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Need help with my kitchen
mirelac
February 11, 2013 in Design Dilemma
We cannot decide on the counter top for our new kitchen. Please share your ideas :)! Thank you!
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PRO
Interiors International, Inc.
Black will look dramatic. White marble will look traditional, clean and amazing.
February 11, 2013 at 7:36pm     
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Leslie Hedderly
I'm always a fan of contrast, so a black granite would be my choice...good luck!
February 11, 2013 at 7:36pm     
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nancyde
Honed Black granite for counters and maybe a wood on the eating section of the island.
February 11, 2013 at 7:40pm     
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hollybar
Honed but unpolished black granite for the perimeters. Wood,marble or quartz for the island.
February 11, 2013 at 7:50pm     
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Barbara Griffith Designs
When there are large expanses of countertop, I prefer a granite with lots of movement. It really makes a statement.
February 11, 2013 at 7:56pm     
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Darzy
Black granite and marble for the island. :)
February 11, 2013 at 8:03pm     
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PRO
Eagledzines
Island: 2 3/4" Silestone white zeus quartz (pure white), square edge

Base Cabinets: 1 1/2" Corian Dove, 1/4" radius
February 11, 2013 at 8:21pm     
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bojaby
Black granite on the counters and stainless steel on the island would look great. This is a beautiful kitchen!
February 11, 2013 at 8:26pm     
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Twisted Minds Custom Designs
High polished metallic silver colored concrete with farmhouse single basin sink in same color on the perimeter, white concrete with embedded marble flake ground to expose aggregate on island, with a matching edge detail similiar to lines on island base.
February 11, 2013 at 8:45pm     
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cortneysmith
I am doing a kitchen very similar but with a darker island. We are going with a white quartz and a granite with black, brown, white and, gray on the perimeter. I want a timeless feel. The black granite was too contrasting for me.
February 11, 2013 at 9:02pm     
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Scott Design, Inc.
You may want to consider quartzite...2" island slab ... 1 1/4" on perimeter ...3/4 slabs for backsplash. It would depend on the grey tones of the particular slabs. It can be very active and would certainly hold its own in this strongly symetrical layout while at the same time bring in a casual elegance typical of marble but without its issues.
February 11, 2013 at 9:03pm     
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mirelac
Thank you very much to all of you for your feedback! I was really impressed how many of you took the time to share from their experience!
I, also, liked the idea of going with white marble on the island, but because I cook a lot and have often guests, I did some research and found that the White Princess quartzite (thank you Scott Design) was the closest to the carrara marble. I will attach a picture of a slab I found. But, because my husband and daugther think that we need to bring a bit of a color to island countertop, I had doubts about it. Therefore, you confirmed that I was going in the right direction.
As for the perimiter, I am still debating if it should be a black or a dark grey / taupe quartz.

To Twisted Minds Custom Designs: your idea sounds very interesting and different. Do you have a picture of what you are proposing for the island? You made me curious to see. Thank you!
February 12, 2013 at 9:34am     
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mirelac
And yes, I was thinking for 1 1/2" for perimeter and 2 1/4" for the island.
February 12, 2013 at 9:35am   
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PRO
Amplio
Carrera Marbel
February 12, 2013 at 9:48am     
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Liza Jane Interiors
What a gorgeous kitchen! I love the Princess Quartzite that you found. Really pretty. I would go with either the Quartzite or the Carrera Marble. The black granite is going to have a more contemporary feel to it. Love the dark grey island cabinetry. What type of lighting do you plan to do over the island? Good luck!
February 12, 2013 at 10:08am     
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mirelac
Thank you very much, Liza! I wish I knew what lights I will go with. I was thinking of some combination of glass and stainless steel ones. I am taking one step at a time, though.
I am sure I will be back here on Houzz to ask for opinions once I get there :).
February 12, 2013 at 10:14am   
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mirelac
Here is the slab that my husband likes. Do you think this could be a better match than the White Princess? Of course, in this case everything will change for the perimeter, as well.
February 12, 2013 at 11:21am     
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joannpb
That's a lovely slab and it will bring some warmth into the room without limiting your accessory color choices.
February 12, 2013 at 11:41am     
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mirelac
Yes, that's exactly what my husband and daugther are saying :). I am inclined to go more with the white clean look, but they are saying that we stay too much on the safe side.
As for myself, I am afraid that this slab screams too much for attention :). ???
February 12, 2013 at 11:44am     
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Rosemarie
Love the grey/white/black slab you choose, make sure it is pre sealed. Marble is not a good choice for a kitchen well used--it stains easily. Black shows every speck and is frustrating to keep clean looking espically in a family kitchen. You can add great color with counter accessories and bright leather counter chairs Reds , yellows, lime green are fun and you can change that color scheme anytime you care too.
February 12, 2013 at 11:48am     
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mirelac
Thank you, Rosemarie!
I read about the black granite that it eches (English is my second language and I had to google the word to understand what people mean :)). That's why I think I should go with a grey/taupe for the perimeter. Any good suggestions either from Caesarstone or Silestone color range to go with the White Princess?
February 12, 2013 at 11:53am   
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Liza Jane Interiors
Definately like the White Princess better!
February 12, 2013 at 11:54am     
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Rosemarie
how bout for the fun of it a stainless steel island surface?
February 12, 2013 at 11:58am     
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merngirl
I have always been a fan of granite, but I have been introduced to Cambria brand quartz and they have some exceptional selections that have the movement like granite with a lot of choice in color combinations. Check it out. You and your family might find a happy compromise.
February 12, 2013 at 12:00pm     
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mirelac
Actually, quartz (Caesarstone, Silestone, etc) are the strongest to heat, better than granite. Yes, stainless steel beats them all :), but I feel than stainless steel is too comercial for a big island like this.
February 12, 2013 at 12:07pm     
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Sherry VanNorstran
black granite would be amazing
February 12, 2013 at 12:10pm     
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brider
Your kitchen is absolutely beautiful! I too am having the countertop dilemma. My kitchen will be installed in 2-3 weeks. I am having trouble finding a white quartzite. I think the piece you have is gorgeous! The slab that your husband picked is a little 'busy' for my taste. I know there is a raven caesarstone that I've been eyeing that may look nice on your perimeter. I was going to do a grey island as well but instead chose a robins egg blue color. I have a slab of danby imperial marble on hold but am not sure I can take the plunge. I wish I could find the white quartzite. Good luck.
February 12, 2013 at 1:37pm     
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0825sam
Brider - the danby imperial marble is beautiful!! I chickened out on marble and got the Silestone White Zeus Extreme. I used marble in the backsplash instead.
February 12, 2013 at 1:42pm     
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0825sam
mirelac - I like the quartzite for your island. I think either are beautiful. Your husband's choice for me is like a piece of art and warms up the room, but I can see how you may feel like it's making too much of a statement.
February 12, 2013 at 1:49pm     
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mirelac
Brider, I also like your marble. It's gorgeous! I've checked the raven quartz. it looks nice if you want to go with dark colors on the perimiters. I will go check the sample in store. I am not 100% sure I would like to go w black on the perimeter.
February 12, 2013 at 1:54pm     
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mirelac
Thank you, Sam! Yep, that piece is beautiful, no doubt about it.
February 12, 2013 at 1:56pm   
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Kathryn Peltier Design
Although I think the slab you husband likes is beautiful, it IS introducing another color to the kitchen that doesn't repeat anywhere else. I think the quartzite slab you selected is fabulous. I would go with that and a dark gray/black perimeter countertop material. A honed or leather finish black granite would be nice - it kind of resembles soapstone but without the maintenance - or the same in a man made material. I always like to the play the materials off of each other: light counter on dark island, dark counter on light perimeter cabinets. Staying with the white/gray/black color scheme allows you to add any color that you like in your accessories. Your kitchen is really beautiful and that hood is outstanding!
February 12, 2013 at 2:09pm        Thanked by mirelac
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jodiekappers
My kitchen is very similar and having same problem making decision. Really love the look of the all white clean lines. Please let me know what you decide and send photo. Thanks!
February 12, 2013 at 2:10pm     
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Stephanie Whelan
Such a pretty kitchen!! Just a comment, not a suggestion : ) You have a great layout.
February 12, 2013 at 2:14pm     
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mirelac
Thank you, Kathryn! Really helpful.
Thank you all for the compliments! I will post pictures here once the kitchen is completed.
February 12, 2013 at 2:23pm     
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GEE Contracting and Development
I have black granite it is too hard to keep clean (showing water spots, etc.) I have chosen a rare blue granite looking like swirls of a lake, beautiful. This would depend on the other colors in your home. Your kitchen is very beautiful you are right to wait and get the perfect counter stone.
February 12, 2013 at 2:57pm     
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Twisted Minds Custom Designs
mirelac, I don't have a good picture to show my ideas, but I can try to walk you through my thinking. When casting concrete countertops, you can either embed pieces you would like to see to the bottom of the form that when uncast and ground down they become exposed, or you can mix additives to the concrete mix itself, such as your general riverrock aggregate that is seen on exposed aggregate type sidewalk pours although totaly different mix components used in concrete countertops. What I was proposing is using a white cement with the proprietary additives your local concrete artisan uses in their mix design and mix in either small white marble chips, dust, or aggregrate depending on size desired, and after setting and demolding, grinding and polishing down to expose level of marble you would like. I'm not sure if this is helping you visualize or if it is too technical, but if you take this information to a local concrete artisan, I'm sure they would be able to follow my thinking and create a sample board to show you the results possible with this technique. Again, if you have any follow-up questions, please ask and I will try my best to answer, or if you decide to meet with a local pro, I'd be willing to exchange my thoughts with them to help you obtain the finished product to fulfill your desires.
February 12, 2013 at 4:53pm     
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Valerie Powers
I too really like your first choice. Looks like marble beautiful lines for that island. And I love your kitchen. Makes me realize just how much I like white cabinets
February 12, 2013 at 6:03pm     
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radhannoo
Calcutta marble...some drama without too much a contrast...
February 12, 2013 at 6:11pm     
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hnks
I think black will look stunning here. Please post pics after you are done. I am sure it will amazing in any color.
February 12, 2013 at 6:21pm     
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bumbles12
What a lovely kitchen. Marble is so lovely but I'm afraid it isn't very practical water wise. If you want natural stone I would go for granite or engineered stone. I have a marble floor, it's beautiful but I have seen cracks and being on the floor is much better then being on a bench hygiene wise. Just my thoughts.
February 12, 2013 at 6:23pm     
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mirelac
To Twisted Minds Custom Designs
:As I knew nothing about concrete countertops, I had to do a bit of a research about its maintainance. As much as I think they will look great, especially with your design ideas, from the reviews I read, if you don't find the best concrete artisan, you may end up with big problems after the concrete countertops are installed. They may look beautiful, but for me, who I cook a lot, I have guests with young children, not to talk about my children, I think they will be too high maintainance. But, thank you very much for your detailed feedback!!! I really appreciated!
February 13, 2013 at 6:37am   
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Twisted Minds Custom Designs
mirelac I agree with you that to get the best product, you do need a qualified concrete artisan. Concrete is not the best choice for everyone, you must weigh the pros and cons of each material and decide what is going to be best for you. As far as reasearch you have done, I should have included the link to a page I created listing many of concretes FAQ's. Maintenance on concrete is comparable to that of granite, as well as alot of other similarities between the two products. I am attaching the link now, if you would like to read. I thank you for your kind words and interest in using concrete.
http://www.houzz.com/discussions/346684/Concrete-Countertops-FAQ-s-by-Twisted-Minds
February 13, 2013 at 7:00am     
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CMR Interiors & Design Consultations Inc.
I would NOT do black with a malt colored island . Why does that go? I would look at caesar stone and other quartzite brands, and granites that I would HONE for sure. Not a busy granite but something soothing.

Also your backsplash is a focal point . What do you love for your backsplash? I usually pick my countertop first and then the backsplash. But sometimes you have to consider the backsplash first.
February 13, 2013 at 7:13am     
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CMR Interiors & Design Consultations Inc.
Exotic Marble has a good site to look at stone: http://exoticmarble.com/graniteslabs.html
February 13, 2013 at 7:15am     
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CMR Interiors & Design Consultations Inc.
Marbles in a kitchen would drive me crazy. On a backsplash maybe but I cook way too much to have it on my island. I prefer honed granite-it doesn't stain.
February 13, 2013 at 7:16am     
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mirelac
CMR Interiors & Design Consultations Inc.: Thanks a lot for your feedback!
I agree with you that marble for countertop is out of question for me. I did not specifically searched for a matching backsplash, as I had a hard time to decide on the countertop. I thought that the options for the backsplash are wider, but if you have any suggestions, it would be great.
Regarding the island, I am pretty much inclined to go with the White Princess quartzite which seems to be a pretty resistant stone. On the perimeter, though, I am still researching. As you mentioned, the suggestions above are more for black/dark grey colors (honed for sure). But, I was looking at few other options, as well. E.g Caesarstone Grey Shimmer, Cambria Devon, Caesarstone Concrete.
If you have any other colors that you think are going well, I am open to hear your opinion :)!
February 13, 2013 at 7:46am     
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Jeffrey Thune General Contractors
I'd stick with clean and clear colors given the predominantly white kitchen. Concrete would need to be done perfectly, wouldn't recommend it. Black absolute on counters and kashmir white or carrera marble on island. 1/4" bevel on all.
February 13, 2013 at 8:20am     
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aniluap2
I like the White princess..understated elegance... Like your kitchen. I have had honed absolute black granite in my kichen for years with no problem and I cook! Absolute black is exactly that, no pattern, but is the hardest granite available. No problem with staining and have rescaled it myself only once in 6 years. I think a simple grey / taupe color for the perimeter would also look great , blend with the island and keep the color softer. I love your hood what is it made of?
February 13, 2013 at 8:40am     
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mirelac
Thank you, aniluap2!
The hood is made from painted maple wood, as the cabinets (BM Decorators White), with stainless stell stripes.
February 13, 2013 at 8:50am     
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Eagledzines
That being the case, you might consider working some stainless striping in the backspash or a sheet behind the stovetop.
February 13, 2013 at 9:11am     
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Carriage Lane Design-Build Inc.
I would definitely go darker on the counter tops to bridge the gap! I would use Caeserstones new countertop Piatra Grey. It is a smokey grey with white veins to achieve a marble look without the maintenance
February 13, 2013 at 9:13am     
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aniluap2
Thanks. I remodeled my kichen 6 years ago. All white with some black , very similar style to yours, but it's good to know, if we move again.
February 13, 2013 at 9:36am     
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Dana Ritenour
Methinks the slab your husband likes is lively/dynamic/organic yet an elegant match for the rest of the kitcken. As noted by others, it brings an element of warmth while retaining overall lightness and tying in your other colors very well, including the hood detail.
February 13, 2013 at 9:43am     
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Carriage Lane Design-Build Inc.
first off beautiful kitchen, I love the colours! for the island I would like the look of a reclaimed wood top, it would make the space a lot warmer. for the surrounding cabinets I would do a light marble look but in a man made material like caesarstone london grey or organic white. For backsplash you could do a herringbone pattern in either a bianca carrera, oriental white or calcutta
February 13, 2013 at 9:54am     
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JDM Countertops, Inc.
I like the Princess Quartzite. There's also another Quartzite called Calcutta Quartzite, which looks almost identical to Calcutta Marble (that people keep suggesting), but it doesn't have the drawbacks that marble has in a kitchen. There are many engineered quartz lines out as well in addition to the ones mentioned. There's also Samsung Radianz Quartz (a very nice line). LG has their own line. I would still favor a natural stone, however, for some drama and to stay away from a colder more modern feel (since your kitchen has that flair, but can support some warmth).
February 13, 2013 at 10:12am     
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Kathryn Peltier Design
I think that you might do an inset of the quartzite above the range, and then do a simple shiny glazed white tile - subway, or other pattern/s - on the rest. I think if you are going to go gray & white, then keep it gray and white and add your colors in accessories. I think you need a little bit of "shine", though, with all the painted finish so that's why I say pick a shiny tile.
February 13, 2013 at 10:22am        Thanked by mirelac
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einportlandor
Gorgeous room! Have you looked at soapstone? God, it's beautiful! It has depth and texture and is classic. My remodel budget couldn't handle it so I'm going with quartz, but if I could I would. Check it out.
February 13, 2013 at 10:27am     
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Affirming Kitchen Clarity
Lots of great suggestions and agree witht the theorys of darker perimeter and whiter island, my comment is too assist pulling this together, the island specifically, layer a band of stainless under the countertop and this pulls all the stainless together with the hardware and the accent bands of the hood....good luck and please send updated "completed" photos.....attached is a photo for further clarification, we held the band back, you will want to play with the reveal and how proud or recessed it shouldl be......great space!
February 13, 2013 at 10:28am     
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Kathryn Peltier Design
Something like this would be beautiful set into a shiny tile backsplash, too - it gives you the look of the island countertop but with pattern, and this one is glass so you wouldn't have the problem of an actual marble tile over the range.

February 13, 2013 at 10:40am     
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Doreen Schweitzer Interiors, Ltd.
First you have to decide if you want contrast or you want to keep it light. I love the look of the Carrara marble but it is not a good choice because marble stains and scratches easily. I am always amazed when I see kitchens with marble countertops. The first run in with red wine or grape juice will be a disaster. Cambria has a choice that mimics the colors of carrara. Making the island countertop 2" thick gives the island significance. A back splash in a soft grey blue glass in 1x2 size would look great if blue is a color that works for you. It looks great with the grey. Pocelanosa also has some great sculptured white tiles that look wave like. I also like the grey mosaic glass idea above. It will never go out of style.
February 13, 2013 at 11:08am     
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mirelac
You, guys, are amazing!!! So many beautiful ideas!
Kathryn, the tile you are proposing here looks stunning! It will be for sure one of my options.
I will post soon a picture of another tile I liked on Houzz.
Mattheu, great idea with the stainless steel band on the island! I will check with my fabricator if they can achieve it.
About the soapstone and wood island: I actually looked into these options, as well, before I decided to go with either quartz/granite/quartzite. Soapstone is very soft, although is beautiful. I don't think I can handle the look of the countertop being chipped off, even though I read that this is part of the soapstone's charm :). As for butcher wood, that was our initial idea, but we gave up as we thought it may not work well w this hood. Also, maintainance wise ... not sure ...
February 13, 2013 at 11:13am   
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mirelac
This the tile that I found on Houzz and really love it. Do you think it would work well with my kitchen?

February 13, 2013 at 11:19am     
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mirelac
Doreen, just checked Porcelanosa tiles and the wave lines are excellent! And they have a store in Toronto which is great! The problem is that I like too many of their tiles :).
February 13, 2013 at 11:26am   
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Susan Mills Design
Does your kitchen extend into a family room or dining room? If so you may also want to think how these choices influence these rooms. I'm working in a home right now, where the backsplash and countertop were very influential to the furnishing choices for the family room, as it is an extension of the space and the island was midway.
February 13, 2013 at 11:42am     
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mirelac
Yes, Susan, on the opossite side of the kitchen is the family room. This is a new house and I right now, I only have a light grey corner couch.
February 13, 2013 at 11:46am   
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Susan Mills Design
Did you have any thoughts on that side of the room? How you want it too look and feel? Think of the space as a whole, balance out your colours, and materials. You'll love the space more for it.
February 13, 2013 at 11:49am     
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aniluap2
Love it. Neutral enough to work with anything
February 13, 2013 at 11:53am     
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mirelac
Thank you, Susan! You are completely right!!! I would love to be able to juggle multiple projects at the same time, as you designers do (I admire you for that), but I am a left brainner and it is pretty hard for me to handle more than this kitchen for now :). Plus, I am exausted from having to do the same thing for my whole house until now. The kitchen is our last big project and I have the feeling that it will never end :).
February 13, 2013 at 12:16pm   
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rinqreation
February 13, 2013 at 12:27pm     
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Susan Mills Design
Don't despair! We are all here to help. This is the way I approach a situation such as this.

I took the backsplash colour (sea glass, pale green blue) and found a piece of art by Steven Nederveen called Lone Lily for the area over the built in on the opposite side of the room. The balance was perfect. The island countertop had swirls of greys, white and cream and the sea glass colour. I then took the deeper tone from the countertop for a linen sofa which faced the art and had its back to the island. Two chairs in the lightest seagrass colour flanked the built in, brushed nickel lamps referenced the hardware on the cabinets. Installation will soon be complete, will post pics. Meanwhile:
February 13, 2013 at 12:30pm     
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Susan Mills Design
It may seem more difficult but in the long term, the choices you make now can limit your family room choices. Of course you can still do at a later point, just be mindful of the overall look your after.
February 13, 2013 at 12:32pm     
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Susan Mills Design
Striations not swirls on counter!
February 13, 2013 at 12:33pm     
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Susan Mills Design
Off for a bit, looking forward to seeing other posts, relax mirelac, lots of help here on Houzz!
February 13, 2013 at 12:36pm     
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mirelac
You are amazing me, Susan! I can see that this is coming with experience, but for some people it is naturally easier than for others. Thank you very much for all your suggestions and posts!!!
February 13, 2013 at 12:46pm   
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mirelac
Thank you, rinqreation! To be honest, I've never seen concrete countertops. I will go check some fabricators in Toronto. But, yes, I guess I will go with something grey on the perimeter.
February 13, 2013 at 12:48pm   
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xadavis
Your kitchen is lovely, you are very blessed! You could probably put purple polka-dots on your counters and it would still be a lovely kitchen! HA! I did not have the option of choosing our countertops when we bought our house, but it was a major upgrade from what we had been using so I was THRILLED to get a house with black granite countertops....until I had to actually use them and clean them. I cook a lot also and I have to polish my black granite daily - sometimes more after a big cooking/baking project. They are SO hard to keep clean. Every crumb and salt grain screams at me! I dont think I will ever get rid of the hard water deposits and spots that have dried and stained onto the joints - so dissappointed and will be sure to pick a lighter more forgiving color if given the chance next time! Good Luck with your kitchen and future entertaining! :0)
February 13, 2013 at 12:59pm     
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mirelac
Thank you, xadavis! I keep hearing the same thing about the black granite. It may look beautiful when first installed, but it's hard to maintain.
February 13, 2013 at 1:05pm   
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Amplio
We used concrete countertops in this kitchen. It look very good.
February 13, 2013 at 1:07pm     
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mirelac
Amplio, your kitchen is lovely!!! This is the countertop color I was thinking to use on the perimeter (in quartz - as I said I did not see concrete countertops to get the feel of it - only in pictures). What is the color you used? Also, the backsplash is so warm and inspiring. What tile is it? Thank you!!
February 13, 2013 at 1:19pm   
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Amplio
Thank you. It´s a moroccan tile from Fire and earth http://www.firedearth.com/tiles/suitability/floor/quatrefoil-tile
The concert was without color pigment. But it has a layer of a varnish.

Good luck
February 13, 2013 at 1:38pm     
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Kathryn Peltier Design
Mirelac: I like the photo of the tiny subway tile you posted, and you could use it, but overall I think a bit bigger tile would be more in scale with your kitchen. Just a thought...
February 13, 2013 at 1:38pm     
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Doreen Schweitzer Interiors, Ltd.
I have to say I have dark granite and I don't find it hard to maintain. I think it depends on whether you are the kind to let a water spot here or there bother you. I also think a mix of black speckled with brown, grey, red- whatever shows less than a more solid black.
February 13, 2013 at 1:40pm     
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MarbleWarehousecom
Beautiful Space! I agree with bumping it out with warm colors
February 13, 2013 at 2:51pm     
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bumbles12
I have recently had granite installed on my bench, It looks really lovely it's a busy design.
It's just amazing I never see anything on it? It always looks great! Because it is a natural stone I really look after it. I always wipe spills straight away as I believe it can still absorb water and leave stains, maybe I will get over it one day lol.
But I think if you want a "worry free" bench go for the man made products. Then, on the other hand nothing beats nature.
February 13, 2013 at 5:56pm     
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Scott Design, Inc.
I’m glad you like the quartzite. If you want two surface materials for your counters, consider a 2 1/4" -3" American Black Walnut butcher block island top. Its natural color works beautifully with greys/taupe (John Boos with Varnique finish), adds warmth to the mix and its linear construction works well with your floor. (It's not butcher block of yesteryear...much nicer).

Then do the quartzite on the perimeter with either 3/4" quartzite slabs on the backsplash or mini bricks (1/2” x 1”) of polished carrara with a grey grout. This small format stone mosaic will complement and not compete with the quartzite pattern since it’s now more of a wash of texture in white and grey.

Color can be accomplished with accent pieces on top of counters, color of the stools (as mentioned by others) as well as possibly painting the interior backs of the glass door cabinets.

I believe people are reacting to the beauty of the soothing white and grey tones of the kitchen and the dramatic architectural detailing. I would continue to capitalize on that and stay within the neutral palette using natural materials with the island cabinetry being the only solid grey in the room. Furnishing your family room should not be an issue with these classic neutrals in your kitchen.
February 13, 2013 at 11:34pm     
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Scott Design, Inc.
Also, if you are considering pendants over your island, I suggest you follow the shape of the hood. I have included some photos below from Hurbbardton Forge and Besa Lighting.

Hubbardton offers a wonderful orgainic approach to the cone-shape and great size.
http://www.hubbardtonforge.com/ProductsInfo.cfm?Design=134505

Besa offers more of a rigid geometric profile with interesting antiqued foil finishes in addition to white. The silver foil blends nicely and the copper foil (image unavailable) adds a very interesting subtle "natural element" tone without being an "in-your-face" color and can be picked up elsewhere. Works well with wood, stone, stainless. Available with rod or wire hanging capability.
http://www.besalighting.com/productpage_class-1_category-6_family-378_decor-38_config-13_finish-12.php
February 14, 2013 at 8:46am     
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movethisnotthat
stunning kitchen ! I used white on my white and love it !!
February 14, 2013 at 8:58am     
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mirelac
Thanks a lot, Scott Design!!
I will definetely go with this type of lights over the island (following the shape of the hood). Your choices are perfect and much appreciated!!!
In terms of butcher block on the island, from your experience, is it hard to maintain? Is American Black Walnut butcher block behaving better than other wood used for kitchen? Should I specically look for this type because of the look or quality? I am thinking to go this weekend to have a look at some fabricators here in Toronto.
February 14, 2013 at 9:15am     
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victoriagrennan
A dark wood counter like your floor boards will look stunning
February 14, 2013 at 10:40am     
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aniluap2
Susan of Scott Design,once again you have come through for a Houzzer. I always enjoy reading your thoughtful insight into the questions posed. You have impeccable taste and an intrinsic ability to understand what each person is trying tho achieve. I look forward to following your future posts as I always learn something new from them.
February 14, 2013 at 10:41am     
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Scott Design, Inc.
aniluap2 - thank you for your compliments. I have been in the planning stages for two fairly large projects and will be out of my office and in the field starting in March. I'm not sure how much time I will have to participate in Houzz discussions at that point, but I will certainly stay tuned. Of course, if anyone has a particular question for me, I can always be reached at my email address sfixary@scottdesigninc.com. Thank you again.
February 14, 2013 at 9:23pm     
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Scott Design, Inc.
Hi mirelac - Here goes...

My experience with American Black Walnut butcher block over the years has been with John Boos & Co. They have been manufacturing butcher block products for over 125 years.

So, in answer to your questions…

Is it hard to maintain?

John Boos works with four woods, hard rock maple, red oak, American black walnut and cherry. They provide a penetrating oil finish which needs periodic application if the block is used for cutting and a longer lasting Varnique semi-gloss clear coat finish which is virtually maintenance free if the top is not used for cutting.

Is American Black Walnut butcher block behaving better than other wood used for kitchen?

Boos guarantees their products for one year. It allows for exposure to all four seasonal changes and humidity conditions in your home. Wood in general reacts to humidity or the lack of it. However, the laminated assembly of many narrow pieces of wood and the application of final finishes reduce the movement considerably. They would not continue to use walnut if it was a problem for them and their customers. And I have not run into problems with the Boos butcher blocks I have installed including black walnut.

Should I specifically look for this type because of the look or quality?

There is a distinct difference in color between the nearly white sapwood of walnut and the heartwood, which ranges in color from a deep, rich dark, almost chocolate brown to a purplish black. The grain of walnut is mostly straight and open, though some boards may have a grain pattern that is burled or curly. The heartwood coloration works beautifully with grey/taupe and metal tones and looks as though it will work nicely with your flooring. When placing an order be sure to emphasize “select heartwood.”

On a hardness scale, American Black Walnut is 3rd behind hard rock maple and red oak but harder than cherry or mahogany. It is heavy, hard and stiff with excellent dimensional stability and provides good shock resistance. It is one of the most durable of the domestic commercial woods. This Old House Magazine listed a Boos American black walnut butcher block table as one of the 100 best new home products of 2011…photo follows.

But wood is wood. It will split, dent and scratch if mistreated…but it can be repaired. In my opinion, it’s a pleasant and comfortable experience eating off of a wooden table rather than off of a stone slab, and I’m assuming eating is a pastime planned for the island.

So, it’s not an “either/or” situation. You get both good looks and quality.

Check out a John Boos dealer near Toronto. Go to www.johnboos.com and click on Where to Buy. It looks as though there is one in Mississiauga. I’m sure your kitchen designer or even your contractor has heard of Boos. They can offer valuable input as well. They also need to pay particular attention to the installation instructions regarding drilling and securing large tops.
February 14, 2013 at 9:31pm     
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meganpat
You have a beautiful kitchen! For me I would favour a beautiful walnut work top, yes it will probably need a bit more work than granite etc but for me has more warmth and also I would like the contrast with the cabinets and your flooring.
February 15, 2013 at 1:12am     
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bumbles12
Just looked up the difference between honed and polished stone ..... Is honed more fashionable? But it wouldn't be as practical as polished would it?
February 15, 2013 at 2:01am   
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Harte Remodels, LLC
How about soapstone. We have installed it in some of our past kitchen remodels with great success.
Its timeless natural beauty and practicality would work very well with your kitchen. It is naturally honed, and the color can be changed by choosing to oil the surface.
By timeless, I mean many of the kitchens and science laboratories in the 18th/19th century used soapstone counters exclusively.
February 15, 2013 at 4:09am     
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mirelac
Susan of Scott Design, you are an encyclopedia!!! I used Houzz.com throughout the entire time while building my house, but this is my first time that I asked advise on the site and what an incredible experience I've had!!! Thank you very much for your in-depth knowledge and for the time you put in helping me with the kitchen!
Yesterday, I started my research on black walnut and I found John Boos. I will go check the dealers during this weekend.
From what you are saying about the wood countertop, it should not be that bad to keep it in good state. I don't usually cut directly on any countertop.
February 15, 2013 at 4:47am     
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CMR Interiors & Design Consultations Inc.
Honed is more practical and yes, fashionable. I have them in my own kitchen and always spec them and I don't have a single client who has had any complaints about them. But my clients who insisted on the polished do complain about theirs: ring marks, acid marks. Exotic marble next to ABT in the suburbs of Chicago has the best selection of stone in the midwest. They carry the flamed granite and many exotic granites you can hone.

If you live nearby I'd definitely visit their facility and look at their slabs. Maybe something with that malt color that in on your island. I also like some of the ideas of ceasarstone for the perimeter. There are so many brands of ceasarstone now and you have choices going with quartzite too.
February 15, 2013 at 6:09am     
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Doreen Schweitzer Interiors, Ltd.
I like the look of honed granite. It is less stain resistant than polished granite but more resistant than soapstone which is softer and more susceptible to grease types of stains in particular.
February 15, 2013 at 9:51am     
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Island Soapstone
Hi Doreen - soapstone is in fact impervious. That means that it will not absorb anything since it is too dense.

The reason why soapstone shows darker when exposed to oils, is that the microscopic surface texture of the stone temporarily holds the oil - until it gets washed off or evaporates by itself. This is also why mineral oil needs to be re-applied periodically. The oil evaporates. Since the oil particles are bigger than water particles, it just takes longer. Point is: nothing penetrates beyond the surface.

That and the fact that soapstone is chemically inert, are the main reasons why it is such a great counter surface. Many years ago, before plastic tops became omnipresent, they used to make chemistry lab countertops out of soapstone.

Soapstone may well be softer than granite, but that is pretty much the only difference as far as performance goes. People love soapstone for its wonderful warmth, versatility and classic beauty. It is as at home in a contemporary kitchen as it is in a traditional farm house.
February 15, 2013 at 9:35pm     
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GEE Contracting and Development
Wow, did not think of soap stone perfect if you can choose the striation and individual slabs.
February 16, 2013 at 5:16am   
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Kathryn Peltier Design
I think soapstone is beautiful, but it is soft and scratches easily (although these can be buffed out) I have seen 2 kitchens, though, where the edge was quite badly chipped from stuff banging against it. It gives you that very aged look, but you have to like and want that look.
February 16, 2013 at 11:32am     
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Marilynn Stephens
The Silestone product called Chrome is my choice!
February 17, 2013 at 12:12am     
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Leigh Hendry
A zinc surface somewhere in your kitchen would be lovely. Think of French bars. Zinc comes in both surface material and backsplash applications. It's not only claasic and timeless but also the hottest thing going in kitchen design at the moment.
February 17, 2013 at 1:59am     
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bumbles12
I'm wondering if you have made a decision yet?
February 18, 2013 at 7:09pm   
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Roxanne
Very helpful thread. I'm going to have a similar kitchen but also have not decided on peripheral and island countertops or backsplash. I'm also interested in the discussion on all the quartz as my designer likes it a lot. I love honed absolute black granite, too--and am also tossing around the idea of wood for the island. Much warmer look and dining experience. You must post photos as your project evolves!! And I'm looking up all the designer suggestions....
February 18, 2013 at 8:28pm     
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scottishimport
Butcher block to match your floor.
February 18, 2013 at 8:33pm   
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Roxanne
What wood/ color is the floor?
February 18, 2013 at 8:36pm   
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bevballew
I have black granite and it is not a problem with showing a lot of things. It is the kitchen so you will be cleaning the tops a lot. The white marble will show stains. If you go black or neutral you have more options for a beautiful black splash and wall color. There ar so many beautiful backslashes that is where I think you go for color. If you tire someday I think it is cheaper to replace.
February 18, 2013 at 9:08pm     
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tclary
Love, love, love your kitchen! I vote for marble, but it is not a practical choice for most. If you do choose marble check into Danby marble. It is supposed to be the most dense. It is used in Arlington Cemetary on the headstones and on many of the DC monuments. My favorite is the Montclair version polished.
February 18, 2013 at 9:09pm     
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cnielson
I have a small condo and will be doing white cabinets and med-dark floors. I like the floors you used - what is the type of wood/colour. I too would vote for the quartz countertop you chose - it is amazing!
February 18, 2013 at 9:15pm     
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see_
Definitely the Princess quartzite, it's classier and more timeless. I would use the same material in the island as on the countertops, I think combining contrasting or just different materials will soon look dated.
February 18, 2013 at 9:46pm     
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gigglepurple54
I'd have to say black. It goes perfect with the white background.
February 18, 2013 at 9:54pm     
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Urbana ~ Designer Ellen Crystal
consider "new azul aran" a white, taupe, gray granite with a very simple vein subtle= verging on chocolate. It would echo your floor tone without being obvious.

Also Bianco Antico is a little warmer, with a similar palette. it looks quite good with a plain quartz like Devon from Cambria.

If you wish a stronger splash, the quartz on your perimeter will give you more licence for decorative tiles
February 19, 2013 at 1:33am     
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mirelac
I haven't decided yet for the countertops. This weekend we visited few places.
The floor is Brazilian Sucupira (chestnut) 4 1/2". It is one of the strongest hardwoods. Thank you!
February 19, 2013 at 5:57am   
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violinist3713
I am all into simple so I would say a black granite countertop. It looks amazing with white!! We put it into our kitchen
February 19, 2013 at 4:30pm     
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sandra1942
Wow! You have lots to think about. A friend did a kitchen similar to yours. Kept to the white on counters, but got a fantastic piece of granite, a real stunner, for the island. The glass tile backsplash, colors from the island granite, fabulous. The kitchen warmed up and was more inviting. Have you looked at all the wonderful granites out there?
February 19, 2013 at 4:51pm     
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bevballew
I just got the newest veranda magazine and several kitchens had white cabinets and marble tops in the white and gray. Veranda magazine caters to very, very expensive homes. With a neutral top the decor of wall colors is endless. Your husband wants color, add to the walls! The busy tops are very, very busy to me. If you don't like it you will be disappointed.
February 19, 2013 at 5:02pm     
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mirelac
Sandra, what color is your friend's countertop? Do you think you could find out the granite name? Is the white on the sides a solid white? Thanks a lot!
February 19, 2013 at 5:11pm   
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ncdiy
What about this light over your island. Just 1 though. Your kitchen is amazing. This light is from Lantern & Scroll (www.lanternandscroll.com or find them on Facebook). Cheers!
February 19, 2013 at 5:22pm   
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ncdiy
Here's the light.
February 19, 2013 at 5:29pm     
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sandra1942
She used corian because the granite piece cost a fortune. I have quartz in a vacation home and everyone thinks it's granite. Her granite island was fairly dark, one of a kind. You'll know it when you see it! It will follow you! I completely changed an MB remodel because I saw a piece of granite I couldn't live without. Look, look, look, and look some more, it's out there somewhere. Are you in a hurry?
February 19, 2013 at 5:37pm     
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sandra1942
Oh, I forgot. Double bullnose the edges. Most of these pictures are simple 45/degree, too plain. Mine are all double bullnosed, they look very impressive.
February 19, 2013 at 5:46pm     
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sandra1942
I just saw a picture on this site, Oakley Home Builders. Counters are dark, island is white, looks marble, with two small crystal chandeliers. Stunning!
February 19, 2013 at 5:59pm     
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nelsons2012
Beautiful! Do you mind telling me what your floors are? We are installing similar cabinets and the quartzite - called white vermont here but looks the same.
February 22, 2013 at 3:05pm   
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ase280
I love the look of white with big streaks of gray. Choose something other than Carrara White. OR a mahagony think wood top would look amazing. If you do go with black (my least favorite for your gorgeous kitchen) I would make it a honed (not shiny) black.
February 22, 2013 at 3:15pm     
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rod handler
I'd put in cobalt blue ceaserstone, with a square edge. I think granite is getting pretty tired, but if you can find a really nice piece of stone with large scale patterns or interesting color changes, put it on just the center island. Id put stainless steel on the backsplash, or at least behind the stove. If you do that, continue the blue up the rest of the walls everywhere else. Remember that the kitchen counters are a backdrop for whatever else you put on them, or for activities, so don't go too crazy with tile patterned backsplash and such or everything looks cluttered. Nice big kitchen, high ceilings. Normally, I'd say pot rack or chandelier, but the open-ness of the space is really nice. don't overdo it. It's an ongoing process.
February 22, 2013 at 3:24pm     
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Doors4Home
I feel like the most practical answer is Black, however a bold color Silestone could certainly stand out.
February 22, 2013 at 3:36pm     
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bevballew
Even if granite has been around I love it! It is wonderful and practical.
February 22, 2013 at 4:54pm     
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mirelac
Floors are Brazilian Sucupira (chestnut), 4 1/4".
February 22, 2013 at 7:52pm   
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Rochellie Gillespie
Black galaxy granite, has beautiful sparkles, and the contrast of the rich black will make the white pop.
February 22, 2013 at 8:52pm     
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Amy Cross
Beautiful kitchen so far. Definitely do not go black. The white quartzites or carrara is the way to go. Go with your gut, because your design sense is good. You can always bring in color with accessories. You can't remove a counter top on a whim.
February 22, 2013 at 8:57pm     
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Urbana ~ Designer Ellen Crystal
Black is always a challenge to maintain even though it looks stunning in a photo. Many of my clients have gone that way for drama, but do remark that it doesn't look as nice as always seems to have permanent streaks. Hand polishing continually to have it look it's best. Plus, the inevitable flecks of sugar, salt & bread crumbs always show up!
Believe it or not, a white counter or very light background is much easier for day to day maintenance. There are numerous Quartz to select that are durable & easy care... every colour from white to black and many that have a plain, flecked or marble feel.
February 22, 2013 at 9:27pm     
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nelsons2012
Thx for the info on floors....we are doing brazilian cherry but I may look into the chestnut
February 23, 2013 at 4:23am   
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Quaestus Consulting
I would go with either a bright green like the Silestone Green fun or red in either a deep or bright hue. It would really perk up an already beautiful kitchen.
February 23, 2013 at 4:47am     
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Jeffrey Thune General Contractors
Not sure if you've finalized yet but concrete takes months sometimes years to completely cure...i grew up in concrete business, and have also seen too many concrete counters ending up cracked over time. Caesarstone quartz or granite would be my first choice if this were my home.
February 23, 2013 at 8:02am     
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Hills and waters
Yea , i would go with Jeffrey Thune General Contractors on the Caesarstone quartz or granite.
February 23, 2013 at 4:38pm     
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Urbana ~ Designer Ellen Crystal
yes, concrete a cool medium, but an imperfect, unpredictable finished product. I had a client whose concrete fellow did all the tops in a mold, then acid etched. Since the product is cast upside down... and the acid highlights the imperfections & anomalies.. they were very surprised by end result.

Ended up replacing with stone, where they could see the finished slab prior to fabrication & know exactly what they were getting.

In this case it wasn't a matter of money, as the concrete was more expensive. Just weren't prepared by the "art work" as a finished look.
February 23, 2013 at 5:48pm     
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suzlanuz
I just put cambria quartz in Torquay in our renovated white kitchen and absolutely LOVE it!! It is the look of Carrera marble but not the trouble of it!
February 23, 2013 at 5:59pm     
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sherkelsey
I love love love the qurartzite slab you chose above! 2 questions, if you don't mind. What is your sink and what the paint color on your island? Beautiful kitchen! :)
February 24, 2013 at 11:20am     
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mirelac
The sink is Gemini FM 1513. I will post the island color later.
February 24, 2013 at 12:40pm   
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mirelac
After doing our research on stone, butcher block, concrete countertops, we've decided to go with the White Princess quartzite on the island. For the perimeter we are still debating on few shades of grey quartz: Caesarstone Raven or Concrete, Silestone Cemento or Altair. If you want to vote for one of them, you are more than welcome to do so.
In our decision, we took in the account the practical aspect, as well as the price besides the look, of course. As much as I liked Susan's (from Scott Design) idea of having butcher block on the island, the thick block that we liked, along w quartzite on the sides was bringing the price too high.
Thank you very much to all of you who helped with their suggestions here! They were really much appreciated! And I did enjoy every comment you posted :).
As soon as i have the counters on, I will post the pictures.
February 24, 2013 at 12:54pm     
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bevballew
Agree and love your choice!
February 24, 2013 at 2:48pm     
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brider
My original opinion was the quartzite and raven caesarstone. I think those are what I'd go with! And my construction begins tomorrow. I may be doing that perimeter on my white cabinets along with marble on my island, as well. Good luck and please post pictures!! Whatever you end up doing will be beautiful.
February 24, 2013 at 2:55pm     
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semihugger1
Beautiful kitchen! For what it is worth- don't like your husbands choice prefer the princess if you go marble. I have had concrete countertops and loved them! Marble is good if you are a baker or fastidious on cleaning and sealing- classic look though more difficult IMO- Granite IMO- is now on its way out and soapstone and concrete are up and coming. I'm sure I will get blasted for saying this- like oak overused in it's day and coming to an end for a while.
February 24, 2013 at 3:09pm     
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clerkshipwanted
i'd use soapstone and then marble on island - but i know both are hard to maintain. or i'd do marble on counters with wood on island
February 24, 2013 at 4:13pm     
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JDM Countertops, Inc.
I think you are making a good choice! I know everyone has their opinion. Being a fabricator and having worked with the various brands of quartz, I would go with Cambria over Silestone. It's a better quality product. I know there are those people/designers that LOVE Silestone, but from the fabricator perspective it's easier to work with, and I think in the long run you'll be happier with it....
February 25, 2013 at 8:20am     
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mirelac
sherkelsey: the color on teh island is Benjamin Moore Metropolis CC-546
February 25, 2013 at 8:27am     
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Barbara Purdy - Purdy & Associates Design
Consider super white granite.

Kitchen Countertops design
February 25, 2013 at 8:46am   
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Debra Hoffmann
Lovely kitchen. I am doing mine with white and a dark grey small island. What do you think of Silestone Bianco River for most of the counters?
February 25, 2013 at 4:10pm   
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Cora Torres_Patek
I am not sure if anyone has suggested it yet, but have you considered (if you go with the black granite) getting it in a leather finish? It looks nice and hides everything a glossy finish shows.
February 25, 2013 at 4:16pm     
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amandaleev
my kitchen was just finfished, and i did the same, white inset cainets with a gray island. i also even have the lit cabinets on top :) i love my 2 inch carerra perimieter eith a soapstone island top. let me know if you'd like pics.
March 9, 2013 at 7:07am     
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brider
Andaleev, I'd love to see your pics. My new cabinets are being installed Wednesday and I also chose SS island and a marble (danby imperial) perimeter.
March 9, 2013 at 7:37am   
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brider
Sorry... Amandaleev
March 9, 2013 at 7:38am   
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mirelac
Yes, please. I would love to see pictures of your kitchen!
March 9, 2013 at 8:57am   
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Dena
Would love to see photos of your kitchen with counters installed. It's already gorgeous so undoubtedly the reveal will be thrilling. For others in a similar quandary, I'd like to share my school of thought on this... black counters against white are striking and come off as much more modern/contemporary... while white (carerra or calcutta marble, or its manmade counterpart) is better suited to a retro/vintage/cottage/classic look; simply put, it's timeless. Remember the best way to add drama and interest to the kitchen is with color, and this can be done easily, and often, through accessories; decorative plates, window treatments, linens, wall paint, etc. If you bring in a strong "accent" color through a permanent choice such as the countertop, backsplash, or flooring... you are married to it. And like a divorce, changing your mind later will be very expensive. Just something to think about... ;)
March 21, 2013 at 5:27pm     
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mirelac
Thanks a lot for your suggestions, Dena! I will post pictures as soon as I have the countertop complete. Unfortunately, we had some issues with the island countertop which delayed us three more weeks :(.
March 21, 2013 at 6:09pm   
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Tammy Vincer
Dena you are right on I am married to ceramic tile bathroom now for 15 years thank goodness it is only around the tub and i can hide it behind the shower curtain
March 21, 2013 at 6:32pm   
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mponce17
@tclary - love your kitchen and wall paint color choice...please share the color.
March 24, 2013 at 6:42pm   
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sandra1942
For those considering, I used Cambria. Looks great, just like Granite.
March 24, 2013 at 9:29pm   
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mirelac
Hi everybody,
I know it took us a long time to get back here with images of our kitchen countertop. I appologize for that, but we had some issues completing the island countertop (because of the mitered edge). Anyway, here is a picture that I have. I will post one taken during the daylight as this one seems to be a bit dark.
We ended up selecting the Quartzforms Graphit (#515) quartz for the kitchen perimeter and White Princess natural quartzite for the island (aka Venetian Pearl). Very happy with our choices. The quartz on the perimeter is very easy to maintain. I have tested White Princess quartzite before installing it with red wine, oil, and lemon juice and it is a very durable stone. It is not prone to staining at all.
I have started looking for backsplash ideas. If you have any suggestions, we would really appreciate them!
April 17, 2013 at 7:24am     
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Aggie Purvinska
Gosh so gorgeous and so many options!

Are you looking to go into a bit ornate direction or keep it simple, some of mosaics would work great...or glazed ceramics, maybe even more color..

[houzz=Ceramic 1]


[houzz=Stone]

[houzz=Ceramic 2]
April 17, 2013 at 7:34am     
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Kathryn Peltier Design
@AggieDesigns: I especially love the Ann Sacks 1 & 2. I can see doing the second one as an inset above the range and the rest of the backsplash in the crackle subway. I think that would be classic, muted and perfect!

One more thought: Sonoma Tilemakers has a tile called Mosuprema in a harlequin pattern where you can select your own glaze blend. They have glossy, matte, crackle and artisan glazes from which to select (you can use all in the same blend if you want to). If you like this look, I would suggest taking a look at that line, too (except, on their website it doesn't look like anything - you have to see it in person; there are also a lot of different shapes if the harlequin doesn't float your boat!)
April 17, 2013 at 7:39am     
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gforbes
I used honed dark grey granite in a kitchen a few years ago. Because I was worried about staining I simply oiled all of it with olive oil after it was installed. It darkened nicely and never showed a distinct stain.
April 17, 2013 at 7:54am     
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Roxanne
mirelac so excited for you! Please do post more shots-I'd love to see your countertops better.
I have been following you through my remodel. Today they are beginning the installation of my bisgue/white inset/ shaker door style cabinets. The island cabinet is the same color, but I'm using a distinctive granite (white alpinus or Copenhagen)for the island top and Pental Quartz in Oasis for the perimeter. At least where I live, it seems to take a little courage to use different surfaces for island and perimeters, and to use quartz at all. I had to struggle with that, but with some encouragement through my designer have decided to take the purge. So, I was excited to see that with all of the dozens of discussions, this was what you decided to do as well. Aren't we cutting edge!
Good luck with the backsplash. I vote for clean and simple!
April 17, 2013 at 9:36am     
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bumbles12
What about something like the colour you already have there but in a glass splash back or the quartzforms graphit as a splashback? I would keep it clean and simple too. What you have chosen is really lovely, congratulations! It took awhile but well worth it!
April 17, 2013 at 5:24pm     
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bevballew
Great job in kitchen and love the ceiling! Yes do take down the paneling.
April 17, 2013 at 6:27pm     
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merngirl
Your kitchen is amazing! Thank you for posting your decision process- it's been very helpful for me getting ready to build. As for your backsplash, I can't wait to see what you pick out. Your instincts are spot-on! Advice has been great, but you've stuck with your gut instincts. Use them again for your next selections.
April 18, 2013 at 7:21am     
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mirelac
Thank you, all, for your feedback!

@roxanne: I have new pics, but my husband needs to upload them on the computer before I can post them here. I checked the options for your countertops. They look pretty similar with our countertops. I am really curious to see your kitchen when completed. Please post pictures!

Right now I am bringing home samples of tiles for my backsplash. One of my options is glass tile in a shade that it's found in the island countertop, which has spots of pearlish look on it, but I am also, considering adding more color to the backsplash rather than keping it simple. At least, my daugther is pushing for some color :). I prefer simple, but coordinating with yellow or orange accents rather than adding color to backsplash. So, as you can see still undecided.
April 18, 2013 at 7:27am   
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Roxanne
There are so many cool tiles- the crackles, glazes, textures...fortunately you can bring them home and look-unlike the cabinets and countertops/ I'm looking forward to this as fun stage.I agree, you have great instincts--you'll get it right !
April 18, 2013 at 7:40am     
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Aggie Purvinska
Yellow accents sound great!! :) This one image comes to mind...


[houzz=
]
April 18, 2013 at 7:50am     
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shaken60
I have just finished my kitchen looks similar....Soapstone counter...LOVE IT!
April 18, 2013 at 7:56am     
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Ann
@mirelac - beautiful countertop choices! I had a leathered dark colored quartzite installed on my island about a month ago and I can't imagine a "tougher" countertop choice. Quartzite is an amazing countertop material. I can't wait to see your backsplash choice!
April 18, 2013 at 8:12am     
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PRO
Granite Transformations
Wow, you have a lot of comments on this post. I think I'd agree with those who are saying black. I think the dark color for the countertop will provide a drastic pop, which will look great. My recommendation for material would be granite, obviously. I think our Nero Galaxy or Stella would both look great. You can see the samples here- http://www.granitetransformations.com/southjersey/products/granite-countertops/colors/

We also mail samples as well, if you'd like to compare. Our counters are heat, scratch and stain resistant. Good luck with your decision, hope this is helpful!
April 18, 2013 at 8:16am   
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peanut_decorating
Love your kitchen, just building my kitchen now and I am having same issues. Love white cupboards and marble counters, don't want the headaches. My kitchen faces north and I was worried it would look too cold, but I don't want black either. Think I am going to go with a white, as someone said earlier go with your gut....thanks for this design dilemma it helped me a lot
April 18, 2013 at 8:17am     
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mirelac
@merngirl: Thank you! You made my day :). I tend to be too practical. I am an engineer and I am really struggling with the artistic side. I envy people who got it naturally :). Lucky them :)! For me it's not "insticts", just a lot of hard work :( and help from my daugther :). But, so far I am really happy with our kitchen. The island countertop is beautiful (the photo cannot capture it as it really is)! The grey veins from the White Princess quartzite match pretty well the color of the perimiter countertop.
@roxanne: it's true that I feel so more relaxed now just having to choose only backsplash and lights. Good luck with your countertops!
@AggieDesigns; this is exactly what we are trying to achieve. Yellow was, actually, my husband's idea :). Thanks for the picture!
April 18, 2013 at 8:17am   
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peanut_decorating
It is so overwhelming, ours is also a brand new house being built and I am making so many decisions all at once. I think we tend to over think as we don't want to make expensive mistakes. If my kitchen turns out like yours I will be more than happy. Great job
April 18, 2013 at 8:23am     
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mirelac
@peanut_decorating: if you like the white marble look, go with a quartzite. It is much stronger and stain resistant than marble or even granite. I've tested few samples and from all the white stones, this White Princess quartzite was the best.
April 18, 2013 at 8:52am     
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mirelac
shaken60: your kitchen is really beautiful! Very elegant! What is the grey backsplash? It looks so similar to your wall color.
April 18, 2013 at 8:56am   
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aniluap2
IMHO I would stick with a neutral back splash that blends with your countertops and add your splashes of color with accessories which are easier to replace if you get tired of the color. I think unless you are a full on color person, keep your hard surfaces such that you have the ability to change your mind down the road and it doesn't cost 'an arm and a leg' to do so.
April 18, 2013 at 9:55am     
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peanut_decorating
I have found a few quartzite that I have liked on line but I'm not sure where you live but I am just north of Toronto and I can't seem to find anywhere around that has it. If anyone has any suggestions where I could go it would greatly be appreciated. Thanks
April 18, 2013 at 11:52am   
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Ann
In Denver, all the large granite warehouses/yards have a few slabs of quartzite mixed in with the many slabs of granite. Have you tried calling around to see if that might be the case in your area. Be prepared, quartzite is pretty expensive (like a level 6 granite or higher).
April 18, 2013 at 11:55am     
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mirelac
@peanut_decorating: I live in Toronto. I found White Princess at Olympia Slabs and Venetian Pearl (same stone, different name) at Chrystal Tyles and Marble crystaltilemarble.com/. Both are on Dufflaw, just north of Lawrence.
April 18, 2013 at 12:16pm     
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mirelac
Also, Toronto Granite in Mississauga has several types of white quartzite (www.torontogranite.com/) - superwhite, white truffle, bianco calacatta, macaubus, etc
April 18, 2013 at 12:21pm     
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mirelac
Crystal Tile and Marble
April 18, 2013 at 12:27pm   
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peanut_decorating
Thanks so much, I was looking over in the Vaughan area. I will let you know how I make out :)
April 18, 2013 at 12:32pm   
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mirelac
I could not find White Princess anywhere else in GTA other than these two stores.
April 18, 2013 at 12:41pm   
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peanut_decorating
What is the cost compared to granite or marble, is it significant?
April 18, 2013 at 1:02pm   
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mirelac
I am not sure about material only cost, as the sales people would tell the cost only to fabricators. Fabricators prefer to give the full price, including installation. Crystal Tile is a fabricator, as well, and so, you can skip the middle man. We did the perimeter with a smaller company - quartz is easy to work with, but they could not work with the White Princess, especially because we wanted mitered edge (the cut at 45 degrees). So, I do not know the exact difference in material price, but we ended up paying the same price for the material and installation of the White Princess slab on the island and the quartz countertop on the perimeter which was double the area.
April 18, 2013 at 1:16pm     
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mirelac
BTW, Crystal Tile did an amazing job for the countertop on teh island.
April 18, 2013 at 1:17pm     
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peanut_decorating
Ouch lol it almost like a conspiracy. I am just in the designing stages right now, but I will let you know what I finally decide on
April 18, 2013 at 1:18pm     
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bevballew
I am pretty sure marble and granite are close in price, although there are some granites that are more expensive as is marble depending on its rarity and less common availability. Also thickness affects price as well as the design of the edge.
April 18, 2013 at 2:26pm     
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aniluap2
The prices of both slabs might easily have been equivalent but how much edge that needs to be finished will bump the price up significantly. In th US thet charge a set price per linear foot and it varies with the complexity of the type of edge you choose. They should be able to quote the retail price per square foot or Metre in Canada since the fabricator gets a wholesale price. I know in the US will do that for you so you can compare.
April 18, 2013 at 2:45pm     
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Ann
@peanut_decorating - There is a huge range in price of granite. Quartzite tends to come in near the top of that range (more toward $100/sq ft installed). Also, since quartzite is so hard, it's tricky for fabricators to cut. But, like mirelac's experience, ours turned out very nice. I think they can use a granite blade but have to cut very slowly. If you decide to get quartzite, you won't regret it - it's beautiful and a tough, tough countertop material. You could cut on it with a good chefs knife and it would dull your knife but not damage the counter. The light colored quartzite is a great alternative for marble and the dark colored quartzite is a great alternative for soapstone.
April 18, 2013 at 3:13pm     
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PRO
JDM Countertops, Inc.
Just an FYI the mitered edge detail is a very expensive edge detail because it is time consuming, and takes great skill. The quartzite was probably not the bulk of the charge. The expense was probably in the labor.
April 18, 2013 at 3:21pm     
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PRO
Whole Kitchen Services
This Kitchen is very similar to the kitchens I design and I wouldn't change a thing GREAT JOB
April 18, 2013 at 6:45pm     
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mirelac
Yes, Ann is right. we ended up paying about $100/sqft for the island countertop whereas we paid almost half for the rest of the kitchen countertops. And yes, we had a hard time finding some good fabricator to do the mitered edge on the quartzite (after the fabricator who did the quartz portion failed to do it). I was really nervous to see the end result when Crystal Tile came to install it, but they did an excellent job.
@ Whole Kitchen Sevices by CAD Custom Cabinetry: Thank you! Do you mind to share your opinion on the backsplash?
April 19, 2013 at 7:33am   
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Kelty
White granite! I found white granite looks very similar to calcatta marble (with veins) but without the maintenance required of marble. I would do all white granite or you can do the island in white marble and the back counters in butcher block...the wood will look gorgeous but the granite is timeless classic and super easy to maintain. Fabulous kitchen, enjoy!
April 19, 2013 at 7:40am   
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peanut_decorating
kdruet do you have the name of the granite and where you found it?
April 19, 2013 at 7:45am   
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mirelac
Here is a picture during the day
April 19, 2013 at 8:17am     
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PRO
Kathryn Peltier Design
Gorgeous! I still think that marble subway tile would be beautiful. Tying it in in some way, anyway, would really tie your finishes together. You had mentioned pulling color in. IMHO, your cabinets and finishes are so classic that I would retain the neutral finishes and pull accent colors in through accessories.
April 19, 2013 at 8:19am     
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mirelac
Thank you, Kathryn! I will bring home the marble subway tile, as well, then. Do you think Dolomite marble is ok?
April 19, 2013 at 8:23am   
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Ann
Gosh that island is pretty!
April 19, 2013 at 8:25am     
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peanut_decorating
What did you end up going with on the perimeter counters it looks like it has a Matt finish. How do you like them. Are they hard to keep. do they show every little mark
April 19, 2013 at 8:39am   
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mirelac
it is quartz from Quartzforms (german company) - color Graphit
April 19, 2013 at 8:52am     
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mirelac
I like it a lot. It's easy to maintain and it has an warm and neat look.
April 19, 2013 at 8:54am     
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Kelty
Yes - I got it in my hometown Halifax, NS - here is the link from the supplier, it's called White Macaubas http://www.ntmgranite.ca/granite.html
April 19, 2013 at 10:01am     
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mirelac
You can find Macaubas in most of the Toronto slab shops. i thought it is a quartzite, but it is possible to be granite. not sure.
April 19, 2013 at 10:38am     
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PRO
JDM Countertops, Inc.
What kdruet is describing sounds like what I know as Calcutta Quartzite. Names can be irrelevant, as they change from supplier to supplier.
April 19, 2013 at 11:32am     
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Roxanne
mirelac unbelievably beautiful choices. Your kitchen is classic; personally I would avoid trendy and color and go with marble, subtle glazes. I too would add interest and color that you can change out with seasons or according to your taste.
April 19, 2013 at 12:10pm     
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timber2004
Absolutely gorgeous kitchen! I have a white kitchen as well and just love the traditional feel of it. I realize I am commenting long after your counters have been installed, but for anyone who may still be in search of ideas, I have black granite and absolutely LOVE everything about. It may take a bit more work, but even after two years, I would not change a thing. It is called Volga Blue, although it is black. It has many incandescent "pieces" in it, very reminiscent of the inside of sea shells. There is a gorgeous blue throughout, and I am guessing that is where the name comes from. When viewing the slabs, we did not notice it, but there is also copper running through.
April 19, 2013 at 12:26pm     
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aniluap2
I have a similar black and white kitchen that we installed 5 yrs ago. I have black absolute honed granite and used Carrera marble subway tile with a thin strip of black and white checked marble , one tile down from the top. It is classic and understated but yet gives the kitchen a Great focal point. With your grey island you could consider some sort of grey snd white border.
April 19, 2013 at 1:23pm     
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urban_girl
Absolutely gorgeous kitchen! Can I ask who did the cabinetry? Have you decided on the backsplash? I think a mix of horizontal glass and stone tiles in all shades of white and gray would look great...
April 25, 2013 at 6:22am     
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mirelac
@urban_girl: Thank you! The cabinetry is done by Flexwood Fine Cabinetry in Mississauga (GTA, Canada). http://www.flexwood.ca/.
Very glad that I found them. They work with some metal company and so, they are able to do beautiful hoods, if you like the metal only or combination of metal and wood hoods.
Your idea of backsplash is very interesting. Have you seen something like that on Houzz? It would be nice if I can see it.
April 25, 2013 at 6:38am   
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urban_girl
Here are a few options that I think will tie your finishes together very well. You may want a lighter colour for your backsplash, so that your under-cabinet area doesn't look too dark. The one I was referring to is called Crema Nova Marble irregular. It's a horizontal mix of matchsticks marble and glass that would look great installed with white grout. Here are some similar options.
April 25, 2013 at 6:02pm     
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mirelac
Thank you, urban_gril, for your suggestions!
April 26, 2013 at 5:37am   
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ariwise
Love your choices... I did brown fantasy quartzite counters in my kitchen and marble backsplash... Here is a picture. I think this might be a good choice for your backsplash. I love it!
April 26, 2013 at 7:32am     
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ariwise
Here's another view of backsplash
April 26, 2013 at 7:33am     
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brider
Ariwise. Can I ask what type of Marble the backsplash is?
April 26, 2013 at 7:44am   
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ariwise
I'm not sure... It came in sheets of 12"x12". It's a mixture of honed & polished marble. I got it at Floor & Decor. Here's a closeup. Hope it helps.
April 26, 2013 at 7:51am     
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mirelac
Ariwise: Your kitchen looks beautiful! Thank you for the pictures!
April 26, 2013 at 7:55am   
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timber2004
To Roxanne: I completely agree with your suggestion to avoid trendy and use color in pieces that can be easily changed out. Many of us in my neighborhood have redone kitchens due to length of time in our homes, and many couples chose very trendy. Although it looked great at the moment, it can be quickly outdated and not cheap to replace. To Mirelac: I personally did not do a backsplash and have let the beauty of the granite speak for itself. I have four seasons of accessories and dinnerware and love the opportunity to change things out. They add a lot of color and interest to a black and white space.
April 26, 2013 at 9:39am     
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meganpat
Nice splashback, the texture looks great
May 5, 2013 at 9:32am   
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mirelac
Here is the final product.
May 12, 2014 at 7:01am     
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mirelac
Thank you for all your suggestions!!! It helped me a lot.
May 12, 2014 at 7:06am     
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PRO
Kathryn Peltier Design
Well done!!! Great design, beautiful and rich materials - should last forever.
May 12, 2014 at 7:25am        Thanked by mirelac
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Ann
VERY, VERY, VERY nice!
May 12, 2014 at 8:11am        Thanked by mirelac
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timber2004
This is just breathtaking! I love everything about it, and the pops of yellow color add so much interest and can easily be changed out when and if you tire of the yellow.
May 12, 2014 at 8:15am        Thanked by mirelac
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justine7700
Stunning! Thank you for the update.
May 13, 2014 at 9:05pm        Thanked by mirelac
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azzief
Beautiful, you had all the same questions as me!
May 13, 2014 at 9:57pm      Thanked by mirelac
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Farhan Alawala
Black marble or granite
May 14, 2014 at 2:13am   
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brider
Great job...It is beautiful!!!
May 14, 2014 at 10:06am      Thanked by mirelac
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mirelac
quartz by Quartzforms - a german company - color Graphit
May 14, 2014 at 10:16am   
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emmasteinburg
I think white or cream granite would look best.
May 14, 2014 at 10:34am   
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PRO
Sustainable Dwellings
I love the selection of Princess Quartzite! Many people cannot discern elegance from budget/trendy, but you did!
May 14, 2014 at 10:45am      Thanked by mirelac
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PRO
wistrade
This is what you should have done without asking. You have great taste.
May 14, 2014 at 10:58am      Thanked by mirelac
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PRO
Scott Design, Inc.
Outstanding...now enjoy!
May 16, 2014 at 9:22pm      Thanked by mirelac
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saskatoo
I have black granite, water spots really show, and it seems I'm always wiping it. I would never use it for that reason.
May 16, 2014 at 11:51pm   
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taytay_l0ve
Black granite with white and gray designs on the wall...
May 17, 2014 at 12:22am   
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bevballew
Gorgeous. Did you paint in the upper lit cabinets? What is the fixture over your eating area? I have the same set up and have an expensive alabaster fixture over my table and wanted to put glass lights above island but thought they would clash.
May 17, 2014 at 5:02am      Thanked by mirelac
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mirelac
Bevballew: I did not paint the upper cabinets. If you are asking about the light pendants over the island, they are Carlton Pendants by Arteriors. I bought them in Elte in Toronto.
http://www.houzz.com/photos/products/Carlton-Pendant

I like them. They are simple and modern, but whether they clash or not w the glass from the cabinets, I cannot say. Maybe designers could help with your question.
May 20, 2014 at 6:23am   
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