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Island countertop to go with black pearl leathered perimeter

January 5, 2019

Just completing an addition project which allowed us to add some cabinetry to our existing kitchen and enlarge our island. We went with a black pearl leathered granite on the perimeter which we love. We were planning to do a walnut butcher block island, but I am having second thoughts after reading a lot of reviews on here relating to upkeep and cost. We previously had granite and it was so easy to live with. I found a granite that is reasonably priced (less than the butcher block would be unless we bought a slab of birch from Home Depot) and I'm thinking of just going with that plan. I need some help deciding if we should just try the birch piece from Home Depot (it's the correct size at 39x74), order a $1200 walnut custom butcher block from Hardwood Lumber or go with a contrasting granite or quartz? Also can you have a leathered perimeter and a polished island? The granite I found for the island is polished.

Comments (11)

  • luckyblueeye

    DON'T go with the birch, it is a very soft wood. I have had birch floors for 13+ years. Beautiful and soft looking, yes...easy to dent, also yes.

  • ssdarb

    I can't comment on the butcher block bc I have no experience with that. But if you choose stone, yes you can have a leathered perimeter with a polish island. We have leathered antique brown granite on perimeter (reads as black), and polished white macabus quartzite on the island (white, kind of like marble). Your kitchen looks really pretty. I love the huge windows in the breakfast room. I like the woodfloors and all the colors you've chosen. The only thing that I might change is the valance over the kitchen sink. Maybe a roman shade made from a nice subtle tone on tone fabric. If your going to put any treatments on the breakfast room windows you would want to coordinate the fabric without necessarily having to match them.

  • rantontoo

    Can the fabricator leather it or send it out for leathering? You said it costs less so.....

  • Zalco/bring back Sophie!

    Walnut Butcher block would be great, so would marble. Consider Carrara, a workhorse that is relatively inexpensive and goes great with black.

  • jocelynpalmer

    a little concerned about using marble due to the issues with staining and etching although I love marble and have it in our master bath. I just want something that I'm not constantly fretting about. So is it a no for the granite I was considering?

  • plf12652
    I like that granite as it combines the white from your cabs and black from the countertop...good choice! But I do think a leathered finish like the perimeter countertops would give a cohesive look. And I agree about your valance... either no valance or a Roman shade in its place. Very pretty kitchen!
  • felizlady
    I am just finishing a new kitchen with solid oak floors, white Shaker cabinets, and surf green granite counters and backsplash. I rejected the walnut island top my cabinet man offered because it was too dark, so he built a solid oak counter out of narrow pieces of oak (different grains). He brought it in raw, and it had an almost gray color. I bet it would have been gorgeous with a light gray stain, but my preference was to give it two coats of ragged-on mineral oil which turned out beautifully.
  • Laura Mac

    Personally love that leathered black granite, but not the white speckle one. It's very builder grade looking. Do you have a tile/slab yard near you? HD only has basic selections. Look at a gorgeous QUARTZITE (harder than granite, but movement and beauty like marble).

    Please look around. Your island slab should be a gorgeous piece of something you love! I agree with Zalco above that MARBLE would be beautiful. All you do is seal it and let it do it's thing by looking gorgeous. So many people have it in their kitchens....

    Don't do the speckle granite....old school, cheap looking...

    Here's a gorgeous quartzite counter:


    And this stunner with black perimeter, and island in marble. Be sure to give your island a thick edge detail....so gorgeous!


  • Marielena

    We have a silmar look and are going with white rhino marble on the island, and we understand its drawbacks. I also think the walnut would be gorgeous, though it has its own wear and tear issues as well. While that white and black granite is not necessarily my favorite, I think it matches nicely and will provide the most durable option. So if you like it, go for it!

    *I also had a side note question, if you don’t mind. Can you tell me how high your ceilings are and how large your island lights are? Thank you

  • zmith

    Pretty kitchen, so far. LOVE the adjacent sun room! You seem to be headed towards a bad design decision that is budget based, which is understandable. Everyone has a budget to adhere to. However, if you want to go with a different island top, go with something that will make a statement, like the walnut. Otherwise, top the island with the same material as your perimeter counters.

  • PRO
    Precision Granite & Marble

    Call up local fabricators and see what they have as far as remnants the size you need for the island in Black and White - Viscount White/White Cloud Granite would look good! Enough interest without fighting the color pallet you are after!

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