Kitchen countertops-coordinating island with peripheral
Roxanne
April 7, 2013 in Design Dilemma
I would like to use Alpinus granite for my island and a complementary "solid" color for my counters. I was thinking of using engineered quartz but DH says it looks like it belongs in a Holiday Inn. The island countertop would be a focal point/art piece. I found a granite called columbine pieta (online) that could be a possibility if I could find it. Any suggestions appreciated!
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Inspired Interiors by Wendi, IIDA
Roxanne, have you considered polished concrete countertops?
April 7, 2013 at 1:53PM     
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driftdesign
Cesarstone 3141- Eggshell, 3040 -Cement
April 7, 2013 at 2:16PM   
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rod handler
Nice piece of stone. I agree: solid color countertops. If you get ceasarstone in gray or rust it will make those colors pop in the granite.
April 7, 2013 at 2:26PM   
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
I like Caesarstone and they have some great colors to go with your granite.
Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
April 7, 2013 at 2:29PM   
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Roxanne
Thank you everyone. I have thought of polished cement countertops--I think they would look great but think they might be terribly expensive. My designer and I have been planning to use a Caeserstone, Silestone or other manufactured quartz, but my husband hates it and wants real stone. Are there solid or mostly solid colored granites or quartzite's in a grey or taupe? I have ruled out marble, soapstone, limestone--we are tough on things.
The other option I have would be to use a quartzite that tends to the subtle such as this glacier pearl. I dislike most granites for the busyness. My cabinetry is bisque, shaker style door, inset (no beading or exposed hinges) by Crystal Cabinetry. The house is contemporary which I'm nudging towards transitional. I'm concerned about the monochrome of an "all white " kitchen (this is open to the rest of the living area) and yet can't do the black countertop thing. I've asked my designer to save me from boring as my taste is conservative (snooze).Any more comments???
April 7, 2013 at 3:40PM   
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0825sam
If you want your island to be the art piece how about you do the alpinus on the island and absolute black granite on the perimeter?

April 7, 2013 at 3:48PM   
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0825sam
Just to show black on perimeter and light on island

April 7, 2013 at 3:48PM     
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0825sam
Oops just reread your post and see you are using the alpinus on the island. Have you considered the black as opposed to a grey or taupe? I think you may have trouble coordinating two relatively light natural stones (as opposed to the solid quartz idea).
April 7, 2013 at 3:56PM   
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Wyland Interior Design Center
I agree with sam0705. Maybe Absolute Black granite or Black Galaxy would be a nice contrast with what your describing. There are many quartz that look the same as the black granite with much less maintenance. However, I would trust your designer and what they recommend, since they have all the materials and colors in front of them. Maybe your designer can explain to your husband the different pros and cons of the quartz verses granite to persuade him into the quartz.
April 7, 2013 at 3:57PM     
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Wyland Interior Design Center
Oh, I forgot what about wood counter on he rest of the kitchen. If you go with a marine varnish finish, you can use it with a sink just fine.
April 7, 2013 at 3:59PM   
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Roxanne
That alpinus sure does look great on the island--I just can't see it everywhere. The second photo is right on with my cabinetry. I've always liked absolute black but I think husband won't go for it (so now we know he doesn't like caeserstone, etc and also doesn't like a dark countertop) as well as many complaints from homeowners that say it's hard to keep looking clean. So that's where I've been trying to get suggestions for a granite or quartzite that is a light grey/ taupe that could coordinate with the alpinus. I think the second option of everything being in something like the glacier pearl is going to end up uninspiring. BTW- just love that fixture over the island in the pic. Do you happen to know where it's from ? Thank you for everything.
April 7, 2013 at 3:59PM   
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Ann
I just had a leathered quartzite put on my island and I absolutely love it! It was expensive and I couldn't afford to also change the rest of the countertops so I just left my boring cream colored Corian and I think it actually works OK. Too bad your husband won't go with engineered quartz, because I think that's a common and very good choice for doing what you're looking to do. I also wanted the quartzite island to be the art piece of the kitchen so I know exactly what you mean. With either the quartzite choice or the Alpinus, something calm and plain on the perimeter would be nice. I like sam0705's idea of absolute black on the perimeter if your husband won't go for engineered quartz. Anyway, my vote would actually be the quartzite because I think quartzite is stunning. If you could afford to do your whole kitchen with the quartzite, that would be great. Your granite choice is very nice too though. Please post pictures of your decision and the finished kitchen.
April 7, 2013 at 4:03PM   
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Ann
Is glacier pearl the quartzite? If so, I don't think you could meet a quartzite that is uninspiring - search Houzz for "quartzite countertops" and I think you'll be amazed at how beautiful each one is. Since I just went through this myself, this is a great discussion :)
April 7, 2013 at 4:09PM   
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Wyland Interior Design Center
Have you looked at any soapstones? Soapstone not only comes in darker colors, but many lighter grey to green grey colors as well. Easy maintenance too.
April 7, 2013 at 4:10PM   
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Ann
Don't be afraid of going light on the island and dark on the perimeter. I agree with sam0705 (again) in that you will have trouble coordinating two light colored natural stones. I've never had absolute black, but my new dark leathered quartzite always looks clean and free of any fingerprints etc., even in weird light that shows everything! I think the only way going light in both places and having it work would be the use of the solid engineered quartz on the perimeter. Maybe your husband won't be swayed, but I've heard that quartz is a great countertop!
April 7, 2013 at 4:18PM   
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Roxanne
Glacier pearl is the quartzite. I think the quartzites tend to have more of marble appearance. If I did all the tops in one stone, I think it would be quartzite as I don't find most granite appealing. I think a lot of designers really like the engineered quartzes because there really are unlimited design options instead of the same old-same old granites. My designer and I really started out thinking honed and using Caeserstone or one of its competitors.
In our area (Seattle) I think there are more homeowners using these quartzes but there is still an impression that it is less costly than granite, not necessarily a design choice. I think that's where my husband was coming from with the Holiday Inn remark. I wish I could post a photo of the whole area but too many elements are missing (wood floors not in, cabinets not in and so on) It's just a construction zone. I had thought of the wood too and discussed that with the designer. But I'd removed a wall that opens up the kitchen to the dining area which is dominated by a cherry farm table and she just didn't think it would look good. The island is between the prep area of the kitchen and the dining table. The distinctive granite would create a focal point/ transition between these 2 spaces. I know that "black goes with everything" and yet it isn't echoed anywhere on that floor which all in warm tones. I've read scary things about soapstone and how it wears--all of which leads us back to the Caeserstone, I guess. Unless there is a solid, neutral granite somewhere....
The flowing, pretty quartzite are elegant and yet with white cabinetry, I would end up with a monochrome kitchen...
April 7, 2013 at 4:40PM   
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0825sam
Have you looked at the Alaska white granite? I also do not necessarily love granite but I do like that. It might be something you could use everywhere, island too.
April 7, 2013 at 4:47PM   
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April 7, 2013 at 4:48PM   
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April 7, 2013 at 4:50PM   
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Maybe hubby just needs to let you make the decision in the kitchen. Letting him know how many professional designers REALLY like Caesarstone could help convince him. And you could tell him that a professional interior designer told you that it MIGHT be 489,692.
Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
April 7, 2013 at 5:00PM   
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Roxanne
Yes, I've looked at Alaska White-it has wonderful colors in it though not as creamy as the alpinus (nor as dramatic) Thank you for all of the suggestions!
April 7, 2013 at 5:01PM   
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Roxanne
Carolyn- so funny I The poor guy has had zero input-the whole thing has been my baby. Because I've got to make the countertop decision asap I decided to give him a short internet course in countertops. Then we did the eye doctor thing: which one is better- this one? or this one? Again, which one is better ? I learned that he doesn't like dark. Then I showed him the 2 X 2 samples of Caeserstone and he said they looked like the Holiday Inn. However, I do think he was somewhat impressed when we caught our puppy chewing on one of the samples and it was completely unmarred--the first thing ever that her teeth can't penetrate!! Perhaps we need to go to a store where there are actual engineered quartz countertops and he will be swayed. It's true that designers love it. Is that about the versatility and potential for creativity that isn't available with granite.? Or are we all just a little sick of granite??
April 7, 2013 at 5:27PM   
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Twisted Minds Custom Designs
@Roxanne, Concrete countertops can be beautiful if executed by a true concrete artisan and will be in line cost wise with quartz, stone, and granite.. I've attached a link to a FAQ's thread I've created regarding concrete countertops. Please read and if you have any other questions feel free to ask, I'd be glad to answer. Also if this may be a material you would want to use, talk to a local artisan about the many options concrete can offer you.
http://www.houzz.com/discussions/346684/Concrete-Countertops-FAQ-s-by-Twisted-Minds
April 7, 2013 at 5:35PM   
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Carolyn Albert-Kincl, ASID
Caesarstone is a beautiful and well made product with lovely color options. But we also choose it because with all the movement in your fabulous granite island, you need something simple and in a solid color to go with it so that the island can be the star!
April 7, 2013 at 5:36PM   
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Ann
I know you aren't wanting dark, but I thought I'd show you my dark quartzite. It kind of looks a bit like soapstone and certainly has a great deal of movement. Quartzites really vary in color, from dark to light.
April 7, 2013 at 5:39PM   
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Roxanne
Ann, I just discovered and have started reading your thread. Your quartzite is beautiful. I love the honed look. Twisted Minds, I will read up more on the possibility of concrete. I hadn't given it much thought before ruling it out (though I know my designer has it in her own home) And Carolyn- that was exactly the thinking--to have a striking piece that is not in visual competition with other elements. My goal is to create a warm, comforting and yet interesting space.
April 7, 2013 at 5:59PM   
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Ann
I relate to your comment "Are we all just a little sick of granite?" That's the same feeling that led me to leathered quartzite. My slab was polished and I paid an extra $600 to get it leathered. My husband was reluctant to do that, but we both love the leathered finish. I think that's what makes it so it doesn't show any fingerprints. I tried to take a closeup picture of the finish just in case you are considering leathering or honing. The creases look deep but they aren't. When cleaning up after dinner, just wipe it down with a dishcloth and dry and it's perfect. It requires absolutely no additional maintenance.
Also, my daughter has a concrete countertop in her master bathroom and I love it!
April 7, 2013 at 7:42PM     
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Roxanne
Thank you- yes,I prefer the honed or leather finish, too!
April 7, 2013 at 9:01PM   
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Roxanne
Begin cabinet install today. Agonized through the countertop decision. Decided to override husband ( as suggested here) and to go with the Alpinus on he island and Pental Quartz in Oasis (taupish color). I think e'll have counters in about
3weeks and will post. At that point will be soliciting for backsplash help.
Thank you all soooo much. You gave me courage!
April 17, 2013 at 9:45AM   
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Ann
Oh, that will be beautiful! Looking forward to the backsplash discussion. With that calm perimeter material, you'll have lots of possibilities for a backsplash!
April 17, 2013 at 12:16PM   
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