• January 7, 2013

Countertop Selection

What did we choose?

Kitchens, Restoration Diary,

I LOVE marble countertops. Based on looks alone marble is my first choice. The sad truth is we aren’t marble people. I know marble countertops have lasted hundreds of years in European kitchens, but I don’t think they would last 6 weeks with us! Maybe we are just more messy or careless than all those European chefs?

We have a knockoff Saarinen table with a Carrara marble top. With daily use we have scratched the marble and there is a water ring from where I left a vase of flowers for a week. David accidentally spilled beat juice on the table top that he didn’t immediately clean up, sending me into panic mode and a sputtered explanation about beet acid etching the marble. At which point David looked me straight in the eye and said, “There is no way we can have marble countertops in our kitchen! We are not those type of people.” I’m sure he means careful, non-beat juice spilling type of people.

My next choice is wood. I think it is absolutely lovely. David’s reasoning is if we aren’t capable of taking care of stone than we aren’t good candidates for wood. We really are looking for something with no maintenance.

We have been asked if we are doing a tile countertop. Many bungalows in our area have tile counters. I think it comes down to preference and I don’t care for the look. Like I said, we can be messy and dirty grout never looks nice. I am not even considering tile.

What I have decided on is engineered stone. We need something that will stand up to carelessness and moderate abuse. I have selected Caesarstone Misty Carrera…and not because I think it looks like marble, because it doesn’t. I find Caesarstone beautiful in it’s own right. I really want something that I don’t have to be ultra careful to maintain. Now, if only we were making some progress on our kitchen cabinets…

photo resources: 1 // 2 // 3

Comments { 14 }
  1. Erin K

    Ha! God that is like my exact order of preference 1)marble 2)wood 3)i actually do like tile, but i have tile now and yeah it never looks super clean but i do love the character of it.

    I have done a lot of research on that material you are using as an alternative to marble as well. And you are right, it doesn’t look like marble really.

    What was the outcome with the electrician? Did he ever come back?

    • Heather

      The electrician did come back. I’ll have to post an update on the electrician and all the other calamities that have happened since.

  2. Art

    I often wish we’d done Caesarstone, which was our second choice–sounds like a great pick! (We went with soapstone and have a love-hate relationship with it, though we went in with eyes wide open so have no one to fault but ourselves there.) Everyone I know who has Caesarstone has been happy with it, though. For what it’s worth, though, we skipped wood for the same reason but did one small stretch of wood counter finished with Waterlox, and it has been amazing (doubly so since it was a DIY IKEA counter, so I think it cost maybe $150 all told, minus the sweat and tears)–if we ever do another kitchen, I would seriously consider it. The combo of wood and stone has actually worked out really nicely for us.

  3. Leslie

    Ah! I was going to suggest Ceasarstone in Misty Carrera. Too funny. Can’t wait to see how it goes.

  4. Lee

    We went through the exact same process as you. I knew we wouldn’t be a good candidate for marble or granite because of the maintenance. Many places will tell you they have a sealer that will last 10+ years, but I am dubious of these claims.

    We narrowed our choices down to engineered stone or solid surface. Be sure to shop around! We had prices vary by thousands of dollars for the same product. The high end varieties of solid surface were almost comparable to engineered stone in look and sometimes more than comparable in price, so in the end we went with engineered stone because of the look and feel. I will say this though, if you have butter fingers while handling dishes I feel the engineered stone is not as forgiving as I imainge the softer surfaces (laminate, solid surface, wood, etc…) would be.

  5. casacaudill

    We have tile in our 1916 craftsman kitchen (the horrible 80s white tile that everyone seemed to remodel with) and I hate it with the passion of a thousand fiery suns. If it was the original tile that is so prevalent throughout so many bungalows and it was dirty, at least I’d have something pretty to look at while loathing it. We have to bleach the grout every week or else it looks disgusting. I’ve never been a huge granite fan, but the condo we’re moving to next month has it and I’m really looking forward to not having to go through the whole rigamarole associated with gnarly grout.

    • Susan

      Sealing the grout after cleaning it can help the cleaning job last a lot longer. Especially white grout.

  6. Pamela

    Heather and David, I have been following your blog for years and enjoying every minute of it. I LOVE Craftsman houses and it is the deep desire of my soul to someday have one. With that said our income at this time will not support it, plus we just moved away from Southern CA so it would be harder to find one…our new home has a 70′s kitchen with all items in good clean shape, just old – Harvest Gold cooktop and oven, and wood-grain Formica counters. I love the look of wood counters but my husband likes Corian. Maybe Caesarstone would be an option for us. All new construction and remodels here seem to be obsessed with granite, and while I have seen some that is attractive, it doesn’t fit with my idea of a “vintage” kitchen (all right, I’m not in a bungalow but I’m darn well gonna make this house as bungalow-like as possible – I already have a built-in china cabinet/sideboard in the dining room). Are you going to go with white woodwork or with the grey you mentioned? And are you thinking about a tile backsplash, or continuing with the Caesarstone?

    • Heather

      Hi! We are planning on a white subway tile backsplash. I’m not 100% sure if we are going to go with white or grey for the kitchen cabinets, but I am still leaning towards grey.

      • Pamela

        Our home in CA was very small, built in 1941. It had the faucet coming out of the wall over the sink, like the photos you posted of historical kitchens. My faucet in the new house is perched on the edge of the sink, and I really don’t like it. I want to put in a wall-mounted faucet again: when I splash water around the edge of the sink washing vegetables or rinsing dishes, I have to keep wiping around that faucet! Coming out of the wall I just had a smooth sink edge to wipe. I’d encourage you to consider it. (It was harder to find the faucet when we had to replace it, but I did find some online sites which carried them.)

  7. Nina

    I had the same debate about stone. Originally I wanted granite. Then I thought about granite tiles to save on price but can’t stand the grout lines. Then I thought about engineered stone but don’t like the consistency of the pattern. Then I discovered soapstone and I love it. And it is not porous like granite or marble. So supposedly it won’t stain. I decided that’s what I’ll go with if I ever get around to finishing my kitchen. Right now it’s pretty much demo’d and has been for about 4 yrs. One thing after another prevents me from getting anywhere on it.

    • Heather

      I think soapstone is beautiful! It’s just not in our budget. :)

  8. Jess

    Thanks for sharing this. I think my overall favorite type of countertop is a custom granite countertop from Philadelphia; however, I like marble & quartz too. Technically, I think it depends on the rest of the kitchen. Some materials, to me, look better given the specific feel & look of the kitchen.

If you would like to select an image to appear next to your comment, go to Gravatar.