Countertop choices light or dark - please vote

missymoo12July 29, 2014

I'll try to keep it brief. And keep the whining down.
I wanted soapstone but the $ reality is causing me to rethink. It would be roughly twice as much as my other choices.
Then I had paint issues nothing looked good in this kitchen with the lighting, so I painted the walls the same medium gray as the adjoining DR and LR.
Everyone who sees it now loves it. This is the fourth color...
All would be fine if my floor wasn't gray tile. It won't change.
Too much dark? Nicely dramatic?
The choices are greenish blue SS - expensive.
Steel gray granite comes polished or honed or leathered - least expensive and is everyone's choice so far.
White quartzite - expensive but not as much as the SS but etches.
I'll post a pic that shows wall, floor and cabinets.
Thank you for your opinions and comments.

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Texas_Gem

I agree with the other votes you've gotten IRL, I think the granite would look very nice.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 2:39PM
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Swentastic

I think the steel grey or black would be pretty - especially if you keep all your colors in the same range (i.e. blacks greys whites) you shouldn't have too much issue with clashing. Do some research on honed granite before you buy - I've heard they can be hard to keep from etching. Many people seem to have had luck using Method cleaner from Target though.

Also, FWIW in my experience much of the expense in soapstone is actually the fabrication - I got such a HUGE range of quotes from local installers here, all selling me the same two slabs of soapstone from our local distributor. I finally found a place that stocks it and got the price down to around $92sf. If yours was way more than that, you might try talking to a few different fabricators and see if they'll work with you on the price.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 4:52PM
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raee_gw

Another option for soapstone, if you can find someone locally who will set it in place for you and finish the seams, is to order it fabricated from M.Texeira.

I think that steel grey is a nice granite choice for your kitchen. However, it will be a very neutral kitchen with grey floor, grey counter, grey walls! Do you plan on using a color in towels, chairs, knick-knacks etc (with grey and white you have lots of options!)

I can't really see it well, but the sample on the end of the lighter color also looks nice. I seem to be on a run of recommending River White/Kashmir White/ Bianco Romano, but I think those granites could look really good with your greys. The garnet inclusions in the first 2 would add a little color, although not everyone likes them.

In 8 months I've had no issues with my honed granite but it is a very dense stone. I believe Steel Grey is as well.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 5:44PM
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missymoo12

Raee, yep that's the issue- lots of gray. I do have colorful things planned-
Fiesta dishes for one. Normally i am very colorful, but wanted to keep this house toned down due to all the views outside from all the windows.
Swentastic I have been working with Teixteira - but have not found that the soapstone I want is reasonable. The local fabricators have no choice of varieties but charge premiums anyway.
Texas I do like the steel gray granite. It seems indestructible also but just wondering if its too much gray...
Thanks all. Here's a pic of some choices on the floor with a cab door.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 6:40PM
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fatherdowling

I'm gravitatating towards the lighter, I love that bottom row middle one (is that the quartzite? I tend to have $$$ taste) I also like top middle.

I like the floors and think basically all of your choices will go well, the darker might make things look a bit dark in there. I realize I've been so unhelpful.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 6:53PM
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caligirl5

I think they're all good choices. I like the bottom left best, then the 2 middle ones.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 7:00PM
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Kiwigem

What is the rest of your house like? I personally gravitate toward the lighter ones with the floor tile. For some reason, when I see dark floors with white cabinets and dark counters it looks to me like a ice cream cabinet sandwich. Maybe that's not bad in a kitchen though!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 7:24PM
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malabacat_gw

Another vote for the middle one in the bottom row. It's really pretty. I also gravitate toward the lighter countertop colors with your floor and wall color.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 7:32PM
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Kitch4me

I vote for the top row middle, but I'm always drawn to white!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 7:58PM
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missymoo12

The two in the middle are marble (top) and white quartzite (bottom)
Bottom left is leathered Steel Gray granite. This is a very cool looking, interesting texture, wonderful to touch granite that would be my no brainer if I didn't have those floors...the polished version is top right.
Bottom right is soapstone. Its blue/black/green and quite a hard variety.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 9:03PM
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lori_inthenw_gw

I think the leathered steel looks good with your floors-- they both look slightly warm in tone in the photo.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 1:01AM
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missymoo12

DD who loved the leathered steel gray has now changed her mind to Carrara marble. I had a big slab about 2 ft square that I retrieved from a dumpster last year and used all kinds of stuff to stain it up just to see how bad it would get.
And it did stain and etch
So I stuck it out against the barn, leaned up on its side for about 6 months or more. We grabbed it to see a bigger light colored sample on the cabinets and DD says " that's it it's perfect it's what belongs in this kitchen"
No stains show now - none! And we had to bend down and search for the etching.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 4:36PM
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missymoo12

DD who loved the leathered steel gray has now changed her mind to Carrara marble. I had a big slab about 2 ft square that I retrieved from a dumpster last year and used all kinds of stuff to stain it up just to see how bad it would get.
And it did stain and etch
So I stuck it out against the barn, leaned up on its side for about 6 months or more. We grabbed it to see a bigger light colored sample on the cabinets and DD says " that's it it's perfect it's what belongs in this kitchen"
No stains show now - none! And we had to bend down and search for the etching.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 4:41PM
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BirchPoint

I vote for any of the light ones. But any which way, your kitchen is going to look great!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 6:16PM
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romy718

I love the light ones too (marble & quartzite). Love the paint color & floor tile. I definitely am partial to the whites. Another beautiful granite I've seen on GW is Jet Mist/Virginia Mist. It can look similar to soapstone. I'll see if I can find a pic.
Edit: added pic but count me as a white marble or quartzite vote. White cabinets, white & grey marble with your tile floors & the wall paint: BEAUTIFUL

This post was edited by romy718 on Thu, Jul 31, 14 at 0:45

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 8:30PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

I think they are all great choices and you can't go wrong with any of them. What is the top left one I love the mix of colors in it.
I have always been drawn to soapstone too it's a forever stone, worth it.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 12:09AM
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joygreenwald

We are getting leathered Bros Blue because soapstone was too high. But I was going for more of a blue gray, and you are thinking more of a green gray or just gray. It's not in yet, but here is our slab.

Not helpful, but I don't think you can go wrong. I love your floor, and the light or dark would look great.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 8:34AM
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strayerdarb

I like both the dark and the light choices, and the colors are so nice I think it will look good either way.

But I just wanted to mention that true quartzite doesn't etch. It's like granite; you clean it and treat it the same.

But a lot of stoneyard people will sell marble which is mislabeled as quatzite, and that will etch because it is marble.

So when you mentioned that the quartzite etches, it makes me think that your sample is actually marble. A lot of times there is a marble that is sold as "super white quartzite."

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 10:10AM
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dgormish

I like the lighter ones. That will tie in well with the cabinets and the grout in the tile taking some emphasis off all the grey.

The middle bottom one is my favorite, then the one above it. Very pretty!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 10:59AM
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Linelle

#1 - middle, top row
#2 - middle, bottom row

But the marble is #1 by far.

I love your floor!!! I'm not a gray wall person, but yours are very nice. You now have plenty of gray, light to dark. The marble may have gray in it, but it reads warm and inviting to me.

I have dark gray counters and white cabs. I am fortunate to have a light and bright kitchen all day long so the dark counters don't darken the kitchen. However, next time I would go with lighter counters.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 11:28AM
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mtnrdredux_gw

Top row middle. I love your floor BTW

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 11:43AM
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vdinli

I love your floor and door combo. The soapstone/darker colors will look great with them. They provide a punch that the lighter colors won't be able to. This coming from someone who is getting a lighter granite.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 12:54PM
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missymoo12

Romy thanks for the pic of the Jet Mist. I have not been able to locate it in the honed version locally but would want to see it first before I decide
Joy that's a really pretty granite and I have not seen it around here.
Thank you all for the nice comments on my floor, paint color and cabinets. This build has been an uphill battle and I am clearly unable to make a quick decision at this point. Three years so far...oiy! The base cabs are still out getting repainted.
I'm heading to Jersey this week to look at one place that has honed carerra and the leathered steel gray. They also have soapstone but I'm finding the quotes are ridiculous compared to the other choices. I could get the marble, trash it for a few years, then swap out for new marble and still come out ahead $-wise!
The island will be stained oak and I really wanted marble for that...Maybe the leathered gray steel would look ok on the island?
So I put sliced lemon juice all over half of the 24" x 30" honed piece I have. What was that urban legend about Meg Ryan...? I'll let you know how it turns out.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 8:27PM
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sprtphntc

what is the top left one??

top left or bottom left is my vote....

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 8:47PM
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missymoo12

The top left is a polished granite I think they called it white viscount. It is very loud and kind of zebra stiped looking. I might have the slab picture on my phone. It is indestructible but I don't like the polished for my kitchen.
It would look great in a more contemporary kitchen.
The bottom left is the leathered steel gray granite. Also bulletproof and both are really inexpensive.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 9:00PM
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Hydragea

oh wow, you have great light, which means you actually COULD do soapstone without it looking too dark.
I wish I had great light and could do soapstone...

But if you can't afford it, then you shouldn't do it. (If you can afford it, I highly recommend you do it :-))

To my amateur eye, of your choices all look good, so you don't have to worry about that. As you say, just add colour with accessories (or even some cool wallpaper!). There's tons of stuff you can do to add personality.

Also, if your first choice is ss, then maybe you're a tactile type of person, in which case the feel of marble might be nicer to you than the other materials you chose.

I think if it were me, and I HAD to stay on budget, I might consider cutting in other areas in order to get the soapstone. If I really couldn't cut in other areas, then I would go marble.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2014 at 9:20PM
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missymoo12

Hydrangea, thanks you've stated what my DH has been saying.
From the beginning, four years ago (pre GW) this kitchen was to be soapstone perimeter on white cabs and carrara marble on a stained oak island. Something that may have been in a house a 100 years ago. I kept saying I'd like it to look like it was built in 1911. Not a slave to that but more of a guideline...
So DH finally said "Get what you want. Pretty soon this house wont be anything like what you wanted if you keep changing."
We've gone over budget on many of the things no one SEES but that make the house better quality. I'm being a stickler for some kind of a budget because we have the barn to build when the house is finished. I just want something that won't be trashed in a year. We're not baboons in the kitchen after all so I will check out yet another stoneyard for soapstone and marble.
Thanks for bringing me back to the beginning.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 9:26AM
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raymondtwp

ohoh! What about this?

(Just a little inspiration photo for ya)

Here's a great blog with a DIY version of the concept:
http://thediymommy.com/whitewash-and-seal-a-butcher-block-counter-top/

Here is a link that might be useful: diy countertop for low $

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 1:45PM
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lisa_a

It could be my monitor but your (lovely!) gray tile floor looks like a warm gray. Steel Gray reads as a cool gray to me (I'm considering its close cousin Arabian Black, the only difference between the two that I can discern is aggregate size, Arabian Black is slightly finer). Is that how the floor and Steel Gray read in IRL? If so and you're open to quartz, consider Caesarstone Pietra Gray. It's beautiful (and most quartzes leave me uninspired) and reads as a warm gray. Check it out in Gooster's lovely kitchen (see link below).

Here is a link that might be useful: Reveal: Long & Narrower White, Grey & Green EIK

    Bookmark   August 11, 2014 at 8:12PM
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