This is a story all about my countertop woes and how I overcame them haha! Kidding… countertops aren’t that serious but they are a huge part of your kitchen and they are important! This isn’t the usual cute decor or craft post but I figured it might help someone else choose a marble counter alternative, so why not share my experience right?
We started our kitchen remodel in July this year (before pics HERE) and I just knew that I had to have white cabinets and marble countertops! I am very decisive and I usually have a clear vision in my head. Between my “vision”, magazine clippings and a Pinterest board I was armed and ready. I started asking around looking for contractors and in the process I also asked people about their selections and how everything was holding up. I was more than bummed to hear that a lot of people already had stains on their marble (sad face.) In the meantime we found a great contractor and he agreed that marble countertops might not be a great choice for us (double sad face- look how pretty they are).
Apparently marble isn’t a good option for people who want to cook in their kitchens haha! I’m only half way kidding. I started researching and learned that marble is super porous so foods that stain like wine, berries and juice could leave permanent marks even on marble that is sealed. Oil and citrus also cause etching and marring. There are two schools of thought though, some people like these marks and consider it worn-in and cozy looking like a pair of broken-in jeans. I know myself and I am not one of these people! We are messy and I like things clean and neat, so after a lot of thought and research we decided marble isn’t for us. Waaahhhh. My problem at that point was that I had the look of marble in my head and it wouldn’t leave, it’s just so pretty! My contractor told me that granite was his favorite as far as durability and cost so we started there.
Granite: durable and won’t break the bank but hard to find in grey tones
Guys, it’s really hard to find any granite that looks like marble. I don’t mind the texture as much as the colors. I don’t have any brown tones in my house at all. No beige, cream, tan, taupe… none. Those colors look great in so many peoples homes but our house is very “cool”. We have blues and greys and aquas with bright whites. The main problem I had with granite was I couldn’t really find any without brown/tan/cream undertones. There were still plenty that I liked but didn’t think they would work. I liked the “marble look” of these.
I also liked this one which is called “fantasy brown”. Of all the granite that this yard had I liked this one best. We decided to keep looking though…
Quartzite (not to be confused with Quartz): durable, looks a lot like marble, so pretty but expensive $
During my research I learned that my favorite kind of countertops are quartzite! They are natural, earthy and so gorgeous. They almost look like a salt block to me. I asked the employees for details and they said that it isn’t nearly as porous as marble so the staining wouldn’t be as bad! Perfect right?? Perfect until I learned about the price :( We have a lot of countertops and this was just out of our budget. But I can’t get over how pretty they are.
Quartz: only slightly more expensive than granite, very durable and messy family friendly, comes in grey tones
After searching for the perfect thing and being sad that nothing was marble (I was getting annoying about it) I spotted this… Definitely the right color and still natural looking without being too busy. I think I liked it. I asked a million questions and found out that it was quartz. A manmade countertop that was super durable and not nearly as expensive as quartzite.
They showed me the other colors; all the ones I liked had grey or white backgrounds with what looked like glass rocks inside and some even had mirrored looking rocks. Some of these are not name brand but some are Silestone. They are anti-microbial and had a warranty! Yay!
My husband went to the Silestone warehouse to get a closer look so he sent me this picture and the background caught my attention. It had a marble-esque pattern!
They gave him a book with every single color that they carry. I immediately loved the look of two of their colors, Lyra and Helix. Here they are next to real Carrara Marble… pretty close for a durable option!
Left is Silestone in Helix, Middle is Silestone in Lyra and right is marble. I had found our winner!
Our kitchen is very white so we ended up going with Helix (on the left) to give it more contrast. I was super nervous because of my marble expectation but the day it showed up I was really happy! We have lived with it for over a month now and we LOOOOVE them!! So easy to take care of and doesn’t show anything at all! Here are the guys installing it :)
There you have our countertop “journey” haha… and hopefully this post helped someone with their marble countertop debacle! Let me know if you have any questions, and stay tuned for the big kitchen reveal coming soon!