Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Countertop Affair

We finally just up and did it. We figured out a way to finance some quartz countertops, and get a free undermount sink and sink installation -- which saved us about 750 bucks.

Initially, we'd resisted solid surface or stone because of price. But one of the salespeople (who we didn't actually end up buying from, incidentally) mentioned that investing in granite or quartz could mean the difference in selling the place or not. That sold me, even though I was personally sold on our old house in Waukesha by something as seemingly-miniscule as the built-in clothes hamper in the 2nd floor bathroom.

Maple butcher block for the island, too, by the way. Someday I'll feel like dragging a camera back in there to show you all the "progress". I've grown weary of this kitchen right now, though.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


I can't say enough how displeased I am with myself in our choice of countertops. We ran through a series of options -- solid stones of different varieties, maple butcher, granite tiles, ceramic tiles, slate tiles.

In the end, we decided on maple butcher block for the island -- which I think will be killer -- and slate one-inch mosaics for the L. I like the earthiness of slate, and it goes well with the color scheme we have in the kitchen. I also like the randomness of small mosaic patterns.

But now, after the majority of them are installed, I'm struck at how ridiculous an idea this was. It's like I never put an instant of thought into this thing at all. Which isn't even close to true. We went back and forth on this for months. Robyn's preference was granite tile, which I wasn't into. My preference was (and still is) soapstone, which was too expensive. I thought maple butcher block on everything would be a great compromise, but we both had reservations about over-mapling the kitchen.

But once I had 99% of the tiles installed, I immediately had reservations. I love how it looks. It's absolutely stunning. But I began to worry about the tiles flaking off or chipping. And the unevenness is a little too...uneven. I'd read some pros and cons about slate, but apparently decided to only pay attention to the pros. And the slate that all of the pros were so pro about, was slate from the northeastern US...NOT the cheaper imported Home Depot stuff.

Why didn't this occur to me? Why didn't I spend an extra 400 hours thinking about this, so I could have come to this conclusion BEFORE installation?

I may try to remove the tiles and salvage them for the laundry room countertop, then just go with maple all around. But if we can't remove them, I hope I'm just experiencing a major case of paranoia.

UPDATE: Okay. It's Monday morning. We had some time to think it over, and the slate countertops are currently being delicately dismantled to be salvaged for the laundry room thingy. We're going with maple. It will be awesome. Calm blue ocean calm blue ocean calm blue ocean calm blue ocean...