Where to begin? I guess at the beginning……
Grab a cup of coffee and proceed!
It was that time in our lives when we needed to spruce up our existing kitchen. One of the hardest decision was what kind of counter tops should we get.
Our 35 year old white tile had served us well, but now it was time for a change.
I knew I wanted something close to white so the search began.
Carrara marble was an obvious choice as far as aesthetics were concerned. After all I had marble in my entry hall flooring…..
and in my guest bathroom……
I knew how to maintain marble, but for some reason I was hesitant to use it on my counters. My kitchen is a working kitchen and the hub of my home. I was concerned about staining and etching.
This led me to an exhaustive search for something that would not necessarily give me the same look, but something that had the qualities I needed as stated in my goal, and was practical as well.
When I do a project for myself, or a client I do lots and lots of research to find the base element to use for the project.
I read every blog post, and forum discussion I could get my hands on.
I narrowed it down to four options other than Carrara marble. I will tell the upside and the downside of each…..
This is a beautiful man made quartz product.
Background: Light and bright on the greige side of white.
Pattern: varied throughout somewhat on the busy side.
Color of veining: It varied from gray to slightly green and a bit of gold.
BACKGROUND: I found it to be on the light side of beige undertone of brown.
COLOR OF VEINGING: Charcoal, gray to black.
BACKGROUND: Light soft with an undertone of beige.
PATTERN: Very soft veining
VEINING COLOR: Soft grays and some off-white speckling.
I STARTED TO HAVE SOME HOPE:
This particular man made quartz product did make me have hope I could find a product that would suit my needs and design aesthetics.
I did a comparison of the three products……
I even went so far as to see how they would look with my Carrara marble, since the kitchen can be seen from the entry hall.
This is a picture of the three options on my white tile, you can see the variation in the background colors and the veining patterns.
Lagoon and Carrara marble tile.
Silestone Lyra and Carrara marble
There are two other products that I did not see a larger sample of, but it looked interesting and it had a very light background and that was.
Frosty Carrina by Caesarstone……..
If you are on the hunt for a practical man made quartz product that does look like a natural stone I found the London Gray, a Caesar stone product, to look like a natural stone. It is on the light side of gray and the veining is quite realistic…..
COMPARISON WITH FROSTY CARRINA
Let me stop at this point and say….
“Nothing looks like Carrara Marble except Carrara marble, so if you are looking for something that will fool someone into thinking it is Carrara, none of these products will do that.
If you are looking for a product that has a lighter look, is practical, and a good looking product, these are the products for you.
After going and looking at the products first hand and seeing larger slabs of the man made quartz, my husband and I both agreed we could not get a man made product. We would always feel as if we settled.
(My Carrara marble countertops)
I am a purist on most counts and since we already had marble in our home we were willing to take a chance on its beauty over having to be a bit more careful with maintaining it’s beauty.
We made this decision after reading copious amounts of information written on the subject.
None of the above man made products, (Quartz), had the life that Carrara gives. They were more flat and one dimensional to the eye. Carrara had depth and life to it. It was bright and light and just had the feel of my home.
If I were to have a home of neutrals, grays, beiges or greiges any of the above would give me a beautiful kitchen.
They are all on the lighter side of beige, or gray and I would definitely recommend them to a client for their looks and their practicality.
However I WOULD NOT recommend them as an alternative to Carrara marble, nothing can duplicate Mother Nature as far as the looks of marble.
In my next post I will be posting a very long list of post that I read while I was on my search for new countertops. They were instrumental in helping me come to my decision and hopefully they will be helpful to you as well.