From the very beginning, Ben and I had planned to use some sort of natural stone as kitchen counters. When we bought the marble slab for our dining table, we thought we’d use the same marble for counters. It’s beautiful and has held up really well.
The problem though, is the marble we fell in love with was a mis-order, not something routinely stocked. So we can’t get it now.
With the beautiful marble eliminated, we turned to granite. I have yet to see a light granite I love. The only thing that comes close it Bianco Romano, so we figured we’d end up with something dark. Ben liked Cosmic Black, I thought it was okay.
The boys and I looked at granite on Tuesday, but didn’t see anything we fell in love with. And they’re out of Cosmic Black. I liked the look of soapstone, until I heard that you can easily scratch it with your fingernail. I’m not big on a patina look, and the $105 per square foot price tag didn’t help. Sadly, I learned our default granite, Absolute Black, costs 80 bucks a square foot. Our kitchen, not especially huge, has 34 square feet of counter tops, excluding the bar top we plan to add. Do the math. 80 times 34 equals $2720. Ouch. Soapstone would come to $3570. No thanks. Maybe granite isn’t in the cards. But, this one is pretty. And so is this one.
We didn’t even consider a different marble because Carrara isn’t practical for a kitchen. Ben hates the look of concrete (he doesn’t like how modern and cold it looks) and doesn’t like Corian or Silestone. We’re both opposed to a metal like stainless steel or copper. We don’t want tile because we’re not going to clean tons of grout lines. Formica is too cheap looking. What does that leave us with? Wood. Specifically, Bubinga. In huge slabs, not butcher block. Here it has been used as a bathroom vanity top.
I haven’t seen the slabs yet, so that concerns me. We haven’t completely committed, but we’re strongly considering. And, just so you can see the thought process in my mind, here’s a pro and con list of each material:
- Seen in many kitchens
- Price, running at least $50 per square foot, for anything we like at least.
- Availability, limited to the suppliers stock.
- Seen in many kitchens. Is granite the Formica of the new century?
- It’s preeeeeetttyy
- Everything else, not durable or practical in a kitchen
- Used for hundreds of years. Can look both modern and classic.
- If damaged, can be sanded to look new again.
- Price: For 2 inch thick slabs, the price for the raw cut wood is $2376. It will cost another $100 to have a cabinet company sand it to 180 grit for a total of 2476 bucks for the entire kitchen. Still $244 cheaper than Absolute granite, not including the bar top.
- Can be damaged easily by knives
- We don’t have much wood in our house, other than our floors, so it could look out-of-place
- I haven’t seen the slabs yet. This is a huge con for me right now.
- Ben has to DIY the counters. If we had a fabricator do the work and they messed something up, we could hold them accountable to fix it. Now Ben is liable.
Who has wood counters? Love ’em or hate ’em? Do you treat them as a large cutting board? Anything we should know before taking the plunge?