Need opinions on countertop slabs

ck_squaredAugust 25, 2013

We're trying to narrow down our countertop choices. We're probably going with Cambria Newport (or something equally "quiet" ) on the perimeter counters and want something with more pizzazz on the island. The island is approx. 66" x 48" with a perpendicular 18" portion off the short end (this portion of the island will have a waterfall edge). All one level is the current plan.

Walnut cabinets, modern/contemporary aesthetic.

The first photo is Princess White. I'll post the other two slabs in subsequent posts as I'm one of those people who don't know how to do it in the same one!

Choices are:
1) Princess White/White Princess Quartzite

2) Fantasy Brown Quartzite

3) Corteccia Marble (I love the way this one looks but the fact that it's marble worries me)

What is your experience with any of these. Any opinions are appreciated. Other suggestions given our parameters?


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Corteccia Marble

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 9:22AM
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Fantasy Brown Quartzite
(oops, I went out of order!)

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 9:23AM
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I like the #2 picture with the waterfall in mind. The third one is great too, I just think the second will look so stunning on the waterfall.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 9:44AM
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Have you thought about stainless steel on the island? I'm sure you know that Cambria is a name brand and you will pay more for that. The company I hired to do my counters don't carry them, but have other quartz samples. I actually decided to go with granite over quartz because of the durability but when I go to the warehouse to find a slab, who knows what I will walk out with. There are so many beautiful options. Love the slab in your first post!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 9:56AM
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Thanks! I love the White Princess, too. It has bits of limey green in it which looks great.

Yes, I know all about Cambria. We put it in our kitchen 10 years ago (and more recently in a bathroom) when we did a partial remodel. Now we are taking down a wall and making it bigger. Love the fact that it's made in my state, too.

Stainless steel is a very interesting option...

Thanks for the feedback.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 10:03AM
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number 3 image but stick with simple edges.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 10:04AM
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taggie - I agree! I think the Corteccia will look great on the island especially the waterfall portion. But I'm so worried about the marble aspect. I've seen it twice now and both times the guy there said: it will stain; it will etch. Gah! Tough decisions.

herb - yes, I agree, definitely simple edges. Z-edge with Cambria and eased with the rest. Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 10:20AM
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btt for more opinions. Thanks.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 4:35PM
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Have you subjected these slabs to tests for scratching, etching, staining? If the last one is really quartzite I'd choose it because of the black area near the bottom and because I'd think it would hold up better as a (heavily used) island. That slab of Princess white looks amazing and would be my first choice if you didn't have the waterfall (assuming it passed tests and/or could be sufficiently sealed).

Here is a link that might be useful: other thread on choosing and testing slabs

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 5:07PM
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Princess White is my first choice, and depending on how you templated it, think it would look fantastic with the waterfall as well....

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 8:13PM
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Thanks, everybody. I appreciate the responses. It's interesting to see the reasons people would pick different slabs.

My dd and I are leaning toward the Princess White (despite my love for the Corteccia). Dh prefers Fantasy Brown. I could live with it but the PW has a bit of limey green like the Corteccia which I love.

Thanks again! I really appreciate it.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 8:03AM
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For looks, I would choose the marble in a hearbeat. With a waterfall on the island, that would be an awesome dramatic look. I'd be worried about upkeep though. I like the coloring in the Fantasy Brown and also think that'd look awesome with the waterfall. Comparably speaking, the Princess White is a lot more plain. I also like how the other 2 bring in the brown from the cabinets.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 1:51PM
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Wow--they are all beautiful and very different! I love all the marbles I see in others' kitchens, but I know it's not for me. I want a countertop (particularly the island that is used for prep, and where food/drink is consumed/spilled) that can take abuse. That one would look stunning with your cabinets though, and I agree a waterfall counter would be divine.

I love the granite too. I've had several different granites in prior kitchens and I love how impervious they are. (I've read here from others that there are some granites that will stain.)

Can you get a sample of each and try the stain/etching tests that others have done? Maybe that will help you decide!

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 2:39PM
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I prefer the princess white as well! Gorgeous. The striations on the other two make me a wee bit dizzy.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 3:02PM
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I'm a huge White Princess fan and if the first slab is actually 100% it, it will be bulletproof. I had it in my old house and I could spin red wine, ketchup, lemons, limes or ANYTHING on it and leave it (including oil) and it wouldn't stain or etch (I had honed). You will LOVE it. You could even do a perimeter of quiet white princess if you wanted to. Here is my old kitchen.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 10:45PM
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I really love Princess White. However, if you are using walnut cabinets and a more contemporary style with waterfall edge, I'd put it last. Somehow I see it more with the style of cabinets and overall look of firsthouse's or beekeeperswife's kitchen.
My preference would be the marble because it has the most streamlined and modern pattern and also great with a waterfall edge. But, yes, I'd try to test it for staining and etching.
A close second the brown quartzite because of its pattern and coloring. I think it would look stunning with walnut.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 6:20AM
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White Princess, Corteccia Marble, then Fantasy Brown Quartzite. Honestly, they're all beautiful. I would definitely take some samples of the various quartz perimeter counters to make certain you can find one you like with whatever island slab you choose.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 10:41AM
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I like #3 most out of all of them. It's the most dramatic in my eyes.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 2:44PM
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I prefer the Fantasy Brown, especially for the waterfall, but it would be a dramatic statement. You would need to decide if it is within your vision, if it promotes the feeling you want. The Princess White is lovely, but much more subtle and quiet.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 8:12PM
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Thank you everybody. We really appreciate the opinions you've all expressed. My GC is going to get quotes for all 3 slabs for us. He also suggested using one of the above in the entire kitchen... not sure I want to go that route though it would probably cheaper than doing a Cambria perimeter.

Thanks again for all of your insight. It has been very helpful!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 9:37AM
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Fantasy Brown Quartzite

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 11:37PM
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In order to highlight the waterfall feature I would utilize the Corteccia Marble or Fantasy Brown Quartzite and test samples of each for scratching, etching, staining etc...In the end if you are worried about durability I would probably go with the Fantasy Brown Quartzite.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 8:32AM
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Ditto SaltLife. I like the White Princess but for pizzazz against the Cambria Newport in a modern kitchen I think one of the others would hit the mark. Maybe, just maybe, the marble will pass your durability tests?

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 9:08AM
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At second look in the setting of a waterfall, the FB looks like muddy water running. As you know Im biased towards Corteccia. :o)

I think the Corteccia and FB are very similar. The Corteccia is more calming and would look great in a kitchen done with a waterfall. Also allows more versatility decor/color wise. The FB while a beautiful stone, would tie your kitchen to a very brown scheme esp with your cabinet color. It would force other decisions for you, like paint and backsplash colors to keep the kitchen from looking too dark. Whereas the Corteccia would still give some leeway.

And while the WP is beautiful, its not as dramatic as the other two.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2013 at 9:19AM
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Here's an important factor ... the first pic is very cool grey and white stone. The second ones have a lot of tan and cream in with the grey.

If you pick #1 you will have to decorate with it, and around it, because it will not look good with warm tones (remember the thread about floor and countertops ... the cool toned counters and the warmish floors?)

So if you like all the currently popular tans and browns for wall colors and in fabrics, pick one of the two with brown in them.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 2:43PM
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