Today I’ll be talking about the process of picking out countertops for the house. It’s been a long / arduous endeavor, but I’ll try and keep this post from growing to War and Peace lengths.
Back in early September, we started the process of picking out countertops for the whole house. We needed to pick countertops for the Kitchen, Master Bath, Kids’ Bath, Office, and Utility Room.
We went in with a pretty clear vision for what we wanted: light (more than likely marble) countertops on pretty much everything except the white cabinets in the kitchen. On the white cabinets in the kitchen, we wanted a solid black granite.
So the first thing we did was go to a granite slab yard. And the first thing we looked at was a black granite for the kitchen called Absolute Black. It was spot on for what we wanted for the outside cabinets in the kitchen.
I figured that it would be cheaper than some other options since there was little variation, but it turned out that it was an upper-mid lever grade of granite… a bit more on the expensive side. That’s pretty much par for the course on this build.
So after we decided the black granite looked good, we were told to go to our fabricator’s shop and look at some marble samples (not actual slabs, a key detail to remember for later in our story).
We wanted a whiter stone with gray marbling like the kitchen above. We showed up to the shop, looked at some carrara marble samples, and went home with visions of white marbling dancing in our heads.
About 2 months later we got a call from the builder that some of the countertops were being installed. Of course, we went up there that afternoon to check them out. The black countertops on the white cabinets were straight forward and looked like we wanted them to. The problem was…
The carrara we got was extremely gray (almost no white at all). Admittedly, it looks pretty great on Beckett’s bathroom sink, but it wasn’t anywhere near what we were expecting for the Kitchen island in particular. The countertops had already been installed in the kid’s bathrooms and the utility room.
This was met with pretty much a full on hour of panic and freak out mode. We spent the whole time in the fetal position rocking back and forth, crying and listening to coldplay. We told them don’t do anything else (cut or install) until we came up with a different solution for the other areas (Master bath, Island, and Office). We were under the impression that nothing else was cut at that point.
Amber had been talking with the granite guy about options, but there was still no solution when my mother-in-law happened to stop by the house a couple weeks later. She called Amber and told her they were installing carrara in the master bath.
Amber rushed up to the house and pretty much lost it. She had her first real crying breakdown in front of the granite people and the electricians.
Amber Edit: What makes this better is I was in my pajamas with no makeup and ratty hair. I’m already an ugly crier then you add in that mess. Not pretty folks. I was furious which led to a heated (yet oddly cordial) discussion with all parties involved. The point is I said don’t do anything only to find it being done anyway.
Since the pieces had already been cut, changes would mean eating the cost (marble don’t grow on trees…or maybe it does. I’m never quite sure of these things).
Amber (again – sorry I’m still very upset/emotional about this): I felt like a total brat crying over countertops. It’s not that it isn’t a beautiful stone. It’s that it wasn’t what I expected and not quite what I envisioned for those spaces.
The fabricator told us that all the carrara coming out of the ground right now is really gray and that if we wanted something more white, we’d have to look at a different type of marble.
(Note: I actually didn’t think the carrara looked bad, it just wasn’t exactly what we wanted. Amber on the other hand absolutely hated it.)
So we regrouped and the next week, went to a marble yard in Dallas. Above are some of the marbles we looked at. The only one that fit the bill was the calacatta white hill… the only problem with that is that we haven’t been able to find a slab of it big enough for the island (102″ long). Also, it’s about a $600 upgrade for just the island over the carrara assuming we only have to buy 1 slab which also seems impossible.
S0 that’s where we are at right now. Carrara throughout the house and still lookin for a slab we like for the island. If you have any grand ideas, let us know. Anyone know of someone who would give us a slab or something?
I guess we should note this is real time here. We literally don’t have anything planned for the island yet. There’s still time for you to help us out!