Monday, September 28, 2015

The countertop

Part of the fun with building is that you get to make so many choices and make your house your home.  It can easily get overwhelming and as much as I enjoy it I am so indecisive it makes me cringe.  From light fixtures to siding to knobs, it's all in there.  

You wouldn't think picking a countertop would really be that difficult would you?  Oh how I was wrong...when you go to the supplier you just see samples.  Our samples were 12x12 which is generally a good size but not when certain samples don't show the busy pattern that is clearly there.  

We decided to go with quartz as I wanted something in the white and gray family.  I really love the look of marble but have read it is not that durable of a surface and can stain.  Quartz is my go to since it looks gorgeous and is extremely durable and should last forever. The countertop we started with we thought we loved and then we saw the slab ::queue tragic music::  Oh my, how I was disappointed.  The sample we saw looked like a mix of grays and whites, perfectly neutral and what I wanted to pop with our white cabinets.  

See my dilemma right here?? This quartz is Berwyn by Cambria and it definitely has warmer brown tones to it than the cool grays I was hoping for.  I swear our sample looked nothing like this, not this busy, the color seemed so different.  This is why they say you should always see the slab to make sure.  Once your countertop is in, it's yours. 

This is Summerhill by Cambria.  This is actually the first countertop I picked when looking at samples because the colors were right.  However, I saw the slab and all that movement, it looks like a map to me.  I know that counters are not this wide, however we have a large island and you would see a lot of this movement.  We did a change order anyway and switched to Summerhill because I definitely didn't want Berwyn so we were stuck.  The picture doesn't show all the lovely sparkle this counter has and I did love that but again it was too busy but I was having a nervous breakdown and just said this is better than the Berwyn.  When you look at pictures from Cambria's website you get a better idea.

So after another week of not sleeping because all I could think of was countertops I made another appointment to look at more slabs.  I had originally always wanted something like marble so I did A LOT of research.  This is Torquay by Cambria.  I saw this one from the beginning but just figured it was too much white, not realizing this was their dupe for marble.  I have seen hundreds, no probably thousands, of pictures of Torquay online, in peoples kitchens, professional pictures, all of it.  I fell in love with it and I will say the picture here of just a slab (which still has the plastic film on it as well) does not do it justice.  One blogger I follow, 7th house on the left, has these countertops in her kitchen with white cabinets and I just love it.  Seeing hers all put together pretty much sold me.  

So after weeks of being extremely indecisive I ended up with what I wanted all along, a marble look-a-like.  Cambria's Torquay is exactly what I wanted and since I did this change order (our kitchen guy just smiles every time I reach out to him.)   I haven't had one ounce of regret and am so excited to see these in our kitchen.  I can't wait to show you all once we're there!

My life lesson here is to always see the slab.  If I would have just seen the 12x12 sample I would have originally gotten Summerhill and been so disappointed.  Don't get me wrong the other two are gorgeous in their own way, just not what I was looking for.  



  1. This blog post is an excellent example of why it's so important to see the actual slab that will be used to create a countertop. Natural stone, unlike engineered solid surface, contains many color and pattern variations. Most one-foot samples do a great job of showing material texture, but they aren't usually big enough to accurately show colors and patterns.

    Debra Newman @ Unique Stone Concepts

  2. Where did you get to see the slab? I was considering Berwyn, but am noticing a lot of differences in what people are posting and the sample I have at home... UGH!

  3. Thank you thank you thank you x 100!!!!!! I needed this advice! I'm stuck between the first two on your list myself, looking at the slabs and it does look so different. Going to check out Torquay now.

  4. I'm still so happy with Torquay, good luck!!