As it turns out Shadow Storm is not the name of a new Super Hero – but the name of our new counter tops!  Much like the names of nail polish and lipstick… the names of granite, marble, and quartz can also get quite ridiculous.

Charles and I drove out to Ackworth GA yesterday to view a slab of New Kashmire granite.

“Did you just say SLAB?’

Yes Slab – this particular store has a warehouse chalk full of 10′ x 6′ slabs of Granite, Marble, and Quartz.  The beauty here is that you don’t have to look at a tiny sample of something and try to picture what it will look like when expanded to 100 sq feet.  The other benefit is that you can pick your piece.  Because all natural stones are so different, no two look alike and the same finish can be quite different.  This vendor allows you to reserve your slabs s0 you never have to wonder/hope what your counters will look like when they are delivered.

Turns out, I hate New Kashmire.  From what I could tell in the pictures it was the perfect selection, but i wanted to see it up close and personal.  The goal is to get a white and gray counter top, with contrasting veins of color.  As with most granite there was no veining in the finish but there was also very little contrast.  As soon as I set my eyes on it: I knew it was not going to work out.

We also wanted to see the Carrara Marble.  This was, of course, as pretty as it looked in the pictures.  Just stunning.  But as pretty as the 10′ x 6′ slabs in front of me were… I could only think of etching and staining nightmares for years to come.

And then as I walked up to what I thought was another slab of marble, just to once again consider if I could live with the imminent imperfections for the opportunity to have this beautiful finish, I realized there was something different about this piece.  It had light flecks of a white shimmer dispersed throughout the white and gray veining.  WHAT IS THIS?!?!  The guide informed us that it was a slab of Shadow Storm Quartzite.

We had never considered Quartzite of two reasons: I had read that quartz counter tops were mixed natural stone and man maid polymers, and the most expensive option on the market for their durability.  Turns out I was about 1/2 right.  Quartz is a man maid material that is the mixture of natural stone and polymers.  It is incredibly durable and largely expensive. Pure Quartzite, on the other hand, is excavated from the ground much like marble and granite in large slabs and is rated an 7.5 on the MOHR scale.  For comparison sake – the MOHR scale rates diamonds at a 10, Marble at a 4 and Granite at a 6.  Down side – it is still pricey option.

After walking away from the sales man and stating that I just couldn’t justify the cost we went home.  A few hours later I got a call with a new deal that put the beautiful and wonderful Shadow Storm right smack dab in the middle of my budget.  ILL TAKE IT!!  We still have to drive back to Ackworth to select the actually slab that will be installed in our house – because like all natural materials they can be vastly different form one piece to the next – but I feel the 45 min drive is well worth getting the perfect counter top at the perfect price!

shadow storm

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25 Comments

  1. I’ve been looking for a month or so for new countertops for my kitchen and bath remodel.
    I agree quartz is too expensive for a man made material. I just started to open up and think of marble because most is cheaper than quartzite. I want a white kitchen and bath so I need countertops that will work. I’ve loved quartzite but way expensive. Just today I saw Shadow Storm for the first time and I loved it especially because it has some earth tone swirls in it as well and the gray. I found it at fabricators warehouse here in Charlotte NC where I live. Going back soon to look at all 10 slabes and I’m seriously considering it over marble for durability and beauty. They will give a better deal than usual since it is part of their stock at moment.

  2. What a coincidence ? I was at the warehouse today to select my quartzite/marble for my kitchen and I ended up picking shadow storm. I initially went to see bianca carrara and ended up liking this one. I also found a brown fantasy which was surprisingly in grey and white but its extremely crownded the designs. I am having a tough time making my mind as I am afraid of staining the marble – shadow storm. The vendor I went to calls this marble but some call this as Quartzite so what do you think ? How has the maintenance been so far ?

  3. How has your shadow storm held up? I was planning to chose it over Carrara marble, but the stone place and fabricator told me it is just as susceptible to etching and staining as the marble. Have you noticed this? I hate to pay so much more for something that not much more durable. They said it’s the weakest quartzite and bwe porous. Thanks, Sarah

    1. Unfortunately the house still isn’t done yet, so I can’t tell you how it has held up maintenance wise yet. What I can tell you though is that it is absolutely stunning. I feel like the Carrara marble is overall much whiter than the Shadow Storm and is less “veiny” than the Shadow Storm. When it got installed I was blown away with both the overall color and just how long and interesting the veins were. The one thing that we didn’t realize when we bought it is that the stone can have a few veins of a bright teal-green color in it. Our slabs didn’t have much, maybe one or two streaks, but if you with Shadow Storm then I would make sure to pick your specific slabs if that will bother you.

      Long story short – I love the counters – and I can’t wait to find out how well they hold up.

      1. Hi Charles…have you started using your kitchen yet? What do you think of the shadow storm? I am considering it but am fearful of all the usual concerns of marble. We are quite messy…

  4. I recently had Shadow Storm installed in my kitchen. Nothing has really been spilled on it yet but it is just stunning! Shimmery with movement and crystals throughout. Love it. I too am confused as to whether a marble or a quartzite but I’m hoping for the best. I’m thinking of seeing if my fabricator still has a chunk so I can do a red wine and lemon test.

    1. Hi Laurie,

      We are preparing for a kitchen remodel and I have run across some shadow storm. Here is it called a marble but I have not “tested” it to be sure. It actually is more gray than what I was thinking but the shimmer and sparkle of the stone caught my eye causing me to consider it. I am wondering how you are liking yours? Stains, etches..regrets? I realize you haven’t had it long but with us, it won’t take long before we have initiated it really well. We are quite messy which is why I have also been considering quartz-it is just the beauty of a natural stone is hard to walk away from! Advice??

      1. Hi Lynn – I love it. I’ve given several dinner parties but have only a small stain from an onion that sat on the counter and I did realize it had a rotten spot. It’s faded but still is a small smudge. I do have a few etched spots but I’m pretty careful to clean spills up quickly. I’m the only one who notices and it’s really not bad. The counters are just beautiful and I think the stone in it makes it more durable. I just love the natural stone look and the minor imperfections just aren’t imp to me. Hope that helps! Good luck!

  5. Hi! I have shadow storm counters too ans agree, they are just stunning! I have a lot more etching than I had anticipated though ans I’m wondering now that some time has passed what your results are.
    Also, have you noticed any yellow spots appearing? We were careful to make sure we didn’t have yellow spots in our finished piece…one was cut out in the spot where our sink is. So I know these tiny spots weren’t here two years ago…

    1. I have not seen any yellowing spots and have had the counters installed for about a year. But I have had some etching. When I first had them installed, I was not very cautious about citrus spills, and learned very quickly that quartzite is not as tough as granite!

      I have found as long as you clean your counters up once you are done preparing a meal, there is no damage done. But don’t leave your citrus juicer out all night after making margaritas…. you might find some etching if you do

      So happy that I went forward with these counters – they make me smile every time I walk in the door.

  6. Anyone still on this thread? It’s been about 6 months since the last post. I was at the stone yard today and saw Shadow Storm for the first time. it is lovely! they told me it is a quartzite and will not etch or stain especially after they apply the “lifetime” sealer that is included in the cost which is very reasonable. For those that have this installed, how are you loving it? How is the maintenance, etching, staining?

    1. I have not had any staining, but it does etch if you leave a citrus spill without cleaning it up. I absolutely love how it looks in our kitchen and am so glad that we went forward and purchased it!

      1. Thanks Jes! So, citrus is the only thing you have had issues with causing etching? Did they seal your stone? If so, do you know what they used? Is your stone polished or honed? Sheila

        1. yes – ours is sealed. Despite that we still have etching with citrus. Its not noticeable unless you know where it is and you are looking for it

    1. Cindy, I just saw your question…mine is leathered. Absolutely love it! It’s been installed a few months and nothing really noticeable as far as etching. A couple little dots where lime juice dropped and sat but it’s hard to see. I had a 35 year sealer applied that’s guaranteed not to stain or they will come fix it. Crossing my fingers we don’t have to use that!

  7. we have purchased the shadow storm for all of our kitchen counters and we have a lot, a very large “L’ an island and a separate desk area. I am very OCD , so will clean up immediately. How is everyone’s holding up? Any concerns or tips for maintenance? Cannot wait to see them installed next week. This is the most beautiful white/grey with veining that I saw and we went to 4 suppliers. beautiful sparkles in it that shimmer in the light…so excited!!!

    1. Oh my goodness, I could have written this. I chose Shadow Storn for our new build and it should be installed in about 2 weeks. I have an L kitchen, a huge island and a desk also. I’m using it in the bathrooms too. I also am OCD about cleaning up spills, etc so I’m hoping for the best. I’ll put up pictures after its installed.

  8. We had our Shadow Storm installed over the summer of 2016. I have had NO issues with any etching or staining…and I have 4 teens who dont always clean up well and STILL everything cleans right off. LOVE IT STILL!!

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