It seems there is a lot of curiosity out there about Carerra marble countertops. I know I really tried to learn as much about them as possible when we remodeled our kitchen along with the total gut job we did on this place last year.
Carrera marble has the reputation of being ummmmm tempermental, and frankly, it is. It has also been called snobby, and I really think that is going too far.
I have loved marble even before I knew what it was. My mother had antiques, and a few of her pieces had marble tops. As a little girl, I liked the way it looked. As an adult I have designed four kitchens – two in houses that we built, one a major remodel in our last house, and this one in our townhouse. In the first three houses I had children still at home. They were infants in the first one and by the time we got to our third house, they were teenagers. I would never have considered marble countertops in any of those settings, for obvious reasons.
But now we are empty-nesters, and I decided that the two of us could probably deal with what is known as a high-maintenance look.
When we were putting this kitchen together, I let the architect and builder know that I was interested in Carrera marble. At first they both discouraged me, but I knew it was our kitchen – not theirs. I read a lot of blogs and contacted many homeowners by email when I saw marble in the photos of their kitchens. They always responded, and they all said two things: they loved their marble and to make sure we had it sealed when it was installed.
I was also warned about something called “etching”. It isn’t a stain, but it’s a permanent mark on the marble that can only be seen at certain angles. When prepping foods on our peninsula, I always use cutting boards as barriers between the foods and the countertops. We also always use place mats when we are eating breakfast or grabbing a quick lunch at the bar.
The etching adds a patina which I don’t mind. Our marble man is a pure perfectionist, and he used a five-year sealer when he installed the countertops. He also swears that he can buff out any stain and even got out grape stains from a young mother’s counters once.
All of our kitchen cabinets are white except the peninsula which is the exact same grey as the graining in the marble. I chose the grey so it would highlight the veins. We have a very, very light blue ceiling which also blends well with all of it and adds a bit more interest.
Before I made the final decision to go with real marble, I almost went with this Silestone product called Bianco-Carrera. I wanted a honed look, and this has a shine plus its design is somewhat repetitive.
If you are selecting a marble or granite, it is very important to go to the marble yard and hand-pick the slabs you want in your kitchen. You can even tell the cutters which sections of the slabs you want to use. Often times what you see on a little block in a store looks totally different when the huge slab is resting on your cabinets.
I guess the big question is would I do it again. Would we install the same countertops again if we were doing our kitchen today? And the answer, without a doubt, is yes, yes, yes!!! In fact, we had our marble man customize a countertop for our powder room, and we installed honed Carrera marble floors in all of our bathrooms. I decided if Charles De Gaulle airport’s marble floors can handle the foot traffic, then our bathrooms can, too. But, hey, that’s another blog!
Silestone photo taken from www.kitchendesigns.com