island Countertop: walnut or quartzite

localeaterSeptember 21, 2012

My kitchen cabinet L will be natural walnut slab front doors and drawers with a Madre Perla countertop. My island is going to be painted and I was planning on using walnut butcherblock. The island is not small, it is 94x38.

I just found out that my slabs are probably big enough to do the island too. Now I have to make a choice.

I love the look and the idea of walnut, but I am concerned about too many finishes in my kitchen and not having anywhere to "rest" the eye. I am also concerned about darkness.

Architecturally my space is busy because it is a post and beam home so the omnipresent design force is the beams. The cabinets are all simple clean lines, but some are stained and some are painted. I figure that means they are not the same and that the contrast keeps the eye bouncing a bit. Will it be more restful to have the countertops the same?

Also, the island top will be a large plane of space and black walnut is very dark, it will become a focal point.

This is my space, what countertop would you do on the island?From From

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Gorgeous room!

I think you could go either way. Both Madre Perle and Walnut are calming and the walnut would pick up your cabinets beautifully, as would the Madre Perle. I don't think either would look busy. I would probably lean towards the Walnut as it's so warm and looks beautiful on painted cabs and will tie it all together, but honestly I don't think you can go wrong with either choice.

We're doing both - quartzite island top for 10ft attached to a 2ft walnut butcher block (total island length is 12ft).

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 8:58AM
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Typically, I prefer when only one element of a kitchen is different when it comes to cabs and counters. If the island is painted as opposed to walnut; then I'd like the counter to be the same. That for me is basically a guideline since I"ve seen kitchens where everything is mixed and admire it. But since you have the post and beams; I do think I'd choose the Madre Pearl in your case. If you plan to work directly on the island for prep... then I love the idea of having an end section with end grain wood that you could directly work on.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 9:45AM
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wood countertops have the poorest hygiene characteristics of any of the usual options. Tile is 2nd. Laminate in the middle. Quartz and granite better. Stainless the best.

I would not have a wood countertop in my house.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 12:19PM
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Thanks for all your help. Had to go and see my slabs today because they had come in and we hadn't seen them yet. Fell in love, all over again. The one area I was concerned about which look dark brown in the photos, was actually purple, like streaks of amethyst.
The end result is the whole kitchen will have the same countertop. I think this will be best for me and for our space as I need it very calm.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 6:01PM
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