Countertop for new build

chloenkittyJune 10, 2014

I've been going through the grueling task of picking a countertop for our new build. Cabinetry is white, backsplash is a very pale blue glass. I wanted marble so bad as I love the look of polished white countertops, but know the neat freak in me will not be able to handle all the issues that comes with marble. I was hoping to find a white quartzite that resembles marble, but now I am reading that quartzite also etches and scratches. I am at a loss. I want something shiney, white, clean and crisp looking, but not solid white. Quartz is a great material, but the colors I've looked into (cambria torquay, silestone Lyra and lagoon) are just too uniform and fake looking. I just don't know what to get. There are no granites, even with the name white in them that are really white. So is it true quartzite will etch and scratch too? If that's the case, maybe I should just get the look I want and get marble. Frustrated and open to suggestions for something crisp and mostly white, not busy. Thank you

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Look at Viatera Rococo and Diviniti Viareggio. They are both quartz I am considering for my new build. I agree that quartz can look too man made, but I saw a large piece of the Viareggio (approx 3' x 4') and it was stunning.

Here is a link that might be useful: Viareggio

This post was edited by Michelle1973 on Tue, Jun 10, 14 at 22:24

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 10:20PM
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Quartzite will neither etch nor scratch. However, it is very difficult to find real quartzite. A lot of what is in stone yards labelled quartzite is actually marble. What you need to do is get a sample of the stone you want and test it. A rough edge should scratch glass. Put vinegar on it, or lemon juice, and if it is marble it will etch, quartzite will not.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 10:44PM
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I have honed white marble but we are empty nesters. Have you seen Cambria Torquay or any of the other white quartz tops installed? I recently saw a white kitchen with Torquay with a custom edge profile & a beautiful aqua green crackle backsplash. It was lovely. Also, white, shiny, clean & crisp looking. I was surprised at how pretty it was, having previously seen only a small sample.
Also, what about the porcelain products, like Neolith? I don't know much about them but there is a current thread with info.
Several GWers ( lcskaisgir & Michelle16 come to mind) have gotten beautiful slabs of Macaubus Calacatta Quartzite. No etching.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2014 at 11:11PM
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I have seen something about a product called plane porcelain and it looks beautiful. No idea how I'd even get it though because there is nothing in my area but lowes and Home Depot. I have to go out of town on many hour drives for anything, it's awful. I can't even find a place to see the cambria torquay in person. The thing with marble to, I I like polished.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 7:46AM
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Neolith --- they have a marble look-alike. Is this what you're referring to? The only problem is that it's just coming out here in the US, so it's still hard to come by and to find an experienced fabricator.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 8:44AM
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Please go down to your local box store and buy a few marble tiles. They sell them fairly cheaply. Place them on your current counters, covering your prep area, and the area next to the range. Live with them for a couple of weeks, with your normal kitchen habits. That will tell you if you are a candidate for marble. I'm pretty sure you're not, but you need to know this for yourself. :)

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 9:25AM
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We were also initially looking for a white marble-lookalike counter (although we ended up going in a different direction). I know you said you looked at Silestone Lagoon and Lyra. But these are also worth a look. None are exact copies of marble, but they are beautiful in and of themselves:

Caesarstone Organic White (try to see a large sample or slab. It's subtle but beautiful. Was my top choice though it looks less like marble)
Caesarstone London Grey, Misty Carrera, and Frosty Carrina -- All have similarity to marble
Cambria Torquay - wasn't my favorite because I thought the "veining" looked fake.

FWIW, in the end we decided on darker counters but I still have a soft spot in my heart for the white quartzes!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 9:54AM
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If you didn't see silestone Lagoon in the new suede finish, you might revisit it. My geologist husband was impressed. Pental's "taj mahal" is worth a look too. Hang in there. We just settled on the countertops for our new build...thought I'd go batty.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 10:53AM
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Caesarstone Organic White (try to see a large sample or slab. It's subtle but beautiful. Was my top choice though it looks less like marble)

I have Ceasarstone Organic White in my kitchen and both bathrooms. I love it, but I wanted that "clean modern" look. It doesn't look the slightest bit like marble, except that its white :-)

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 12:26PM
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In addition to the great Quartz's mentioned above, check out Zodiaq Cloud White.

But if it's the marble look you are looking for, Corian Rain Cloud is quite popular right now and much more durable and practical than marble. See the photo in this link.

Here is a link that might be useful: Corian Rain Cloud

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 12:43PM
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This is not what you asked for, but I think this is a beautiful use of marble (backsplash), with stainless counters:

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 12:45PM
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I don't necessarily need it to look just like marble, however, I like a true white color and a lot of those cambria and other quartz countertops are quite gray looking. From what I've seen, it seems only solid white or some of the whites with colored or metallic flecks are a true, bright white.

I have a few pieces of marble and quartzite that are maybe 6x6 pieces and have them out on my counter. I took a knife to both the Calcatta marble and the white quartzite and they both scratched. I put a dollop of ketchup and raspberry vinaigrette salad dressing on both and they both wiped up cleanly. Perhaps something needs to sit on the marble for a time before it stains? What exactly is the patina process? Will my countertops turn a different color or just get dull if I had marble? How long does it take for patina to occur?

On the bright side, I found two companies today that can get quartzite. They both have done a few jobs and said it's getting more popular. The one showroom carried white maracaubas, which is nice, but I'd like to see other options. The downside is locally it was about $40 more per sq ft than I found out of town!!!!!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 5:42PM
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Ceasarstone Organic White is white-white, not a hint of grey or any other color in it.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 5:55PM
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I looked at all the suggestions here, thanks so much :). They really all are nice, but
Silestone lagoon suede finish - I like polished and shiney
Caesarstone organic white - love that but don't want a solid white countertop with solid white cabinets
Zodiac cloud white - don't want a countertop with speckles
Corian rain cloud - so many corians are lovely, but not the material I like, seems plastic looking to me.

I actually thought a black granite or quartz in solid or a subtle silver going through it would look nice on the white cabinets with pale blue backsplash as the contrast would be nice and then I'd do something different with more white on the island. It's not totally of the table, but I really wanted all white and am not the biggest fan of mixing as much as all being the same. Thoughts on that idea? I'm also glad some understand how daunting a task it can be to pick countertops. It's the showpiece of the kitchen and quite an expense to not get what you want!!!
I attached a pic of the backsplash with some other samples I looked at with it a few weeks ago. This pic is just for you to see the backsplash, don't pay attention to the other items.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 5:58PM
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This is my second fav kitchen. I considered switching to this. Notice the backsplash and island are both marble lol. At least the perimeter counters are Wellington quartz lol guess I have a thing for marble!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 6:17PM
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I'm having a similar dilemma with our countertop decision. I love marble, but with 2 young children do not think it's a practical decision for our family. The quartz products out there that attempt to resemble marble seem too fake to me as well. I am still exploring options, but the LG Viatera Snow Storm has piqued my interest. It isn't a quartz trying to look like marble - instead it resembles more of a granite look. I think it should be more reasonably priced than the quartzite options.

Just another option!

Here is a link that might be useful: Viatera Snow Storm

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 6:44PM
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We completed our kitchen (turned into the full first floor) reno last fall. I too wanted Marble but was convinced by my significant other that I would lose it over etching, staining and general upkeep - especially with two kids.
We went shopping for countertops and ended up finding a granite called Brazilian Arabescato. It is holding up very well. We chose honed, knowing that it would help hide anything that might happen. I've attached a picture. Has great movement and softness.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 7:16PM
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If your considering black or dark grey, several people here have used Jet Mist. I haven't seen it in person (just pics) but it looks similar to soapstone.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 10:24PM
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Michelle16's calacatta macaubus quartzite-I think I've posted more pics of it than Michelle. It's lovely, isn't it?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 10:40PM
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Lcskaisgir's calacatta macaubus quartzite.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 10:42PM
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Cambria Torquay- I think Oldbat2be has Torquay.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2014 at 10:43PM
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I love the pics! Thanks romy

    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 6:25PM
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I had a similar problem deciding on my white marble countertops - I too love white marble and have it throughout my house. However, when it came to selecting it for my kitchen countertops I knew I needed to be more practical. I researched for months and ultimately selected Pental Quartz - "Polished Carrara". I absolutely love it. It is very white with a subtle grey veining. IMO, it does not have that plastic-y look that you have found in others which I agree with. I took a day trip to probably 8 different distributor showrooms and checked out Caesarstone (liked Frosty Carrina the best), Silestone (thought they were all very plastic looking), Cambria Torquay (originally my first choice but when I saw it in a slab, I thought it was way too fake looking). Pental offered the Quartzite they call Arabescato, but I took samples home and tested with several liquids and it etched and stained immediately. So, I settled on Pental Quartz, which I love. They had a few other white choices (Lattice, Venatino), but I loved the Polished Carrara.
I also read in another thread that Caesarstone just came out with something new called Calacatta you might check out.

1 Like    Bookmark   June 12, 2014 at 11:48PM
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Here's a pic of my island with LG Viatera Rococo and Benjamin Moore Storm. So far I'm loving the quartz. Kitchen is still a work in progress.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2014 at 7:13PM
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Oops...picture missing.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2014 at 7:22PM
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