Thursday, January 13, 2011

Let's Get Some Countertops and a Backsplash Up in Here!

Let's talk countertops for a moment.  Originally, we had planned on going with a really dark (think espresso) colored wood floor (we will talk flooring here).  Obviously our cabinets are white (Benjamin Moore Cloud White oil based paint to be exact), and our walls are a soft gray.  SO, when choosing a color for our countertop we needed to consider this color scheme.  I had always envisioned a charcoal colored granite, but when we went to Marble Systems in Vienna, VA we weren't really finding anything that we both agreed upon.  Nate was instantly attracted to Absolute Black granite but I was not so convinced.  Much time was spent there pondering and re-pondering, but we just couldn't agree on anything.  So, onto the next granite shop (by the way, granite shops are all over the place in Vienna.  Seriously, like a dozen of them right next door to each other.  I love living in a metropolitan area!)
So, at the second granite place, we were both attracted almost immediately to a sample piece that they had in their showroom.  We inquired about it and lo and behold it was Absolute Black!  However, it was honed and not polished which gave it more of a matte charcoal appearance and not a shiny black appearance.  And remember, I had mentioned that I wanted something charcoal and Nate wanted Absolute Black!  Talk about compromise, we both got what we wanted in one piece of granite! 
We marked our slab, and grabbed a sample piece to make sure that we still loved it when it sat in our kitchen.  While searching for granite, I also perused the tile selection.  I found a beautiful polished marble, in a small subway size, that had all of the neutral colors I was looking for (gray, brown, and white). BUT, Nate was not having the price tag. Remember, our middle names are FREE, so paying full price for anything was not something we knew how to do.  We left Marble Systems with granite but no backsplash.  The granite was installed about two weeks later.
NEW ABSOLUTE BLACK HONED GRANITE COUNTERTOPS
While we are thrilled with the look of our granite, we think the choice of honed may have been the wrong choice.  It shows a lot of marks (fingerprints, watermarks, etc.) and we are constantly cleaning it.  A better choice (hindsight is 20/20) would have probably been a finish called "Antique".  It has a texture to it which diffuses the markings, but still gives it that matte charcoal look.  We LOVE that it isn't a glossy finish though and we obviously are not changing our countertops anytime soon, so we will continue to clean, clean, clean.

Back to the backsplash..I, not to be deterred, started a man tile hunt online.  Within about three days of searching tons of photographs (each place has a different name for the same tile) I finally found the tile that I had fallen in love with and it was half of the price! The tile was ordered (after haggling about shipping and handling) and it arrived about a week later.  We hired some of Nate's stone masons to install it because the small subway tile, even though it was on a mesh backer, was incredibly difficult to work with it.  Here it is!  Isn't it gorgeous!?!
POLISHED MARBLE BACKSPLASH
NATALIO AND JOSE INSTALLING THE BACKSPLASH
Once the backsplash was installed, thanks to Natalio and Jose, we waited a few days before it could be grouted.  Nate spent an entire evening grouting the backsplash with non-sanded grout while I and Janene (Nate's sis) watched a movie.  At least one of us got a break!  Here is the end result.

COMPLETED BACKSPLASH

4 comments:

  1. Can you please tell me exactly what kind of polished marble you used on your backsplash and where to buy it please?

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    Replies
    1. http://www.marblesystems.com/en/category/stone-type/marble/blend-mosaic/verona

      I found it for 1/2 price online but that place doesn't have it available any more. It looks like Marble Systems does though if you have a rep in your area. Worth the online search though if you need a better price! Of course, no place has the same name for anything. Good Luck!!!

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  2. I have the same questions as Anonymous! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://www.marblesystems.com/en/category/stone-type/marble/blend-mosaic/verona

      I found it for 1/2 price online but that place doesn't have it available any more. It looks like Marble Systems does though if you have a rep in your area. Worth the online search though if you need a better price! Of course, no place has the same name for anything. Good Luck!!!

      Delete