Sunday, June 17, 2012

Kitchen Counters

In case you missed the news, we will be closing on our new house in less than 2 weeks!  One of the things that we want to update is the kitchen.  It's not terrible in its current condition, but we have some ideas to make it work a little better for us.  So you can see what we're working with, this is the view from the breakfast room.  


We are going to get new appliances, make the island bigger, remove the bar-height level counters, and also reconfigure the wrap-around counter to make it more open.  We will also be refinishing and staining the hardwoods a darker color.  We plan to leave the white cabinets. 

But the biggest debate in our house apartment right now is the new counter tops.  We've narrowed it down to two options -- Option #1 is white marble and Option #2 is honed absolute black granite.  (Since it really boils down to either black or white, I always seem to get Michael Jackson's "Black or White" song stuck in my head.)    

Here's the breakdown of the dilemma:
  • I love love love white marble counters with white cabinets.  Visually speaking, they are always my favorite kitchens.  (My pinterest page has been full of them for a very long time.)  It's safe to say, I like the look of white marble counters more than black.  But I don't dislike the look of the black counters.
  • White marble has a tendency to etch, stain, and chip.  I have done substantial research on this, and think I'm ok with a less than perfect finish (or patina -- which doesn't make it sound so bad) over time.  Given these issues associated with white marble, Justin prefers the black granite over the white marble.
  • The black granite is substantially cheaper than the white marble.  
  • I've thought about doing the island in the white marble and the remainder in black granite, but don't really like the look of that since the island isn't very substantial (and has the stove).   
And for visualization purposes, here are some amazing kitchens with both black and white counters with white cabinets.





Source: houzz.com via Emily on Pinterest






Source: houzz.com via Emily on Pinterest


Source: bhg.com via Emily on Pinterest


So readers, do you have a preference?  What are your thoughts?  Does anyone have either of these counters and wish to share some of their thoughts on them?

24 comments:

  1. these ae my two favorite looks as well. wish i were in the market for a gorge kitchen like yours, but alas i'm not. if i were, i might look into a white granite, can't remember what it's called, but people seem to think it looks almost as good as a carrera marble. have you seen the granite i'm talking about. all of your inspiration pics look great! you can't go wrong.

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  2. I love the white... I would probably pick the black tho for the same practical reasons you are stating. Good luck, can't wait to see pics of your after upgrade look.

    Mackenzie
    http://mylifebeingmarried.blogspot.com/

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  3. I think they both look beautiful but I'm drawn more to the timeless look of the white marble. Now if you are concerned about the chipping and staining...I would do what the first reader suggested about white granite or white quartz. One thing great about quartz is you never have to seal it. When we built our house we went with the lighter granite than dark and we are absolutely delighted with the result! We chose eagle white granite. Good luck!

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  4. Hi Emily, Congrats on your new house! I've been following your blog for a little while now and your home searching/selling process. I think you have some great ideas for your new kitchen! My dream kitchen would be white cabinets with either white marble or black granite as well. When my parents redid their kitchen, they chose black granite to go along with their white cabinets and it looked stunning. Have you thought about the black countertops with a white marble backsplash? I think one of your pictures above shows that. I don't think you can go wrong either way though. Good luck!

    http://thedulynoted.blogspot.com/

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  7. honed black! My husband installs granite & marble and we both decided when we redo our kitchen that will be it :) good luck!

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  8. Gah...I love them both! I'm definitely more into the white marble, but I just couldn't deal with the upkeep and the "issues" that come with it! I definitely don't envy you and the decision making...just the end result, TOTALLY envious (c:

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  9. I have black granite myself and I do love it but it is not maintenance free. You see every water splash and have to dry after any wipe. You also have to reseal. I am sharing this just in case the low maintenance was a decider for you.

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  10. I have black granite myself and I do love it but it is not maintenance free. You see every water splash and have to dry after any wipe. You also have to reseal. I am sharing this just in case the low maintenance was a decider for you.

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  11. Tiny voice-I don't like marble or granite. We have granite and...meh. I mean, I'm not ripping it out. If I could pick, I'd pick stained concrete and butcher block, maybe metal or recycled glass. But, that's just me. I like non-traditional stuff.

    I'd go with black granite on the counters and white marble on the island to compromise and make everyone happy!

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  12. I had the same debate! In the end, I am just more traditional so lighter counters worked better for me. While I love marble I cannot deal with the "patina" issues :) I just can't handle that you shouldn't drip lemon juice on your counters! Instead, we went with "superwhite granite" (or quartzite depending on where you go) - has the durability of granite and a look very close to marble. So far I love it! beets, strawberry juice, lemons, limes, coffee on the counter and it all wipes off :)

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  13. whatever you decide - it'll be gorgeous :) sorry im no help!

    excited for you, emily!!

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  14. We installed polished black granite at our last house and loved the contrast against the white cabinets. One thing I will say against black is that it shows every single spec and crumb. I was constantly wiping them down. This is fine if you are super neat freaks, though if that is the case you might as well just get the marble :)

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  15. All of your kitchen inspiration is beautiful! I love the floors in the second inspiration picture. As far as countertops have you looked into polished concrete options? It's a lot nicer than it sounds and you may like some of the design texture it can bring. I personally love the white and grey marble in the last two images.

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  16. Oh! I now have a bad case of kitchen envy! It’s tricky to choose because they both look really good. I have to second Carrie’s opinion, we used to have polished black granite counters in our old kitchen and they were sooooo difficult to keep clean and even when you do clean them, the smudges really show. If you are hoping to open up the space even more, I’d go with white marble!

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  17. We are looking to replace our counters as well, and fell under the same dilemma. I love the look of marble, so I've decided to go with a white quartz. They have one (forgot the name) that has a slight gray veining, resembling marble. Quartz is one of the best in a kitchen, because it's so durable! Best of luck! It will look amazing, whatever you choose!

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  18. oh boy that is a tough decision! I LOVE both! cant wait to see what you pick.

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  19. We built a home three years ago and struggled with the same issue. I love both styles but decided on Nordic Black Antique for my kitchen. It's black, looks sort of like a mild soapstone, and is between polished and honed. It holds up GREAT and I love it. We did a carrera mini subway tile as our backsplash so that was a good compromise. We have a 20 month old now and keeping the white cabinets clean is hard enough work, so I'm glad I went with darker counters. I did, however, splurge on the carrera tops and tub surround in our master. Works for me. Email me if you want pics or other specifics. :D Love your blog

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  20. That is a NICE kitchen! It's going to be gorgeous with the changes you're planning. You are welcome to come take a look at our counters to see how they look after two years- pretty good, I think! :) So happy y'all found your new home!

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  21. OK, either option will be stunning, but I will tell you that I had this same debate a few years ago and went with the hone black granite. What did it for me - we cook a ton (including my husband who likes to get in there on a Friday night with friends). I am very Type A and could not stand the thought of him (or me) ruining the marble. So, I did the granite and have never looked back! It has been wonderful. Depending on the percentage they hone (which can vary) you can get a slate like look from the marble! Good luck to you! I know which ever you choose it will be stunning. M.

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  22. Love all of these! Sharing with husband!

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  23. Thanks for the great article! I've been on the fence, unable to choose between Granite and Marble countertops. Your post really helped!

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