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September 16, 2015

Modern Kitchen Countertop Options

There is much to consider when choosing kitchen countertops.  The look is of course at the top of the list.  But for me, I always take durability, practicality, and price into consideration as well.

There are so many different options for countertops these days: granite, marble, quartz, quartzite, soapstone, concrete, and the list goes on.  Here’s how we settled on our kitchen countertops, and also a roundup of my favorite picks for modern kitchen countertop options.

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When choosing our countertops, my heart wanted marble.  The movement in the stone, the color, it just speaks to me.  My head said no way, Jose’.  Marble in a kitchen isn’t really the most practical of options.  It etches easily, stains easily, chips fairly easily, and it’s quite expensive.  I had a simple backsplash in mind with subway tile, so I really wanted the look of stone.  Enter quartzite.

Quartzite is a bit harder than marble, but not as hard as granite.  It still etches like marble does if you don’t clean up spills, but is more practical.  It’s also less expensive than marble as a general rule of thumb (if you’re willing to shop around).

The first step in shopping for countertops is to select an installer.  Each installer has different accounts at different stone yards.  We got a few quotes and ended up deciding on ProCast here in Salt Lake based on a referral from a friend.  Our contact, Aaron, was really helpful and because I’m pretty (very) hands on, he suggested I visit a bunch of the stone yards they work with and find something I liked.

I swear I went to every stone yard in the valley and several tips for you:  first, price for similar/exactly the same product varies a whole lot from yard to yard.  There are different degrees of quality, but I’m not kidding, I found the exact quartzite I wanted at one yard, and found it at another yard for more than $10 less per square foot.  That adds up to a big savings.

I wanted Super White/New Super White which has a similar look to marble, but with a grayish/blue tone.  It’s gorgeous.  Some Super White is quite gray, but I found some gorgeous options. IMG_9861 IMG_9862

I narrowed it down to the exact slabs I wanted, put down our deposit to reserve them and thought we were good to go.  Then I got a call that was pretty frustrating: the slab yard said there was a mix-up and they accidentally sold our slabs to someone else.  I had to lug my one week old and toddler back down to the slab yard to select new slabs and found something pretty close to the same.  It can’t all go smoothly, can it?  This quartzite was $15/square foot for 3cm, which was a pretty amazing price.

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We decided on a waterfall edge for the island.  It was a splurge, even at a great price for the stone.  A waterfall added up to an entire extra slab of stone, as you buy it by the slab, not by how much you use.   But, it was worth it.  I think the stone is one of the elements that makes the room.

photos by Veronica Reeve

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Quartzite was the option that was right for this space, but it’s not the only option I love.  Here is a roundup of my top picks for modern kitchen countertop options:

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I love each one for different reasons.  If you’re on the hunt for modern countertops, I encourage you to check out each one and find the best one for your space and needs.

Any guesses which one I chose for our basement kitchen/bar area?

On a side note, I’m off to NYC today for the Better Homes and Gardens Stylemaker event.  Last year was quite a whirlwind, as I was one of three bloggers competing in the Stylemaker Challenge.  It feels good this year to just be able to focus on attending the event, seeing good friends from across the country, and connecting with the dear team at BHG.

Hope you’re having a lovely day!

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  1. Rebecca

    September 16th, 2015 at 9:45 am

    I love love your style, and especially have been waiting for this post about countertops. I have been wanting marble FOREVER. I realize how impractical it is – so it was nice to hear about some different options with similar looks. I’m here in Utah and would love to know where you found the $15 per square foot quartzite. 🙂 I am also wondering if you went with 3 cm. Your countertop looks thicker than that.

    Thanks for continuing to inspire me. 🙂

    ~Rebecca

  2. Sarah

    September 16th, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    The kitchen is totally the heart of a house and yours did not disappoint! I totally agree for quartz over marble, way more practical and durable in the long run. I think the waterfall feature was a good call – makes a huge impact on the space! Love it!

    xo, Sarah
    http://www.everydaywithsarah.com

  3. Daisy

    September 16th, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    Thank you for posting some of your favorite countertops:))

  4. Amy

    September 22nd, 2015 at 6:58 am

    I love the look of quartzite and we have been trying to find the perfect one. Our quotes for quartzite for 2slabs and fabrication are around 7,000-8,000. I also found out that white quartzite will etch due to more calcium content like marble.

  5. Katie Nelson

    September 24th, 2015 at 11:21 am

    OMG! I am building a house in Salt Lake (Emigration Canyon to be exact), and have been having the same internal debate when it comes to marble. I thought I had settled on just dealing with it, but now that I’ve seen your kitchen, I am set on finding this same quartzite. Can you tell me which stone yard you ended up using? I am pretty sure I’ve been to all of them by now, but sounds like you found the right look at a great price. Any advice you can give would be much appreciated!

  6. Classy Glam Living

    November 6th, 2015 at 8:22 am

    Love your beautiful kitchen! We also chose the new superwhite for our countertop. Debated back and forth with marble as well, but I’m so glad we picked what works for us.

  7. Jen

    November 8th, 2015 at 10:52 pm

    I’m sure it’s beautiful! We have loved ours. xx

  8. M

    November 23rd, 2015 at 4:50 pm

    How has your quartzite held up? I have selected New Super White from your same supplier and did an etch test with unfavorable results. Did you seal it?

  9. Jen

    November 23rd, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    Hi there, it’s held up pretty well. We have had a few spots of etching, but nothing really noticeable. I don’t know if it came sealed, but we haven’t sealed it ourselves. Hope that is helpful!

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