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!