Giallo Etrusco Marble - opinions please.

FarmerMcLarryOctober 6, 2013

Our search for countertops took an unexpected turn today. We were previously leaning toward an Arabescato quartzite or a honed granite when we came across Giallo Etrusco marble today. My wife and I both instantly knew it was the color, pattern and overall feel that we really would love to have in our kitchen. It is "The one" so to speak. I had been shying away from marble having read about its gentler nature as compared to quartzite and granite. We are a family of 4 with 2 teenage kids and my main concern is durability - we "live" in our house. Also, it is polished, not honed. I think I would prefer honed, but I don't know if this particular coloration would be as perfect in honed. The polished finish really seems to bring out the beauty of this marble.

A little background. We are close to starting a full kitchen remodel in our 1926 home which will be replacing a 30's kitchen with a total of about 8 sq ft of counterspace (I'm not exaggerating) that we've lived with for the past 13 years. The kitchen reconfiguration will give us a total of about 33 sq feet of counterspace which I can tell you will improve our lives greatly :)

So, my question is - and yes, I've been trying to do my homework on marble and other stones - could/should this be the one for us? What is your opinion on marble in the kitchen? What is your opinion on honed vs polished? Will it look terrible in 2 years? I don't expect it to remain perfect, but I wouldn't want it to look trashed.

The samples in the picture are of the color of our cabinets and our new RAL 4004 BlueStar range. This marble just seems to blend perfectly with all of our choices. Maybe I've answered my own question :)

Thanks everybody!!! Here's some pics...

Full slab...

With samples...

Isometric view...

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And for closer reference, here's a shot of our range from when we opened it for inspection...

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 1:53AM
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I don't know about the durability but it sure looks gorgeous with your selections! Good luck!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 9:41AM
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It is lovely with your range and marble will feel better with the age of the house. I'd go with the marble.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 10:39AM
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Holly- Kay

Wow! What a knockout slab. I don't think you could find anything that would look as aesthetically pleasing with your cabs and BS range. I can see why you both fell for it and I would gladly baby it a bit just to have it!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 11:36AM
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I think you should get what you like. To me each counter top material comes with a a different set of expectations and care requirements. You just have to be willing to live with those expectations and requirements.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 11:56AM
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I have Vermont Danby Marble and am having a coating product called Clearstone applied to my laundry room counter tomorrow. It is a two day job. If I am happy with the look, I'll put the Clearstone on my kitchen counters. I have samples of my marble with the Clearstone applied and have tested them overnight with the usual things that etch & stain marble (citrus, vinegar, red wine, ketchup, mustard). No etching, no staining. It can be done in a honed, high honed & polished finish. If all goes as planned, I'll report back on Tuesday. It may be an option for you if the marble etching bothers you.
Your marble slab is beautiiful!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 11:57AM
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Thanks for the input everybody, I appreciate it. I went to bed last night really torn about this decision and this input helps ease my concerns. I really think this is the right one.

Romy, I'll be very curious to hear your results with Clearstone.

I have an oddball followup question - I posted this on my desktop, but when I look at it on my tablet, the pics are upside down. Are you all seeing my pics upside down?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 12:53PM
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Love the marble. Get it. It already looks like there are colors in it so it may camo any imperfections that come along. There are lots of can I live with marble threads here. You've probably read them. My DH is the definition of a perfectionist. He is wanting a marble and the softest soapstone. Likes the patina... Who would have guessed!
There are a few threads also about the posting pics and the upside down deal. Has something to do with how you hold the phone/tablet when you take the pic. But your pics are rightside up on my desktop.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 1:04PM
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My condolences! Once you fall in love with a marble, nothing else will do. I'm surprised none of the anti marble people have commented yet, offerring an option that is "similar" in another "more practical" type of material. In my opinion, you may as well stop looking b/c nothing compares to marble once it grabs you. It's practically has a soul.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 4:24PM
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romy718: can't wait to hear how you like it!! Did you mention the cost of the clearstone in one of your other threads? I kind of remember you listing a price and that it was fairly expensive.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 4:54PM
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I've read between $40-$60 per square foot. I have about 40 sq ft and it will cost me $2000. Not inexpensive, but you can do it down the road if you can't live with the etching. All previous etching is removed during the Clearstone application.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2013 at 5:03PM
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We're still looking to see if anything comes close, but so far, this one seems to be the winner - hands down.

I like the fact that you can have Clearstone done down the road - deferred cost so to speak :) My understanding is that it doesn't protect against scratching, only etching and staining, correct? I'm looking for a qualified installer in my area (Seattle area), but so far none seem to have even heard about it.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 4:28PM
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That marble is a new one to me, but you have to get it, regardless of our lack of knowledge! It is beyond fabulous with that range (one of my all time favorite colors) and unique in the GW archive. I really do believe you ought to investigate Clearstone, though.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 6:33PM
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You are correct, it doesn't protect against scratching. It is about the same hardness as marble, so it will scratch just as marble will scratch. Have you contacted Clearstone about a rep in the Seattle area?
Srosen is a fabricator that participates on this forum and also applies Clearstone. Hopefully, he'll chime in.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 6:49PM
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Thanks for the vote of confidence kitchendetective, I really do appreciate it! My wife and I were both blown away by how well it matched the range.

Thanks for the clarification about scratching Romy. I started a separate thread about Seattle area installers and apparently there aren't any. Hopefully as the product becomes more established in the US, it will become available up in this corner. How did day 1 of your install go?

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 7:34PM
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Hi from Australia
Great choice on your marble, and all the photos look the right way up for us in Australia as we are downunder.
I believe the nearest applicator to you is in San Fran they are Fox Marble, we have had Clearstone here in Australia for many years, and yes it can scratch, scuff, and chip just as marble , and many other stone tops can, however they can be very quickly repaired, and this can be done many times without recoating.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 8:12PM
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I absolutely love that marble! It's beautiful and goes perfectly with your selections.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 8:19PM
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This may be a double post. I posted somewhere? As you can see, there's not much to see. The laundry room counter is only 36"x24". They poured the Clearstone today, it sets for 24 hours and tomorrow they will grind, sand, buff etc. to the finish I select. I would have done the whole kitchen without this little test if I had something other than an ogee edge. I hope it turns out because I am getting used to the idea of no etching. If it doesn't, no regrets.
I love my marble enough that I'd do it again, etching or no etching.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2013 at 8:40PM
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Holybush, thanks for the SF tip. I emailed them today to see if they know of anyone up my way who works with Clearstone. Or maybe they'd be up for a vacation :)

Thanks gr8day!

Romy that's an interesting setup they used to contain the pour. I'll be looking to see how it all works out!

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 4:49PM
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I'm not a fan of those burgundy and gold spots. They look like random red wine and rust stains. If I walked into a kitchen with that countertop, not knowing it was part of the stone, I would wonder what happened.

I haven't seen any mention of chipping. I would ask about that before committing.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2013 at 7:22PM
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We were originally going to use marble on our kitchen counters and my DH mixed it when he read that Martha Stewart has hers polished every year. We are rural and its difficult-to-impossible to get people to come out for services like that. The compromise was marble on the baking section of the island and granite elsewhere. However, the granite was chosen specifically so that red/purple drips wouldn't stand out--jelly, wine, marinara, cranberries, grape juice, etc. The counters are wiped down nightly, but I didn't want to have to worry during meals and so forth. I think this Etrusco obviates that issue while still being a light-colored stone. (Then again, it turns out that after 8 years, I have no stains on any of the counters, just etches on the marble.) I love that Etrusco. And those grape drips are wonderful!

    Bookmark   October 9, 2013 at 8:19AM
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Clearstone is no where near $40 PSF... It is more likely $55 - $65 much as many counter tops just for a sealant / surface agent. It just started here in the US and only from select distributors at what is obviously unreasonable prices. Caveat Emptor as you are putting synthetic material on natural stone.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 8:01AM
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Well, today is install day. The team is at the house now putting it in. I'll update with some shots once it's all done. Wish me luck!

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 4:18PM
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Here's a few shots of the install. I really like the way it works with the range and cabinets. Still a fair amount of work to do on the kitchen, but this gives you an idea...

Here's a closeup of the area to the right of the range...

    Bookmark   December 18, 2013 at 11:20PM
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It is so beautiful! Perfect with your stove. You must be so happy. Congrats!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 12:21AM
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Wow! What a beautiful piece of stone. Absolutely love your range. I'm glad all went well for you today!

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 12:47AM
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Thanks you two! We are really loving the way it goes in the kitchen. Now we just need to decide on a back splash :)

    Bookmark   December 19, 2013 at 10:46AM
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