Why Didn’t God Make Marble More Durable?

Marble. Why are you so pretty, but so not practical. These things I will never know. I guess the delicate variety in life usually have the looks, too. Well, alas, it was not meant to be. Marble will not be gracing the tops of my kitchen counters. Sad face. This is the counter surface we started with. Not going to work for the light and bright kitchen we are looking for. Faaar too dark.

Light maple cabinets
Kitchen | Before

A lot of blogs have done a lot of reviews on different types of counter surfaces that closely match the look/feel/etc of marble. One of my favorite breakdowns comes from Aubrey and Lindsay’s blog – they recently did an a-mazing kitchen reno that I have totally drawn inspiration from. Ahem, GE Cafe appliances… 🙂

Ideally, we were hoping to get our counters from Lowe’s, since this is where we will be getting our cabinetry, and it is always easier to bundle than to go through an independent retailer. Initially, Lowe’s seemed to really be lacking in the counter department to me. I scanned through all the samples they had out, and just really couldn’t find anything that struck my fancy. That was until our final cabinet visit, when I spotted this guy, who hadn’t been there prior. Love – Love – Love. What do you think, kinda like marble, no?

Sugarbrush Quartz Lowes
Sugarbrush Quartz

So far, I am really liking this option. It has the subtle veining that you would get with a marble slab, and I think it is light and neutral enough to really compliment the cabinets and achieve the look we are going for in the new space. The most noticeable difference between the quartz sample and marble is that this guy is much more pixalated in person that I would ideally like, kind of spotty almost. I guess my undying love for Marble, also made me elevate it to the highest ground, because I thought for sure it was the most expensive stone per square foot. Nope. Think again. Marble, $59/square foot. My guy, $71. SEVENTY ONE!!! Dagger to the heart.

Sugarbrush Quartz with Shaker Cabinet
Sugarbrush Quartz with Shaker Cabinet

Here is how the countertop looks with the style cabinet we are looking at. Mighty swanky if you ask me 🙂 Just the look we are going for 🙂 Really the only perk to the countertop situation is that they are offering a free sink right now, and we had previously budgeted in $400 for that, so I can reallocate that budget back into the countertops. Here is another view, with the counter right under it for comparison. Can you tell I’m leaning toward this one?? 🙂

Quartz That Looks Like Carrera Marble
Lowes Quartz Option

Before we could make a final decision  we had to hop over to the other generic, large and consumer driven home improvement store, Home Depot, naturally 🙂 As much as we gripe about Lowes and Home Depot going up right. next. to. each other, I swear we usually hit up the both of them when we head over to that side of town. Doesn’t hurt that there is a HomeGoods and a Tile Shop chilling right there as well – makes for a full day, to the husband’s lament. 😉

Searching the blogosphere and online in general, I came up pretty empty on images for each of the countertop options, Viatera Quartz, Cortina (Home Depot) and Sugarbrush Quartz (Lowes). Here is a picture of how the cortina stone looks in person. Not quite as grainy as I would like, but close, very close (the picture really doesn’t show it well). Overall, I do think that I am leaning toward the Lowes option for a few reasons. Namely, I like the veining and how it’s a bit more pronounced on the sugarbush quartz option (through Lowes). Also, the fact that they are throwing in the kitchen sink doesn’t hurt, either. Although many things on this kitchen reno are coming in over budget, it is a relief to have some of our expenses knocked out, and $400+ for the free sink certainly doesn’t hurt.

Home Depot Cortina
Home Depot Cortina

And here is a cost breakdown of the Cortina option at Home Depot, which is the same price per square foot as the Lowe’s option. Once you add fancy shmancy things like corners (is that really an upgrade??) We were looking at $2,500 for our teeny tiny kitchen. I budgeted $1,500. Fail. Knock out the price of the sink on the estimate below though, and we are coming in right under $2,000. That is a little more palatable. But only a little more, let’s keep it realllll.

Viatera Quartz Cortina
Viatera Quartz Cortina

8 thoughts on “Why Didn’t God Make Marble More Durable?

  1. Go fig! We will be replacing our nasty vinyl countertops this summer. I am trying to over-budget as much as possible because I know it’s one expensive project. We would like quartz, too, only more of the grey color in that last picture. Thanks for the price breakdown. Needed that perspective. We have a lot of counter space tho. :/

    1. I know, right!! I thought it was kinda pricey, in all honesty… If have seen it as low as $61 (the quartz option) per sq. foot when they run a promo, but with our small kitchen size, the free sink was actually the better deal for us, so we opted to purchase it now. I’m excited about getting it installed, but pretty bummed about the high price!

  2. I ended up going with the marble and am crossing my fingers that it isn’t as high maintenance as everyone makes it sound! I kind of like the ‘patina’ (read: stains & chips!) that it gets, so hopefully I’m not totally babying it. Can’t wait to see it come together!

    I’m with you – I was shocked and pleased with how affordable marble is!

    1. I actually do to! (like the patina) It was my hubby that gave it the big n.o. Very sad. We put marble flooring down in the bathrooms, and I’m totally loving it in there so far! Really there is nothing quite like marble, in my opinion, it’s just so darn lovely.

  3. Just found your blog, loving it. We’re going through a kitchen reno right now. I also budgeted $1500 for countertops, HA! I fell in love with the Quartz at Lowes, but my quote came in at $3800, and I nearly died. After going to the mom & pop granite/stone places, we settled on granite through Lowes for $1900ish. Bummer. I was even willing to just do laminate for now, but that came in at $1600 due to the custom sizing for the island. Who knew counters could be so costly, I really had no idea!

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