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Earthy granite is everywhere

Posted by: Lynn Underwood under Decoration and design, Improvement and repair, Home Improvement Updated: October 28, 2011 - 11:07 AM

 

 

 

What a brilliant idea.

Dig up chunks of centuries-old granite from deep in the earth and turn them into countertops. Since then, kitchens have never been the same.
The showy slabs seem to be as popular as ever. In Parade of Homes models, they cover every surface from the island to the basement bar. Real estate home listings tout “granite kitchen” to entice house hunters to set up a showing. “Granite?” is the first question I ask whenever I walk into a friend’s recently remodeled kitchen. I just want to make sure it’s not copycat quartz.


Before long, I was seduced by the beautiful durable crystalline rock and wanted it in my plain-Jane laminate kitchen. Only a diamond is harder than granite - maybe that’s why it’s so pricey. Another great thing about granite is you get to pick out the exact slab that will eventually end up in your kitchen. The drawback  -- spending lots of time at massive concrete showrooms where the rock is housed like shiny new cars. They’re vertically stacked to make it easier to inspect the colors, patterns and designs. Each slab is labeled with the grade level and the country it's from - mostly Italy, China and India.


The pressure made my head hurt. I was going to spend an ungodly amount of money. I would be looking at it everyday for the next decade. Should I go with the mottled flecks or the free-flowing vein-like patterns? How about the burnt orange and black crystals or iridescent pearl blue?I slowly calmed down. I didn’t have to pick it out that day.


After about 10 visits to four showrooms, I found my perfect piece of granite. (Tip: bring a kitchen cabinet drawer with you to make sure colors will complement, not clash with your stain). It’s called Creme de Oro and has smatterings and swirls of grey, black and golden brown mixed with flecks of shiny mica. The cream background will nicely match a colored tile backsplash, one of my future DIY projects.


I called the fabricator and soon the slab of granite I had obsessed over for months covered by kitchen countertops and center island.  My Mr. Coffee and pile of mail looked so much better on rock quarried in India.

Are you seduced by granite - or think it's overrated? What was your experience shopping for granite?

 

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