Do you ever feel like there are too many options in the world? If so, DO NOT attempt to pick out new counters. Or just make sure you’ve got a wifey with extensive internet research skills. (And if you don’t, hands off – this one’s mine).
Here’s what I learned from Sherry’s quick crash course. Laminate and marble were immediately out of the question. We already had laminate and wanted to upgrade to something more natural and less plastic-y. And as gorgeous as carrera marble can be (we loved it in our inspiration kitchen), it eliminated itself from the mix thanks to being much too expensive (about $100 a square foot) and not nearly as durable or stain resistant as other alternatives out there. We learned that granite could also pose issues with staining and durability, so we decided to look into solid surface options that we didn’t even know existed a month ago- like Quartz, Silestone, and Corian.
Sherry was excited about some of those products, like DuPont’s Zodiaq because she learned that there were now more natural looking color options – giving you the durability and consistency of manufactured materials, but the look of real stone (like granite or marble). But once we viewed the options in person, we were pretty underwhelmed by what we saw. All of the ones in our light color palette – even most of the Zodiaq options – still looked and felt too synthetic and plastic-y, more like a laminate than an actual stone slab. And while some of the darker samples looked better, we needed something light to keep our small kitchen from closing in on us. Needless to say, we didn’t find a single option that decently pulled of the white and gray look of carrera marble. Not even close.
What we did find was this: Stonemark Granite’s Blanc Noir. It was light, but not all white (Nancy, our kitchen designer, taught us that white cabinets + white countertops = blah). And Nancy also calmed all our fears about granite, pointing out that Stonemark Granite has some new technology that prevents stains for 15 years, and never needs resealing (where other granite slabs need annual sealing- a costly and annoying thing to have to do every 365 days). And lucky for us, this color was in the cheapest – excuse me – least expensive granite category, making it no more than some of the fake stone (solid surface) options out there. Victory.
So, we officially fell in love… and as of two weeks ago officially purchased it. Now we just gotta get those darn cabinets delivered and installed.
PS: Stonemark Granite is only available at Home Depot (point HD), but I’d recommend Lowe’s website for a good pro/con list for the different counter materials (point Lowe’s). That’s for those of you without a Sherry or a Nancy at your disposal.
Image courtesy of Stonemark