Ok, so Carrara Quartz isn’t technically a thing… I’m just tired of saying ‘quartz that looks like Carrara marble, but is actually quartz…’
Carrara marble takes its name from the Tuscan city whose quarries have yielded the highest production of marble in the world. Besides outfitting the Dean & Deluca wine bar and Pinterest dream kitchens, Carrara marble has historically played the starring role in famous monuments and architecture the world over (like Michelangelo’s David!)
Seems legit, right? Well…
If you frequent home improvement blogs, you’re probably already well-versed in the laundry list of cons that accompany natural marble worktops.
Marble is high-maintenance and prone to etching and staining; we’re low-maintenence and prone to dropping things and making messes.
Even with all the proper precautions (polishing / honing / sealing / offering a scotch-brite pad to the countertop gods in a ritualistic seance), marble countertops will always be one forgotten bowl of Spaghetti-Ohs away from permanent damage and heartache.
As tempting as it was to think of cooking dinner on marble sourced from the same quarry as the world’s most famous phallus, we just couldn’t take the gamble.
Instead, we set our sights on quartz.
Having already been seduced by the timeless beauty and good looks of Italian marble, I kind of saw quartz as an imposter; Carrara’s trashy cousin from New Jersey, who wore tracksuits and smelled like garlic and only pretended to be Italian.
Boy, was I wrong. Quartz can be just as beautiful as marble (with the added bonus of being tough as nails!)
The engineered lovechild of ground quartz and resin, quartz countertops are ridiculously durable and come in a limitless variety of styles and colors… including many a dupe for my beloved Carrara marble. And because the designs are man-made, you don’t need to worry about color or pattern variation from slab to slab.
Of course not all quartz is created equal, and some styles did a better job at reproducing the natural look of marble than others.
I had a very specific look in mind: I wanted a milky, foggy white with very subtle grey veining. I didn’t want the veining to feel too busy or dominant, and I also didn’t want it to appear too dark or blotchy (like ink flecks).
We went into the showroom totally price-blind and picked samples based on what we liked. After picking our favorites, the supplier created quotes for our top picks and we were surprised by how much price can fluctuate.
We were also shocked (and relieved!) that our top contender — MSI’s Q Quartz in ‘Carrara Grigio’ — was the most affordable! (That never happens!)
Photo Source: MSI
The price was right, the sample looked great, and after dipping our toes into the ocean of countertop research (aka the Houzz forums), we gave Carrara Grigio the green light.
Turns out, picking the slab was the easy part…
Nice. Wish those samples in the above pic were labeled. I like the top row 2nd from right mostly because the background seems ‘whiter’. Which one of those is Grigio?