I hate counters!

joygreenwaldJune 17, 2014

Choosing my cabinets was easy compared to picking counters. (And that took months LOL) I have such a hard time picturing things scaled up in my home, and the photos I like (very modern) won't necessarily work with my home.

We are getting Barker's cabinets in natural cherry (aka clearcoat finish.) Slab doors/drawers. Simple, very angular brushed stainless handles. Combination of stainless and black appliances.

The living room, dining room and kitchen have almost no separation. The main wall of the living room/dining room is painted a deep cranberry, and we have a oriental rugs over hardwood and a fair amount of post-impressionist style art. So, while the kitchen sounds simple, there's a lot going on. The furniture is transitional and angular and there's a lot of cherry wood around in a darker finish than we chose for the cabinets.

I picked out (thought haven't ordered) a tan/brown granite. But I'm not confident about it. I also really like the leathered gray, but I'm worried that it'll be too cold looking and not fit in with the house. I'm not actually a huge fan of granite in general, but I haven't really seen anything else that I do love. I really like some of the soapstone images I've seen, but our budget only puts us in the cheapest granites, so I think soapstone is out. (And I think I chose the most quartz like granite I could find. Can't afford the quartz.)

I do need something durable and want something bacteria resistant. I have two small kids, two cats who eat on the counter, and a job. My counters need to be something I don't have to worry about. LOL

Is there something I'm missing? What might work for me? Would pictures help?

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mdln

yes, please post pics

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 12:23AM
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dcward89

I just wanted to chime in and say you are going to LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your Barker natural cherry cabinets. We are finishing up our kitchen remodel and we also chose Barker, natural cherry. They are so incredibly beautiful!!!

To bring this around to your questions, I am also not a granite girl and I had to go a different direction when we got outrageous quotes for soapstone. We chose Corian in one of the Private Collection colors called, Witch Hazel. It fits your requirements of durable and bacteria resistant and it looks absolutely gorgeous but, it was not as inexpensive as the lower priced granites.

You might consider that the tan/brown granite you are thinking of will not provide much contrast to your cabinets. Unless you go towards the darker brown, it will all blend together and look tan everywhere. Just something to think about.

This post was edited by dcward89 on Tue, Jun 17, 14 at 5:45

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 5:26AM
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annkh_nd

I agree with dc. We fell in love with a Cambria pattern, and designed the kitchen around it. It's reddish brown, so we went with a very light stain on the cabinets, to provide as much contrast as possible.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 9:36AM
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badgergal

I have natural cherry cabinets too and used Verde Peacock granite for the counters. It was a level A granite. From a distance the counters read black. They have black and very dark green in them and up close they have beautiful splotches of blue/green and some gold. The gold in the granite plays very nicely with the color of the natural cherry and the overall darkness provides nice contrast. I have dark gold walls. I considered doing an accent wall in a deep red in my attached dining area but couldn't find a contemporay fabric with a combination green, gold and red for my chairs. But you can seen in my picture that the red in my Christmas items does look good with the green (at least I think it does.) And since you have a deep cranberry color in your living room/dining room I think you would be better off with something like Verde Peacock than Tan Brown. Verde Peacock is definitely a "bullet proof" granite

From a distance

A bit closer

Close up of granite

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 10:22AM
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mdln

WOW, beautiful kitchen badgergal. The curved cabinets are awesome.

Like verde peacock, considered it, verde butterfly, and peacock green for my kitchen.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 10:32AM
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may_flowers

I have an open floor plan with warm colors too--olive green walls, deep red chairs, gold/tan sofa, and transitional cherry furniture. My kitchen cabinets are natural cherry.

The cool colored granite and quartz samples we brought home looked wrong. We decided that quartz had a little more modern look that would appeal to younger homebuyers, so we choose Pentalquartz Botticino, which appears solid. Our floor is tiled so there's pattern there. There were a few granites with cream in the name that I thought might work, like Colonial Cream. The cabinets have darkened so much in two years that I'm glad we choose a light countertop.

I wish I had used all slab drawer fronts. The grain of the cherry is so pretty without the interruption of stiles and rails.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 11:05AM
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Linelle

I like some contrast between counters and cabinets. If I had stained cabinets I think something like may_flowers' quartz would be awesome. I actually have white cabinets and dark gray quartz and, while I like the overall look of it, I would rather have a counter where I can see spills, etc. rather than one that hides them until they dry and get funky and I have to rely on touch to discover where they are. Sounds like heaven for some people?

Quartz is pretty trouble-free. Mine is mottled, but I prefer the virtually solid-looking ones like m_f's.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 11:14AM
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dcward89

Here's a couple pics of mine just to give you an idea...still not quite finished but getting there!!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 11:20AM
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may_flowers

My quartz has tan sand grains and a few white squiggley lines, so it's not a solid like some of the white quartzes. Probably more like your Raven, Linelle. I actually started with Caesarstone Buttermilk, a greige version of Raven, but they damaged the counters on install and I switched to Botticino. OP, if Pentalquartz is in your area, it's a few hundred cheaper per slab than some of the bigger quartz manufacturers. It's made in Vietnam with the same technology as Cambria et al. Our original quote for Cambria was $1200 more than what we paid for Caesarstone and Pental, though that quote included a GC mark-up. We went rogue and shopped for quartz ourselves.

Here's a photo with the floor to show you how a creamy patterned granite or quartz might look. Also consider backsplash with the brown/black granite. Will you be limited on which lighter colors work with it? I tried some white tiles and the white jumps out too much, even though I have white trim and shutters adjacent to the kitchen.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 11:34AM
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DIY-Her

dcward89, What countertop brand and style color did you use? It's very pretty

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 12:01PM
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dcward89

DIY-Her...it's Corian Witch Hazel. Not a popular choice these days but I just love it!!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 12:24PM
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feisty68

Badgergal's space has beautiful and abundant natural light - great conditions for natural wood cabs/almost black counters. I see a lot of kitchens with very dark finishes lately that lack enough natural light for my taste.

Joygreenwald, I advise you to post pics. I am also renovating an open concept kitchen and in choosing my counters I considered the space as a whole - including floors, artworks, windows, sightlines.

Mayflowers and Dcward, your counters are really lovely - those are great choices for lighter colours. Dh restricted me to granite so I chose River White, which is working really well for my space (which cannot handle dark counters).

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 1:22PM
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ChrisInSD

I second DCWard. Corian (or a lesser expensive brand of similar material like LG Hi-Macs) will get you the properties you are looking for--easy care, sanitary etc without compromising the solid look you are interested in or going with granite.

Choose your color carefully to save money over quartz. The Witch Hazel countertops DC Ward selected are awesome, but are more expensive than many quartz varieties.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 1:23PM
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ardcp

badgergal- your kitchen is beautiful! i like the uba tuba/verde/butterfly peacock type granite with the right cabinet color and you hit it outta the park!
joygreenwald- if your cherry cabs are similar to dcward or badgergal, you should be able to get a dark greenish granite for the cost of the tan brown. my fabricator said that people now hate uba tuba but also said there are varying quality uba tubas and hers were lovely. we started out wanting uba tuba for cost and lack of maintenance but couldn't find a medium tone stain we liked for the cabs. i didn't want dark cherryish cabs and uba tuba so we went with an alaska whiteish granite. it was more than tan brown but not much more. shop around and you may find something you didn't think of

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 5:23PM
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joygreenwald

I'm going to snap some photos of my messy house for you all. I just can't get it cleaned up with all the last week of school activities. Be kind. ;)

I went and looked at granite, Hi Mac, Corian, etc today. This time I looked at full slabs, not samples. That really changed things for me. And, of course, I finally found two very different granites that I like....neither of which is in budget. Crema Bordeaux and Bross Blue. The Crema Bordeaux is a full grand more than the tan/brown. (BTW, the tan brown is oddly named. It's dark. So, it won't blend with the cabinets.) Neither is at all what I thought I liked. So now I'm more confused than ever.

I wanted to really like the Corian or Hi Mac, but I didn't find one I loved. Maybe there are more online.

Off to get some photos and figure out how to post them. Thank you all so much. I'd be lost without GardenWeb. I'll have to pay it forward once I get further in the process.

This post was edited by joygreenwald on Tue, Jun 17, 14 at 19:18

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 5:31PM
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DIY-Her

it seems to be more of a creamy white than what the brand and color look when I searched out the Witch Hazel.
It reminds me of the LG Minuet, at least from what I have seen of it so far :)

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 5:44PM
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joygreenwald

And I forgot to say, Badgergirl, I love your kitchen! That backsplash!!! The green is gorgeous in there. Once I manage to get those pictures, you'll see why I'm afraid that it would make my house look Christmasy. Hence the move towards blue. I think I can get nice look like that with a blue instead. Oh, and my husband likes it. Now to see if I can find a way to afford it.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2014 at 7:21PM
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deedles

Another voice for corian.. well, we have a Wilsonart solid surface in, uh... something something frosty. Can't remember the name. But. So far it appears to be bullet proof, I just love it and I love that I could get drain grooves which wasn't an option with quartz. Also, my white counter looks lovely with the white oak cabs.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 12:00AM
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badgergal

Joygreenwald, thanks for the compliment. It's such a dark green, I bet it wouldn't look Christmasy. If you like blue another suggestion might be Volga Blue. Most pictures on line make it look grey, but friends of our installed it and it is more black with beautiful bits of blue in it. They don't have cherry cabinets but they do have a mid tone stained wood and the countertops look great with it. Good luck in your countertop search. I will be watching for your reveal.

Thank you also ardcp, feisty, and mdln. My previous kitchen had cream colored Corian and golden oak cabinets so this kitchen is quite a change from that. We are very happy with our choice. Our kitchen was done around 2.5 years ago but I still like hanging around on this forum and seeing what everyone else is doing.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 12:06AM
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ChrisInSD

"I wanted to really like the Corian or Hi Mac, but I didn't find one I loved. Maybe there are more online." -- check out Corian Warm Soapstone and Corian Medea online since you mentioned wanting Soapstone.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 12:21AM
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Texas_Gem

Completely off topic but I just have to say that badgergal's kitchen is my all time favorite GW kitchen!!

I am so impressed with the ability of the cabinet maker to get the wood to curve like that. I understand the mechanics of how it is done but still, the execution of it is superiorly impressive.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2014 at 1:00AM
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joygreenwald

I know, I know. No pictures yet. I took the pictures and then couldn't put them up. Too embarrassing. I'm working on cleaning, and then I'll post.

Instead of cleaning, I went to two local granite wholesalers today. Wow! That was helpful.

1. My dream of loving slate is dead. :( It's just not a poor man's soapstone. The ones I thought I'd like ended up looking like poorly erased chalkboards to me. The ones without movement were fine, but not what I'm looking for.

2. I REALLY LOVE soapstone, so I am trying to get more prices. I can't see us being able to get it. But you never know. Maybe we can get really DIY? I've seen great threads about people getting soapstone this way. But
3. If not soapstone, it's the Bros (Bross, Brass, or at one place Vivid) blue that I want.

They had a GORGEOUS Crema Bordeau. Wasn't even too expensive. But I am just not sure I can be happy with it long term. I think the blue is a better choice for us.

Thanks.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 5:39PM
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greenhaven

"DIY-Her...it's Corian Witch Hazel. Not a popular choice these days but I just love it!"

Me too! Love it and Sea Salt...very creamy and inviting! had I done all new cabs in my kitchen it would have been a mid-tone finish and Sea Salt or Witch Hazel.

ETA: FWIW, I think Corian's Bedford Marble looks amazingly like un-oiled soapstone...warm, soft, tough...I almost went that way but for fear of scratches showing white.

This post was edited by greenhaven on Thu, Jun 19, 14 at 23:12

    Bookmark   June 19, 2014 at 11:08PM
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joygreenwald

Will the Corian Medea betray my family and murder my children? (You have to wonder who decided on that name.)

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 7:43AM
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ChrisInSD

Joy--I think if, after you install it, you attempt to rip it out and replace it with a younger more attractive counter, it may just take out some of your cabinets with it ;)

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 11:10AM
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vdinli

Joy-not much advice here..I am in the exact same boat-took me months and months to decide on cabinets and we finally chose a lightly stained cherry. Now, I am stuck on which direction to go for the counters. Badgergal's kitchen is my all time favorite on here but we just can't do any of the dark stones in our starved of natural light space! I am not fond of all the 'gold' granites that look somewhat decent with the cabinet-it is just seems like a '90's look to me. So I am trying to decide between quartz and a cream granite if that exists. We will have more wastage with quartz as we will need two slabs. They usually come as 120" X55".
All this long winded story to say-I commiserate with you!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 3:24PM
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ardcp

vindudev liny- i started out thinking mid tone cabs/ dark counters (i like a contrast) but when we ended up going quite dark with cabs, i knew my very dark kitchen needed a light counter.
we loved alaska white, delicatus, etc but they were too costly. we ended up finding something called crema antartida (may also be blue ice?)
i wanted to like the new venetian gold but it was just too yellow. plus i really wanted something different but not too crazy.
my advice is keep looking! we went to 3 stoneyards and 3 kitchen places before we found a granite that spoke to us.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 4:59PM
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vdinli

ardcp, nice!! I like that. Thanks. I am adding it to my 'be on the lookout' for list. Recently, I saw a slab of Alaska white and Taj Mahal quartzite that were fabulous. I need to go back with DH so he can save me from hitting the ground when I swoon after hearing the $$$ price :-)

    Bookmark   June 20, 2014 at 5:08PM
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joygreenwald

I chose a slab! Here it is helpfully displayed by my six year old. Lighting isn't doing it any favors. It's Bros Blue Leathered. Very pretty. Reminds me of soapstone but cheaper and not as prone to scratching (which bothered my husband.) Now ti figure out backsplash and floor. Ahhh! Is this supposed to be more fun?

    Bookmark   June 24, 2014 at 11:18PM
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mdln

Looks great, I love the leathered finish. You are right, a nice soapstone alternative. And your daughter is too cute!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 12:01AM
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joygreenwald

Thanks. I took photos without her in them, of course, but I couldn't resist sharing this one.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 12:04AM
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susanlynn2012

joygreenwald, your new counter is gorgeous!

ardcp, I love the crema antartida counters! I also love your kitchen cabinets. Can you tell us more about them. I am going to save this counter color.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 12:49AM
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ardcp

joygreenwald- that is a beautiful stone! your daughter looks like she is loving the stone hunt:)
lynn2006- thanks for the compliments! the cabinets are medallion silverline lancaster in maple with brandywine stain. we were trying to stick to a smallish budget and these fit.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 10:26AM
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a2gemini

That should look great and opens the door for BS option.
Pretty daughter- hope one of you licked that slab!

Newbies- started out as a joke- if someone saw you "licking" the slab they would be too grossed out to consider your choice - not sure anyone has really truly licked it!

Keep those pictures coming!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 10:45AM
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vdinli

joy, that slab looks lovely-and so does your model :-) That's how you present the stone! You must be glad to tick off one more thing off your decision making list. I can't wait to see it installed.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 11:59AM
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susanlynn2012

ardcp, OK, so the brandywine stain give the cabinets that gorgeous reddish color. I really love them. I also love the Lancaster door. Thanks for giving me another idea as I am still trying to figure out what I want to do but for now I am going to get a contract signed on my floors to free up my insurance money.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2014 at 1:18PM
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susanlynn2012

crema antartida on your counters is gorgeous ardcp! I am looking up counters again.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 10:59AM
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ardcp

i think it is also called blue ice. good luck! so many awesome choices make it a really hard process.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 11:56AM
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Trebruchet

I love the model in the picture, but the near vertical slab stack with no apparent clamps or other safeguards seems insanely dangerous to me.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2014 at 2:35PM
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desertsteph

" the near vertical slab stack with no apparent clamps or other safeguards seems insanely dangerous to me."

yikes! not something most of us would notice, but you would! something for all to watch for in the future - and warn others. I'd say something to the granite shop.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2014 at 2:19AM
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