Granite questions labrador blue, volga blue

cathy725December 1, 2012

Hello again. We are looking at granite for our cherry cabinets (plan a pecan finish--medium not dark cherry).

Originally we were interested in Blue Pearl. We are now leaning toward Volga Blue or Labrador Blue. Does anyone have information on these granites, especially the labrador blue. I've seen posts on volga and blue pearl but can't find on the labrador blue.

Labrador blue has large mica and more of a blue green color than blue black. It also has other colors like some brown and seems to look very good with the cabinet.

My questions are does anyone know what "level" it is compared to Volga or Blue pearl (I realize this is varies somewhat). Also, I'm interested in the hardness of it. I like that the other two are very hard so they are talked about as being "bullet proof" to etching, stains, etc. They also seem to not need sealing. These are all things that I would like in a granite.

Also, what is the dust/crumb/fingerprint profile of these different granites. I would like something that somewhat hides things--I don't want to fuss over every fingerprint.

Thans for any help you can give me! Decisions, decisions!

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They are both +++++ on pricing to ++++++++++++. Both are pretty costly granites. Blue Pearl is about the least costly of any of the "blue" granites, and even it's an upcharge over "regular" granite. Blues are the most expensive category of granites, as they are the rarest and are highly sought after.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 11:34AM
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I am very much a "granite girl" - love it and can't imagine not having it. I had slab Blue Pearl kitchen countertops for over 15 years and loved them just as much the day they were demo'd out as the day they were put in. We had BP on the fireplace in the family room right next to the kitchen (large, open room so within eyeshot of each other). I never tired of them and got compliments on them all the time. Awesome and not showing dust and fingerprints. About 2 1/2 years ago, we did a gut remodel of the kitchen and bathrooms in our home and left the slab BP on the fireplace as there wasn't a thing wrong with it. I would have considered trying to save the BP in the kitchen but we changed the footprint too much (we did recycle a few pieces in the garage).

Loving blue granite and needing to stay with something that would coordinate with the BP on the FP, we put in Volga Blue slab counters and slab backsplash in the kitchen. I loved it, but can honestly say that I wish there was more easily visible blue than black. To me, the big blue mica spots (and silver and goldish mica) was much more visible in the backsplash because it was vertical than the horizontal counters. We sold that house in June and the buyers loved all four colors of granite in the house (also had Verde San Fransisco in the laundry room and Black Galaxy in the bathrooms), but especially the VB and BP.

My granite yard did not have Labrador Blue or I am sure I would have been interested in it. The closest they had to that was Aphrodite and it was atrociously expensive. I don't think you can go wrong with any of them, but BP is definitely the most affordable. I loved the movement in it the most.

When we went to put in the BP nearly 18 years ago, there was a gorgeous granite called Blue Eyes that was wonderful but way too pricey for our budget.

Hope some of this info is helpful. You will love whatever blue granite you put it.

As irony would have it, when I bought my new house and moved in, the day I closed I had my tile counters torn out and Bianco Antico tops put in. This house couldn't have accepted blue granite (too dark) without a lot more changes and I really do like the BA, but I'll have to put blue granite somewhere else in the house soon as I miss it.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 11:52AM
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I'm the opposite of 3Mutts -- that is, I'm not much of a granite girl. I tend to think, "Oh, that again?", and I tend to think "Overdone"

. . . 'til I saw the Blue Volga granite, and instantly I was a changed woman! I adore that stuff, and we will definitely have Blue Volga (or some variation) in our new house. I love the granites that register "black" at first glance, then you notice the blue flecks.

Yes, it's expensive, but this will be one of our splurges.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 12:37PM
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Hardenss-wise, they are all the same. They are made of the same minerals and should be similarly bulletproof. In terms of sealing I would imagine they would be similar but I don't know for sure.

The blue/iridescent mineral is called Labradorite. It's a type of feldspar. I don't think there is any mica in these rocks, I think they are mostly feldspar.

They are beautiful rocks, no doubt about it!

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 8:12PM
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Sophie Wheeler

They are gorgeous, bulletproof, and very very expensive.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 9:19PM
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I completely understand. I think I could've written your post. I may have not too long ago.

I also had 8 years of dreams of having Blue Pearl granite with my natural cherry cabinets and it was just about a done deal...until this past summer when we got serious about our remodel and I first crossed paths with Labradorite Blue Australe and Galactic Blue (sister of Blue volga only harder to get) granite. .They were amazing and I was hooked on them. They were like granite crack. Then I learned that the price of the Blue Australe in the granite world was like the price of a Masarati in the car world. Not just any Masarati, but a 2013 one of a kind convertible with hand sewn leather seats...well the Galactic Blue was a bargain compared to that. Well, almost but it was a dark Labradorite blackish high shine granite too. Also, then it seemed to me the granite yard was practically giving the Blue Pearl. LOL, after countless trips to the granite yard...over an 1 hour + in each direction, reality hit me. I don't live in the Labradorite Blue Australe kitchen cabinet counter world> I live in a "modest" cape cod home in my life and while I loved it, I walked away from it just like I walked away from the blue Maserati convertible I saw a couple of years ago while walking down the Champs-�lys�es in Paris a couple of years ago when we went for our anniversary. Not necessarily happy, but glad to have had it cross my path! Really, I live the world of messy countertops and kids that don't have the ability to appreciate the piece of art I was planning on draping in my kitchen.

I ended up having dark green Costa esmeralda put in the kitchen and even though my kitchen is not done yet, I can bear the maintenance...and the owner of the granite yard made me super happy and had an unbelievable faultless remnant of super rareLabradorite Blue Australe that he was willing to part with so that I could put it in the half bath downstairs adajacent to the living area. I am beyond happy.

The fabricator came over two nights ago to check on the granite and dropped off my sink cut out from the half bath that they finished off and gifted to me. I've put it on a metal round platform that I'd been using as nightstand for years.

Cathy725, the level is $$$$$$$ and both are high maintenance granites. By that I mean, lots of work to make them shine all the time. But when they shine, they are really beautiful. My granite yard just got some slabs of BIG FlowerLabradorite Blue Australe's $165 a square yard plus fabricator costs..I posted pictures in my other posts on here...

This was my journey...

Here is a link that might be useful: My granite thread

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 11:51PM
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Oh, and they barely need to be sealed. Forgot to mention that. karen mt...they are like gemstones...

Mrspete...I totally is a splurge.

Labraorite Blue Australe is also called Lemurian Blue and is from Madagascar. Volga blue, or Galactic Blue is from the Ukraine. Good luck Cathy...

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 12:06AM
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I had Volga Blue in my kitchen for 10 years - it was bulletproof - we didn't seal it once and it was problem-free. I don't remember it being super expensive but it was a long time ago that we got it. I loved the blue sections that would appear and disappear depending on the light and time of day.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 9:58AM
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Berlingirl--love your costa esmeralda stone! It is beautiful--post pics when installed. I have to find out costs, which as you know are difficult to pry out of them. I am working with GC who works with the graite place. The first time we went we were supposed to meet his "guy" but he was out on an emergency. The lady who walked us around said the LB was pricy (very pricy). When we met there with our GC and his "guy" the "guy" said we could have any of the stones we mentioned (see first post) for same price. So either we are getting a really good deal, or ripped off on the BP! :) I tend to think we are getting a deal, but we will find out more details when we meet with the GC next week. They did have a number of slabs of the LB, so maybe he got a deal on it also.

My biggest concern is the maintenance. We are not perfectionists on cleaning (was that a nice way to put it?). I want the granite to look good without having to clean it every 5 seconds. I had read BP was good at hiding fingerprints and such. Sounds like LB is harder to keep pretty??
I am supposed to be getting pieces of all three to look at in the kitchen and play with, so that will help.

I'll keep you up to date on the decision. If I can get LB for a deal, it may be hard to pass up. It was DH's favorite from the moment he saw it.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 10:03AM
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I also have cherry cabinets, I installed Volga Blue on my perimeter. I thought the extra cost was worth the splurge, I searched the granite yards for the stones I wanted installed and got a price quote from my fabricator. I ended up with a Cirrus White on my island and Volga Blue on the perimeter. I was suprised to find it wasn't as expensive as I was expecting. I was charged by the slab and labor. Friends tell me paying by the sq ft is more expensive than paying by the slab. It doesn't hurt to talk to your fabricator, he maybe more flexible on price than you think. I have no regrets telling him want I wanted and could spend.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 11:16AM
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