Desperate for counter advice! Havent found The One. Thinking qua

homebuyer23August 13, 2013

edit to title - "thinking Quartz", not qua!

I cannot believe I still haven't chosen counter material. I have considered every single material out there. Any insight on helping me pin down a counter? I am exhausted, don't know why I cannot find something! I love marble and soapstone but don't want the maintenance or worry. I love Jet Mist granite, but don't want so much black. I love a few quartzites but too expensive. We almost did leathered Steel Gray bc its plain and cheap, but again I think too dark& it just doesn't excite me at all. There've been no other traditional granites that we like.

I. need. help.

I will have Dove White cabinets everywhere, with a small coffee stained cherry island/work table. I have golden oak floors. I have a whitewashed brick fireplace at the end of my now-open floorplan, which reads cool tones to me, but I crave a little warmth, I love white cabs with darker walls and ORB hardware.

I am drawn to these marble backsplashes but haven't committed to anything since counter needs to be done first.

So, I am now onto Torquay...what you think of it in my space? I think I really like it, but my DH isn't fond of it, doesn't like the idea of "fake" marble and would rather a quartz that is plainer so as not to "pretend"...I just like it and don't think it looks much like marble but I love that its light neutral and incorporates both gray and tan/taupe.

I do worry its too light and that the pattern might be too much with the pattern on the backsplash I like. Wondering if there's some other solid plain quartz that would look good around the perimeter, and then on my small island/worktable, I could use a marble or a quartzite remnant.

Any other ideas you may have I'd love to hear, I am going insane and its really time for me to choose the counter!

cambria torquay with honed marble backsplash and bm Coventry gray paint chip:

torquay with a darker gray paint chip and polished statuary marble backsplash:

fireplace at far end of kitchen...hardwood is replacing carpet, ignore beams & sconces they're all ripped out, and we will be replacing mantle shelf, hearth stone & adding new screen...

This post was edited by homebuyer23 on Tue, Aug 13, 13 at 3:21

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What if instead of the coolness of the gray and white marble backsplash you found a warmer marble tile, like calcatta and paired it with a warm light quartz like buttermilk.
I think the gold and brown warmth of calacatta would play nicely with your beams and your island.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 6:32AM
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I do think you could bring in some warmth as localeater suggests... I see taupe/putty or oatmeal actually from the fireplace bricks and of course the floor will take a lot of tones-it's classic. If I were in that tight spot I think I'd go back to the place you are looking and just look for what you like, not so much to"work" with a cool white kitchen,,,,,you know paint colors can be tweaked later. Look at the selections as far as the individual's pattern....elements of color....complexity or you simply like or get a good feel from a few? Seriously, there are some beautiful counters out there,I'm sorry you're in this spot......something is going to emerge though.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 7:43AM
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Localeater thanks. The beams are gone though so they're not an issue. Your suggestion is good though. I am a little stuck bc of how much I love that backsplash maybe I try to find something else.

I'm surprised no one thinks that due to the fireplace I should go cool tones. Hmm. To me it is begging for grayish paint around it. After I whitewashed it I had a hard time because my old beige paint which you can see on the sides, clashed with it so bad. But I knew once I put a cooler grayish ztone on the wall I'd like it.

I am a sucker for warm colors, I go like a magnet to anything brown and green. But my house has always been decorated in warm earthy tones, olives greens browns gold rust...and I really wanted to change that up this time, I was starting to bore of that look.

Do the things I've posted work together? I'm not sure if you're steering me another way bc I said I crave some warmth or just bc they don't look good together.
I thought I could do a mainly white kitchen but get the feel of warmth by a darker paint on the wall, and lots of dark accents in lighting maybe hardware.
I need a color psychologist!! I'm seriously all over the place.

I may try to post some of my favorite inspiration pictures to see if any of you experts can figure out what I want, bc apparently I don't know!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 9:10AM
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I like warmth too. I don't think your fireplace is that cool-toned; although it looks like you're changing the wall color surrounding it, I think it looks fine with the yellow/gold. In any event, I would not let it dictate the colors in the kitchen.

Your first group of elements is a bit same-y gray, with the exception of your floor. I also think the backsplash tile is beautiful, as I am drawn to marble. I have a quartz counter (dark gray) and, while I don't have a problem with marble-esque quartz counters, I think the general wisdom is it's not a good idea to have real marble and faux marble adjacent to one another.

As much as you like the backsplash, you need to find a counter you like, not one you think you like, which sounds like you're trying to talk yourself into it. You need a counter more than you need a backsplash. Look at something light-ish, but warmer. You can always find a paint that works with all your elements.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 9:25AM
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I'm sorry you are finding this challenging, I did too. I ended up visiting several stone yards, some of them several times, before finding the right granite.

Think about what you want the granite to do (play nice with warmth of floors and coolness you like in marble, coordinate with your gorgeous fireplace brick, and not be "fake") and then ask salespeople in the stoneyards to show you what they think could work. Or take a child, mine were seriously helpful because given a set of criteria they could objectively apply it. Another option is to visit an Ikea store, they have lots of economical choices and several model kitchens, you might get an inspiration, or you might decide on something "good enough" and economical so you can splurge on a backsplash you adore.

I'm excited about the Speartek oyster bay marble I found, it has warm and cool tones, and is similar to but less busy than silver travertine. I think you are reaching for the same kind of cool/warm gray/brown balance I am. You said you'd considered "everything" - does that include copper, slate, walnut? Peke may have some gently used bedazzled plywood available to you :)

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 9:26AM
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I am using silestone, bianco river, and take a look at the Lyra also.
I am not any sort of decorator but, might be worth a look!


    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 9:35AM
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I am researching slate right now, it comes in some lighter gray and gray-greens that could be beautiful with your overall scheme. But, you said you didn't want soapstone which is somewhat similar.

I also love the look of wood and that would not have to match your floors at all.

Is solid surface (eg Corian) off the table? I feel that it is a bit pricey for what you are getting, but they have a few color/patterns that may be worth a look (and that I wish I could find in a quartz in my price range!): sea salt, rain cloud, shoreline, clam shell, ravine, burled beach

I also am not sure about pairing marble with a man-made surface unless the pattern or color is distinct enough that it doesn't look like you were trying to match.

Your palette is fine, if it is what you are drawn to!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 9:58AM
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Like Linelle pointed out, I would pause before putting real Carrara next to a Carrara-like quartz. To combine the two, I think a quartz color with more contrast or a solid color might be needed.

I write this because I am biased -- my recently finished kitchen has white cabinets, a cherry island, carrara backsplash, and mid-toned oak floors (slightly lighter than yours). I researched through many of the same choices you went through. I ended up with a mid-grey (CS Piatra Grey). I also have a lot of taupe in other areas of the house. I went through marbles, soapstones, quartzites (couldn't find one) and marbles falsely labeled as quartzites.

Some other choices to consider that I ran across:
* White quartz
* Other marble-look quartz, but with a different backsplash: CS London Grey (grey/brown undertone) or CS Dreamy Marfil (cream marble)
* Costa Esmerelda Granite (light green and grey)
* Namibia White granite (very hard to find -- I could only find it prefab locally)

Here is a link that might be useful: my old reveal

This post was edited by gooster on Tue, Aug 13, 13 at 11:17

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 10:51AM
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Are you really a white and gray girl or do you just want a change? When you look at the white and gray kitchens, do you like the other elements that are usually used in those kitchens? I see a lot of "bling" in those kitchens, right down to the crystal chandeliers.

The white-washed brick has an organic, casual feel, and you want ORB hardware, so I'm thinking a counter like Antique Brown granite or a dark brown quartz in a quiet pattern. There are a few threads on GW about AB and some Houzz photos too. I have only seen it in photos and have always admired it.

I would say save the marble for the bathroom, but I read the bathroom forum regularly, and marble seems like a nightmare in the bath.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 11:40AM
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I love this board! Thanks everyone! So I'm leaving another granite yard I haven't been to.... Saw some unbelievable marble slabs. Wanting a little slice of one for my little island, then thinking more solid durable quartz on huge perimeter.

What do u think of this.... It's silestone Cygnus a greenish gray with some pattern but not trying to be anything its not. Think lots of white cabinets, lots of this Cygnus, then small island with cherry wood and Calcutta marble.

Maybe with the marble backsplash I like but maybe switch to something a little plainer...earthy/organic bc as mayflowers suspects that is more me, I don't want a Bling-y kitchen. But, I do still love marbles..?! However I equally love hand made ceramic crackle tiles!

Keep the thoughts coming, I appreciate it so so much.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 11:54AM
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Yes! The sample's a little small and lighting a bit dim, but I like the warmer counter sample so much better than the first one.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 12:01PM
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WAIT....until you find the one you fall in love with. Even if it means throwing some plywood on the counters in the meantime. You won't be happy if you get something because of a timeline. Keep visiting every stone yard in your area until you see it..and you will.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 12:28PM
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I do like the Cygnus better with your existing backsplash. (It is one of those that I considered as well; but in a more "blingy" feel.)

One thing to consider with going with marble on the island is the cost of procuring a full slab. You'll want to reuse it somewhere else, unless you are fortunate to live in an area with a remnant specialist or with a large fabricator willing to absorb/split the slab. I used real marble on a ledge and a custom tabletop.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 3:28PM
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I think you are on the right track with your latest quartz sample. I seriously considered Torquay when I did my kitchen. I had a big sample and every time I looked at I thought it was lovely, but I agree with the others that you don't want to mix it with that backsplash. I love the backsplash in your first picture, by the way, and think it could work with a calacatta island. I wanted to share this kitchen with you that I just saw this morning - quartz and calacatta.

I'll link to the blog entry below. The countertop is hanstone sandcastle. I love the way the quartz color works with the nickel hardware.

I would also consider caesarstone lagos blue, concrete, and pebble.

Good luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Croma Design Kitchen

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 8:08AM
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My color scheme is the same as yours. On all perimeters I will have white cabinets, a marble subway backspash and satin Antique Brown granite (I think satin is the same as leathered, it's not shiny). On the island I will have white macaubus quartzite with a dark paint on the cabinets below. The marble backsplash tiles look really good with the antique brown granite. They also looked really good with some of the lighter shades of granite such as river white. My accent colors will be orange and dusty grey/blue with some warm colors worked in through fabrics and such. Also have a large pine farm table adjacent to the kitchen which brings in warmth, and then the fanily room where I will work in warm fabrics. I love the cool colors in the kitchen. Pretty much all of the "hard" things will be in cool colors (cabinets, counters, appliances, pendants, wall paint) and then the softer things will bring in the warmth (pillows, fabric choices, window coverings, farm table, art, and the floor is wood, so that adds warmth). The art is both warm and cool. I'll post that next, have to find the pictures.

Here are the counters.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 8:47PM
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Here are the counters with the backsplash and my favorite purse sitting in as my accent color. Sorry, not such as great photo.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 8:49PM
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Here are a bunch of my cool color choices plus the orange accent

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 9:12PM
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Here is a photo I saw in a magazine showing really light counters with the white cabinets and how you could bring in a nice accent color. i also saw a nice photo using blue as an accent, but i can't find that photo. The blue was aqua-ish and looked nice with the white, but I thought it would be hard to work in wanr with that.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 9:16PM
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Hear is a photo of our painting. 4' x 2'

I think it will pull things together nicely between the cool kitchen colors and the warm fabrics, table and floor.

As far as purely the countertop choice goes, I had a really hard time with the dark perimeter counters. I love the quartzite island but it's too expensive to put everywhere so I was looking for a contrasting material for the perimeter. The honed blacks were too grey, and I didn't like the shiny blacks. The antique brown (also called Marron Cohiba) has a mixture of brown, grey, black, and a tiny bit of creamy veins, so it worked for me. It has the warm and the cook in it and contrasts nicely with the marble backsplash. I saw it in the polished and didn't care for it. I liked the leathered/satin finish. My island is polished white macaubus quartzite though, and it will look good with darker cabinets underneath. Hope that helps. The counertop choice took me forever. It was the hardest thing for me.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2013 at 9:27PM
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Sorry to abandon this thread, so much going on, or should I say going wrong, with our remodel.
Thanks so much for everyone's responses they're all so helpful.

Strayer I really like the design plan you have and it is SO similar to what I've had in mind, right down to the accent colors. I've been hoping to incorporate blue and orange but I'm thinking more along the lines of aqua/ turquoise and maybe more of a salmon or citrus-y orange.

I don't think in alllll of my granite yard searches that I've come across antique brown. Does it look brown or black? It reminds me on Steel gray leathered a little, which I sort of like and would love to use bc it's so affordable in our area! But I have a very large perimeter with a peninsula with seating and only a tiny island. Im just really hesitant to have such a large amount of really dark counters.

What paint color will you have on your walls?

I also love love white macaubus and actually might use it on our island if we can find a remnant and it goes with whatever we decide for our perimeter. It won't work on our perimeters bc of a big u shape, I don't think the linear pattern would look right.

I'm still at a standstill. The quote for Cygnus was really high. She said its a level 4 and suggested a couple level 1&2s. I need to go see them but I'm sure they're going to be a solid color which I'm also hesitant about due to the large amount of perimeter counters, I don't like busy at all, but I prefer a little bit of interest.

I really really like that combo mpagnom posted. Maybe I'll look at some Calcutta back splashes. I guess it doesn't show on pics but both my marble samples do have some tan running through them which I like bc it makes them warmer to me.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 1:41PM
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That marble slab is spectacular. If I were going to use it only on my island with an"quietish" quartz compliment to my white cabs...I'd definitely SERIOUSLY want to use that same calacutta as my backsplash. One glorious slab.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 7:43PM
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Omg, the marble slab as my backsplash...
Come on remodelfla!!! I'm trying to save money and you throw this tempting option I've never considered at me?!?! Haha that is an awesome idea. I think that's so far out of my budget that it won't even bother me. Much. But yeah, that'd be nice. I do love it!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2013 at 10:20PM
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My granite is kodiak brown leathered, and it is similar to antique brown. It looks black, but it has a brown undertone. It is fairly similar to steel gray, but the undertone is very different. Here is a close up of mine.

I wanted aqua/turquoise accents in my kitchen and painted the walls SW comfort gray. It might work for you. Here is a picture to show the wall color with accent colors.

I really like the marble backsplash posted in your last picture with the marble slab. They work great together and they could work with steel gray leathered.
I have one more picture to show you. Sarah Richardson used what I think is honed steel gray in a kitchen (she said it was a low-priced granite) and used a marble backsplash and colors similar to your marble slab in the adjoining room.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sarah Richardson kitchen

    Bookmark   August 18, 2013 at 12:47AM
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Ok if anyone still interested...
I think I'm gonna go with silestone Gray Expo.
I reallllly like it, not too dark not too light. I love how it plays out with everything else I like.
Would love to hear what you think of it with my white dove cabinets, and small little chunk of the Calcutta vagli on the small island. The woman helping me found a Calcutta backsplash tile to put with it.

I found a few other options too.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 10:05AM
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Here it is at a tile shop with their Calcutta backsplash and a floor tile of Calcutta pretending to be my island.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 10:09AM
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Here it is at home with the original arabescato backsplash I liked and orb hardware. Hard to see but I put pale yellow paint chip behind cabinet. Any thoughts on that?

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 10:14AM
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oh no I posted upside down, sorry.

Well here's one more Silestone Gray expo sample with several backsplash and several paint options!

Now I have to narrow paint choices down, hardware color, and backsplash...

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 10:31AM
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I'm still interested, and I love it! The only thing I question is the ORB hardware. I would wait until you get it all in and then experiment with ORB and satin nickel. I like ORB (I used it for all my light fixtures and drapery rods), but I think I would like satin nickel better with your cabinets and marble.

When choosing a backsplash tile, see if you can get a sample of the current stock of a tile before ordering it. Marbles vary a lot so that may save some disappointment. If you choose calacatta I think a larger tile (like 2" x 4") shows the dramatic veining a little better than mini bricks or a small square mosaic, although I like them all.

Will you have the same paint color in the kitchen and the room with the fireplace? I'm not sure if I'd like a yellow around the fireplace, but it looks nice with all your kitchen stuff. Maybe try something like SW amazing gray.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 11:40AM
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I am interested too - but of no help. I have been looking at steel gray also - honed - as a substitute for the others that I love but are way out of my budget!

Our color schemes so far are very similar and I love the options you have chosen. Can't wait to see what you end up with!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 12:38PM
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I like your choices...have you seen 1pandora's kitchen? It's finished and there was a reveal. You should search for it. There are many elements that seem similar to yours. S/he went with a different island counter (Bianco Romano?), but the perimeter is some sort of gray Caesarstone-like material and her island is a darker wood while her perimeters are white. I believe that the backsplash is also marble mosaic.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 12:17AM
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