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Article: How I ended up with Quartz countertops rather than Marble

How I ended up with Quartz countertops rather than Marble

At best guess there are 532 bajillion considerations when you are building a custom home. I used functionality and authenticity as my guiding light. As such, most choices were quite easy. I had a strong sense of our family’s needs and goals, and how they could be best met in terms of the physical layout of the house. I knew I’d choose real materials wherever possible, I’d draw influence from the things I love in places I’ve lived, and draw inspiration from the context of the land itself. 

But when it came to my kitchen counters, I am not exaggerating when I say I lost nights of sleep over the decision to use marble or quartz. I actually don’t consume a ton of blogs or social media, but I found myself scouring the internet for someone to tell me what to do. Trying to optimize my search words to find someone who had been in my position, who had three kids, two dogs, was a messy cook who uses lemons in everything they cook, and only cooks when it can be done with a glass of red wine in hand. This hypothetical blogger also valued authenticity, they chose marble and they would articulately convince me to as wel…. or they chose quartz and they didn’t regret it at all! 

These articles didn’t exist. Or maybe they did, but they didn’t say what I wanted them to say. So I went on and on. I visited stone yard after stone yard. Each time you go you sign in at the front with your name, your fabricator. One supplier learned my name and would wave me in when I arrived. I selected slabs and then took them off hold, I had them brought outside to be viewed in natural light, and then brought back in. At my most stressed out point, I actually bought a slab, had it delivered to my fabricator, changed my mind and then paid to have it sent back. 

So if I’m starting to sound a little neurotic, it’s because I actually can be. Not all the time. I’m not type A. I am particular, but by no measure of definition a perfectionist. I don't mind when the kitchen is messy. And I drool when I am seated at a bar with a true carrara marble that has been enjoyed for years. But I also know that my life, as beautiful and real as it is right now with three young children and dogs, is messy. Having a high threshold for chaos is part of the job description when you are a mom of three (or one), but there is a limit.

Picture this: 

I am cooking a gourmet meal of spaghetti and meatballs.

My 7 year old is giving me a full rundown of his football practice. His mouthguard is half in his mouth and I can understand every third word he says, I tell him to take it out and he tosses it on the counter.  

My 5 year old is singing Let it Go, sweetly but very off key while she colors with markers at the kitchen counter

I am slicing a lemon for the dressing for a side salad that probably no one will eat and my 2 year old is whining something incoherent while hugging my leg.

I can hear the water on the stove start  to boil and see the steam rising. 

I pour the spaghetti in and pick my two year old up both to free my leg and so he senses I care even if I haven't a clue what he needs (It’s probably chips, he always needs chips).

While I’m holding him I open a jar of marinara with one hand. As it pops it splatters a bit. Finally, everyone is seated quiet, enjoying their dinners. The red sauce travels from their bowls, to their faces, to their hands, to my counters. I pour a glass of red wine, put on some Bob Marley and start to chill out. We chat about their days and I don’t worry at all about the lemons I’ve squeezed onto the countertop, the wine in my glass or the migration patterns of the marinara. Because I have quartz countertops.

We used to do this exercise in my prep school where we'd have to write two versions of the same paper, arguing the opposite point. I could certainly do that in theory. In the opposing blog post, I'd end by saying "and I don't worry at all about the markers, lemons, mouthguard, or marinara because I know someday they'll fly the nest and their stories will be etched into my countertops with love." But like, my kids also might be scarred from me gasping with each stain.

In my next post, I'll dive down deeper into the quartz I chose. Truthfully, if it weren't for this specific brand, I would have ended up with marble and I'd probably be a lot more stressed out. (At least during the 3-16 times a day when my kids are making a mess in the kitchen). The brand doesn't make a 'fake marble' but rather, has different styles with inspiration sourced from natural locations. Can't wait to share!

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