elee4168

Regretting granite countertop choice...help!

elee4168
7 years ago

We are in the process of remodeling an older home and recently had new granite countertops and a calcatta marble backsplash installed (photo below). Now, I am regretting the granite we picked. Initially, we made these choices because the color themes matched (the counters are a "busier" version of the backsplash) but now, I'm wondering if they complement or clash with each other. Do they match/complement or clash/compete? Honest opinions wanted! Wondering if I should re-purpose the countertops into bathroom vanity counters and look for something different for the kitchens instead...help!

Comments (143)

  • bbstx
    7 years ago

    Have you made sure you can remove the granite without tearing up the backsplash? For some reason, I am under the impression that removing the countertop will also require removal of the backsplash.

    Please live with it for awhile. I like what you have. I think it is just not what was in your mind. If after 6 months, you totally despise it, then see what your options for removal are.

  • homebuyer23
    7 years ago

    HI TLLane
    I haven't been able to read every post here, but I see your choices are similar to some of mine so I thought Id show you my kitchen.

    I also have Revere Pewter walls, I have a Calcutta marble island, solid gray quartz perimeter counters, and a cararra marble backsplash. I love the warmth of your Calcutta backsplash tiles.

    I'm not saying that I think you should necessarily get a solid gray quartz like I did, but so you can see the combo, I will post a picture and a link to my reveal.

    You are right to be careful, as you mentioned, about warm & cool grays. I love my counters and I think they work great with my backsplash. But sometimes I think they look a little more cool than what I was going for.

    FWIW, the more I look at your pics, the more I think I like what you have!

    Here is a link that might be useful: my reveal

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  • happy2learn
    7 years ago

    I am up too late once again--but just had to see the photos. Your paint color looks awesome with your backsplash! On my monitor it seems to be the same color as one of your tiles--The 4th up from the counter next to the window trim. Is the accurate? Well now the decision should be easy: if you had to remove one of the hard surfaces, the backsplash matches the paint color more than the granite, so it has to stay! LOL. I just love that backsplash--classic elegance but modern, interesting and beautiful at the same time!
    Also-in this photo it looks like the grays on your backsplash are leaning more toward the warmer side in overall appearance than the granite, which looks more like it has cooler, blue undertones and more black--at least in the photo--maybe it is different in real life. So perhaps it is more than just the pattern differences that is contributing to your uneasiness about the combination and what is bothering you. Although I'm sure the granite has the same colors throughout as the backsplash, perhaps they are in different enough proportions that the effect is quite different in each? That would have been hard to predict (the overall effect over a large scale and in your lighting, etc.
    You seem to have a good eye for picking paint colors, though!

    Good night!

  • happy2learn
    7 years ago

    Homebuyer23--I just had to stay up a few more minutes to tell you how beautiful I think your kitchen is. The grey with the backsplash and cabinets is fabulous! I think your kitchen could be in a magazine--or HOUZZ!

  • Eric Freedman
    7 years ago

    I saw this on my phone the other day. I thought - too busy.

    But now that I see it on my laptop, I like it. Hope you can live with it awhile.

    No right or wrong here though. Your choice and money to redo it.

  • homebuyer23
    7 years ago

    Omgosh Fun 2 learn, thank you so much!

  • francoise47
    7 years ago

    Hi TLLane:

    I love Homebuyer23's kitchen as inspiration for your counter choice.

    One other idea, although a bit more of a traditional kitchen than yours: have you seen the Kitchen of the Month in the Dec/Jan 2014 House Beautiful?

    The designer selected a very plain light Silestone to go with the Calacatta Gold marble backslash.

    Here are two photos:


    {{!gwi}}

    Here is a link that might be useful: House Beautiful Calacatta Gold Kitchen

  • Peke
    7 years ago

    I like both the tiles and the countertop. When I saw the close up pics I saw what you were talking about though. I would put things on the counter... maybe a red/burgundy mixer for the red in the countertop. No one is going to get that close to your countertops. Hide it with pretty things!

    I would live with it for a while. Then before tearing it out why don't you put a 4-5" tall piece of thin wood painted your cabinet color or even a laminate or even thin tile to put a white separation between the counter and the backsplash. Maybe it would work. I know no one wants to go back to the 4" backsplash that was really thick so make it really thin.

    Good luck. Peke

  • oldbat2be
    7 years ago

    Francoise47 - YES, YES, YES!

  • Peke
    7 years ago

    Wow. I love making one wall the focus.

    I just noticed that Lucky blue eye's picture with the painted beadboard has a thin piece of ???? as trim. That is what I was talking about. You could make it the height of one or two of your tiles. I like how it looks in Lucky blue eye's kitchen.

  • francoise47
    7 years ago

    Hi TLLane,

    One more thought....
    In the kitchens I've seen with your gorgeous Calacatta Gold backslashes, the Calacatta Gold is emphasized and echoed in at least one other element in the kitchen. In your case, I think it should/must be the island.

    I know that you said earlier in this post that you had original considered Calacatta Gold counters but had rejected the idea because of concerns about etching and staining with your young children.

    Would you consider using real Calacatta Gold on your island and using an etch-proof, very plain Caesarstone/Silestone on your perimeter counters? If you kept most of your food prep (the lemons, vinegar, tomatoes, etc.) on the perimeter, perhaps you could live with the Calacatta Gold on your island?

    A light, low contrast perimeter would look great. But If you want to go higher contrast on the perimeter, you might consider one of the warm brown quartz products:

    Lagos Blue
    {{!gwi}}

    Or, "Ginger"

    {{!gwi}}
    From TLLane's post: "My first choice for counters would have been Calacatta Gold marble (same as the backsplash) but I have young kids and knew that wasn't a practical option. I looked into several "marble like" quartz counters such as Silestone Lyra, Silestone Lagoon, and Cambria Torquay but didn't love any of them. "

  • Gracie
    7 years ago

    I noticed that the HB kitchens are breaking up the white cabinetry with glass cabinets and open shelves, so TL's kitchen could look overwhelmingly white with white counters. It's probably a small kitchen too, with less hardwood flooring to balance out the white.

  • elee4168
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    francoise47 - THANK YOU! That HB kitchen is amazing - thanks for posting! I had originally planned to run the calacatta splash all the way up to the ceiling (around the window over the sink) but waffled at the last minute. Now, I realize I should have gone with my initial plan. The gorgeous calacatta splash really should be the star/focus of the kitchen and I think I may continue it on up to the ceiling...I just love that shot of the window from the HB kitchen! I just need to find a countertop that will complement but not compete with the marble. I think the two quartzes you posted may be too brown. Ceasarstone came out with a new color called "raw concrete" that looks intriguing...it's hard to tell the color without a sample but if it's really like a "wet cement" shade (warmer gray), it may work. Ceasarstone is also releasing a "calcatta classic" quartz in July but again...mixing real with fake may not be the best option. As much as I know I would love the look of a real calacatta slab on the island, it's just not practical. The island is quite large (4' x 7') and it's the real workhorse of the kitchen. The kids often sit at the island to eat, color, do projects, etc. and I know the etching and staining would be fast and furious.

    may_flowers - I agree with you that I am trying to avoid an "overwhelmingly white" look! I do have a couple of frosted glass uppers but the majority of the cabinets are just white, glossy and plain. The kitchen is actually a good size (15x24) so there is a good amount of dark hardwood flooring around the island.

    On a separate note (maybe I have to start a separate thread), the contractor that did our backsplash did not have a very artistic eye and used several tiles that I would have thrown out (small cracks, off coloring, etc.). Is it possible to crack out an individual tile without damaging the ones around it? I have a lot of tile left over and would want to replace several of them. I know it's doable with ceramic but wondering how difficult it is with marble tiles. Anyone know?

    Here is a link that might be useful: Ceasarstone Raw Concrete

  • oohIlikethat
    7 years ago

    Have you ever heard of Quartzite? Not to be confused with Quartz, it's a natural stone that looks like marble but without the upkeep. It comes in many colors and here is a link to one

    Here is a link that might be useful: Taj Mahal

  • oohIlikethat
    7 years ago

    more info on the natural stone quartzite, which is NOT quartz.

    Here is a link that might be useful: The lowdown on Quartzite and Marble

  • susanlynn2012
    7 years ago

    Both the counter and the backsplash tile are gorgous in themselves but complete for attention. I am waiting to see which you chose to remove. I love reading posts and trying to help as it has me thinking why everyone says my busy floor tile competes with my counter I chose. I decided to change the counter choice only because I have not installed it yet.

    It is not the worst match but it is no that complementary due to the competition with ach other.

  • sandy808
    7 years ago

    I really like your backsplash with the granite you've selected. The colors compliment each other very nicely. The combination does have a lot of movement, but it wouldn't bother me, and I think when you add some of your kitchen accents it will make everything pull together nicely. The movement adds a lot of life to your kitchen.

    I don't like the white toned, gray or black countertops with your backsplash. Your kitchen looks busier and uncoordinated (in my opinion) if you start chopping the colors of your countertops up. I also don't think you will be happy with a man made material next to that beautiful backsplash.

    Take a deep breath and live with your kitchen the way it is for a while. Try some different decorative accessories and see how you like things after some time passes. I truly believe you will regret ripping and tearing things up right now. You obviously went through a great deal of thought and expense and there is no guarantee at this point you will like a change any better, and the amount of stress would be horrible at this point. Believe me about the stress. And the mess.

    You can always change things later on down the road. Once you start ripping and tearing there is no going back. I would personally really have to hate something to go through that.

  • mcm81
    7 years ago

    TLLane13, I wish I had checked back earlier on this thread :)

    So, here's what happened with us. We wanted to do quartz but couldnâÂÂt justify the price considering the neighbourhood (the total budget for the kitchen was about 8K to cover for new stove, fridge, floors and counters/backsplash and this is a house weâÂÂll sell in a few years). I LOVE marble but we cook a lot and mostly with things that stain etch so that was a no go. We found most granite too busy/uneven, especially in the lower prices. We found Virginia Mist as an orphan slab and got a killer deal on it (we only needed about 33sqft so I did all the fabricators to try to score a deal on something in inventory). Husband feared it may be too dark but in the end, it is perfect. It has some of the beauty of marble (the swirling/veining) but also some of the evenness of quartz. Our slab was not busy and while itâÂÂs dark it really more a mid tone. We both really wanted subway tile in marble but I couldnâÂÂt justify the fact that it was 20x time the price of the plain one, which worked really well. I also read a lot of horror stories of people grouting unsealed marble backsplashes and ruining it. This was our first tiling job so we wanted a very easy material (glazed tile).

    IâÂÂm attaching pictures so you can see what the counter looks like in place. We kept the old cupboards (refinished them) and put up the backsplash. Gives us a clean look and took the kitchen out of the 70s. I really LOVE your kitchen (but IâÂÂm with you on the fact that the counters compete). ItâÂÂs pretty much what we want in the next house in terms of layout scheme. I always joke that we bought VM as a discount granite and itâÂÂs not my dream material for a kitchen. I think with a marble backsplash it could look stunning. Your space is very bright so I think I could work.

    There are also very beautiful quartzites that look like marble but I am unaware of the maintenance and expect they would be very pricy.

    Others would be more qualified to answer this (and it really depends of how the granite was installed) but there should be a gap (1/8 to ü inch) between your backsplash and counter. IâÂÂm not sure how much damage removing the granite would do to cabinets, etc but pros should be able to help.

    In any case, do keep us posted! Your kitchen is beautiful but I fully understand feeling like a design isnâÂÂt realised.

  • happy2learn
    7 years ago

    I recently saw a backsplash that reminded me of yours on the HGTV show, "Love it or List it, too." It was in a kitchen that also had white cabinets. It was paired with what looked like a quartz countertop in what I would call a dark taupe color and the combination looked beautiful together. It reminded me a bit of how your paint color looks (or like that one tile that I had thought matched your pain in your photo above) but darker. (This was in a beautiful home (it looked professionally decorated/remodeled) that the couple really liked and were considering buying (if they decided to "List" their own home). I'm sorry that I can't remember the episode! Just thought you might want to consider a taupe color as well as grey if you are still looking at options.

  • elee4168
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    Surprised to see this thread is still alive and kicking! Perfect timing too since the kitchen is "done" (for now) as of yesterday. After a lot of thought and consultation with a good number of contractors, we ended up swapping out the backsplash. We made a poor decision (primarily based on cost) on the first contractor who installed the tile and there were issues with the splash. The electrical outlets were not properly handled and the tile was badly spaced and downright "bumpy" in several areas. The contractor is now MIA...lesson learned. On the bright side, I found a beautiful, subtle marble tile (still wanted some element of marble in the kitchen) that I immediately fell in love with. It complements the counters without competing with them and this time around, I decided to tile all the way to the ceiling and around the window over the sink. It still stings to know that the first batch of tile ended up being a waste but I'm much happier with the results!

  • elee4168
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    Another view to show the tile up to the ceiling and around the window.

  • sjhockeyfan325
    7 years ago

    That looks very nice! The tile recedes enough not to compete with the granite, but is still a standout itself!

  • sunsoleil
    7 years ago

    I am so happy for you! I loved the granite and it would have been sad to pull up such a beautiful slab! Looks fabulous!!!

  • sunsoleil
    7 years ago

    I was wondering just how much of a mess was it to remove the tile and prep the wall to retile? How long did it take them?

  • francoise47
    7 years ago

    Beautiful, and happy ending!
    You made an excellent choice with your new backslash.
    I'm so glad you still got a taste of the marble you love.
    And tiling all the way up and around the windows
    is a brilliant way of reinforcing the modern, clean lines of your beautiful kitchen.

  • susanlynn2012
    7 years ago

    TTLane13, I love the new backsplash with the counters. I am glad you kept the counters as I felt they were beautiful. I love how you used the tile all around everything as it is subtle and will be easier to clean up in the kitchen now. I feel you made an excellent choice and still got Marble tiles like you wanted that you loved right away.

    I would love to see a close up of the marble tiles as I really love them and will have to decide on a backsplash when it is time to do my kitchen.

    Thank you for the update! So glad the end result came out so beautiful and you are happy with your new modern beautiful kitchen!

  • chiefy
    7 years ago

    Oh it looks great! What a beautiful end result to a sticky, messy process.

  • a2gemini
    7 years ago

    Love your end result!

  • isabel98
    7 years ago

    it looks so great!. I would also like to know how the process went as I am too thinking of replacing a backsplash.

  • nosoccermom
    7 years ago

    This looks so much nicer!!!
    Your first and second backsplash should be required reading/viewing before picking BS tile.

  • bookworm4321
    7 years ago

    I think it was $$$ well spent. Kitchen is lovely now, and you would have not been able to relax with the former BS. Was it salvable, and possibly useable in a bathroom?

  • calumin
    7 years ago

    Wow that's much nicer than what you had before. Congratulations!

  • LoneCowboy
    7 years ago

    wow I think it looks great!

    Totally matches your stainless steel theme!

  • firstmmo
    7 years ago

    I sure do love a happy ending!

    You were smart to swap something out. I think if you had left it, it would have bothered you every day. I honestly found the combination competing for attention. It now looks wonderful! Put some accessories in and take a "The END" pic for us all. This was a GREAT thread in how to spot a problem, ask for opinions, make a decision, then execute on a plan......FAB!

  • elee4168
    Original Author
    7 years ago

    annalyn123 - These things are always a mess and the clean up is the worst part! Thankfully, it didn't take all that long...about two days so not too horrible. It was worth the mess and disruption though!
    lynn2006 - Here is a close up photo. You can see the random gray veining of the marble up close but it's very subtle.
    Thanks for all the positive feedback!

  • susanlynn2012
    7 years ago

    TLLane13, Your counters are gorgeous and your new backspash is very pretty and does not compete so it is easy on the eyes when looking at your beautiful kitchen. Thank you for sharing.

  • romy718
    7 years ago

    This was the perfect solution. You ended up with an even more beautiful marble backsplash. The close up picture...I just love that marble. This thread should be required reading.

  • Plum_Blossom
    7 years ago

    Bravo to you for biting the bullet and taking the extra step to make your kitchen a place where you enjoy cooking. In a past life we tiled our kitchen in cobalt blue that looked great in the store but sucked all the light out of the room. For budgetary reasons, we had to live with it for much too long. Every time I walked into that room I grit my teeth.

    I am so glad that you stayed with the marble; it is gorgeous!

    We are now remodeling another house and have installed beautiful white traditional cabinets. I was on the fence about black vs. white/gray/black granite counter tops like yours. The discussion and photos have definitely helped me with my decision. I'm now leaning toward black with some light and medium inclusions. Black seems to anchor the cabinets and provide contrast that will highlight the design of the cabinets and the beautiful Spanish tiles that will go above the stove. Pictures when we are done.

    Thanks to all who took the time to share opinions and pictures. I am sure that you have helped a great many homeowners.

  • kksmama
    7 years ago

    Wow, your kitchen looks fabulous now, I'm so happy for you! I wouldn't have guessed that would make such a big difference but it definitely did. Love the tile all around the window.

  • romy718
    7 years ago

    I remember that picture looking completely different on March 3. I could see veining. Now I just see light grey subways.
    Edit: picture back to normal. Gorgeous tile!

    This post was edited by romy718 on Sat, Mar 15, 14 at 15:22

  • Evan
    7 years ago

    Looks great! Do you mind sharing what the tile is and where you got it?

  • Lisa
    7 years ago

    Wow! That looks great! Not sure how I missed this because I was following along while you were trying to decide what to do. I must admit that when I started reading your post that you decided to change the backsplash (before seeing the photos), I was not expecting to like it as much as your old backsplash. But then I saw the photos and it's gorgeous!

  • scrappy25
    7 years ago

    very pretty! What is the name of your granite and your sourcing for the new marble tile?

  • FXMom
    6 years ago

    I think the problem is the backsplash. Not that it isn't lovely, but it's got a large scale pattern compared to the granite which makes it pop. You certainly don't want to look for a granite that matches its punch. I do not think you will ever get the right colors in the slab of granite that don't create a different buzz.. I'm not sure is this application would allow it, but I've seen HGTV tile over tile.

  • FXMom
    6 years ago

    I'm taking back what I just posted. Don't replace anything. You are not going to notice it in 6 months. Just don't try to fix it with granite.

  • sjhockeyfan325
    6 years ago

    FX, look at the posts from February 28th - the OP redid the tile - and it looks great!

  • arkansas girl
    6 years ago

    I realize the job's already done but honestly, I think it was gorgeous both ways just different styles. The new kitchen is prettier but it was pretty before also. Glad you are happy with the new back splash! This is why people need to be careful with the tile and counters and not have too many different designs going on, either have "busy-ness" in the back splash OR the counter, not both.

  • Silmarwen77
    6 years ago

    TLLane13, the new backsplash really did the trick and I think it looks lovely! Would you mind telling us what kind of marble it is and where you got it? We're in the middle of a kitchen reno ourselves and I wanted a subtle veined marble backsplash as well.

  • mydogbruce
    3 years ago

    HEH, ALL YOU FOLKS, WHEN YOU CHOOSE MARBLE AND GRANITE, YOU CHOOSE IT FOR EARTHS LIFETIME, AS IN THE ROME COLOSSEUM!!

    THE ONLY WAY FOR THOSE "PRODUCTS" TO BE REPRODUCED IS IF THERE IS CHANGES IN THE EARTH: LIKE VOLCANOES, OR METEORS, AND THEN WAIT MILLIONS OF YEARS FOR THE PROCESS OF FORMATION!!

    You're welcome.

  • mchavez19
    2 years ago

    To my opinion looks very nice, I like the granite and goes well with the backsplash, sometimes takes time to get used to it. and then you will like it. Just think possitive it is nice. I wouldnt change anything .