quartz or granite countertop & best color for cherry cabinets w/b

13 years ago

Never did this before but I'm desperate for help on the counter top subject. Please, any specific name suggestions of countertops or photos for our custom kitchen cabinets of cherry wood with a burgundy/cranbery custom mixed stain. I am having a very hard time visualizing what color counter top would go best. I was hoping for a formal look and also still need to choose the floor (unsure of whether wood-look laminate or ceramic). I'd like to pick the countertop 1st and then the floor. Note: Kitchen is only 10 X 12.

Recently we went to view a large slab of Silestone quartz in Stellar Rose (which my husband & I THOUGHT we loved) at "Vangura's world-class fabricating facility" which we were very impressed with. However, much to our dismay, we both ended up hating the Stellar Rose! I was originally concerned that the mirror flecks would look too "disco-ish", however after viewing, it was the rose blotches that were horrendous! The sample we had looked NOTHING like the actual piece. We were grateful that we made the 90 minute trip to the facility, and were spared a $6000 mistake! However, now after 4 months of research & decision making, weÂre right back at square one, searching for our "perfect" choice again.

We were certain we wanted quartz, but after seeing all the beautiful slabs, we are considering granite. Ultimately found 1 slab of granite we love, and a few possibilities. The problem is that Vangura assigns their own names & faxes info directly to our Kitchen Designer for the price quote. 1 we loved was named "Marrone 8000 South America Brazil 8010 TGB". It was consistent pattern of grey, black, silver white (very iridescent). The problem is we were not allowed to photograph them or buy a sample, etc. and I already cannot remember exactly what the Marrone 8000 looks exactly like & cannot comparison shop not knowing its actual names. Does any one have any idea how we can find out its "real" name to comparison shop? Also are considering Uba Tuba (which obviously they kept itÂs name), but am afraid that the darker color will show every streak & fingerprints, etc.

Finally, after, reading all the horror stories about granite staining, cracking, clouding, being doctored, to seal or not seal, etc. I dont know if quartz is better, but now am afraid of quartz "pooling"!!! Sorry this is so long but any help will be greatly appreciated!

Comments (24)

  • pcjs
    13 years ago

    If it helps, we have a small kitchen and I was determined I wanted silesstone for all the reasons you said... till I brought home a large 12x12 tile and well... it just didn't look right... so I went on the great granite search and got gold and silver granite - I absolutely love our granite - it has chipped when I dropped a can (oops it happens but our granite is soft and I knew that when I bought it), sealing is no different than using windex (really not an issue but I freaked at any thought of maintance), and it is easy to clean and doesn't show dirt (I can't see when it is dirty which is good and bad).

    Go to a few granite yards, camera in hand (after a few it's hard to remember - take a picture of the slab and it's name tag) with your door and then decide - it's amazing to look at the slabs.

  • brutuses
    13 years ago

    What is quartz pooling? I'd never heard of it and quartz is one of the counters I'm considering.

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    As Anglophilia has, I can attest to the wonderful durability of Corian. My current kitchen has 30+ year old Corian and the kitchen being remodeled in the new house had Corian of about the same age and it looked great. With the remodel, however, I will most likely not go with Corian because I'm simply tired of it. Am leaning towards quartz or granite. Jennifer Hogan's post above has a wonderful comparison based on actual experience. Regarding baking buttery dough, Julia Child, on her original show on PBS, mentioned she had a piece of marble cut to fit her fridge. She placed it there to cool and then used it as a pastry board for rolling out dough. This was back in the day when pretty much the only choice was Formica or some other brand of laminate for a counter top. Also, get what you like and don't worry about when it will become dated. Don't fool yourself - whatever you pick WILL look dated in 20 years and maybe sooner. However, what comes around goes around. Even boomerang Formica has come back in style.
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  • kelleg69
    13 years ago

    Brutuses, there was a long thread on quartz resin pooling. Maybe you can do a search.

    I have Verde Butterfly granite, which I think it similar to Uba Tuba, and I think it or Uba Tuba would look good with cherry cabinets. It does show rings, etc. but I think you will see some of that almost all granites. I think Colonial Cream would look nice with your cabinets or New Venitian Gold or Santa Cecilia too.

  • bluekitobsessed
    13 years ago

    I did a lengthy granite search at many, many yards for an exotic color (blue). I know nothing about quartz, but these are my thoughts on granite.
    1. Run, don't walk, from any yard that won't even let you take a freakin' picture! Every yard I visited let me take pix and most gave small samples away.
    2. I wasn't paying attention to black/grey granite (what you are describing sounds very elegant), but try looking at these: Virginia Mist, Jet Mist, Black Pearl. You can also try browsing for common names of colors. My granite yard has 2 different black slabs with fossilized shells in one and fossilized cherries in the other, which IMO is so cool! The variations are practically infinite. BTW, I would think that a busier pattern would be less likely to show fingerprints and water spots.
    3. I left lemon, ketchup, chocolate syrup, tomato slices on my granite 24 hours and everything cleaned up without any etching at all. It's only been in 48 hours so it's a little early to tell about the maintenance. Some stones are more porous than others. Do your research using the sample slabs that you will get from other yards.

    Hope that helps, good luck with your search, and trust your instincts.

  • old1880home
    13 years ago

    Brutuses...this is "quartz pooling" If you like the look you easily get it if you buy a Cambria top.

    Nervous Nancy (cute name!) We also have cherry cabinets. We replaced the dark quartz top with a light granite (santa cecilia). It's so beautiful but I think the fabricator has a lot to do with how a countertop turns out. They need to have a sense of artistry to know where to make their seams and where to make their cutouts.
    IMO, I think Uba Tuba is much too dark for cherry. The contrast of the lighter granite sure makes the beauty of the cabinets stand on their own. When we had our dark quartz top replaced with the lighter granite top, suddenly it was... "WOW"!! If you like an artificial look then go with quartz.

    I hope this helps!

    partially finished kitchen...

  • mama2c
    13 years ago

    We are putting a cherry vanity in our bathroom and we are using Kashmir Gold granite. Our vanity is Kraftmaid with the Kaffe stain, so darker brown and less red than your stain, but I think the Kashmir Gold would look fantastic with a burgundy stain. It has little cranberry-colored flecks in it that would coordinate. Sorry no pictures yet.

  • alku05
    13 years ago

    We have dark cherry cabinets, and wood-look laminate floors, and did a white granite counter for contrast (see below). I agree with Blue, run from anyone that won't give you a sample! You need to see the material in YOUR kitchen with YOUR kitchen's lighting to see if it looks right. You also need to stain test it before committing to the material in your kitchen.

  • susan4664
    13 years ago


    I have cherry cabinets with Peacock Green granite. Peacock Green (aka Verde Peacock)is very similar to Uba Tuba, having the same colors, but a slightly different pattern. Uba Tuba tends to have a tighter more consistent grain, and Peacock Green has larger uneven "bursts" in it. Yes, it does show every fingerprint, but it also shines up easily like glass! I love the elegance of the dark granite. Here are a couple of pictures (I wish I knew how to re-size them).

    Good Luck!

  • nervousnancy
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    Thank you all very much for your responses! I'm not sure how to insert photos, but if you copy & paste the link/address below to your browser, you should be able to see some of the quartz we have narrowed it down to. Note: The 2 octagon shaped samples are Silestone Alpina White & Stellar Snow (with relective mirror chips). The smaller squares are Hanstone Vanilla Java and Dupont Zodiac Meteor Gray. Lastly, the photo of the actual kitchen is paired with Uba Tuba granite. Thanks very much! Keep those opinions coming please... as I am still "Nervous Nancy". LOL!

  • beware
    13 years ago

    Engineered stone "pooling" is totally new to me as well, and that photo does make it look pretty bad. FWIW, I just got installed Cambria Preston color throughout my kicthen, and I think it is GREAT. It's not 100% uniform in appearance, but does not have that pooling effect in the photo above at all. To me, it is just varied enough so that it doesn't look too uniform and boring. I like many of the Cambria colors. I can try to post a photos if you like (though I don't have a backsplash yet...). Here's one satisfied customer.
    Good luck.

  • annettacm
    13 years ago

    I have Cambria quartz as well, and I think the pooling makes a difference if it's pooling with a color that you a) don't like or b) didn't know was going to be there. I think Old1880home said that her sample (and I agree, the sample online) never showed any orange, and lo and behold, there are big orange spots on her counter. THAT would bug me, too.

    As far as mine, except for one slab having more beige in it than the other slab, which only a few could tell the day of install, and they replaced the obvious one, all the colors represented in my counter were present in my sample. There are spots of pooling, but the colors still go with everything and go together. There are not spots that jump off the counter at you or make you say "why is that color in there?" or "did I spill something?". It is uniformly splotchy. Does that make sense?

    I don't have a true closeup to show you, but here is my counter. It has grey, black, cream, a honey color, and various shades of those, but nothing jumps out as a dominant color. Even my quarter size splotches blend in. This is Cambria Windsor.

  • weissman
    13 years ago

    just an fyi - samples, whether granite or quartz, often are quite different from actual slabs unless they're cut from the actual slab you're considering. You should make you final choice based on an actual slab, not a sample, AND you should insist on picking your actual slab even if your salesman/fabricator tries to discourage you from doing so.

  • Buehl
    13 years ago

    We have cherry cabs w/mandarin stain & coffee glaze...with Absolute Black Premium granite. It looks wonderful! We also have a more traditional/formal kitchen and I think the black really helps set that tone.

    BTW...we also were originally going to get quartz as well. But, when I saw the quartz and granite together, I really noticed the quartz's detriment! I was so glad to learn here that black granites rarely need sealing so maintenance is very low.

    You really need a sample...

    • to see it in your kitchen w/your cabinets and with lighting at various times throughout the day (natural light during day, artificial at night, etc.)

    • to test for etching & staining...lemon juice, red wine, vinegar, etc. (see Stone Advice thread for more info)

    • To test for dyes (particularly stones from China)...wipe w/denatured alcohol and/or acetone (some places, like Avanti in Frederick, MD, routinely put their black stones through an acetone wash to determine if they are dyed and to eliminate said dyes...but not all do and if you get a dyed stone the dye will start coming off once it's installed and you'll end up with, most likely, a gray stone!)

    Here're pictures of my kitchen w/my partially installed granite:

  • chefkev
    13 years ago

    We just got ubatuba with light maple cabinets and a cherry floor. We love it. We think the ubatuba shows spots and crumbs a little less that something like absolute black (Buhl's kitchen really is elegant though). What will your Kitchen lighting be like and what kind of floor will you have? With a well lit kitchen and a lighter floor a darker granite could be swell. With a less well lit kitchen and a darker floor, it could feel dark and like everything was closing in on you with a 10x12 space. Follow everyone's advice about samples. If and when you are picking out your slab, bring cabinet & floor samples along with paint and backsplash (if you'll have one) samples to help you choose the slab (you should be able to get them from the vendors).

  • nervousnancy
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    Wow! Thanks again, so much, to all of you for all your help! It is very much appreciated! And now, it looks like I have some homework to do, as far as researching any granite choices. I really do love how all of the granite looks AND think I may have heard too many horror stories... but then .....

    Annettacm, your kitchen & quartz countertop is lovely! I love your edge.. is it the ogee?

    Susan 4664, your kitchen is gorgeous!!!!

    Alku05, what is the name of your granite color? .. and are your floors laminate or hardwood? And what is the actual color name? It all looks wonderful.

    And Buehl, I was actually thinking of purchasing the same mini pendant (s-shape in nickel?) Where did you get them? AND, I love your faucet! Which brand is it? I like that the on/off handle is off to the side as opposed to built in, OVER the water flow/faucet, which IMO is just asking for water droplets/spotting. I actually just bought a very similar one today, by Price Pfister at Lowes, but the only thing that concerns me is that the toggle button which adjusts between spray & stream, is made of plastic. I would have preferred rubber, so as it would not crack if dropped in the sink. Lastly, I WANT your back yard since I cannot see any other houses in sight.... maybe I should just sell me house and start over..... :) !!!
    And old1880home, ...which Cambria color was your original quartz with the pooling as I can see why you were not happy... but ultimately, your new granite looks beautiful.

    Again, thank you all very much, for your responses & photos which I absolutely love to see.... keep them coming if anyone has any more!

  • berryberry
    13 years ago

    nervous nancy - where you at the Vangura facility in North Huntington, PA?

    If so, where in the vicinity do you live. I can give you info on some granite yards in the area where you can see plenty more options.

    We have medium / darkr cherry cabinets (toffee stain) and went with Juparana Vyara granite. Alas, no pics to show of the granite yet as it won't be installed til Wednesday.

    Here is a link that might be useful: rest of the kitchen pics

  • sue_ct
    13 years ago

    It depends a lot on how dark your cabinets are and how much light there is in the room, also. Do you have any pictures? Cherry can vary from a very light transparant stain to deep dark burgundy. Black looks very rich, but whereas I have seen it done in a kitchen with an entire wall of windows, I would not want it to make my own kitchen, with one medium sized window, that dark. I am going with Zodiac Cappucino.

  • solarpowered
    13 years ago

    Just a comment on methodology for picking materials and colors: Generally, professional designers will put together a "sample board" that puts together all of the elements that are going to be in a room--the cabinets, the countertops, the backsplash, the flooring material, the paint on the walls, the paint on the ceiling, something to represent the colors of the appliances, etc. That way, you can pull together an ensemble that works together. If you start by committing to one element, say the cabinets, buy those, then go on to pick the next thing, and buy that, etc., you can easily end up "painting yourself into a corner."

    When you have all the pieces together in one place, it often becomes very obvious that some particular counter material works well, or doesn't work at all.

    It is much easier to fix ideas that don't work out at the sample board stage than it is after something has been bought, delivered and installed.

    (Note: I'm not intending to imply anything about your choices--I'm just commenting on general methodology, and how to make things easier.)

  • Buehl
    13 years ago


    Our pendants and DR chandelier are Murray Feiss and I purchased them at EXPO Design Center (owned by HD). There are 2 finishes...ours are in Antique Pewter. There's also a Grecian Bronze (similar to ORB, I think). The DR chandelier isn't very big b/c our DR is small. They do have larger chandeliers, if you're interested in those as well.
    P1095AP - 1-Light Morningside
    F2050/5AP - 5-Light Morningside

    Our faucet is the Kohler Vinnata® Kitchen Sink Faucet (K-690) in Vibrant Brushed Nickel with the handle on the right. The handle location is adjustable: it can be on the left, right, or's up to you. The nice thing about being adjustable is that if you don't have enough room behind the faucet for the handle to work properly, you just mount it in the front. We bought it at There are 8 finishes and it comes in 2 sizes (main sink, the one we have, and prep version (K-691), which is a couple of inches smaller).

    We love our location as well! Actually, we're on a 3-acre lot w/a street on the other side of the berm in the back then a horse farm/farm under agricultural preservation. We do have neighbors...across the street from the front yard and on either side of just can't see them from our back windows! Plus, we planted a double row of evergreens on one side to block the NW wind that also blocks our view of that house (to the right). Our neighbors on the other side planted a row of pear trees so we didn't feel we could plant evergreens there. But, they're farther away so it's not a big we have nice neighbors!

    Looking at the pictures again, I just realized that those are the pics taken before I cleaned the granite! So, it still has the granite dust on them from the work they did when installing the sink side. (The other side is not done yet, the granite is just placed on the counters, not aligned or secured. We're waiting for a replacement for the cabinet they damaged when they began the install on that wall.)

    Good luck on your choices & welcome!

  • makeitsew
    13 years ago

    We are nearly finished with our remodel. We put in Cambria quartz in the quarry collection called Cranbrook.

    In this photo you can't even see the seam (the lines are a reflection of the window blind)!

    We were advised by our counter fabricator to preview the 2 slabs (we used the same product in our bathrooms) prior to them cutting it. We found one "blotch" that they were able to work around & wasn't used.

    Karen in PDX

  • old1880home
    13 years ago

    Hi Nancy,

    The Cambria on my old top was "Oxford" and it's part of their "Quarry Collection". I've seen the other Cambria tops by others here in the forum and it looks like I got a bad batch because the others are beautiful. I can't stress enough the importance of not only hand-picking your slab but having it fabricated by someone with a sense of artisty. (and how can you have THAT guarantee??) Seams and cut-out placements are VERY important!

    Are you any closer to making a decision?

  • annettacm
    13 years ago

    Yes, my Cambria has the ogee edge. The fabricating company didn't charge extra for that, and I wasn't going to get it until my husband said "are you crazy? it LOOKS like you paid extra!!" so I have an ogee edge! :)

  • tamjo44
    13 years ago

    I have burgundy/cabernet stained cabinets. The granites I liked with them were ones that had burgundy accents: Crema Bordeaux, St. Cecilia, and Wild West/Verde Sequoia. We went with the Verde Sequoia because I think the green contrast to the dark cabinets was beautiful. We had the stain custom mixed to match exactly with the burgundy "spots" in the granite. There is another kitchen with the reddish cabs and green granite on GW, I think you can do a search on the FKB. I haven't figured out how to post photos yet.

  • lynne_melb
    13 years ago

    I agree with the posters who said to consider the color of the floors and the amount of the light in the kitchen.

    We have white cabinets, uba tuba granite and beige floors in kitchen. It's a bright kitchen. I only use my homemade cleaner for the granite (water with a drop of rubbing alcohol and a drop of hand dishwashing solution). This solution is wiped off with a microfiber cloth. It's pretty maintenance free. From what I have read, this granite does not have to be sealed every so often.

    In the bathroom, we have maple cabinets with a medium stain. We have the same beige porcelain floor. The room is bright also. In this room, we chose Crema Bordeaux granite. The reddish (or burgundy) bits in the granite really accent the color of the cabinets. The Crema Bordeaux is even lower maintenance than the Uba Tuba. Sorry no pictures, but I really like both of these granites.

    Good luck