How to Pick the Perfect Countertop

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Jillian HarrisAdvice, Home Renovations37 Comments

Jillian Harris How to Pick the Perfect Countertop

I feel like I’ve learned a few things along the way about selecting countertops between Love It Or List It homes and the recent renovation of our home! Countertops are always a tricky thing to pick out as they are such a bold feature of a room!!

What I Love

When it comes to countertops, I’ve always been a white countertop girl (no surprise there hey?!) … welp … what might ACTUALLY surprise you is the fact that this has been changing recently and I find myself becoming more drawn to the look of concrete and black countertops these days!! Crazy, right?! There is just something about them that I find so sleek and timeless!! I also absolutely LOVE the way real marble looks but I find that is stains, chips, scratches, and discolours easily and I honestly don’t trust my carelessness in the kitchen to put them in my own home! LOL!

What We Have in Our Home

I’ve always been a fan of Caesarstone! In fact, we had Caesarstone in our old home and currently have it in our home now … plus, I used to use them all the time for clients when I was doing side projects (definitely don’t have time for those anymore!! Eep!). I love my Caesarstone quartz surfaces because they’re a perfect blend of timeless luxury and modern sophistication PLUS they are strong and durable!! Not to mention, they’re non-porous which means minimal maintenance (hell yeah!!), and they’re stain. scratch, and heat resistant!

All of the countertops that we have in our current home are light coloured and I usually tend to lean toward countertops that emulate actual stone! Here’s what we went for and why!

Laundry Room/Pantry

This is a space where I already had a lot of texture and patterns happening between the color of the cabinets and the tile so I knew I wanted to keep the countertops SIMPLE! Which is why we decided to go for 4600 Organic White in our laundry room and pantry!

Tip: This is a great example of why sometimes a patterned countertop wouldn’t be appropriate and it’s always best practice to consider what textures, patterns, and colours may already be existing in a space prior to selecting the countertop!

Jillian Harris How to Pick the Perfect Countertop

Kitchen

My kitchen is clean with no bold patterns which allowed me to go with a bold countertop which we wouldn’t have gotten away with in our laundry room! In the kitchen, we went with 5131 Calacatta Nuvo!

Tip from Caesarstone: It’s recommended to see the choice of colour/design in person and if possible, in full slab! It’s also important to feel the material and understand all of the benefits of the product!

Jillian Harris How to Pick the Perfect Countertop

Bathroom

We went with 5141 Frosty Carrina in our bathroom as I wanted to keep the look of this space traditional and timeless!

Jillian Harris How to Pick the Perfect Countertop

Height

The standard height for a countertop is 36 inches but depending on your preference you may want to adjust this either a couple of inches lower or higher. Also, in regards to the size of slab, Caesarstone, of course, comes in the standard size, but they also have a selection of jumbo sizes (131” x  64”), for those larger islands everyone loves!!

Jillian Harris How to Pick the Perfect Countertop

Thickness

I LOVE thick countertops but when you go thick it also affects the height of your counters (See above! Everything gets shorter as the countertop gets thicker!). If you’re short like me, and you want to go with a 3 or 4-inch countertop, that is going to affect the space below and the height.

Jillian Harris How to Pick the Perfect Countertop

Multiple Surface Options

There are sooooo many options when it comes to surfaces! And in each of these categories, there are different brands as well which can get totally confusing but there isn’t really any right or wrong answer … it pretty much comes down to preference again!! I’ve gone ahead and listed some surface options below along with my thoughts on each one!

Granite: Personally I find that granite generally comes in pretty dark colours (which you all know isn’t my thing) … and I honestly find it to be dated!

Marble: This is very porous stone so you have to be careful when something spills as it stains very easily … this would not fare well in our household!

Concrete: Concrete is great and beautiful but it’s also very porous (just like marble!), and it etches and tends to turn different colours! If you’re okay with all of the above, then fly at it!!

Quartz: Low maintenance, durable, and looks like natural stone … can you see why I chose to go this route? LOL!!

Solid Surface: Solid Surface is durable and you can get it in a bunch of different material types that can look like concrete, marble, granite, etc. It’s not really “my thing” but it’s a great mid-range option if you’re looking for something affordable but don’t want to settle for laminate!

Plastic Laminate: This is a great option if you’re on a tight budget! It’s basically the faux version of what a granite countertop is! I love the clean, white, stone look for this surface option!

Butcher’s Block (aka Wood): This LOOKS beautiful but you have to be careful with this if you are placing anything like meat on the counter as it can hold bacteria!

Jillian Harris How to Pick the Perfect Countertop

Edging

Again, just like the surfaces, there are LOTS of edging options out there, my personal favourite is Ogee which we have in our master bathroom and to be honest, I wish we would have done this edging in our kitchen as well! I find it so feminine and soft!

Our countertop in our master bathroom is 5141 Frosty Carrina and below is an image with all of the edging options for this particular surface, just to give you an idea! This is another thing to think about when it comes to the countertops in your home but it really boils down to what YOU like!!

Jillian Harris How to Pick the Perfect CountertopJillian Harris How to Pick the Perfect Countertop Jillian Harris How to Pick the Perfect Countertop

Grab a Sample

As I mentioned above, Caesarstone always recommends seeing your options in person and in a FULL slab if possible!! It’s also a great idea to get a sample and bring it home to put it up against your paint, backsplash, and millwork to see what it looks like! You might realize once you bring it into your home that you have actually picked something that is too warm or too cool for your space! You want a surface that will tie the whole room together! Oh, and hold it up to different lighting to see what it looks like!!

Jillian Harris How to Pick the Perfect Countertop

Give Yourself Time

Countertops take a lot longer than one would expect and it’s something you REALLY don’t want to rush, so make sure to give yourself time to go through this process. Allow yourself time to not only pick out the countertop that will suit your home (and lifestyle!) the best, but also allow time for the installation process. First, you have to give the company your take-offs for measurement then someone has to come in and measure the area for the countertops, then it takes about a week or two for the countertops to come in … they’re generally the last thing to go in!

Jillian Harris How to Pick the Perfect Countertop

Do you have any tips or advice when it comes to selecting countertops for your home?? If so, make sure to share them in the comments section below!

xo

Jilly

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you Caesarstone for sponsoring this post. All comments and opinions are my own.

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37 Comments

  • Cathy Frith  • 

    LOVE it all, but you know that you are going to be asked where the glasses are from?..:) Please share..:)

  • I love your home and I am also a big fan of white – home, clothing, car, etc! 😂 But the super soft focus of your photos doesn’t allow the detail to show up. The caesarstone counters all look the same. 😏

    • Jillian Harris  • 

      You’re right, sorry Gilda!!!! Thank you for the feedback!!!! You can always click on the links to see better images of the countertops on Caesarstone’s website!! XOXO

  • Thanks Jillian! Caesarstone is what we were thinking so this has set my mind in stone (get that?! Stone?! Ugh…) Just another quick question, where are your gold pendant lights above the kitchen island from? Love them!

    • Jillian Harris  • 

      The industrial pendant lights in the kitchen and the fixture above our dining room table are both from Visual Comfort & Co!

  • Maryia  • 

    Hello,

    I was wondering where you purchased your kitchen cabinets hardware?

    • Jillian Harris  • 

      Our cabinet hardware is from Schaub, for the drawers, we used the Country Cup Pull (in 6″ with a polished nickel finish) and for the cabinets, we used the Traditional Round Knob (1-1/2″ diameter in the polished nickel finish)!

  • You have a gorgeous home! I tend to think that darker coloured countertops draw the eye downwards and therefore make the room seems smaller.

  • Radeyah Bacchus-Williams  • 

    Great article Jillian! We’re just about ready to start choosing countertops for the dream house we’re building in South Langley. We considered Caesarstone as a brand and from seeing them at the design shows, etc., but didn’t realize about the jumbo sizes offered. We’ll definitely head over to their showroom now. Your tip about edging is not something I even thought about and I’m super excited to switch it up as the design of our home is on the Art Deco side. You showed it in your some of your pictures, but a tip I’d add is about backsplashes and using / playing with the sizes etc. We’re considering using quartz as our main kitchen backsplash and raising the height of the quartz in some bathrooms, etc. Thanks again for sharing!

  • Stefany  • 

    Love this post as i am renovating my kitchen and decided on quartz. We would have investigated with your recommendation for Caesarstone instead if we only knew!!!

    Quartz appears durable but is it heat resistant and stain resistant???? I can’t seem to find a solid answer….

    Thanks and love following all your stories ! You are so down to earth – love it!

  • What colour of cabinets would you recommend to go with black countertops?

  • What about quartzite ? I understand it’s the natural stone where quartz is manmade.
    How is this product for the kitchen? Durable or not?

  • Federica  • 

    What great info ! I wish I had known before I picked all my quartz countertops in my house !! They’re all so beautiful! Maybe my next house ?!?

  • Hi Jillian,
    Thanks for sharing all of your info, I really appreciate it. I see that your flooring is Cinder by PurParket. It is gorgeous!! My question is I see that you went with a lighter hardwood, did
    you go back and forth at all if you wanted a darker shade? What was your thought process during this selection.? The reason I’m asking is I cannot decide between a lighter or darker hardwood in our new home and I am having a heck of a time deciding.

  • Hello Jillian!
    Love love love your kitchen! And everything about your home! Was curious about your grout colour in the kitchen? We are Reno-ing our kitchen and going with a subway tile like yours.

  • All of it is just gorgeous- Thank you for sharing so much of your design info with us! I am wanting to do our cabinets in Nimbus as well, but it looks so much darker in the showroom than in your photos… I have looked back at comments and THOUGHT I saw something about your Nimbus is from the States?? Could be wrong… Ordering here in Canada. Just not sure why the BM Nimbus looks so different…
    Can’t wait to see our quartz Ceasarstone installed! Much love 💕

    • Jillian Harris  • 

      Hi Sarah!! I got my paint from the Kelowna Benjamin Moore store!! Sometimes it looks darker/lighter in different light!! xo

  • Joanne  • 

    Would you mind sharing where you found your bathroom tile (floor & shower) and the names/colours? Thanks very much!

  • Julianne Clark  • 

    Hi Jillian!

    I’m currently building a house in Naramata and I was wondering if you could tell me where you got your pendants from?

    They are beautiful 😍

    Thanks,

    Julie

  • I am totally in love with your designs and the work you do. If I ever win the lottery I am calling you!

  • Love all this information & your beautiful home! You have great taste & style!
    This has given me more ideas of what I would like down the road when I will afford it!
    I learn so much from you! So grateful, appreciated & blessed!
    Thank you for sharing, as always! You’re awesome!

  • Where is the wood tray from that is on your kitchen counter?

  • Dear Jillian:
      I am from Chile, I love the program of you vivala or bandage it, but above all we love your way of giving it a fresh, clean, elegant and broad aspect to everything your hands touch.
    for that reason, I dare to consult the following; if we send you plans and photos of our home: 2 apartments of floor 18, with a view to the sea (that are not united). (in front of one another), and we want to converse. Could you make remote consultations, if we send photos, plates and video of our home, so that you could review and send a quote ?.
    a hug from south america.

    chile, concon.

  • Hi Jillian,
    Love your kitchen! I’m wondering how many inches the overhang is on the back of your island where your stools sit?

  • Stephanie S.  • 

    Absolutely beautiful! I love the hexagon shape. Can you please share the names of the colors/styles for the tile in the laundry room and in the master bathroom? Also, did you select a plain tile for the floor of the shower — did you think it would be too busy to repeat the hexagon tiles or too slippery?Thank you!!

  • The countertops are gorgeous! The entire space is stunning, in fact! Could you provide the source of your wood beams on the ceiling? I’m in love!

  • Great post. You are 100% correct about it taking time. I help my clients pick out their countertops of a regular bases. It’s so easy helping someone else out. Now when it came down to remodel my kitchen, it was so hard. I knew how many choices there were. But the hard part was my style changes everyday it seems. One day I wantws Concrete tops, the next steel, then I wanted leather, I was also contemplating luminating quartzite, or quartz. It’s hard when you have so many options available to you. After weeks of contemplation the style, I ended up going with a white sparkly quartz. Very modern look, with white drawer cabinets, sparkly pendants and chandelier, and my beautiful porcelain barn wood herringbone layout floors.
    Take the time to plan out what you want, walk away from the plan and come back to it after several days. Do you still like it? Are you going to be ok with living with it for the next 7-10 years? Then go for it.
    Best of luck everyone, and great job Jillian.