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Thursday, January 23, 2014

17 The Counter Top Question: Granite, Quartz, or (Say What?!) Porcelain?

Well, it's day 13 of the big remodel, and my house is covered in a layer of concrete dust.

Because the bathrooms-to-be look like this (keep in mind these photos are taken in the dark, the bathrooms have no electricity in them right now):

Yes, there has be a whole-lotta jackhammerin' going on at my house. This is what happens when you want to make one toilet into two. Well first your plumber grunts and groans and tries to talk you out of it but eventually succumbs to your reasoning, and then this happens.

While the plumbers have been destroying the air quailty in my house, I have been running around town trying to find just the right everything. Right now I'm trying to decide what to do about kitchen counter tops.
I have had granite before; this is a picture of the kitchen in my last house:

And the house before that was quartz, and the house before that was laminate. And this house right now is (yuck!) tile. So I've lived with them all.

From the get-go, I've been thinking that I would use two different types of counter materials: Quartz on the outer counters, and Granite on the island. 

So I headed out on the town and pretty quickly found Quartz that would work on the three counters (a medium to dark brownish gray). A color I really like is Hanstone's Tiffany Gray. It can be seen in this picture from Houzz:

So, then I started looking for Granite. In my head the granite I want is very white. It would be marble if marble wasn't so difficult. While browsing on Houzz, I discovered the perfect granite which really isn't granite, it's apparently Quartzite. It has lots of names, one is "White Fantasy" or "Super White", and it looks just like marble but isn't high maintenance and stain-able like marble. Here is another picture from Houzz with this quartzite counter:

Gorgeous, right? But super elusive. I've been all over town looking for this, and it's like the Loch Ness Monster or Bigfoot. People are claiming to have seen it but no one has proof. I think there may be a counter top conspiracy out there to frustrate me: "Look, she's coming! Hide all of the White Fantasy!".

The only Brazilian Quartzite I've seen looks like this:

It's hard to tell, but it has a lot of brown and cream tones. And of course, it's all the most expensive class of granite, "Exotic".

So as I was getting ready to leave the granite supply place, she asked me what style I was looking for. I explained to her my dilemma and she pulled out some samples of something "brand new" that "no one else in San Antonio has yet". Well, of course, my ears perked, what could this be? What did you say again, Porcelain counter tops? Like what the toilets are made out of? She pulled out some samples, and they were gorgeous! They actually had a slab of it on the floor:

This was in one of the colors I'm looking at, called "cement". The most beautiful thing is, it all has a honed look, it's not glossy like Quartz or Granite usually is. It has a matte finish. And from what the brochures say, it is more durable then Quartz or Granite. This is what it looks like in a kitchen:

And best part is, it is supposed to be cheaper than Quartz, and some Granite. I am going to get it priced out, and I'll let you know. The mesh backing said that is manufactured in Spain (eeeek!). I love Spain! Maybe this was meant to be!

The product is called Neolith, and apparently it's super popular in Europe. It is just making its way to the United States, and is starting to get used. It comes in a whole range of colors, some solid some patterned. I am super excited about the possibilities! I am thinking of doing the whole kitchen in Porcelain, or maybe a Porcelain/Quartz combo. White Fantasy can stay just that, a fantasy--I want Porcelain! Or as the Spaniards say, "Quiero Porcelana!"


  1. It's all the rage in Europe...such a trendsetter. :)

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  3. What happened with the Neolith? I'm trying to find as much information on this as possible for our fireplace and maybe our countertops. How did it compare to Cambria and Caesarstone?

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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