As promised, I'm sharing more about my recent search for stone countertops and those that resemble marble. (I shared the process of looking for and getting new stone counters here.) I knew I didn't want marble because of etching issues (more on that shortly), but there are a ton of options with a similar look!
Marble is all the rage -- many call it trendy but I think it's anything but. It's stood the test of time and is truly a beautiful stone.
Here's a piece of honed (not shiny) Carrara marble:
I have always admired and loved it -- but I've seen marble in many real homes (not a model home) and it etches -- here's an example of what some foods will do to it:
The first stone warehouse I visited, I met with an employee who showed me around and I mentioned I loved the look of marble but didn't want to use it because of the etching. She literally breathed a sigh of relief, I'm not even kidding. It seems she has to tell many visitors why it's not the easiest material to care for.
If you are pretty laid back about this kind of stuff then the look may win out for you. Thing is, I'm pretty laid back about our house but if I'm spending this much I don't want it to have issues almost immediately. I don't want to worry about it, so I knew I wasn't going with real marble.
(Side note -- we have (very inexpensive) honed marble in our bathrooms and have never had an issue with them. I don't know if it's the color or the honed finish that helps, or just that they are super cheap version.)
So because so many love the look but don't want to worry that much about the counters, I gathered a few stones that have the look of marble but not as many worries. With granite you do have to have it sealed to protect it, but from my understanding if it's sealed well it holds up really well.
First things first, if you are looking for a granite that looks a lot like marble, you won't have as much luck. There are a few, but if you want a true veining look you'll want quartz or quartzite. Those are man-made and it's amazing what they can do!
There are a few granites that have a similar look and they are:
Kasmir White (I hear it stains easily)
River White (more on that shortly)
There really aren't that many that have that same look. Quartz and quartzite on the other hand -- there are tons!
This Taj Mahal quartzite was a favorite:
And very expensive. :)
White Macaubus is another that has the veining:
Some of the other quartz counters that have the look of marble are:
La Viatera Rococo
When you are looking at quartz be sure to check them out up close. Some of them look more like squiggly lines than veining. I didn't care for those as much. Some had a dotted look to the background -- I don't know how else to describe it. It didn't look as authentic as others.
So the funny thing is, when I started looking at the marble and marble lookalikes, I decided I didn't really want it. Many told me the same happened to them -- when you see it up close and see other options it's easy to change direction.
The marble and marble lookalikes are gorgeous, but too light. I wanted more contrast. If I paint the cabinets white (I'm still deciding on the color), I didn't want the kitchen to be all white. I wanted some more variation, some more movement. If you do want an all white kitchen, or at least very light counters, these will work great for you!
Turns out one of the very first stone I came upon in my first location (I visited four) was the one. I knew the moment I saw it:
This is River White granite and I was in love. I loved the movement, the colors (a lot of dark gray) and that it still had the light feeling of granite.
I quickly realized every single piece of River White looks different though. This one (above) was a suede finish and I LOVED it. It's not shiny, and it had some texture to it.
But when I later saw the polished version there was no comparison -- I wanted it to be a little blingy:
I've seen this countertop in bathrooms with no natural light and didn't love it as much. I've seen it in kitchens with tons of light and loved it -- thankfully our kitchen has tons of light! The suede version I saw had very little of the brown, but had a lot of yellowish spots that I didn't care for. The polished version doesn't have those but has more brown spots.
But it was the one and only stone I loved over and over again so it's my pick. I found out later that it is prone to staining as well. Of course. :) The fabricator we are using does a 15-year sealing process and I've heard wonderful things. I'm going to do some more research on products to use on it (someone recommended a cleaner and sealer in one) so let me know if you have tips.
My slab is the last one they have and they said they are becoming harder to find -- my fabricator can't get more for two more months. So needless to say I'm totally nervous about the install this week. Crossing my fingers that it goes great!!
I'll share that with you soon and more about the finish and edge that I picked. (You can see the River White Granite I picked for our kitchen here.) I'm working hard to get the upper cabinets built up before they arrive (I don't want to step on those!) and we have to pull out the sink and current laminate counters before the install. It's going to be a busy week! I'm being super ambitious and thinking I could possibly start the backsplash by the end of the week too. So exciting! Or crazy. :)
If you know of any granites or quartz counters that have the marble look that I missed, please share. If you have any of these in your home, feel free to share your thoughts!
Cbeck out our finished kitchen renovation with all projects completed!