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Need help with kitchen remodel
cmottesen
December 3, 2012 in Design Dilemma
We recently bought this house and want to change out the mint green kitchen counters and flooring. I am currently loving soapstone for countertop. Can I mix stones to use soapstone on the perimeter and something else on the island? Maybe white granite? And what color floor tile would coordinate with soapstone counter and white cabinets?
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inkwitch
Sometimes you wonder what people were thinking! Absolutely, you can use different surfaces between countertops and island. Educate yourself on the care and limitations of your preferences as they are not without issues. I'd even go so far as to paint/refinish the island in a different color. It's a good-sized kitchen, and the cabients look good. There's nothing quite like a white kitchen!

I'm sure some of the designers will chime in with lots of ideas. Have fun!
December 3, 2012 at 5:41PM     
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lionnessone
You certainly can mix different stones, go for it. I would install hardwood flooring within your entire space.
[houzz=][houzz=Princeton Restoration][houzz=Joanne's Kitchen][houzz=Window View]
December 3, 2012 at 5:41PM     
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cmottesen
Thank you for the ideas. I love hardwood floors but I'm concerned about installing them in the kitchen and not being able to match with the adjoining rooms. Currently all first floor is hardwood but kitchen is ceramic tile. I thought going with tile would eliminate that problem, but it seems that hardwood is really the current look for kitchens. Is it challenging to get floors to match without refinishing all the adjoining rooms?
December 3, 2012 at 5:56PM     
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Ralston Decorating Group
HI, here is my professional opinion!! I always try to stay away from wood floors in kitchens and bathrooms, the soapstone is very simple, you could find a granite that will compliment the color of the soapstone. Keep in mind, I am talking about a complimentary granite, not a granite that will match the green. Now, I am assuming you are removing the other counter tops and replacing them with granite. I would most likely keep the counters the soap stone and get a gorgeous granite for the island. The backs plash, most likely will have to be replaced, if so, find a glass tile that has some of the colors in the counter tops and walls and for the floor, I would do a beige tile, so that you can tone down the brilliant white cabinets and make all come together beautifully. It is hard to advise you without seeing the rest of the house and the flooring in all the other rooms. Please keep in mind, I only do high end homes. Pls let me know, if I can assist you further.
December 3, 2012 at 7:28PM     
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A Kitchen That Works LLC
Using two or more counter top materials in the same kitchen is absolutely acceptable, in fact it even has a name, wabi sabi. You could select a dramatic quarried stone or engineered stone for the island and something simpler and more uniform for the perimeter counters, this will allow the island top to "pop". If you want to add functionality, you could consider making the island counter butcher block that can be cut on directly as a prep surface. As for he floor, there is nothing wrong with hardwood, assuming you use a quality installer and request a high durability finish. You could also consider cork or linoleum for comfort.
December 3, 2012 at 7:42PM     
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Carol Bratton
Hi .... I think the pic above with white island marble shows that it will make the room look way to sterile. My idea for a cozy, classic look: Black and white high end linoleum square tile design laid on the diagonal (solarian has a beautiful one). Black or very dark gray soapstone countertops ... and butcher block for the island. Paint the island black with some distressed edges. Back splash wld be white glass subway tile with white (not black grout). Paint the walls a pure medium gray ... Sherwin Williams intellectual gray is nice ... Replace the lighting over the table with silver chandelier with some crystals. ... cute look nowadays ....and TaDa !!!!! You will have a kitchen that is timeless, classic and the envy of the neighborhood.
December 4, 2012 at 4:09AM     
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pursue
Unless you are really wanting to spend a lot of money, maybe you should live with what you have. I think you could paint the walls in a neutral biege tone and paint the island cabinets a darker color in the same color family. Change the window treatment, some of the accessories on the counters and put in a new light fixture. I think this might update the room so you would like it better. Other colors could work for the walls and cabinet base too. If you want to break up the green counter look, I would suggest a wood counter. That would be fairly easy since you do not have electrical or plumbing to deal with in the island. If the green counter is in good shape, you could try working with it before replacing it. I love the soapstone look and the carrara marble mix in a kitchen, but it is not inexpensive. Another option might be a vinyl plank, click together flooring to go over the tile. It is a floating floor and you could replace it easily down the road.
December 4, 2012 at 5:02AM     
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Stanton Designs-online design services
Two different materials for countertops is the big thing now! Really transforms a kitchen. When you change your island, you can make it wider so it will hang over a little more so that the stools tuck away a little better. Plus it will make it more comfortable when sitting.
December 4, 2012 at 5:09AM   
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alwaysdesigning
Just my opinion what I have picked up as I am researching our kitchen materials, you will want the backsplash, countertop AND floor to coordinate in some way, through same tones and shade relationship. Example, pinky beige backsplash and yellow tan countertop will not work together. Watch out for the tone differences between same shades (is undertone pink, grey, blue, yellow, etc.) Keeping them all within the same relationship of color and shade tone will keep everything from being too busy and fighting each other for attention. Good luck
December 4, 2012 at 7:33AM     
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bdennison
If you go white top on the island, paint the island dark. What color is your soapstone? You can pick a complementary color from that or even go black.
December 4, 2012 at 7:54AM   
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Carolyn C. Interior Decorator, Brampton, ON.
Here's a shot of what it would look like with different finishes. Can't get them exact, but black soap stone look, with a split face tile, up to the ceiling would look nice or natural stone tile, but to the ceiling.
You could do wood on the island top, or co-ordinate with a quartz or granite that compliments the other colours in the room. For your floor, vinyl or tile - try to go for a full bodied porcelain so if you drop anything it doesn't chip and show the back colour. Stay in the same tones as the wood floor to keep the space looking larger. The island can stay white with the wood top, or you could chang up the colour, as shown in the two images attached. For the new island top, if you have the room, have the overhang minium 10" so it's comfortable to sit at it. The colours aren't perfect in the renderings but this can help you visualize what the possibilities are. You may even want to put in one or two pendants over the island. I agree witht he comment above to keep your colours similar to existing for a great flow.

Goog Luck
December 4, 2012 at 9:24AM     
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Carolyn C. Interior Decorator, Brampton, ON.
White Island
December 4, 2012 at 9:27AM   
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Carolyn C. Interior Decorator, Brampton, ON.
keeping island white
December 4, 2012 at 9:27AM     
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cmottesen
These renderings are very interesting! Thank you. I never considered going all the way up to the ceiling with backsplash. I'm scared of wood on the island because it gets sooooo much use by little kids who eat there and are REALLY messy. I was just looking at a slab of white Namibian Fantasy quartzite for the island (soapstone for the perimeter) but not sure the quartzite is tough enough either. I don't like the fabricated quartz so much. I appreciate all the ideas.
December 4, 2012 at 9:36AM   
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Rio Brewster
matching wood flooring might not be as hard as you think. If you can get close, it will help tie the kitchen into the surrounding area.

Soapstone is always grey/black and would look nice.

I wouldn't put white granite on white cabinets though. But that's just me - I like some contrast.

I'd look into wood on the island and the soapstone everywhere else.
December 4, 2012 at 9:41AM   
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Ramona
Consider quartz and let us know what your color preferences are overall. I would remove the valance over the window and change out the chandelier over the table. I agree that a larger island top with more overhang for those sitting is the way to go. Painting the island a contrast color is a must for interest. But give us some hint regarding your overall color preferences. Do you want to paint the walls?
December 4, 2012 at 9:43AM   
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lkrandolph
Not that bad to begin for a place to start. I would leave it as it is until you get a feel for the house. For now I would change the wall color to something that would either be more neutral or to compliment your dining set. I would also change the lighting fixture to something more modern eliminate the window treatment for now. Next step would be a color for the island. But wait until you have a feel for the kitchen.
December 4, 2012 at 9:47AM     
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cmottesen
I wasn't planning to paint the walls. They are a neutral taupe'ish color called "parchment". This color runs into the family room which is open to the kitchen (half wall between). My colors are all very earth-tones in adjoining family room. My home is colonial revival and very traditional. I never even considered painting the island, but I could! The valance will definitely go. I will put a new fixture above the island and may also change out the chandelier over the table.
December 4, 2012 at 9:48AM     
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Rio Brewster
Those of you who are telling cmottesen to wait awhile - are you thinking that s/he might come to love mint green countertops? Just curious.

Kitchen renos are MUCH easier before you move in than after - and if they don't like those countertops now, they never will (and I don't blame them!)

Now if you are talking about paint - cabinets or otherwise - lighting, backsplash, etc then waiting is not a bad idea. But replacing floors and counters that you know you don't like before you move in seems like a good plan.
December 4, 2012 at 10:33AM     
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cmottesen
Well actually we've been living in this house about 15 months, which wasn't clear in my original post. Originally I thought I could live with the mint green, but I'm disliking it more as time goes on...not the other way around. It is Corian and probably was stylish when built in 1997. It's not the ugliest kitchen in the world but the tile floor is cracked and grout is coming up so it is time to replace it, and the countertops will go at the same time. I am very much appreciating everyone's ideas - thank you!
December 4, 2012 at 10:44AM   
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Ramona
Soapstone is a fine choice. I would vary the island counter top. Make the island the jewel. It is not that difficult to match existing wood flooring and as your house is 80s built?, I think you could find a match. If not, look at lots of options for the floor: lots. You seem to like traditional earth tones, but consider a traditional complimentary color on the island like barn red or a traditional blue. Then the counter top could go light colored and be very nice with two pendant lights above it which could be neutral, metal or even colored glass.
December 4, 2012 at 11:53AM   
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cmottesen
Today I picked up a piece of white quartzite to test out for the island. I am thinking dark soapstone on perimeter and white quartzite (marble-look) in island as the jewel. I will seriously consider painting the island....everyone seems to agree on that. I like the idea of traditional barn red or a muted blue.
December 4, 2012 at 11:58AM     
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Ramona
great choices for stone. great that you are going for color on the island
December 4, 2012 at 12:30PM     
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Rio Brewster
The quartz products are finally starting to look like real stone. I never liked them in the past because they looked "fake" to me, and none of my kitchens have been contemporary enough to pull off a solid color.

That sample is lovely! And on a barn-red island? WOW!
December 4, 2012 at 2:50PM     
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olldroo
Having lived in the home for 15 months, I'm sure you are aware of the drawbacks of tiled flooring, especially on feet and legs. Think carefully before choosing tile again.
December 5, 2012 at 1:31AM     
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Carolyn C. Interior Decorator, Brampton, ON.
Here is a shot of the red island as suggested above. There's nothing like natural quartzite countertops. They have the beauty of marble but the strength of granite. Also, agree with the comments that you can probably match your existing wood floor and having had both, the wood is much more easy on the feel and would create a beautiful flow between the two rooms.
December 5, 2012 at 4:33AM     
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Carol Bratton
Still think black shd be color for island. It wld really show off the quartzite too. Too many colors going on with the yellow walls .... maple table and chairs.
December 5, 2012 at 5:44AM   
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Simpkins & Associates, Inc.
If you use dark soapstone on the perimeter cabinets and a light quartzite on the island then I would leave the perimeter cabinets white and paint the island a charcoal gray to repeat the soapstone color. Then I would look for a backsplash that incorporates both - a world of options there. If wood floors don't suit your family dynamics then cruise around Houzz and look at the combinations of wood inset into stone or brick - it's a charming look that incorporates both to their best effect.
December 5, 2012 at 5:44AM     
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Carol Bratton
I totally agree with above comment. You want a cohesive look when you are done ... not piecemeal. ... incorporate the charcoal/black and white colors in either the backsplash or flooring .... but not both.
December 5, 2012 at 5:54AM   
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Carol Bratton
Beautiful black island
December 5, 2012 at 6:02AM     
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Susi Mitchell
Definitely do hardwood floor--best decision we ever made. Hardwood can integrate rest of home, if good flooring company, can match well with old existing hardwood. Well worth the investment and resale will be better. NEVER, EVER put a hard, non-pliable flooring surface in kitchen, it is bad for the body, joints, etc., especially if you spend a good portion of your time in kitchen on your feet (you probably do with children). Floor should have some give.

Also, while a contrasting or different color island is trendy right now, the kitchen looks small and the darker island looks and "feels" cumbersome (imho) from sample pics provided. I'd stick with white island. I disagree that it will come across as sterile. Check out beautiful kitchen photos on HOUZZ for all white in smaller spaces. Love the sample island counter top you posted.

Would not recommend taking backsplash up to ceiling in this space.

I agree with adding pendant lights (3) over the island.

Finally, I agree, get rid of the window treatment / valance over the window and let the light shine in!
December 5, 2012 at 6:06AM     
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Susi Mitchell
Definitely do hardwood floor--best decision we ever made. Hardwood can integrate rest of home, if good flooring company, can match well with old existing hardwood. Well worth the investment and resale will be better. NEVER, EVER put a hard, non-pliable flooring surface in kitchen, it is bad for the body, joints, etc., especially if you spend a good portion of your time in kitchen on your feet (you probably do with children). Floor should have some give.

Also, while a contrasting or different color island is trendy right now, the kitchen looks small and the darker island looks and "feels" cumbersome (imho) from sample pics provided. I'd stick with white island. I disagree that it will come across as sterile. Check out beautiful kitchen photos on HOUZZ for all white in smaller spaces. Love the sample island counter top you posted.

Would not recommend taking backsplash up to ceiling in this space.

I agree with adding pendant lights (3) over the island.

Finally, I agree, get rid of the window treatment / valance over the window and let the light shine in!
December 5, 2012 at 6:07AM   
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Simpkins & Associates, Inc.
From just a personal perspective I have had hardwood in the kitchen that I loved (6 coats of sealer) and that I hated. But....I have 8 grandchildren, 10 dogs and occasional puppies. Enough said - I think you see the issue with hardwood for my lifestyle.

I don't think different materials are trendy at all. Varying things give you that collected look that is what makes most rooms interesting and inviting. We rarely do all one color in any other room - contrast adds interest unless you go over the top with it. Rooms - even kitchens - should look like they evolved, even if you did it all in one day. I do agree that taking the backsplash to the ceiling is a tad too contemporary for this space.
December 5, 2012 at 6:15AM   
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Carol Bratton
Black and white soft linoleum flooring .... very classic.
December 5, 2012 at 6:16AM     
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Carol Bratton
Another look for black island. I own Vintage Vogue Studio ...a styling and staging boutique to teach clients the simple ideas to get a lot of look for less. This is my last post (I promise). Best of luck with your new kitchen....
December 5, 2012 at 6:37AM     
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cmottesen
I really appreciate all the ideas and photos! I am definitely doing pendant lighting over the island and removing that ugly blue and yellow window valance. I've just left it up from the previous owners of our house. There are white wood plantation blinds behind it which are much prettier than the valance. I am in a quandary about the floor. I love hardwood but it never seemed practical in kitchen with spills and foot traffic (human and dog). I will rethink that. I also hate the look of mismatched hardwood but I will investigate the above suggestions. Thanks!

Anyone have personal experience with white quartzite? My unsealed sample etched from my test of lemon juice and a glass of water left a ring. I'm disappointed but I just LOVE the stone. Would sealing it make a difference with the etching?
December 5, 2012 at 6:59AM     
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Granite Transformations
Hi,

Yes, you can mix which stones you're using for your counters. Contrast between the island and wall cabinets is something that's becoming much more common. My suggestion would be a light colored granite. We can actually install your counters without demolition and we have a great selection which you can see here- http://www.granitetransformations.com/southjersey/products/granite-countertops/colors/.

Good luck with your remodel!
December 5, 2012 at 7:24AM   
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Kathryn Peltier Design
Hi cmottesen: Yes, quartzite will etch. It is a bit harder than marble, but not by much and does require upkeep. I am a little bit concerned with the soapstone, too, because you say you have younger children. Don't get me wrong - I LOVE the look of soapstone - but it is very soft and I have seen kitchens with adults only where the edges have chipped. Another option might be a honed, or leather-finish, dark granite. As an alternate choice for the Quartzite, what about a Kashmir granite? Also, I realize you like the real stones (so do I) but the mfr'd. quartz products have greatly improved in appearance, Check out the Silestone "Vortium" http://www.silestoneusa.com/colors/ or Caesarstone "Pure White" or "White Quartz". These might be better choice for you with an active, growing family.

I love the idea of the island being either red or black. I almost always specify a different finish on the island - it breaks up the monotony of cabinetry often found in kitchens, it creates a focal point and it makes it look more like a piece of furniture than cabinets. When I do this, I also always change the counter material. From your photo, it looks like you just have the basic "skin" on the end of the island, too. If you are going to paint, wrap any of these "skins" with a beadboard or similarly finished panel. Also, although I can't see the base, I am betting you have a recessed base all the way around. While you may want to keep this on the sink/working side of the island, I would add a furniture base (i.e. overlay a trim piece) on the 3 other sides. You could add feet on the sink side, too. If you have room on the stool side, add an overhang of about 14"-15" . You could add brackets/corbels on the corners.

As for a wood floor, I like wood floors in a kitchen. They are warm and soft on the feet. They are not difficult to patch in to look seamless, but it depends somewhat upon what the existing floors are (real plank, veneered, how old, etc.) Check with a good installer. If you opt to go with another ceramic tile,
I like the black and white checkerboard which Carol Bratton suggested. You could take this a little further and add random deco tiles close to the color of your wood floors - this would visually pull it together a little better. There are also some very cool linoleums out there http://www.forboflooringna.com/Residential-Flooring/Products/Marmoleum-sheet-tile/

Just one more thought: try to sell your Corian counters or donate them to a Habitat store. I'm sure there is someone out there who is looking for light green Corian counters!
December 5, 2012 at 7:47AM     
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lindagon
I wish I had your problem
December 5, 2012 at 8:09AM     
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Carolyn C. Interior Decorator, Brampton, ON.
It's so interesting to see everyone's comments. We all clearly have our own personal takes on these projects. While I lean to the cleaner more classic looks for my personal space, every comment brings a unique and different approach. I'm sure after all this discussion you will be either utterly confused or you will find your way to your style by eliminating the looks you don't like and zero in on the ones you love.

With regards to your question about the etching, it's a problem with natural stone. Sealing it does help, but not eliminate the problem. You may be better off with the newer fabricated quartz. Cambrian, Silestone and Caesarstone all have come a long way in the quest to make their products look more natural. Europeans and Asians all use marble and accept that the wear is part of their beauty. Here in North American we want things to look brand new all the time (for the most part) so the man made products seem to work well here. It's like old pine floors, years of wear and use is what gives them so much appeal, but some people just can't live with that look. It's best to figure out what your tolerance is and choose a product that suits your needs. Same with hardwood in kitchens, it's a personal choice. Given the choice I would choose hardwood but that's me and what suits my needs for you it may be totally different. The key is choose products that suit your needs and taste but use tones that integrate well with the existing surroundings. Use texture as a means to bring in some warmth if you don't want it to sterile.

If you just can't make the final decisions narrow down your choices and have a professional come in and help you with the final selection. You will save money by doing the running around yourself but have some guidance before you purchase so you don't make any big mistakes.

Good luck and have fun.
December 5, 2012 at 8:13AM   
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Stoneshop
Quartzite is a very hard and durable material--even harder than granite. Comparing quartzite to granite is like comparing a diamond to a rock. This is one reason why quartzite (overall) tends to be more expensive than most standard granites--the fabrication process is much more labor intensive because it such a hard material.

That being said, it should not etch. At least we have never experienced any problems with it etching. Sealing may make a slight difference, but not much of one. Sealing has to do more with stains than etching.

I noticed on another post that you called this stone "Namibian Fantasy". We carry Namibian White here (also known as Misty White), and it looks very much like your sample as seen in the photo. Does it have little sparkles in it--almost making it look snow-like? If so, we have been told by our suppliers that this stone is a marble. I can't be certain that this Namibian Fantasy sample is the same as our Namibian White, but it would explain the etching. Marble etches rather easily.
December 5, 2012 at 8:15AM     
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Kathryn Peltier Design
@ Stoneshop: are you referring to the man-made quartz products? Those are harder than granites. I think what the discussion has been about, though, is the natural stone quartzite (this is all most confusing!) I have been told by the stone supplier I work with that quartzite is between granite and marble on the hardness scale. Here is some info I found:

"The hardness of rocks, as measured by their resistance to abrasion, can be assessed on the Mohs scale. By this grade, which runs from one to 10, a mineral can scratch another of equal or lesser hardness. Rocks can be evaluated on the Mohs scale by considering their constituent minerals. Granite typically has a Mohs ranking between 5.5 and 7. The higher the proportion of quartz, which itself has a hardness of seven, the harder the given type of granite. Quartz monzonite, which tends to contain less quartz than granite, is of a hardness – 5.5 to 6 – similar to the low end of the granite Mohs scale."

Read more: Quartz Monzonite Vs. Granite Hardness | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/info_12111507_quartz-monzonite-vs-granite-hardness.html#ixzz2ECJ0G23K

My understanding is that quartzite is formed from sandstone, which then makes sense as to it being softer than granite. But THEN I found another site that said quartzite is 7 on the Mohs scale, a little higher than granite. Perhaps the hardness of the WHITE quartzite is what is in question - is the white less hard than the granite?

Help - I need some clarification on this too!
December 5, 2012 at 9:07AM   
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cmottesen
@Kathryn and Carolyn-thanks for the info on quartzite and soapstone and ideas for island. I did see a slab of "antique steel" black granite that had a look very similar to soapstone, but without veining. It's also on my list. I am so confused about the quartzite that I think I'll just take it off my list. The slab I saw was the natural stone, not the fabricated quartz which I just cannot convince myself to love. Need to do some soul searching about upkeep of counters vs natural beauty. It seems like I cannot have it all!
@Stoneshop - my slab was called Namibian Fantasy and I swore it was marble when I saw it. The stone yard is calling it quartzite but I wonder. It seems there is a lot of wiggle room when labeling these products. I had another stone yard tell me that quartzite is synonymous with granite. I don't think that's true but there's no clarity out there. I am learning that every slab is different in terms of stain/etching and you should test your actual slab before purchasing.
December 5, 2012 at 9:23AM     
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Carolyn C. Interior Decorator, Brampton, ON.
I agree, it's very confusing. I find clients even get confused with the term Quartz, thinking it's all man made. I attended an inservice at one of the stone suppliers and the gentleman who spoke was wonderful. He was head of your tile and stone association in the States. He informed us that real "quartz" is slightly stronger than granite which is stronger than marble and limestone. Perhaps the problem is that some suppliers are selling products that aren't the one he was referring to. We installed this kitchen which has real quarts counters about three years ago and no complaints to date. She loved it then and loves it now. But it was more expensive than the higher end granites.

With regards to the soapstone, I agree with Kathryn Peltier Design, that a leather finish or honed finish on a darker granite would be a great option.
December 5, 2012 at 9:33AM     
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Kathryn Peltier Design
I read on one website about the stones that granite is formed deeper in the earth than quartzite. Granite is igneous rock and quartzite is metamorphic (gee, I feel like I'm in 5th grade all over again!) Here is some interesting info on quartzite http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quartzite

I think that the upkeep question really is the main question. Any of these materials CAN be used, but as Carolyn said, you have to ascertain your degree of comfort with the maintenance and durability of each. Getting the look you want combined with the durability you want may entail some compromise, but don't give up!
December 5, 2012 at 9:33AM     
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Stoneshop
Kathryn Peltier Design,
Yes, I was referring to natural quartzite when I made those comments about the hardness of quartzite--not man-made quartz. That is the information that all of our suppliers and one of our VPs told us. We have installed quartzite for numerous customers, and we have not received any complaints--they all love it! Especially those who want the look of marble without the maintenance.

There is so much information out there that it is difficult to know what to believe and what is false.

cmottesen,
Good for you for testing a piece of the slab before purchasing. We tell all of our customers to do that (especially those considering marble) to see if they are comfortable with the maintenance. Every slab is a little different, so it is good to know what you're dealing with! There is alot of wiggle room and confusion when it comes to labeling/classifying slabs. So many different companies call slabs different names--and even different materials! We have experienced this when researching slabs for customers. Just do your homework and keep on searching! I would ask the stoneyard if that slab has any other names. Then possibly you could research it online to see what material it really is.
December 5, 2012 at 9:54AM     
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Margaret Phillips
Soapstone is softer than Granite, but soapstone is denser than granite. Granite while stronger than soapstone it is more porous . Soapstone needs to be oiled every so often to help keep a more uniformed shade. Soapstone darkens with age just the nature of the stone. If you do not oil the surface every so often the soapstone will darken at different rates, over by the sink or somewhere it gets wetter more regularly will darken at a different rate. Soapstone is soft as a sculptor student we were given soapstone for different projects. It was easier stone to chip at.
December 5, 2012 at 12:10PM   
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cmottesen
Today I picked up a sample of soapstone. Wow!! It is very soft and nicks so easily. I love it's beautiful natural look but don't think I can live with it in my busy kitchen full of kids. I will likely go with "antique steel" honed black granite. I'm realizing that all the most beautiful, natural surfaces are too delicate for my lifestyle at this time.
December 5, 2012 at 12:59PM     
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Carolyn C. Interior Decorator, Brampton, ON.
You're making progress :-)
December 5, 2012 at 1:42PM   
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Rio Brewster
Silestone does have a leather finish and the River Series and Nebula Series both have sort of a limestone look to them. http://www.silestoneusa.com/colors/

Everyone I know who has silestone/ceasarstone et al just LOVES it, and in the past 5 years there have been a lot of new colors and textures released that look much more organic than the old "Kona Beige" and "Sahara Blue."
December 5, 2012 at 2:49PM   
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olldroo
Is there any reason after 15 months using Corian that you would not consider that again only in a different colour. Personally I love it, it is so easy to maintain and I wouldn't have anything else.
December 5, 2012 at 6:35PM   
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JLADWL
I was reading the suggestions about painting the island cabinets. Are they actually a paint finish now? Your photo looks as though they could be thermofoil or vinyl coated in which case they might not be paintable.

Good call on the soapstone being a bit high maintenance. We have had customers use soapstone on two occasions and both have found that it marks easily and the oiling is tedious.
December 5, 2012 at 6:53PM   
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embraceeveryday
Funny! When I first glimpsed at the picture, I fell in love with the counters! Lol
However, the color may not be true to the photo. I agree about the valance and my first inclination is to give the cabinetry more character. And perhaps add a raised eating bar to the island.
December 5, 2012 at 9:55PM   
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olldroo
I'll be brave embraceeveryday, we will probably be howled down, but I think the colour is really nice too, such a change from all the granite and marble and I know from personal experience that Corian is an excellent wearing product. Ceasarstone is the bench du jour here and I am over it, it is everywhere - but then I like to be different and it isn't my kitchen.
December 5, 2012 at 10:23PM     
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victorianbungalowranch
I rather like the green too, and It would be a lot cheaper to just change out the island to a top notch material and change the floor than to do it all at once.

Then you can live with it for awhile in its new state and with a proper ledge for the stools, and save up for the rest if you decide that is not enough of a change to make the color bearable for you. That money could go for better ventilation, or picking a nicer floor tile, fixing the bathroom or a new room of carpet,or go toward a nice vacation or camp for the kids.
December 5, 2012 at 11:32PM     
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Toro-Lombardo Design Build
Very interesting. Your quartzite seems to look and behave just like carrara marble. If it etches with acid, there is nothing you can do to protect it. It's because when stones have a high content of lime, the acid dissolves the lime. Sealant will protect from stains very well for a year to 15 months, but the etching only goes away with refinishing. I have used a lot of honed carrara marble in kitchens and I also have it in my home. It is really beautiful and still looking good after 15 years, but I have it re-sealed and re-honed every year. Good luck!!!
December 6, 2012 at 1:04AM   
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cmottesen
Thanks for the info on quartzite - I reluctantly removed it from my list of options. Actually the existing green Corian is not so horrible, but we need to change out the floor anyway and it just seems time for an update. We got a good deal on the house and were able to carve out a budget for the kitchen changes. I like the idea of donating the green Corian -- it is in pretty nice shape and it wears beautifully. I just prefer a natural surface if I can find one thats durable enough. My latest idea is a wood top for the island and honed black granite for the perimeter. I had never considered wood before, but my research is telling me it holds up well in a kitchen with proper finish, and it is natural, warm and beautiful. I would love to hear any experiences with wood. I'm thinking Walnut plank style, not butcher block.
December 6, 2012 at 4:46AM   
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olldroo
cmottesen - consider bamboo for a wood top. Latest trend here and apparently VERY hardy. Looks nice too. Don't know about price over there, not too cheap here.
December 6, 2012 at 5:04AM   
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Carolyn C. Interior Decorator, Brampton, ON.
Hi C. I did a really neat island at my brothers cottage. We used hemlock on the island top. It's like a table top on two s/s saw horses that allow it to go from table top to counter height to bar height. Anyway, my point is it gets a lot of use and abuse and it looks great. It doesn't have a really polished flat surface thought it's a bit textured and natural with a stain and mat urethane finish. They do use a cutting board for chopping etc. but it's stood up well. Check out your wood options as they are some beautiful woods. Walnut is lovely, as is the hemlock, cherry, bamboo, etc. I love that option and it warms up the white of the cabinets.
December 6, 2012 at 6:12AM   
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Kathryn Peltier Design
@Toro-Lombardo Design: what is involved with honing an entire marble countertop in place? Is it a chemical or mechanical process? Thanks.
December 6, 2012 at 6:27AM   
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Kathryn Peltier Design
@embraceeveryday, victorianbungalow and olldroo: I don't think it's the color as much as the material. It's that early Corian that looks "plastic-y". Some people like it, but a lot of people just can't live with the "man-made" look.

When I did my kitchen almost 20 years ago now, there were only about 5 colors and 1 pattern in Corian. I opted to do a perimeter of p.lam. (yes, *gasp*!) and an island of granite. I edged all the counters in a wood ogee edge for 3 reasons 1. I liked it 2. It avoided the p.lam. ugly edge and 3. It was less costly than a granite ogee. I think they have stood the test of time well. I don't have a great photo of the counters themselves (and I'd have to clean to take one lol) so here is the best I can do.


December 6, 2012 at 6:36AM   
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nomadkath
wow....I just read all the comments! Wood was my idea too, and it's nice to see you are considering it. I think it will give the kitchen a warmer, more natural look, and will probably help blending with your other decor. How about a nice reclaimed medium tone wood.....and maybe paint the cabinets under it a slightly darker than your walls shade.....or maybe pale grey/blue or grey/green? We have wood counters in our kitchen and I like the look and feel of them. Ours have glossy marine clear urethane....which, I do not recommend....but ours someone did themselves...not too well.
Eclectic Kitchen design by
December 6, 2012 at 6:57AM     
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nomadkath
December 6, 2012 at 6:59AM   
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cmottesen
@Carolyn C - thanks for the feedback on wood countertop. I do not plan to prepare food directly on mine either. I'll use a cutting board. @Kathryn P - You are correct that I have 1990s era Corian that is quite plasticy looking. I see you have similar green color in your kitchen, and it looks lovely. I just have too much of it in mine right now! The wood edge on your counters was a great idea! @nomad- I LOVE the idea of reclaimed wood but don't know where to begin. I've heard of using old Pennsylvania barn siding, which would add some lovely character since I live in PA right next to an old barn (turned into residence). More research for me!
December 6, 2012 at 7:08AM   
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Simpkins & Associates, Inc.
Aren't all portions of hemlock poisonous? If an animal chews it I think you will have big trouble. Most dogs can't reach a countertop so little danger there but I would never use it for cabinets for that reason.
December 6, 2012 at 7:13AM   
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JLADWL
The hemlock tree and the parsley like poisonous plant "poison hemlock" are actually not related. Other name for poison hemlock is "Conium maculatum" Their names are only related because they smell similar...
December 6, 2012 at 7:27AM     
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Sharon McLeod
I love quartz, and think the colour Braemar would be lovely (http://www.cambriacanada.com/en/our-collection/design-palette/Braemar/) on the white, with maybe Darlington (http://www.cambriacanada.com/en/our-collection/design-palette/Darlington/) or New Quay (http://www.cambriacanada.com/en/our-collection/design-palette/New-Quay/) on the island?

Cambria doesn't need to be sealed, ever. The only thing you do have to worry about is citrus etching it. But citrus should be avoided on all counter tops anyway!!!

Might I also suggest a cusion-step vinyl on the floor? Great for dogs and kids spilling (no seams!) and softer underfoot.
December 6, 2012 at 9:10AM   
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Rio Brewster
Hard to avoid all citrus in the kitchen. Spills happen.
December 6, 2012 at 9:31AM   
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JLADWL
I use citrus to clean my butcher block counters... I have spilled on granite tops never a problem. I would be more worried about oil and pizza boxes... What we usually do is ask our counter top supplier to take the sink cut out portion of the counter top and make it into a "cutting board/hot plate". That way customers can have a piece to experiment with a bit to see what might stain or scratch it. I usually tell them to leave it beside the stove for a while, to set hot things on to see if it burns or marks. Don't use it to cut on however, as it will ruin your knives.
December 6, 2012 at 9:36AM   
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calikym
I just ripped out all my engineered wood floors in the kitchen after 9 short years. It scratches, fades, and if its engineered wood, can only be sanded once or twice. In our case, once! Bottom line - dont put wood in the kitchen if you really live in your kitchen and have kids or dogs or both. Around the dishwasher, it looks worn... And by all means, don't put it in the bathroom.. Believe me, boys don't aim straight in the middle of the night, or anytime, for that matter.
December 6, 2012 at 9:59AM     
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cmottesen
Oh my gosh I hear you on wood in the bathroom. I already have it, and I cannot get the "little boy smell" out of the wood!!! I want to rip the hardwood out of the bathroom and replace with tile. However, in my previous home I had the same issues with my boys and the tile (probably grout was the culprit in absorbing the odor). I am hoping they grow out of their bad aim soon!! I just found a perfect hardwood match for my kitchen (matches to adjoining room). I love the idea of the same flooring throughout the downstairs but wood in the kitchen always seemed weird to me. I know it's trendy right now though. Everyone seems to have it.
December 6, 2012 at 11:33AM   
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calikym
I'm going to attach a picture of my kitchen floor now. And here is my comment - I like IT more than my wood, Nuff said. Right? Wood in kitchen is almost as bad as bathroom. It might match but don't even think about it. I spent money refinishing it once and the entire floor lasted shy of 9 years (original then refinished). It looked old exactly where you would think.... and the other issue is...rugs. The rugs allowed on wood floors are slippery on the floor. You can't have a rubber back. Seriously, I wish someone had told me before. I'm going to add one more picture of the happiest day of my remodeling life so you get my drift
December 6, 2012 at 11:56AM     
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calikym
I just read some of the discussion about counter tops and thought I would add my "real life" perspective. I have granite on my island and Caesar stone on white next to my sink since 2007. The granite looks new still but the Caesar stone is YELLOWING near the sink. I'm going to add a photo so those in this discussion see it first hand. It's subtle but there. Over time, it will need to be replaced and much sooner than we expected considering all the hype about its durability compared to marble and granite!!! If you love granite, go for it. Mine is still perfect.
December 6, 2012 at 12:12PM   
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Kathryn Peltier Design
Wow, calikym, that is too bad, but good to know. I usually like a "softer" material next to the sink - I personally don't like the very hard properties of granite where wet glasses, etc. might be more easily broken. BUT, I will make sure to talk to my clients about the Caesarstone. Any amount of money - but especially THAT amount of money - should purchase a product that will last!!!!
December 6, 2012 at 2:39PM     
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calikym
Exactly. And we are neat people (never leave dishes in sink at night or after my meal) and also use recommended products everywhere. We are also careful to not cut on it since a knife will leave marks on the man made stone but not on granite, even though the store selling the manmade stone said it was practically indestructible. I guess we need to apply common sense to this - granite (and other natural products) have withstood the true test of time and we don't need to be a genius to accept this as the likely truth.
December 6, 2012 at 3:02PM     
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Toro-Lombardo Design Build
@Kathrin Peltier Design
The refinishing is done in place and by hand by firms who specialize in marble and stone care. They use very fine wet sandpaper. Then they apply a solvent to get rid of the old sealant and finally apply the new sealant. The whole process takes several hours and the counters have to stay dry for 24 hours.
December 6, 2012 at 6:08PM   
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Kathryn Peltier Design
Thank you, Toro-Lombardo. Could I ask you about how much this costs? I realize that prices will probably vary quite a bit, but it sounds like it might be a fairly expensive process?
December 6, 2012 at 6:40PM   
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sonjaxxx
What about a cork floor for the kitchen? It is soft on the feet, warm, natural and hardwearing. And will tone in with the hardwood floors.
December 6, 2012 at 6:54PM   
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Ramona
@calikym -- the idea of caesar stone yellowing is frightening considering its cost. I would call the company and ask for someone to look at it. They are selling quartz as indestructible. At the very least, they should have an explanation for what is happening. It certainly shouldn't yellow. I think they should replace it, but businesses do not guarantee products as they should. I googled and found one mention of yellowing white quartz in sun. That is just not acceptable.

I think granite is overdone in the extreme. I have solid surface in something that looks like spotted milk glass and I absolutely love it. The only drawback from my point of view is that it can't take pot heat.
December 6, 2012 at 8:34PM   
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Carolyn C. Interior Decorator, Brampton, ON.
If the person who sold it to you won't warranty it, you might want to contact Caesarstone directly. I'm sure they don't want negative publicity :-)
December 7, 2012 at 7:10AM     
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calikym
The place is out of business...but I will pursue this. We spent more on our fake stone than granite, and that is saying something since the granite was also the priciest.
December 7, 2012 at 7:41AM     
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nomadkath
Hi cmotteson,
I don't know where you are in PA, but I googled reclaimed wood countertop pennsylvania, and saw a few interesting sites: glumber.com is in Germantown. elmwoodreclaimedtimber.com is in MO, but they ship. antiquewoodworks.com. and greenecoservices.com for PA has a listing of providers if you can find a carpenter. I'll send a photo if I can.... :)
December 7, 2012 at 8:39AM     
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nomadkath
check out elmwood......photo reference 111, 112, 113
December 7, 2012 at 8:43AM   
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Carolyn C. Interior Decorator, Brampton, ON.
Good luck Calikym.
December 7, 2012 at 4:13PM   
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cmottesen
@nomadkath - Thanks for the info. I like the elmwood photos you reference. I'll have to investigate the idea further.
December 7, 2012 at 5:38PM   
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Ljiljana Pejic
I strongly suggest that you get and study book by Johnny Grey 'The art of kitchen design' - you will find lots of answers and ideas there - by someone who not only designs by uses kitchen and realy understands problems 'keen cooks' are facing; did you thik about having two surfaces on your counter - end grain chopping block & something else..? and as for the floors, my dream solution for the kitchen would be combination of wood and tiles - where wood forms square 'frames' around tiles - I don't know how to copy it in this comment - but look for kitchens by Crisp Architects (they have been on Houzz recently) - and you will find the one with 'combination' floor..Long ago I read that in Spain they use to do floors like this but instead of big tiles they would fit terracota ones size of ordinary brick - but the point was that each frame had different arrangement of tiles in it - which was very amuzing for owners children who played there... Best luck with making your choice!
December 10, 2012 at 5:17AM   
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cmottesen
@Ljiljana - thanks for the suggestions. I have reviewed Crisp Architects work and I love their style. I don't know if I have the budget for some of these things, but I love picking up different ideas from people!
December 10, 2012 at 7:33AM   
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remodelormove
For your countertops, quartz tends to be lower maintenance than granite and it has a much more unified look to it.

I'd recommend thinking about linoleum for the flooring - most people like yourself do want wood or tile but linoleum is hard-wearing, lower cost and actually kind to the environment. I've got a bit more info here: http://www.remodelormove.com/articles/what-are-the-benefits-of-linoleum-flooring
December 11, 2012 at 10:37AM   
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marcecol
Good comments, too bad someone is helping me pick my stuff! Love the 'rendered pics' for all the different looks! I did maple biscotti (cream) cabinets, they look white here but not really...country oak floors and Golden Thunder granite (they say it's the most versitile)...I love the combo so far...am looking for ideas on blacksplashs, lighting, etc. Good luck!
December 11, 2012 at 10:49AM     
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cmottesen
@Remodelormove-I really haven't considered linoleum. It still has a 1970's feel to me, but I know it's come a long way!
December 11, 2012 at 1:11PM   
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Margaret Phillips
My Parents built a house in 1957. They had a cool Linoleum put down, my Mother had the kitchen floor polished and waxed every few months. The floor looked great for just about 42 years, in the last year of its service the floor started to wear down and started to crackle a little in the breakfast room. Not bad for having five kids, then grandchildren and numerous dogs trample on it for so many years. My Mother still misses that floor! 8-). I have no idea if you need to wax the new ones, probably not I'm guessing. I'd think it be my next kitchen floor......P.S I may be mistaken but the seventies flooring you may be thinking of is the vinyl flooring.
December 11, 2012 at 1:30PM   
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Ljiljana Pejic
Of course they were only suggestions & ideas - and that is whole point of all of us communicating with you (from different parts of the world :_)) ...I had copied many great ideas and managed to find people who did things inexpensively for me - or just made some things myself taking other people’s ideas as the starting point. To me it is much more fun that way than just dishing up huge amounts of money and having it done...I truly put my mind and heart in it....and then enjoy it so much more!!
Check my comment on “How to Plan Your Kitchen Storage for Maximum Efficiency”...you will see what I mean.
December 12, 2012 at 12:38AM     
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designideas4me
Can you explain the pictures above regarding the wood flooring please? What happened to the floor?
December 12, 2012 at 12:54AM     
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fife2
Wow - you seem to be the room of the day! I wanted to share this after reading some of the comments:

While we do NOT have little kids, I entertain a lot, have a HUGE Argentian Mastiff - who lives in the house, a cat, I garden and our french doors go right out onto the deck - so there is a LOT of in and out, and YES - we have wooden floors in the kitchen.

IF you are in the kitchen a lot - wooden floors are MUCH easier on the back and feet. And, my house if very old, and has original heart pine, and I put prefinished OAK in the kitchen because it was on sale, and the original floors in the kitchen could not be saved. BUT you can MATCH the other floors - there are a lot of flooring places wihich will do this, and you can ask for repurposed wood - and then you can just have the finish matched. Wa-la!

We are in the process of chosing what materials we want in our kitchen - which will be a redo of a house which is 116 years old. I looked at soapstone - but very expensive - but was a material in victorian homes AND it absorbs light - as I have a wall of windows - without curtains as they start way above where regular windows are now - I wanted the soapstone because it DOES ABSORB the light. If you want a bright kitchen YOU should consider this before chosing soapstone? Yes?

I have recently been to home depot - looking at counter materials and they have a entire new line of WOOD surface materials for countertops. I THINK you might be impressed. Check it out.

Also: please check out VanDykes.com - I like the idea of you painting your island a darker color - even love the red idea - but you can purchase the legs and corbels from this vendor. They have EVERYTHING you can think of, from lights to hinges. If you extend the counter on the island and add some legs it would add some very interestng architectural detail to your room.
They also sell all of the matching hardware you can dream of.

Please keep us posted. But do check out the wooden countertops at Home Depot, and personally I like the idea of the black and white angled flooring AND there IS a new UNDERpinning for tile floors that is both waterproof and mositure proof - which is laid down under the tile. It might make it a little softer and warmer if this is what you choose.

Let us know :-)
December 12, 2012 at 1:39AM   
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sacapuntaslapioz
for flooring there are tiles that look like wood that are just wonderful. gives you a look of wood without the upkeep and providing you do an adequate border it would look great.
December 12, 2012 at 4:25AM     
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Karen Heffernan
I have kashmir white on my island, and I LOVE it! We chose a slab with some big black blotches on it. The people at the stone place said they would normally be considered a flaw, but that's what we thought made it interesting. We have contrasting perimeter countertops (honed black granite) and I LOVE the contrast.

As for wood floors in the kitchen, I would never have anything else. I'm in my 3rd house with wooden floors in the kitchen, and nothing beats it for warmth, and comfort under foot. I have a lovely mat at my sink, and have never had any problems with the floor. I've had tile and stone floors in kitchens, and they were lovely, but SO hard on my feet and joints.

In the first pic, you can see my island and kitchen; the second pic shows a close up of the kashmir white in our butler's pantry.

keep us posted on what you do!

Our New Kitchen 1

Our New Kitchen 2
December 12, 2012 at 5:37AM   
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nomadkath
hey cmotteson, you've had so many comments......just wondering what you are thinking about it all...? ....so many options
December 12, 2012 at 5:42AM   
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KBDesign
I would leave the island white. White is classic, in a few years you might regret the painting of the island. Soapstone is a classic compliment to the white. Consider a wood top on the island. Check out Craftart or Boos. A walnut finish on the island top would be beautiful. A stainless top on the island would also look great. Painting the island would create too much diversion, better to keep it simple and classic. As for the floor, not sure what you have in adjacent areas but I prefer the contrast of wood or cork, both more forgiving if you drop something and easier on the feet and back then tile when working any amount of time in the kitchen.
December 12, 2012 at 5:52AM   
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Grace Reed
I think you are wise to avoid any high maintenance materials. Yes, hardwood, soapstone, marble, etc. are gorgeous, but I agree that they aren't suited to your life style right now. Love the idea of a red island. Are the cabinets thermofoil?
December 12, 2012 at 6:01AM     
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