vfish_gw

Anyone with the Black Cambria Leather (Antique) granite?

vfish
12 years ago

My DH and I are really having a hard time picking out the granite countertops for the kitchen. The island is Golden Ray, or gold, cream, black and browns, with a lot of movement.

We wanted to tone the perimeter counters down and use black. My DH says no way to polished black (he's a clean freak) and I thought honed black would be nice.

We have compromised with the Cambria Leather granite. Does anyone have experience with this? How hard is it to keep clean? Any downsides?

BTW, my cabinets are alder, stained cherry. flooring will be either cumaru, teak flooring or walnut travertine.

Cabinets are 9' high and the kitchen has two large windows which will emit a lot of nautural light.

Thanks for the help.

V

Comments (47)

  • azstoneconsulting
    12 years ago

    vfish-

    What you are proposing is cone every day by lots of consumers
    The one question that I would ask- Is the stone you
    are considering "Cambrian" leather, or "Cambria" leather?

    Cambrian Black is sold as a "granite" has some really
    attractive texture in the color and a granulation that
    is not found in most other black granites, save for Galaxy.
    Here's alink to see what "Venezian" granite looks like in Black - color is "Lido": http://www.venezian.com/lido.html

    Cambria Black is a man made and I don't think (I could be
    wrong) they offer a "leather" texture for theis version of
    black - called "Cambria Black".

    There's a night and day difference between the two products
    and the fact that you are looking at going with a "leather"
    or "venezian" look - I think - will have a dramatic effect
    in making your island "pop
    - color wise.....

    As far as cleanup and maintenance, the Cambrian Black leathered stone should be really easy to work with. It will
    not show the finger prints as easy as a polish stone.

    I would NOT suggest a honed black - I have done Absolute Black honed - the last six jobs that I did was in 2001 - NEVER AGAIN!!! It shows EVERY finger print, and is WAY to much GRIEF for me and my customers.

    This is one lesson I learned that I teach new guys getting into
    the business at AZ School of Rock - so they don't have to
    go through what I did 6 years ago.

    Hope that helps you

    kevin

    Kevin M. Padden MIA SFA
    Fabricator, Trainer & Consultant to the Natural Stone Industry
    www.azschoolofrock.com

    Here is a link that might be useful: AZ School of Rock

  • lascatx
    12 years ago

    I have Cambrian Black brushed on my island -- which is similar to or also known as antique. I think the leathered finish may have a little more uneveness, but the stone and the general concept is the same. I know mine was acid washed inthe finish, but I don't' know exctly how that changed it. They seemed to imply that it may have had some sealing impact, because we asked if it had been sealed as a slab. Water was beading right up on it.

    I have worked with doughs and just about every form of prep work on mine. We have also used the island as our buffet for large casual dinners. Can you see smudges and spills? Yes, mostly you can, but you may not notice all of them right away -- it may be the way the light hits them. Do I have to wipe it down constantly or be ashamed of how it looks? No. I just need to wipe it down after working on it. I consider it pretty forgiving, and I love both the texture and the look of it -- I like what my fabricator referred to as "Ice flowers" in it.

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  • auchmedden
    12 years ago

    Lascatx, can you post pictures of your counter. I would love to see it as well.

  • vfish
    12 years ago

    Mike, thank-you for the clarification. Yes, it is Cambrian Black Leather. It really is a compromise my DH and I have made. I wanted polished black granite and he wanted anything that would show the dirt and smudges that much. I really do love the feel of it.
    Lascatx, have you noticed any other unusual features with this stone? Was it just as easy to install and fabricate for your fabricator?
    I think we are really sold on this unless someone here has had a problem with it that we have not thought of yet.
    Thanks everyone for your vote on this granite.
    V

  • lascatx
    12 years ago

    The Cambrian Black is a very hard stone. They weren't able to chip off a piece to give me as a sample when we picked the slab. I got a little sliver after several tries. And I think that was already on the ground.

    I don't have a close up of the counter installed. There is one of the slab in my album, but it doesn't look the same as it does in my kitchen, and I don't think you get the sparkles. My camera broke and I need to get a new one going, but here's what we took while the rest of the install was still in progess. If you go to the closeup of the slab, the grey is is more black (looked blueish/charcoal heather in some light, but looks black on the counter) and the darker black is a different mineral that shows darker black -- gives some visual texture to the surface. The lightest flecks are where you get some sparkle -- some of them sparkle a little in silver, ice blue and gold -- at least to my eye.

    Here is a link that might be useful:

  • rockyperko
    12 years ago

    We have the Cambrian black leathered on our perimeters. Juparana Crema Bordeaux backsplash and island. The black shows dust and water spots if you look real closely. I notice it, DH and others don't. It is incredibly easy to clean. I didn't want black granite going into our remodel but when we saw the Cambrian black, that was it. We just love it.

  • fhmiller
    12 years ago

    Hi - reviving this thread. I have similar desire as vfish - something hard, black, not polished (ie more 'rustic'), and easy to maintain. Does anyone know the Absolute Black granite in a "Venetian finished Lido"? This from a separate thread...

    http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg120034289520.html

    Trying to find the differences here. And - if anyone has picks of either...!

    thanks

  • lascatx
    12 years ago

    It's really hard to compare by a name -- there is not standard for the stone or the finish name, much less the combination. Some folks here love honed or less polished AB surfaces and others have had spots and finger smudges. I would suggest getting a sample of the same stone slabs you are considering from the same source if at all possible. Check out how it looks when you handle it, spill on it etc.

    Ass for the difference between AB and Cambrina Black, it's very duifferent. I am told true Cambrian Black comes from Canada and not the middle east or South America. It has a textured appearance natually because of the different minerals in the stone. It also has small, subtle reflective bits in it. It has a lot more character than AB, which tends to be a smooth appearance in dark grey to black. It is also incredibly dense and hard.

  • cooterboot
    12 years ago

    Fhmiller, I posted photos in the kitchen gallery, titled "black granite counter". the flash makes the counter look gray. The normal lighting it is pure black.

    Cheers.

  • jb1176
    12 years ago

    I hope someone will answer the question about the difference between the venetian finish and a honed finish. Is venetian the same as a brushed finish?

    Thanks,
    JB1176

  • lascatx
    12 years ago

    I'd never heard of a Venetian finish before and I suspect you're not hearing more because others haven't either. Kind of sounds like something a stone guy decided would give him a marketing edge -- anything that sound Italian or old world. I'd expect it to be more of an antiqued finish, which I would expect to be a honed finish that is not as smooth -- maybe some slight bumpiness or texture to it -- like Venetian plaster, but not so much.

  • azstoneconsulting
    12 years ago

    To answer/confirm/clarify a few things posted on this thread
    by ohters:

    1. Camrian Black Granite does come from Canada - the unique
    quality that helps me identify it from other species of
    Black Granites & "Like" Granites - is that it has a metalic
    look to the texture of the crystal structure, and to me, it
    looks like grains of rice that were painted "silver metallic
    black underneath a pane of glass"

    2. "Lido" is the Venezian series color name that refers to
    (and I can't remember which one it is off the top of my head)
    EITHER Absolute Black OR Impala Black that has had
    the "Venezian" process applied to the surface of the stone
    to give it it's "leathered" look

    3. The "Venezian" "look" comes from the surface of the stone
    having first been "flamed" with a specail jet torch to blast
    the top couple of mm's off of it, then the rough surface is
    smoothed down with a series of diamond brushes to give the
    surface a smoother more "leather like" appearance

    4. HONING is where the stone is ground with a series of
    diamond pads or plates (usually in the size of 12 to 16
    inches in diameter) to remove all of the saw marks from the
    face of each slab - PRIOR to the slab starting the polishing
    process - just like when a woodowrker takes a piece of wood
    off of the table saw - he has to start sanding it with a
    very course grit of sand paper, before he can sand with a
    finish grade of sandpaper like an 800 or higher

    5. Venezian is similar to a brushed finish - when the
    Venezian look first came out a number of years ago, it was
    an instant "hit" - except for the cost. Then, as usual,
    everybody started trying to duplicate the "look" - ao now
    you have the "brushed" look as well

    6. A word of caution to anybody wanting to use Absolute Black
    on their projects: Absolute Black is a basalt - not a
    true granite, but rather, a "like" granite. It contains
    "calcites" that will react with acids like lemon, lime,
    grapefruit, tomatoe juices and vinegar. IF you are dead set
    on using AB - either polished, honed or Venezain - make sure
    that you understand that the stone is going to be higer maintenance that others.... much higher

    anyways...

    hope that helps answer some of your questions

    kevin

    Kevin M. Padden MIA SFA
    Fabricator, Trainier & Consultant to the Natural Stone Industry
    www.azschoolofrock.com

    Here is a link that might be useful: AZ School of Rock

  • vfish
    12 years ago

    Wow, a lot of great info on this stone. I am really more convinced now that I have made a great decision in selecting the cambrian black!

  • lascatx
    12 years ago

    Those metallic bits are what my guy called ice flowers. They are silvery, but some veer a little more towards blue and some a little to the coppery warm side. I really like it. Your finish may have more texture to it. I work with doughs on it, so I like it on the smoother side.

  • justadncr
    12 years ago

    I have antiqued Cambrian Black and have had it for a year. It is great. So easy to clean and it really doesnt show much at all. My daughter has hones absolute black and there is a lot of difference. Hers shows everything. You can see more pictures under My Page
    {{!gwi}}

  • marileekay
    12 years ago

    Okay, so what do you leather lover people think of the HONED Cambrian black? I like the smoothness of the honed, and love the Cambrian black.

    thanks!

  • paul_ma
    12 years ago

    I just put in my order for Venezian Lido last week. I had picked it a couple of years ago. While I was getting ready to order, the shop showed me some other things. Among them was a leathered Cambrian Black. I was very striking looking. I also looked at some other textured AB finishes, and was tempted. But in the end I decided to stick with the Venezian.

    I didn't get a sample of the Cambrian. But I did test several stones. The other ABs seemed to hold up pretty well, but I could detect some effects, though I could generally get them to go away with some rubbing. But I was left doubting.

    I have not been able to do anything to the Venezian that had a detectable effect. Something about the surface treatment toughens it up. It is however a bit rougher than some of the other finishes. The shop warned that you can't write on a single piece of paper on it. But I don't intend to do that, so it doesn't bother me.

    I also have a brushed AB from a couple of years ago. Its natural state after the brushing is gray, not black. They then put something on it to make it black. (It looks like driveway sealer to me.) It does not seem as tough as the Venezian.

    The shop I went to was really down on brushed. I have also heard this elsewhere. Supposedly the process opens the pores of the stone and makes it more subject to staining.

  • vfish
    12 years ago

    Paul, thanks for that post. I just had 1/2 of my counters installed with the Cambrian Black and I LOVE it! It doesn't show smudges, and it doesn't show dust, which we have a lot of where I live. This isn't a great picture, but this is what it looks like so far!
    I think what I love most about it is that it's soft yet the texture is wonderfully "leathery". I also love the way the silvery flakes really show up under the lighting in my kitchen.
    Again, a bad picture of the granite, I thought I had some close up shots, but if anyone is interested, I can go and take some tomorrow. V

  • justadncr
    12 years ago

    vfish Your kitchen looks great! I bet you are very excited. It is so much fun when it gets to this point. I love my Cambrian Black antiqued and am sure you will. To clear it up for others the surface is smooth, it just looks leathery. If you write on a piece of paper on the counter it is smooth. Also it looks grey but with a sealer/enhancer makes it dark grey,almost black most of the time. But nice silver flecks here and there. It is a granite I believe you have to see in person to really appreciate. Dont you agree?

  • brosamj
    12 years ago

    We have the cambrian black antiqued and we have loved it. Surface is durable, little to no fingerprints and easy to maintain. Here is a picture of it and hopefully you can see some of the texture:

  • vfish
    12 years ago

    Thank-you Justndr and Brosamj, your kitchen is beautiful. Yes, that is exactly like my stone.
    I am so glad that you are pleased with it.
    How nice and now it reconfirms my decision on this stone.
    Thank-you very much.
    V

  • hest88
    12 years ago

    Here's a close-up of our Cambrian Black antique (at the seam). Echoing the love, as well. From a distance it has a lovely matte black appearance (we were one of those who would have gone for soapstone but wanted something harder and that we wouldn't have to oil), and close up it has a nice bumpy feel and a more mottled look.

  • vfish
    12 years ago

    Yes, exactly like mine. I love it and again am so happy with my decision. Did you use an enhancer on it? I was told that would minimize seeing the seam. Alto under certain lighting, I think you will always see the seam, it's just the facts.
    How lovely, can't wait to cook on it and actually use it!
    V

  • hest88
    12 years ago

    Vfish, the seam is actually quite a bit more prominent in that picture than in real life. Something about the light and the flash I think. I opted not to do the enhancer partly because I wanted it less black, but perhaps I'll try it in a few years.

    Enjoy your granite!

  • bungalowdawn
    12 years ago

    I think I read on findstone.com that you should NOT seal brushed Cambrian Black (or maybe any Cambrian Black). Is that true? I'm sure my fabricator was talking about sealing it as they seal all of their stones. I'm not sure what the rationale was exactly (too hard/dense?). But I'm curious if you've heard that or if you've sealed yours. And if it's sealed, how is that? I see that someone says it's wearing off a little around the sink.

    If I could get away without sealing something, that would make me happy. That's part of the appeal of soapstone to me.

  • lascatx
    12 years ago

    I don't know if it's true of all, but mine were acid washed in the finishing. Whetehr because of that or the stone's natural density, the surface was very water-repellent when we tested it. Our fabricator said it might not take any sealer, but they would try to rub it and force some in to be sure. I can't tell you whether it actually took any, but I wasn't too concerned about it either. It is a very hard, dense stone -- very dark. It's hard to imagine much of anything staining it.

    If the stone doesn't actually absorb any sealer and sealer is left sitting and drying on top, you could get a haze or streakiness.

  • vfish
    12 years ago

    azstoneconsulting, what is your opinion about trying to seal the stone. We are now approaching that decision. Our fabricator showed me two different sealants, one was too thick and then he just put the enhancer on another sample and the feel of the granite remained the same with darker, richer tones. Will it wear off in time?
    Brosamj, what did you put on your stone, it is absolutely beautiful.
    Thanks for the help. I have been up to my eyeballs in this construction and it's driving me nuts!
    Will update everyone on my progress. TIA for All of your help.
    V

  • nightowlrn
    12 years ago

    We have had Cambrian Black Antique for a week now. I could not be more pleased.

    We were advised to not seal unless we wanted a shiney surface, which we do not. So, no sealer. I put the sample stone through all the paces and no stains were observed. So, I can't imagine it staining and I put knives, etc to the sample without so much as a mark.

    The muted look is exactly what we wanted and I would highly suggest anyone who doesn't want a reflective surface to look at this stone.

  • gpwuster
    12 years ago

    Just bought 3 slabs yesterday and will be delivered to fabrictor tomorrow. Very interested to know if this needs to be seal or not.

    Thanks

  • vfish
    12 years ago

    We just put a Duraseal (blue bottle) sealer on ours, not the enhancer. I love the look and it is sooo resistant to smudges. You will be very pleased with your selection.
    V

  • gpwuster
    12 years ago

    vfish, thanks. Does the sealer make it shiney like nighttowlrn stated? I like the matte look of leather finish.

  • vfish
    12 years ago

    gpwuster, I don't notice the shine too much at all. I will try and take a picture of it tomorrow, we have a 10' X 7' window it butts up to and the shiney aspect of the sealer does not stand out.
    Hope that helps.
    V

  • remodel1958
    12 years ago

    I'm really leaning towards this granite and finish. As someone said it has a beautifully understated feel.

    Wonder if it is typically available in only 2 cm or also 3 cm?

  • jeya
    11 years ago

    vfish , we are considering Golden Ray for our kitchen counter and Island. Will you be able to post some pictures of your island,please . Thanks.

  • pspkmp
    11 years ago

    I just ordered 3 slabs of 3cm thick Cambrian Black Leather for my countertops. Like others, we were looking at soapstone because of the non reflective surface and warm look. This stone seems to give that same feeling. We could not find a soapstone slab (without a lot of veining) big enough for our island without using seams. I was told the surface is created by acid etching.

  • aashiyanadecor_ymail_com
    8 years ago

    sir i want to know what is the process of leather finish on granite ?

  • lauratooley
    6 years ago

    Has anyone used Infinity granite leathered as a countertop ? If so, do you like it ? Could you post a photo ? Caught my eye at a stone yard but find little info about it online ... Wondering if its fairly new or uncommon
    Thanks !

  • vtussery
    2 years ago

    Found this post searching for info on cambrian black antiqued. I, too, am looking at it as an alternative to soapstone...I'm having such a difficult time finding 2 slabs I like. I realize this post is fairly dated, but am hoping that may be to my advantage. Is everyone that had the cambrian black antiqued still loving it? Any suggestions for someone about to make the big purchase? The cambrian will be on the perimeter with LG Rococco quartz on the island and the bar.

  • bungalowdawn
    2 years ago

    We've had Antiqued Cambrian Black for 10 years now and still very happy. We are not good about remembering to re-seal it and it really doesn't matter...maybe looks a little more dull when we go a long time without, but doesn't bother us at all. It has not stained. It has held up great. This granite is made up of little chunks and we had two little chips happen along counter's edge, pretty early on in having it (one in front of sink...maybe got dinged by a big pot?) and the other you can't see but can feel a rough spot. But no big whoop (though certainly not perfect). I think our edge was called "flat polished" and we had just a slight curve on the corners...going for a bit of a vintage look - nothing fancy. Only downsides, I would say are that it definitely sucks light out of the room to have a black top and that it is so good at hiding stuff, you might not see the tiny sugar ants that have set up a march on your counter, or the wayward crumbs. Overall, we have loved it and would pick it again. This choice was EXACTLY what we were looking for in terms of a black countertop that isn't shiny and has some vintage charm (almost like lab counters).

  • hest88
    2 years ago

    I can't believe it's been so many years! I've still never sealed mine and yes, our countertops have held up well. I've put hot pots on them, sliced apples on them with nothing more than a plastic bag in between the fruit and countertop, and they've been fine. Same caveat as everyone else: they're definitely black, and it's really easy to be a shoddy housekeeper if you're not careful because things disappear on the surface! I just can't imagine a more forgiving and easy to maintain alternative.

  • paul_ma
    last year

    I've had my Venezian Lido for almost 11 years now. (Wow, how time flies!) In that time I have never sealed it. I just clean it with a scrubby pad and dish soap. Occasionally a little rubbing alcohol to clean up grease. It is a little duller than when it was new, but that is all.

  • sweetpea
    last month

    I was going to get Cambrian Black leathered granite for my kitchen which has dark cherry cabinets, but the fabricator convinced me to get Angola Black leathered instead... he said it was cheaper and looks almost exactly alike. I looked a slab of the Angola Black and in the warehouse it looked great, like a charcoal grey, so I went with it. When I got it installed, it looks BLUE. Literally it has so much blue in it that it looks horrible next to the cherry, and horrible with my furnishings which are more of a warm grey. I wish I had gotten the Cambrian black! I just found this thread and read through it, and a couple of people have mentioned that Cambrian Black also can have some blue in it in certain light. Is that true?? I don't have a big kitchen and might eventually change it again (since I can't stand the blue!) but I am afraid of getting yet another black that has blue undertones! Advice??? Anyone have an opinion on which black granite (in leathered) doesn't have blue undertones and goes nicely with dark/medium cherry?

  • Mom
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Have you looked at Virginia Mist (Jet Mist)? I have it in leathered and I don’t see blue undertones - but then, I don’t have it next to cherry either.

  • sweetpea
    last month

    Thank you for replying Mom! I thought about Jet Mist but it has white streaks, and although it is mostly black, I'm afraid that the white won't go with paint and furnishings that are grey/beige (warm tones). But I might end up with it. Do you have a picture? :)

  • Mom
    last month

    Here are several, one as a slab and the others after installed as the perimeter in the kitchen. Lighting isn’t the best and one was taken before the hardware was installed but you get the idea. My cabinets are a soft white (although they almost look beige in the pics!). Good luck!

  • sweetpea
    last month

    Thanks so much Mom! they look great... I'll have to get a sample and see if the white is too white for my greiges!


  • Mom
    last month

    Of course slabs will differ, granite being a natural stone, but I would bet that in my kitchen most people would say my countertops were simply black or charcoal - they really don’t notice the white unless it is pointed out to them! It’s that subtle. Hope you find something you love!

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