My counters are X and I would/would not get them again . . .

chitownkatAugust 20, 2013

I do not yet have to make a decision on countertops but am constantly reevaluating my choices. I have a feeling most of you folks can relate ;)

I have read the previous threads, including "Show me your countertops" which I loved. I think that thread eventually maxed out on posts, much to my chagrin.

So my inquiry is:
What is your countertop (material - brand name and pattern if possible)? post a photo if not too much trouble.

If you could change your top at no cost, what would you change to, or would you keep your present counters? Why?

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ZLauren

My counters (and floors) are granite and I'm going to avoid them in the future. Too unforgiving and I've broken too many dishes when my hands slip, and for me, this outweighs what other people will consider benefits of granite. I am so glad that I'll be out of this rental home soon!

We're putting butcher block into our new home. Trade-offs, you know :)

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 4:49PM
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joaniepoanie

My kitchen is 18 months old. We have granite...Persa Avorio.....counter and BS. I am very happy with it and would not change it. Have not tired of it yet. We looked at quite a few places and I kept going back to this so knew it was the one. Sorry this picture isn't very good.

Here is a link that might be useful: Granite

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 4:56PM
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katy-lou

Mine are soapstone and love them.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 4:59PM
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gpraceman55

We bought this house last summer and looked for the earliest opportunity to replace the laminate perimeter counters and the tiled island counter. The laminate was stained and the tile grout was hard to clean. We ripped those out recently and put in granite counters, like we had in our last home.

We were not very diligent in keeping our last granite counters sealed, but we never managed to stain them. Nothing man-made (I'll include quartz counters in that) can compare to their natural beauty. I can't recall ever breaking any dishes or glasses on them.

Here's our Crema Bordeaux granite:

This post was edited by gpraceman on Tue, Aug 20, 13 at 17:34

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 5:28PM
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ellendi

I still like my granite, four and a half years later. i have brown Giallo and you have to rub your hands over it to see if there are crumbs. Nothing shows on this granite.
I aven't resealed it in years and it stills beads up when anything spills on it.
So, yes I wold get granite again, unless something new comes up when I am ready to do the kitchen in my Florida home.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 6:49PM
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jenny_indiana

We have Boos walnut butcher block and love it! It requires a little TLC but is well worth it to me.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 6:59PM
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lilymila

I have Caesarstone. If I can do over again, I would have it in a lighter shade, but I love the material.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 7:13PM
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jellytoast

I have Seafoam Green granite. DH and I both loved it at the stone yard, but I did regret the choice momentarily because it was difficult to find a back splash to go with it. Now that the back splash is in, I am back to loving the granite again. It is surprising neutral, and the muted greens and browns remind me of being in the woods.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 7:26PM
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trailrunnerbiker

I have teak, soapstone , butcher block and reclaimed marble ! I love them all. I never do anything to any of it except the butcher block gets oiled once a year. I have painted walls for all of my backsplash and I wouldn't change that either. Even behind my gas 36 " cooktop where we stir fry and deep fat fry. All look like they did 7 years ago. Check the KAW posts to see pics. Good Luck picking counters but you don't have to have only one :) c

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 8:15PM
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sas95

I have Caesarstone. Love it because it is simple and durable, but if I were doing this again I would get an eased edge rather than a straight edge. The straight edge is prone to slight chips.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 8:19PM
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Fori is not pleased

brown.
would NOT.

(came with the house.)

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 8:26PM
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GWlolo

tile with wide grout in old house.. Would not because of grout .. but will do with thinner grout, especially if it is epoxy as it is easier to clean. Would not do stainless or wood as stainless scratches horribly and wood got char marks from a hot cast iron pan.

New kitchen is soapstone unoiled and love it so far.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 8:46PM
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raee_gw

Anyone have slate? Every fabricator that I contact bad-mouths it. (Soapstone too)

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 8:52PM
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katy-lou

Mine are soapstone and love them.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 9:58PM
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willtv

Not the best shot but here's our Blue In The Night Granite countertop.

It doesn't require sealing and make for easy cleanup.
Here's a better shot from a Google search.

It's been almost 3 years and I'd definitely do the same again.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 10:14PM
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palimpsest

We had soapstone and we liked it lot. We had a soapstone sink, though and broke some glasses. It is also a living finish so the sink never looked as pristine as the counters.

This time we are going to do stainless counters and integrated sink. We want something a little more cushiony than stone.

Honestly, though the house currently has white laminate that was probably not treated that well by the tenants for several years, and it doesn't look bad. In my first kitchen I did laminate and did that 45-degree beveled edge that eliminates the brown line. If I did laminate again, I would keep the brown line because the thin edge of the bevel chipped in a very obvious spot before the kitchen was even done, and it bugged me the rest of the time I lived there.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 10:23PM
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doc8404

I have a mix of soapstone and curly maple countertops.

I would do great bodily harm to anyone trying to remove them.

Doc

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 11:45PM
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Gooster

One place has polished absolute black granite; it is a nightmare with waterspots and the slightest dust and debris. They came with the place and I would never order them.

Have CS Piatra Grey (mid tone grey) in the recently remodeled kitchen and it has been great thus far. Because the sheen is more satin, it is much more forgiving of any issues with a darker countertop (the pattern helps as well).

Had tile in the past (grout, even sealed, is terrible. Might consider the new full sheets), laminate (growing up; too easily damaged; would choose something else), santa cecelia granite (best for hiding any debris/spots), butcher block (stains/patina -- might consider in small batches, in walnut or cherry, not typical but end), and Corian (was always paranoid of marks/heat--just choose quartz instead).

I've been in a number of places with a lot of counters, it seems, lol....

This post was edited by gooster on Wed, Aug 21, 13 at 3:18

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 11:58PM
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cookncarpenter

Soapstone, Mesquite, and Maple, love all three for both their usability and looks.
... and like Doc, don't mess with my counters

This post was edited by ctycdm on Wed, Aug 21, 13 at 10:09

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 12:09AM
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annac54

We had white tile counters in 3 different houses for 20+ years. Other than the grout, they were easy to clean and could take having hot items set on them. Tile comes in a lot of different colors, etc, and if you're handy, you can install it yourself. However, I was really tired of trying to keep the grout looking nice. I probably wouldn't mind tile again if the grout lines were thin and some other color than white.

We now have seafoam green granite, and I'm very happy with it. No grout to worry about. I love the colors and designs in the stone. We live in a fairly warm climate, so it doesn't feel cold, just nice and cool. It was sealed when it was installed 2 years ago, and so far, no staining problems. It was supposed to be a 15 year sealer, but who knows how long it will really last. I think this particular material is resined after being cut at the quarry, so that probably affects how easily it would stain.

We put Kashmir white granite in a condo recently, so we'll see how that holds up. I sealed it and the backsplash after it was installed (same long-term sealer). I'm not sure I understand the big problem with granite maintenance. You wipe or roll the sealer on, wait a couple of hours, then wipe it off. Even if you sealed it once a year, it's probably about the same amount of work as you would regularly spend washing off the counters in a few days. It's much less time than I ever spent trying to clean the grout on the tile counters we used to have, and that had to be done several times a year.

I would get granite again, but I would also seriously consider other materials too, depending on the design/style of the kitchen.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 12:41AM
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Linelle

Caesarstone Smoky Ash. It's pretty care-free and is a nice counterpoint to white cabinets. However, I'm a counter clean freak and I can't see anything on mine, having to go by touch to find crumbs and missed drips.

It's not that I dislike my counters, but if I were doing it again, if I could afford it I would get quartzite, because I don't think I could take marble's etching.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 12:42AM
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patriceny

I currently have arctic cream granite. I love it. I'd get it again in a heart beat. It is hard and cold (the cons, I guess), but it is very pretty and just feels so...I don't know, "organic" is the best word that comes to mind. I LOVE the fact I have a beautiful sheet of rock in my kitchen.

I've also had Corian in the past. I liked that too. I know it gets a lot of hate around here, but I liked both the Corian and the integrated sink that came with it. Yes it is "plastic". But it cleaned up like a dream and it felt softer and warmer than the granite does.

I would have been perfectly fine with using Corian again in the new house, but I just wanted to try something different.

This is a pic of the granite. It looks like Cookies and Cream Ice Cream. :)

This post was edited by patriceny on Wed, Aug 21, 13 at 10:29

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 10:25AM
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needinfo1

I've had new counters now for about four months. I have unoiled soapstone in part of the kitchen. I like the grey, more matte look of it, but it actually more of a PIA to keep looking good than I think it would be if it were oiled. If I just casually wipe them down with a soapy dishcloth, I can get splotches. If I really want it to look good and in the more original state, I have to spray with Simple Green, wipe down, and then wipe dry with a microfiber cloth.

I also have honed carrera marble on a different set of counters (the ones that don't get as much heavy use). My experience so far is that they are really easy care, but, as I said, these counters don't get the bulk of the everyday cooking duty.

I'd install both again.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 12:57PM
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ginny20

I still love looking at my Typhoon Green granite 2 years in. But for function, I'm really happy with the 24" of built-in Boos butcher block near the cooktop. So yes, I'd do exactly the same again. You may have already seen this picture; I've posted it before.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 1:13PM
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chicgeek

We have quartz: Cambria Canterbury. Very happy with the look and ease of maintenance.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 1:57PM
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chitownkat

chicgeek, that is one of the Cambria colors I am considering. Could you possibly post a pic?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 2:51PM
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ItsmeChickadee

We put granite in a couple of months ago. I absolutely love my counters! They are called Black Coffee and are in a leathered finish.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 3:04PM
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Mistman

Soapstone and Verde marble in the kitchen, awesome wouldn't change it. Granite in the kids bath, works very well and looks good. Carrara marble in the master bath, it's fine, DW loves it. There all pretty durable and trouble free.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 3:14PM
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akcorcoran

We just finished our kitchen remodel in April and went with granite - Typhoon Bordeaux Green - and I love them. I fell in love with the veining, but more importantly it will hide imperfections down the road. I discover some part I love more every day!

(Before dishwasher went in!)

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 4:10PM
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Ben1980

akcorcoran - that has got to be the most beautiful granite I have ever seen...WOW!

To answer the original question, we just had our granite installed yesterday. It was a category A granite that only cost us $29.99 per sq ft. The color is less unique than most I am seeing posted here but for the price I'm pretty happy with it. The only thing that concerns me are all the fissures. They feel smooth to the touch, but I'm hoping dough doesn't get stuck to it.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 5:02PM
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bowyer123

I had granite for 6 years at my old house, and installed it again at my new home.

I love the functionality, no fear of hot items on it like laminate or solid surfaces. The no maintenance is also a big plus for me. It's also very unique, one of a kind material (not everyone's cup of tea, I'm sure) but we love it and it gets a lot of compliments.

akcorcoran...I love your typhoon, we almost went with it, it's lovely! It also looks like you went with a Thermador cook top...so did we, and are very happy with it!

I don't think soapstone was the look we wanted color-wise, and even though we liked marble, we were a bit afraid of etching and staining....I'm way to anal apparently...ask my wife!

The granite shown does a great job of hiding crumbs and dust, too. With some other granites, you can see streaks, crumbs, fingerprints, etc.

EDIT...Mine is has a lot of fissures and is not glass-smooth. We have no trouble rolling out pizza dough...we just keep the surface floured well and it's fine.

This post was edited by bowyer123 on Wed, Aug 21, 13 at 18:14

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 6:09PM
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myboys1

I have had tile which I would never do again because of the grout lines getting dirty and it being too hard to keep clean. I have had granite which looked beautiful but showed water marks and heat rings easily despite it being sealed every year. The sealing was also a pain to do so this time I opted for Caesarstone quartz. Haven't had it long enough to review, but so far, I like that I don't have to seal it and that it is not showing stains from water or heat the way the granite did. But I still think certain granites can really be a show piece.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 7:50PM
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sayde

Danby Marble. It chips, it etches. I would not recommend it if you want something with the utmost durability, but for me personally, in my 1927 kitchen, it is perfect. Cannot imagine any other counter for my kitchen. It just works in the room and I love the look of it.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 7:26AM
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sayde

Danby Marble. It chips, it etches. I would not recommend it if you want something with the utmost durability, but for me personally, in my 1927 kitchen, it is perfect. Cannot imagine any other counter for my kitchen. It just works in the room and I love the look of it.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 7:27AM
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muskokascp

We have soapstone, white macabus quartzite and raven Caesarstone. Love them all, wouldn't change any of them.

We have been talking about moving and the thought of leaving my kitchen (counters) behind makes me sad.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 8:44AM
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plumberry

I am in an apartment during remodel and we have a dark faux granite pattern and I do not like that I cannot easily see the dirt for cleaning. Our home had white counters and I liked that for cleaning.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 8:57AM
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2LittleFishies

Mine are Vermont Imperial Danby marble and Walnut and I LOVE both of them!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 8:59AM
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2LittleFishies

And the walnut island.. finished with Satin Waterlox.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 9:01AM
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chicgeek

Chitowncat: Here is a photo I took this morning of the Cambria Canterbury. I purposely chose this section so you could see where it is seamed from a distance (Scrabble Mug is on seam). It is so faint that I always have to run my hand over the counter top to feel where it is. We were fortunate to be able to look at the slabs before they were fabricated to ensure that the color/continuity would be a good match.

We really liked this Cambria selection because it had an organic, stone-like look (which I preferred) and the ease of maintenance of quartz (which my husband really wanted).

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 9:19PM
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kompy

Last house, had very dark granite (Uba Tuba)....hated them. It was a 3 step process in cleaning them....to get them to look nice and shiny.

This time around, I wanted light tops! So, I went with a marble look-a-like by Silestone called Lagoon. I love it in it's simplicity, yet it's elegant....at the same time, charming....EASY to clean!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 9:49AM
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nosoccermom

3littlefishies,
how is your Imperial marble holding up so far?

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 10:00AM
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chitownkat

chicgeek,
A million thanks for posting the picture. Our cabinets will be very similar to yours so that gives me a great image to consider.

Always nice to meet a fellow Scrabble player . . . ;)

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 10:40AM
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2LittleFishies

Holding up great! A couple of etches but nothing major at all. Also we do most prep on the island which is walnut so that certainly helps... : )

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 10:40AM
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heidihausfrau

We have Cambria Bradshaw. Have only had them for a couple of months, but I love them. I think they are beautiful and I love the way they feel.

Before that, we had Corian. I really liked that too and loved the matching sink. But we rented out our house while we lived in Germany for two years and the tenants burned them. :(

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 10:46AM
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sprtphntc

granite, "sedna" or "magma supreme" counters....

love them would definitely do granite again..
ease of cleaning and they can take abuse, no staining like laminate, which we had before...
picture poohpup's counters, that's what mine are....

best of luck in whatever you decide!!!!

    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 4:12PM
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chitownkat

Any more thoughts, anyone? All of your opinions and photos have been extremely helpful!

I am getting closer to having to make a decision -- am thinking about a medium tone quartz on the island (3 by 7 feet) and a lighter Corian on the perimeter.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 2:16PM
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NWRain-Gal

To add to the list: we chose Vicostone/Pental Quartz in "Tobacco". We just had it installed this Monday. We chose it for the low maintenance aspect as well as the beauty. Tobacco is a cream/beige/taupe/black veined with little bordeaux garnet like dots. We wanted something neutral that had a natural look and this fit perfectly for us. Our kitchen has white cabinets with a medium brown/honey oak floors.

When the kitchen will finally done, up and running, I hope that we will be very happy with our choice. Only time will tell.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 2:15AM
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Trebruchet

"I love the functionality, no fear of hot items on it like laminate or solid surfaces."

bowyer123:

Respectfully, I can't let you perpetuate this myth. The Marble Institute of America recommends trivet use with all natural stone counters, same as quartz and solid surface manufacturers. That make them equal in the heat resistance department.

Yes, there are plenty of folks that will provide anecdotal evidence to the contrary. I'll be glad to take them on my next heat-damaged stone call.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 11:41AM
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ginny20

Two of the fabricators I talked to (including the one I used) agree with Trebuchet. They said not to plop very hot pans down on granite. Lots of people put hot pans on their stone counters and nothing bad happens, but I'm not taking the chance. So "no need for trivet" is not a reason to get granite.

Does this apply to soapstone, too? Can you put hot pans down on stainless? Or wood? Just curious.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 12:11PM
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gabbythecat

We are putting granite - Tropical Brown - in the kitchen in our new house. After having laminate counters for decades (ick), granite is going to be a new experience. I'm excited!

Regarding heat resistance - I understand that while granite doesn't scorch, it is *possible* for it to crack. That could happen if you put a very hot pan on a previously undetected crack/weakened area. The extreme heat difference (very hot pan/cold counter) *could* cause the counter to crack - major damage. That sounds like it doesn't happen very often, but since it could happen - why take the risk?

BUT - in my house, we microwave a fair amount. Would a dish coming from the MW to the countertop be hot enough to risk heat damage? Seems like dishes that have been in the MW, while hot, don't get as hot as a dish right from the oven/range. Or is it better to assume that if I don't want to touch something with my bare hands because it's too hot, that it shouldn't touch the granite, either?

I've been told that Tropical Brown is practically bulletproof. Does that mean it's more heat resistant, or what?

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 12:33PM
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peony4

I've not used a trivet since my soapstone was installed in August. Heat doesn't bother them.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 12:41PM
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lavender_lass

Formica....and I'll probably do them again. I can't find anything else as forgiving and low maintenance. My friend has granite and they're hard and cold...but we have long, cold winters and I saw them at Christmas.

I really like Trailrunner's kitchen and will probably do something like that...mixing other finishes in that work in each area. I know soapstone is lovely and lots of people really like it, but it reminds me of my chemistry class, which was not my favorite.

Marble would be wonderful, especially in the baking area and I wanted a wood top on the island, but now I plan to use a kitchen table (still wood) instead.

Have fun with your kitchen :)

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 12:42PM
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annkh_nd

OP, I can add my experience now! When this thread was first around, I didn't have counters yet.

I went from 24-yr-old laminate (that held up extremely well, but was ugly), to Cambria quartz, color Somerset. I LOVE the way it looks, and the way it feels. I love my undermount sink.

The only adjustment is that it is much harder than the laminate - when I set stoneware plates or bowls on the counter, they go "clink" instead of "thud". Not a problem - just a difference (and certainly no surprise).

I would do it again - absolutely.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2013 at 12:48PM
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