When we remodeled our kitchen last fall after flooding during Hurricane Harvey, I had my heart set on a classic white kitchen.
We had the darker wood cabinets and dark speckled granite that was popular 12 years ago, and we were ready to lighten up. Here's the before as we began the remodel:
I loved the look of white counters but was queasy about the maintenance and durability. Our old granite (Santa Cecilia) held up perfectly...I never sealed it or did much of anything to protect it. However, as durable as it was, I didn't exactly love it.
I went to the stone yard for ideas and grabbed a couple samples I liked. Although marble was my first choice, cost was high and likelihood of damage over time was high as well. I went in search of something more affordable with a similar vibe. I wanted it to look very natural so I ruled out the most durable option, quartz. I settled on Shadow White quartzite (top) and New River White granite (bottom).
The sales rep at the stone yard told me the basics: quartzite is softer and etches somewhat easily. Granite was more durable but typically had more pattern. Since I was tired of the speckled counter look and wanted a cleaner mood, I really wanted quartzite. But all that white, while beautiful, was SCARY when I pictured it getting day-to-day use.
I decided to road-test them as home. The sales rep said olive oil and red wine were two of this biggest stain offenders and that the staining gets worse the longer they were left sitting.
So, I go to to work testing. I dumped olive oil and red wine on the samples and set a timer. First, I left the oil and wine on both samples for ten minutes and allowed them to sit in a heavy puddle.
What I noticed immediately after the pour was that my granite sample had a small crack. The wine seeped in instantly. I tried to dab it up at the edge right away but it did not come out.
After 10 minutes I cleaned up both products. No amount of scrubbing got the wine out of the granite.
Next I set the timer for 30 minutes and poured the oil and wine on both samples again.
Both samples held up without new staining.
Last, I did a one hour stain challenge.
Again, no new staining!
That sold me. I went with the Shadow White quartzite. I figured that I wouldn't likely have anything stain-worthy left on my counters for longer than an hour. While I have to doubt that the quartzite would have retained the wine stain if it was scratched, when I saw that the granite did the same, I decided to go with what I loved.
Here's the end result:
The verdict: It's been nearly a year and I still love this counter top and would get it again. It has the timeless look of marble with a smaller price tag. I haven't had issues with staining at all. This is a working kitchen and we cook daily, so it gets a workout. I do keep it wiped down and blot up anything that drops onto it pretty quickly. However, even when I had a colander dripping with wet strawberries sit on the counter for several hours, the red juice wiped away without issue.
I'm so glad I went with what I loved instead of settling for what was practical!
What are your experiences with countertops? I'd love to hear your thoughts!