A day late & a calacutta quartzite slab short (countertop woes)

wishiwasinozSeptember 26, 2013

We are getting to the home stretch with our new home (est. move-in date of mid-Nov.). The pressure is severely on to pick our countertops. All along, we've wanted Calacutta Macaubus Quartzite. I've been looking for 8 months now for the right slabs. My search has now moved far out of state. Nothing seems to be available. I was told the quarry is at the end of the line & the stuff coming out now is ugly. There are two available slabs that are appealing to me, but the fabricator cannot figure out how to get 2 slabs to work for our whole kitchen. They are slightly short & need that 3rd slab. What can we do? Do we use this slab for our island & go with something with less movement on the perimeter? Is so, what would be a complimentary stone? Do we use this stone for the perimeter & do a walnut island (this is where the prep sink will go - I think that will be a bad idea down the line). The cabinets are SW Alabaster, a creamy white.

Do I give up & go with marble, knowing I will be hard on it?

Thank you so much for any assistance. This kitchen is keeping me awake at night. I feel like is is all-consuming. I want to pick something & move on.

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wishiwasinoz

I should also mention the background appears more white in this photo, but it reads light gray in person.

Any Caesarstone ideas for the perimeter or something comparable?

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 11:21AM
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live_wire_oak

How about Cambria Greystone on the perimeter? It's a medium neutral gray that will pick up on the grey in the star stone, but stay in the background and be happy as a supportive player.

Or, there's Newport, if you want lighter still. But I think it's undertones and pattern might fight with the quartzite. A plain jane is what you need.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 11:30AM
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annkh_nd

Caesarstone London Grey?

Here is a link that might be useful: London Grey

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 11:32AM
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mlweaving_Marji

I've been looking at the white macaubas online, because it's been in contention for our island. I do know that AGM Stoneyard, which is a wholesale stone yard located in South Carolina, has some in inventory right now. I think the slabs are beautiful, and to my knowledge they post pics of their actual inventory, not stock photos.
Not sure if the slabs are in Charleston or Hardeeville.

Here is a link that might be useful: AGMinventory

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 11:32AM
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kaysd

I feel your pain. I spent over a year looking for white quartzite slabs (our kitchen had a very long R&D phase). Calacatta quartzite (aka cross cut White Macaubas) was one of the prime contenders. I saw a couple of gorgeous large slabs early on, but didn't grab them fast enough. I waited months for new slabs, and then they were smaller. I ended up finding 2 slabs of White Macaubas (vein cut) that were large enough to do the whole kitchen, but before I found them I was strongly considering using white quartzite on the island and gray engineered quartz on the perimeter.

I thought Caesarstone Raven looked great with the Calacatta Quartzite, as the Raven picks up the tone from the veins. The Raven has a little movement so it is not boring, but not so much movement that it competes with the quartzite. Raven also looks great with white cabinets. Check out the 2009 Kitchen of the Year Ina Garten helped design.

https://www.google.com/search?q=ina+garten+kitchen+of+year&biw=1597&bih=861&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=81NEUuWRB8PkiALXkYCYCQ&ved=0CEkQsAQ

Here is a link that might be useful: Ina Garten Raven & white kitchen

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 11:50AM
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kaysd

Why did my post show up so wide like that?

Gorgeous Calacatta slab photo above, BTW!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 11:51AM
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steph2000

This is beautiful. I like the idea of considering two different countertop materials. Either way would look great, on the perimeter or the island. Get your name on it, I say!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 11:57AM
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rococogurl

I think Caesarstone would be a wonderful and smart companion. And good idea to do the island in stone and the perimeter in Caesar.

I would pick one of the Caesars with no pattern and match the color of the Caesar as closely as possible to the background of the stone using actual samples in natural light.

Alternately pick the lightest or second lightest color of the veining.
Best suggestion is to take all the samples to the stoneyard including paint colors done from actual brush outs and at least 4x5 plus cabinet samples with you so you know how the whole ensemble will look.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 12:16PM
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suzanne_sl

kaysd - your post isn't wide on my screen. One of those oddities?

wishiwasinoz - I'd seriously consider using the Cambria Graystone for your perimeter.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 12:20PM
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wishiwasinoz

Oh my goodness! You have got to be the most helpful people in the world! I cannot thank you enough for your suggestions. I've had one of the worst weeks of my life (one of my best friend's baby died last week), I have been such a ball of emotions, crying at the drop of the hat & grieving for her. I was told I MUST make the countertop decision ASAP, which is not helping my stress. On top of that, landscaping is way over budget, so there goes my beautiful English garden in the front, that will make the exterior go from a house to a home. I just want to curl up & sleep for 2 weeks.

Thanks for listening, thanks for your suggestions. I will take some pics of the kitchen this afternoon & post them.

You guys rock!

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 12:26PM
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joaniepoanie

Is it an option to just do plywood counters until you find what you really want? It doesn't sound like now is the best time to be making decsions....especially pricey ones you will have to live with for a long time.....or maybe even do off the shelf laminate from Lowes/HD put on loosely for easy removal later? Not sure about codes, etc..just an idea so you're not so rushed with such a big decision and can take your time to find just the right stone.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 12:42PM
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RoRo67

Have you considered River White Granite?
.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 1:40PM
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SaltLife631

Caesarstone Pebble 4030 would be a complimentary countertop material. You could use pebble on the perimeter like alabamamommy did or switch it up and do the pebble on the island like I did. You mentioned possibly using a walnut slab on the island but are hesitant because of the prep sink. I have seen numerous wood tops hold up to regular sink use. There are finishes and finishing processes designed for this type of application. Mixing up the countertops may give your space added dimension and texture.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 3:00PM
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muskokascp

That quartzite slab is beautiful and I would definitley grab them and use something complimentary. I have white macabus on my perimeter, original PA soapstone on the island and Caesarstone Raven on a serving area. The Raven and the paint on the back serving area were picked to match so there would not be too many competing colors.
Good luck but don't lose too much sleep because I think there is an easy solution which allows you to use that beautiful quartzite! I looked for over a year for our quartzite and lived with plywood counters for several months - all worth it in the end!
I think the raven would be great with the quartzite.
Here is a picture of the raven

i don't have a picture of all three counters together because they are a bit far apart.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 3:32PM
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wishiwasinoz

Muskokascp, WOW!!! Simply gorgeous!!! My jaw is hanging wide open.

The soapstone looks amazing with the quartzite!!! And your backsplash! I think we would have enough left over to do the same - how stunning! Thank you for sharing your beautiful kitchen.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 3:47PM
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wishiwasinoz

Here is our kitchen to have a frame of reference.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 3:50PM
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wishiwasinoz

Does anyone have a source for the PA soapstone in the southeast US?

I authorized the purchase of the quartzite. The waterworks would never turn off if I lost it. Many thanks for keeping me going!

There are a couple of slabs in Hardeeville Mlweaving, but they were not as pretty as these slabs.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 3:59PM
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wishiwasinoz

The fabricator said soapstone is really hard to get here (not sure that I buy that). She suggested Nero Marquina marble. Any thoughts?

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 4:14PM
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live_wire_oak

Dark marble etches white. I wouldn't do it unless you're willing to invest in that new stone coating that's there's a post on here about.

Is there a Pacific Shores stoneyard anywhere near you? They've got the largest selection of all kinds of stones in our town, including a couple of those really hard to get in the region soapstones.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 4:59PM
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kaysd

Check out Gooster's kitchen with the new Caesarstone Piatra Grey. The pictures look great (haven't seen it in person yet.) I didn't recommend it before because I was not sure if it would work to mix a dark stone with veins with the Calacatta, but that combo looks great in Muskokascp's kitchen. The Piatra Grey would be a safer alternative than black marble.

Here is a link that might be useful: Piatra Grey

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 5:54PM
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meganmca

How slightly short are you? Small enough that you could eke it out with, say, a built in piece of butcher block on one of the side counters? That'd look purposeful

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 7:07PM
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lcskaisgir

That quartzite is GORGEOUS!! I would definitely use it for the island at least...it will be a show stopper.

Something similar happened to me with this exact same stone. I finally made the mental decision to go with the Calacutta and when I went into the stone yard to tag it...it had been bought. I am now deciding between Superwhite and Delicatus.

I hope it all works out for you :)

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 7:32PM
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gwlolo

I second the suggestion for butcher block from Boos for a built in cutting board.. Maybe in walnut. If you are doing a different stone, make sure there is contrast. Almost similar but not quite the same reads visually as a mistake not as intentional design. I do not like the dark marble.. The lines look like fissures. As pp said, they etch white.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 8:02PM
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wishiwasinoz

I wasn't wild about the marble, but I did not see it in person. I do agree with you GWlolo on your advice.

Please explain the butcher block idea...
I like the sound of it. Do you recess it into the countertop? Do any of you have this? I do love walnut! (& I am 5'4)

    Bookmark   September 26, 2013 at 8:11PM
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wishiwasinoz

DH is not a fan of the soapstone. It is too dark for his taste.

Back to square one. :-(

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 11:00AM
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romy718

Pretty kitchen. I especially like your island. It definitely warrants a beautiful top. What are your floors? I like the idea of incorporating wood somewhere in your tops, especially if you have wood floors.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 12:14PM
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SaltLife631

Did you look at the Caesarstone pebble? It is a medium gray hue (much lighter than the soapstone that did not work for your husband) that would work well with the slabs you recently purchased. This material also works well with walnut countertops and butcher blocks. I can provide you with inspiration pictures where similar countertop materials to yours were combined if that would be helpful to you.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 12:51PM
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sanjuangirl

Hugs to you for your Grief and stress. It all seems trivial in the face of such loss that your friend experienced.

If you can handle making decisions now I would grab those gorgeous slabs. I would love to see them on your island since it's the centerpiece in your layout. Perhaps using the rest as a backsplash. Any number of stones would compliment it. The soapstone is a good compliment as is the gray quartz. You could also use a black stone on the perimeters for a lovely contrast with your white cabinetry. I'm biased as it's one of my favorite combinations.

Whatever you choose, your kitchen will be gorgeous. It already is without any of the embellishments.

Good luck and God bless.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 1:35PM
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leela4

Check out Alberene soapstone in Schuyler,VA. It is quarried there, and soapstone doesn't have to be dark (we've kept ours unoiled and light for 3+ years). I wish we had known about Alberene when we got our counters (although living in WA state it isn't exactly ''close''). I think the combo of the quartzite and soapstone would look great.

Here is a link that might be useful: Alberen Soapstone

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 2:56PM
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wishiwasinoz

Okay, DH is totally wowed by kitchens with walnut islands. I think we will go with a black walnut with a nice ogee edge. I pinned Nini804's kitchen ages ago. I will share that with the GC for the direction I want it to go in.

My most sincere thank you for all of your assistance & your kind words. This all seems extremely trivial to what my friend Jenny & her family is going through right now. I think most of my stress is not wrapped up in the kitchen but my grief for my good friend.

Some of you asked, our floors will be white oak with a brownish-gray stain, more of a rustic finish. Our home exterior is a very symmetrical French/English manor style.

I also am going to make sure we incorporate some of the quartzite in our backsplash. I don't know if we'll have the length to cover the whole area, but even if we can put it behind the range, I would be pleased with that.

Once we have a completed home, I will definitely share our photos. Thank you again! I'm sure I will be back for more assistance in due time.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 3:46PM
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wishiwasinoz

And Saltlife, Caesarstone Pebble rocks! I think that would have been beautiful!

Is there any way to incorporate the Caesarstone & wood in the island? I don't believe I have ever seen anything like that.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 3:50PM
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wishiwasinoz

Saltlife, I saw this on Pinterest. This is my 'aha' moment! From http://zsazsabellagio.blogspot.com/2012/01/house-fabulous.html

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 4:25PM
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wishiwasinoz

Another view

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 4:26PM
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kaysd

Wish, I know it is very difficult to deal with having to make house decisions in the face of grief and stress. We had to put our remodel on hold for a few months -- in the middle of the project -- to deal with family medical issues. I feel so bad for your friend and her family and friends; I can't imagine losing one of my girls.

You should check out Breezygirl's fabulous kitchen with a black walnut top on her island, white cabinets, and marble counters on the perimeter. I think mixing black walnut and the Calacatta counters would look great, if you decide against the quartz. Using a piece of the Calacatta vertically on the BS where you can really see it is a great idea. Your kitchen is already beautiful -- the counters will be great icing on top.

Here is a link that might be useful: Breezy

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 5:54PM
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SaltLife631

That kitchen is very well done. The results illustrate how attention was paid to small and large details alike in order to complete the package. We were going to do our island just like that with Caesarstone London Grey and Black Walnut. Due to the role our island will play we needed a more durable island surface. We moved the black walnut to "hutches" on the perimeter, with London Grey flanking the range and Pebble on the island. People can be hesitant about three countertop surfaces in one kitchen but when provided a visual it is almost as if those same people forget while still commenting on each surface! Obviously this will not work with all materials and as it has been said before you don't want too many "clowns" in the room. Your are headed in the right direction, enjoy the journey. I look forward to seeing the progress you make.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 6:52PM
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steph2000

I think you are making a great choice to go with a black walnut island and use your lovely stone on the perimeter AND over the range.

My condolences to you and your friend on the loss of the baby. My sister lost her son as a newborn. I know well the unique grief associated with the death of a baby. So many lost possibilities, dreams and experiences...

    Bookmark   September 27, 2013 at 10:18PM
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wishiwasinoz

Thank you everyone for you assistance & condolences.

Our perimeter countertops were installed today (though it seems the installers could not slide it under the appliance garage, which will have to be modified).

We are doing the quartzite inset into the walnut island (60"x28.5"). Here are some progress shots. Sorry for the blurriness. The electricians need to fix the crooked fixture, too.

We are really pleased! :-) I would not have come up with the walnut idea without you Wise Ones!

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 4:22PM
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wishiwasinoz

Whole kitchen

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 4:23PM
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gothaml

Wow! That looks amazing! Can't wait to see more.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 4:35PM
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romy718

You have such a great space! I love that big island in front of your range wall. Your slabs are beautiful! Congratuation & can't wait to see more.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 5:24PM
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ck_squared

That is a gorgeous counter!

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 7:20PM
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heidia

Amazing! I LOVE the idea of the black walnut and this gorgeous slab-I am glad you went with it!

    Bookmark   October 26, 2013 at 10:19PM
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firstmmo

It is looking wonderful. So glad that you were able to find a solution during the stress of so many things. Hopefully you will be able to look back and see the joy and reflect upon the memories when this was happening, and it will all eventually feel like "gratefulness" and goodness even in the wake of such of hard times. Each house I have done has a piece of it that has a sense of "nostalgia" that reminds me of something that happened when we built it, something that will always remind me of the peaks and valleys that happened while we were building. I think that's a good thing.

I look forward to your final reveal and that sense of accomplishment you will have. It's going to be beautiful!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 1:30AM
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juddgirl2

I'm so sorry for your friend's tragedy and your grief.

Your kitchen is beautiful and I love your counters. I hope that making your decisions for these final touches brings you some peace with all the stress you've been through.

I'll be following your progress with great interest. I'm deciding now between refurbishing my existing cabinets or putting that money towards a complete remodel this summer. If we remodel, I would also love to have white cabinets with a black walnut counter on the island, and I'm intrigued by sink surround that you're planning. Can't wait to see it!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 3:44PM
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wishiwasinoz

Thank you all for the kind feedback. I will do the final reveal in the next couple of months, probably after we move in & get through Christmas.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2013 at 7:48PM
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wishiwasinoz

A quick sneak peak. The walnut was installed today! I gasped when I saw it! :-)))

    Bookmark   November 25, 2013 at 11:37PM
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kaysd

Wow, your kitchen looks beautiful! I love your stacked cabinets with the glass doors on top, as well as those gorgeous counters. Having the stone surround for the sink set into the walnut was a great idea. I can't wait to see more pictures. What are you doing for the backsplash?

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 3:23AM
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kksmama

Fabulous, and you are so close to the finish line! (Did you tire of cleaning dust off the light fixtures?)
Thank you for updating this thread, your counters are all amazing!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 7:30AM
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autumn.4

Wow-that is so pretty and a great idea! Definitely reason to gasp in delight! I can't wait to see the full reveal. :)

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 7:52AM
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wishiwasinoz

Thank you! Kaysd, the painters covered all the fixtures. I don't know what we are doing for the backsplash. I wanted to have everything installed & get used to it all before we figure that out. Any & all thoughts & ideas are welcome!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 7:56AM
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deedles

That looks really great! Very, very, nice.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 9:09AM
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Pipdog

that's beautiful!

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 2:29PM
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chiefy

oh gorgeous! I love walnut islands, but they are not meant to be in my kitchen (it won't have an island at all).

Since I have a 7-yr old boy who is obsessed with Star Wars, my first thought when seeing the top of the picture was "Darth Vader!"

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 4:43PM
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