if your counter etches...

kitchen-renoMarch 25, 2014

does it bother you? I cannot for the life of me find something I like even 1/2 as much as Super White "quartzite" but it etches. I'm trying to figure out if I can live with etching or if it will drive me nuts.

If anyone has chosen a stone that etches, does it bother you? do you regret your choice? If you have any pictures to share, that would be great.

it's been 3 months and I still can't figure out the counter. At this point, everything else is done (or waiting to be matched to the counter - paint color, backsplash).

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Trebruchet

I can't imagine deliberately picking a countertop with such a major drawback when there are so many out there without the fault.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 4:09PM
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nycbluedevil

I have honed calacatta marble. Yes, it etches. Yes, it bothers me somewhat. I knew what I was getting into. And I would do it again.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 4:38PM
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andreak100

Etching counter...probably wouldn't bother me too much - I would go with a honed type of finish since I think that a less shiny finish makes the etching less noticeable. I would probably also wind up etching it a bit just to "get it over with" and not have to worry on it any more.

It would, however, drive my DH absolutely INSANE...and therefore, it would then drive me insane as well! So, yeah....no etching countertops in our household is likely.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 5:59PM
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kitchen-reno

I don't disagree that it seems a little crazy to chose a stone that I know etches, but at least I love the look of it, which is more than I can say for the orhers I've looked! Which is the lesser of two evils -- imperfect (etched) stone I love, or "perfect" (non etched) stone I'm not crazy about?

The counter has been without a doubt the hardest choice for me

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 11:26PM
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romy718

Are you planning on honed Super White? I have honed Vermont Imperial Danby, love it, no regrets & would do it again. I thought DH wouldn't be able to handle the etching, but when we went stone shopping, he was the one who found the Danby while I was looking at Calacatta. It was a compromise but I am glad it was a joint decision. If it drove him crazy, I would have done something else.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 1:14AM
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bbtrix

I was in the same frame of mind as you just last week. I had samples of 4 granites in my price range and just as I was leaving the granite place, he brought out a sample of Montclair Danby. I told him I loved Danby marble but it was out because it was impractical for the kitchen. I took it home anyway. I performed all of the GW recommended tests of which the granites passed with flying colors and as expected, the Danby etched and chipped, but zero stains. My sample piece was horribly etched as I had rubbed it with lemon and let it set for quite a while - the honed surface was splotchy and ruined. Determined to keep the marble in the running, I researched how to hone marble and found that an orbital sander would accomplish it. It was late, so I decided to just pull out my sandpapers and work my small piece (by hand) down to the recommended 400 grit. It worked! I was able to not only get rid of all of the etching, but also to bring back the beautiful luster and finish - in about 10 minutes of hand sanding. As expected, the honing did nothing for the chips, my next conquest. I got out my art supplies and smudged the chips using charcoal pencils. Not perfect, but it made the white chips less noticeable and let me know that I might be able to live with it. The next day I went to the yard to look at the slabs and make my decision. I stared at my top granite choice in my price range and said to myself, "can you really stare at that everyday?" I realized I would not be happy with any of the granites I could afford. In order to have the Danby I would happily rehone the marble myself if it bothers me.

Long story short, I went with my heart rather than my head and am happy with the decision. I pick my Danby slabs later this week and the install is scheduled in a month. Thanks to Romy and 2LittleFishies whose experiences definitely influenced my decision.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 11:39AM
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hobokenkitchen

We have super white and I know it etches because I saw some when it was just installed. It's now well over a year later and I have no idea how etched it is. It polishes up beautifully and looks amazing.

I'm going to go and look at a sharp angle and see what is going on, but I don't see the etches at all. Maybe because there's a lot of movement and because the light doesn't hit the stone in a way that shows up etches?

I'll report back.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 4:44PM
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beekeeperswife

I don't fret about it. It's a stone. That's the way it is.

The only thing that makes me kinda crazy, is the perfect circles from glasses.

But a splash of pickle juice that nobody notices, but I see later a very interesting mark? Doesn't bug me. The thing about SW is that the etches are more of a gray, so they just blend in. I don't leave lemon slices laying on the counter or I think things would be different.

I've let go of all anxiety. The stone feels funny around the faucet areas but that is because of the hard water that gets on there and doesn't get dried.

Get the rock. It's gorgeous. It is not nearly as bad as a marble would be. A splash of lemon juice will not etch it unless you don't get to it. But on a piece of marble, (I found during the testing phase) the splash was instant etch.

And the etches I have are not "rough" like ones on marble, just a gray color, still smooth.

Go Forth. Purchase the Super White.

-Bee

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 5:29PM
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kitchen-reno

thanks Bee!
do you have honed Super White? Just asked for a quote for that (vs. polished) so maybe that will be what we do. Right now my next best pick would be soapstone, I think. But I have not done nearly the same amount of research on soapstone - kind of nervous to start "the process" all over again

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 5:36PM
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ikeltz

We are at the same point in our kitchen remodel. I am doing Carrara on the perimeter counters with Absolute Black on the island. I put everything on my sample piece of Carrara. It never stained, but naturally it etched. In the end, I decided that I would rather look at something I love, that's not perfect, than something I hate, that is.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 6:23PM
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romy718

Bbtrix - very interesting. I had 12x12 honed Danby tiles that I removed etches with Comet w/Bleach & a green scrubby. What kind of sandpaper did you use to get your sample back to the original luster? Please share your source or link for rehoning. I'm recently retired. Gardening is my summer hobby, rehoning my Danby could be my winter hobby.
Did you post a pic of your slab? Please post pics after installation.
I love these Range Kleen Silverwave Counter mats. When I'm making a mess that involves something I know will etch, I grab one of these. They are lightweight, padded on the bottom & are heat resistant. I love em!
I also put them on the sides of my range to catch spaghetti sauce or grease splatters. They come in 3 or 4 sizes. I bought mine online from HD & store them with my cutting boards & cookie sheets.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 9:22PM
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bbtrix

Romy, thanks for the Range Kleen tip, I'll add those to my order list as I am definitely the "surface cop" in my home. Did you also get an extra slab of marble for next to your sink? These two preventive tips really effected my decision

The link that inspired me to experiment is from the well known JB forum. I tried to add the link and received a message from GW that it's not allowed. Don't understand that but have to abide. Google how to hone marble countertops and it's the 1st link. I can email the link if you can't find it. I have quite a selection of sandpaper so started with 220 as suggested, then 320 and finished with 400. The 400 gave it the sheen. I actually really enjoyed the process. My sandpaper is no-load silicon. I dabbled in art many years ago so have a lot of supplies. I pick my slabs latter this week. I made my purchase on a sample slab and have to drive 2 1/2 hrs to select mine. I've asked for an extra piece so I can experiment with an orbital sander and honing powders. I'll post pix once I pick them.

kitchen-reno, go with what you love, super-white or soapstone. You can't go wrong if you love it.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 11:34PM
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romy718

Bbtrix, extra slab of marble for next to my sink? I did ask them to make me a thin cutting board out of my remnants (no intention of actually cutting on it) that I have next to my sink. I use the counter mats, dish mats & real cutting boards. Even when I had formica, I used spoon rests, cutting boards & was pretty diligent about keeping my counters clean.
Thanks for the info. An orbital sander & honing powders. That sounds like fun. I'll check out the website.
Good luck picking out your slabs. Montclair is gorgeous stuff. Looking forward to pics.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2014 at 1:13AM
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babushka_cat

i think the fact that you are asking about it may be a sign it is not a good selection for you. etches do show, and are more noticable in certain angles of light. i have calacatta crema marble. i would do it again but i am single with no children. don't think i would recommend for a family with kids.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2014 at 12:39AM
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windycitylindy

You really need to test something from the super white slab you're considering. I have super white counters, and I don't regret them at all, BUT mine take a few minutes to etch. I'm not sure exactly how long, but I can juice limes or lemons and wipe up the splashes when done without etches. Tomato sauce can dry on my counter and not leave an etch mark. Because of this delayed etching, I don't worry about it too much, but I do try to wipe up splashes from citrus or vinegars promptly.

I don't (two years later) have any etches from water (no water rings, or splash marks by the sinks). I do have some random etches from other things. A stainless/exposed copper core pan that was left draining upside down on the counter left a faint etched circle--I think that the copper reacts slightly with water to form a mild acid. After it sat there for a couple of hours to dry, etch mark. You will get random marks like that from things that you don't even realize you should protect from. Most of them are not noticeable to me or to others; in fact, when I try to point them out to someone, I can almost never get them to see the etches. I think how quickly it etches varies from slab to slab; I get the sense that Beekeeper's etch much more quickly than mine.

Another issue that gets overlooked a lot is the propensity for scratches. My super white is covered with THOUSANDS of tiny scratches. You don't notice them unless you look for them, but they completely cover my counters. I also have a couple of spots where bottles were clunked down on the counter too roughly--that leaves tiny little white spots.

But, I love my counters. Everyone who comes in comments on how beautiful they are. They are the prettiest counters I can imagine in my kitchen, and I do not regret them one little bit. I am a kind of neurotic person and prefer everything just so, but the etches, scratches, and bruises (white spots) don't bother me because they're just not noticeable day to day. We live in our kitchen, cook daily, and really use it. We've learned to make some accommodations--we wipe up acidic spills promptly and when cutting citrus, we use a cutting board that's large enough to keep a puddle of juice from pooling up around and under it. We no longer let that copper-core pan drain dry on the counter (but all of our others do). We don't pull rough-bottomed ceramics across the counters. We try to not clunk heavy things down. We live in our kitchen, and our accommodations are reasonable for us. If I had Bee's stone that etches with water (!), it would drive me crazy. But mine, I love.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 11:20AM
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slush1422

I agree with Bee! We have Moon Night (Super White as others labeled it) honed and it does etch. BUT it doesn't bother me anymore. The first one did but no one noticed it but me. Not even my husband. Because it's honed, it just looks a little more matte then the rest and I would definitely get the same slab all over again. NO regrets at all! We have 3 kids and hosts LOTS of parties where with a big group of friends we have at least 20 kids here each time and the counters take a beating but still look great.

The link below (scroll down to bottom) I had taken a picture of where it etched (a large spot about 6x6 from when we had a summer party and I had a beverage dispenser of Beergaritas (lots of fresh lime juice) and I didn't realize that it had been spilling until the next day. I do notice though that if I clean up any citrus right away it does not etch. And I have not had a single stain - and we are big red wine drinkers. Also we have had the counters almost 3 years now and we only have a single scratch from when my husband dropped a tool when installing the cabinet doors. Other than that we have no scratches.

Here is a link that might be useful: Moon Night etching

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 2:19PM
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