Our first quote for our countertops cost almost gave me a heart attack.
If you saw my Instagram stories, you may have seen a beautiful Calcutta Viola marble that was on my mood board and I shared a sample in my stories. I loved everything about it!
Our Original Countertop Plan
When I went to the slab yard and met with a saleswoman, I initially planned for Quartz on the perimeter and marble on the island. We drew up the plan and the quote for Quartz and Marble was $28,000. GULP. I know that price may seem pretty good for a large kitchen with marble and high end quartz but it was 2.5x the price I paid 2 years ago for a similar kitchen (House 13 Countertops came in around $12k but we did all Cambria Quartz in Dovestone). I expected marble to be more but wowza!
Countertops for our 10 foot island
We were having a really hard time finding a slab of Calcutta Viola that was large enough for our island. We even looked for Calcutta Gold, thinking we’d have more options. It wasn’t looking good and the prices kept going up.
While I’d technically still be on budget for the kitchen, it just felt silly to spend double what I had assumed it would cost to do marble countertops on the island.
The more I thought about it, I definitely didn’t love the marble TWICE as much as the quartz I had before. I decided to switch to Quartz and I’m thrilled with the decision. Quartz on the island will tie in so nicely with the white perimeter cabinets!
I ended up choosing Hanstone Quartz (Yorkville).
I do plan on using Calcutta Viola on my bedroom fireplace to get my fix. Remember I have the Voila coffee table in my living room too! I just love that stone but I can certainly use it in other spaces.
I had toyed with the idea of doing dark perimeter countertops when I was designing the kitchen but wasn’t familiar with a lot of dark stone options, having never done it before. The dark perimeter countertops kept coming back to my mind and I kept feeling a nudge to explore that option. While walking around the slab yard, Ollie and I found one I LOVED then come to find out it was actually granite and less expensive! YAHOO!!!
We chose Negresco granite (honed) and I swear it looks just like soapstone!
I love the look of soapstone but it can be a little tricky to maintain. It scratches pretty easily and oils from fingers, foods, spills etc can cause it to darken in some spots. You have to oil it with mineral oil to refresh the sheen and it just wasn’t something I felt comfortable with. I don’t like the unknown in these types of situations.
Granite is extremely durable and only needs resealing every 2-5 years or so. Depends on the sealer you use but its extremely low maintenance and durable.
Negresco is an absolutely beautiful granite that has smoky white veins swirling throughout a pitch-black backdrop with a nice suede finish. When I saw it in person, it looked like the beautiful soapstone I love but without the possibility of dark spots and fiddling with the mineral oil. I feel really, really good about this choice! I love the subtle white veining too!
Our Final Countertops Cost
Being flexible and willing to make changes and pivot when necessary brought my countertops cost from $28k down to $13k! I don’t feel like I’m sacrificing anything and I’m thrilled to have more wiggle room in the kitchen renovation budget!
Liza Bruno says
Thank you for posting this. I’ve learned so much. I also want soap stone. It now I’m going to go look at some granite.
I’m curious what fridge you went with ?
We also love and wanted soap stone, but not the maintenance. We found carbo brushed quartz and it has the same look with no worries! So, it’s possible. Ours looks just like her honed granite.
That is so awesome!!
How funny! We just had this same granite installed in our kitchen two weeks ago. I L.O.V.E. it.
oh yay!! I’m so excited! It’s beautiful!
I love it so much! I didn’t know granite came in that finish. TBH most of the granite I’ve seen is too busy and vein-y for me. But I love that! Thanks for showing the different types!
I had kind of written off granite because I thought the same thing! We just REMOVED granite haha! But this is so beautiful and I’m so excited! I wish y’all could see it in person!
Naledi C says
The contrast between the dark granite and quartz is stunning. What’s the total area for your countertops i.e. square footage?
Thanks so much! I’m so excited for them to get installed!
Our perimeter square footage is 53 square feet and island is 60! So 113 total!
Katherine thompson says
We just did our kitchen (125 sq feet) And I found it by being flexible on the courts are used and by changing it up slightly I dropped our price from 18 to 11,000!
Also obsessed (and a bit frightened by the unknown) with soapstone! Thanks for sharing this – it’s exactly what I’ve been searching for as I approach my kitchen refresh.
Sharon B says
Oh so pretty! And smart shopping too! So excited to see this installed.
I’m doing a kitchen renovation right now as well and am seriously following your suggestions – I’ve NEVER done anything like this before so a wee bit nervous. I wanted soapstone but will definitely look for this granite. I’m also ordering cabinets from RTA but wondering if you have some sort of checklist for on organizing drawers and cabinets?
Loved the original selections but also love that you are practical! And now I can’t wait to see the new selections because they are just as beautiful if not more then the originals.
Wow thank you so much for the kind words!!
We have honed negressco in our kitchen and butler’s pantry and love it!!! We also chose it because with looked like soapstone. It’s absolutely gorgeous!!! You made a great choose!!
So fun! A butler’s pantry sounds so dreamy!
Wondering if you found your stone in Knoxville and are using a local fabricator?
Hi! We found our stone through Stone Creek Surfaces – Knoxville!
The Negresco is BEATIFUL! So excited to see this space come together!
Thank you for being here!! xo
We are remodeling a kitchen in our old farmhouse next year and I love what you selected! I am local in Knoxville and was wondering where you found your countertops? Thanks!
We found them at Stone Creek Surfaces – Knoxville!
Allison T says
We did honed absolute black granite in our previous house 13 years ago and I absolutely loved it!!! The negresco is stunning!!! Putting that on my list for a potential remodel of our current kitchen…our house was built in 1888 and it’s tough to find things that I like that don’t look too modern for the house. Can’t wait to see your countertops installed!
That makes me so happy! Thank you so much!
Thank you!! You are a wealth of information and inspiration!
Nicole Martinsen says
We just had negresco installed in our kitchen a couple months ago. I love it so much! I can’t wait to see it in your kitchen!
Yay!! That makes me so happy!
Eileen Krammer says
Great choice I can’t wait to see your finished kitchen! I loved my granite counter tops in my last home. We had a white 10 foot island with blue, taupe and black veining going through the granite. I wanted marble but the price was way to much. I’m happy I selected granite with a Ogee edge. Super easy to keep up and they looked so very elegant and rich. We moved to FL, now I get to remodel and design another kitchen. I love shopping for granite its like a candy store. Mallory I’m in awe in all your talents in design and you are not afraid of doing it yourself.
Thank you for sharing your gifted talents and your cute family!
Wow – I can’t thank you enough for being here and for the kind words. So excited for your kitchen as well! Send me photos when you’re done!! xo
Gorgeous ! Congratulations ! Curious about quartz on your island. Is it one piece? We have a six foot square island and had to go with natural stone so we wouldn’t have to have a seam in quartz.
Yes, it is one piece so there is no seam.
We are building a new home and I was thinking about putting Soapstone on the countertops in one of the bathrooms and our outside kitchen. I have not done a lot of research on how to care for it yet, I’ve just loved it for years and wanted to use it. Now I’m rethinking that! I’m familiar with how to care for granite because we had it at our home we recently sold, so I will look into Negresco granite — thanks for sharing!
Of course! Congratulations on the new home and thank you for being here!
Mallory’s choices are fantastic! Absolutely stunning!
Don’t fear soapstone. I have soapstone and I have not had any issues. It is stunning. The appearance and feel to it is amazing. I oiled it the first few weeks and then just let it be. You don’t have to do any maintenance if you don’t want to as it will darken naturally over time. Oiling it takes 5 minutes. No scratches, no chips, no issues.
Look into Brazilian PA Soapstone. It is harder than other soapstones.
Amazing! Thank you so much!!
This so helpful and I will save it for our next project. We had sticker shock not that long ago as we were trying to complete our home during the pandemic.
Oh I’m so glad! Yes, prices are insane!!
I also have that granite on my 10×5 island one of the few granites that come in large enough slabs for no seams. I love it have had mine for over a year and they are awesome. You will love them!
Amazing!! Thank you so much!!
Oh my gosh! I absolutely love your new choices and your budget savvy attitude! The dark granite is so much like soapstone, I didn’t know granite options like that were available. Mallory, I love following you because you do these projects yourself and are transparent in what a project actually costs and how you actually got there. There are many, who do what you do, whose projects aren’t attainable to the everyday person. Honestly, I can’t follow them anymore because what they present is beyond them realm of possibility for the average peeps on the other side of the gram. I don’t even know what I am saying anymore 😂……but I love following you and can’t wait to see your kitchen when it is finished!
Kathy, thank you so much for taking the time to write such a sweet comment. It really made my day. Thank you so much for being here. It means a lot! xo
Loving the kitchen renovation! Timeless beautiful choices. Quick question…did you ever consider marble lookalike porcelain slab for the island? My cousin has it and it’s stunning and so durable but I’m wondering why more people don’t do it? Is quartz cheaper? More durable? Easier to maintain?
I would have considered it if I found a slab I loved, but I have had quartz in the past and it holds up very well. Thank you so much for the kind words!
Love all for this information! We signed for soapstone today and I’m so excited. The only reason we were able to is because we found it on a crazy good sale at over 50% off what I typically see it going for. I’m a little nervous about the maintenance with 4 little kids but I’m doing my research and it doesn’t seem too bad I hope 😅 love these sorts of posts where you talk about the expense! Most people don’t like to talk about that part.
Julie Mattingly says
Could you link the source for the butterfly sink? I’m obsessed and want to put it in my new home!
Mary Smith says
You have great taste!! I picked that Negresco too bought it from Bedrosians!! Having it installed soon
I just had the Negresco installed in our wet bar area yesterday….picked it shortly before you posted this. Quick question…does it come sealed? I just read through all your info and saw that you mentioned it needs sealed every few years. Do I apply that? Did the fabricator apply that? I don’t want to skip a step that keeps them looking fab! Thanks!
Audra Schrock says
Ahhh I love soapstone, but not the maintenance. My kitchen will be my next project so thanks for the tips. It’s beautiful Mallory! Thank you for the inspiration, as always.
Just wow 🤩 wow 🤩 can’t even imagine the amount of hard work and thought went into this!
Invisible hood is the best part! May I know the kitchen hood and range pieces you used ?