As I said in my previous post, despite having my heart set on stained butcher block counter tops, I was starting to fall out of love with the idea because of the horror stories I was reading about their maintenance.  With high-maintenance slate flooring already installed, I asked if I was setting myself up for more heartbreak?

I knew you guys would come through with your own experiences and recommendations and I am so grateful to have such a supportive community here on Swoon Worthy – you guys rock my world.  I’m still not entirely sure – opinion is definitely divided.  Who knew that counter tops could be such a contentious topic?

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Anyway, both Meera and Hollie recommended I give Quartz consideration.  I have to admit, it’s not something I’d even thought about.  I don’t really care for the look of Granite despite it’s wild popularity here in the UK – from what I’d seen, it was always far too busy and patterned for me and I thought Quartz was just utilised when a homeowner wanted the look of Granite… so why would I?

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Oh how wrong I was!  There are loads and loads of people out there who have used Quartz because there are designs out there that resemble – not just Granite – but even better, Marble.  And I do love me a marble kitchen.  But – and this is the good part – they are far far less maintenance than either Marble or Granite.  Or butcher block for that matter.  Install it once and you’re pretty much done.

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The reason for this is because Marble and Granite are softer materials and as such, more porous.  They allow bacteria and liquids to absorb into them which is why they need regular sealing.  Quartz is one of the hardest materials on earth, only diamonds being stronger.  It’s highly resistant to staining, scratching and heat.  So liquids can’t permeate and bacteria can’t thrive on them.  Oooh.

This also means I could actually consider an undermount sink (something I’d dismissed because of the qualities of a wood worktop).

Caeserstone Misty Cararra (is it just me or does that sound like a porn name?)

I spent most of Saturday researching.  While I found loads of information on their cost in the US, I found almost nothing about their cost in the UK (I found one site offering them installed for £800 and had one online quote for well over £3000 – eh?).  So I might be setting myself up for heartbreak again if I find they are too expensive.  But this post is called “Kitchen Dreamin'” for a reason.  So we’re going to explore the idea anyway and see where it leads!

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I  had a little bit of a fear of using such a light worktop with the slate flooring.  After all, the reason I wanted to use butcher block was because it added a warmth to the kitchen that I felt was missing currently.  However, the consideration of adding brass accents to my kitchen could definitely take care of that.

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I mean look at the image below – does this look cold to you??  Ok, the fireplace helps but all that brass!  I’ve loved this kitchen for quite a while now…  Notice the kickboards under the cupboards too – goodness, I need a lie down.

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It wouldn’t actually be too expensive for me to swap out the hardware as I don’t have loads of cabinets.  I get a lot of love on my current pendants but I’m thinking about either spray painting them gold to start with and then eventually replacing them with something a little more grand (read that: expensive) in the future when I have the cashola (because the cost of the worktops with installation could wipe out the budget).

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I’m also thinking that a beautiful brass kitchen tap might work too…

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And here’s why I’m actually reconsidering so many of my initial choices…

When Wayne and I moved into this house, we said we’d stay for 5 years max.  We would do up the house and then sell on after that to something larger that needed more work.  But we’ve been talking it through lately.  And we’re nearly 3 years into this house which means 2 more years before we sell.

But BUT BUT… here’s the thing:

We love this house.  We love the area.  We love our little street that’s right near town and within walking distance to plenty of amenities and local pubs.   We love the fact that despite living so close to the town, our back garden is crazy quiet.  Our neighbours that we ‘share’ the semi with are fantastic.  The house is plenty big enough for two.  Why would we leave now?

Well, we’ve realised something.  We don’t really want to leave.  Not yet anyway.

So we’re giving it another 5 years.

What does this mean?

This means getting it right.  This means a little more investment.  This means doing the house up for ourselves and the heck with what’s popular in the UK (within reason, we’re not adding a swimming pool – and to be fair, everyone tells me it’s very ‘American’ anyway).  This means making sure fixtures and finishes are exactly what we want, not just a ‘this will do for now’ mentality.  And god, there is SO MUCH more to do.

Seriously.  I  know it seems we’ve come a long way since we started our work on this house but the downstairs flooring still needs sanding and staining, all the carpeting through the house needs replacing, the hallway both downstairs and up is a project in and of itself, there’s still work to be done in the master bedroom, the guest bedroom needs to be redone completely, the bathroom needs a complete refit, the outside both front and back needs work.  I think the next 5 years will find us plenty busy.

So I’ll ask again… is there anyone out there with experience on Quartz worktops?  If you are from the UK, any idea how much I should expect to pay (the full size is 3.65 metres squared)?  Or maybe you’ve added brass accents and love it?  Or maybe you’ve got Quartz worktops and hate them?  Or maybe you just want to share your own evolving experience with owning and investing in a home?   It would be great to hear from you!

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