please show me your indestructible/beautiful countertops!

fourambluesAugust 14, 2012

Well, I think my countertop fabricator might be giving me a line, not sure. The delivery date for my Cambria Buckingham quartz is like a carrot, and he keeps moving it just out of reach. The date he last gave me for delivery to the stone yard is August 26. That's a Sunday. Hmmm... And Cambria customer service is no help either. Yes, there's a long backorder time, no idea how long.

So, I've had my heart set on the Buckingham since LAST August, but if it's a pipe dream I need to have a good plan B. I want a countertop that will take neglect and abuse and yet look nice. So no marble, no granite, I think. DH vetoed the idea of formica. I have chocolate PaperStone on the perimeter and really love that, but want something lighter with movement on the island. But not too expensive!

Does such a countertop exist? It might be quartzite. If you have such a surface in your kitchen, please show me a pic and identify the material. Here's the space I need countertop, with a temporary island top:

Thank you!

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Why no granite? I understand you want something bulletproof, but EVERY surface, including the quartz you chose, have issues.
If you really love the Cambria, I'd wait to get it. That date is only a few weeks away.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 1:24PM
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bahacca, I was hoping for a nonporous surface, but I'd consider granite. I like a swirly look, not a ground-up look, if that makes any sense.

I will wait the few weeks (the delivery date is now "first week of September"), but if this becomes an endless game of snatching the carrot away, I'm not playing, and I need a plan B.

I found a slab of Fusion quartzite online this morning, available at my local stone yard. It's breathtaking! And sadly about 4x budget. Oh, well...

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 2:12PM
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Wow, is it the popularity of the color you chose? My counters were templated last Thursday and they told me that the fabrication time was running 5 weeks (due to fabrication backlog not availability of Cambria). They called me yesterday and set up my install for 8/29. So just under 3 weeks.

I am guessing because Buckingham is in the more popular, newer waterstone collection? I chose Darlington which was a early 2011 color introduction.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 3:24PM
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Quartzite tends to run toward the high end of granite pricing I think. $50 per square foot of unfabricated slab isn't unusual. Quartzite porosity varies more than granite. Some, like my Azul do Mar slabs, are very low porosity and some are more porous than the most porous granites.

A good sealer will fix that anyway so it doesn't represent any problem for usage of the counter. My understanding from friends who have stone that needs sealer is that they don't do it more often than once every several years. It has been over 5 years since our fabricator sealed ours and we haven't resealed but I don't think ours needed the original sealing.

Some of the white marble look alike "quartzites" apparently have some non quartzite content and can etch so you might want to avoid them unless you can test a sample.

In general most granites are about as bullet-proof a kitchen surface as possible.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 3:49PM
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I'm so enamoured with your soapstone, I figure you need MORE of it! GREEN though!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 4:00PM
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So, if it's only a few weeks for your Cambria and it's what you love, why not wait? I'm not trying to be smart...but, by the time you get out there and pick something else, how much time difference might it be in the grand scheme of the life of your kitchen? I understand wanting to be done. But, maybe a few calming breaths and perhaps waiting a little longer for what you love is worth it.

And now, if you decide that you are going to look into something else, I'm not certain that all granites are out of the question. Conversely, not all quartzites are fair game. As a general rule, darker granites are typically less porous than lighter. And what I mentioned about quartzites - there have been some quartzites that are etching and not playing nicely in kitchens...just look up some recent posts regarding Bee's kitchen counter. :(

And, I'm not certain how it is that granite "upkeep" got such a bad name. Resealing a counter isn't really much more work than spraying a counter with a cleaner and wiping it off. And in most cases you need to reseal it every several years (or less!), so I don't know that the upkeep is an issue.

You may want to check into a honed or leathered finish to granite if you decide to go that route - since it isn't shiny, it seems that it doesn't show crumbs or fingerprints, etc. as much.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 4:09PM
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A bit off-subject, but would you mind telling me what brand/model your range is? Love it! Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 4:12PM
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How do you like the Paperstone? That's a lovely color.

Pawa--what is the soapstone you are referring to? I 'm interested in learning more about soapstone.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 4:23PM
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hags00, yes, I think it is the popularity of the color I picked. I really like the movement in the Waterstone colors, and, sadly, it seems a lot of others feel the same. :)

cloud, I think I need to get myself over to the stone yard and educate myself a bit about the different types of stone! The little I do know indicates that quartzite, porous or non-, might be out of budget.

pawa, thanks for noticing my perimeter counter! It's paperstone, though. I think it would play nicely with green soapstone, but I'm leaning toward a blue/brown palette.

andrea, I will wait. But I'm in my second round of "a few weeks" of waiting, with no indication of a real end in sight. I'm just trying to come up with a backup plan. If only someone at Cambria would give out concrete info i'd be a lot happier. So would the stone yard and fabricator, I think.

HeatherK, that's a Capital Precision. It's a beast and I love it! Or I will once the oven holds temp and once I don't have to use a lighter to light the burners. It'll be serviced Thursday -- hooray!

casey, I love the paperstone! It's kind of mottled, so it has depth and the color is a nice warm brown. So far it seems indestructible.

I think I got everyone. :). Thanks for the feedback!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 5:04PM
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Since you asked us to show you, here's mine:

older picture with our old fridge, but I don't have a more recent close up.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 5:25PM
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Indestructible countertop? When you find one, let me know.

Quartz is supposed to be easier to care for when compared to granite (no sealing) but it usually cost more (unless you're looking at exotic granites).

What exactly are you doing in the kitchen that would require such durability beyond granite, stone, or quartz? LOL

Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 5:42PM
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Quartz will not take abuse. You can't go crazy in the kitchen with quartz and expect it to look like new, so make sure you understand the product. It can chip, burn, and be dulled from mildly abrasive cleaners. Dull spots cannot be buffed out. None of those are covered by the warranty.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 5:57PM
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Eye candy -- thank you cloud_swift! I love your countertops.

MrsShayne and may_flowers, thanks for warning me about potential problems with quartz. I realize that it's not actually indestructible (no countertop is). But I know I won't do regular maintenance on my countertops, and I think quartz will take that kind of neglect. I'm forgetful, not lazy. (OK, maybe a little lazy, too.)

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 7:35PM
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I found in my search swirly and light colored is difficult to come by. I know my fabricator has remnant pieces of it-I'm in Orange COunty, CA if you are interested.
And I TOTALLY know how you feel with the timeline of waiting. Yes, it is a few weeks, but if it has already been 6 or 8 and you are looking at 3 more and then they move it out AGAIN, it is a huge letdown and you get to the point where you ask "Is this REALLY worth the wait, or is there something I can love just as much?" I found something I LOVE and was WAY cheaper than the Fusion I had my heart set on, so I'm sure you can too.
As for swirly, my fav granites that are swirly are dark. Saci is the lightest I can think of that is "swirly". It would actually look quite beautiful with the perimeters you have. It is in the higher price brackets, however. Perhaps look around for remnants.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 11:27PM
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I am so sad to hear about your delays. Have you checked with any other Cambria dealers in the area to see if your current one is feeding you a line?
Our buckingham came in quickly but it did take 3-4 weeks from template to delivery and then,as you know, the whole countertop crashed in the truck.
We had it installed one week later. So there wee slabs around,,,
Hang in there- everyone is loving our counter

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 5:17AM
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Just so you know, when I said granite requires sealing, it's pretty simple to do. I bought some stuff at Lowes and all you have to do is spray it on, let it sit for 20-30 minutes and then wipe off. I'm not even concerned with my granite. It's so busy that a stain or chip would never show.. The darker the granite, the less likely it will stain. Granites like White Kashmir or very light colors are more likely to stain. But again, you'd have to spill red wine and let it sit for an hour. Who does that? hehehe... Nice kitchen by the way. I love the cabinets.

Hang in there, my granite journey lasted 3 months! I had delays too and they just about put me over the edge. Below is link to my journey!

Here is a link that might be useful: 3 Month Granite Journey

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 8:34AM
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bahacca, I think you really get where I'm coming from! I'm just exploring my options in case I get fed up, and I'm not there yet! OK, I am a little bit... I'm an optimist and still hope that the early September date will stay on track. Meantime, I'm having a field trip to the stone yard! :) Thanks for pointing out saci. I'll ask the stone yard if they've got a slab for me to look at.

a2, after talking with the woman at the stone yard and our architect, I believe that the fabricator is being truthful. Seems Cambria can't keep up, and communication in the supply chain isn't good. Thanks for the encouragement!

MrsShayne, wow, your granite journey was rough! Hope mine's a little shorter. :)

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 9:14AM
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WE love our quartzite so far. Very durable, have missed spots the night before (hey I have awful night sickness right now and messy DH) and am able to clean it up great the next day, even a red sauce splatter. We have a toddler and one on the way so needed something durable.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 9:52AM
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Mrs Shayne What color did you paint your cabinets. I love it.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 10:10AM
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ratrem, your quartzite is lovely! What kind is it? Congrats on your upcoming new addition! Hope the night sickness is short-lived. Ick, I hated that part...

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 10:19AM
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I second the question--Ratrem, what is the name of that beautiful quartzite?

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 11:34AM
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I'm in love with soapstone - in fact, awaiting installation next week! From what I understand from many, it's pretty indestrucible - non-porous (so, no sealing), heat and stain resistent (what else is?) and comes in a variety of colors and stone types. Good luck with your choice - I am sure you will get what's perfect for you!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 3:01PM
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denali_2007, Hello, I painted my cabinets BM's cumulus cloud - 1550. Thank you for noticing :)

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 3:12PM
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cloud_swift, what is your counter? It's beautiful!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 4:56PM
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Our leathered absolute black and polished quartzite is doing great. We've forgotten some spots until the next morning and all is well. I've spilled tomato sauce and dribbled coffee, lemon and wine. They clean up easily.

What I'm NOT digging is the quartz in my son's bathroom that has virtually no movement. It shows water spots and toothpaste constantly. I find I have to clean it harder than I do either counter surface in the kitchen.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 5:42PM
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Here's ours, per your request. After 6 years it still looks like the day it was installed. no stains , chips or whatever and it still has that nice glossy finish (that we Love).

By the way cloud swift, your granite is stunning and it tends to match your name.

I would have liked something with that much colour, but the wife, unfortunately, is not into that sort of thing, although I'm happy with the compromise we made in getting the Arandis Gold granite.

Best of luck fouramblues, on your upcoming decisions, We hope you are as happy with it after 6 years of use, as We are!!!


    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 6:23PM
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You might like our Juparana Oro granite. It seems like it's in the same color family of the Cambria Buckingham (but maybe not swirly enough for you?). We've had it for 9 months now and it's been great -- and we're pretty hard on things. It has the Sensa coating, which I believe means we don't have to seal it for 5 years. That's not why we chose it, though -- we had granite in our preious home and the sealing is NO BIG DEAL.

And the "big picture":

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 7:03PM
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Thank you Casey. Our counter is a quartzite called Azul do Mar.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 7:25PM
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What is the name of your quartzite? In what City and State was it purchased? Thank you.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2012 at 8:02PM
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Sorry just getting back to this thread now, my quartzite is Taj Mahal and I am in Boston, MA and found it at marble and granite inc.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 9:01AM
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