If you embark upon a kitchen renovation, you may encounter a fork in the road.
Me, I had a fork in the marble, so to speak. Earlier this winter, I found lovely slabs at a Nashville stone yard. Lisa, my fabricator, reserved four--or so we thought. The saleslady forgot to tag them, and the very next day, someone snagged two slabs. Lisa went to the yard in person and reserved the remaining two. So far so good, right? Wrong.
This slab was earmarked for the long island. On the honed side--and I preferred honed for this kitchen--Lisa had discovered noticeable streaks and stains, possibly from the transportation straps. There was no way to cut around them.
Instant patina wasn't what I had in mind.
She flipped the slab to the polished side, It didn't have the huge pit, strap marks, or fissures, just normal fleabites and imperfections.
Since I hadn't counted on using the polished side--and Lisa would have to send the slabs away to be honed, risking more damage--it was a bit of a game changer. As I bent to examine the stone, Lisa pointed out a few fleabites. No biggie--I wouldn't mind them. She didn't like a filled-in area near the top, but, since it was at the tip-top, she could cut around it.
First, a little background. My island is very long and will have an overhang (eating area with counter stools). It had been a challenge to find a slab that was pretty and the right length (to avoid a seam).I'd been so relieved to find something I loved that was the right size--and in one trip to the stone yard.
Lisa said we had several options. I could reject the slabs and we'd find more. I could keep the slabs and use the polished sides. The slab that had a gigantic fissure could be used for the perimeter, but we'd have to work around the flaw. (Lisa explained that the fissures could break while they were cutting the stone, so they'd by-pass them, but it might be a challenge to find the prettiest spots to use. Me, I like movement. But the fissure was in charge of everything.)
While I was at the shop, we went over the template and discussed the best (prettiest) places to cut. There will be an over hang on the island, as I mentioned, so most of the pattern will show.
Lisa's fabricator, Jose, had also circled every ding and imperfection that he could find. Despite the issues, the slabs were so pretty. Magical and mesmerizing. And much whiter, for some reason. Just perfect for my kitchen-to-be.
We turned to the other slab, the one with the ginormous fissure. While I was there, Lisa said we should go ahead and figure out which areas of the stone to use for the perimeter counter tops (so she'd have my input in case I decided to use these slabs).
We moved from slab to slab, working out different configurations. (Twice, I accidentally tripped Lisa with my cane. I was so embarrassed.)
Luckily, a smaller amount of marble will go on the perimeter. Below, on the dresser, we'll just have a strip, which can be cut from the top of the "island" slab. Or we could cut from the middle of the "fissured" slab.
Two smaller slabs will go on these counters. And, of course, slabs go on either side of the range.
The cabinet doors are full length, so I won't be setting anything on those counters.
While Medana and Lisa checked the layout, I went over my options.
I really loved this marble. But was it the smartest choice? I'd made my peace with the inevitable patina, so the fleabites did not bug me. I could keep the slabs, use the polished sides, and hope they worked with my traditional cabinets. I've always associated polished calacatta statuario with contemporary/modern kitchens, but maybe it will look nice with traditional, English-style cabinetry and a beadboard ceiling. Aesthetics aside, the large fissure was a bit of a problem. While I expected imperfections, I did not expect them to determine which parts of the marble we would use, affecting the overall "look" of the kitchen. (This can happen. I'm such a marble newbie.)
I had to prepare myself to let go of this marble and look for new slabs--possibly honed Danby, provided we could locate long slabs with nice movement. Meanwhile, Lisa is talking to the Nashville showroom, checking to see if the streaky strap marks can be removed, so we can use the honed sides.
As Mama says, you can't find everything you want in a man or a house--that goes for marble.
Still, I may have reached a fork in the road, due to a fork in the marble. I'm going to rest today and eat some chocolate, then I'll decide if my whole search will reboot, and I'll be on the hunt for another very long, honed slab of marble. Fingers crossed.
A black-painted interior door (an experiment)
Cedar shake decisions
The painters have arrived--and they have serious doubts about a few of my choices :-)
A laundry room makeover is planned
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