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rmkitchen

I Found My Marble! Woo-Hoo!

rmkitchen
13 years ago

Thank you virtual hand-holders! Today, on a whim as my younger son was napping, I looked up "tile" in the yellow pages and started calling. Lo and behold, in a voice loved by years of cigarettes, one place said "Sure, we've got a bunch of white marble slabs -- Statuario, Calacatta Extra, Venatino."

After Li'l Bit woke up we drove down to their slab yard and as soon as I walked in I just knew it was going to end well for me. V. well.

I found my dream marble in both 3cm and 2cm thicknesses, cut from the same block so they go together beautifully! (3cm is for the countertop, 2cm for the backsplash)

So while I didn't find the marble of my lusty dreams (mnhockeymom's delicious 5cm counters), it is without a doubt the veining / coloring I am after, and let's face it, I'll love having counters of any thickness rather than a lifetime of plywood. (that's how dejected I was feeling)

Now that's not to say I'm also not still dreaming of going to Italy -- not to pick out my own slabs, but the thought of taking a vacation all by myself sounds like a slice of heaven. These days going to the bathroom by myself would be a great vacation ... I can remember when.

Thank you again for all the great tips and support -- you all got me to cross the finish line. Cabinet installation may begin next week. May -- not holding my breath, but at least I know I'll have counters!

Comments (83)

  • monicakm_gw
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I don't know if I'm glad I opened the thread or not :o I've never really given marble much thought...thought it was pretty but nothing I'd go ga-ga over... TILL I SAW YOURS!! Holy cow! That's just about the prettiest stone I've ever seen :) Congratulations!
    Monica (a granite girl who's experiencing marble-envy)

  • rmkitchen
    Original Author
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thank you, I think, for telling me I have to hone. I mean, Thank You for telling me I'll be sorry if I don't do it now. But the "I think" is just because I have now officially overrun my contingency fund (new gas line into our house, more complicated exhaust with extensive drywall / roof repairs, new air return in the family room, counters [without honing] more than twice what I had budgeted, and now the honing -- it's the $10K extra for the counters themselves which pushed me over the edge).

    I guess I've reached my financial scary moment. Up until the cost of the counters I was feeling okay -- this project is an expensive one (whose isn't?), but still keeping in line with our budget (inc. the emergency fund). Shoot!

    But thank you for the feedback on honing. Shoot shoot shoot.

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  • lascatx
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I agree -- do hone it. My honed marble is a year into developing its patina -- it would have been painful if it had started polished -- and the backsplash difference is a huge point.

    You did find some beautiful marble. Enjoy!

  • rmkitchen
    Original Author
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Than you lascatx for letting me know your experience.

    I spoke with our sweet fabricator (I always love talking with her -- just a delightful woman) and she is giving me a slight break on the honing. I really appreciate this because, as I said to her, it's definitely not her fault the marble I chose is so expensive!

    So I sent the check and off we go!

    Thank you all again for the incredibly kind words, insight and advice. You are all helping me get the perfect countertop and I sincerely appreciate it!

  • lascatx
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    You're gonna love it!

    Wish I could come see it too, but we really should start telling everyone what a painwhite kitchens and white marble are. I'm seeing them in too many magazines! LOL

  • divamum
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I'm not that much of a marble (or granite, for that matter) person and I am just gobsmacked by those photographs. That stuff is EXQUISITE. Gawow!

  • napagirl
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    CONGRATULATIONS !!
    I'm glad you went ahead and made the commitment, you won't be sorry. color ="red">

  • rmkitchen
    Original Author
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    napagirl -- you're next! I'm going to be keeping an eye out for posts from you so I'll know when you've found your dream marble (and I'll be keeping my fingers crossed, too). I really appreciate your sweet enthusiasm and encouragement.

    I really appreciate everyone's encouragement and advice!

    lascatx, your kitchen is magnificent. I'd be delighted if ours has the lovely, warm character yours does.

    And monicakm and divamum -- thank you for your kind words about my marble. I'm going to keep you in mind as I second-guess myself. I'm only human!

    Thank you lovely, generous GWers!

  • rmkitchen
    Original Author
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    napagirl -- I realized I forgot to answer your question. So sorry!

    We'll need two slabs of the 3cm in order to get our 85 square feet. Those slabs are 110 x 67 and 118 x 70. The man at the yard where I selected the slabs told me that those slabs should yield ~100 squre feet, although I left the final decision to our fabricator. We'll need one slab of the 2cm to get our backsplash (it's 122 x 73) and have plenty left over. Everybody's getting cheese boards for Christmas / Hanukkah!

  • katmandu_2008
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Ok, you sound like the people for me. rmkitchen, your marble is absolutely gorgeous, took my breath away.

    I need your help rmkitchen, napagirl and mnhockeymom, and it seems you will understand. I have been agonizing over the marble thing. I am inexplicably in love with it. In the stone shops, I walk around rejecting slab after slab of granite, then I catch a glimpse of carrara or calcutta across the aisle and my heart leaps, my soul sings. AM I CRAZY?

    So I brought two samples home to "test" - one polished, one honed, both sealed on half of their surface. I was SO discouraged - coffee stained, lemon, ketchup and vinegar etched. DH says that rules it out, we have two young boys after all, three when you count DH (you get the picture) - but I refuse to let it go! I am fairly practical - don't want something unrealistically high maintenance, and yet I am dreaming about the marble!!

    So mnhockeymom, when you said you could talk rmkitchen through the pre-install nightmares, how do I get over this? Do I just do it? Is there a marble "type" of person? help!

  • rmkitchen
    Original Author
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    katmandu_2008 -- first I have to tell you how much I love your user id! Back in 2002 my husband I spent nearly a year trekking in Nepal (inc. climbing Sagarmatha), and Kathmandu was our "base." Just thinking about the hotel Dwarika's gorgeous woodwork makes me all woozy ... although if I ever see another momo again I might poke my eyes out and cut off my tongue. (as a vegan that, in addition to daal bhat, was pretty much what I ate daily for months on end)

    Okay, back to business. Our countertops are still far from being installed (probably in April), but this is what I know about marble: you have to be okay with imperfections. You just have to if you have marble.

    That was my husband's initial beef against it: he didn't want to worry about staining / etching (because he is a slob sine pari) and also didn't want to worry about me yelling at him (because in this department I am the yin to his yang). But he didn't really know how much I don't care -- to me, the etching / staining is part of the character, and I love it!

    We did the sample thing, too, leaving catsup, etc. on it overnight and the polished pieces etched. He was more upset about it than I because I wasn't upset at all. On the honed pieces we didn't really see much of a difference, to tell the truth. I mean, lying flat with our overhead lighting we didn't see anything. When we took it outside and tilted the sample this way and that sure, we could see it. But we won't be taking our countertops outside and twisting them, examining for imperfections.

    Without living with marble countertops yet (although as I wrote, I did see it used / abused [makeup, perfume, ...] by my mother in her dressing room) I think marble is probably best for people who just can't have anything else. If you can be happy with any other surface, not worrying about staining / etching, then that might be best. If, like me, the thought of other countertops only leaves you feeling dejected and like "why bother," then pursue marble.

    Remember, I do not yet have our countertops! I am really excited for you and look forward to reading more about your countertop odyssey.

  • katmandu_2008
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    rmkitchen, thanks so much for writing back! I must admit, katmandu is more of a play on my name and, alas, I haven't been there, although would love to, but I did live in Asia for a year, albeit in a densely populated city, so I can appreciate your journey. It must have been amazing.

    Now back to the marble! The etchings definitely showed up less on the honed and I like the honed better anyway, so maybe I do just need to get a little more comfortable with that mindset, and get rid of our morning coffee and red wine. Ahhhh! (No, we don't drink red wine in the a.m. to clarify.) Your "why bother" comment hit home as this snafoo has caused me to rethink the whole kitchen remodel at all. What's the point without a countertop you love? BTW, good for you undertaking whole house remodel with such young kids (looked at your page). If you trekked through Nepal for a year, this will be a piece of cake I imagine. : ) Speaking of looking at your page, I saw you had clippings on soapstone. Are you using that too? Because that's the other surface I love - would like soapstone perimeter and marble island.
    I am new to GW so hope it's kosher that I looked at your clippings. I don't really understand everything yet...

    Anyway, I am just getting started on the remodel process but so glad to have stumbled into this site. Looking forward to hearing of your progress and seeing photos someday!

  • rmkitchen
    Original Author
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    If a member has clippings available they're there for your perusal -- nothing taboo about that. A topic (thread) only lives for so long on GW (before getting bumped off for newer topics), so by having clippings public it allows people to find something which otherwise might have disappeared.

    Yes, we were considering soapstone. Marble has always been my number one choice but in the v. beginning, when my husband was dead-set against it (staining, etching) I owed it him to investigate other options. So I did check out soapstone, quartzite (and I thought my marble was expensive! holy cow), Okite Bianco Carrara (quartz which has a pretty good marble pattern) and Virginia Mist (aka Jet Mist) Granite.

    But nothing made me swoon like marble. And that's where we are, back at the beginning.

    Our island will have a butcher block countertop (it'll be our work surface), the marble our perimeter. However, lots of folks have a soapstone perimeter and a marble island countertop -- they get their beautiful marble without having to worry about it being their main surface. Something to think about for you, maybe. ???

    Thank you for your kind words regarding my undertaking this project with little children: I've had misgivings about it (about which I wrote here on GW and received really kind, helpful responses) with LOTS of four-letter words yelled / muttered (but those little ears hear everything), so I cannot accept your encomium -- I honestly don't deserve it. (wish I did, though -- maybe in my next life)

    So where did you live in Asia? I lived in Tokyo, Beijing and Hanoi -- I love Asia! (married a Japanese man) Every time I go back I immediately feel at home and at ease.

    I'm glad you found GW -- you're in great company!

  • kateskouros
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    congratulations! those are great looking slabs. i can't wait to see them in their new home. GL, here's to smooth sailing.

  • mnhockeymom
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    katmandu - sorry to have missed this thread for awhile....what can I do to talk you off the edge? I don't know how many times or how well your samples were sealed but I can tell you that I have one DH and 3 DS who are so sloppy they should be banned from MY kitchen and yet we havae ZERO staining - etching, yes, but so very, very subtle that I've challenged people to find it and noone has been able to yet! I'm talking balsamic vinegar, coffee, ketchup, red wine, lemon juice, food coloring, OJ, etc, etc and my counters look and feel today as beautiful as they did the day they were installed.

    I have to say that I agree with rmkitchen - if I couldn't have had my marble, I wouldn't have chosen/done anything. You either can't live without it or you don't "need" it - silly, I know!

  • igloochic
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I guess I missed this thread while in the hospital....I find myself saying two things...Ummm there's 5cm marble??? Hummmm I never saw that! And then the secod thing..."hummm Honed or not...."

    I'm putting michelangelo vanilla 3cm in the bathroom with copper vessel sinks in the stuff. I love it, it's gorgeous...it's shiny. Honed...hummmm so how much does this become necessary in a master bath??? In a kitchen I'd do it in a heartbeat...but tell me from experience...bathroom??? To hone or not to hone???? Vanilla has very subtle coloring (white with just a hint of brown veins) and I want the brown to show....what will happen with that honed???

  • rmkitchen
    Original Author
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I don't know if you spend any time over in the Bathrooms forum, Dawn, but there the consensus is that the marble finish is a matter of preference, not of necessity. (meaning, if you like polished you should be just fine in a bathroom, but if you like honed then go with that)

    And about the 5cm marble, in an earlier thread (since deleted) I wrote about my exercise in frustration finding 5cm marble (inspired by mnhockeymom's knock-out gorgeous countertops), that here, in an urban center (Denver) the slab yards were arguing with me that 5cm doesn't exist. Um, okay. So I called Walker Zanger yards in Las Vegas and Texas (the two which are closest to me) and they, too, told me that "no one makes 5cm" marble. When I explained to all these naysayers that I "know" someone who has it they either insinuated I was a prevaricator or that my "friend" (mnhockeymom) is. Clearly not. My point being, if it was difficult here in the lower 48, I'd imagine it would be even harder for you up north. I guess 5cm occasionally shows up on the east coast, but even then, slim pickings.

    Get this -- the Las Vegas Walker Zanger told me no one uses 3cm marble -- everyone uses 2cm and laminates the edge. Really? Everyone? Hmm, wonder about all the folks' kitchens I've seen here ....

  • napagirl
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    katmandu -- Sorry, but I can't give you any first hand experience with marble. I just know I love it and I haven't felt that way with any grantite I've seen. I'm basing my decision on what I've read here, and also on my cousin's experience. She used salvaged white marble from an old SF hotel in her first kitchen remodel, and loved it enough to do it again in her current home. She had no issues with staining.

  • igloochic
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    I was given the "no one has 3cm marble" two years ago when I started searching for it. I happened to be looking at granite and saw a "white" that had to be granite cuz umm it was 3cm and the sales gal at the yard said it was mable. SIGN ME UP!!! I got it for the same price as the 2cm laminated edge marble so that all seemed lovely. But now you girls start tauting out your honed marble...

    I did test it with toothpaste and hairspray and it did fine with a polish. I guess if it's a matter of preference in the bathroom I should stick to the shine since it kind of "goes" with the other features (I wanted a juxtoposition with the shiny crocodile tile and the marble against the travertine and ORB). But it would be interesting to see in honed...hummm WHY DO I READ THESE???? :oP

  • lascatx
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Igloochic, can't help with the hone or don't hone in the bathroom.

    Katmandu, I can tell you that marble well sealed with a good sealer will not stain -- at least not with coffee, red wine or tomato sauce left up to 12 hours. My guys have left me some surprises (big and little -- hence, teh wine) and none have stained. I was afraid of staining too, but it just hasn't happened after over a year in a guy-house. I had worse experiences with some of the light granites I tested in my attempts to make myself happy with one of them.

    I love my marble. My only disappointment, if I have one -- in sort of a proud way, is sseeing so much more of it in magazine spreads these days. It isn't as unique as it was when I fell for it, but at least I was ahead of the curve. LOL As long as it always looks and feels like a classic and not trendy, I'll be happy.

    rmkitchen, thanks for the kind words. I'm humbled and somewhat surprised -- your plans sound so fabulous and your marble is gorgeous. And btw, I had only one large slab honed and had quotes with flat rates of $350-$500 per slab for honing. Needless to say, those that had the honing cost less had higher charges elsewhere in the quote. What you were being quoted semed like a lot, but for 3 slabs, it's not out of line. Saving some off of that is even better.

  • katmandu_2008
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thanks all for the encouragement on marble. I, too, am feeling compelled to look for a "white granite with grey veining" - interesting to know some of them stain too. I am torn by what I read here (also calling everyone I know with marble) vs. what I saw with my own eyes. Should never have showed my experiment results to the hubby - ha.

    For my next stupid question, if I understand it, they take the 2 cm and make the end/edge thicker to look like 3 cm, yes? So in theory, couldn't they take 2 or 3 and make the edge look like 4 or 5 (6?) cm??? I have no idea but I too love that thick chunky look on hockeymom's.

    lascatx, must agree with you. In a recent issue mag I just bought, nearly every other kitchen was white cabinets with marble! - but I do still feel it is timeless.

    p.s. rmkitchen - I lived in tokyo and loved it.

  • mindimoo
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    (apologize in advance if 2 postings show up - I tried Saturday, but website was having difficulties & it still hasn't showed up)

    Beautiful Calacatta rmkitchen! There's just nothing like it once you see it!

    I've been lurking the "white marble" discussions for weeks. We were looking for white with black veining and just got lucky with this lot. Last Thursday, my husband and I found our slabs as well. He was even more sure of it than I was - just "that's it!" and he was done. Even after 3 more showrooms of slabs, nothing even piqued our interest.

    I'm a designer, more architectural than interior, although I do some interior selections for some clients. Darn, I don't know why this is harder when it's our own house, but I second, third and fifteenth guess every decision. I even snuck back down to the showroom on Friday to look at the slabs again. Maybe it's just because I am IN LOVE with them!

    Hopefully, you all will give me your opinions on the slabs, the one I'm attaching is our island slab. We'd like to keep the island polished and the perimeter (including baking center) honed, but it probably isn't practical with eating and a prep sink at the island. What do you think? I'm planning on keeping the bar/wine refr. area polished with a full ht polished backsplash - there only. Even if I have to put a tempered glass top on it - I want the polish in the area next to the dining room.

    We are fully versed in the honed, etching, staining department and just would like to hear from those of you who have kept some of the marble polished and if you would do it again. BTW, we have windows on both the east and west sides of the kitchen!

    THANKS FOR ANY COMMENTS!
    {{gwi:1621780}}\

    {{gwi:1621781}}

  • pbrisjar
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    mindimoo that is absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous marble.

  • rmkitchen
    Original Author
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    mindimoo -- holy cow is that marble gorgeous! I am so excited for you (and you know I totally get it!). I'd love more details about your kitchen -- with marble like that it's sure to be stunning.

    As the fabricators were just here last Friday (3/14) for templating and Wednesday (3/19) I'm down to watch them apply the template to the stone I have zippo real-life knowledge. However, I love the way polished looks. Love it love it love it.

    My only concern about keeping your island polished is what I've read here about water sitting on the marble; the eating I don't think would be a problem but I just don't know about the prep sink overspray, etc. which isn't quickly wiped up. In your bar I don't think it's as big an issue because I'd imagine you wouldn't be using your bar sink as often as your prep sink. ???

    But mindimoo, I am so excited for you! Congratulations on your gorgeous find.

  • madaboutkitchens_gw
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    hi, everyone,
    just to chime in on the marble-in-the-bathroom and honed vs polished discussions, i have had calacutta oro in both baths for 1.5 years now and they are honed. they show water marks, contact lens solution marks, rings from beer bottles (don't ask) and all can really only be seen at just the right angle. the honed texture is soooo amazing compared to polished- it feels 'soft'. nothing has stained it so far- even my two small kids and their colorful toothpastes. i was inspired by a friend who'd put calacatta oro on counters and backsplash in her white kitchen (design studio white/ralph lauren is the perfect white for this marble!), and i knew i had to put it somewhere!! it is a showstopper for sure. good luck!

  • lascatx
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Mindimoo, those are beautiful slabs. Are you going contemporary? I can see the more dramatic veining looking really great that way -- but very dramatic in a traditional kitchen too.

    I have polished marble flooring, and it has some bad etchings. They are original to the house, so I came along and tried to clean them, and clean them and wondered what was going on with them. I think they will be a headache in a kitchen -- especially since they would be contrasting with the honed perimeter surfaces.

    As far as mixing the finishes, what will the cabinetry be like -- same or different? Have you thought about how else you would set them apart so it would look like a stunning contrast and not a goof up?

  • mindimoo
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thank you pbrisjar I'd love to say I designed it that way, but Mother Nature is responsible!

    rmkitchen - As for my kitchen cabinets/style - well, I have to say it's mixed. The cabinets arrive April 2nd so we aren't far behind you for templating. They are inset style applied moulding maple cabinets with a "burnished" ebony finish, stainless appliances, stainless prep sink hammered and Shaw apron sink in white. (I know, some have said on these forums that they think the "black cabinets" will look dated soon, but we don't think so - at least in our case, and if we get tired or bored with them, we have no qualms painting them in years down the road.) They all have the same finish. You know the old adage about how what you wear should be what you have for design elements in your house? Well, I almost always wear some combination of black and white. Maybe it's the architectural background (I did arch. school in the mid-late 80's - remember all those black and white clothes? hee hee!-maybe you're too young!) The styles may have changed over the years, but the b & w have stayed with me as the basics of my wardrobe. Plus, it's a classic, like a tuxedo. My favorite Friday outfit is a great pair of broken in jeans, a black sweater and boots or sandals depending on the season. The wearing in of the marble will be like the "Favorite Jeans" part.

    Oh yeah,the "bar" doesn't have a sink at all, so maybe we don't need the glass top.

    lascatx- in continuation with what I said above, I'm not sure you can call our style either traditional or contemporary, it's more eclectic than that, even though I don't like that tag either. At our old house we had "upscale diner" in our kitchen and I think a small bit of that is still coming through. And, we keep talking about the marble like at the old ice cream parlors/malt shops! We are custom making our range hood cover out of wood and bondo-ing the heck out of it, sanding it smooth and having it painted and clear coated with a silver metallic automotive finish - originally was going to be custom stainless, but I wanted something different that no one else would have at their house. (Crazy - maybe, but I can't turn my brain off!) We definitely aren't standard traditional, or European in style - kind of our own American Groove... hmmm.... Because it's not a pure style, I don't think mixing honed and polished would look like a goof up, I never thought of it that way though.

    madaboutkitchens - thanks for the good advice about honing, I do think we will hone the island. The main reason we didn't want to hone was so the veining (especially the black - not fading grey) showed up more on the island and we would get that bit of glitzy gleam with the lights above there for a bit of pizzaz. I do love that honed feel of stone though, it's magical.

    I really appreciate all your positive comments, you have brought up many ideas that merit more thought and consideration! Thanks again!

  • lascatx
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    If your concern is showing off the veining, look at honing it, but using a sealer with an enhancer on the stone. Try it on a sample to make sure it's the look you want before you commit.

    If the cabinets are all the same, I think the marble being in two different finishes would look like a miss. If you've been reading a while, you have probably seen that I have 3 cabint finishes, used ar least 4 different metal finishes (counting all the variations on stainless as one), 2 different counter tops, 2 different faucet finishes --- I have no problem mixing things up, and I applaud you getting a kitchen that is your own and reflects your style and personality. Still, without seeing anything more than my mind's picture, I feel like the island having a different finishes would need something to say this is supposed to be different -- like the base being different in style or color or the stone being different.

  • mindimoo
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Hi again,

    rmkitchen - how many slabs did you end up using??

  • rmkitchen
    Original Author
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Hi mindimoo!

    Your kitchen sounds like it's going to be great and unique. I really appreciated lascatx's post where she wrote about having differently finished countertops on the same cabinetry style (how it might look odd), so I was glad to read you're thinking of having the island top honed.

    Now about the number of slabs: I'll have a better idea tomorrow (when we watch them put templates on slabs), but I was led to understand that for our ~85 sq ft of countertop we'll need two slabs (3cm); for our ~45 sq ft of backsplash we'll need only one slab with plenty left over. We'll see!

    After tomorrow morning I'll have a much better idea and I'll let you know.

    mindimoo -- you and your husband really found some beautiful slabs -- they're going to be stunning in your kitchen.

  • rmkitchen
    Original Author
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Well, I am not going to be as gracious as bayareafrancy about her countertop snafu ....

    We went down to the fabricator's this morning to watch the template be applied to our slabs, only they weren't the slabs I selected. I noticed as soon as I walked in and I told our fabricator. She was angry and disappointed (with the place where I selected the slabs), but I tried to make the best of it. We put the templates on and it was good -- not great. Good.

    I came home and sent her (Linda, our fabricator) the pictures of the slabs I'd selected and I felt sick. After looking at the pictures (above) and then what I saw today I felt sad and taken advantage of. The slabs we're evidently using are NOT, in no way shape or form, worth $18K to me. They're worth what I would've paid for other slabs and what I did NOT pay for other slabs because I didn't like any of them enough to move forward.

    But whatever, I can live with it.

    At least I could have lived with it until I received an unacceptable and rude response from CAPCO Tile, where I purchased my slabs. When I called to let them know what happened I was treated v. rudely and, in a dismissive manner, told they hadn't done it, that my fabricator had canceled the order and selected alternate slabs. And then she hung up. She was clearly not interested in customer service or trying to right their very expensive wrong.

    That is not what happened. My fabricator did not cancel the order. They did not ask for alternate slabs to be sent. I'm not stupid or gullible and I resent being charged a king's ransom so that I can be treated that way.

    I'm not sure where to go from here, to tell you the truth. I'll let you know if anything develops.

  • mindimoo
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    rmkitchen - can you hold off for a few days? I'm so sorry this is happening to you! I've heard of it before, but that isn't any consolation!

    I don't think if you can live with plywood, or whatever, for a little while, that you should go ahead with slabs you are clearly disappointed in! You will look at them every day and wish for something different.

    I would tell your fabricator to stop now until the correct slabs or suitable replacements can be found! That is too much money to spend to be unhappy!

    The only other question I might ask is, are there local or national trade organizations they belong to that you could start calling? Pressure from the industry might help you out!

  • mnhockeymom
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    rmkitchen - STOP THE PRESSES!!!! This happened to me and don't you dare let them get away with it! One of my pieces arrived on the day of install and it was SO far from even being remotely like my other pieces that at first I thought it was a joke (thought I was being punk'd!) - I don't believe it was even the same type of marble that I picked out! I grabbed the pics of my original slabs, slammed them on the counter, and showed them how the other pieces matched and yet the one in question did not. I held up the whole install for two days until they got it right. My belief is that the odd piece was one that had to be cut from its own slab, thus leaving an undesirable remnant for them to use elsewhere -- the backhanded solution was to use some other remnant of God only knows what for the odd piece and "save" one of MY slabs for another use. I told them that I was onto them and this little ruse and got my GC involved - I also told them I would tell everyone I knew and threatened all sorts of things. Surprise, Surprise, my missing slab showed up (ironically WITH the template still taped to it) and they cut the piece I needed all along.

    If they continue to make the claim that your fabricator canceled the order, then they have the burden to produce some paperwork or other evidence of such - without it, fault lies with them as does the responsibility to find you suitable replacement slabs (and PRONTO!).

    Sleep on this to get your energy back and then go at them with guns blaring tomorrow - you do NOT need to settle for this!

  • alliern
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Wow! I am so sorry that this is happening to you and I hope you can get it all straightened out. After seeing your stunning slabs, I was thrilled because that was the exact marble that I wanted for our kitchen and master bath in our house in Evergreen. Based on your referral, I called CAPCO Tile and was rudely told that I needed to get pricing for the marble direct from the fabricator. The woman was ready to hang up on me without giving me any fabricators' names. I asked her if they use the fabricator that you told me about and she nastily said...yeah. Thankfully, you had given me the name of your fabricator and I called over there. Linda was great over the phone and was willing to answer any of my questions and willingly gave me pricing.

    I agree with mnhockey, you should push to see paperwork (or emails) from both the fabricator and CAPCO stating that the fabricator canceled the order. Otherwise, CAPCO should take responsibility for this. Did you ever visit the fabricator after the slabs (that you picked out) had been delivered to them before you went there today? If not, I guess there is no way to prove that either party is at fault. They are each pointing fingers. From other posts that you have written, I have no doubt that you will get results and get to the bottom of this. Please keep me posted! I was planning on using CAPCO and your fabricator. Maybe I'll have to go another route. My husband was just in Denver, checking on the progress of our house, and he stopped by Arlun, Inc. in Aurora. It is a showroom for all finishes (floors, counters, cabinets, etc.) He was very impressed with their professionalism and selection. Good Luck!

    Allison

  • rmkitchen
    Original Author
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Wow! Thank you all so much for your support and advice.

    Almost immediately after I hung up (rather, was hung up on) I realized: "I refuse to be treated this way." So I called CAPCO back and asked to speak to management. (actually, I first called Linda [fabricator] to let her know what they'd said) I spoke with Darryl who tried to trace everything -- he definitely wanted to help me and, after I prodded him, apologized for the rude and unacceptable manner in which I was treated. (Allison -- I am so sorry you were treated the same! Clearly this woman has interpersonal issues she needs to work on outside work.)

    So in a way the rude lady was right: my fabricator did cancel one slab (I'd put three of the 3cm on hold, but I only needed two). But, according to Darryl (and what I already knew based on my great relationship with Linda, our fabricator), no "alternates" were requested and the other two slabs (of the 3cm) which made their way to Linda's are in fact the ones they'd recorded that I had requested.

    He and I spent a long time going over it (I'd e-mailed him pictures of the slabs I chose and the slabs from today) and what we think happened is this: the honing brought out the gold in the marble (this is what he suspects -- me, I don't know enough to know if this is a real possibility or a way for him to get rid of me!). Okay, problem one "solved." What he and I both think is that there was a simple miscommunication between the guy with whom I chose my slabs and me. We think he may have felt that the slabs at which we were looking were representational of the block (there were eight [or was it seven?] 3cm slabs cut from this one block), while I felt that I was saying "THESE TWO SLABS are what I want." ??? We don't know for sure what the
    other guy was thinking (he's not there for the rest of the week), but I do know what I thought!

    They have another (one) slab there, but it has a fissure 42" high which cuts (horizontally) along the slab. That means I'd have to have seams. (as it stands now, only one seam behind the apron front sink, and the faucet will be on top of it so it'll basically look seamless) I'm not sure how much I care about seams. Well now wait -- I think I do care.

    Even though the slabs have been honed he said he'd take them back (he said this nicely) and help me find what I want, whenever they come in.

    Our fabricator has been (as usual) terrific about this. I heard from Darryl that Linda immediately called them and said "yeah, don't throw us under the bus because you guys made a mistake!" She has a professional relationship with them (which will last long after my project is done) but she is totally acting as my advocate. I think that's pretty great.

    I have to say I now feel much better about the situation. I like how I was treated by Darryl (he really spent a lot of time with me) and I like how I continue to be treated by Linda (everyone, actually, at MS Specialty).

    And the truth is, the stone which will appear in the countertop (so what was peeking through the template) looked good, looked quite good. As a whole slab I was disappointed, but I'm not going to have a large island where that kind of single, large piece will be utilized.

    {{gwi:1621784}}

    I'm going to sleep on it. Linda knows not to cut anything. If I need to, I can go back and look at the slabs again and figure out my feelings. What bothers me the most about the slabs as they are right now is the amount of gold in them. As I wrote earlier, I am not a fan of the gold. At all. And I searched a long time and was prepared to pay a real premium for marble without the gold. The gold is definitely minimal -- hardly visible in the pictures.

    And I'm also bothered that I'm being asked to pay that premium for slabs sight-unseen (since these are not the slabs I selected). That's more moral outrage. When I hear people getting huffy about a perceived slight (such as this) I often ungraciously think: "This is a person who needs to volunteer more." Pusillanimous, thy name is Brooke!

    mnhockeymon: you really are my best marble friend. Thank you so much for telling me your story and your great (as always!) advice. I'm definitely going to sleep on it.

    mindimoo: thank you for your hand-holding. I forgot to answer your (earlier) question: it's taking two slabs to get my countertops with lots (lots) left over. My husband is saying he wants a new sink in our main level guest bath, so we can use the marble for it. I'm still thinking of cheese boards for Christmas / Hanukkah! Based on what Darryl told me (about the honing being responsible for pulling out the gold), I am a little worried about your beautiful slabs. I know you wrote the (a) reason for not having your island top honed is to preserve the beautiful black veins. I don't know if it's possible to hone just a teeny piece of your slabs to see what happens. I would just hate for you to have your slabs "hurt" as I feel mine have been!

  • mnhockeymom
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    rmkitchen - I am SO happy that you feel vindicated (at least a little - yes?) and were allowed to state your case with someone rational and fair listening. I'm not sure I 100% believe him about the honing bringing out so much more of the gold but it's not like I have tons of experience with this so I should probably just keep my mouth shut on that one. I will say that my slabs when I took their pics were polished and that now they don't look much different (if any different at all) since they've been honed. I think the more plausible explanation is the one you suggest - that you believe you chose specific slabs whereas they believe they were only showing you something representational of what your slabs might be like. You're way to savvy to have overlooked a not-so-slight distinction as that!

    At the end of the day (or better yet, at the first light of day tomorrow), what matters most is that you are thrilled (not merely satisfied!) with what you see under the template. The day is coming soon when you are going to make a goof of yourself and want to lie down on your soon-to-be-ALL-YOURS beautiful marble kitchen counters - don't accept anything that doesn't make you want to touch them over and over again and get giddy just at the sight of them!!

  • napagirl
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Ooooh, rmkitchen, I'm so saddened to read what happened to your lovely marble, and applaude mnhockeymom for her strong words of encouragement. I, too, find it hard to believe that honing would bring out more gold color, but of course I also have no experience in that regard.

    I'll be following this thread and hope for a good and speedy outcome. (((hugs)))

  • cat_mom
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Oh Brooke--I hope I will read here about a happy resolution for you (either with these slabs or others).

    Keep us all posted on the outcome (what am I saying--of course you will!!!).

  • rmkitchen
    Original Author
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Oh my goodness -- thank you mnhockeymom, napagirl and cat_mom. You are just so incredibly kind!

    A miracle happened today, which is my 21 month-old son (Ruffin) with severe gross motor delays stood and took his first step this morning. (after we got home from the fabricator) I cried cried cried. Luckily his PT was there so Ruffin didn't see me falling apart (from joy) Talk about putting those slabs into perspective! My angel is going to walk by his second birthday -- that will be my best gift. Oh, typing it out now is getting me all teary!

    Back to the slabs. So the short story is this: I've decided to use these slabs.

    I slept on it, went back down to the fabricator's today to look at them and realized: "I like these slabs." No, they are not the slabs I picked out and Yes, they do have some faint gold in them (which I didn't want), but looking, again, at the template on the slabs I think I am going to be really happy with my countertops. They also had a slab of Carrara for someone else and looking at it reminded me how disappointed I felt for months when searching for our slabs. (this Carrara had the same road map feel to me which I dislike) It was a good mental goose, so to speak.

    I also had a chance to think about what it was which ticked me off so much, and it was that unpleasant woman at CAPCO (with whom alliern also spoke). Honestly, I guess I am just sick and tired of people not accepting any responsibility, either for their own actions or on behalf of their company (and immediately blaming others). When I was working outside the home there were times I would speak with a fellow professional who might've been angry about my or a colleague's actions. Even when it was my colleague (or boss) who was the cause, I apologized. It was the right thing to do. I'm not talking about that "customer is always right," I'm talking about common courtesy. While Darryl basically "righted" the situation, it was that initial contact I had with them which really irked me.

    Grr! (Okay, I'm esp. riled because a little boy [at my three year-old's nursery school] kicked my son, hard, in the face. He wouldn't apologize and his mother thought I was nuts for expecting her son to apologize. When I called over to her son, saying "okay, why don't you apologize for hurting" my son, he spit at me and ran away. His mother smirked. Nice, huh? Guess where that boy learned "right" from wrong and all about personal responsibility?)

    napagirl, I've got to tell you you were the first person of whom I thought when I saw my "new" slabs. (since you and I are in the same "no gold / only white and grey" boat) My moral from this story is to not go crazy spending tons of money on slabs which appear to have no gold because you never know (either they get switched or honing brings it out). I would just hate for you to have anything like my experience. I really would.

    But from the bottom of my heart I want to thank you all for continually being so kind and generous with me!

  • louisianapurchase
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    rmkitchen,

    After reading this entire post about the marble and being moritified at what happened to you at the fabricators, esp. after the initial "Oh yes, we have that marble" experience at CAPCO, I have to say you had me in tears about your son. I have a twelve year old who had significant fine motor skill issues when he was small and took several years to get on top of so I feel your raw emotion. It really puts it all in perspective; however, I do hope everything works out with the marble. It really is a masterpiece. By the way, both of your boys are precious. Your oldest in fact reminds me of my 17 mo. old.

  • mnhockeymom
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    WOW! Today is a wonderful day for you!! Congrats, congrats, congrats to you and Ruffin! Isn't it funny how our blessings are revealed to us at exactly the moment we need them? Perspective is so wonderful and something that we ALL could use each day as we deal with our little "big" things (marble slabs, anyone?). I hope you are just floating on air still. As a mom of son who should be dead after a horrific supposedly-always-fatal illness and who was left with significant special needs for years thereafter BUT who is now one of the most "normal"-in-every-way 9 year olds you could ever meet, steps (figurative AND literal) like today can just cut you to the core and yet raise you up at the same time. I hope you celebrate tonight!

    As for your marble, you seem to really have embraced these slabs and that is so wonderful...I have to say that as I came down to the kitchen this morning to get the daily drill started, I flicked on the lights and my eyes just locked onto my marble - after 4 mos, it still takes my breath away and makes me smile. You're on that road now - yippee!!

    To the whole preschool incident, I don't even know what to say because I still get so blown away that people can be so damn dense about being a PARENT (aka teacher, mentor, guide, etc) and continue to fail to teach something like having common courtesy. Then again, the woman at CAPCO is an adult example of that, isn't she?! Blow it off, grab your babies and squeeze them tight all night tonight!!

  • katmandu_2008
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    rmkitchen, I am riding this roller coaster with you in spirit! I can't believe what you have been through with the marble - a cautionary tale for me - but can I tell you how thrilled I am about your son's first steps!!! I know what a joy that is and am so glad it also served to provide you with some perspective - we all need that once in a while! NOT that the marble thing is not a big deal, because you are totally justified to be angry about people not following through, doing a competent job and particularly to then be less than forthcoming and even rude about it. You don't deserve it - partly because you are paying for the marble, and partly because you are you, a human being. (Can I just tell you my oldest son didn't walk until 19 1/2 mos and second not until 18 mos. so although they are not technically delayed, and I am sure you face more challenges with your son, I can relate to that joy of those first, long anticipated steps!!!) Hang in there!!!

  • vwhippiechick
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    rmkitchen Being a physical therapist, I think I have been as thrilled to see my clients walk as their parents/loved ones. That is wonderful news. Marble? What marble? Some things fade into the background when real miracles happen.

  • mindimoo
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    rmkitchen,

    CONGRATULATIONS to you, your son and your whole family on the first steps! What a perfect time it was for you to have such an uplifting moment! I think the others before me put it much more eloquently than I could!

    I'm happy for you that you've found a resolution to the slab problem. However, there's never any excuse for rude behavior! There are more and more people out there that just don't have any manners, much less common courtesy.

    Sorry about your older son and the kid/parent response. It's surprising the teachers at the preschool didn't require an apology for the kick. Hopefully, he's feeling better! I remember my son was always the nice boy, on the receiving end of many bites, punches, etc. because he refuses to fight back and won't tell on his "friends". But, I'm proud that he still takes the high road!

    One more thing on the slabs, remember complementary colors will make the gold color stand out more. I don't know what color you are putting on your walls, but if you have colors that have gold-y warm tones to them, it should minimize the gold & warmth in the slabs. Remember, it could look entirely different in your house than it does at your fabricators based on lighting, natural light as well as the paint. You could even try different bulb tones if it still bothers you later.

    Good luck!
    Mindi

    (P.S. I was thinking about you all last night and read your posts to my DH - he was appalled too!)

  • cat_mom
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Yay for Ruffin!!!! I would've been quite teary-eyed, too!

    I am happy for you about your marble as well. I'll bet it will look awesome in your kitchen and I annot wait to see pics of it in all its glory!

  • rmkitchen
    Original Author
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Thank you all for your heartwarming words about Ruffin and the enormous milestone he reached today. My two angels are in bed (I also have a 3.5 year-old) and as I think about today, a date I'll remember forever (or until my brain gives out!), I just feel incredible warm fuzzies about his standing unaided and that step. The marble slabs / house remodel? Don't care. Doesn't matter. My sweet little button standing? I'm on top of the world!!!

    And you all totally understand. Thank you!!!

    Thank you, louisianapurchase, for telling me about your children and the work you did with your older son to help him overcome his fine motor issues. I just love hearing stories like yours -- I love hearing that children can and do get better. And thank you for writing that St. John (my older son) reminds you of your younger son! That's a nice compliment.

    mnhockeymom, holy cow that is remarkable about your son! Honestly, these medical professionals can scare the living daylights out of you (at least they have me with their earlier [mis]diagnoses of Ruffin) and to have heard the word "fatal" about one of your babies must have been incredibly frightening. I am so grateful your son is fine, healthy and "normal" for his age. When it comes to the health and welfare of our children, the world is a small place for people who care about children. I feel like holding hands with all the involved parents and singing "Kumbaya." I know it sounds goofy, but I just feel so connected to the other loving, concerned caregivers out there. I'm excited your countertops still give you a thrill -- since I am following your lead that'll hopefully be me later this year!

    katmandu -- I just have to tell you how much I like you! I'm so glad you joined GW. You wrote exactly what I'm feeling -- that Ruffin's steps are really all which matter to me. The countertops will be nice and the way this all happened (the rude lady, the "switched" slabs) was wrong, but keeping it in perspective, doesn't matter! Thank you, too, for telling me about when your children started walking. It is really helpful to my psyche to know that "normal" children (without delays / special needs) can and do start walking throughout their second year of life. Now about the marble: do keep it in mind when it's your turn. If it hadn't been for GWers who'd written out what to do for slab countertops (taking photos of your slabs as you pick them, being there when the templates are made, insisting on being there for the templates to be applied to the slabs and taking more pictures) I wouldn't have had the "proof" to both show others I was right as well as assuage myself! If I had to do it again you can bet I'd say to the first guy (with whom Ruffin and I selected our slabs): "Are you absolutely sure THESE are the slabs I'm going to get? Because THESE are the only slabs I want!" and then I'd check the claim tickets and make sure the numbers there matched up with the slabs I want.

    vwhippiechick -- reading your note brought (more) tears to my eyes! Bless you for all the incredible good you've given people. You truly are a miracle worker. I love (and I really mean "love" with my heart, not just a throw-away euphemism) all of Ruffin's therapists (physical, occupational and speech): these women, on a weekly basis, are vastly improving the quality of all of our lives (Ruffin's, mine, my older son's and my husband). You really are a miracle worker! You are 100% right -- marble? My little boy is improving!!! Your families are lucky to have you.

    Mindi -- you are so sweet. Thank you for your supportive words and advice. I loved reading your note, and a fine man like your son is exactly what this world needs! Yours is a kitchen I am going to be closely following -- you have such a fabulous aesthetic and with that marble -- that marble! -- it is going to be stunning. From an earlier note of yours, I want to say I can totally relate to your wardrobe: I pretty much live in black (don't feel comfortable in white -- I am incredibly fair and feel white washes me out, like a walking block of tofu!) and love "architectural" clothes (my mainstays are BabetteSF and Yohji, although since living covered by snot and cracker crumbs I wear more Eileen Fisher because I can wash it at home!). I think I'd love poking through your closet ....

    Ah Robin -- my virtual hand-holder. You give so much to so many of us here on GW. How are you? I worry that you don't receive as much as you give, and I don't want you feeling depleted. You are too valuable. You're too important to me! You have seen me go through it all -- beating myself up for yelling at my children, losing our beloved kitten (since, gratefully, found), getting a puppy (she's great!), these silly slabs, and now something wonderful: Ruffin! I'm so happy I could share something positive with you, friend. And thank you for the encouraging words about our kitchen. Listen, if my kitchen looks 1/88th as good as your kitchen then we'll be one lucky family! Maybe by virtual osmosis your good taste will rub off on me ....

    Hopefully the next time I post about our kitchen it will be to share pictures of things falling into place (doors / drawer fronts on, countertop installed, backsplash installed, appliances in / panels applied, and maybe one day, the whole kitchen done!).

    To a one, Thank You.
    -Brooke

  • mindimoo
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Brooke,

    With all you have going on, how'd you find the time to write all that?

    Get some rest Mom, you are going to need it, if that boy starts a-Walkin'!

    Don't feel it necessary to answer every msg I write, I just wanted you to know that there are others here who feel, understand, commiserate and celebrate what is happening in your life!

    Take care, and I will keep you posted!

  • alliern
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Good Morning Brooke,

    That is so thrilling about Ruffin! What a milestone...one that you have been waiting a long time for. I won't begin to put myself in your shoes but I have a 23 month old that only says 5 words and Early Intervention here in NYC says that's not good enough to get Speech Therapy. Always happens that the good hard-working tax paying people are the ones that never can get the "free" services when they need them.
    Anyway, I was just curious, did you get any monetary compensation for them switching slabs on you? I know you said that you were spending a boatload of money on them and I would think that they would take some money off or throw in honing for no extra charge.
    Can't wait to see pictures of your kitchen!

    Allison

  • bayareafrancy
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Oh my goodness: I am just now finding this thread (I saw the newer one with your gorgeous icy kitchen!). My 2 little boys have really needed me to step away from the computer lately, and, well, before I make myself sound noble for giving up my frequent posting, let me add that I have a dreadful case of soapstone induced lateral epicondylitis (aka tennis elbow) and I can't type much anymore....

    But I just had to chime in here: I'm so glad you got this worked out to your satisfaction! I sure do know exactly what you mean about being treated badly. I was more than willing to accept an "honest mistake" with my counter, but I was just shocked by how Creative Stoneworks handled my 20 inch crack in my counter. Trying to pass it off as a vein indeed!!

    Shoot--I want to praise and congratulate you more, but my hand is going numb. One of these days I'm going to post about my soapstone induced "paralysis." As with everything else in my "remodel," there is both pain and humor in it! Thank goodness your beautiful marble won't be able to injure you!! Unless you get a sore back from sleeping on it.

    Oh--your sink is the BEST!!!! Love it!!!!!

    :-)

    Francy

  • napagirl
    13 years ago
    last modified: 6 years ago

    Gosh, I love your marble slabs!