Our Marble Alternative Kitchen Counterop Revealed!

Marble Alternative Kitchen Countertop New Superwhite Quartzite | Classy Glam Living



As of 3 months ago, we were still very optimistic about using marble as our kitchen countertop, and have decided we're going with statuario marble.  But... this wasn't the first time we again changed our minds...

I forgot how many times we've decided on marble, only to have doubts about it.  Time and time again, we would check out any evidence of etching during our meals at restaurants that use marble tabletops and we would be assured that marble isn't too bad afterall.  We would decide that we can live with some patina from usage.  Even our test of red wine on marble didn't deter us from going forward with the Statuario marble.  

However, while living at the rental, every spill and missed spot from cleaning would remind us of our roughness on countertops.  We wanted what we love, but we're not the best cleaners.  At the rate we go, the marble will be "patina'd" in no time.  

We were both probably waiting for the other to say no first!  

What we chose in the end

We wanted a polished countertop with a white background to match our light grey cabinets.  We looked into Caesarstone's Pure White (we didn't want specks like the Blizzard) but it was just a tad cheaper than Statuario Marble.  We're old fashioned, and don't feel like we're getting the bang for the buck if we're paying that much for manmade "stone".  We then narrowed down to natural stone, and we all know that there aren't a lot of choices of natural stone with a white background!

We could choose from Statuario marble, or a whiter piece of carrara marble that wouldn't be as expensive.  As luck would have it, the stone expert introduced us to the NEW Superwhite quartzite.  The slab we saw was absolutely gorgeous; a white background with grey veining, plus crystalization within the slab that we love.  It's different from Superwhite, which tends to be more grey.  Sadly, the whole block was already sold out.  Well, all's not lost, at least we found a marble alternative that we love.  Patience now...  

And then we got the call from the stone warehouse that a new block of New Superwhite arrived!  It's not as white as the slab we previously saw, but it has more crystallization in the slab.  

The slab is quartzite, tiny crystals are visible, making the slab sparkly.

The slab is quartzite, tiny crystals are visible, making the slab sparkly.

We're sold!  We get the white background that we wanted, without the pain and fuss of maintenance as with marble.  Nothing beats the beautiful veining of Statuario marble, but the crystals formed in the slabs of New Superwhite quartzite are just as mesmerizing and beautiful.  Not to mention, it's a stronger material compared to the softness of marble.

From ordering the slabs to fabrication, I would say it was a pretty easy and smooth process.  We're so glad we didn't go with the builder's expensive stock upgrades with limited choices!

Here are some photos of the installed countertop:

NEW SUPERWHITE quartzite kitchen counter | New house kitchen | Classy Glam Living
NEW SUPERWHITE quartzite kitchen counter | New house kitchen | Classy Glam Living
NEW SUPERWHITE quartzite kitchen counter | New house kitchen | Classy Glam Living
NEW SUPERWHITE quartzite kitchen counter | New house kitchen | Classy Glam Living
NEW SUPERWHITE quartzite kitchen counter | New house kitchen | Classy Glam Living

The crystallization inside the slabs are difficult to pick up in photos, and the countertop is sparkly in person.  The veins in the stone are actually formed by dark crystals.

NEW SUPERWHITE quartzite kitchen counter | New house kitchen | Classy Glam Living
Zoomed in of the grey veining from the red portion in the photo above, showing dark crystals in veins.

Zoomed in of the grey veining from the red portion in the photo above, showing dark crystals in veins.

More tiny crystals visible at the ogee edge.

More tiny crystals visible at the ogee edge.

I'm sure you're interested in the price points of these different marbles and alternatives.  Based on the size of our kitchen and quotes that we got:

Price Comparison of Marble & Alternatives | from highest to lowest price points | Classy Glam Living

We absolutely love our new countertop, as much as we would had it been made of statuario marble, if not more.  It's a great alternative to Statuario marble, at a cheaper price and less maintenance hassle.  Not that we would care any less with this New Superwhite quartzite, but It would save us from unnecessary heart attacks if we spill anything on it!

The kitchen is slowly taking shape, and we've finally had the appliances panels installed! We had been going back and forth on using silver or gold hardware, until we saw these pulls at Gingers. 

Panel-ready undercounter fridge and freezer | New house kitchen | Classy Glam Living

So now I guess it's decided we're going with gold. These are actually bronzy-gold, and they go nicely with our bronze Kohler Karbon faucet! Pure fluke on our part! 

New Superwhite Quartzite kitchen counter | Classy Glam Living

Bit by bit our kitchen will take shape and become our dream kitchen that's functional and outfitted in our style.  Here's our view from the living room, as mentioned in our kitchen and living room design boards.

NEW SUPERWHITE quartzite kitchen counter | New house kitchen | Classy Glam Living

Our next to-do's for the kitchen are:

  • Change out cabinet knobs and pulls
  • Install mirror backsplash  
  • Build more drawers in lower cabinets
  • Replace solid doors with glass doors at uppers above the fridge (see kitchen trends post)
  • Install mirror backs + glass shelves for those upper cabinets
  • Install LED rope lighting for under the upper cabinet  
  • Install valence

I hope we've shown you a marble alternative that you can consider if you're having trouble deciding on a marble countertop like we did.  Here's how we use our kitchen:

  • As per the Mr., I have butter fingers, that means a higher chance of spillage  :-(
  • We're rough on the counters, being efficient cooks sometimes means that banging stuff on the counters may be inevitable
  • We may not clean up right after we cook
  • We're not the best cleaners, ie. best if stains on the countertops can be somewhat camouflaged

Do you have butter fingers like me?  Do you love marble enough to live with its patina?

DIY Refinishing Vintage Bedside Tables

DIY Refinishing Vintage Bedside Tables | Classy Glam Living

When I was still under my parents' roof, I painted my bathroom's boring laminate grey vanity in a sky blue colour and changed out the ugly plastic knobs to brushed nickel ones from Umbra.  Quality of the paint job?  Questionable.  Changed for the better?  Absolutely.  It was a joy for my young self to walk into my bathroom with a cheerfully coloured vanity. I had it in me back then to beautify dull dinginess, and I've grown to love discovering potentials in pieces even more.  That was how I discovered these vintage night tables in the Henry Link Bali Hai collection, and the Mr. breathed new life into them. (I've now passed on the dirty work (-;)

Source list at the bottom of the post.

DIY Refinishing Vintage Bedside Tables | Classy Glam Living 2

The Mr. did some basic prepping a while ago, as mentioned in this previous post. He removed the backing and unscrewed the top, since we planned on replacing it.

DIY Refinishng Vintage Bedside Tables | Basic Prepping Steps | Classy Glam Living

Removing the drawer pulls made it easier for cleaning. Make sure you give the piece of furniture a thorough cleaning on all surfaces if you're planning to repaint it. The primer and paint need to stick to the surface, not on dirt!

We chose to go with two knobs on each drawer.  We first eyeballed the approximate positions for the two knobs, and the Mr. measured the distance from one side and replicated that on the other side.  

DIY Refinishing Vintage Bedside Tables | Drilling for Drawer Knobs | Classy Glam Living

He then filled out the holes left from the original hardwares and sanded them.  For a smoother finish, the holes were re-filled and re-sanded a second time.  

DIY Refinishing Vintage Bedside Tables | Classy Glam Living

The Mr. preferred to use a roller when applying the primer and painting the tables, and a brush for touching up the details.  The tables were in decent vintage condition, so he only applied one coat of the Zinsser primer.  His review on the primer was that it went on very well, and the paint adhered to the primer smoothly.

DIY Refinishing Vintage Bedside Tables | Primer Application | Classy Glam Living

He noticed brush strokes on the finished white table, which was most likely painted with a brush.  He had to lightly sand the surface before it could be re-painted.  

We chose a light grey colour in a glossy finish for a contemporary look. Two coats of paint were applied on the tables to get the evenly layered glossy look.  

DIY Refinishing Vintage Bedside Tables | Behr's Silver Bullet in Glossy Finish | Painted in Glossy Grey | Classy Glam Living

After the paint had cured (best to wait a day for the paint to fully dry), it was time to re-attach the backing of the bedside tables.  He also painted them with the same grey paint before re-attaching.  This project was a good excuse for the Mr. to get the one tool that he's been missing - a cordless staple gun.  

DIY Refinishing Vintage Bedside Tables | Re-attaching Backing with Staple Gun | Classy Glam Living

Next was adding some jewels to the tables.  We love the style of this glass knob; it gives a vintage vibe, while the chrome backing gives it a bit of modern touch.  

DIY Refinishing Vintage Bedside Tables | Lee Valley Tools | Classy Glam Living
DIY Refinishing Vintage Bedside Tables WITH Glass Knobs Installed | Classy Glam Living

Last but not least was the crowning of the bedside table with our beloved marble top.  Its lines and edge profile were fabricated from the original table top.  We love how the marble top adds sophistication to the simple elegance of the night tables.

DIY Refinishing Vintage Bedside Tables WITH Statuario Marble Top | Classy Glam Living

And with that, here's the completed look of the refinished bedside table!  I can't wait to move into our new house, so that we can finally install our mirror headboard and see how our "new" bedside tables match up against it!

DIY Refinishing Vintage Bedside Tables Finished Look with Statuario Marble Top | Classy Glam Living

Thanks to the Mr.'s elbow grease, the tables turned out exactly how I envisioned them!  They now look all grown up from their previous ugly duckling selves when I first laid eyes on them.

DIY Refinishing Vintage Bedside Tables Closeup with Statuario Marble Top | Classy Glam Living
DIY Refinishing Vintage Bedside Tables | Closeup with Statuario Marble Top | Classy Glam Living

I had initially wanted to install new brass pulls to mimic the original feel of the tables, but I'm glad the Mr. convinced me to use two glass knobs on either side of the drawers instead. They made the pieces look more elegant.

The grey paint on the tables is a nice neutral colour that helps to accentuate the grey veining in the statuario marble top. 

DIY Refinishing Vintage Bedside Tables | Closeup with Statuario Marble Top | Classy Glam Living

I'm so glad the Mr. agreed to refinish this set of vintage bedside tables.  They turned out gorgeous!  We finally have the storage we've always wanted in the night tables, and the marble top gives it all the more reason to clear off the surface to enjoy its natural beauty, 

Another DIY project in the queue done and done!  Stay tuned for the next one in queue!

Source List

DIY Projects in Queue

The Mr.'s favourite pastime is undoubtedly working on home projects.  This long hiatus from them while we're at the rental is making him anxiously restless,  Some nights, he would be watching DIY videos, to sharpen his skills and gather as many tips as he can for our new house's home projects.  

Seeing that his hands are itching for some projects, I put my shopping skills and eagle eyes to work!  I've been curating some small projects for the Mr. to work on, to keep him at top notch condition :-)  

DIY Sea Fan Artwork

We picked up this gold sea fan placemat during our recent visit to Elte Mkt.  It's a great size, and we knew it would look amazing as a framed piece of art.

Gold Sea Fan Placemet at Elte Mkt | Classy Glam Living

Framed sea fan pieces can get quite pricey.  With this inexpensive placemat (only $10!), we can DIY something similar at a fraction of the retail price!  This is an inspiration piece that we would often see:

And here is our take on the framed sea fan. 

DIY Floating Sea Fan in IKEA RIBBA Deep Frame | Classy Glam Living

This was one of the two projects he completed over the recent long weekend.  Of course it's the Mr.'s masterpiece...  it would've been an epic fail if I had attempted any part of it.  We'll share the details of this DIY soon!

Refinishing Bedside Tables

I knew that the sea fan project wouldn't keep the Mr. busy for too long.  As mentioned in a previous post, I came across this pair of vintage beside tables and just loved the bamboo detailing of the pieces.  


It's still a work in progress, but I'm happy to report that everything's ready to go!  The Mr. is in the process of painting the pieces in a glossy finish with Behr's Silver Bullet:

BEHR paint Silver Bullet | Classy Glam Living

After he's done with painting the bedside tables, he can install the hardwares that we've recently picked out for the drawers.  Instead of going with drawer pulls, we chose these glass knobs to go on either side of the drawer.   It's a more contemporary look and would transform the tables glamourously!

Glass Knobs for Beside Tables | Classy Glam Living

The 2 pieces of statuario marble have also been fabricated.  The edge profile of the marble mimics that of the original table top.  We can't wait to install them on the bedside tables!!!

Fabricated Statuario Marble Bedside Tables Top | Refinishing Night Tables | Classy Glam Living

Marble Coffee Table 

I had wanted an open bottom coffee table with glass top for the living room, as illustrated in the design board.  Instead, I found a traditional marble coffee table on kijiji at an amazing deal!  It has solid wood construction, with a carrara marble top, but the wood stain was too traditional to our liking.  At the price we paid, I don't think we can even get the coffee table legs of a new piece!  I love the curvy lines of the marble top and had originally planned to replace the legs with fabricated brass coffee table legs, but the Mr. loves the original ones.  The seller was nice to note there were some nicks on one of the legs, but it didn't matter to us, as we planned to repaint the wooden bottom to a glossy light grey.  That would be a better match for our living room's transitional and neutral style.

Refinishing Traditional Marble Coffee Table | Repainting | Classy Glam Living

Refinishing and Reupholstering a Set of 4 Louis Chairs

I never thought that Instagram would be my shopping source.  When I came across this set of 4 previously-loved Louis chairs posted for sale on Paint It Like New's Instagram account, I knew I just had to snatch them..  How can I pass on the great deal of $50 each for these maple chairs?  

We plan to eventually have a bar area built in our finished basement/ family room, with a small eating area.  These chairs would be perfect for the spot!  My plan is to have them repainted and reupholstered with tacks.  I'm so glad the Mr. is all game for our (HIS) first attempt in reupholstering!  This is the look we're going for:  

I think the Mr. has enough on his plate for now, and I seriously need to stop looking at kijiji or other vintage shops...  it's not easy to pass on a good deal!  He's a happy camper again, rushing down to the basement to continue with his project after we put little man to bed, not to mention the occasional runs to the home improvement "candystore" to get supplies for his DIY project.  

The Mr.'s goal is to complete the reupholstering of the chairs before we move in.  It's all about time management, and he knows he'll be busy with other projects after we're in the new house.  These small DIY projects not only help to keep the Mr. entertained, but his refinishing of the pieces will beautify our home, each piece with a story to tell.