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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

Need help choosing counters

dharma203February 16, 2013
Help! I am having a terrible time deciding on our kitchen counters. We are now in the middle of our remodel and I've been trying to decide since Christmas! It's getting close!

Our perimeter cabinets will be white and our island (7 x 3 feet) will be "Maple Gunsmoke" which is basically black.

The perimeter counters are your basic L-shape. One thing that I'm really worried about is the seam. It would have to be in the corner and that really seems to be an area of the kitchen where your focus is drawn to. And it happens to be where I stand and work for the majority of the time.

I started out wanting soapstone on the perimeter and wood or marble on the island. I've decided that marble on the island is a terrible idea. It's what we use as a buffet during gatherings and is in general the spot everyone congregates to. I don't want to worry about the marble. And the wood seems too dark. There is not a lot of natural light coming into our kitchen. (Our kitchen is in the back of the house and the sun moves across the front of the house).

So now I am considering using Silestone's "Lagoon" which is a marble look-alike on the island with the soapstone. My husband also like the soapstone with Cambria's "Praa Sands" on the island. Is it okay to mix materials in such a way?

I am also considering using the "Lagoon" marble look-alike on the perimeter counters and wood on the island.

Also considering Viatera's "Natural Limestone" with the "Praa Sands" on the island or the "Natural Limestone" on all surfaces.

I also like Silestone's "Cygnus" on the perimeter and the "Praa Sands" on the island.

I would consider real marble on the perimeter with wood on the island, but it does make me nervous.

I am totally all over the place! Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

Below are some pictures. The "Natural Limestone," The "Praa Sands" with the "Cygnus" and the "Praa Sands" with the "Natural Limestone."

I'm sorry I don't have a picture of Silestone's "Lagoon."

Thank you so much!!!!
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Ideabook: My Kitchen · See Ideabook

I hope this is the right pic, any way this is the Cambria one you are looking at in action. The island is a medium gray. I just thought I'd share to give you a visual.
I have silestone on the surrounding counters, it's a slightly flecked off white. If I didn't mind maintenance so much I would have done soapstone because I love it.
    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 7:07AM
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DirectBuy of Fort Worth
I suggest ffinding colors from Cambria quartz. They are less expensive than silestone and have over 100 choices with some beautiful faux marble looks without the worries of marble.
But here is a kitchen that was recently done using quartz on the main countertops and granite on the island. The main ctops are caesarstones honed misty carrara and the island is Bianco Antico. Backsplash is Daltiles Folia.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 7:54AM
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We have Caesarstone Cinder 2020 honed, and our seam is between the sink and the cooktop. I hardly ever notice it. It was installed well, so the seam is relatively subtle, and it hasn't stained or anything.
Highlights · More Info

I like the middle photo you've attached. There is more contrast in that combo, which makes the effect of the mix of materials more visually pleasing and effective. I recommend that combo.
    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 8:06AM
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I would use the same quartz on all surfaces. Using multiple finishes makes it harder to update your look down the road. Plus, your making yourself nuts trying to figure out the "right" combination. My recommendation would be to simplify.
    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 8:26AM
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Thank you all for such great suggestions! And I love the photos - your kitchens came out beautifully! Tomda, that's the Viatera "Natural Limestone" on your island, right?
1 Like    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 12:23PM
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I can't remember the name of it, it is the same thing as your larger pic.
    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 1:20PM
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Norm Walters Construction Inc.
I've had good luck with Cambria. Used their product on an installation and there was a defect in the material. They paid to remove the countertop, fabricate a new one, install the new top, reconnect the plumbing, and the electrical in the backsplash. Can't ask for more than that.
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 3:24PM
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Twisted Minds Custom Designs
dharma203, I hate to add another countertop choice to your already "all over the place" feeling, but have you considered concrete. A local concrete artisan would be able to meet with you and discuss all the options available to you with this versatile material. I've included a link to a FAQ's discussion page I created to help homeowners and builders alike decide if concrete may be an option they are looking to pursue. Please read and if you have any additional questions, feel free to ask and I'd be happy to try to answer.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 8:16AM
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Hi Twisted Minds. I'm told that concrete counters don't do well in our crazy New England climate. Thanks!
    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 2:45AM
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Twisted Minds Custom Designs
dharma203, two things, first is if these are going to be in an indoor kitchen the climate should be of no concern, second is I live in Wisconsin and have done two outdoor kitchen projects and the concrete stands up to the elements just fine (one is in its 5th winter). Hope this clears up your concerns, again if it interests you, talk to a local professional artisan and they would gladly discuss any concerns or questions you may have about the material.
    Bookmark   February 21, 2013 at 7:16AM
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