To Strayer - antique brown granite vs kodiak brown granite
Strayer, I couldn't reply to your email because of your gardenweb settings, so I thought I might as well answer here.
Thanks for the compliment on my kitchen!
I started out looking for leathered antique brown, but I couldn't find any I liked. Kodiak brown is definitely different. It comes from Quebec and antique brown comes from Angola. The antique brown I saw either had prominent white streaks in it (which some people love - I don't) or it had big patches where the texture was really different. My kodiak brown has a smaller, more even texture. I've seen pictures of antique brown that I like better than my granite, but I couldn't find any slabs around here that I liked better.
I like my granite choice quite a bit. I wanted the brown undertone to go with my oil rubbed bronze light fixtures and my lagos azul limestone fireplace surround. Sometimes I think something with a different undertone would have looked better with the backsplash I ended up picking, but I don't know. If you aren't specifically looking for a brown undertone and you just want something dark and soft there are lots of choices: atlantic black, cambrian black, even steel gray. I've seen all of them (and lots more I can't remember) in honed or leathered and they look great. I've even seen uba tuba (green undertone) leathered and it looks really nice. I also spent a lot of time looking at Caesarstone Raven and I still wonder if I might have liked that better. It cost a lot more though, so I finally ruled it out. I also found in my testing that granite was harder to chip than Caesarstone. Both can be repaired though, so maybe it doesn't matter that much.
I personally like the look and feel of honed better than leathered, but my husband was all gaga about the leathered.
With dark granite, you see the crumbs, and my kids excel at producing crumbs. My granite never looks dusty, though, and my dark laminate countertop in a previous house often did. Fingerprints don't show, but you can see the rings where glasses sat until you wipe them up. It cleans up very easily. I've found my favorite thing to use is Method glass cleaner. When I use granite cleaner I feel like I have to buff it off to prevent streaks. If I'm just wiping off crumbs or water rings, I use a damp cloth. I've never seen anything that I've felt has stained my granite. If I spill something oily it leaves an oily streak, but it cleans up easily.
I hope that answers your questions! If you have more, don't hesitate to ask.