Espresso colored kitchen cabinets with Uba Tuba granite

RGJR18November 17, 2012

Hi all,

We are buying a new construction home. For the kitchen, which also has an island, we chose espresso colored cabinets and uba tuba granite with 6 in. backsplash for our countertops. We love both (espresso cabinets & the uba tuba granite). We also chose stainless steel appliances and an undermount stainless steel sink. Our flooring will be Daltile 18 in. Fidenza Dorado throughout the bottom floor which is an open floor plan ( it's a 2 story home). This is a lighter colored tile (earthy natural tones). The kitchen backsplash, for now, will just be drywall painted Sherwin Williams Swiss Coffee (builder paint), as will the part of the kitchen island underneath where the stools are placed.

Although we love both, we are very concerned whether the espresso cabinets will work well with the uba tuba countertops. We would appreciate all of your opinions based on the above information we have given.

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I like both but I would probably not pair them together. I've been known to break rules, so I won't say never, but you are talking about brown/black cabinets with a stone that tends to be grean/black with some gold. I'd want a closer match in tone or something with more contrast rather than what I'd be afraid would look like a muddy near miss. The answer could vary depending on the exact cabinet finish, lighting and particular slab of stone. There's no substitute for seeing the actual materials together and in the lighting of the actual room. If your cabinets are a definite, have them put in and pick your stone when you get them at least delivered on site. It's not like Uba Tuba will be hard to find and you need to grab the last slab now.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 11:49PM
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I would also eliminate the 6in back splash. you pay extra for it and it really dates a kitchen. Just paint until you decide on your back splash. Many contractors like to install the 6in back splash as the templating can be a little less exact and they also make money on it

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 12:33AM
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I agree that there is no substituting seeing the materials/finishes in person but to be honest, I probably wouldn't pair the two together either ( I do like both espresso and uba tuba but just not together).

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 12:42AM
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I agreed with everyone else just by reading the title, before I even opened the thread. I don't think that granite will work with those cabinets. The MOST helpful thing for us was taking one each of our bath and kitchen doors along with the tile we had chosen to the granite yard. We literally changed every single granite we had previously picked.

We have 2 baths with espresso cabinets and picked New Venetian Gold for them (one is NVG light and the other is NVG dark). Bonus: it's a level one granite !

Agree with others above about leaving off the backsplash piece for the kitchen. We did do the backsplash piece for our baths though.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 7:08AM
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I am not a big fan of granite in general, but green granites bring to mind the green marbles so prevalent in bad 1980's bathrooms. Now that you know my prejudices, I can tell you it's not the worst combination of elements I've seen. Green AND a 6" splash is going to look dated from the start, and changing the cabinet color is going to make things look better. It's really the floor tile color and the counter choice that clash a bit (yellow floor, green counter) and read "Golden Girls" color scheme.

Which elements (floor, counter, cabinet, paint) can still be changed, and which one of all do you love? What other counter surface options did your builder offer that fit into your budget?

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 7:14AM
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Perhaps you could look at some granites that are closer in color to the flooring. I have been told that countertops that match the flooring are pleasing to the eye. I don't have a problem with the splash as I am seeing these taller splashes out and about these days. A normal splash is only 4" tall and so the extra 2 inches gives it a certain chutzpah in a good way. It looks sort of elegant IMO. I don't have the splash from granite in my kitchen and just did tile on the entire backsplash but in my laundry room ~white cabs with black pearl I have a 5 inch splash of the black pearl and I think it looks sort of sexy, LOL. Could be that black pearl : ) I like it in there a lot and it looks very elegant.

It wouldn't hurt to explore just a couple of others to feel sure about your choice. I would like to suggest golden cashmere, white Giallo ornamental, colonial gold, yellow river or cooler white river, cashmere white. Botticino quartz would look nice too if you went that direction. since your flooring is warm. I love Dorado travertine so I think your flooring is going to be beautiful with your cabinets. I saw an island recently that was covered on the sides with stone. It was really neat. You could always do something special with that later since I am understanding that the island sides will be painted sheetrock? If not, disregard. If you love the uba you could do it on the island since it has a lighter side where the stools are and then something lighter on the perimeter perhaps. Good luck!

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 7:53AM
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Just toning down the yellow in the floor could improve your look in the kitchen with the granite, and brighten your home without "lightening" the floor too much. All of these are available in the 18" x 18" format.

This is Daltile Sandalo in Serene White, that sells for less than your tile

This is Daltile Stratford Place in Dorian Grey similarly priced

This is Daltile Heathland in White Rock that sells for less than your tile

This is Daltile Sandallo in Castillian Grey, also less

And finally, Daltile Franciscan Slate in Desert Crema, a little more expensive than your floor tile

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 8:07AM
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It sounds dark to me. I love both espresso stain, and dark granite, but don't think I would put them together.

I just transitioned from natural plywood countertops to black walnut, and even though my kitchen has natural light from both sides, I was surprised at how much light was sucked out of the room.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 9:18AM
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Too dark. Change one of your choices. AND be sure to put in enough lighting, including under cabinet lighting.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 9:57AM
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Don't know if this will help, but FWIW

When we remodeled, we planned dark cherry perimeter cabs, an espresso island. I thought I would use Black Pearl granite on both. It was TERRIBLE on the island. I think the greenish cast of uba tuba might be even worse with espresso. Here is what we decided to do:

Not to everyone's taste by any means, but it worked for us in our space.

Lascatx's suggestion to put in the cabs and wait to make your granite choice is an excellent one. Her comment about the conflicting tones and similar darkness in the espresso and uba tuba are right on.

If you really want uba tuba, google for pics of kitchens with uba tuba granite. Also post a thread here asking for pics of kitchens using uba tuba.
Might find some helpful ideas.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 10:47AM
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Thanks everyone for your opinions and advice re: espresso kitchen cabinet & uba tuba granite countertop we selected for our new home currently under construction. Before my post, we were seriously considering changing one of our choices. We totally agree with you guys, as much as we love both espresso cabinets & uba tuba granite, we shouldn't pair them together. I called the builder's design center today and fortunately we are still able to make a change, at this point in time, on our granite selection. We have an upcoming appt. at the builder design center to re-select our granite. We will be making a choice from these three granites: Santa Cecilia, New Venetian Gold and Giallo Ornamental. Our flooring selection remains the same (18 in. Daltile Fidenza Dorado). We are finding it difficult deciding on which granite to choose as all three granites are somewhat alike and any one of the three would be an excellent choice and will work with espresso colored kitchen cabinets. The question is which one will work the BEST. We appreciate any and all opinions/advice on which of the three granites you would pick and why you like it best. Thanks & HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO EVERYONE!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 3:26AM
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A friend has expresso cabinets on her island with New Venetian Gold granite. She considered the others too. NVG looks great with her cabinets.

Just my opinion but if you plan to do a tile backplash perhaps skip the 6" granite backsplash.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 7:17AM
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I think that Santa Cecilia has red flecks in it, which I really like. Not sure about the other two (I think New Venetian Gold does, too.) Also, will you be able to see the actual slabs?

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 10:38AM
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I think it is one thing if you truly love the New Venetian or Santa Cecilia, but if you don't love them, I wouldn't get any of them, personally. I know that you might have a tight budget, which is why you are sticking to to the Level A granites that your contractor is offering you, but I think there are many other quality options that would look fantastic (even if they are not granite). If you are dead-set on granite, I understand, but if you aren't, think about some of the laminates. I know laminates get a bad wrap, but so do some of the builder special granites. Just my two cents worth.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 11:55AM
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I also agree with EAM that I would go with a cooler tone in the tile floor. The one that you are currently looking at is very warm (yellow and orange undertones). I don't see it working well with any countertops that also work with the expresso cabs.

I think if you are most excited about the cabs, go with those, and then find cooler combinations for your counter and floor.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 12:02PM
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Hi. Unfortunately, we will not be able to see the actual slabs. We will be shown samples of them and the design center will emphasize the possibility of variations from the actual sample seen highly (and likely exists). We are just happy that we are able to re-select to a lighter granite at this point before it was too late. If we didn't do anything about it or we were not able to, we would have been in a place (literally) where we would have always been second guessing ourselves.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 12:33PM
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Pls. let us know of other suggestions for the granite countertop (level 1) that would absolutely work well with espresso colored cabinets and flooring we've selected & are sticking with. We're absolutely positive the uba tuba was not the right choice. We are open to any level one granite suggestions that will work with the espresso cabinets & Daltile Dorado flooring. Thanks for all your input.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 1:26PM
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While there is some overlap, not all builders offer the same Level One granite choices. Usually it has to do with where you live, and what yards they use.

Most offer a half dozen choices in their level I builder package. You might want to find out which ones he has, so not to get real committed to another level one that he doesn't offer.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 1:41PM
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sorry to say i am not a fan of any of those granites, but if i had to pick one, i would pick the one without any red specks or red/pink/peach/gray undertones.
i would get the one that read "earthy" the most...browns, creams, gold and some black, but not gray.

i would do everything i could to go and pick out my own slab b/c i wouldn't want to be disappointed when it came to be installed. you are going to have a pre-conceived notion of what its going to look like and if it doesn't, you are not going to be happy. i know that's how i would feel.
maybe if you don't need a full slab, you can use a remnant and it might fall into your budget..try anything to pick it out yourself, you will be much happier..

HTH :)

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 2:54PM
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It's very exciting to be building -- and glad to hear that you were able to get out of the Uba Tuba -- I really think that would have been a big regret, and the three that you've mentioned are head and shoulders above the Uba Tuba. I am particularly fond of Giallo Ornamental. I looked around on Google Images and pieced together a screen shot of the three together (though espresso finish can cover quite a wide range of colors). I think they look pretty good together as it seems the tile is in the general color family of the background tan/gold of the Giallo Ornamental. The other two being more intensely gold would tend to appeal less to me -- that's just one perosn's opinion though.

Good luck with your decision!

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 5:27PM
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Hi kris ma. Thanks so much for putting a screen shot of all three together. We are LOVING the Giallo Ornamental and will be choosing this granite over the other two (NVG & Santa Cecilia). We feel the GO will work the best (with the flooring and cabinets). It has a quiet elegance about it and is such a neutral color. It has enough movement in it that it shows well as a natural stone but it is not so busy that it becomes overwhelming. We actually feel it can be paired with any color cabinet whether it's white, cream, oak, cherry, chocolate, black, or brown cabinet. We sincerely feel we can't go wrong with it. Thanks again kris ma and to everyone who gave their input. YAY we found our granite.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2012 at 7:44PM
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