Monday, June 3, 2013

Marble Madness!!

I have been looking at marble slabs for our kitchen for almost a year now, and I'm honestly about to drive myself mad.  After reading countless other blogs and chat rooms, apparently I am not the only one who has ever been in a fevered frenzy to find the elusive "perfect" marble slabs.

After months and months of endless searching, last week I finally found what I thought were the world's most gorgeous slabs, purchased them, and then proceeded to have a complete meltdown slight case buyer's remorse yesterday. 

As you know, my vision is a classic white kitchen with marble island top and backsplash, and Barroca soapstone peripheral countertops. I had decided upon Statuary (also known as Statuario) marble, as I wanted a crisp white background and gray veining. I love Calacatta slabs (which we are actually using for our master bath), but most has varying amounts of gold veining throughout, and I prefer grey veining only for our kitchen.  We are also using Carrara marble for other bathrooms, which often has a slight bluish gray background and more subtle grey veining.
 
Choosing the "perfect" marble is purely a matter of preference and budget, and there are so many to choose from that it can truly become overwhelming. For example, my husband and I tend to gravitate towards more dramatic and heavily veined marble, while others prefer more subtle veining...
 
So here are our kitchen slabs which I decided yesterday had TOO much veining, then promptly contrived a tearful plea for backing out of the purchase and franticly resumed my fruitless search.  However, halfway through writing this post, I fell back in love with my veiny slabs, and shamed myself for ever doubting their fabulousness...

Please excuse the poor quality of these photos...

I love how the gray veining in the Statuary mirrors the white veining in the Barroca!
 
 
In her search for slabs, Holly from Things That Inspire provided wonderful advice and the following descriptions to help identify some of the more popular types of marble:
  • Bianco Carrara - white and gray marble – very gray now
  • Statuary – a ‘sister’ marble to Carrara that has a brighter white background, with veining in gray
  • Calacatta – gray and subtle gold veining, with white background
  • Calacatta Oro (or Calacatta Gold) – large flakes, subtle goldish brown veins
  • Calacatta Gold Extra – whites, grays, light gold ribbon veining
Here are a few examples of interestingly veined marble that tickle my fancy...
 
This kitchen features Statuary marble and honed Absolute black granite (a good substitute if Soapstone is not available). This is the color combination I am going for, but with marble on the island.  However, there is something about this particular marble slab that makes me nervous.
 
 I have no clue what type of marble this is, but it is definitely dramatic! While this would not be my first choice, I love how it looks with the white cabinets and black range (similiar to the black Ilve we will have in our kitchen.)
 
This gorgeous kitchen is making a repeat appearance here at The Glam Pad. This is a Calacatta Gold marble.
 
Another repeat... just stunning! I am guessing this is either Statuary or a non-gold Calacatta? I love the contrast of the dark gray on white.
 
Here is another glamorous kitchen featuring a gorgeous gray and white marble island.
 
I love the movement in this Calacatta marble. This is actually nearly identical to what we have selected for our master bath, more to come!
 
More Calacatta!  That Calacatta is very popular in the kitchen!!
 
Calacatta?
 
This gorgeous kitchen belongs to one of my girlfriends. She chose Danby marble, which I think is so classy and elegant. Unfortunately, I cannot find Danby in Miami, and the expense to truck it in makes it cost-prohibitive, otherwise this would actually be my first choice. While more subtle than many of the other examples that have caught my eye, I love this perfectly crisp white marble with its stunning ribbon-like veins dancing throughout.
 
 A lovely kitchen featuring Carrara marble. Note the bluish tent...
 
Here is one of our guest bathrooms in progress, featuring Carrara marble...
 
I think the marble we selected is most similiar to that in this bathroom by Phoebe Howard, do you agree?
 
 
The marble in these next three bathrooms reminds me of some stunning Arabescato I found in Miami at a very reasonable price... Unfortunately, none of the available slabs were long enough to seamlessly cover our island.
 

 
 Hotel Le Meurice, Paris, France via The Enchanted Home
 
Hôtel Thoumieux, Paris, France

This bathroom claims to be Calacatta marble from Italy, but I have never found any in Miami that looks like this! 
 
So there is my most recent conundrum...  I do worry that my slabs may not have enough white relief and that they may be a bit too busy and will eventually make me crazy, but at this point it looks like I'm going to have to keep the initial spark alive. I am going to place one more call to the distributor to see if there is miraculously anything new in stock I might prefer... Perhaps they would be kind and let me make an exchange. But it looks like these are our new kitchen slabs for better or for worse! I would love your thoughts!!
 
For more on marble slab selection, check out Things That Inspire, Cote de Texas, and The Enchanted Home.
 
P.S. Our slabs are polished... I prefer honed (which is of course recommended), but it is extremely difficult to find here. Perhaps if I have our slabs professionally honed, they will appear slightly more subtle!? 


20 comments:

  1. I can appreciate your quest for the perfect slab....I went through the same thing trying to select granite. It's overwhelming! I love the Danby marble too, and would love a kitchen or bath in it.

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  2. one of the things that makes the marble in all your inspiration photos so beautiful is the symmetry and placement of the veining by the fabricators. You may want to lay out your counters dimensions on the slab in painters tape so you can see exactly how the veining is placed when they cut it. You would hate to end up with a big randomly placed glob of veining on the edge of a countertop. Also minimal veins near the countertop over the dishwasher,r the veins (cracks that water has colored over centuries) are extra fragile, one pot or pan dinging the edge and it will chip. Mine is already chipping.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Eddie! That is such a great tip!!

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    2. Eddie has given you lots of knowledge! Although I love marble and LOVE LOVE Calcutta Gold, it is so hard to keep beautiful in a kitchen. As a kitchen designer, I often recommend using Caesarstone's Frosty Carrina instead. It's Quartz which means it is super strong, non-porous and can be cleaned with any regular old household cleaner. That's my 2 cents! I hope you are happy with your choice!

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  3. I cannot get enough of the beauty of marble. I agree with you. There are so many amazing options. I am partial to Carrara because I find the veining subtle. I can't wait to see what you choose!

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  4. "However, there is something about this particular marble slab that makes me nervous." ... trust your instincts.

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  5. You can have polished marble honed. Be careful on this one. Years from now your taste may change. When there is a lot of veining, the seams can make it really distracting. Make sure your marble man knows how to match them.

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  6. Just did a major renovation of our kitchen with Carrara marble island and marble backsplash. Love it! Eddie is right about lining up your veining. Can send you a photo of our finished kitchen but not sure how to do that.......

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    1. I would love to see them! My email address is theglampad@gmail.com. Thanks so much!!

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  7. I tend to like lots of veining on walls/blacksplash and subtle veining or a solid on countertops. I think the slabs you picked are beautiful. So much depends on how they are fabricated.

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  8. Andrea,
    I've been thinking about this one a lot before I responded. All are great choices and sometimes we can over think things. Seeing that you know all of your other finishes, I say follow your instincts on what you feel is right for your home. From what I see you've made EXCELLENT choices so far. Word of advice: ask your slab yard and fabricator if the slabs are in numerical order as they were pulled out of a block. You want your fabricator to book match the veins. You all may use other terms in Florida but they will know what that means. I'm sure you will execute your vision perfectly! ( and share the photos) :)
    Sharon

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    1. Thank you, Sharon! I am about to post an exciting update... There has been a marble miracle!! I am so grateful for all of the advice and encouragement!

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  9. You've certainly done your homework. All the examples that you shared are gorgeous. I say trust your instincts. I would love the opportunity to choose new countertops. I look forward to seeing the finished product. Thanks for sharing all the inspiration with us. Cherry Kay

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  10. andrea - i LOVE the veining in these!! im getting a bit bored of the zero veining. this looks AMAZING. i cant wait to see what you come up with!

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  11. Don't second guess yourself. I love your choice and I love all the information you provided. Great post. Check out my marble in my laundry room makeover: http://cha-gogo.blogspot.com/2013/02/gogo-project-laundry-room-wallpaper.html
    It looks very similar and I love it.

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  12. This constantly amazes me just how blog owners such as your self can find the time as well as the dedication to keep on crafting superb blog posts. Your website is good and one of my personal must read weblogs. I just had to thank you.
    Carrara marble

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  13. Love your blog! When we got granite here in NJ we went with a company that had a big selection in there yard and did all the fabrication on site. So it was very easy to get a quote, and the price was grewt. One thing you didn't mention is that pricing is usually per square foot PLUS linear foot of finished edge. So if you have a large island (like we do - hubby calls it a continent) with a raised part and counter height part, it will cost a lot more on account of all the finished edges. Lynnwood Marble Countertops

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  14. I am also from Miami and on the hunt for the perfect marble slabs. Would you mind sharing what places you recommend from your search? We've visited three places so far and no luck.

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    1. Hi! I ended up selecting Danby marble through Mont Krest in north Florida. I could not be more pleased!! I'll post an update on my kitchen soon!

      Customer Service
      Mont Krest
      mks@montkrest.com
      Tel: 800-678-0011
      Fax: 800-846-0011

      XOXO,
      The Glam Pad

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