Our New Quartz Counters

About four years ago we completely renovated our 1950 kitchen.  I was so excited to finally have the white kitchen of my dreams.  Excitement usually turns to stress when living through a renovation, and this was no exception.  After more than a few hiccups, renovation was coming to an end and the salt white marble counters I had chosen were being installed.

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My Problems with Marble

When I chose the marble slab, I told myself I wouldn’t mind resealing the marble every 6 months and I would be very careful to not leave anything acidic on it.  Well, love story short, we weren’t a match.  The marble easily stained and scratched and did not suit our family.  Who knew onion juice or a bag of chips could cause so much damage?

But truthfully, these marble counters were doomed from the start because of a horrible installation job.  Apparently, the fabricators/installers were not familiar with white marble and used the wrong glue.  So, the seaming became large brown lines (that they tried to fix but made it worse), and then the edges of the counters started to resemble dried yolk where the glue was now yellowing.  On top of that, where the marble met the corner of the sink it looked like someone had chewed Doublemint gum and stuck it in there to seal the two together.  In real life, it didn’t look like a dream kitchen and, in retrospect, I should have demanded that they reinstall it.  But, a long renovation (it took over 3 months) will wear you down, and I was a young mom with a toddler and a baby who just wanted to be done with the process and have my house back.

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Quartz to the Rescue

So when Wilsonart reached out and asked if I would be interested in taking a look at their products, it felt somewhat like divine intervention.  I didn’t want to get my hopes up because I had looked at quartz during the initial sourcing a few years ago and wasn’t impressed.  Cue Regina George playing in my head, “Stop trying to make fetch happen, it’s not going to happen!”.  I felt like quartz just wasn’t going to happen but I ordered a few of their samples so I could see it in person.

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Samples of the Wilsonart quartz, taken in indirect light with no editing to alter the colors

Choosing what you like is obviously subjective.  Here is what I was looking for: something with very soft veining (as opposed to graphic lines), not a lot of movement and no graininess (little dots that almost look pixilated).  Arktos and Marrara (a close lookalike to Carrara Marble) were clear winners for me.  I felt like I finally found a quartz that looked like natural stone!  I could have easily gone with either one, but in the end chose Arktos because I liked the added white veining I saw in the sample.

Fabrication and Installation

How simple was swapping kitchen countertops? The process was surprisingly smooth.  They chipped away at the old marble until it came off in chunks and then replaced the plywood underneath that had been damaged during demo.  All the cabinets remained intact!  Even the backsplash remained untouched during demo, but they later had to remove the bottom row of tile to make room for the quartz to slide in.  We did have to replace the sink (which I had already been warned about), since the enamel was slightly scuffed up during the countertop removal.

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I went to where the slabs were being fabricated and positioned the template.  This allowed me to choose which part of the slab I wanted for the peninsula (which is a focal point of our kitchen).

They laid the quartz on top of the plywood, did several adjustments to make sure it was level, and then glued the quartz to the plywood.  Getting the seams (where the two fabricated slabs meet) to look seamless took some finesse, and I am simply amazed at the new seams.  They are barely there lines! And now there is such a smooth transition where the counter meets the sink.

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I am beyond thrilled to join the quartz club.  I know it will be a better fit for our family and I am already seeing my stress levels go down when we cook and eat (the kids have already spilled marinara sauce and defrosted blueberries on them and it wiped up like a dream!).

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Arktos by Wilsonart

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments and I will respond!

This was a paid partnership with Wilsonart but all writing and opinions are my own.

Thanks,

Erin

14 comments on “Our New Quartz Counters

  • Betsy , Direct link to comment

    Congratulations on your new countertops! Quartz is the best. I also want to tell you how much I like your blog posts. They’re very well organized and beautifully written. If I read a sentence over, it’s because I appreciate what you said, never that I’m trying to figure out what you’re trying to say. Thanks for always providing a great read!

    • Erin Broege , Direct link to comment

      Hi! There was no damage during demo but they ended up needing to remove a row of tile to fit the new counters in so that did have to be replaced.

  • Renee , Direct link to comment

    Where can Wilson Art Quartz be purchased? I live in the Chicagoland area? Ps. Love you blog and as we get ready to move this summer – I cannot wait to use many (ALL) of your design choices on the home we are purchasing!!!

    • Erin Broege , Direct link to comment

      Hi Renee, thanks for the lovely compliment. They list vendors by zip code on their website, that should direct you to where you can purchase. Thanks!

  • Stace , Direct link to comment

    Love this, thanks so much for breaking down the process. Did you have to hire your own contractor or did Wilsonart provide? I’m looking for someone to re-do my island in the San Fernando Valley.

    • Erin Broege , Direct link to comment

      Hi! Wilsonart is just the brand of quartz, you would have to hire your own fabricator and contractor for the job.

  • Mia , Direct link to comment

    Hi! We’re looking at quartz for our new build and Arktos is one that I’m thinking about because of how natural it looks. Can you tell me if you think it’d look good with a warmer white? And how are you liking the quartz now? Tia!

    • Erin Broege , Direct link to comment

      I have a pretty stark white on my cabinets and always wished it was a little warmer, so I would say the Arktos would look great with a warmer white. I LOVE my quartz counters. It has not been scratched or etched from daily use (unlike my high maintenance marble that I used to have) and it is very high quality!

    • Rachelle , Direct link to comment

      Hi! We have off white cabinets and just had Arktos installed. It wasn’t our first pick, as our original pick was defected and then Wilson Art discontinued it. However, we are looking at either changing the quartz or cabinet colour to a bright white as the Aktos looks almost like a purple-grey colour, and the off white cabinets look yellow against it. We also have pine-looking vinyl plank floors, and black hardware, so maybe that makes a difference?…

      • Erin Broege , Direct link to comment

        I would suggest a brighter white cabinet (changing out the quartz would see like the more difficult/expensive option). I would say the veining on my Arktos might hint at purple/grey but overall the background is a creamy white.

  • Melissa , Direct link to comment

    I am about ready to order Arktos but I in a certain light I have been seeing a purple undertone. Then I read the comments here and it confirmed what I am seeing. How much purple are you actually seeing? Does it bother you at all? I am using it with BM Super White upper cabinets. and BM cheating heart lower cabinets (which is a very dark gray). Please help:(

    • Erin Broege , Direct link to comment

      I actually have never noticed a purple. The gray veining could maybe read purple if you are really looking hard for it. But that would be something that bothered me and I don’t see it. Hope that helps.

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