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Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

Posted by TLLane13 (My Page) on
Wed, Feb 5, 14 at 12:11

We are in the process of remodeling an older home and recently had new granite countertops and a calcatta marble backsplash installed (photo below). Now, I am regretting the granite we picked. Initially, we made these choices because the color themes matched (the counters are a "busier" version of the backsplash) but now, I'm wondering if they complement or clash with each other. Do they match/complement or clash/compete? Honest opinions wanted! Wondering if I should re-purpose the countertops into bathroom vanity counters and look for something different for the kitchens instead...help!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

My first impression was that it is a little busy. Maybe you could just replace the perimeter countertops with a solid color and leave the island as is. I love the backsplash, it is beautiful.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

I'd say its "slightly" busy. If you could repurpose the counters, I'd go for something simpler on the counters - a white or whitish/greyish quartz for example. But I love the backsplash!


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Is that St Celicia? Agree with Sj, but then it took me months to get use to my countertops. I posted like you did. It looks so different when installed, but your BS does match. Everything else in your kitchen is in a simple design, so your kitchen can carry one busier feature.


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I think you should give it a couple of days to let it all sink in, it takes some time to get used to the changes. If after some time you decide it still feels too busy to you and you have other places that you can use the granite, go ahead and change it to a quieter granite. But I would just do the perimeter, the island is gorgeous!


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Your granite & backsplash are both really pretty & they don't bother me together. If you were doing a reveal, I don't believe that I would be thinking that the overall look is too busy. I'd be commenting (sincerely) on how lovely your new kitchen is. As bookworm said, your cabinets don't have alot of detail and the backsplash and countertops add some pizazz. Take some time to get used to it. BTW, I love your light fixture. Looking forward to your reveal with more pictures.


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Sorry, but I think your gut feeling is correct. The backsplash and granite are too busy when viewed together.
If anything, I would do the BS over. I wouldn't want to remove the counters.
I would be interested in knowing what granite you used, too.


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At first glance, I kinda dig it. Maybe you could post a close-up picture of where the granite meets the backsplash?

Off topic ... what hardware did you use?


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I like things simple and it looks fine to me.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

I support the majority on here…I think it's a little busy together. If I were you, I would repurpose the counter granite for the bathrooms (it's lovely) and replace it with absolute black. I'd also leave the island as is…it's a nice contrast to a dark granite on the counters, and it really looks nice with the backsplash…just a little further away. The granite looks great with the backsplash, it's just in MHO, I think it's too similar/busy when it's right next to each other.


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I guess I'm among the minority but I honestly think everything looks lovely together! My eye doesn't pick up 'clash' at all. I see 'clean, soft, inviting and warm'.


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I agree with Pwanna and others....keep the backsplash and island, but replace the perimeter countertops with absolute black. I think it would be beautiful with your black appliances! :)


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A close up picture would help; even then, things may appear different IRL. Both materials are lovely, but I think many of us are picking up on the interaction of the patterns of the two stones and the grout.

I also agree you should not make any rash decisions here, unless you have to. And, we are looking at things in isolation, which makes us focus on small differences.


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I feel your pain!!

Hi TLLane 3. I feel your pain! I too regretted my granite decision once it was installed (the slabs look so different in the warehouse lighting-- and bringing a small sample home was evidently no help in my case!). I also have a light colored, busy granite and I have had a VERY tough time finding just the right tiles for a backsplash.

Anyway, I love, love, love your backsplash. Your granite is very, very pretty, too. You asked for honest opinions--so I will admit that, in my humble opinion, that the combination isn't doing justice to either or them or showing each other off in the best light. It isn't horrible, and I could definitely live with it for sure, but it isn't a combination that I would probably select for my "pinterest" board, either. (Though I might for the backsplash alone! )

Would you be able to remove the counters without damaging the tile? I would think it would be cheaper and easier to remove the backsplash than the countertops, but perhaps not.( Maybe you could pop off the tiles and reuse those in the bathroom, if you decide to go that route.) I'll bet that with the right tile, those counters will really show off their beauty to their full potential.
(By the way, I've seen much worse combinations of tile and countertops at the local big box stores, where you would expect their kitchen displays to have been designed by some top-notch designers hired by their corporate headquarters! Even designers make mistakes.)

Light colored granite is hard to match to another type of stone. I wish I had known that before I spent a year searching for the elusive stone tile backsplash that would go with my busy light-colored granite. I ended up with a subway tile in an unusual golden ivory shade (it was hard to find just the right shade since neither white nor the typical bone/bisque looked right with the granite.) I wish I had stumbled on designer/color expert Maria Killam's blog earlier--it would have saved me so much time. You might find this article from her blog helpful.

Here is a link that might be useful: Maria Killam: Which Backsplash Tile goes with Granite?


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

Thanks for the opinions! I'm still not decided and keep going back and forth. The granite can definitely be repurposed as for bathroom counters so that makes me feel a little better! My first choice for counters would have been Calacatta Gold marble (same as the backsplash) but I have young kids and knew that wasn't a practical option. I looked into several "marble like" quartz counters such as Silestone Lyra, Silestone Lagoon, and Cambria Torquay but didn't love any of them. They all looked very "man made" and not really natural/stonelike which is what I wanted because of my cabinets. It's hard to tell from the photos but the cabinets (which were the original ones when we moved in) are made of a plastic-y material and very plain...just smooth and shiny. I'm not sure what it is exactly but the previous owner told me that it's "what football helmets are made of...they are indestructible". They are certainly easy to clean and can take a beating from little ones but they, too, look quite man made and artificial! So to balance that, I opted for natural stone for the counters and backsplash with more color/pattern to it...but may have gone overboard! We also inherited the pendants over the island and the cabinet hardware so I can't comment on where those are from. The granite is called "Biano Arabescaso" and the background is actually quite white...with grey, tan, black swirls and garnet flecks. The flooring is a darker wood and the appliances are stainless/black so all colors do work together. I'm just not sure if it's overkill...I like the idea of moving the perimeter counters to the bathrooms and replacing with something less "busy". Some have suggested absolute black granite for the perimeters...any other suggestions? Thanks for the input!


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

I would not add a third surface to the mix. I think then you might just make the whole kitchen more busy.

I would also replace the backsplash before replacing the counters. What looks most busy is the marble because of the individual tiles with a pattern that doesn't match up from tile to tile. I considered doing my shower in marble tile, but instead chose to do a marble hex on the floor and a plain white subway on the walls to keep the pattern to a minimum.

But everyone sees it different which is why you should live with it a few days before you decide.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

Another vote for replacing the backsplash rather than the counters.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

For what it's worth ... after my backsplash was installed, I realized it was too busy combined with my granite so we decided to scrap the backsplash. Tearing it out was a major PITA. It had only been up one day, but removing it pretty much destroyed the drywall underneath and all of that had to be repaired before the new backsplash went in. The tile could not be saved and every bit of it went into the trash ... that is literally throwing money into the trash. It was a lot of extra work, extra hassle, and extra expense. I don't regret the decision to remove it, but mine was a really, really ugly combination ... your's isn't. I'd think about it for a few days before tearing anything out.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

Keep the granite, unless you have a big bank account. A simple white subway tile with no accents and pretty accessories will bring your kitchen together. I like pretty furniture and window treatments to add class and interest to a kitchen.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

IMHO, it looks good to me.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

Fun2Learn - Thanks for commiserating and for the link! Good read!

It would really pain me to replace the backsplash as the tiles could not be reused. They are calcatta gold marble so not an inexpensive material. :( At least the granite could be reused for the bathroom vanity tops (we need to redo those anyway). If we do opt to replace the backsplash instead, maybe a simple white subway tile with contrasting grey grout? Or a slate gray subway tile with contrasting white grout? I think I'm talking myself into swapping out the backsplash instead...


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

IMHO, it looks good to me.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

I think it looks fine but I know that feeling all too well when you have put time and energy into something and having it stare you in the face everyday when it didn't turn out how you wanted. IF changing the perimeter to plain black is an option that would be my vote. Keep the backsplash. very pretty.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

Are you sure those counters and be made into bathroom counters?

I like it as is.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

I recently had very busy granite installed and I always told myself busy granite and busy backsplash always clash. I went with a plain and subtle backsplash and liked it. My first impressions of yours look fine. Sure, there is movement in both of your choices but neither are overwhelming. I think they look fine. Give it some time and think positive. I don't think they clash. (Honest opinion)


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I really like it! The colors blend, but in different scales. With the plain cabinets I think it works really well.

Try bringing home some plainer tile samples. You may find you prefer one over the other. Personally, I had a lot of trouble finding a solid tile because of all the slight variation in my granite. I ended up with white MOP because I love how it picks up some of the colors in the granite but isn't dramatic, much like you ave done.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

I vote to keep both - yes, they are both detailed but the tones are similar so I don't think they clash at all.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

TLLane13 - I would be happy to help with some photoshopping, to either help you realize you are happy with what you have or to visualize some alternatives.

If it comes down to new backsplash or countertop... I like LL's idea of a darker countertop. Note that as I photoshop your kitchen and zoom in I realize how beautiful your countertop is!

This post was edited by oldbat2be on Wed, Feb 5, 14 at 21:37


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

Oldbat2be, that was so helpful! It really shows how beautiful the original countertops are!
A pet peeve of mine is a busy countertop with busy tile. I find this combination pleasing to the eye since they blend so nicely. I think you should wait before you make any changes.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

I also like the idea of a different backsplash (apologies in advance). What you have picked is beautiful but remember the Hippocratic Oath (First, do no harm...).

I think it conflicts with your gorgeous countertops.
Here's an oversized subway with grey grout. Too big, too dark, but perhaps a little better? I like how it contrasts with your lovely counterfop.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

Thanks annalyn123! Unlike so many of the creative people on GW, I have to see things to know how they'll look

I think the key will be - which is more cost effective to replace... countertop or backsplash (I'm guessing backsplash).


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

Thank you so much, oldbat2be!! It helps so much to be able to visualize things. I'm really torn right now on what to do! Live with it and see if it grows on me? Re-purpose the granite and put on new, quieter countertops? Cut my losses and replace the marble backsplash with a solid color? Here is a close up shot of the area where the countertop meets the backsplash. The color themes are the same but definitely pattern on pattern...


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

If you are on the fence, I'd say live with it for a few weeks. It's already installed, it's not going to get any easier or harder to remove.

FWIW, I think adding a third material makes it disjointed. What you have blends beautifully and flows. I think the larger size of the tile and linear streaks make it work well, where a smaller shape or pattern might look busy.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

The photo showing black granite on the perimeter countertops looks great and if you are going to make a change that's the way I would go. The way it is now still looks nice and I would have a hard time justifying spending more money unless it was horrible...which it isn't. It's a hard decision so take your time in making it. Good luck!


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

Is it possible to remove the busiest tiles and replace with the solid ones? I thought someone here did that.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

TLL,
They clash.
Sorry.
I like the pic with the black counter at your sink, that way you only have to replace the one piece.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

I think you may be able to make the combination work with carefully chosen accesssories. Since you're still putting things away, the dishes and bottles on the counter don't help. Once they're removed, experiment with accessories in solid black and stainless (i.e., cannisters, decorative plate on a plate stand, large pitcher with spatulas inside). Try the fruit in a wood bowl. Perhaps hang a small painting against the backsplash. You seem to need some solid areas to anchor the granite and backsplash so that they flow together as background. You really need to live with it a little while before taking a drastic step. When my granite went it, it was so dark that it seemed to suck all of the light out of my kitchen which has no windows. I solved the problem by adding a lamp to the peninsula , in addition to having recessed cans overhead and now love my kitchen. By the way, beautiful kitchen with gorgeous materials; you've done a great job.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

I say live with it for now. I think it looks lovely. If you do change anything I would change the perimeter countertops to black and leave the island as it is. However, that said, I still think your kitchen looks very nice and I would simply wait a while to see if you really want to make that change.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

i wouldn't say they "clash" exactly but I do think that a black perimeter like oldbat2be photoshopped would highlight the beauty of your marble backsplash- I would NOT get rid of that backsplash- it's gorgeous!

Personally I chose an almost identical backsplash with the intention of black perimeters also....island tbd.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

Now that I see the closeup of BS and counter I like it even more! The colors/patterns are gorgeous and I think really compliment each other. I especially like how your range top looks with the current granite. It seems to get lost with the darker color. I think bringing in a third surface will start to make things look disjointed and busy.

Experiment with accessories like Texasgal suggests. Don't do anything now while you're still unsure. I have found that when I'm unsettled over something that living it with for a while helps. If after three weeks you're still cringing every time you walk into the room then maybe it's worth it to change. If you grow more comfortable then you have your answer. Good luck.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

We faced similar deisng choice when we redid our kitchen last fall. We installed Jet Mist granite (dark soapstone alternative) and considered two finishes of subway tile for BS: marble and plain white. I spent some time looking at pictures of kitchen with both and we decided to go with plain to put really showcase the counter.

All that to say that IMO they compete for attention. I can't really appreciate either material when I look at them together. I like the idea of the dark perimeter counter otherwise I’d cut the losses and replace with a subway tile (I wouldn’t do white because you have so much already, maybe a light grey? Or a frost type color).

Ultimately it’s a personal choice but when it comes to design I’m not a big believer in “living with it”. I think for some people it’s a gut reaction, you know immediately when it’s not what you want. If that’s how you feel, time is only going to aggravate you :)


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

I think it's busy. A simple subway backsplash would have been a much better choice. I would leave the granite. It's a very pretty stone. The backsplash is also very pretty, but together they do not go as well as you would think.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

TLLane13, hey, perhaps we have the same last name? :)

I'm sorry, but for me they clash, each having their own busy-ness. If it were me, I'd want to change something.

Of course, your budget will be a huge factor. If you're sure you can use the perimeter granite elsewhere, and it already fits your plans, then that seems like a good way of minimizing loss and extra costs.

I'm not as fond as others about adding a black-ish counter along the perimeter. You'd then have an additional surface element and it darn well better go perfectly with your backsplash for all the trouble you'll go through.

As lovely as the marble backsplash is, I'd replace it with a solid neutral, subway if you will. I wouldn't go for too much of a contrast with your grout. It can look good, but you'd better want that contrast to hit you every time you walk into the kitchen.

Good luck!


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

Do you know what you like better, i.e. the counter or the backsplash? What do you think you will like longer? What is more expensive to replace? And with what would you replace it?
Looks like there's also red in the counter, is there?
On the other hand, it doesn't sound like you need to make a decision immediately, so live with it for a while. Things may become clearer, and you'll know which way to go.
(I've always wondered how sensitive to staining and etching marble BS are.)


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I really like it. It gives a lot of visual interest to a white kitchen. And it makes the kitchen really unique. A plain white backsplash would be kind of blah imo.

I think you should live with it until you are no longer "shocked by the new". Then make your decision.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

Like others have suggested, I would keep the granite and change out the marble backsplash. Maybe with a simple white marble. Nothing fancy or busy, just plain so as to not fight with the granite. NancyLouise


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

I love what OldBat did when she replaced the perimeters with black. It's so much less distracting to me. I find that the combo of the granite and the backsplash are too much for my eye, but I tend to like a much more monochromatic environment.

I find my decisions are based a lot on what nosoccermom has said, weighing all of the factors: cost to change, which one you like best, etc. If this is a kitchen that you think you will live with a long time, I would change this fairly soon so that you can move on without extending the remodeling. Especially if you are the type who will come into your kitchen every day and have something like this bother you. I have a friend who can live with just about anything for years, but I find myself best served by dealing immediately with things that bother me.

What if you take white butcher paper/wrapping and cover up the backsplash? You can see what it would feel like if you simplified the backsplash color.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

You've had a lot of opinions. I can only tell you what I would do and it's not much that's been suggested so far.

Mixing stone, IMO is very tricky. Calacatta is a gorgeous marble and the instinct to do a calacatta splash with marble counters is what I would do. But having had marble counters I also understand the reason you wouldn't.

I don't feel the calacatta and that particular granite are a happy marriage. The granite is way too dominant. Oldbat's photoshop of the dark perimeter counters showcases the granite on the island even more. For me, that makes it worse. Plus, there are 3 surfaces vs 2. Less is more in this situation. For me, the granite is meh and the calacatta is really beautiful and adds to the style of the kitchen.

A calacatta backsplash is lovely and I would never tire of it. I had made that same error and could redo, I'd do calacatta on the island, seal it and let it go from there. It will patina but it is also one of the harder Carraras and should be fine. For under $20 there are plastic mats from Crate and Barrel.

For the perimeter counters I would go with stainless steel or, if you could get there, one of the very plain honed Caesarstones that match to a color in the calacatta tile. I say this because it will go with the calacatta but be absolutely bulletproof for the kiddos and will go with the sort of mid-century vibe of the cabinets. And the calacatta will star.

That could be reversed though I wouldn't have marble around the sink again -- it was fine but it did need a bit of care.

You mentioned that you like stone and I do as well. I know granite is very popular here. But I have an Absolute Black counter in my laundry room and I would never use it in a kitchen. I shows fingermarks, anything oily, lint and water or liquid stains. Mine is honed.

For me, the easiest switch out is the counters. The granite will be fine in a bath or the laundry.

This post was edited by rococogurl on Thu, Feb 6, 14 at 12:29


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

The most interesting thing about this thread is that there's obviously no right answer - what one people thinks "clashes" or "isn't a happy marriage" another thinks "blends". Where one person thinks changing the perimeter to black is a great idea, another thinks that makes it worse.

I guess I'd live with it for a few weeks, and then decide, but since you can repurpose the granite, it wouldn't be a complete loss, so I'd be really open to that possibility.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

I definitely would keep it for a while. I think I prefer the countertop as it is to the dark countertop (although the dark one is very close to what I have and I love mine.)

Do you have under cabinet lighting? I think throwing some light there will help lighten the backsplash and strengthen the contrast.

Is this fairly close to the actual contrast between the two?
 photo tlllane_zps3001229a.jpg

There are a lot of differences between the two--in scale, in "texture", in pattern. I like it quite a lot.

And carefully choose some countertop items--either much lighter or much darker. These can be canisters, small appliances, bottles(which you have) as well as decorative items in either much lighter or much darker color.

FWIW here is an old pic of my kitchen with a dark perimeter countertop, an island countertop similar to yours, and a backsplash more or less the same tone and geometric pattern as yours--but I think your backsplash is lighter--and your white cabs completely change the equation. The black would really dominate in your kitchen.

 photo mainwalkP1060902.jpg
Again, I urge you to try some undercab lighting and live with what you have for a while. I really like it as it is.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

My vote is also to keep the granite and change the backsplash IF you can't get used to it. I'll post a pic of my granite and BS for another idea. My granite is a lot like yours and has a lot going on by itself already. We had an old tile BS that wasn't coming down without the drywall, so in stead we glued beadboard right on top of it. I wanted something super simple to calm the granite down. I also have an option to paint it if I ever want a quick and easy change. It has been on for over 1/2 year now and has held up fantastically! I have 3 little kids and it still looks brand new, and it's very easy to wipe down. I used the best possible BM paint on it to give it a really good protection. My husband is a general contractor and he was hesitating a bit at first because he hadn't seen this at anyone else's house, but he also loves the result.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

rococo, I thought honing quartz wasn't kosher, comes with warnings and has warranty implications. Too bad, because I like my Caesarstone but like honed finishes.


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I like it as is. I'm tired of black countertops. Plus, if you move the granite into the bathroom, you're going to then be stuck with finding both tile and floor to go with it.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

luckyblueeye,
can you explain more about how you attached the beadboard? Maybe start a new thread? How did you handle the edges, window sill, outlets, i.e. is there a gap?


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

It does look a bit busy but all the colors complement each other. It actually looks very trendy. Put your appliances and countertop things back in place. It happened to me in my last house. I thought my backsplash was too white to go with my antique white cabinets. Everyone came in and admired the backsplash. I got used to it and didn't even notice it after awhile. Pulling it out is a messy, destructive project!


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

linelle, the Caesarstone I'm referring to has a honed look. It's the same type as the white blizzard used by Jeff whatshislastname in the House Beautiful kitchen 3 years ago. One of my old neighbors used it throughout her apartment for counters and replacement windowsills. I saw samples when I was thinking of adding to my kitchen. Lots of colors, matte, no sparklies. It would do the job.

IME, when something doesn't bother you and just looks like it's always been there, you know it's a keeper. But when it bothers you enough to post about it there's an issue. All these aesthetic decisions are questions of taste. Nothing is technically wrong, of course. Some feel it looks fine. I and others don't. No right or wrong here. For the OP to decide what she can really love.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

Thanks to everyone for their honest opinions...really gave me a lot to think about. After letting it all sink in, I know that if I keep it, I am just 'living with it' and don't truly love the design. I kept asking myself, if I had to choose just one, which element (marble backsplash or granite counters) I want to keep and I the answer is the calacatta gold backsplash. I love white marble and it would be my dream to have a gorgeous slab of calacatta on all the counters. However, let's face it...I can't babysit my counters all day on top of the kids running around. The backsplash was a way to bring some element of the material into the kitchen and it would be a huge waste to rip it out...especially considering that it would have to go straight into the trash. The granite, on the other hand, is actually a perfect match for not just one, but two of our bathrooms that need new vanity tops. And if we are able to remove it in large enough sections (which shouldn't be a problem), they can be re-purposed beautifully. Now this leads me to the next issue of what to use for the new counters. Lesson learned - need to find something much quieter but what?? Again, the cabinets are causing me some headache in that they are very plain, very glossy and very white. I thought about a solid white quartz in a more honed looking finish but I think it would be too boring and flat with the cabinets. What about Cambria quartz in Torquay (link below)? Yes it has a pattern to it but it's much more subtle and mimics the backsplash in movement and color. I've decided that absolute black granite is too dark (my floors are a dark wood) so would prefer something lighter than complements the marble. Any suggestions??

Here is a link that might be useful: Cambria in Torquay


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

To nosoccermom : The beadboard was attached with liquid nails, it's the sheet kind (mdf), not real wood. I read too many reviews where the real wood moves around and gets gaps at the seams. My husband is very handy with tools, but it still took him hours to get the whole kitchen done. Those cuts have to be very precise for outlets etc. The edges were covered with wood moldings (window sill was also newly installed), then caulked and painted. Thanks for asking :)


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

I love that solution. Seems smart. Having just had the grands here for DH's birthday weekend (7,5,2) the food on the counters was epic. I decided I would simply get over the idea of the baby staining the limestone floor in the dining room with beef stew and brownies and think the karma fairy was good to me because I did. But I digress.

For me, there are two unknowns. Whether the torquay colors are spot on with the existing splash. And whether using the torquay everywhere still upstages the splash due to the scale of the surfaces it would cover.

When we redid our apartment I did a photoshop mock up that turned out so close to the actual it was unreal.

Why not take oldbat up on her offer to do some mock ups for comparisons?

No matter what the final decision might be, looking at different variations is the one way I found to be sure of how the final outcome will look. And oldbat won't charge much LOL

To really work the Torqay to the max I'd want to see.

1. Torquay on all to see how it works with the splash.

2. Torquay on the island with the perimeter in white -- to see what that does (it might/might not be as instructive as the dark perimeter)

3. Torquay on the perimeter and the island in white to see what happens with that combo.

There may be additional suggestions and opinions, of course.


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Some thoughts fwiw

My first instinct would be to get a lovely soft grey (Quartz?) that picked up the main color of the veins in the marble backsplash. I even saw a photo somewhere (not sure if it was on this forum, Houzz, or elsewhere) where someone used a gray laminate countertop that looked like a quartz , with a real marble backsplash and it looked awesome at a fraction of the price.

One suggestion for you to gather ideas, if you haven't already done so, would be to go to HOUZZ.com and do a search for something like "calcatta marble backsplash" and see the hundreds of gorgeous, professionally designed kitchens that will come up. I will post just one below that I found after a very quick search (it is in a modern style, too, like yours, and they used a white countertop.)

I understand where you are coming from with the torquay, but please, though, whatever you do--do not mix real marble (backsplash) with the FAKE marble look of the Torquay. I have seen it in real life (even considered it for a bathroom vanity myself), and, in the right setting the torquay looks fine, but next to the real marble it will just look like "I really wanted marble but couldn't afford it/didn't want the upkeep."
Plus, you will be repeating the same mistake of clashing pattern--it will be "close", but "close" only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades" as the saying goes. It will look like "you tried to match but you missed." Better to contrast.

Just my humble opinion, though. Hope looking through Houzz helps.

Here is a link that might be useful: white kitchen with calcatta marble tile backsplash on Houzz


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

I *love* how it looks with the dark perimeter photoshopped in. I think that's the way to go, if you can justify the expense and repurpose what you'd take out. The two things are absolutely beautiful, just not right next to each other. I think it's just too much.

But I also agree with whoever said to leave it for two weeks and then reassess, because this isn't a time sensitive decision. You'll figure out what to do.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

my personal taste is solid colored countertop- but because yours seems to be a gentle transition I think it's fine the way it is -- but you have to like it.
I like bellsmom's comment about undercabinet light and someone else mentioned adding your accessories and living with it for a while before you decide.


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rococo's right, there are some quiet Caesarstones described as honed on their site.

I agree with Fun2Learn about not putting real marble and faux marble abutting one another. There are lots of nice quiet quartzes that will pick up a color in your backsplash


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

We have Torquay and are mostly satisfied with it. Other times... very much wish I'd had the gumption to go for marble. (AND a different edge!)

As you can see, I solved the too much white dilemma with a bold backsplash.

Here's Torquay poorly photoshopped on your beautiful countertops.


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I was just looking at an email from FireclayTile. Here, I think, is an example of when Torquay could shine (not saying this is Torquay, but it seems close to what I know). I think the contrast is necessary to pull off this look. (Swooning a little; I do love contrast!).

Note the picture I saved from the Fireclay website is named: Malcolm_Fearon-Malcolm_Fearon_Photography_-_All_Rights_Reserved-2-4_1054_700

Now to find what you would swoon over! I can photoshop backsplash and island materials for you, if given a decent link. Bring 'em on!


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If you are not loving the starkness of the white cabs, then you should have some contrast IMO. I love the idea of the dark gray or black granite. I think it would look fantastic!


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I like it just the way it is! Very pretty!


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I am generally not a fan of dark cabinets but the photo oldbat posted made ME swoon! TTL, I love your gorgeous marble backsplash and would not muck it up with a fake marble lookalike. I also think you need a little bit of contrast in the perimeter countertops to tone down the starkness of the cabinets, especially since you have dark floors. But whatever you decide will be gorgeous, I can't wait to see the finished product!


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

oldbat2be - I owe you one...when I saw the photoshopped torquay photo, I gasped (not in a good way), and proceeded to say "no, no, no" repeatedly! Fun2Learn - you are absolutely right...it would be a tragedy to put the fake stuff right up against the real deal. Sigh...I think this confirms my gut that the counters need to look more "natural" and provide some contrast against those stark white cabinets! Clearly, I reside in that camp of folks that think "nothing compares to real marble". oldbat2be...just for kicks and gigles, can you photoshop a calacatta gold/ora marble slab on the counters? You know, just so I can drool and moan for a bit! :) And then maybe a soft grey quartz?

Here is a link that might be useful: Dream Calacatta Gold Slab


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

TTLane13..happy to read you were able to sift through the barrage of opinions and come to your own sensible solution. Now that you're moving on to picking new counters, I love the idea of a soft gray quartz. Looking forward to the results, whatever you decide :)


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I would go with grey/black quartz, something very plain. I would pick a color that complements your backsplash. That would break the whiteness but really showcase your backsplash. There are some great quartz alternatives to marble (http://www.kitchendesigns.com/blog/index.php/2012/04/16/alternatives-to-white-carrara-marble-kitchen-countertops/) but I would be very careful about mixing and ending up with the same clash…

(I also love the look of Virginia/ Jet Mist granite with marble subway tile... If our recent reno had been the forever home, we we're doing that. Instead, we did white subway tile. There are plenty of pics on design sites :)

This post was edited by mcm81 on Fri, Feb 7, 14 at 11:11


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mcm81 - Virginia mist granite...OMG, where have you been all my life? It's gorgeous! Is it too dark with the calacatta marble though? There is plenty of dark gray veining in the tiles so on first glance, it looks like it may work. I still can't get myself to love quartz...I know it's taking over the granite market, zero maintenance, yadda yadda but I'm still drawn to the natural stone. The quartz alternatives still look so artificial to me. Maybe virginia mist is the way to go...thank you for the suggestion!


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I grabbed a Calatta Gold image from the web. Here's how it looked without any adjustment:


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Then I adjusted the colors, to make it much more grey:


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Those look so different in vertical and horizontal applications - I honestly don't think they work any better than what you have currently.


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I think quartz in a mid to light gray pulled from your backsplash would be calmly interesting.


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As others have said, using a patterned material in light tones, whether it be quartzite, granite, quartz or Corian, will just replicate the issue you are seeing with your existing material. You can get around this by using a contrasting color or by using a (sufficiently) solid light color.

I used a darker quartz (CS Piatra Grey) with slight patterning with my Carrara marble BS. It is mixing the fake with the natural, but the color contrast helps bridge the two. CS Raven is more solid warm grey which others have used -- others have used CS Concrete. Similar colors exist in other lines.

As suggested above, Honed Jet Mist/Virginia Mist would do something similar, but I would be careful with the undertones, because your BS is warm and the stone tends to run dark and cool, with some pronounced patterning. If you want granite/quartzite, the options are pretty limited in greys or warm, low patterned whites. Believe me -- I looked high and low! Pietra Cardosa is another alternative, but I was warned away from it by the slabyard due to etching/staining/porosity. The Whtie Macaubus quartzite has some pretty strong veining and may clash quite a bit as well -- it would be a lot of strong patterns.


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I know what you mean...

TLLane13- I know what you you mean about not loving the man-made quartz and loving a more "natural material", but it does seem to gaining popularity despite it usually being more expensive that most natural stone. I have a sneaking suspicion that part of its popularity is due to the popularity of "busy" backsplashes (mosaics, busy stone tile, etc. I also wonder how much the quartz industry is giving out free (or greatly reduced cost) product to designers on home design shows to showcase the stuff!) I think it looks quite at home in a modern style kitchen.
If you don't want a dark, more monolithic colored granite, quartz seems to offer a good solution for those looking for something simple. I do know, though, that there are almost pure white "granites" out there that I believe are actually made of REAL quartz--I saw one in a warehouse, but it was pricey--and it seemed so---plain! It did have a beautiful sparkle though. I thought I would love it until I actually saw it. However, now I wish I had given it more serious consideration---it would have made my "tile hunting" a lot simpler!
Best wishes.


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Question - I'm curious as to how much the backsplash cost (labor + materials), compared to the island and perimeter counters.

Fun2learn - that mariakillam blog is a great resource. Here's the countertop used in the kitchen you linked from Houzz. Hanstone Aurora Snow. The cabinets are much whiter in the Houzz picture so I think more of a cream might work better.

rococogurl - calacatta and stainless steel perimeter

mcm81 - Virginia/ Jet Mist granite:


gooster - The Caesarstone Piatra Grey is a lovely color!

Everytime I look at your granite close-up, I smile. So I'd rather see you replace the backsplash. (And perhaps the tiles could be re-used, if you have the time and energy to clean them up; I did a quick search and saw threads on that). Here's a white subway tile:


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I don't care for any of these options. Colors look way off in my monitor.

@oldbat - if you can clone the colors of the stainless from the downdraft in her photo I think that would be more representational.

If not ss and she doesn't want white, then I'd pick the dominant or second dominant color in the backsplash, whatever that might be.

But it's not my kitchen.


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I like your original over any of the others. Looks like you have a contemporary space leaning towards modern and I think it goes well with that. If this was a traditional kitchen then mynopinion would be different. I have a feeling many commenting on it not working is looking at it from a traditional stand point.


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Photoshop suggestion/question

Oldbat2be--have you tried reducing the brightness on the imported countertop and tile samples ? (Just on the layer with the imported items only. If you really want to get realistic and have the time while trying a new tile backsplash photoshop, you can simulate the shadow on the wall tile from the cabinets with just the brightness setting and outlining a layer under the cabinets and doing it a bit darker.) I used to do quite a bit of photoshopping when I was looking for tile and found that helped quite a bit to make it look more realistic.

I think TLLane13's cabinets just look a bit greyer than the white countertop due to ligting. Can you clarify what color they really are TLLANE13?Judging from the modern look of the cabinets I would guess they are a truer white than they look in the photos . (All those great photos you see on HOUZZ and manuf.'s sites have had professional lighting---they usually bring in lots of those big bright lights when they do a photo shoot. But of course, I am sure you all knew that....)

I do love Maria Killam's site--glad you like it and it was helpful. I just wish her books and webinars, etc. weren't so expensive, but I think they are geared to professional designers. I think one of the most helpful things about her site is that she explains what it is that effects how we see the colors, etc. We may be able to see the effects from trial and error, but not really understand WHY it is or isn't working together well. One thing from Maria's site that might help you, TLLane13, narrow down your choices is Ms. Killam's admonition to be careful about how the undertones go together (warm yellow, vs. cool blue, etc.) and being careful about mixing "clean" and "dirty" (greyed or muddied) colors together. For instance, if the greys in the marble backsplash (assuming that is what you want to keep) are warm in undertone, don't pair it with a grey that has a cooler bluish undertone. You can see undertones better when you hold it up to something else. (Hold two different greys together, for example.)

Have fun shopping again.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

rococogurl -Good suggestion, much nicer with the same SS.


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And because I was curious - all SS.


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TLLane, have you seen a solid-colored quartz countertop installed? Mine looks and feels like polished stone. Up close it appears as very fine "sand" with some spidery lines. I have heard some people describe quartz as fake and plasticy, but it's not at all. Maybe some of the patterns do look like that.

This post was edited by may_flowers on Sat, Feb 8, 14 at 12:14


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@oldbat - great job. Best yet IMO as it pulls things together with the appliances, hardware and pendant. I also could see ss on permimeter with real calacatta on the island which would lighten things up, as I'd suggested above. Of course, TLL needs to love it.


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The stainless and white combination looks great. I think the all stainless is too dark. BTW, like mayflower I now have quartz (I had all granite in my previous home and affirmatively wanted Quartz this time - I like the look in a modern kitchen like mine). I'm not a huge fan of trying to replicate natural stone using non-natural materials, so I wouldn't personally go the quartz-that-looks-like-marble route, but my solid color (Ceasarstone Organic White) doesn't look or feel plasticky. (In case you want a solid color and can't fine one in natural stone that you like).


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If you can use the granite in the bathrooms without tearing up the backsplash that is what I would do. I know just how you feel. Sometimes it's hard to really know until it's finished how it's going to turn out. I love the black or gray perimeter with the backsplash you have up.

Your backsplash is lovely with the cabinets. It sets them off so nicely. I think to do a solid subway on the splash would be so plain next to the cabinets and not only that it's hard to match whites i.e. the tile white with the cabinet white and then you will have to match a grout to both of those. Not to mention your Calacatta backsplash is so glamourous, a standout, it's a showstopper in and of itself. I would not get rid of that ever!!

We put up a backsplash once that was expensive but very much wrong for the more modern kitchen. It was a pale green Tuscany type of glazed/crackled tile, gorgeous but looked just awful with my Corian and cabinets which are natural. After living with it for awhile and it bugging me every day I decided to change it. It was bullet proof and would not come down so they had to cut out the dry wall to get it out. Given a choice of taking out the BS or the countertop I'd go with the countertop though I can tell you when we replaced our countertops they had to sledge hammer them out. What a mess and the dust was awful. They busted them to pieces.

I think you will be much happier if you can make the change and recycle the tops for the bathrooms. That's a great stone for a bathroom, too.


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Wow!
Quite the thread with lots of opinions
I am so glad you have a re-use option.
Your BS is beautiful!
Your counters are beautiful.

Oldbat- great job on your PS!

I love torquey but agree with others not to mix the quatrtz with your beautiful BS.

Have you considered soapstone? I wonder if the right color might just do the trick.

Will be watching for your final decisions


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I have quartz and it doesn't look or feel plasticky. Right now it's hard and cold like you'd expect a stone to be on a cold winter's day.

My friend has Black Galaxy granite. It's lovely, but I was sure it was quartz until she set me straight.


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This is a recent post with some colors similar to what you have or are considering. No backsplash in yet.

FWIW:

Here is a link that might be useful: Threegraces' kitchen


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Looking around at some new items I came across this. Not seeing it in real life, I don't know about movement.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dekton


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

oldbat2be - I am poring over your photoshopped pictures! Thank you so much for helping me visualize all the various options. Sorta feel like I'm back to square one on all this. The cabinets are a true white, no hint of gray or cream...smooth, glossy and white as white can be. I snapped a pic with my phone mid day today and this one shows the colors a bit better. Oh and yes, there is plenty of under cabinet lighting but I don't think it makes the combination work any more or less with the lights on. New paint also went on the walls today...went with my all time favorite warm gray, Revere Pewter by Benjamin Moore. May have to post a follow up since I'm not sure how to post more than one photo at a time. With the new paint on the walls, I felt a little better about the current state of the kitchen but still not convinced that this is how I want to keep it longer term. I'm warming up to the idea of a solid quartz and I confess, I haven't seen it installed. I have seen patterned quartz (that mimics granite) installed in the kitchens of friends and family but I wasn't a fan. Maybe the solid colors are more to my liking. I am nervous though, that most of the grays in the quartz options I've seen are too cool to complement the warm gray tones of the backsplash and walls. And while stainless steel is an interesting option, I think there would be too much shine going on with SS and glossy cabs. Are there any quartzes or even super "quiet" granites with more of a matte/honed finish in softer gray tones??


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And here is a shot of the spotless wall / patterned splash / crazy counter trifecta! Please ignore the random fish on the window. :)


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Have you made sure you can remove the granite without tearing up the backsplash? For some reason, I am under the impression that removing the countertop will also require removal of the backsplash.

Please live with it for awhile. I like what you have. I think it is just not what was in your mind. If after 6 months, you totally despise it, then see what your options for removal are.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

HI TLLane
I haven't been able to read every post here, but I see your choices are similar to some of mine so I thought Id show you my kitchen.

I also have Revere Pewter walls, I have a Calcutta marble island, solid gray quartz perimeter counters, and a cararra marble backsplash. I love the warmth of your Calcutta backsplash tiles.

I'm not saying that I think you should necessarily get a solid gray quartz like I did, but so you can see the combo, I will post a picture and a link to my reveal.

You are right to be careful, as you mentioned, about warm & cool grays. I love my counters and I think they work great with my backsplash. But sometimes I think they look a little more cool than what I was going for.

FWIW, the more I look at your pics, the more I think I like what you have!

Here is a link that might be useful: my reveal


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Love the paint color

I am up too late once again--but just had to see the photos. Your paint color looks awesome with your backsplash! On my monitor it seems to be the same color as one of your tiles--The 4th up from the counter next to the window trim. Is the accurate? Well now the decision should be easy: if you had to remove one of the hard surfaces, the backsplash matches the paint color more than the granite, so it has to stay! LOL. I just love that backsplash--classic elegance but modern, interesting and beautiful at the same time!
Also-in this photo it looks like the grays on your backsplash are leaning more toward the warmer side in overall appearance than the granite, which looks more like it has cooler, blue undertones and more black--at least in the photo--maybe it is different in real life. So perhaps it is more than just the pattern differences that is contributing to your uneasiness about the combination and what is bothering you. Although I'm sure the granite has the same colors throughout as the backsplash, perhaps they are in different enough proportions that the effect is quite different in each? That would have been hard to predict (the overall effect over a large scale and in your lighting, etc.
You seem to have a good eye for picking paint colors, though!

Good night!


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Gorgeous kitchen, Homebuyer

Homebuyer23--I just had to stay up a few more minutes to tell you how beautiful I think your kitchen is. The grey with the backsplash and cabinets is fabulous! I think your kitchen could be in a magazine--or HOUZZ!


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I saw this on my phone the other day. I thought - too busy.

But now that I see it on my laptop, I like it. Hope you can live with it awhile.

No right or wrong here though. Your choice and money to redo it.


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Omgosh Fun 2 learn, thank you so much!


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

Hi TLLane:

I love Homebuyer23's kitchen as inspiration for your counter choice.

One other idea, although a bit more of a traditional kitchen than yours: have you seen the Kitchen of the Month in the Dec/Jan 2014 House Beautiful?

The designer selected a very plain light Silestone to go with the Calacatta Gold marble backslash.

Here are two photos:

 photo 01-hbx-calacatta-gold-marble-subway-tiles-wilson-1213-lgn_zpsdfcc57ac.jpg
 photo 02-hbx-circa-lighting-hicks-pendants-wilson-1213-lgn_zpsf736dcaf.jpg

Here is a link that might be useful: House Beautiful Calacatta Gold Kitchen


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I like both the tiles and the countertop. When I saw the close up pics I saw what you were talking about though. I would put things on the counter... maybe a red/burgundy mixer for the red in the countertop. No one is going to get that close to your countertops. Hide it with pretty things!

I would live with it for a while. Then before tearing it out why don't you put a 4-5" tall piece of thin wood painted your cabinet color or even a laminate or even thin tile to put a white separation between the counter and the backsplash. Maybe it would work. I know no one wants to go back to the 4" backsplash that was really thick so make it really thin.

Good luck. Peke


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Francoise47 - YES, YES, YES!


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Wow. I love making one wall the focus.

I just noticed that Lucky blue eye's picture with the painted beadboard has a thin piece of ???? as trim. That is what I was talking about. You could make it the height of one or two of your tiles. I like how it looks in Lucky blue eye's kitchen.


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Hi TLLane,

One more thought....
In the kitchens I've seen with your gorgeous Calacatta Gold backslashes, the Calacatta Gold is emphasized and echoed in at least one other element in the kitchen. In your case, I think it should/must be the island.

I know that you said earlier in this post that you had original considered Calacatta Gold counters but had rejected the idea because of concerns about etching and staining with your young children.

Would you consider using real Calacatta Gold on your island and using an etch-proof, very plain Caesarstone/Silestone on your perimeter counters? If you kept most of your food prep (the lemons, vinegar, tomatoes, etc.) on the perimeter, perhaps you could live with the Calacatta Gold on your island?

A light, low contrast perimeter would look great. But If you want to go higher contrast on the perimeter, you might consider one of the warm brown quartz products:

Lagos Blue
 photo LagosBlue_zps29f5fc59.jpg

Or, "Ginger"

 photo LagosBlue_zps29f5fc59.jpg
From TLLane's post: "My first choice for counters would have been Calacatta Gold marble (same as the backsplash) but I have young kids and knew that wasn't a practical option. I looked into several "marble like" quartz counters such as Silestone Lyra, Silestone Lagoon, and Cambria Torquay but didn't love any of them. "


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I noticed that the HB kitchens are breaking up the white cabinetry with glass cabinets and open shelves, so TL's kitchen could look overwhelmingly white with white counters. It's probably a small kitchen too, with less hardwood flooring to balance out the white.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

francoise47 - THANK YOU! That HB kitchen is amazing - thanks for posting! I had originally planned to run the calacatta splash all the way up to the ceiling (around the window over the sink) but waffled at the last minute. Now, I realize I should have gone with my initial plan. The gorgeous calacatta splash really should be the star/focus of the kitchen and I think I may continue it on up to the ceiling...I just love that shot of the window from the HB kitchen! I just need to find a countertop that will complement but not compete with the marble. I think the two quartzes you posted may be too brown. Ceasarstone came out with a new color called "raw concrete" that looks intriguing...it's hard to tell the color without a sample but if it's really like a "wet cement" shade (warmer gray), it may work. Ceasarstone is also releasing a "calcatta classic" quartz in July but again...mixing real with fake may not be the best option. As much as I know I would love the look of a real calacatta slab on the island, it's just not practical. The island is quite large (4' x 7') and it's the real workhorse of the kitchen. The kids often sit at the island to eat, color, do projects, etc. and I know the etching and staining would be fast and furious.

may_flowers - I agree with you that I am trying to avoid an "overwhelmingly white" look! I do have a couple of frosted glass uppers but the majority of the cabinets are just white, glossy and plain. The kitchen is actually a good size (15x24) so there is a good amount of dark hardwood flooring around the island.

On a separate note (maybe I have to start a separate thread), the contractor that did our backsplash did not have a very artistic eye and used several tiles that I would have thrown out (small cracks, off coloring, etc.). Is it possible to crack out an individual tile without damaging the ones around it? I have a lot of tile left over and would want to replace several of them. I know it's doable with ceramic but wondering how difficult it is with marble tiles. Anyone know?

Here is a link that might be useful: Ceasarstone Raw Concrete


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Have you ever heard of Quartzite? Not to be confused with Quartz, it's a natural stone that looks like marble but without the upkeep. It comes in many colors and here is a link to one

Here is a link that might be useful: Taj Mahal


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more info on the natural stone quartzite, which is NOT quartz.

Here is a link that might be useful: The lowdown on Quartzite and Marble


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Both the counter and the backsplash tile are gorgous in themselves but complete for attention. I am waiting to see which you chose to remove. I love reading posts and trying to help as it has me thinking why everyone says my busy floor tile competes with my counter I chose. I decided to change the counter choice only because I have not installed it yet.

It is not the worst match but it is no that complementary due to the competition with ach other.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

I really like your backsplash with the granite you've selected. The colors compliment each other very nicely. The combination does have a lot of movement, but it wouldn't bother me, and I think when you add some of your kitchen accents it will make everything pull together nicely. The movement adds a lot of life to your kitchen.

I don't like the white toned, gray or black countertops with your backsplash. Your kitchen looks busier and uncoordinated (in my opinion) if you start chopping the colors of your countertops up. I also don't think you will be happy with a man made material next to that beautiful backsplash.

Take a deep breath and live with your kitchen the way it is for a while. Try some different decorative accessories and see how you like things after some time passes. I truly believe you will regret ripping and tearing things up right now. You obviously went through a great deal of thought and expense and there is no guarantee at this point you will like a change any better, and the amount of stress would be horrible at this point. Believe me about the stress. And the mess.

You can always change things later on down the road. Once you start ripping and tearing there is no going back. I would personally really have to hate something to go through that.


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TLLane13, I wish I had checked back earlier on this thread :)

So, here's what happened with us. We wanted to do quartz but couldn’t justify the price considering the neighbourhood (the total budget for the kitchen was about 8K to cover for new stove, fridge, floors and counters/backsplash and this is a house we’ll sell in a few years). I LOVE marble but we cook a lot and mostly with things that stain etch so that was a no go. We found most granite too busy/uneven, especially in the lower prices. We found Virginia Mist as an orphan slab and got a killer deal on it (we only needed about 33sqft so I did all the fabricators to try to score a deal on something in inventory). Husband feared it may be too dark but in the end, it is perfect. It has some of the beauty of marble (the swirling/veining) but also some of the evenness of quartz. Our slab was not busy and while it’s dark it really more a mid tone. We both really wanted subway tile in marble but I couldn’t justify the fact that it was 20x time the price of the plain one, which worked really well. I also read a lot of horror stories of people grouting unsealed marble backsplashes and ruining it. This was our first tiling job so we wanted a very easy material (glazed tile).

I’m attaching pictures so you can see what the counter looks like in place. We kept the old cupboards (refinished them) and put up the backsplash. Gives us a clean look and took the kitchen out of the 70s. I really LOVE your kitchen (but I’m with you on the fact that the counters compete). It’s pretty much what we want in the next house in terms of layout scheme. I always joke that we bought VM as a discount granite and it’s not my dream material for a kitchen. I think with a marble backsplash it could look stunning. Your space is very bright so I think I could work.

There are also very beautiful quartzites that look like marble but I am unaware of the maintenance and expect they would be very pricy.

Others would be more qualified to answer this (and it really depends of how the granite was installed) but there should be a gap (1/8 to ¼ inch) between your backsplash and counter. I’m not sure how much damage removing the granite would do to cabinets, etc but pros should be able to help.

In any case, do keep us posted! Your kitchen is beautiful but I fully understand feeling like a design isn’t realised.


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since this thread is getting resurrected....

I recently saw a backsplash that reminded me of yours on the HGTV show, "Love it or List it, too." It was in a kitchen that also had white cabinets. It was paired with what looked like a quartz countertop in what I would call a dark taupe color and the combination looked beautiful together. It reminded me a bit of how your paint color looks (or like that one tile that I had thought matched your pain in your photo above) but darker. (This was in a beautiful home (it looked professionally decorated/remodeled) that the couple really liked and were considering buying (if they decided to "List" their own home). I'm sorry that I can't remember the episode! Just thought you might want to consider a taupe color as well as grey if you are still looking at options.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

Surprised to see this thread is still alive and kicking! Perfect timing too since the kitchen is "done" (for now) as of yesterday. After a lot of thought and consultation with a good number of contractors, we ended up swapping out the backsplash. We made a poor decision (primarily based on cost) on the first contractor who installed the tile and there were issues with the splash. The electrical outlets were not properly handled and the tile was badly spaced and downright "bumpy" in several areas. The contractor is now MIA...lesson learned. On the bright side, I found a beautiful, subtle marble tile (still wanted some element of marble in the kitchen) that I immediately fell in love with. It complements the counters without competing with them and this time around, I decided to tile all the way to the ceiling and around the window over the sink. It still stings to know that the first batch of tile ended up being a waste but I'm much happier with the results!


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

Another view to show the tile up to the ceiling and around the window.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

That looks very nice! The tile recedes enough not to compete with the granite, but is still a standout itself!


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

I am so happy for you! I loved the granite and it would have been sad to pull up such a beautiful slab! Looks fabulous!!!


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I was wondering just how much of a mess was it to remove the tile and prep the wall to retile? How long did it take them?


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

Beautiful, and happy ending!
You made an excellent choice with your new backslash.
I'm so glad you still got a taste of the marble you love.
And tiling all the way up and around the windows
is a brilliant way of reinforcing the modern, clean lines of your beautiful kitchen.


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

TTLane13, I love the new backsplash with the counters. I am glad you kept the counters as I felt they were beautiful. I love how you used the tile all around everything as it is subtle and will be easier to clean up in the kitchen now. I feel you made an excellent choice and still got Marble tiles like you wanted that you loved right away.

I would love to see a close up of the marble tiles as I really love them and will have to decide on a backsplash when it is time to do my kitchen.

Thank you for the update! So glad the end result came out so beautiful and you are happy with your new modern beautiful kitchen!


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Oh it looks great! What a beautiful end result to a sticky, messy process.


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Love your end result!


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it looks so great!. I would also like to know how the process went as I am too thinking of replacing a backsplash.


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This looks so much nicer!!!
Your first and second backsplash should be required reading/viewing before picking BS tile.


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I think it was $$$ well spent. Kitchen is lovely now, and you would have not been able to relax with the former BS. Was it salvable, and possibly useable in a bathroom?


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Wow that's much nicer than what you had before. Congratulations!


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wow I think it looks great!

Totally matches your stainless steel theme!


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I sure do love a happy ending!

You were smart to swap something out. I think if you had left it, it would have bothered you every day. I honestly found the combination competing for attention. It now looks wonderful! Put some accessories in and take a "The END" pic for us all. This was a GREAT thread in how to spot a problem, ask for opinions, make a decision, then execute on a plan......FAB!


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annalyn123 - These things are always a mess and the clean up is the worst part! Thankfully, it didn't take all that long...about two days so not too horrible. It was worth the mess and disruption though!
lynn2006 - Here is a close up photo. You can see the random gray veining of the marble up close but it's very subtle.
Thanks for all the positive feedback!


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

TLLane13, Your counters are gorgeous and your new backspash is very pretty and does not compete so it is easy on the eyes when looking at your beautiful kitchen. Thank you for sharing.


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This was the perfect solution. You ended up with an even more beautiful marble backsplash. The close up picture...I just love that marble. This thread should be required reading.


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Bravo to you for biting the bullet and taking the extra step to make your kitchen a place where you enjoy cooking. In a past life we tiled our kitchen in cobalt blue that looked great in the store but sucked all the light out of the room. For budgetary reasons, we had to live with it for much too long. Every time I walked into that room I grit my teeth.

I am so glad that you stayed with the marble; it is gorgeous!

We are now remodeling another house and have installed beautiful white traditional cabinets. I was on the fence about black vs. white/gray/black granite counter tops like yours. The discussion and photos have definitely helped me with my decision. I'm now leaning toward black with some light and medium inclusions. Black seems to anchor the cabinets and provide contrast that will highlight the design of the cabinets and the beautiful Spanish tiles that will go above the stove. Pictures when we are done.

Thanks to all who took the time to share opinions and pictures. I am sure that you have helped a great many homeowners.


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Wow, your kitchen looks fabulous now, I'm so happy for you! I wouldn't have guessed that would make such a big difference but it definitely did. Love the tile all around the window.


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I remember that picture looking completely different on March 3. I could see veining. Now I just see light grey subways.
Edit: picture back to normal. Gorgeous tile!

This post was edited by romy718 on Sat, Mar 15, 14 at 15:22


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Looks great! Do you mind sharing what the tile is and where you got it?


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Wow! That looks great! Not sure how I missed this because I was following along while you were trying to decide what to do. I must admit that when I started reading your post that you decided to change the backsplash (before seeing the photos), I was not expecting to like it as much as your old backsplash. But then I saw the photos and it's gorgeous!


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RE: Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

very pretty! What is the name of your granite and your sourcing for the new marble tile?


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