Thursday, January 30, 2014

picking out our countertops

Now that the floors are finished in the kitchen, and we've saved up our pennies for a good long while...we ordered our countertops! 
But let me tell you, picking our countertops was not an easy, or quick decision. It all started last January when we finished staining our cabinets. We were at Home Depot one night and picked up a sample of LG Hi-Macs Solid Surface in Tapioca Pearl.  As soon as we got home, we knew this was the one.  It was light, to contrast well with the cabinets, but also has flecks of brown and beige to provide a little something.
Then, in about September of last year, I started worrying.  Worrying if it was too plain, too off-white and just plain worrying that we didn't look at enough options (I tend to do that, and I should probably just listen to my husband, because he's usually spot-on with these decisions). So, we ran back to Home Depot and Lowes (a few times) and picked up more samples.  The first time, we picked up more LG HI-MACS colors: Arctic White and Ripe Cotton.  
We decided that one was just too plain for our taste and the other was too grey.  The next round included a mix of solid surface and granite options. 
Top Left - Formica Solid Surfacing in Bleached Concrete
Top Right - Allen + Roth in Mist
Bottom Left - LG HI-MACS in White Quartz
Bottom Right - LG HI-MACS in Arctic Granite
 Top Left - Stonemark Granite - Meteorite White
Top Right - Stonemark Granite - Black/White
Bottom - Sensa Granite - Majestic White

After comparing our options for weeks, we decided that we would go with Stonemark Granite - Meteorite White. It was about $10 more/sf than the solid surface options, but we loved it, and it was still in our price range.

One note about pricing out countertops: Make sure you get an estimate from the person in the store, or on an online tool, like this one from Home Depot.  There are some hidden costs, like an extra charge for an undermount sink, and charges for 45 degree angles in your counters.
Then, when we installed our floors in December/January the whole dynamic and look of the room changed.  We Love our floors, but they aren't a solid color and have a lot going on.  And when we held up this granite to the combination of our cabinets and new floors, it was just too busy for our taste.
So back to the drawing board we went.  We looked at other granite and quartz options, but nothing that we loved was in our price range.  The simpler you go, the more expensive the price is for granite and quartz, it seems.  We decided that we should go with a solid surface, and were back to these options:
We compared all of these in the "new" room with the cabinets and floors, and went with....

Our original choice - LG HI-MACS Tapioca Pearl.
I guess our guts were right on this one a year ago, and we I did all that worrying and running around for nothing.  Well, not nothing, I know we did our best to look at quite a few options and made an informed decision.

We went with this choice for the reasons I listed at the beginning of this post.  The color is simple enough, but has character, and looks great with the cabinets and floors. Not to mention solid surfacing is nonporous, so we won't have any stains, and any scratches we may have can be sanded and buffed out easily.
 It was also comforting to know that John and Sherry over at Young House Love had solid surface countertops in their last house, and they love them.  If I ever have a question about something in our home, they have most likely covered it over on their wonderful blog.
When we decided what counters we were going with, we knew that we would wait until the next 10% countertop sale at Home Depot after the holidays.  Well, low and behold, they had this wonderful sale start on 1/16 and it runs through 2/2.  Plus, Tapioca Pearl was already discounted by $4/sf, so that was even more of a deal! 

Meant to be, maybe?

The ordering process was really easy, and yesterday, they came by to do the templating (measuring) and told me that fabrication should only take 1-1.5 weeks! Woo!  Ooh...I almost forgot! To go along with our new countertops, we decided that we would use some Christmas money and get a new faucet and undermount sink.  

We went with this Elkay Innermost Perfect Drain, Dual-Mount Stainless Steel Single Bowl Sink.  We went back and forth on the number of bowls to get, but decided that we would take a chance on a single bowl because we think it will come in handy so much for washing our pots and pans, griddle and other small appliances that we use so much.  Plus, we rarely use two bowls at the same time, anyway.

Plus, LOOK AT THAT DRAIN! It's the "Perfect Drain", and doesn't have a bunch of rings around it, like most drains, so it should be easier to clean.
Home Depot
For the faucet, we went with the Pfister Avanti in Stainless
Making a decision on countertops was not easy, and it's so nice that I can take these samples back to the stores and stop stressing about it!


  1. That will look amazing! Are you thinking of changing up the backsplash at all?

    1. Thank you! We hope it looks good - scary to pick out something based on a 2" x 2" sample!!

      We are planning to do a new backsplash, but haven't quite decided on what we're doing yet! I will be posting about it when we do, though!


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