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Is this counter too busy to use in entire kitchen??

Posted by lcskaisgir (My Page) on
Thu, Sep 19, 13 at 23:35

I went to the stone yard today and fell in love w/this superwhite quartzite. My floors are a warm brown hardwood, perimeter cabinets will be white beaded inset, and island cabinets will be black stain.

My question is...do you think this counter would be too busy to use in the entire kitchen or should it be used for the island only?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Is this counter too busy to use in entire kitchen??

I have super white on the island, perimeter, backsplash, and the useless built-in desk. My cabinets are dark cherry with a medium wood floor.

I think super white reads as a neutral and it doesn't look busy to me. I still love it after over three years.


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I would have that beautiful stone everywhere I could afford. :)


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Another vote for not too busy! I think it is gorgeous!!!


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I don't think it is too busy, but I do prefer using something different on an island, and I think it would make it stand out more, like a work of art.


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It is beautiful, and has soft neutralness that does not make it seem busy at all.


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It's lovely. I agree with Linelle, I would use it for the whole shebang!


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"Useless built in desk"... Amen to that.

I love that stone. I think you could use it all over.

Make sure it doesn't etch. Isn't that the one Bee has that etched so badly?


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I am a fan of the softness of this slab and I do not think it is too busy to use everywhere. However I would like to echo mtnrdredux's sentiment in that I too like to break things up and play with textures.


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as to your question, i don't think its too busy but to add my 2 cents, i think its a "cold" looking stone....
if you are going for that look than great, if you want to kitchen to convey "warmth" than no.....again, JMHO...

i do believe that some quartz's etch as red lover stated, look for quartz threads, if you can live with that than go for it.....

Best of Luck!!!!!


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red_lover, I did some etching testing w/it yesterday...mustard, lemon juice, wine. It did effect the finish. However, when I asked the fabricator about this he said that they will be putting two coats of sealer on it before installation and then another coat (bulletproof) after installation and it should not have the etching issues. Should I be worried???


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sprtphntc, I do agree that is a "cold" looking stone. However, I was hoping that the warmth of my floors and the paint color I choose will balance that out. What do you think? This is a pic of the color of my floors (and some door samples!!)...


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I agree with "cold" and "busy". Don't like it at all. The flooring is beautiful, neutral and warm. I don't like them together, and I'd choose the floor.


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I don't know how large your kitchen is. Though I find the stone quite beautiful, I would use it everywhere only if it was a relatively small kitchen. If there is any size to it and since you will have an island, I assume there is, I would consider putting butcher block on the island counter.

Guess I'm biased because that is what I'm doing in my kitchen yet to be built. My upper cabinets will be glossy white, lower cabinets - darker gray stained- the peripheral counter will be white silestone (speckled) and I wanted to "break up" the scheme a little - I'm not one who likes "matchy matchy" and go out of my way to avoid it whenever I can. YMMV


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I would absolutely and hope to use super white quartzite everywhere in my kitchen. I think it is one of the most stunningly gorgeous stones out there. I also think that it's not obnoxiously busy, but interesting. Also, adding an additional counter material can also, in its own way, make a kitchen busier.


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I'm with prickly... one of my favorite stones and gloriously interesting. I disagree that you should put a different stone on the island. Since you are doing a black island, you are already distinquishing it. I find it too much when different island cabs are also topped with a different stone then the perimeter. My preference is one or the other (which you already plan) but not both.


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I would use it unless you're one who has to have a Wow! backsplash instead of something that sits quietly in the background. You'll have a lot of pattern going on with the floor, door style, and now the counter. Have you thought ahead to backsplash?


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Well, originally I was going to do some sort of matte black counter on the perimeter cabinets (white) but I think I will now end up doing the same counter on both the black island and the white perimeter assuming that the island will stand out enough due to being a different color wood.

Now I'm just worried about the "cold" effect the stone may have. As you can see in the photo, my kitchen has a fireplace and sitting area w/a round oriental rug, two chairs & an ottoman, a breakfast nook, and then the main kitchen area. There are a LOT of warm brown wood floors flowing through! My kitchen table has a warm brown top w/a black stained base and the chairs (and island stools) have brown woods seats & black stained backs/legs. I was kind of hoping the counter would end up being a neutral that would stand out for being gorgeous, but not cause a conflict w/tones. I plan on painting with a warm toned neutral paint and a very subtle marble backsplash. I will have two pendant lights over the island which will likely be some sort of mini chandelier. So, my thinking was...the warm rug, warm paint, etc to tone down the "coldness" of the stone. And now I'm more confused than ever!!!!!!

*these photos are PRE-remodel. My perimeter cabinets will still be white, island black, will have new chairs & ottoman in front of fireplace, new tile around fireplace, still trying to decide whether to keep rug, window treatments, and may possibly have kitchen table/chairs re-stained.

Ugh!! I'm ready to hand over the reigns!!!


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Another angle (don't know how to do multiple pics on my desktop)


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Wow! The lighting sure isn't doing me any favors...my ottoman is actually black!


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I don't think it will read busy. But do perform stain/etch testing, and give some consideration to backsplash choices. And maybe tape off sections of the slab that approximate your layout, so you can see how much movement there is in the size of sections you'll have.


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RE: Is this counter too busy to use in entire kitchen??

Well, a few things.

1 - The general recommendation is to either do a different cabinet color for the island OR counter, but not both. Otherwise, you have nothing connecting them and it isn't a congruent look.

2 - Secondly, yeah, these popular grays/white stones are cool-looking. They just are. And, they are often paired with warmer wood floors. I bet you can find a million pics without even trying between GW and Houzz on warm dark wood floors combined with counters that are marble or gray granites or quartzites or such. It's like THE exceedingly popular look right now. It seems you know this, especially given your comment about marble backsplashes.

3 - When they have as much movement, it is often recommended to go with a very quiet backsplash. Marble might be very tricky to make work, between the tonal differences and the patterns. So, that's something to think about.

4 - I'm not sure I am seeing a "warm neutral" on the walls with these counters or with marble tile? Those both seem to often point to cooler, grayer tones? Do you find inspiration pics that combine marble or gray counters with warmer tones on the walls?

Ultimately, though, I guess what you have to decide there is whether you love that look long-term or are getting caught in a trend.

And, then, of course, there is the etching issue. Some people can live with it and embrace it. Some people can't. From my reading here on GW, sealing prevents stains but not etching?


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Found your counter thread! :)
The quartzite stone is beautiful. As for protection - we went with the BulletProof you mentioned, (we have granite) and after 4 years, still nothing penetrates (not wine, blueberry juice that was left on o/n, nothing!). My husband researched the top sealers and went for the DuPont BP. We heard about sealing every year, but we did it just once after installation and that sealer really is bulletproof! We probably will seal again in the next year.

If you're concerned about the cool look of the color scheme, a stone with some warm flecks in it (a small amount would be enough to warm things up) might be another nice option.
We did that in our kitchen, after originally thinking a black pearl granite was 'it', and so glad we went with a stone called 'Persa Blue' (less fingerprints, dust,glare from lights) and I love the combination of colors.

You can also pull in some warm colors into your backsplash tiles if the color scheme is feeling too cool. If your stone has a lot of activity going on with veining, etc., you may want to keep the backsplash on the quieter side.
After we finished our kitchen we visited a friend who used their granite for the backsplash as well and I loved the effect. If I had it to do over, I would have used the granite on the wall, too. In the end we went with Crema Marfil tumbled subway tiles as the party was all going on in the stone! :)


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LOL...yes I even have another thread going on in the lighting forum! My cabinet order is supposed to go in on Monday and I have such a hard time committing to ANYTHING (cabinet, counter, lights, etc) without knowing what the total picture is going to look like. So I really need to have everything picked out before I place the cabinet order or I will absolutely go insane...as if I'm not already!

Your stone is absolutely gorgeous. What I like about it is that it's warm and pulls together all of my colors. It may not look like it from the small sample I have, but the stone I have in the photo w/the grey cabinet door looks a lot like yours when seeing the full slab. Basically white w/taupe and black. The only thing I know for sure is that my perimeter cabinets are going to be white! There are 3 stones I love...calcutta quartzite, superwhite quartzite, and the one that looks like yours (it wasn't tagged at the stone yard but it looked like Delicatus to me) and I can't decide between them or even if I want one just on the island and something dark & quiet on the perimeter. And, as you can see, I can't decide on the color of the island...black or gray. I'm driving myself (and my husband, friends, and ladies who work at the stone yard) insane!!

I would love to see a photo of your kitchen!!


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I'm on the side of everyone who says it's not too busy. If anything, the fact that it's very busy is a plus. I'm still looking at my granite countertop 3 y after we put it in and I'm seeing new patterns and new nuances. Of course, my kids think I'm crazy -- staring at the counter. But I like it :)


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I agree with EChef - the stone isn't too busy, especially if you go with the B&W cabs. (Or the Silas). And ditto about the patterns you keep finding - I do the same thing! (being a designer, it comes naturally)

I Googled your stone choices to see what they look like and found a kitchen photo that seems similar to yours with Superwhite Quartzite, except the island was also white. I popped it into Photoshop and made it black. Does that help in terms of visualization?


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I think that stone is gorgeous and would happily use it everywhere. You already have 2 colors of cabinets; I would not mix in a second counter material too.

I don't think a "warm neutral" paint is the best choice. A light to medium blue with a little gray in it would go beautifully with the counters, white cabinets and brown wood floors. A light, springy green paint would also work well with the other materials.


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Don't stress about needing to have everything picked out. If you've decided on one of those 3 quartzite stones, any would go with either the black or grey cabinet and all go with white. While the cabinets are being made, look at lighting, tiles, etc. If you make decisions under duress, you may not be happy about it down the road, so take your time.

Lighting can be installed anytime after the cabs and counters are in and you'll have a better idea what might work. We didn't order our backsplash tile until the rest of the kitchen was complete. It was a lot easier to get a feel for what would look right. My initial choices were too busy once we saw the granite installe, how it became the focal point and spoke to the need for a quiet backsplash. I attached a pic.


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Here's the backsplash.
Crema Marfil tumbled marble.
We treated this as well with the Bulletproof sealer (3 coats)


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RE: Is this counter too busy to use in entire kitchen??

Dlbk your kitchen is lovely. I think the granite and the tumbled marble looks great.

Lcs, take a deep breath and don't feel that you need to choose everything at once. Your floors are so beautiful and they will add a lot of warmth. You have your cabinets chosen, yes? I think most of us choose as we go along. It seems like you are going with a very classic look and it will be stunning. If you choose that beautiful Superwhite Quartzite you will have a beautiful, cool sophisticated look. I don't think you can go wrong as long as a cooler look is what you are going for.


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You're all so supportive! I appreciate it so much.

Dlbk: your kitchen is beautiful! The counters look great and your backsplash tile was a perfect choice. I really like the kitchen photo you doctored w/the black island. It looks very warm, which is one of my concerns of using that stone.

Kaysd: I think the general consensus is to stick w/one stone which I will probably do. However, I have seen several kitchens that have both island cabinets and counter different from the perimeter.

Eurekachef: I hope I still love my counters many years later like you do!

Holly-Kay: my main concern w/the superwhite is just what you mention...looking too cool. The rest of my house is warm and I would like everything to flow as it does now. Taking a deep breath...


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I'm glad you're sticking with your gut on this beautiful countertop material. It will be lovely!


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RE: Is this counter too busy to use in entire kitchen??

I do agree that is a "cold" looking stone. However, I was hoping that the warmth of my floors and the paint color I choose will balance that out.

Pick a cool paint color, otherwise the counters will be "odd one out" and look strange.

That is NOT a "busy" stone. Yes, it's patterned all over with medium scale swirls, but it's monochrome and with low contrast. It's like a soft grey damask, not a gaudy plaid.


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Just a warning that your stone sounds like it is not quartzite, but marble, which is what most Super White is, regardless of what the fabricator calls it. If it etched when you tested it, then it's marble. Sealer will not prevent etching, but it will help with staining. So proceed with caution unless you are prepared to live with the etching. And proceed with extra caution because your fabricator has already told you two things that are not true, a) that the stone is quartzite and b) that a sealer prevents etching. Those would be huge red flags for me.

That said, I do agree that Super White is gorgeous. But still - it's really important to know what it is before you commit.

Good luck!
Karin

Here is a link that might be useful: The lowdown on Super White


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Karin -
Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge - how fascinating it all is! From the time I was a kid my dad had me interested in tectonic plates, escarpments and other cool geological stuff. I could never pass up an intriguing looking rock from our camping vacations 45 years ago and still have a good sized one I found on a beach in Nova Scotia that has a perfect white ring around it. I'm sure there must be a name for that phenomenon!
I clicked on your link above and have been reading with total immersion for the past hour. Oops - I was supposed to be in the garden this afternoon! :)


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I love it and would do it all around. It could look busier by introducing another different surface rather than keeping it all the same so I'd just go with it. Not to mention it's gorgeous!!!


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Karin, thank you indeed! It's so frustrating that they would be calling it a quartzite when, in fact, it is a marble. When I tested it for etching and staining I was using a sample they had given me. It had a shiny finish on it...I'm not sure if it would have been a sealer or a polish of some sort. That being said, is it possible that the substances were etching the finish and not the stone? Probably not...I'm just looking for a way for you to say it will not etch!!! The fabricator said that they would be putting two coats of sealer before installation and then another after installation and it would not etch or stain. Are there sealers that prevent etching? Why can't they just be honest???!


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What about this stone? This is another I was considering which they also claim is quartzite.


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Calcatta is marble also.


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Thanks for the kind words Dblk - sounds like we share the same passion. If you want, post a picture of that Nova Scotia rock on the rocks #4 thread and I'll see if I can offer any insights about it. I am a big fan of picking up rocks from everywhere, which definitely has its roots in those family camping trips.

But on to the present dilemma with lcskaigir. The stone really sounds like marble, I'm afraid. And it will etch. You can do the glass scratch test if you want another piece of information, but if the sample is etching then you pretty much already have your answer. Sorry.

The Calcata quartzite may be quartzite. Isn't that one of the names Macabus quartzite goes by when it's cut to show a swirly veiny pattern? (as opposed to the linear veiny pattern).

In any case, one can't tell marble from quartzite from photos and for most part you can't even tell by looking at the rock. You have to do the scratch test and/or the etching test. So arm yourself with a glass tile or a glass bottle next time you go to the stone yard. Find a sharp, pointy part of the rock, drag it firmly across the glass. Quartzite will grind right into the glass and will leave an obvious scratch. Marble will slide and skate across the glass and it may appear that there is a scratch but you can rub it off with your fingers. Try this little test, it's the best answer you are going to get. You might feel self conscious, but remember that you have the awesome power of GW behind you. :)

Check out the thread about Clearstone which reportedly does prevent etching, but that's a whole different category of materials. It's not at all the same as a sealer.

Good luck - keep us posted!
Karin


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You've been so helpful Karin! Of course I will be back at the stone yard this week, much to the dismay of the ladies that work there I'm sure! I think they petty much roll their eyes when they see me walk in! I have them holding the superwhite and I'll probably change my mind...I really don't want my new beautiful counter to be etched. I have a husband and two boys (13 & 10) and it's just not practical. I will try to check out both the Calcata and the superwhite while I'm there for the scratch test...they will love me even more when I start questioning them on the authenticity of the stone! And thank you for the tip about Clearstone...I'm going to find that thread right now...


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Thank you for the helpful information, Karin. I too am looking at Superwhite Quartzite and Calacatta Quartzite. The only reason I'm doing this is b/c while I love marble, I can't stand the etching. I was under the impression that quartzite is "harder than granite" and doesn't scratch, chip, etch, etc. ? One fabricator told me that his superwhite quartzite is really granite...that they are "the same thing." This made me really question him even though he is the owner of the most expensive, reputable stone store in town.


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Michelle16 has very similar looking stone, called white macaubus calacatta quartzite. Her's is bulletbroof. This slab is beatifful. You better tag it (put it on hold). If it is her stone, that is a great find. Most of the white macaubus has linear lines & looks contemporary.

This post was edited by romy718 on Wed, Oct 9, 13 at 10:37


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RE: Is this counter too busy to use in entire kitchen??

I've since found a similar stone (Donna Sandra, which seems to be the same thing just another name for Superwhite) at another stone yard. It too etched when I tested it. It's beyond frustrating. So did the sample of macaubus and calacatta. So now I'm trying to decide...do it in a honed finish so it doesn't show the etching as much, use it on the island only and a caesarstone for the rest, seriously look into clearstone coating, or get some sort of granite that I will not love near as much.


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RE: Is this counter too busy to use in entire kitchen??

lcs, I love the Super White you picked! I too absolutely love the look of marble and can relate to your desire to find a stone that will give you a similar look/feel and also hold up to everyday use.

After some research (mostly on GW) we decided to shop for white granites. It took me a bit to get used to the fact that no matter how much I wished, granite could never actually BE marble. :) But now I am so excited to have it installed in my new kitchen! I truly have not looked back. (Hope I can still say that AFTER it's installed ;)

Here's a link with some pics if you're interested. Best of luck!

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0915125321980.html


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^^oops...forgot to mention the name of the granite we found was Viscont White


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romy718, yes it does look like hers. And I love it!!! Of course it's sold now and they don't know when they'll get more... I should have snagged it when I originally inquired to my fabricator about it...lesson learned!

Nan57, when do you get your counters installed? Can't wait to see pictures. And which slab did you end up choosing? That's a really beautiful stone. I haven't seen any by that name around here.

My fabricator told me today that it seems like I "need help" in picking out my counters. Really?? If the stone yards and fabricators would stop telling people stones are quartzites when they're really not, half of my problems would have been alleviated. And it's not a matter of needing help to find something...it's a matter of no one having exactly what I want!!!


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My advice being that you have 2 boys 13 & 10 is to start looking at white granites or research more on the clearstone. It stinks they are not giving you accurate information !


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RE: Is this counter too busy to use in entire kitchen??

I did find some lovely light quartzites: Madre Perla, Taj Mahal, white Macaubus with swirls, not just linear lines.


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Hang in there lcskaisgir! I visited several yards several times each before finding my slabs at a place in a nearby town. It took nature a long time to make this art, it is okay to spend some time choosing just the right piece.


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lcs..i chose the second slab I posted with the swirl movement. They should be coming next week to template and then install within a week after that. I will definitely post pics! Hope I don't make the fabricators crazy with my list of questions when they come...poor unassuming things ;)

Don't worry about being 'pesty' with the fabricators or anyone else. Keep searching until you find the stone that makes you smile! Countertop stone choice is a huge decision and investment..one that you will have to look at and live with for a long time. After all is said and done no one will care that you made 3 or 4 extra trips and asked lots of questions...you will feel satisfied that you took the time to find the perfect stone for YOU. Have fun!


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My new finds today...first one is a quartzite called Naica. I don't know anything about it yet. I've never heard of it. Second one is another superwhite.

Going back w/cabinet doors tomorrow to see what looks best. Then I MUST make a decision because everything I find that I like keeps getting bought! And if I don't I continue to torture myself...


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RE: Is this counter too busy to use in entire kitchen??

Here's the superwhite.


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I think that Naica is gorgeous - both are really pretty but I think I like the softer look to this new one. Good luck!


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Wow - both stones are beautiful! I don't think you can go wrong with either. The 1st definitely has more warmth to it and I recall you saying you were leaning toward a warm look in your kitchen. The bottom stone would be a classic choice for that crisp B&W look if you go with the black finish on the island. The black would probably work just fine with the Naica quartzite as well. In the final analysis - I don't think either would be a "mistake" (and I use that term loosely!) as both are gorgeous stones. It's sort of like trying to decide between a hot fudge Sundae or a lava cake for dessert. How can you lose? :)


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I saw some other Naica quartzite online that didn't look nearly as nice as that sample you posted. Most seemed to have a very beige overall color to them, but yours has a nice amount of grey. While I was looking, I saw this granite that at first I thought was marble. It's called 'River White' - gorgeous!

Here is a link that might be useful: River White granite


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dlbk, I LOVE your analysis of the hot fudge sundae vs. the lava cake!!!! And I agree completely!!!

It is soooooo weird that you posted a pic of that River White because I am going to that exact stone yard that the River White is located today (T&M)!!! How bizarre! Where are you from? That stone yard is my last stop in this process. I didn't have my door samples with me yesterday when I saw the Naica and that superwhite so I will be going to both places. But what is really drawing me to T&M is the Superwhite Extra in this pic. They have many slabs of this according to their website. If they DO have it, I will be having a tough afternoon of decisions!!!!!!!!!!!


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Oh my, that Super White Extra above is absolutely stunning. I would grab that and run! I have to stop looking...one is prettier than the other and mine is already picked!


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Wow - that *is* weird! Of the 8 million stone yards in the US, I happened on that site - what are the odds it's the one you were going to? OK - that's a sign! ;) I think you'll know instinctively which one you're going with when you see the stones today! I saw they have locations in CA & the mid-west / I'm in Boston. Are you in IL? I have friends there - you probably live next door. ;) Good luck!!


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It is a sign!! Sooo weird! I won't even post what I found today because this could literally go on forever. They had such beautiful white quartzites I think I've made matters worse...princess white, iceberg white, etc. I don't even want to bother my fabricator and find out how much all of this stuff will cost! At least they didn't call superwhite a quartzite. They were honest and said that it was originally classified as a marble but as they got deeper and deeper down into the quarry, the properties changed. So now they just classify it as "specialty". In addition, they can get any stone from any of their locations at no charge. Ugh!


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Hi Icskaisgir - I too was at TM today looking at granite. Obviously a popular place. They are having a couple of slabs transferred to the location near me. There are way too many choices, aren't there!!! Good luck in your final choice - I'm sure it will be beautiful!


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Mgoblue85, judging from your name I'm guessing you were at the one in Farmington. Were you there w/your husband by chance? I saw two couples there when I was there. What stones are you looking at?


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Yep, that's the one. I was there late today (solo) - I barely made it before they closed. My KD called and asked me to met her there. Two slabs of Typhoon Bordeaux were just released and I went to check out. I'll be back next Friday to check out the 2 that they are transferring for me. They look good on line, but will know for sure next week. What other stone yards have you visited?


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the one you have listed under calcutta is what I have, it is not calcutta marble, it is def. a quartzite and no etching at all. They call it calcutta because the veins run like marble, rather accross like the luce di luna. Attatched is a photo.


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I just read where you said the sample of macubus quartzite etched- I'm really surprised because usually that is not the case with the quartzites. What made it etch? I have heard from this forum that the superwhite does etch because it actually is a marble.


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RE: Is this counter too busy to use in entire kitchen??

Michelle16, your island counter could not be any more gorgeous! I absolutely love it! I am trying to remember what I tested for etching...it's been a few weeks and my brain is mush from all of these counter options. I know for sure that the superwhite etched and I thought the macaubus etched also...I could be wrong on that as I'm just going from memory and not going down to pull out my samples to check. The piece of calacatta I had was one that I grabbed from the showroom myself and it does not specify whether it's a marble or quartzite so I'm wondering if it was a marble instead... The place I went to today had some calacatta quartzite that looks just like yours at one of their other locations. I may have them transfer it here. You seem to be quite happy w/yours. I also like the Princess White and the Superwhite Extra that I posted above. I even considered having Clearstone applied to the superwhite. The superwhite is a lot cheaper and it would probably even out if I decide to go that route.

Mgoblue85, I've been to Universal (Madison Heights), Mont (Farmington), Ciot (not sure what city...Coolidge & 13 Mile), and then T&M. They all had their positives and negatives. I believe that Universal and Mont both had the stone you are looking for if it doesnt work out at T&M. Of course I would call before I went to make sure. That's a really beautiful stone. Good luck!


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RE: Is this counter too busy to use in entire kitchen??

Thanks Icskaisgir. I'll know on Friday if I need to keep searching. Have you decided yet or are you still looking?


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RE: Is this counter too busy to use in entire kitchen??

lcskaisgir, Can you post a picture of your beautiful Calacatta Quartzite Slab as now that is what I am thinking I like for counters. Love Michelle16's counter so much!

This post was edited by lynn2006 on Wed, Nov 27, 13 at 0:09


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