Baby Mama Countertop Drama

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!

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33 Responses to Baby Mama Countertop Drama
  1. How awful! I can so relate to the ugly cry. It’s like that one time you go out lookin nasty that you run into your ex. I hope you guys find a solution quickly!

    • Nick says:

      This part has been challenging. We hear that there might be some white carrara coming in soon, so that might be an option. We’ll see…

    • Amber says:

      Haha it is just like that! I hope we do to, but we’ve made no progress towards a solution for weeks now. I’m beginning to worry we are going to have to settle.

  2. Julia@Cuckoo4Design says:

    Oh no! The story sounds funny but I so feel Amber’s pain. That’s exactly what I would have done.
    And I’m beyond happy that I went with the white quartz and not the original carrera marble like I had wanted too. Did you ever look into other white stone options?

    • Nick says:

      We did look at white quartz, but we didn’t find one that was organic enough. The brand they were showing us was one that I had never heard of, so maybe we should look at a more popular brand.

      • Nichole S. says:

        Did you look at quartzite? Bianco quartzite white macaubas is a pretty selection in lieu of marble. Still a natural stone too so you can get your organic-ness:)

        • Nichole S. says:

          P.S. I guess it is also called Luce di Luna. I feel silly suggesting this when I know you are a Master Researcher and probably know everyone by name in the DFW granite/marble business:)

          • Nick says:

            We did look at Luce di Luna online, but Amber didn’t think it was what we’re going for. I liked it…. just for the record :)

  3. cassie says:

    i wish i did- i have seen a lot of people choose the artificial marble which looks beautiful, too. :(

    • Nick says:

      We had some artificial marble at our house before our last one. Maybe the quality has improved… something for us to look into…

      • Nichole S. says:

        When you say artificial marble…are you talking the “cultured” marble that reared it’s ugly head in the 70′s, 80′s, and 90′s in bathrooms or Silestone/Ceasarstone marble knock-off”s?

        • Nick says:

          All of the above? I think we’re open to anything, but I do think that cultured marble is a stretch to put into this house.

          • Nichole S. says:

            I was curious what type of artificial marble was at your OLD house…the cultured stuff or a Ceasarstone/Silestone marble knock-off…the Cesarstone Londonfog product is not bad and the Silestone Lagoon is not bad (I have seen them in person in very expensive Austin homes) for a marble-y look. Even though they are both quartz products they are not cheap:(

          • Nick says:

            Ah. I couldn’t see what you were referring to because of the way the comments coming in to the admin.

            In our first house we had cultured marble. It didn’t look bad, but definitely wasn’t amazing. Also, for context, our first house was 984 sqft and was well under $100k :)

  4. love the black granite…my friend has black granite in her kitchen, and it looks awesome. I am no help with countertop selection–the only counters I’ve ever picked out were ikea butcher block in our last house to get it ready to sell, and I’m guessing you don’t want to go that direction ;)

    • Nick says:

      We did talk a lot about butcher block (specifically ikea) countertops, but the only place that would make sense would be the laundry room and we thought it might be weird to have them in there.

  5. Wow, so sorry you had to go through all that drama! I know it’s been stressful already and it’s not what you envisioned. If I had a slab of white marble to give you, I would! At least the black granite came out well. We are planning to use black soapstone for our [fantasy for now] kitchen countertops one day.

  6. I love them all but totally see the appeal of the more white with streaks of grey. The title of this post about had me falling out of my chair. Check out Little House Big D’s blog. They do a lot of home DIY refab and are always buying granite and stone.

  7. Jessica says:

    Yikes! I cried over countertops too. When you are building your dream house and have a vision, it’s not easy to let go of that vision. Have you checked out super white granite? Due to budget, we ended up going with a white granite and we now love it. Of course, I wanted and would’ve preferred white marble, but wasn’t in the cards for us. Good luck!

    • Nick says:

      Hmmm… just googled super white… looks good. We’ll have to go look at slabs. There’s a couple of other options that we’re pursuing as well. We’ll see how it works out…

  8. What a mess! I would have ugly cried too. Our granite turned out different than the sample too. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but it definitely ended up growing on me. I love it now. I hope you’re able to find the most perfect white with a marble-y touch for the island. Islands are the most important part of the kitchen!! Godspeed!

  9. :( I would have cried too. It’s the crown on the jewel and it is what is finishing off the vision. Casually stating that oh yeah, the marble is really gray right now when they had shown you other samples makes me want to scratch that person with chicken wire. Blech.

    I hope you find a great solution!

  10. Anu says:

    Oh no! When we were looking at countertops there were 3 different grades of bianco carrara with varying greyness. There was also a statuario marble that we looked at that has a lot of white with large veining – more modern. Not sure if you have already looked at these. It may be helpful to try a few different stone/slab places if your installer is willing to work with another supplier. We found the slabs did differ depending on where the slab was cut from. I hope this gives you some other ideas and good luck!

    • Nick says:

      I don’t think any of the slab yards we went to had any of those. The statuario looks like a good option. I’ll bring it up to our contractor. Thanks!

  11. I’m an ugly crier as well (no, I’m not, but I want you to feel better about it ). Sucks. Natural products are such a bee-atch.

  12. Allison Lawson says:

    I totally understand!! The color of our backsplash was not what we envisioned either. Everyone kept saying how beautiful it was when I would tell them. It is beautiful just not what I picked. So I totally get your meltdown!!

    • Amber says:

      Haha that’s exactly it. Beautiful just not what I wanted. It was a kick in the gut when they first installed it, but it was meltdown time when they installed in the areas I said not to. Ugh I get so upset when I think about it. I will probably grow to love it or not I don’t know, but geez I wish I had the option to choose!

  13. Pingback: Completed (ish) Master Bathroom | Wills CasaWills Casa

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