I HATE my black & silver speck granite counter tops, but $$$$
Linda Doyle
August 21, 2013 in Design Dilemma
My counters are black with specks of silver. I cook a lot. I am constantly cleaning the counters. A real pain! I looked at the exotic granite, but it was going to cost about $9000.00 because it was labeled exotic. What can I do with these? Sell them to a new home builder? I checked on a "granite over-lay", but it would be major money- over $10000. !! Cannot do that! Any ideas?
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Would be hard to sell since the shape of the kitchen is very customized.
August 21, 2013 at 4:59pm        Thanked by Linda Doyle
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Jenny Youngblood
I hate black granite- I feel your pain. I had them in my vacation home- but did tons of entertaining there- and ripped them out after a large party left multiple wine and water glass rings that I could not get off. Where are you looking at granite? Are you saying the slabs were 9-10K or everything slabs and install was 9-10k? I have done granite in 6 kitchens (two in Tennessee, one in Vegas and three in California) and I have VERY expensive taste, and two of the kitchens in California were huge- and I have NEVER picked out 9-10k granite. My current remodel has "very exotic/rare" and I paid 5k for 2 large slabs. So wherever you are going- you are getting way overcharged. But if that is the price for everything- still high in my opinion, as you kitchen is decent but not huge- the shop around for a better price on the install and granite price. Choose a simple beveled edge to keep cost down. Your kitchen looks like a two slab kitchen from the pics, so I think this whole project could be done 5-7K for everything. Then add a beautiful backsplash to meld your countertop with the cabinets. Or you could do quartz- look at Cambria- some of their patterns are so intricate it looks like granite, and it slightly less.
August 21, 2013 at 5:02pm        Thanked by Linda Doyle
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I feel your pain! I inherited similar ugly black granite in my kitchen. It always looks dull and dusty no matter how much I try to polish or how clean it actually is. During our reno we painted out our oak cabinets in a medium-tone grey and replaced the island counter top with a white quartz (with grey flecks). Unfortunately, we've had to keep the black granite on the others for now. I highly recommend the quartz - so much better than the black! The grey cabinets do help blend in the black, though. Anyway, in our city, Habitat for Humanity has what they call the Re-store, where they take donations of this kind of stuff and re-sell to fund their building projects - only thing is, you might need to get it to them. Not sure if they will come and remove it for you. Good luck! I can already picture your kitchen with different counters - would make a world of difference!
August 21, 2013 at 5:03pm        Thanked by Linda Doyle
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I'm intrigued by your floor, is it concrete?
the yellow tones in the cabinets and the floor are not helping this stone.
My advice is to stop obsessing over the granite's fingerprint-free status; nobody else is.
Just enjoy your kitchen as a place to cook. Cooking is inherently messy.
You're lucky enough to have a strong, durable surface to work on.
August 21, 2013 at 5:10pm        Thanked by Linda Doyle
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Black granite does not look as bad with white cabinets as it does here with honey/maple wood. Aesthetically, it's the color of you cabinets that hurt they eye. Black countertop, white cabinets and grey walls would look pretty good.
August 21, 2013 at 5:12pm        Thanked by Linda Doyle
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Linda Doyle
No, I paid about $7800.00 for the granite. I really wanted the exotic granite, but it would have been $9800.00. Prices included installation. I did check many granite stores & found that this was the average cost (for Nashville). Unfortunately, we are retired & now on a fixed income. Just cannot start over with the kitchen. (My husband is very ill). We are 30 minutes south of Nashville. Our one year old house is our retirement home. Think I'll call some new home builders & just see what they suggest.
August 21, 2013 at 5:14pm   
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I just cannot think of a cheaper alternative for you, knowing your situation right now. I know cooking is probably good therapy for you, too. I think your space looks beautiful and i know what a pain it is to clean all the time.
August 21, 2013 at 5:15pm      Thanked by Linda Doyle
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Linda Doyle
The floor is stained concrete. It is brown with streaks of black, just a little maple color-pics made it look yellow. Maybe too much light when taking the pictures?... The pictures did not perceive the floor as it really looks. the cabinets are maple, heavily outlined in black. I don't think that showed in the pictures. I'll take another pic of the cabinets with the counters with less light.
August 21, 2013 at 5:21pm   
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Linda Doyle
Wow, I called Granite Transformations yesterday! they gave me a price of $12,000.00! Here are some pics of the cabinets. They look different shades due to the lighting & possibly my horrible camera. I still cannot see the black outlines in the crevasses & around every cabinet.
August 21, 2013 at 5:48pm   
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I started to suggest Granite Transformations, but then read your post about finances and changed my mind. It would also mean you would have no resale for what you have as they go right over the top of the existing counters. You have such a lovely space and I feel badly that the counters are not working for you. Black is sooo rich and accessories on them just pop.
August 21, 2013 at 5:53pm      Thanked by Linda Doyle
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I really love concrete floors!! Don't change that, whatever you do!!

The cabinets are pretty busy, with all the variations in height, but it's a look.
So go with it. Try painting your kitchen a color which is more of a contrast with the cabinets. I think you'd see an immediate improvement. The varying heights of crown moulding would look so much better against a deeper wall color.
August 21, 2013 at 5:55pm      Thanked by Linda Doyle
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My sister has similar counters and just walks around each night with a windex bottle and a rag and squirts them all down and wipes them up and is good for the day.
August 21, 2013 at 5:57pm        Thanked by Linda Doyle
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Linda Doyle
The floors were a fast fix. we were trying to get into the house before Christmas. We just did the fastest method. We will be changing the floor to tile, wood? Just not sure when. As I said, my husband is very sick & honestly I'm afraid to spend/do anything now- not knowing what the future will be. It doesn't look good. Some of you were right- I should stop stressing over the counters. (I just love CLEAN)
August 21, 2013 at 6:00pm     
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You know why your counters stand out so much? Because they're so dang clean!
Also, decorations are important.
Here's how I accessorize:
Get hubby to sprinkle the contents of his pockets randomly around the counter. (Mine does this without being asked!)
Strew the bills, magazines and newspapers wherever I'm certain to forget about them.
Soak last night's dishes until tomorrow.
Seriously, add a little color. If you have a bright stand mixer or a tea kettle or vase you love, you could start with that color.
Wishing you and your husband peace and restored health.
August 21, 2013 at 6:21pm        Thanked by Linda Doyle
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Linda Doyle
What color should I paint the walls? the kitchen is open with the great-room, so it needs to blend a little? the table with the flowers on it is in the kitchen beside the table (you can see part of a chair & in the mirror you can see the kitchen. Trying to show color of walls. Ktchen is painted the upper light color. Sorry about pics blurry/crooked. Wow, just noticed, the walls look yellow -strange color. Walls are beige on top & 2 shades darker on the bottom.
August 21, 2013 at 6:28pm   
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RUCON Construction Management, Inc.
Linda - I would try looking for a backsplash to tie the walls, flooring and granite together. I think a glass/stainless or travertine would be gorgeous! I have granite I'm not crazy about too but when we added a backsplash I love ....the granite was no longer the (my:) focal point. Also, Target's Method daily granite cleaner works great. Will be thinking of you and your husband. Best wishes!
August 21, 2013 at 8:18pm        Thanked by Linda Doyle
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The cabinets are a beautiful natural color. I had a friend eh hated her black granite counters for the same reason. I always wondered if they could be honed in place to a matte finish to look like soapstone, which would be fabulous with your cabinets. Probably not due to the dust. The advice above to remove the 4" granite backsplash and add a simple tiled backsplash would minimize the black but not solve the cleaning problem. (I'm stunned at granite overlay pricing as I thought they were supposed to be an inexpensive alternative.).
August 21, 2013 at 10:58pm        Thanked by Linda Doyle
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Linda, it looks great. Since you have enough other stress right now, just take pride in having the cleanest darn counters in all of Nashville. Health and husband hugs first!
August 22, 2013 at 12:11am        Thanked by Linda Doyle
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If your change the cabinets to white I think it could look very nice.
March 25, 2014 at 6:24pm   
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I have the same type of countertop and I use microfibres cloths from Costco..the yellow ones...leaves them streak free!
March 25, 2014 at 6:44pm   
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This was an old post. Still hope LInda's husband is doing better.
March 25, 2014 at 7:40pm   
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Catherine Gibson
Hey Linda, hope all is better with your husband and the counter's are no longer bugging you. Saskatoo is absolutely correct about microfiber cloths. Most of the time you just use water. The thing to remember with them is that, they need to be washed by themselves, with just laundry soap and no softener or bleach. Costco has them by the dozen and so does Sam's. I got a great deal on 12 at Bed Bath & Beyond. Not only are the the best for streak free shiny cleaning, they clean everything so well and so easily. I agree that your counters are actually lovely but, I understand about the dark showing messes just as much, if not worse than light colors.

I know you may see it as a step backwards, but, if you can sell your existing counters on craigslist, you could go with a modestly priced laminate. It will be a quick inexpensive solution. Since you are planning to stay in the house long term, you could then wait to install a more upgraded quartz or granite counter that you actually like. And laminates are absolutely indestructible. I know I've moved into houses with laminate counter tops that I was actually trying to ruin so I could talk the hubs into replacing them. No luck, they just kept on going.

Alternatively I love the idea of honing them to make them look more like soapstone. The matte finished will hide soooo much more smudgy stuff and they will look more dark grey than black. Also, if you have a section that you could replace with a butcher block section, that would add a natural tone to the expanse of black, and give you a better place for all the prep work that tends to make surfaces smudged.

Good luck and best wishes for your husband's recovery.
March 26, 2014 at 9:36am   
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