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Granite Countertops

PackMomPackMom 7650 replies17 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 7,667 Senior Member
edited January 2010 in Parent Cafe
Turning to CC because everyone knows it is the fount of all knowledge...
We are building a new house. It's time to make kitchen decisions.
We will have granite countertops. The looming questions are..

Which granite color is the most worry free i.e. doesn't stain, not smuggy or streaky looking every time you touch it,doesn't show water rings if you sit a glass down on it,etc.

Do any of you have antique white/cream painted cabinets?
In your opinion, which granite is prettiest (level one type granites, can't go for the big bucks) with the light painted cabinets? My island will be painted an olive green so need a granite that goes with both cream and green.
We will be making a trip to a slab yard in the next few weeks to make a choice.

Lastly, tell me about granite edges. What edge do you have? Do you like it or wish you'd make a different choice?

Our current countertops are Corian. We are pretty clueless on granite except what I've read online and seen in Lowes/Home Depot. I'm trying to educate myself and have some idea what to look for before showing up at the slab yard.

I know there's no one perfect thing and lots of granites would do the job.
Just interested in hearing CC'ers likes/dislikes regarding the granite experience.
edited January 2010
62 replies
Post edited by PackMom on
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Replies to: Granite Countertops

  • HannaHanna 14863 replies42 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 14,905 Senior Member
    I got quartz instead of granite, and I love it. It looks like granite, but it is more durable, and is considered an upgrade from granite. It never needs to be re-sealed. It's the only surface besides stainless that's approved for commercial kitchens.
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  • ellebudellebud 2298 replies30 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,328 Senior Member
    We have granite. Our granite is a cream/tan/beige/black with rounded edges. Would I have preferred a double bullnose? Yes, but my good friend dropped her huge Le Crueset pot on the end of her counter...yep, nice sized chip. So mine are safer.

    As far as stains go: marble stains big time. I haven't had too many problems because I don't cut acid foods on top of the countertop. I think that is a problem. My housekeeper isn't a maniac about maintaining the shine...I am, but I don't polish it more than once per week.

    I think that the very dark colors would be more susceptible to showing "stuff" and streaks. We have granite in two bathrooms and despite cosmetic use they are ok. One bathroom has uber fancy edges and so far so good....but I don't cook in there.
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  • northeastmomnortheastmom 11939 replies440 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 12,379 Senior Member
    Tips: Choose your own part of the slab so you are happy with the particular stone you get (there could be parts of a stone that you do not care for). Go for a thicker granite to help avoid chips and see if you can avoid seams. If you can't avoid seams, see where they would place a seam.

    I have now enjoyed our granite countertops for 9 years and they look like new. I have not had any stain or chipping issues. My granite color is sapphire blue:
    Sapphire Blue Granite
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  • KnitkneelionmomKnitkneelionmom 448 replies51 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 499 Member
    I have manufactured quartz as well. Love it. Went with it instead of granite because of the issue of radon being found in some slabs of granite for countertops.
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  • BookladyBooklady 3086 replies36 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 3,122 Senior Member
    We have white cabinets and a very dark green (almost black) granite. It's got a subtle allover 'pattern' rather than large veins. Here's the closest thing I can find to what it looks like: http://www.polycor.com/images/vp_stones/572.jpg

    I love the contrast between the cabinets and the counter, and the color is great for hiding drips. While you do see some streaks and the like, they're not glaringly obvious. The edge we have is a half bullnose - very simple and easy to clean. We used to have Corian counters with a more complicated edge, and I much prefer the one we have now.

    I know you're supposed to seal granite periodically, but we've never done it after the initial sealing. The countertops are 10 years old and still look great. I keep them clean with Windex and occasional use of granite polish (ellebud - weekly? I am ashamed of my slovenly housekeeping ways!)
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  • Mom2MMom2M 2077 replies6 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,083 Senior Member
    When my dad was remodeling the countertops at his house I went with him to pick out the slab. I would keep an open mind until you get to the slab place, take a sample of the paint (I painted pieces of poster board with sample paint when choosing kitchen colors), and then choose the slab. The one he originally picked had a huge rust color streak...I helped him choose something else...it's brown, tan, beige. It looks great and has stood up well. The edge is rounded, but has a slightly higher outer edge. You can't see it, but it keeps spills contained on the countertops. We put it in about 8 years ago, no resealing, spaghetti sauce a couple of times a week, major holidays (Thanksgiving is about 50 people, the far end is the wine bar), etc with no problems.
    I did our master bathroom with the same vendor about 2 years ago. It's blue/grey with quartz and silver. I love it, and it was a "remanent". There are double sinks and counter space in the mb, so the remanent was quite large, but it saved me significant money.
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  • GiveherwingsmomGiveherwingsmom 273 replies10 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 283 Junior Member
    Hahaha! Would you believe we still have white Formica counter tops? And given our impeding mega college expense next year, looks like it will stay that way for a while. Have original St. Charles metal cabinets, white wood doors. Retro kitchens are making a bit of come back now (justification). Sure are cheap.
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  • mathmommathmom 32021 replies158 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 32,179 Senior Member
    I think pretty much anything will be fine with cream cabinets. I'm partial to the darker greenish ones if you have enough light in the kitchen. There's been some concern recently about radioactive granite. Here are two articles on the subject: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/24/garden/24granite.html and Are Your Granite Countertops Radioactive? - On The Level Home Improvement Blog | BobVila.com
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  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner 38417 replies465 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 38,882 Senior Member
    Sapphire blue is my dream kitchen granite. Our dining room table has a sapphire blue granite top - absolutely gorgeous!
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  • ellebudellebud 2298 replies30 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,328 Senior Member
    oh....BookLady...I would have gotten back to you sooner but I am polishing my.....silver punch bowl WHILE I am planting my new(est) herb garden...Just call me Martha! :)

    Radioactive granite...oh no.........
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  • northeastmomnortheastmom 11939 replies440 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 12,379 Senior Member
    BunsenBurner, you have great taste ;) I seriously love my blue sapphire counter tops and have not grown tired of looking at them. I like them today as much as liked them the day that they were installed.

    ellebud, lol! Could you fix up some souffle for us all, while your at it? The evening is still young.
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  • toledotoledo 4756 replies289 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,045 Senior Member
    Take a cabinet door with you when you pick out your slabs.

    Northeastmom made a very good point when she mentioned seams. A bad seam cost me $1000, the price of another slab. I'd recommend viewing the layout before they cut, so you can pick the nicest part of the slab for your most prominent area. Demand to see where the seams would be. My contractor cut the two pieces from two different slabs and the colors were very different at the point of the seam.

    I picked the ogee edge, as it's more traditional. Here are some of the edges that should be available.

    Calgary Granite and Marble countertop edge profiles.
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  • KajonKajon 4349 replies130 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 4,479 Senior Member
    We have a very dark black/brown with rust colored flecks in the kitchen with natural cherry cab's. I love the look, but with all the windows I insisted on they really show dust.

    Our basement kitchen/bar is venetian something. (gold, cream, dark brown) with walnut cab's. I like those counters better....they just have a warmer look to them.

    We went with 1 1/4" or 1 1/2" thick slabs and just the "eased" edge. You really can spend as much on the edges as on your whole slabs.

    Every slab looks different so bring your flooring and cabinet samples when you pick it out.

    They are going to ask you about a backsplash so be prepared.
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  • MaterMiaMaterMia 1070 replies90 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,160 Senior Member
    You can use a different color granite for the island - and another color for the countertops - can look really nice. Also - absolutley best thing we did is get what's called a granite sink - it's black. It is so, so much better than the white porcelin or stainless ... hides everything!!!! Durable.
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  • jym626jym626 54939 replies2852 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 57,791 Senior Member
    That is a beautiful color, NEmom!

    Packmom,
    The style now (having just lived through a remodel nightmare) is to have the countertop and island done in different colors (both the cabinetry and granite). Our countertops are done in African Fantasy Bold (This isnt a great photo of a sample slab-- it isnt this "orange-y") African Fantasy Bold Slab Our island is in Black Galaxy, a stock color (black with white and copper flecking) that you can order by the foot http://www.marblemaster.com/granite/granite_slab/Black_Galaxy_Granite_Slab.html This is a closeup og the black galaxy - ours isnt this chock full of fleckingQuality Flooring and Building Materials for Less - BuildDirect It came out looking great. We had them seal it twice, and it does occasionally make it hard to get the black island super shiny without looking smudgy. We dont have that problem with the counters. Good luck, and post pictures if you can!

    ** cross posted with materMia
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  • HImomHImom 33963 replies387 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 34,350 Senior Member
    One thing we notice about my brother's granite counters is that it's hard to find things on it (e.g. insects, crumbs, small pieces of things). This can be good or bad, but it's something to consider. We have cream Corian counters which we love; they're about 30 years old and virtually no maintenance. Our kitchen is too small to handle dark colors, which make everything seem even smaller.
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  • Puzzled88Puzzled88 1115 replies5 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,120 Senior Member
    We have granite countertops in a color I believe was called Impala. I originally wanted absolute black but was warned that it would show every little smudge and fingerprint. Mine looks black from a distance but is actually speckles of grey and black. I looked around online for a name for the edge design but can't find anything just like it. It is an ogee with sort of an apron underneath. I have never refinished or resealed the granite and it looks less shiny in some high use areas but I'm not really bothered about it. There is no question of staining really in such a dark color. There are about three small chips in the sharp top edge of the ogee which seems pretty good for 12 years of hard use. I've been really happy with my decision.

    I also have antique white/cream painted cabinets. There is a Kohler color of sinks called Biscuit and the cabinets are that color. It's a nice color that works with cream or white. I am not, however, happy with the decision to use painted cabinets. They look terrible and need re-painting. Lots of chips and worn places near the knobs. If you do use cream paint, be sure to use knobs or handles that don't let your fingers touch the wood.

    My back splash is predominantly cream tiles with a border tile that has pomegrantes and leaves in black, greenish gray and cream. It goes great with the Impala granite.
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  • teriwttteriwtt 12019 replies513 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 12,532 Senior Member
    Take a cabinet door with you when you pick out your slabs.

    Excellent idea. I not only took a paint chip (if you have access to the paint, paint a white poster board with it, and take that with you) but a cabinet door, and a backsplash tile.
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  • TooRealisticTooRealistic 128 replies22 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 150 Junior Member
    Might I suggest the CC equivalent for Kitchens? This forum has SUCH a wealth of knowledge and helpful people, you can't go wrong!

    Kitchen Forum - GardenWeb
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  • VeryHappyVeryHappy 18314 replies322 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 18,636 Senior Member
    This is our color: Verde Maritaka

    We have the "single eased" edges. I didn't want anything too tutti-fruity on the edges, so I kept it simple.

    I love my countertops; they're 10 years old. I do have a few tiny chips (that I can feel, but not see) on the edge of the counter right above the dishwasher. Apparently I like to smash things on the edge of the counter before I put them in the dishwasher.

    But my cabinets are dark cherry, not cream. When the daylight streams in, or when I have the lights turned on at night, the room is quite bright, in spite of dark cabinets and counters.

    PackMom, what fun to be building a new house and have all these wonderful decisions to make!! I absolutely loved renovating my kitchen, and in a minute, I'd do it again in a different house.
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