Picking Countertops for a Kitchen Renovation

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I’m not a very picky person. I’ll eat just about any food. I’ve lived in lots of places. I’m not that picky when it comes to decisions. I don’t him and haw and wonder what to do and weigh my options…. I just pick something and move on. Okay, okay. So some people call it being impulsive. I guess it comes from this desire to have everything done right this second ago. 

You know what I mean?

But when it comes to renovating our kitchen, things aren’t going to happen that fast. They shouldn’t. So, with the help of my much-more-methodical (and thoughtful) husband… we’ve made our very first decision about the Kitchen renovation: countertops.

As a reminder, here’s what they look like now:

kitchen countersLaminate! Gross!

The Givens:

  • We’re keeping our cabinets (and repainting them), so our counters will stay in the same place
  • Our kitchen is tiny, so we’re not doing any crazy islands… just a basic L shaped kitchen. But SMALL is in our favor on this decision – because we’ll only need 23 sq. feet (even the most expensive materials, that will be pretty cheap!)

The Options:

1. BUTCHER BLOCK

Warm and luxurious, butcher block seemed like an obvious first choice. It’s relatively inexpensive, and would look great with our white countertops. But in homes we’d seen, butcher block seems to easily crack, and the maintenance seemed pretty high. Oil the countertops every month? I can barely vaccuum every month, or give Cooper his heart medicine every month. I already saw that “chore” being ignored. Also, Patrick was quick to point out that you can’t put hot pots on butcher block counters – or else you can leave a bad stain. But still, I couldn’t help but look forward to the soft feel of wood in the kitchen, and think about the great savings we could get with butcher block.

2. MARBLE

Almost every picture I pinned of a kitchen was using Carrara marble. Though one of the most expensive materials, it has a high-end look that you just can’t find in any other material. But as great as the white/white/white look is in so many of these pictures—I couldn’t help but worry if we’d get it “wrong.” What if the Carrara we find is too grey and cold? But while we were at our favorite restaurant recently, I realized that their bar is marble… and then I started noticing it everywhere. After a few conversations, we learned that white marble can be pretty tough to find, too. That made me a little nervous.

3. GRANITE

There’s just no denying that granite is a great decision for kitchen counters. Easy maintenance? Check. Incredibly durable? Check, check. Less expensive than other durable, easy-to-maintain materials? Check, check, check! And though I like the look of dark granite in large kitchens… ours is incredibly small. I wondered if black granite would suck up the small amount of light we get in our kitchen, and be too great of a contrast on the white cabinets. Plus—some granites look absolutely nuts with tons of dots and streaks and so many colors going on. The smoother and darker the look, the higher “grade” we’d be talking about.

Pretty quickly, we ruled out granite simply because we liked the look of marble or butcher block better. After doing some more research and a quick Facebook poll… we made our decision.

marble countertops

MARBLE!

We decided to start our search for Carrara marble after deciding that the upkeep for butcher block was going to be a little more than we wanted. Also, we know the space is pretty small—so the cost difference between the two isn’t prohibitive.

Check back in soon to see the slab we found, and where we go from here!

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Comments

  1. How did the kitchen countertops turn out? Are you having any issues with the marble staining? Would love to hear some imput on the durability of marble.

    • Steven–

      2 years later and I am very pleased with the durability. We had it honed rather than polished so scratches and stains- while there- are hardly noticeable! It’s a surface we wipe down with soap and water after we cook. We don’t use harsh chemicals or Lysol on it. Hope that’s helpful?!

      Sent from my iPhone

      >

  2. this is really wonderful ideas for kitchen renovation. we are also kitchen renovator in Edmonton Canada. thanks for sharing such great information and ideas……..

  3. I think you made a great choice and I can’t wait to see what you find! Have fun with all the renovations.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Choosing Counters. We ended up going with this marble slab from Nashville Granite and Marble. Our fabricator Stone World, did an excellent job. BUT FYI, the glue they use to install counters is very smelly. We had to crash at a friends’ house that night, unexpectedly. […]

  2. […] though there were tons of options, choosing marble for our kitchen countertops was fun. Choosing what to do with our floors? Well. […]

  3. […] so I told you a little bit about how we decided to go with marble for our countertops, right? Well who knew it would be so hard to pick out stone!?? Not this […]

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