Please weigh in on my counter choices

kmcgAugust 22, 2012

My floor tile just arrived, and I've got a vanity cabinet, but now I need a counter. Which do you like, if any? First, the context:

My house was built in 1906, so we don't want to stray too far from a traditional or transitional look. That said, my husband vetoed hex marble flooring so I went with large scale faux-marble, which strikes me as verging toward modern. For the counter, I'm drawn toward quartz, which also reads modern in most settings. I guess I'm open minded, but don't want something that's totally out of sync with my Edwardian house.

The flooring is porcelain 12x12; it's called Marmi Statuario Veneto, by Isis USA. It has a creamy, warm tone to it, as opposed to a blue-gray tone that seems to be the other option with marble look-alikes.

The vanity is cherry with a medium cherry finish and a fairly traditional looking door/drawer. The counter will be 60" long with a single undermount sink (Toto cotton white) and a traditional looking chrome faucet.

The shower will be white on white - basically bands of white subway and probably arabesque, plus faux-marble if I can find one I like that has a glossy finish.

I'm showing photos of all the finalist options, with the counter sample set on top of the floor tile, next to a drawer front that I'm in the process of refinishing.

Here's quartz in "concrete". It has tiny bubbles of grays - looks a lot like polished concrete:

Here's "snowy" quartz - a lot like concrete in terms of bubble size/texture:

Here's Verde Antiqua marble, honed finish. This color is almost a perfect match to Restoration Hardware's Silver Sage color; we have a fair bit of that color in the house elsewhere, so I was naturally drawn to this marble when I first began looking.

Here's a quartz in "nougat", which has lots bigger flakes and more movement than the Snowy or Concrete:

Finally, here's carrara, which is obviously very gray compared to my tile. Although initially the counter of my dreams, I've cooled off on this one as I've looked around:

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I like #2 (snowy) the best. #3 and #4 are too busy for me, and #5 is too gray compared to the tile.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 4:44PM
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I like 3 and 4. 1 would be ok but boring I think.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 11:06PM
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Have you looked at some honed or leathered granites? I used similar colors to you, but I used real calacatta gold in honed (which reads similar to the colors you've described for your porcelain). I ended up going with leathered antique brown, which you can see in my post below, but I considered many others, including the gray varieties of soapstone, black granites, limestones, and quartzites. If you like the look of what I ended up using, you can find something out there similar with a lot of perseverance. Good luck.

Here is a link that might be useful: My remodel with similar coloring dilemmas

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 11:26PM
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Thanks everyone! Keep it coming.

Kevin, I really like your counters. Thanks for the link. Oddly, this week is the first time I've considered a darker counter (i.e. the concrete quartz). Now that my husband has shown some interest in that look, I guess I'll pursue it a bit more. His main requirement is that it look plain and clean, so anything with much pattern won't make the cut. You're sure right about perseverance!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2012 at 11:48PM
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I like #1 & #2 the best. #3 is very pretty and I kind of like the play of the opposite color way it might have with the floor. Will the white counter be too much white with the floor and walls and shower? Do you need more contrast? It looks like you like contrast because of the vanity contrast. #1 might be the most practical. #2 looks good with the floor but is blah to me, but I like contrast. Sometimes for me, its hard to tell from samples because they don't help give an idea of scale. Can you do a mood board to give you an idea of the room look? I think the 60" cherry vanity will be a prominent feature.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 6:41AM
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I agree with pipdog. #2.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 12:36PM
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After seeing pipdog's big reveal, I quit worrying about #2 being too white or too bland. A similar counter looks fabulous in her space.

But you're right, enduring, I do like contrast, pattern and color. So the gray, which so nicely picks up the gray from the floor, looks pretty good to me. I found a new option that's a bit lighter gray - Silestone grey expo. My husband likes it best of all. I just worry that gray will give the room too much of a modern twist, when the other elements are pretty traditional. (To give an idea of the general tone of the house, I'm including a picture of the bathroom window, which will be between the vanity and toilet, and is the first thing you see when you walk into the room. The clawfoot tub is leaving us to make way for a walk-in shower.)

I'm still fond of the greenish gray marble, but it is not my husband's fave, and it is a little busy, perhaps.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 1:28PM
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This got dropped off my last post.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 1:30PM
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i like the idea of using a darker countertop, although I do love marble. I think the marble for the countertop might work against the floor tile.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2012 at 3:17PM
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OMG! Love #3.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 10:56PM
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I love #3 also. Sounds like it ties in with the rest of your house, and I like the contrast with your floor yet they both have gray. Yummy.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 12:15AM
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Between this and my tile decisions, I've been going a little nuts. So today I visited the stoneyard to visit slab #3 again. While looking through remnants, I found a piece that was small enough to be relatively cheap, in a material I really like. Finally, I made a decision, and did a little happy dance! This piece is Pental Chroma Quartz in the Lattice color, which is basically a faux-cararra marble material. It looks great with my floor tile, and keeps the traditional look I've had in mind all along. I'd post a picture, but it would just look like a blur of white. I don't see much of it online, but it's pretty popular around here because Pental is a big vendor in this area.

Thanks everyone for your input!

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 7:00PM
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Is your bathroom finished and on GW now? I'm considering Pental lattice for our MB, and would love to see your finished bath! (even if it just looks like a blur, I would like to see how it looks in the grand scheme of things...)

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 2:31PM
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Hi kirkhall - I haven't posted it yet, as we're still in the home stretch - touchup painting, hanging towel bars, etc. But here's a photo of the Lattice countertop. I'm very happy with it!

More pix soon...

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 3:24PM
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And here's a closer view of the counter. This is hard to get a good picture!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 3:29PM
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It looks great! Can't wait for the full reveal.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 5:20PM
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It does look good! Does it feel good too? (I guess one of my concerns is that it will strike someone as "cultured marble" which in some areas has a negative connotation). I think yours looks lovely, and I don't think you'd choose something that looked bad. Does it feel good too?

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 7:49PM
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Very Nice. Soft and elegant with your wood vanity. This wasn't one of your choices above. I can't find "Lattice" countertop when I google the word. Tell us more about it please:)

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 8:03PM
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looks beautiful. Can you tell me how thick it is at the sink cutout?

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 8:14PM
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You guys are so kind! Thank you.

kirkhall - I once lived in a house with cultured marble, so I'm somewhat of an expert :) That felt like plastic, while this product feels exactly like natural stone, but with a perfectly smooth finish. I wouldn't say it looks identical to marble because the veining in marble is just different. What I like about this is that the background is less gray than in most of the marble I looked at, yet it looks more natural than some of the other quartz products. My husband likes that it's ...almost... white. And it was important that it is pretty bulletproof. Yes, it feels good to the hand.

Pental makes this product, enduring. It's called Chroma Quartz, and Lattice is the name of the color/pattern. It was not on my short list but I kept visiting the same stoneyard for remnants, and this turned up one day. I bought it on the spot, and am so happy I did. It turns out to be nearly an exact match for my faux marble flooring, so I'm just in a happy little faux paradise!

sofla - This is 3 cm thickness, so about 1 inch. They didn't need to build up the edges, since this was 3 cm stone.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 10:38PM
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Looks great! I've added that one to my list for my Master!

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 1:43PM
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Is the Pental Lattice more gray than white (or beige)? It is listed on one website in the 'beige' family, though it does not appear that way on line. Does Lattice look like real carrara marble? How is the veining compared to real carrara? I'm searching for a quartz counter for 2 bathrooms and would like something that looks like carrara marble.

Thank you so much!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 12:37PM
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No mention of venerable Calacatta?

It seems like it would be a good match for the floor.

But - my only hesitation might be that having a real marble vanity top might make the porcelain floor look artificial - hard to say without seeing it in person.

Any reason for not doing a marble floor, as it seems it's clearly a favorite material of yours.

Our admittedly tiny sink top with the calacatta 12x12 floor.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 5:15PM
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Kmcg, did you put the Marmi Statuario Veneto down on your floor? Did you use it in the shower too? I have a sample of this tile in the matte or honed finish (?) and one in the shiny finish. Which one did you have. The matte finish is a creamy color compared to the shiny finish. They both are nice.

Any information would be appreciated. Thanks

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 3:52PM
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