The Never Ending Countertop Quest Part 2: The Reckoning

So yesterday Amber talked about us driving all over God’s green earth looking for marble for our island. It was arduous to say the least. I was completely worn out and was just over the whole process. I didn’t want to go to anymore slab yards. The last thing I wanted to talk about was marble. This led to this poignant text in which Amber said what we were both thinking.

Agreed sweetheart. Agreed.

Above was the marble slab that we agreed to use. It wasn’t perfect. The fact that it was only 2cm thick, meant that we would have to miter the edges to get the look that we wanted.


This was the image we gave our marble fabricator with the instructions: “MAKE IT LOOK LIKE THIS”

The slab wasn’t perfect, but we were happy and ready to move on. Maybe not Jack-on-the-edge-of-the-Titanic-happy, but at least as happy as this guy:

We moved on.

Then… *cue dramatic music*…. we started getting messages from the fabricator. They weren’t liking the idea of mitering the marble because they were afraid it wouldn’t hold up well. They asked if they could laminate the edge instead.

They dropped off a sample of what the edge would look like (notice seam through the middle). Needless to say that wouldn’t work. So they would miter it. We moved on.

A few days later the fabricator sent us some pics of our slab with their attempt to miter the edges. It turned out that (according to what we were told after some questioning), they didn’t have equipment to miter a countertop as long as ours (about 9ft) and were cutting it by hand. The result was a jagged edge which meant a bigger (and sloppier looking) seam. Not going to work either.

(Here’s an aside from the brain of Nick, free of charge: Let’s be honest, the build process is a complete beat down. It’s exhausting. Your subs will make tons of mistakes, and you have to either make the decision to live with it or make them redo it. We, as a couple, have stuck to our guns throughout the whole build process. Would we have been as bad if we didn’t have a blog? I don’t know, but I do empathize with those people who are just sick of waiting and just want it be done. It’s tough and the crappiest part about all of this is you feel like a jerk even though you’re not the one that made the mistake.)

So we talked to our builder, and he told the fabricator to find someone that could make the cuts cleaner and send the slab over to them.

A few days went by and we didn’t hear anything. Then we got a call from the fabricator who said they were returning the 2 cm slab. There was a new 3cm calacatta slab at a yard we had visited months previously, and we should go look at it.

We hesitantly agreed. Mainly because we didn’t want to do this whole thing over again but didn’t have a choice.

So I went by myself. I waited at the front for 30 mins to be helped. Once someone told me where the slab was, I walked around back and there she was… the most beautiful piece of stone that ever existed. I called Amber and said “That’s it. That’s the one.” and I moved on.

Think we’re done? Not quite. I know no one is still reading this, so I’d like to take this time to say that Amber doesn’t like the song “Sunday, bloody Sunday” and that makes sad on the inside.

For some reason, probably just because… well, this is the way things have gone on this project, our fabricator sent us to look at another slab after we had already agreed on the calcutta one. I drove all the way (by myself again) to North Dallas to look at it for no reason. Well, you will notice, it’s not even the same kind of marble and had blue veins.


For the final time, we called the fabricator and said we liked the 3cm calacatta marble that we already told you to get. Please, just use that one. We moved on.

Finally a week or so later, Amber texted me this pic. The top was finally on, and as you can see for yourself it was perfect. So. Damn. Perfect.

I was at work, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t get up and give it one of these… cause I did.

I couldn’t wait to get to the house and see it. And let me tell you, it was just as (if not even more) incredible in person. I maintain that it is the single most beautiful piece of stone I’ve ever seen… especially since it meant I didn’t have to go to any more slab yards.

After the top was on, they made templates for the waterfalling of the sides.

Then a couple of days later… well you know the drill. Floor-to-counter straight sexiness.

Pretty much spot on for what we were looking for. (Side Note: The floors are dirty in the pic and look weird for some reason, you probably didn’t notice though because you were too busy looking at them countertops.)

We’re done. It’s over. No more countertop discussions. The crazy thing is, writing this post caused me to relive all of the emotion / stress / anxiety / pain / frustration / et al that we encountered during this process, and I probably won’t sleep well tonight because of it.

In the end we’re ecstatic at the way it turned out. I might even go as far as to say that we’re jumping for joy.

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44 Responses to The Never Ending Countertop Quest Part 2: The Reckoning
  1. cassie says:

    ooh aaaah! it looks AMAZING and worth all the trouble! sunday bloody sunday….

  2. I’m doing the Steve from Blue’s Clues dance right now. That slab is a beauty!

    I went to a continuing education course a few months ago. Thinking about a stressful moment is equally damaging to your body as actually living the stressful moment. And stress leads to a decline in cognitive function. I’m glad you all can put this marble stress behind you. I need old Nick and Amber to be equally as witty at 80. When we’re all still blogging.

    • Amber says:

      Instagram it or it didn’t happen.

      Aren’t stress and fear the 2 emotions that you can fully relive or something like that? Hopefully once the house is built, there will be no major stress. We want to have enough cognitive function to make it to 80. Might have to switch to a tumblr though solely based on the countertop drama.

  3. Looks awesome! I would say it was worth the wait, but then again I have never lived the life of a constant countertop hunter. Can’t wait to see the house finished. Might need to make a Dallas trip soon. Oh and those hanging lights are AMAZING! Nicely done, very nice.

  4. WOW that was so worth all the trouble. It looks sooooo good.

    I had flash backs to our own building and remodeling experiences when you wrote: You feel like a jerk even though you weren’t the one making the mistake. So true. And how many times have I been presented with a crabby solution a la that laminated edge… (would they even put that in their own house?) just in the hopes that you would get out of their hair and they would get off easy and go home early.

    Good for you for sticking to your guns!

    • Amber says:

      Thank you Katja! Our focus has always been on quality which requires a lot more work from us than we ever realized. It’s encouraging to know you had a similar experience, lived through it, and have an awesome house! There’s hope for us yet!

  5. Laurie Parker says:

    Would it be totally inappropriate of me to come to your house and lick that smooth, cold, beautiful slab of sexiness? So.freaking.gorgeous. What an ordeal, glad you guys held out for exactly what you wanted!

  6. It’s BEAUTIFUL! I can see the wait was definitely worth it and good for you for sticking to your guns throughout the whole process!

    Psst: love what you tagged the post with haha

  7. Anu says:

    I’m so glad the countertop worked out in the end! We’re about to start the countertop hunt again. We’re fortunate enough to have really great sources of stone here. The only problem with so much choice is that you can get easily overwhelmed. Your kitchen is going to be so beautiful!

    • Amber says:

      Thank you! I am sure you will find something incredible. I can’t wait to follow the process of your kitchen remodel. I love absolutely everything you do!

  8. Ain’t no party like a Wills-Casa party, cus a Wills-Casa party don’t stop. Nice rock.

  9. Ahh….worth the wait–it’s beautiful! (easy for me to say, right? ;))

  10. Julia@Cuckoo4Design says:

    Oh your house…seriously…I can’t even look anymore. It’s so perfect! And don’t ever feel like jerks when you stick to your guns. You pay for it!
    It’s so incredibly good!

  11. damn that’s one piece of sexy stone. I am soooo happy for you that it worked out in the end!

  12. GASP!



    I’m dying over it. I can’t even handle it. And I’m kinda ridiculously proud of you guys for not just living with something that wasn’t as good, even though it makes you feel like a jerk for trying to get people to do a good job for you. DON’T SETTLE. Promise me you won’t, so you don’t end up with all the things that I have in my house that STILL bother me.

    I love the counters.

    • Nick says:

      I, Nick Wills, being of sound body and mind, promise to never settle on things during the build of Wills Casa Tres. Or else be subjected to the wrath of Kelly @ View Along The Way.

  13. Angie says:

    Loved it :) The stone is magnificent too :) My kind of blog :)

  14. Wow! That was quite the quest! It is absolutley beautiful though! I just love how this space is coming together! xo Kristin

  15. Alright. Let’s talk about a few things. Every time Titanic is on TV, I watch it. I can quote the entire movie start to finish. This is what happens when a 12 year old girl has a crush on Leo… that never goes away. I’m happy you’re as happy as Fabrizio.
    Next, OMG THE ISLAND!!! It’s so perfect. That waterfall is even better than the one Pocahontas canoes off. So much epicness. I love it. What a true beauty.
    Tag: Please don’t shoot yourself in the head for building

    • Amber says:

      Kenz, this is hilarious!! Honestly I would watch it too if I knew Nick wouldn’t make fun of me. I mean real torture would ensue if I watched it. Who knew Leo would be such a talent. It’s okay to keep that crush going. Although Nick if you are reading this I DO NOT have a crush on him, so don’t bring it up.

      A Pocahontas reference was literally the only thing missing from this post. Thank you for completing it!

  16. Oh, Aaron makes fun of me EVERY TIME for how much I love Titanic. I can’t be helped though. I suppose it’s a fair trade, because I make fun of how much he loves The Social Network.

  17. I think I held my breath through the whole post! So glad you’ve got what you want now!

  18. Nichole S. says:

    Phenomenal! I can die a happy woman now that I have seen this marble island waterfall drama close with a fairy tale ending! Yea marble Gods!

  19. Brandi says:

    Oh-la-la! Seriously so beautiful. Glad you got just what you wanted!!

  20. Eddie Ross says:

    The marble looks so pretty, love the lamps and drawer pulls too!

    • Nick says:

      Thanks Eddie!

      Funny aside: Tonight Amber texted and said “Eddie Ross commented on the blog today” and we were both like “wuuuuuuuuuuuuuttttttttt” :)

  21. Cynthia says:

    Great blog! I’m still in countertop hell but, fortunately in Phoenix, there are about 5 slab warehouses within 20 minutes. I’ve been to two of them 4 times each and still haven’t found that right slabs for my project. I’ve also been to a few others as well. I went full circle trying to convince myself that granite would work but, I figured that if I had looked at every piece of granite out there and couldn’t find what I wanted then granite must not be it! I’m looking at white quartzite or Caesarstone London Grey at the moment. I truly love the look of marble but, have been concerned about the upkeep of it so I’ve been looking for something that has the same feel as marble. Are you still happy with your countertop? Thanks for sharing your journey.

    • Amber says:

      We are so happy with the marble still. It is a lot of upkeep, but we have granite on other parts of the kitchen. That lets us do prep with things like lemons and acidic foods that ruin marble. We don’t have counter stools, so there hasn’t been much eating on the marble happening yet. Hopefully nothing disastrous happens then! Good luck finding the perfect slab!!

  22. Brooke says:

    You described the frustrations of picking out a slab perfectly. I’m currently designing our kitchen for our new build. I did this two years ago and I’m wondering why I decided to put myself through this again. Love the beautiful waterfall island!

    • Amber says:

      Haha we’ve often talked about going throughout the process again. I think you forget how painful it is and convince yourself to do it again. Honestly I would not at all be surprised if we built again. Good luck finding a slab!!

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