23 November 2011

kitchen [countertop decision]

Cambria's White Cliff (image via Cambria's website)
We started talking kitchen renovation some two years ago. At the time, we were going to use IKEA's black brown cabinets. After deciding on cabs, we went out and looked at a number of countertop options. Two contenders emerged -- Corian and Quartz. Before I could even do any true research on either, my wife fell in love with Caesarstone's Blizzard. And that was it...our decision was made! And the decision was made that easy for the very reason that my wife never has strong preferences in any of the decisions we make for the house renovations. The fact that it was the perfect white for the dark cabs didn't hurt either. So we got a couple quotes and put them in our pocket for when we'd be ready for counters.

Let's just say those quotes stayed in our pockets through many washes! As I've mentioned before, our first child came along and put the brakes on a major kitchen renovation -- kinda hard to fiddle around in your house when you have a small little human who needs all of your attention, which was happily given, I'll add. 

So when we finally got the little man somewhat figured out and started to focus on the renovation again, a few things changed -- namely the cabinets, as we decided to go with IKEA's high-gloss gray and white (ABSTRAKT). When the time came to consider counters again, I simply sent out a few requests on the Caesarstone Blizzard, in order to get some updated numbers. As a side, I was amazed by the differences in the quotes I got back, as there was a $2,300 margin between the highest and lowest quotes, with the rest falling somewhere in between. Even more puzzling was that the two lowest quotes were actually given by the companies who I knew would produce the highest quality install, which is just as important as the counter material chosen.

After choosing a company to work with, I started to review their proposal and it occured to me that we should probably visit the showroom again (duh!), with our new doors and backsplash intact, and take a look at the Blizzard against them. Well...let's just say Blizzard was the first color we eliminated. In sum, it wasn't the perfect white for the high-gloss whites and grays. We went through all of the quartz samples (from the various companies) and had a hard time deciding between Caesarstone's Pure White and Cambria's White Cliff, which was the whitest of the two. So I asked for prices on both. Turns out the Cambria product is all but a $1,000 less than the Caesarstone Pure White. And Cambria is manufactured in the United States (maybe the overseas shipping accounts for the price difference between the two?), so it has that added "green" value to it.

So the decison was made -- White Cliff.