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Monday, January 3, 2011

Marble countertops (would love input!)

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I am now at the point where I have to select the actual slabs that will be used for the kitchen countertops.   We are going to use honed marble, as we want a light, soft, peaceful look for the countertops.  This is the recommendation from my kitchen designer, designer, and architect, as it is the material that suits the look and style of the house.  Granite was never an option; although it is the most practical choice when looking at natural stone, the busyness of the patterns is not my style. I like honed dark granite, but a dark counter is not really the right look for this kitchen.   Truthfully, I would be perfectly happy with a white corian; I have it in my current kitchen, and I love it.  But, I am looking forward to having a natural stone counter. 

Marble is a countertop material that has been used in countless kitchens renovations and builds over the past 5-10 years in Atlanta.  My kitchen designer tells me that sealers for marble have come a long, long way, and kitchens she designed 5 years ago with marble countertops are doing wonderfully.  However, anyone who is considering marble needs to be aware that the surface will be a ‘living surface’; it will not stay pristine, and will get a patina fairly quickly.  Marble is more porous than granite, it can chip, and it etches.  Marble countertops require a bit more care and diligence – spills must be wiped up immediately.  I have talked to many people who have marble countertops, and most love them, and appreciate the patina that the countertops attain over time.  Given that I am not the type of person who needs the kitchen countertop pristine and shiny, the nature of marble will suit me just fine.

Now that the holidays are over, I need to press onward and pick something – I have one month until the decision must be made. As I have been searching for a great marble for the kitchen, I have thought frequently about Joni of Cote de Texas’ search for marble when redoing her own kitchen two years ago.  She was initially set on finding a great Carrara marble, and looked for over 6 months with no luck.  She noted that Carrara, formerly crisply veined with a lot of white, has become very gray.  So, she decided to get Calacatta Oro, which still has a lot of white with both grays and light gold veining.

There are quite a few types of marble on the market, some better than others.  I tend to gravitate to the Italian marbles.  Here are some descriptions of the marbles that seem to be used frequently in kitchens in my area:

Bianco Carrara  - white and gray marble – very gray now
Statuary – a ‘sister’ marble to carrara – tends to have a brighter white background, with veining in gray
Calacatta – gray and subtle gold veining, with white background
Calacatta Oro (or Calacatta Gold) – large flakes, subtle goldish brown veins
Calacatta Gold Extra – whites, grays, light gold ribbon veining

Maybe it is because of my untrained eye, but I am not really wild about the heavy movement and veining that the people at the stone places tell me are so popular with designers and homeowners these days.   I am also having a very hard time visualizing what a slab will look like in a kitchen – since I want honed, the slabs that are polished probably will look more subtle when they are honed.  One additional design element is that we are going to use a slab as the backsplash, so some visual interest is probably important.

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Here is one of the first slabs I saw – sold to a client of a well known designer.  The guy at the stone place said that this is the look that designers are ‘wild for’ these days.  I am not a fan – this has too much hectic pattern and movement for me.

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More marble seen at another stone place in Atlanta.  I believe this is Calacatta Oro, although the gray seems to be dominant, rather than the gold.

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A more recent batch of marble came in last month.  This piece has already sold, but is representative of the lot.

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Another slab that I looked at recently.

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This is Calacatta Gold Extra.  It has quite a different look than the Calacatta Gold that I saw, and I think it is quite beautiful.  Although it has a pronounced pattern, it comes across as soft.  This particular piece has too much pronounced color for me, though.

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More Calacatta Gold Extra (already sold) – these pieces are even softer in appearance, but is it the look for me?

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This is the ‘softest’ pattern I saw in my early search.  The picture is a bit dark, but the overall impression is light gray and white.  I wonder if honing this piece (which is polished now) would make it almost too nondescript?

I think my main issue is that I can’t translate the amount of pattern I am seeing in a raw slab to what it will look like when honed and on a countertop or backsplash.  I decided to look through some of my many, many pictures of kitchens to see if they would help educate me.

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The counters and backsplash from this kitchen, with design by Jim Howard, come across as very soft and peaceful. I really like this look.

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Again, peaceful, clean, and simple – this is the look I want.  I have put this picture on my blog so many times it is almost embarrassing!  Kitchen design by Mick deGiulio.  In the article, the countertops are noted as Calacatta Gold, and are an incredible thickness.

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A kitchen by Elizabeth Dinkel uses a pretty marble and a beautifully veined slab backsplash.

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I can handle this amount of pattern – it is subtle, light veining with plenty of white. Source unknown.

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And yet, I also admire a bolder pattern, particularly when used as a backsplash. This is architect Keith Summerour’s kitchen.

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This marble has a lot of pattern and movement.  Maybe a bit too much for me, but I appreciate the element it lends to the kitchen. Source unknown.

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The kitchen made famous by Cote de Texas – belonging to Sally Wheat, with Statuary marble on the counters.

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Not the best picture (I wasn’t focusing on counters when I took it), but Lori Tippins’ kitchen has a beautifully subtle marble called Crema Delicato.  When I asked Lori how she selected her marble, she said that she was looking for a very soft and peaceful look, and this marble suited her perfectly. 

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A kitchen featured in House Beautiful has Calacatta gold marble.  The designer, Eileen Segalman, noted “if there were a white granite with veining as interesting as Calacatta marble, that would have made my life easier. [Marble] does etch the instant anything acidic hits it, like vinegar or citrus. So I have it repaired, repolished, and resealed regularly. But you know, I don't mind the etchings. They tell a story. And they remind me that nothing in life is perfect.”  More pictures of the kitchen here: http://www.housebeautiful.com/kitchens/dream/kitchen-otm-ridgefield

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This kitchen (source unknown), also used Calacatta gold, although the backsplash looks more like the examples of the Calacatta extra gold that I saw.  This counter has quite a bit of veining, and I think it is striking.  It also has quite a bit of white, and the samples I have seen have much heavier veining.

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Another magazine kitchen (featured in Traditional Home) with Calacatta gold marble.  This counter actually has a fair amount of pattern in it, and I think it is quite pretty.

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Another kitchen featured in House Beautiful, the kitchen of architect William Hefner, has a pretty slab of Calacatta gold.   Hefner noted that he chose this marble because it is a “warm white with gray and gold veining that coordinated well with the wood. Being a designer, I looked at every stone in the world. This felt fresh and light — good for a room that's about being open to the outside”.

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A close up of the backsplash from Hefner’s kitchen.

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Another pretty kitchen I found on the internet, with Calacatta Oro marble.  It seems as if the counters I like have quite a bit of white in them, which I have not really seen on the market right now.
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A kitchen from an old real estate listing.  This is probably a good representation of what an island with a moderately veined slab would look like.

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When thinking about a marble backsplash as a design element, this kitchen by Susan Marinello (featured in Traditional Home) came to mind.  The backsplash has a lot of movement, and the countertop clearly has a lot of veining, but it is soft and broad in pattern.

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This kitchen also came to mind.  It looks like the countertops are much more subtle in pattern – the focal point of this kitchen is certainly the backsplash, with its magnificently bold pattern.  I don’t think this is the look that we are going for in the kitchen, though – we are going for more of a subtle look.  Source unknown.

In preparation for my search, I would appreciate any words of wisdom from my readers on how to go about finding the right slab of marble.  If you have any pictures, or tips, or marble recommendations (should I be looking at other types of marble?), please send them my way!  If you know of any great stone places in the Atlanta Metro area, please let me know about them.  I feel as if I need to get educated before taking on this task!

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117 comments:

  1. While I can't offer any advice, I am feeling your pain after reading your post! It's amazing how much is out there and how different the end result can be. I look forward to seeing how it all comes together!

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  2. Yes, marble shopping feels like SHOPPING...which is not fun for me. I am dreading the search! I have heard that you 'know' it when you find the right slab, but that hasn't happened for me yet - in fact, quite the opposite.

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  3. I am going through the same search so imagine how happy I am to see your posting. Friends keep telling me I will regret marble and that I should look at the white granites. Needless to say I am really confused. Like you, I am looking for a more "quiet" look than most of the slabs I have seen.
    Hope others who have marble countertops will chime in as to their up keep.

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    1. I am in the same problem , I loved a black with white and gold veins marble to add to my kitchen and everyone is saying that I will regret it as it shall turn matt by aging. I didnt see anything that I loved as it is this marble. Still dont know what to do !

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  4. I have a friend who selected a white granite, and it stains very badly. I have heard that the lighter the granite, the more it is prone to staining.

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  5. You and I are on the same wavelength on this. This wouldn't be fun for me without professional help. A look that "designers are ‘wild for’ these days" would put me off. I visit an 110 year old building downtown with marble steps up to the mezzanine. Each step is scooped out where feet fall. It's emotional to go up those stairs. May your kitchen build memories like that.

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  6. Going through a simliar stage (not quite there yet) I know all about the trials and tribulations of marble shopping. Calcutta is more expensive right now than its been in 20 years, and it is hard to find the really good select stuff. I presonally am a fan of the calcutta gold as opposed to the extra because here in NY, the extra I have seen has almost a manic quality to the marble, its very busy...however if everything else in the kitchen is quiet and calm, honed it can be very pretty. The slab above actually is much quieter than most of the extra I have seen. It really takes a lot of looking....and a lot of patience! Good luck and keep us posted!

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  7. Holly, I agree with the marble choices with the softer gray patterns! That I could easily live with forever!

    Xoxo
    Karena
    Art by Karena

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  8. Are you considering Alabama white marble? It is absolutely lovely and practically a local product. Look at some of architect Bobby McAlpine's projects...

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  9. Holly,
    Go for the Calacatta marble! It is so beautiful!! Take a look under projects of this Belgian website : http://www.vandenweghe.be/main.htm
    xx
    Greet

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  10. There are plenty of kitchen countertops materials to choose from and there are good looking but cheaper alternatives to granite and polished marble if you want a stunning kitchen.

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  11. My papa had a marble factory in NY so my mom grew up with honed Carrara marble in the kitchen. It had a wonderful lived in look and they supposedly used Ajax to clean up stains. I have not tried this myself but thought it interesting. Good luck with your search! Within 2 years I hope to be sharing my experience looking for the same material for our kitchen. I look forward to seeing your kitchen! -Melissa

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  12. Mine are polished Carrara and I love them. It also took me a couple of months to find the right slab but I have a good working relationship with my fabricator so they did most of the legwork of looking for me ( I believe mine came out of Dallas but I can find out for sure). I prefer smaller veining and definitely wanted a whiter background. I also used the marble for my backsplash behind the stovetop but found a glass and marble linear tile for the opposite two--it's a knockout! My countertops have been installed for a couple of months now and already have multiple scratches and etching. I wanted to get through the Holidays before I had the fabricator back to do the final polish so I'm hoping that will help. Honestly, it doesn't bother me though and I would choose marble again and again--they are just so beautiful.

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  13. I'm with you on the subtle veining and went through this process last year. I used white venitino (polished) as a cakeboard in my kitchen (the rest of my counters are honed absolute granite) and in my powder room (honed). Love it. I used honed Naxos for two bathroom vanities -- but would not consider for a kitchen counter. Love it! You might also consider GA White as others have commented, Valakas, and Calcutta moonlight.

    Places to look in Atlanta: IGM and Marble Smith. Marble Smith is a good bone yard that might have the perfect piece for your backsplash -- lots of choices and much, much cheaper than buying a whole slab.

    Good luck!

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  14. I really like the Calacatta marble. It's beautiful

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  15. Those images are beautiful of the kitchens and I'm with you subtle veining is best. We went with soapstone for our kitchen remodel last year but it's dark. It doesn't need sealing, doesn't burn, nonporous and cleans up beautifully, we love it. Good luck with your choice.

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  16. I am with you in that I prefer the third slab you posted. It has a bit of color but the pattern is uniform enough that it is still easy on the eye. I also really like the photos you posted that have a brick stack backsplash. The prettiest backsplash I've seen was a gold onyx done in a brick stack pattern. Good Luck, I look forward to seeing what you decide.

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  17. I have honed calcutta gold in my kitchen. Its gorgeous... Its has a some veining, but its not like the heavily veined pics that you showed. Parts are really white, and there are gray and gold veins throughout. I really recommend it- but be SUPER selective with your actual slab.

    I love mine- I stroke it every time I walk by!

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  18. I've just gone through the same journey with the same concerns... I want something that is natural stone, but that I won't get sick of in 15 years! I fear that stones with too much 'movement' (or which have some 'severe' details) will tire after awhile. I also wanted a whiter carrera marble, but everything was so muddy... After going to 6 stone yards, I did find a 'whiter' carrera, but it still wasn't clear enough for my kitchen counter. I ended up splurging on a stone called crema delacato, which is white with greys and some beige. Honed, it will be even lighter. I'm thrilled, though I spent more than I planned. I know the stone will go with any paint color I opt to put on the walls several years from now, and it makes the space feel bright and tidy, but not sterile. Good luck on your journey!

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  19. Have you looked at CaesarStone in Misty Carrera? Is an engineered surface, quartz composite I believe, and it's made to look like marble. It's a very, very soft pattern, perhaps more subtle than you want, but similar to granite in its durability. I haven't seen anything larger than a small sample and it's probably going to be my choice. Good luck!

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  20. I had honed Carrera counters in my last kitchen (it is posted on my blog under this old house) and just adored them. I had lots of counter space and they looked beautiful - they age gracefully, and like you, I didn't care if they were perfect. I looked for a while until I found slabs that weren't so gray - when I did my kitchen, it was hard but possible. I do like the calcutta gold as well. I agree with you that I would want less veining and pattern on the counter. I don't mind the large pattern for the backsplash - looks fabulous in that last La Cornue shot.

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  21. Don't dread the slab-choosing process! Think about it like you'd approach speed-dating with a guarantee that you'll find your beloved come hell or high water! Each slab is a wonderful expression of nature that now can exist in your kitchen but was once hidden under the dirt or inside a mountain--I think this in itself is a virtual miracle. To me, looking at slabs is like going to an art gallery!

    An interesting detail that some people don't take into account is the way that light interacts with your slabs. In other words, many times a lot of action in a slab is mitigated by the light that is reflected off of it, even if it's honed! I suspect that many of the hoizontal slabs in these photos are more graphic than they seem in photos.

    Personally, I love any kind of Calacatta, but I'd be tempted to try something a little different because I usually tire of what everyone wants by the time everyone wants it. There are so many great choices out there! Check out this nice slab from Stone Source: http://www.stonesource.com/catalog/stone_slabs.php?id=1277 Other stones I suggest are the Portuguese Crema Delicata, and also good old American Vermont Danby, which can be GORGEOUS. We used it in the U.S. Senate health spa for the floors.

    My other advice (I know, will she ever shut up?)--be careful of going too soft--like people, a little drama adds a lot to a kitchen's personality! It's just my opinion, but the nicest guy (or girl) in the world still needs sex appeal.
    If you do go really soft, maybe a tone-on-tone coordinating backs-plash could give that extra oomph. Best of Luck!

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  22. Thank you for the comments, everyone!

    Sara, thank you for the perspective. I was wondering whether seeing the slabs vertically in a warehouse or outside would even give me the correct impression of how they would looked honed on a countertop.

    Interestingly, one of my friends selected one of the slabs shown in this post, and I have seen it installed. It looks so much more beautiful installed - much more subtle - although it looked pretty beautiful in the warehouse too.

    I like the thought of using something more peaceful on the counters, and using something more bold (whether it be slab or tile) on the backsplash. It looks like that is what the last photo did.

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  23. If you want a soft look and dont' like the business of the veining, go with the statuary. It's the purest looking marble I think and we've used it successfully in a few projects.

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  24. You are designing such a beautiful and amazing home. I love coming here and dreaming. Love the marble countertops and it sounds like you are totally prepared to keep up the maintenance in a realistic manner. It seems to me that having lots of white is very important to you. When viewing all the pictures the kitchens that seemed the most peaceful were the ones with out the backsplash in marble. The movement on the counter did not seem as in your face as the movement on the wall. On the wall it becomes a huge focal point, almost like a piece of art, so if white is important to you maybe a plain white back splash would be more appealing than so much marble veining. Just a thought. I have marble in my entry and a guest bath and I love it. It is becoming worn and etched but it does not bother me at all. Not sure about juice stains on the counter, that might bother me, the jury is still out on that one. Good luck with your continued search for the perfect slab, Happy New Year,Kathysue

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  25. Crema Delicata marble is primarily all white with just subtle ghosting of veins. It is too "all white" for a lot of people, but I used it in a kitchen a few years ago when the client wanted an "all white" kitchen. Also, honing marble tends to lessen the contrast with veining to some extent, similar to the graining in raw wood versus sealed/stained wood. Good luck. I know whatever you and your design team select will be beautiful.

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  26. All I can say is the marble tops are absolutely gorgeous and give a fabulous natural, yet elegant feel to kitchens and baths. Best wishes on a selection!

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  27. When I renovated our kitchen 2 years ago, I had my heart set on honed marble for my 14' island. I searched MD, VA, DC, DE, and NJ for "the" slabs. Believe me, they speak to you when you find them. I went with honed calacatta and it was one of the best decisions I made. Sure, everyone tried to talk me out of marble with 5 teenagers and a busy household. In my heart of hearts, I knew MY kitchen needed it.

    I seal it every six months with a very high quality sealer (which takes all of 15 minutes) and I have no staining. ZERO...NADA...NONE...ZIP Everything under the sun has been spilled or dropped on it and it wipes up. There is some etching, but with a honed finish, I have to strain to see it.

    Best wishes on your search. I'll email you pictures if you would like.

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    1. Which sealer do you use? I'm thinking off going with a honed Danby for my countertops. Thanks.

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    2. Which quality sealer do you use? THanks.

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  28. This is going to be one amazing kitchen! I must say that I am so in love with marble that I would be happy with little veining or heavy veining, the look of marble counters against a marble backsplash would be my absolute dream!! Good luck with finding the perfect pieces of stone for your space.
    Nancy xo

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  29. I'm not going to be able to walk back into my kitchen after those photos. Good luck. Cannot believe there are so many choices for white marble! Terry had a good idea - classic will never look outdated.
    -Trish

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  30. I once had a kitchen with an umnovable stain right in the middle of a pale marble counter - broke my heart, it felt like it was all you saw as you walked in. I'm sure the techniques have improved so much that this doesn't happen any more, so I'd be with you and go for the lighter more subtle veining of the Calcutta.
    Sharon

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  31. It's hard to give advice not knowing your exact layout, or how much natural light you have in there. But if its a big kitchen, with good light, I say go for a bit more movement than you think you are comfortable with. Like you said, honing softens the look. Plus, over a large space, with shelves above and cabinetry below, everything begins to blend a bit. You want to have the beautiful marble splash make a statement!

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  32. From all the choices that you have shown here, I think that the most subtle yet elegant marble type is Calacatta extra gold. For the look that you are going for it might be best to avoid a marble backsplash, if you are not using the same marble, or you could use Calacatta gold...in any case, I think that you are heading in the right track. Continue your research and I hope that you are happy with your final choice :)

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  33. Holly,
    This is such an awesome post, I totally agree with you though, I cannot stand the blotchiness of most marbles and granites. The thing that worries me is not having control of where the veins ends up on the counter (maybe you would be able to control that I don't know), and it's why I would do white caesarstone but carrara is very pretty too. Not a huge fan of it on the backsplash too though.
    I'm posting this to my facebook and twitter next. Thanks!
    Maria

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  34. They are all just beautiful! I'm still in the planning stages of our kitchen remodel and leaning toward marble also.

    My friend is a decorator and she prefers to work with Crystal Marble and Granite in Alpharetta. I've been to their showroom with her and they seem very nice and knowledgeable. Good Luck!

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  35. Oops! Sorry, Crystal Marble is actually in Cumming - Here is their link:

    http://www.crystalmarble.com/www/contact

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  36. I love marble, though I'll admit I haven't had the pleasure of owning a home with any installed in it (yet!). Calcutta has always been a favorite of mine though -- I love the subtle gold veining. And I do think any of these patterns will appear softer when honed rather than polished. Good luck, Holly, and happy New Year!

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  37. The honed finish won't wash away the grey in the marble. If you use an enhancing stone sealer (which I'd totally recommend) the color will come back almost to what it was polished.
    I'm glad you are going with honed, I think you'll be much happier with it than if you were to keep it polished. Everyone wants the polished Carrara right now, but I promise the honed marble keeps homeowners happier.
    Good luck! We do probably one marble kitchen a week and get asked about it every day. I'd be happy to help in any way that I can.

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  38. I agree with the posts that say it looks different when it is installed, vertical versus hortizonal. It is hard to go by the names because the look of the stone becomes really different over time, as the stone comes from a different part of the mountain... as they dig through the mountain.
    You can get an idea of the look of honed stone by looking at the back of the slab. You can even put a little water on the back to get rid of the dust.
    The polish ..on a regular basis, helps keep it from staining. It depends on your habits as to how damaged it gets ... if you drink red wine then it is likely you will eventually get a dark red wine stain on it :(
    Some people will put marble on the back counters and maybe butcher block on the island ....or some other combination , so they have someplace to really work and chop and spill.
    As I read your post, my impression is that you like the more figured marble when the kitchen is very white , all white.... the exception being the one modern Hefner kitchen. The other kitchen that had a strong pattern with some color contast in a black hood only seemed to have a strong pattern on under the hood , the rest of the marble in that kitchen had less pattern . So it seems to me that you like the strong pattern when it is like the centerpiece art in the room.
    When the marble is one of the many textures and colors in the room you like the less patterned marbles. Like when one is mixing patterns in pillows on the living room sofa.
    I dont know what your kitchen design looks like, maybe you have put it on another post , I dont remember. But it is clear to me that if your kitchen is traditional with lots of color and texture changes , then you should go with the soft patterned marble. If it is all white or very contemporary/simple then you should go with the soft patterned marble.
    In this instance lots of color changes may be only having a grey cabinets on the island and white back cabinets. I think it is about senseing how much the eye is going to bounce around the room ....if you already have lots of visual changes then calm it down with a soft pattern .
    The last thought I have ( sorry this is so long) Is you have not mentioned having white subway tile on the backsplash. The favorite kitchen image you keep posting has white subway tile. I personally love white subway tile .
    You can have a stronger pattern on the counter and have white subway tiles on the back splash AND the overall appearance will be less busy and work in a visually busier space.

    I hope this helps. I have black granite. It does not show anything. The darker you go in any granite or stone the less porous it is.

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  39. Oops I just realized I made a mistake
    I meant to say
    If it is all white or very Contemporary/simple then you should go with the stronger patterned marble ... sorry

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  40. So many gorgeous pictures! I prefer less veining too - a softer look. Have you thought about Vermont marble? Also - I think the aging process on honed marble is beautiful. Nicks, etched parts, stains, wear and tear over time - it all tells a story.
    Good luck!

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  41. I like the last slab but that is because if I could have solid white marble it would be my choice. I think the one I like is called Thassous. In my kitchen I have antiqued cream cabinets with blue granite counters and I am thinking of a white marble subway tile backsplash. I am 5 years into this house and still haven't picked a tile backsplash, ugh!

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  42. I do love all of these pictures that you put together. I do prefer the tiled black splash to the slab. I also tend to lean more towards the lighter veined slabs. It's my experience that the honing increases the susceptibility to staining. I'm not sure if that is a concern for you but I've read in other posts that you do have children.

    The Jim Howard kitchen is beautiful; I'm interested to know if you'll round the corners or have a right angle like the Mick deGiulio.
    Recently, soap stone has caught my eye.

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  43. G&L Marble on Armour Drive in Atlanta helped me find a 6' x 6' slab of carrera marble. After designing the kitchen, I was told they don't come that big, but G&L found it. I took samples of several different white marbles and performed stain/etch tests with 1. mustard, 2. ketchup, 3. vinaigrette, and 4. red wine (I think) in time periods of 1 hour and 24 hours. Anyway, the most stain resistant by far was the carrera. Three years ago Calcutta Gold was 3x the cost of carrera. I found the higher the cost, the faster the stain penetration. Those were just my unscientific results, but it couldn't hurt to try a few samples of your own.

    I love my carrera marble counters, but I also know my family is hard on things. Daughter chipped the edge of the marble island. Etches everywhere (grapefruit, spilled limeade). We haven't had them re-honed, but I might have that done at some point. All in all, I wanted a kitchen that looked old like our 1920s bungalow so I accept the patina of the marble.

    Our marble island is pictured in your 2/1/10 post. Good luck with your search!

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  44. in the northeast, New England Stone is the premier supplier for Calacatta Gold and variations thereof. the more prolific a fabricator, the more choices his slab yard provides, so be sure to visit a good vendor. selections could be limited if there's been low turnover, and you'd be stuck with choosing something from a while ago. you can check out their link for a large sample of marble counters - http://www.newenglandstone.com/residential/kitchens.

    I ended up using a remnant piece of Calacatta for the baking area (about 8' long) and the rest of kitchen surfaces (including 2 islands) in Caesarstone because the size of the kitchen(24'x26') would have been overwhelmed with all Calacatta. the backsplash was tiled in 6"x12" Calacatta set in a brick pattern.

    hope this helps.

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  45. Hi Holly, I have zero experience on this subject, but I like the quieter, more peaceful slabs also. I don't like all the heavy pattern and I don't care for the golden marbles I have seen in House Beautiful lately. I prefer the white look with a little soft gray, but seems like that is harder to find. Hmmm. I do like some of the back splashes you showed which had a strong pattern, which surprised me. What seems classic in my mind is the white with light grey pattern and that's what I long to have too!! Good luck - sounds like the stone business is complicated. I don't like granite. You are on the right track. Do you think the golden patterns would age well?
    You must post (or send me!!) photos of the house progress!!
    xo Terri

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  46. Hello! We just used honed Carrera in our bathroom, and we love it. Here's a tip. It was going to take several extra weeks to bring in a honed slab from Vancouver - not to mention, cost a lot extra. So, we looked up on line how to hone it ourselves and it was a snap. A little bit of vinegar and water and some sandpaper saved us at least $1000 and several weeks of waiting. I should mention that we are NOT the DIY types, so if we can do it, anyone can.

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  47. Picking the countertops is one of the most exciting parts of kitchen design - at least in my humble opinion! I have honed Calacatta Gold in my kitchen and I ADORE it! I love the patina, and the veining. If you are drawn to softer patterning, then that's what you should go for.

    The images you collected for this post are really incredible. I currently have a client who wants Calacatta for her kitchen, but is having such a difficult time envisioning it. I think looking over these images and your post might help her. Thanks so much for pulling them all together.

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  48. First, I love you blog!

    I am going to start the same search in about 2 months. I live in Atlanta and would really appreciate a list of where you have been looking for slabs in the greater Atlanta area.

    Also, by biggest concern is about staining. We love red wine...and I am worried that I may be heart broken if my marble ends up with a big red wine ring. What, if anything, have you learned about this? It seems that a honed finish my hide etching and scratching better, but it may be more susceptible to staining than i polished finish.

    Ahh! I am in way over my head. Any advice for a fellow Atlantan would be greatly appreciated.

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  49. I have just finished an extensive remodel of my 1920s home and used honed Calacatta Gold in my kitchen as well as my master bathroom. I used honed Carerra in my children's bathroom. I like the Carerra, but it is definitely much more gray, with a colder feel. I love the Calacatta for the warmer tones which go well, with the various woods in my home (dark stained white oak floors and the original beautiful mahogany built-ins). Like you, I preferred slabs with a fair amount of white areas in them and was able to find a beautiful slab with a lot of variation of white areas and broad veining. As the counters are horizontal it all blends very well. I also used slab for my backsplash for the sink wall, but not for the cooktop wall. There I used brick. I intended to paint it, but many friends visiting my home have said how much they love the warmth of the brick in my otherwise white kitchen, so I am waiting a bit longer to decide whether to paint the brick. By the way, I bought wine bottle coasters by Vacuvin and wine bottle neck colllars by Metrokane to use preventatively. They work great! They are both available on Amazon. I also put down a bar towel when we are entertaining where the wine will be opened. I have had no problems. Lastly, you can use 4 zero (0000) steel wool - nothing bigger - on honed marble to take off, in a snap, any water rings. I hope this helps and good luck. I''m excited to see your results.

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  50. Thank you for the comments, everyone - so much great information!

    I will do a follow up post once I select the slab. Here are some great recommendations that have come out of private emails and comments on the post. Several people recommended looking at Danby marble out of Vermont. It is one of the most durable marbles, and has a very low absorption rate. Others recommended looking at Alabama White marble. Like any marble, there are some beautiful examples of these marbles, and some really ugly examples - but they are two more options.

    Another tip was to get a 12x12 sample of whatever marble being considered and do an extensive stain test, if staining is of concern. Use a good sealer, then test out different kitchen items on the marble (wine, vinegar, and citrus juice seem to be the biggest candidates).

    Most people commented that they have not had huge issues with staining, although red wine rings, vinegar, and lemon juice seem to be the biggest culprits.

    Honed surface seems to be better for maintenance, as etching and small stains can be buffed out.

    Any other comments or experiences are welcome!

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  51. When we bought our house 10 years ago we started out with white corian counter tops that were very "eh" but it was all that we could afford. Shortly after we upgraded to black polished granite, which never felt right to me. As part of our renovation a few years ago, we upgraded again to honed calcutta gold white marble slabs, and I lOVE the look! I too had a very hard time picking a slab and tortured myself and everyone around me in the process. Now I have come to terms with the irregular veining, and even the dings and stains as well. Sure you will make an amazing choice...good luck!

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  52. I like the Calcatta in Hefner's kitchen the best...but maybe that is just due to my more modern penchant. Regardless of what you decide, I know it will be lovely.

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  53. I worked with Levantina, just outside of Atlanta, for the Christmas Showhouse. It is great that people are becoming less skittish about using marble as countertops, perfection shouldn't be the point, the patina is beautiful.

    Don't beat yourself up about finding the perfect slab and don't overanalyze, you will not be staring at the countertops as intently as you do a slab in a warehouse. Since it is a natural stone, it should be natural and not perfect. Good luck - there are so many options out there!

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  54. I picked out our Alabama White slab at G&L Marble in Atlanta. I chose polished Alabama white because of it's whiteness and it's gold and gray veining. I agree, there are good slabs and bad ones as we looked through many to get one that had nice gold veining for our island. Being that this was our first house, it was what we could afford and am still very satisfied. I love the way the light hits the polished stone but had they had a nice honed slab we may have chosen it instead. The etchings are there but they don't bother us terribly-they did at first but we got used to it. Like you have mentioned before it is less obvious with the honing. One thing I would love to know is if people could recommend a good sealer. Does anyone know of any sealers they have used and liked? I know you didn't ask but we use the counter spray from Home Depot called Clean enCounters Countertop Spray. It smells like oranges (but doesn't etch), cleans wonderfully and doesn't leave any residue like I had with Caldrea products on my counter. I really tried to love that product but i could see all the wipe marks on the polished stone...good luck!

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  55. One of my clients HAD to have Carrera marble in their kitchen and in all seven(!) bathrooms of their new home. Of course, they preferred 'white' Carrera instead of the 'grey' Carrera that is currently coming out of the quarry. Even though it isn't inexpensive, we discovered that AKDO has the whitest Carrera on the market. AKDO not only produces mosaics and field tile, but also sources slabs. It could be worth checking into... Best of luck!

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  56. Since you've asked for "input", I would humbly offer this: Follow your instinct and choose the simplest option. And most importantly, then let go of it. Lets face it, most of our obsessive decision-making becomes irrelevant in a year or so once the decision (in this case the marble) becomes only one part of the overall scheme of a room and of our daily lives.

    Happy New Year.

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  57. Hi again Holly,
    We have a fabricator in Italy who, when making something out of slab for us, tapes off the dimensions on the slab (with blue painter's tape) and emails us a photo so we can approve where the veins lie before they cut anything. I personally thought this was a brilliant solution to my control-freak tendencies, and that I'd pass along the tip!

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  58. ps. the Danby you might be interested in is "IMPERIAL Danby".
    http://www.vermontmarbleandgranite.com/marble/imperial_danby_slab.htm

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  59. I just selected 2 gorgeous calacatta slabs from AGM in Lawrenceville - they had a gorgeous lot there - creamy with taupey gray subtle veining. I would definitely check there. We are totally redoing the kitchen in our 1916 house in Savannah, and I can't imagine anything else as perfect for the countertops. Good luck - you'll know it when you see it!

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  60. Gosh, what a lot of comment/advice you have already received but here is one more from my experience. We redid our kitchen four months ago. I knew I wanted honed marble and started out looking at Calcutta (looked too dingy and too grey for me), then turned to Statuary (loved the color but it was just too blah for me even though I didn't want a lot of movement). I started to look at Danby marble from Vermont. I loved the overall color and movement of Danby Imperial but it ended up having too much brown/gold in the flakes for my taste (somehow the color of the flakes just said '70s to me). I finally settled on Danby Montclair and I could not be happier. It is lovely white with just a bit of movement and the veining is blue/grey which works well for me. An added and unexpected bonus -- it turns out that Danby Montclair is significantly less expensive than the other marbles I looked at. I am not sure why since I didn't want to question the great price! Best of luck and enjoy your kitchen, Lily

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  61. I could not find a large enough slab of Calacatta gold for the island (without a seam) so I purchased honed Carrara for half the price (have it every where, pantry, back splashes, bathrooms...). It is softly veined...but stains...what the heck. I say it looks like a French bistro. Your kitchen is going to be FABulous!
    Mary Ann

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  62. I am so happy to see so many people embracing marble - vivre et laisser vivre, I say.

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  63. Hi Holly,
    I was reading some of the Ideabooks at houzz today and thought of you when I came across this one:
    It had a lot of pretty examples of Cararra and Calacatta marble. :)
    Susan
    http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/158673/list/Cararra-vs--Calacatta-Marble--What-is-the-Difference-

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  64. Would love to know how you make out with the marble selection...just went today myself and am also going to post some of the choices. So far of what I have seen, I too like the calacutta gold extra as opposed to the calacutta gold...don't know if its the current lots or what but in 3 places they were consistently prettier in my opinion. Its a big decision so I wish you luck!

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  65. wow. so much to think about. i like the calacutta ora the best now. i like the white white with gray, heavy veined but not splotchy. some you showed are big globs of vein which i hate. i like a it more linear. good luck - can not wait to see what you choose!!!

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  66. Hello Holly...In the last four years, I've been in your shoes twice, and all I can say is that you are on the right track with your marble desires. We hemmed and hawed over marble so many times I can't even count, even though it was what I had been dreaming about for ever. We finally chose (both times) a Calacatta (surnames we found out don't mean a thing, stone yards will call them what they will) and we absolutely LOVE it!!! It's exactly the type your looking for I believe...a soft, non-busy pattern with beautiful grayish-linen highlights here and there.
    The first time, I found what I wanted immediately...the second time around, it took a whole year. The slabs that were coming in were very weak..."sugary", not strong and solid. Some even already had resin fills that were done at the stone yard...so we waited. Finally, the right group came along...my first thought was that they reminded me of an Italian Creamery. So just wait...they will speak to you, just make sure they're strong, no chips, filled in cracks, or scratches.

    Ours are honed, and the 'only' things that has "patina'd" them is citrus, wine & vinegar...oh yeah, and the tile guy put his bucket of epoxy on it and it left a ring, other than that, coffee has been a non-issue and all is well, and we cook a lot! With honed, the etchings from the citrus and such aren't very noticeable and you can always have them honed out again.

    Best of luck...I know that whatever you choose, it will be beautiful!
    xo Jessica

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  67. Marble kitchens are so beautiful. I worked on hundreds of white marble kitchens during my 19 years with G&L Marble. Honed is pretty and more practical with marble (especially as it patinas)
    I could run through every white marble option with pros and cons of all but I won't bore you. I will just give you the most common things I have gone over with clients: White Carrara and Venantino are greyer/ cooler color, if you want warmer white try Calacatta, Vermont, Alabama, sometimes GA marble... ohhh and French Vanilla...the list goes on. Most important is seeing the actual slab you are getting. Calacatta is in high demand and looks vary. Start early and be prepared to secure the right slabs especially with white marble being so hot right now.

    Don't just use the name of your selected stone.. sign off on your particular slabs. So many other beautiful stones get overlooked because these the most coverage. Bring your cabinet door...I have seen at least 100 different shades of white - each has another color..this will help you make a great selection. Use trusted industry people/companies since there are some not so nice slabs out there. Good Luck! Love your blog.

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  68. Have you thought about using a Crema Marfil or one of the other Crema's? They have a very subtle pattern and are much softer than many of the others. Good luck!! Can't wait to see pics of the final results,

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  69. Holly,

    Marble is such a beautiful classic choice. You can't go wrong with any of the choices. I prefer the softer more linear veining. I look forward to seeing your future pictures too!

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  70. First of all -- Happy New Year to you Holly! 2011 is going to be a wonderful year, I feel, and your are off to a great start I can see!

    So many of the kitchens you are showing are absolutely breathtaking.

    I would pick something crisp white with less bold veins. Perhaps a tad safe. But I think you will never get tired of it.

    I love the idea of marble as a black splash.

    What a great post. I am so looking forward to following the process.

    ox, Mon

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  71. These pictures are gorgeous!

    We did Calcutta Gold in one of our bathrooms, and it is stunning. We did the big bricks for most of it, so we don't get the effect of the strains so much.

    For the kitchen, I can't bear the stress of maintenance and I've chosen White Fantasy granite. It looks almost exactly like Carrera, but with the hardiness of granite.

    Good luck with the choice--it will look gorgeous no matter what you choose!

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  72. Another great post with such beautiful images!

    You might take a look at some of the Danby marbles. They're from Vermont but are readily available throughout the US (I'm in Austin.) It has absorption rates closer to granite and has that softer look you describe.

    I've had Olympian White Danby in my kitchen for about 8 months with no staining and just a few scratches. Good luck in your search!

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  73. I love marble and really wanted it in my kitchen. But I cook a ton and will admit that I am obsessive and could never handle etching and staining. After seeing the "patina" on my friend's marble, I knew that I had to pass on it even though I wanted it so badly. I looked into white granites (I also knew I did not want granite at all from the very beginning!) as well as quartzites, and ended up choosing one called Moon Night, which reminded me of gray marble: www.pinkroots.blogspot.com. If you're not 100 percent sure about marble, I definitely recommend that you look into quartzite, another natural stone. One quartzite that definitely looks like marble is called Classic White (but they have different names...Super White, etc.). Quartzites, like any light colored stone, can stain, but it will not etch. (Quartzites are not the same thing as quartz counters.) Anyway, I'm so happy with our countertops and have had no staining issues!

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  74. Go with your instinct. You have a great eye. I love your taste.
    pve

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  75. I agree. Go with your instinct. I read this post twice -- you already know what you want. It's the finding of it.

    (And not every designer is wild about veining. I can't tell you how many slab yards a client and I went through to look for less veining before selecting a gorgeous and subtle Calcutta Gold.)

    Good luck!

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  76. I am late on posting but thought I would chime in. I have Carrera marble countertops in the kitchen and Calacatta Gold in the bathroom. I am a "heavy user" of the kitchen countertops and would have thought that the imperfections would bother me but they do not. I have no stains after 10 years and the etching from normal cooking just looks like a nice soft patina. I have had them resealed once since they were installed.

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  77. The striking pattern of that backsplash is outstanding! However, my choice would be subtle veining. You will know it when you see THE perfect pattern!

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  78. Hello Holly!


    This is my very first time here. I've start blogging in September and I am loving it! If you can take a look at my blog and let me know what you think it would be fantastic!

    Btw, your blog is amazing! I'll be back tomorrow for hours of reading, ok? ;-)

    xo


    Luciane at HomeBunch.com

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  79. Amazing post...I have spent more time in cold stone yards looking for slabs. my favorite is actually Pietra Serena (a grey stone) but I have used marble in many instances. i prefer as pure white as possible and a great alternative is Ceasar Stone which will give you the cold feel of marble, easy maintenance and the perfect pure white

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  80. I've loved reading all the comments! Whatever you choose in the end, will be just beautiful. Know that. When renovating our kitchen a couple of years ago, I kept being drawn to a soft palette. Looking around my home, a creamy white felt right as opposed to the more gray white's in the Calcutta and Statuary, which I love on their own. I ended up with Crema Marfil marble, which I was warned against for a kitchen, but I have loved it. I've had it resealed once and though it could use it again, it really doesn't bother me. In the end....just trust your gut and take a sample of your tile or backsplash if you're doing something different or complimentary to the marble.

    Good luck!

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  81. I love the Carrara. We have a Carrara sink top that we picked up at a salvage yard for our bathroom & we just love the look. It's such a timeless piece. We’re now in the process of renovating our kitchen also & are going with the honed Carrara, I can’t wait!

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  82. Debbie from Paisley Park InteriorsJanuary 7, 2011 at 10:16 PM

    Holly, I am enjoying your blog about the pursuit of choosing marble countertops for your kitchen. My vote is for the last slab you presented, the "softest". However it would be helpful for me to understand the space plan of your kitchen. Consider the "views" within the space, and from adjoining rooms. Make sure you like what you see. Ask your marble fabricator if they can hone a piece for you, even at a nominal fee it could really put your mind at ease. Live with it a few days, move it around, make sure you love it!! One more suggestion, make sure you are there when they create the layout for the marble, so you can choose exactly what slab goes where, island, backsplash etc. Good Luck!! Enjoy, it sounds like you are almost to the finishline!!

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  83. Hello. I had carrera marble countertops installed in our kitchen last March (in Charlotte). They are beautiful! However, there are already LOTS of little scratches from everyday use. I am not a prefectionist but it does bother me and I am always hoping our guests won't notice. We have since moved and I have granite now. I can't seem to scratch it but it's not as 'special' looking. Good luck!

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  84. We just recently finished our kitchen and have marble countertops. I too wouldn't stand for granite (although our last kitchen had honed black granite which I liked but, again like you, that wasn't working for the new kitchen). What I chose was a locally quarried, Vermont Danby marble. I really can't recommend it enough. First, it's American marble which I think is wonderful and there is a wide variety that rivals Italian white marbles. I was a Calcutta gal but found the Royal Danby perfect, with enough movement and color variation. Here's a link with samples. http://www.vermontquarries.com/marble/

    I'm also a professional baker and use marble for sugar work and I'm a wine drinker (not professional but I try) and I put my marble through the paces in both my bakery and in my residential kitchen. Yes, it gets a patina but that's the beauty of it. A Parisian café just wouldn't be the same without the marble tables worn from beautiful meals and memories.

    -Gesine

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  85. i use gold calcutta 90% of the time.
    BUT.....
    when choosing the slabs,
    i take a make-up pencil or lip stick pencil and out line exactly the parts of the slab to cut and use,
    and i try NOT use the nasty 'gold' in the gold calcutta.
    i just find all the other tones in this particular marble beyond beautiful.

    good luck
    i look forward to pictures

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  86. I just came across a beautiful kitchen in the Feb 2011 issue of Style At Home that you REALLY need to see! The countertops are a beautiful soft grey marble, and the overall design of the kitchen is similar to your inspiration pictures. I'm sure you would love it! I can't find the name of the marble, but I'll keep looking. And I can scan & e-mail you the pictures.

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  87. I'm an interior designer from Melbourne, Australia - I loved your blog, I found it very inspiring. This is all new to me but I have just set up my own blog
    scrapbook-melissah.blogspot.com
    You may like to check it out because I had so much fun doing it.
    Thanks for providing me with such great entertainment!
    Cheers
    Melissah

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  88. My wife showed me this posting and asked that i respond. several peole have already suggested the Vermont Danby and i agree with them. You can get very subtle coloring or very wild veining depending on the where the stone is cut from. It is a very hard stone, almost equal to granite. It looks beautifu in a honed finish. It is not the cheapest but we have found it to be more cost effective than the Calcutta marbles. Because it is cut here in the states it is cut and finished in 1-1/2" as opposed to the metric cuts at 2 or 3 cm. If you are sure that you want a white marble look you do need to investigate the stuff.

    But whatever you do, please go with the look you want to live with. Too many designers these days try to push their clients to go with the latest look, which by next year is the "old" look. If you like it it doesn't matter if it is out of "style". But if you select it because it is the rage and the current "hot" look you are doing yourself a disservice and the professionals working with you are doing you a disservice.

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  89. If you love white kitchens, you should check out the blog...www.granitegurus.com. It's not all just about granite, they feature a lot of marbles...and the pictures of the kitchens are wonderful. They also have a new feature called Whiteout Wednesdays, all white kicthens every wednesday...what eye candy!

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  90. I just selected slabs last week for our home renovation... we went with Calcutta Gold (Oro) in our master bath - it's gorgeous - we're using it on counters, floor, shower and walls (3' high). That being said, I just couldn't wrap my head around putting on my kitchen countertops with three young boys and a husband who might be worse than the three combined! Then, we came upon Danby Marble - from Vermont - it's as beautiful, if not more, than the calcutta (same colors and veining) but it's harder than the calcutta. After installing in a few other kitchens with great feedback, our kitchen planner convinced me we'd love it. Getting installed later this week - I'll post pics so you can see!

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  91. It sounds like you have plenty of suggestions and input already, but I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed this post. There is just something classic and regal about white marble. Absolutely gorgeous! Looking forward to seeing your finished project.

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  92. Did you notice in the new Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles edition on kitchens this month....William Litchfield uses Travertine for countertops? Have you considered or researched this option? thanks!!

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  93. I have narrowed down my selections in slabs to three choices (three types of slabs) - will definitely do a follow up post once I decide!

    I have seen several types of travertine and limestones used for countertops. My personal experience with limestone countertops is not positive. My in-laws have limestone on their bathroom and laundry room counters, and they etch like crazy - a leaking soap can really make a mark on the counter. I have always suspected that they aren't properly sealed, though!

    Travertine and limestone are even more porous than marble. I love the warm look, but for me - I cook a lot - not the right choice for the counters in the kitchen.

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  94. hi Holly! I just saw your comment at Nest Egg and popped over! I, too, found finding the perfect marble slab a daunting task- many trips to Boston... I finally found a beautiful slab of Bianco Venatino that I fell in love with. I loved the bold movement (similar to the Calcutta, but more white and gray). Ironically, I just did a post on my kitchen and you can see the marble on my island. I have adored having my marble. My best advice is to just embrace the etching, as no matter how hard you try it will happen. The first couple of months I was sooooo careful and would find myself saying over and over "now, how did THAT get there?"! I have considered doing the "Meg Ryan"-- have you heard of that? There is a story out there that the day Meg had a marble countertop installed she poured and rubbed lemon juice all over it to get the etching out of the way!! I've been tempted, but can't figure out if it will etch on the etch, or not!! My secret weapon.... Barkeepers Friend; it gets out most of the etching spots when I use it! Any fabricator would probably cringe, but it's the only thing that I've found that really gets out the etchings, or just 'softens' them. I think the trick is to just relax with it. I actually look forward to mine developing a loved patina. I mean, look how gorgeous all that marble is in the patisseries of France- and no one is trying to keep them perfect!!
    Good luck with your hunt!
    joan

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  95. I did a "stain/etch" test last night on my scraps of Imperial Danby & Carrara ~ I was told to leave red wine, coffee, and lemon juice on marble for at least 5 hours (the length of a cocktail party if someone spilled or you didn't see it until after the party during clean up). I wiped off the liquids just now, and am SO disappointed. NOW I know what etching looks like (it takes the polish off totally, hence the right decision to do honed to start with), the Carrara stained purple from wine, and brown from the coffee. I'm devastated b/c that's definitely the look I'm trying to achieve, but with my large working kitchen, young kids, lots of cooking, I can't imagine this working for me without being stressful to keep perfect. What if kids spill spaghetti sauce, ketchup I hear is the worst stainer. Called every stone yard from here to 60 miles from Atlanta searching for "white granite"or something that I can consider...doesn't exist....

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  96. Holly,
    We've been reading your blog for ages for the wealth of thematically organized interior deign reference you offer. Thank you. And now, since you're in the marble slab selecting stage, as are we, I wonder if you've given any thought to edge profiles and slab thickness. We will likely be using a 3/4" (2cm) slab with built up edges. I'd be curious to know what you think about the various edge profiles available. They can certainly change the tone of a space.

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  97. I knew I wanted marble for my new kitchen despite many discouraging comments from fabricators and friends. After visiting many stone yards I selected a slab of Calacatta with more veining than I had orginally wanted. Honing, toned down the veining and gave me the "soft" look I was after. It was sealed twice after installation and after 4 months there is no staining and just some minor etching. It's actually easier to take care of than anticipated. It doesn't show fingerprints or dust like my polished granite did. We just love it.

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  98. I'm loving your blog as it sounds like we are both in similar phases of remodeling and everytime I check back in there is something relevant to where I'm at with my project! I am also in the midst of choosing my Calcutta slabs for the kitchen and I have found some beautiful slabs that I am in love with that look a lot like the 9th kitchen photo down you've posted. I love the big soft velvety looking veins and all the movement. Anyways, the slabs I've fallen for are 2cm and both my designer and kitchen designer say that I should really go with something thicker. If this is the case, then it means either I go with another 3cm slab that I'm not as crazy about or I stick with the 2cm and go the laminated edge route. Not sure I want to do this on beautiful white marble as I run the risk of forever seeing the seams. I could also go 2cm on perimeter and then laminate the island only and do a more ornate thick edge so that you won't see the seam. I have also spoken to those who tell me nothing is wrong with 2cm and that it's typical in many parts of Europe. I just don't want it to look too thin. Have you decided if you are going with 2cm or 3cm and do you have any advice or words of wisdom that you've learned on the lamination process?

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  99. Hi Holly,
    I had exactly the same decision to make when I renovated my kitchen in Sydney, Australia a year ago. My kitchen designer (Dominique McAdam at provincialkitchens.com.au) put me onto a stunning Greek marble called Volakas. It has a pure white background with a soft cappuccino grey vein. Until I saw Volakas I was wrestling with the same choices as you but it was love at first sight! It makes a less dominant statement than all the Calacatta variations yet still evokes the same mood.
    Good luck finding your perfect benchtop for your kitchen.
    Tracy

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  100. Hi,
    I am in the same process and have a very similar aesthetic as you have described. I am not looking at statuary marble. It is what designer Christopher Peacock used in his own kitchen. As I'm sure you know, he is the master of white kitchens. I hope that is helpful! Best of luck to us both.

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  101. Your blog is so inspirational! Can you please tell me what issue of Traditional Home the TH kitchen you feature on this page is from? Or who the designer was? Thank you!

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  102. I am head over heels over marble countertops. I live in Seattle and got mine at a place called Crocodile Rocks. Almost all of their stock is of white marbles! Great article Holly!

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  103. I love the subtlety of the veins in these pictures. Its kind of similar to my Soapstone, except that Soapstone is black with white veins. The white kitchen in the photos is very pristine! I like the contrast of my black counters and white cabinets, but mostly I like that my counters are anti-bacterial and I dont have to seal them. This blog is amazing. Thanks for sharing!

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  104. Please let me know how the marble is doing. I really like a simple white look. I am considering Caesarstone vs. marble. I wish there was a granite that gave the same look as I am very afraid of the staining and chipping that i have read about in regards to both the Caesarstone and the marble.

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  105. My house needs some TLC. Is there anyone in need of a house as their canvas to create something incredible ? We are a family of four and could use the help

    Sunshine

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  106. Go with the veining...that's what makes Calcutta so special. I plan on using Calcutta too!

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  107. I know someone who has marble countertops and they love it but they are people who don't mind the worn look or stains and etching.
    I am looking for some advice/opinions also. I am renovating my kitchen and removing a wall to open up into the dining room. It will have white cabinets and a nice big island. I have chosen Moonlight grey for the countertops and white subway tiles for the backsplash. The floor is the problem or the granite/quartzite. The floor tiles I had chosen are a taupe like grey with some small scattered white flecks and some small darker grey areas and shiny. I really like the floor; the Moonlight granite was second choice to the whiter Super white but I missed the boat on the much lighter slabs and now the two may not be a good match. Does any one have any advise?

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  108. What did you finally choose and do you have any photos posted on your blog?

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  109. I love your blog and have your post on marble countertops saved in my favorites, waiting for my kitchen remodel....well, that time has come. So I am wondering, are you happy with the marble? Everyone keeps trying to talk me out of it :(

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  110. Thank You So much for the Post! I love how beautiful the marble countertops look in the end once its installed. Thanks again for the post!

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  111. Dear Holly, First I want to thank you so much for sharing your amazing taste, insight and wealth of knowledge through your blog. You have been and endless source of inspiration and information as I go my building process. I wanted to ask you if you could provide a follow up to your marble counter top blog now that you have been in your gorgeous new home for several months. How have they held up to daily living/cooking? Are you happy with your choice or do you have regrets? In addition, do you have any tips or pointers in how to "live" with and enjoy marble countertops? I am about to start the slab selection process and would love your experienced input! With warm regards and wishing you a joyous holiday season in your gorgeous new home!

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  112. Dear Holly, First I want to thank you so much for sharing your amazing taste, insight and wealth of knowledge through your blog. You have been and endless source of inspiration and information as I go my building process. I wanted to ask you if you could provide a follow up to your marble counter top blog now that you have been in your gorgeous new home for several months. How have they held up to daily living/cooking? Are you happy with your choice or do you have regrets? In addition, do you have any tips or pointers in how to "live" with and enjoy marble countertops? marble countertops vancouver I am about to start the slab selection process and would love your experienced input! With warm regards and wishing you a joyous holiday season in your gorgeous new home!

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  113. Hi Holly,

    I loved this post--different variations of the white marble family always intrigue me. I find that some days I lean towards a softer look, and some days I love that dynamic veining. Too bad we can't pick our surrounings according to our mood!

    Also, I don't know if you've since found out or care for that matter, but the 6th picture (with the woman) and the 17th picture (with that black range) are actually the same kitchen! I have several more pictures of it in my personal files from when it was used as a Christmas showhouse. It was blogged about several years ago and I've since lost the source, but I thought you might like to know anyway.

    Have a great day!

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  114. I can see that I am VERY late to the party on this post, however, wanted to put in a plug for another marble ~ Creme Marfil. It, too, is a light, almost white marble. What I like about it is the gold veining. For people who like white but wish to go with creamy white rather than grayish white, Creme Marfil is lovely. It is also readily available and therefore not as pricey as the more trendy marbles.

    Smiles from Charlotte in My Slice of Provence in Southern California

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Thank you for your comments! I strive to make my blog positive in tone, and appreciate the same courtesy when comments are made. Thank you!

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