looks plastic to me and at that point i might as well go laminate j/k

  • Shannon_WI
    2 months ago

    I understand, and again, my point was that you want a natural stone, which will have all the variation of Mother Nature, but you don't want variation in your stone, you don't want grays, you want something really white. You cannot have all of that. As I said above, something has to give in your requirements.

    We used to have a regular poster on this forum who used the word "Unobtanium" as the name of the stone you want. That is why I posted the pics above of the walnut kitchens with the counters that have the features you want. But they are not stone.

  • Andrea
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @Shannon_WI i don't mind variations i maybe should have said i don't want it TOO busy. there's beautiful marbles with movement and variation in them and many quartzites seem to have quite a bit of movement but they're nice as well. i just don't know much about quartzite yet. I don't mind a white background with grays or golds and grays running through it if it's a more contemporary veining vs. the texture of a granite which i don't personally consider contemporary (i may be wrong about that but imo it doesn't seem it). i guess i just don't know what's out there, hence the post. So this has been helpful because I've found a few quartzites that seem to mimic the movement in the et. calacatta gold quartz but more naturally with the quartzite. I just need to find a middle zone so the stone doesn't compete with the movement and variety of the walnut.

  • julieste
    2 months ago

    Andrea--


    You say your parents have marble. What variety is it? I have been looking at Danby marble since it is supposed to be much harder and durable than other varieties. Go to the Danby marble website to find which stone places in your area actually carry the Danby because not many carry it.


    We also looked at quartzite and found it to be quite a bit more expensive than the Danby. (I don't know if cost is an issue for you though.)

  • nidnay
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    We have honed Bianco Avion marble tops in our kitchen and some baths. It’s very understated, not heavily veined, with no grays and more on the warm side compared to Carrara. We’ve been living in the house 3 years and found it to be VERY forgiving. We have no etching, staining, or chipping. I am a neat cook, so I would guess that plays into things. I have read many horror stories about marble, but honestly, our experience has been nothing like what I have read. I would install again in a heartbeat.

    When we were building, I looked at quartz but it had zero appeal. I love the depth and beauty of real marble.

    Not sure if this is somewhat of what you are looking for (may be way too subtle), but here are some pics of it in our home (we are obviously not contemporary so will have to try to look beyond style))….


    1 - New Build in Process... · More Info



    6 - Misc · More Info



    1 - New Build in Process... · More Info


  • karin_mt
    2 months ago

    I'd look at Danby marble, Taj Mahal quartzite, or a 'Fusion' quartzite. There are quite a few colors and variations of Fusion.


    Another possibility is Silver Cloud granite, also known as Viscont White. Depending on how its cut, it can look somewhat like marble.


    Also, some reading is a good idea. Quartzite is a gorgeous stone, but it can be poorly represented by some stone sellers and fabricators. It's a 'buyer beware' type of material, unfortunately.


    http://usenaturalstone.com/definitive-guide-quartzite/

    http://usenaturalstone.org/properties-of-quartzite/

    https://usenaturalstone.org/how-to-be-your-own-stone-sleuth/

  • Holly- Kay
    2 months ago

    Andrea, I’m having the same issue. I want a very calm and soothing look in my kitchen. This last year has been a nightmare with my husband’s diagnosis of Alzheimer’s and getting a new property ready for us to move into. I don’t want a dramatic stone but I’d love a white or off white natural stone that isn’t speckled and busy. I found a beautiful marble yesterday called Blanco Impala. it’s a beautiful frosty white with subtle areas of blue. It’s polished but the stoneyard will only sell it honed which is fine by me as i prefer the feel of honed. I’m worried about it’s durability. I very much want natural stone but if I don’t bite the bullet on this marble I may have to settle for quartz to achieve my vision of what I want my kitchen to look like.



  • julieste
    2 months ago

    Holly-Kay


    In the big picture of what's important in life and what your stressors are, IMO a countertop that might etch is a pretty insignificant detail. If you love it, get the Blanco Impala rather than a quartz that you would just be settling for. (Honed is a much better choice in marble than polished anyway.) Or, as I mentioned to someone else upthread, look for a Danby marble since that is supposed to be quite durable. Look at the Danby website to find out which dealers near you carry this variety because very few stone yards have this. Just my thoughts on your situation.....Good luck moving forward.

  • Andrea
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @nidnay beautiful kitchen, i love the marble! thank you for the pictures they really help!


    @karin_mt thank you for the options you looked at, i'm def. going to be checking those out tonight on google and then may in the stoneyard next week.


    @Holly- Kay i'm sorry about your husband that seems like a lot to deal with in the process of building! let me know what you end up with but i'm sure in the end the counter selection will be fine it's less of a focus once the whole thing is in!


    @juliestei'm glad danby is supposed to be durable. i'll check their website, i'm curious why it's more durable than others but i'm glad you mentioned it!


    thank you all for your help and some options to check!

  • karin_mt
    2 months ago

    Here's a profile story about Danby marble. If buying American is a factor in your decision, there are links at the bottom of the article to the other American quarries I've written about so far.


    The idea of a local/native stone is an appealing one to me, which is why I'm writing this series. It's so satisfying to learn the backstories of all these amazing places.


    https://usenaturalstone.org/a-mountain-with-a-heart-of-marble-going-underground-with-vermont-danby-marble/



  • Shannon_WI
    2 months ago

    Danby marble is more durable in that it will not chip as easily as other marbles. However, it will etch the same as other marbles.

  • Holly- Kay
    2 months ago

    Juliest, thank you for the encouragement. i told my dear daughter today that I think I have to go the marble route. My heart just longs for the serenity of a beautiful marble. i did find two suppliers of Danby. I would love to have American stone on my counters.


    i brought a sample of the Blanco Imperial home with me. I put lemon juice, mustard and tamari sauce on it for an hour just to get an idea of what would happen. the lemon juice just sat on top, when I wiped it away there was zero etching. The mustard wiped off easily with no staining, the Tamari sauce left a faint stain but a much lighter stain than the one it left on the sample of American Beauty granite that I brought home.


    I’ll be visiting another stone yard probably on Thursday that carries a lot of marble. I plan on asking if they can find a Danby supplier.


  • Holly- Kay
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Andrea, thanks for the well wishes. i’m just anxious to get moved into our new home. I’ll worry about selling this property and his antique vehicles after the move takes place. Keeping my fingers crossed for mid to late November.

  • Boxerpal
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    There are some wonderful quartzites out there if you don't find a Danby treasure. Danby marble is glorious. We went with marble but the one I chose is rather soft, etches and chips easily not Danby But my husband and I love it and would do it all over again. I could not find a quartz that would fit with the design we were going with. I totally understand trying to find the right stone for your space. I think I searched for 6 months and went to many many stone yards. I wish you luck.

    Here are some that I found.....









    and here is the one we loved the most.



    a little section..... of our kitchen



  • PRO
    The Surface Collection
    2 months ago

    Hi Andrea,


    We are a family-run business, supplying natural and composite stone slabs for interior design and we would love to offer our help.


    We supply Silkstone Quartz, a range of stunning Quartz designs that imitate natural marble beautifully. I believe we may have some designs that are perfect for what it is you are looking for! To have a look at our marble range just click here.


    We are also the UK supplier of Atlas Plan Porcelain which has plenty of benefits for kitchen surfaces as well as stunning designs. To view the Atlas Plan range, click here.


    If you would like to view the slab in full, we can send full-sized images and we offer one-to-one viewings with expert knowledge at our site in Urmston. We are also able to post samples direct to you.


    Take a look and see if any of our options are right for you, and if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch.


    Many thanks,

    May from The Surface Collection

  • Shannon_WI
    2 months ago

    "We went with marble but the one I chose is rather soft, etches and chips easily not Danby"

    @Boxerpal - your kitchen's marble is gorgeous. Please note, for others looking at Danby marble, that as you said it will not chip as easily as other marbles. However, Danby will etch the same as other marbles.

  • Ann Oles
    2 months ago

    Marble is a good choice IMO. Good examples don't have an overcomplicated look. Though, the advice to look everything personally and even touch it if necessary is the best idea in such cases.

  • Andrea
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @Boxerpal what's the 4th one down? your kitchen is pretty!


    @The Surface Collection thank you i'll take a look! Are you able to message me? I'd love to learn more about the product and see which stone you feel is best for what I'm looking for.



  • Boxerpal
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    @Andrea A quartzite, I don't remember I think it is...Perla Venato Quartzite or White Princess.. Sorry I didn't take good notes when I was stone hunting.

  • Boxerpal
    2 months ago

    @Shannon_WI yes, almost all marbles can etch. I do think Danby marble is outstanding. We could not find a danby slab at the time of our reno so fell in love with Rio Venatto Marble. It is definitely soft with a tiny chip around the sink but overall gorgeous.

  • PRO
    The Surface Collection
    2 months ago

    Hi @Andrea,


    As I don't have your email I am currently unable to send you a message directly through Houzz. However, you can contact us through our page, or send an email to info@thesurfacecollection.co.uk where a member of our team can assist you.


    We look forward to hearing from you!


    Many thanks,

    May from The Surface Collection

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    2 months ago

    The Surface Collection:


    When you post about your company, it's spam, however, when you post about your company as offering a solution to another poster's comments or question, it's not. That seems to be the case here, however, I would tell you from a business perspective this forum is nearly worthless as far as a business promotional vehicle.


    I've been posting and responding here for about 7 years. So far, I've gotten a $300.00 cooktop cutout change job, another $300.00 consulting gig, and someone sent me a Starbucks gift card for something. You will get plenty of emails, about 1 or 2 a month, requesting help for no pay. I'm not complaining; it's flattering and enjoyable, but will never pay any bills.

  • nidnay
    2 months ago

    @Keshet Starr….gorgeous piece of marble!

  • Keshet Starr
    2 months ago

    @nidnay thank you!

  • john g
    last month

    I spent weeks reading Houzz discussions and went with Taj Mahal quartzite. It was perfect with white cabinets. We wanted something light but not quite white. After installation we liked it so much we put it in our bathrooms too! It's not as grey as the picture below looks. The real thing is closer to the backsplash color.


United Kingdom
Tailor my experience using cookies

By continuing to browse this site or use this app, I agree the Houzz group may use cookies and similar technologies to improve its products and services, serve me relevant content and to personalise my experience. Learn more.