Kitchen Countertops ~ Our Choices

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Whether remodeling a kitchen or just giving one a face-lift

the countertops are an important element in achieving the look and feel of the space.

We have sure learned a bunch through our remodeling journey and as promised I'll keep sharing as we go along...

Choosing the right material can be daunting,
there are so many options...
and the list goes on!

And each option has pros and cons that need to be considered.

Butcher block and wood countertops mixed with marble...

Carrara marble...

Calacatta marble...

Faux stone...


Flamed granite...


Personally, I can't imagine heading out to view slabs without already knowing the material I was interested in, that would be so confusing!


Using magazines and online research to narrow choices down before heading out is a good idea, especially when leaning toward natural stone.

Designers and sales associates can offer a wealth of knowledge,
and have the best intentions of helping,
but they will guide towards materials they like best
which could result in the purchase of something you won't be happy with in the end.

The best advice I can give is to research the options available,
color choices,
also the pros and cons,
narrow down the materials you are interested in,
and stick to your choices.
Countertops are costly and an important element in setting the tone of your space,
so be sure to choose what YOU really want.  
(It has even been suggested we shorten our island length so a smaller slab will work.)

For our kitchen we have chosen Soapstone and marble, preferably Carrara,
Even so there are still many decisions to make based on the slabs available in our area,
our island is large which limits our options,
and natural stone has many variations.

We chose Carrara for its white background and soft gray veining,
however the material available in our area is an overall gray and we are wanting more of a white background.  (We knew this may be the case since completing our Guest Bath Remodel.)

We chose soapstone for its texture, dark overall color and white veining once oiled,
however the options in our area have a green tone.

We have done our research and know that marble will etch and stain
soapstone needs to be oiled and can chip
we love the old and well worn and are looking forward to the character both of these materials will add to our Farmhouse Kitchen with a Twist!

We have visited many places to see slabs,
and are continually geared toward other materials,
but we are sticking with our plan.
(Nope, not going to shorten the length of my island!)

Here are some of the marble and soapstone slabs we have viewed
though no decision has been made yet...

As an example of the different shades of white marble with gray veining look at these two,
 White Venatino is on the left and White Carrara Extra on the right...

White Venatino...


Another example of  White Carrara...


Statuary Extra...


Calacatta Michelangelo...








I would love to hear your thoughts on which of the above examples was your favorite.

Do you have a favorite countertop material OR a least favorite, one you would never choose again?

We can all learn from each other, I so appreciate your sharing.

To tour our home and see other remodeling projects go here.

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  1. I love the marble personally, but I bet whatever you do will look great since you have such a good eye! Can't wait to see it done!

  2. I love the soapstone but all of them are gorgeous choices and you can't go wrong!

  3. I'm not likely to get new countertops, but if I did and money wasn't an object, I'd probably choose granite.

  4. Granite was never my countertop choice but when I moved last november- they were already here( They are new of course so they must stay but if I ever win the lottery-out they go>>>>>>> lol...

    looking forward to seeing what you choose.. good luck

  5. Oh Cindy, I can see where you'd get confused! I think I like #1 or 4, with #7. Generally, I like the darker soapstone (as in #7), but the veining seems really pronounced, so I might lean toward #6 instead. These are gorgeous materials, but for my current home, if countertops were all I was replacing (not a complete demo/reno), I think I'd go with faux stone. I most definitely would not go with granite. If I were completely renovating, I love your choices. Have you told us what your floor choice is yet? I will be anxious to see the combo. This is going to be drop-dead beautiful, and I can't wait!

  6. What a lot of choices!
    I am all for ease of use/cleaning etc. I don't want anything too precious, as my kitchen is first, and foremost, a working kitchen. In the new house I am leaning towards a marble-topped island but something a little less precious for the other countertops. Having had marble before, I know that it is completely unforgiving should something topple from a cupboard. I'm still far from making decisions, as we are in the throes of moving, but I will watch your blog with interest as I start to plan. Thank you!

  7. The Calcatta Michelangelo struck me as gorgeous! A blogger called For the Love Of a House did a post about her soapstone countertops. It was very informative. I'm including the link in case you'd like to look at it. I've been told that marble will pick up oils and grease which cause it to stain. I think if it's cleaned right away it's okay but I don't know for sure, plus I heard that if something like wine spills on it it will stain. I believe that's why granite got so popular, it's less permeable. I think marble is the most beautiful and it lures the eye in, but there are some gorgeous granite pieces too so I guess you have to weigh all that in.

  8. I am going with Sienna Bordeaux granite on my counter tops in our new house and butcher block on the island. I looked at marble and soapstone as well, but I've had granite in my current house for aobut 12 years and have been so happy with it. So enjoy following along on your remodel.

  9. My advice on counters would be...make sure it's not "too busy" as it limits your options for decorating (everything competes with a busy counter top) and my "would never again" advice is on travertine tile. It can be real tricky so I would be very, very careful with where it's quarried and who the supplier is. The travertine we purchased was not the travertine we got!

    I would go with marble and soapstone if I were building a home, and stay away from any green undertone. The builder of our "spec home" house used Sherwin Williams paints, but with a green undertone to them. Throws everything off, but too much money to repaint all the rooms with 12 foot walls so have lived (sadly) with them for over 3 years. And, if you like to paint rooms yourself, don't have 12 foot ceilings. Ten foot is high enough, but still lets you be able to paint yourself. Twelve foot ceilings makes it a whole new ball game

  10. My husband and I just built a new house in a small community in Iowa and I had installed soapstone counters and I love them. I do nothing to my soapstone and love the character that it shows.

  11. Your post was very good about knowing what you want before you go. I am in the middle of a kitchen remodel (2 months in, aarrrggghhh!) but got off track when looking at countertop materials. Thankfully, someone said, "nothing you're considering looks like your pins on Pinterest." Thank-you, my friend. I revisited my inspiration rooms and went with Ceasarstone quartz in frosty carrina with a marble hexagon backsplash. I love it. Will do a full post when this project wraps up (soon, I hope!). Loved hearing about your choices and how you went about them.

  12. What color /finish are you doing on your cabinets? And your floors, are they going to be hardwood or tile? I love the Calacatta Michelangelo and the first Soapstone you pictured- number 5. I am sure whatever you choose will be nice!

  13. I love that Statueretto. Beautiful...but they all are! We have an inexpensive granite....and I adore it!

  14. Very informative Cindy! I really sort of regretted choosing marble for my island now. I have danby marble, and it just absorbs everything even water stains! I do love my emperadoro ceasarstone!!!!! It's so durable, no stains, easy to clean!

  15. i love the carrera marble. That would be my choice.

  16. Gosh, I can see your dilemma. If price were no option, I'd probably choose quartz, because of it's practicality and it's also non-porous. No sealing required, etc. Looking forward to seeing what you choose.

  17. Because we have so much Alabama marble in our home, we went with a Silestone that looks almost like it. We're tea drinkers, and I don't think I would like the staining.....but the looks is the same!
    We went with a dark distressed walnut for our breakfast island. We love it!

    It sounds like you've made some great choices, and I look forward to seeing your updated kitchen soon.



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