Black Countertops I Like & a Few Other Tidbits

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

If you've ever written something that required a title, you know how difficult it can be sometimes.  Yesterday was no exception.  Maybe I should've have titled the post "Accessories for Black Countertops" but instead I went to bed last night feeling like it was titled "You're Ugly and Your Mama Dresses You Funny".  Apparently my post was offensive and I do apologize.  That was never my intention.  I speak with an honest voice here on the blog and I guess I was bit too honest about my feelings for my countertops.  Others of you were thankful to have this conversation because you are in the same boat as me - looking for ways to work with what you have.

I also get the feeling that some of you are looking at your computer screen scratching your head and saying, "René says that black countertops are bad".  That wasn't the point I was trying to make yesterday.  Some of my favorite kitchens have black countertops.  Again, a better title would have helped.

A few of you requested more details on what I do not like about uba tuba granite specifically, I will go into further details.  Keep in mind, these are my "opinions".


1.  Granite is basically indestructible.  It can handle hot pots which I love.  If you drop a glass on it, granite wins every time.

2.  Uba tuba is a neutral.  I would pick it any day over 1980's tile with yucky grout or formica or even beige-y granite.

3.  Because uba tuba is black it plays nicely with white cabinets.


1.  It looks dated.  Just like the asymmetrical bob in the 80's, uba tuba screams early 2000's to me. We've had it for 15 years and there are so many more options now.  And there were classic options then that I was not aware of.  Should've done my homework.

2.  It is shiny and requires constant cleaning.  I clean our counters throughout the day with a 50/50 solution of water & alcohol to wipe off fingerprints and smudges.  This may not bother someone else.

3.  The flecks of color are mostly brown and too earthy for my taste.  Again, someone else may love it.

4.  This isn't specifically uba tuba related, but I prefer a square edge on counters and ours isn't.

Moving on to black countertops I like as mentioned on facebook yesterday.  And by the way, these are both classic options that I believe will not look dated in 10 or even 20 years.

I love soapstone for its lovely veining and soft hand as seen above.  Read more about soapstone here.

Honed granite is also a favorite as seen in this gorgeous kitchen.  I especially love black granite when paired with a contrasting island like we did in this house.

I hope this helps.  I love you and want what is best for you.  Now run along and play.  ;)


  1. Ewe, I can't believe readers took offense to yesterday's post. I understood the idea you were trying to convey - Uba tuba isn't what you like. Don't feel you have to silence your voice - it's your blog and your readers like you :)

    1. Ditto, Darlene. I too must have missed the memo about the prior title/post being questionable. What may be questionable are the faux butcher block countertops and backsplash in the 1979-built home we just bought last October. Cheers to all, Ardith

    2. Agree with you, ladies! It's her blog and if she can write whatever she feels. I love following people who are actually honest about things in their home that they wish were different because most of us feel that way about our own homes in some way. Pinterest and Instagram have really biased our perception of what our lives are "supposed" to look like and so once in awhile it's refreshing to see someone not loving everything (reality) and being honest about it.

  2. You're truly a lady and you're very nice to be so considerate of all of your readers. I've never experienced negativity at C&V which is why I am a loyal reader. Keep up the great blog!

  3. Absolutely no apology necessary! You gave your opinion on your own counters. In Architecture school, we had a professor who had us place our projects on the floor and visited each one giving adjectives varying from complimentary to "this one is terrible." His point was to not take design critiques personal. No one should be offended by your opinion of Uba Tuba granite. That's just silly! You are very sweet to write an apology:)
    Have a great day,

  4. In the midst of gutting and renovating a lake cottage right now and went with white cabinets and honed or leathered (what the kitchen company called it) black granite to get close to a soapstone look but not as expensive The island is a contrasting graphite color (8 drawers and microwave - can't wait!) with butcher block top. I am not a fan of fancy edging either and am going with a 'pencil' edge. All that we've seen installed so far are the cabinets; anxious about how it will look!

  5. I can't believe people got upset over your title! I can understand not loving what you have, and not wanting to change it because it's such a big investment. I wanted black counters and went with soapstone. I love the look, but in my case the soapstone has been high maintenance. I have a lot of water spot issues around our sink. I have a water softener and I thought that maybe the salt in the water was causing my problem. So I switched to potassium which is a bit better, but not maintenance free. (I noticed if I spill bottled water, like Crystal Geyser, that no spot is I think it has something to do with the minerals/salts in the water.) I have also used wax (recommended by Joan @ for the love of a house), and mineral oil, and now I am back to wax. In any case, if you do decide on soapstone, get a sample from the slab you want to buy and try setting wet glasses/dishes on it to see if they leave a ring. I have heard that different soapstones react differently, and I am sure water in different areas of the country may or may not leave a ring. I'm off to go work on my countertop!
    Keep doing what you're doing!

  6. I really like black counters but only when they're black-black. I totally understand why you'd want to switch up the counters though with all of the other colors in your counters!

    Katy I

  7. Oh my god, people are too sensitive. I would have said much worse about a countertop I loathe. No apologies necessary, girl. Also that soapstone counter and sink are bananas!

  8. Oh my, I just felt like you were expressing your dissatisfaction with your counters!! Love your blog!

    I have a question, how are the marble hex tiles holding up that you installed in your bath? I love this look but am afraid it will be too high maintenance!!

    1. So far so good Kelly. I clean them the same way I do the granite counters - 50/50 water & rubbing alcohol. Thanks, by the way.

  9. I just LOL'd at your last comment!! I know you love your readers. Thank you. We love you too!! I read your previous post and thought what a wonderful idea...hone your granite! I know WHATEVER you do will be gorgeous! You are classic and lovely! xox, Emily p.s. Looks like I missed your birthday..... Happy Belated Birthday! Muah!!

  10. Holy Moley, sweetpea! I had to go back and read yesterday's blog because I thought I must have missed something! LOL Anyway, as others have already said, your blog, your words, I'm good with that! I have to admit, I found it MOST informative and helpful because we're FINALLY (after 8 years) going to do something with our kitchen, so I'm gathering (seriously now, unlike the dream stage before) helpful hints/suggestions. Thank you for your help! xoxo

  11. I think some people need to get a life.....what on earth was wrong with yesterday's post, it was informative and pretty useful I'd say. Ignore them life is too short to get ones knickers in a twist over a blog post. Love your blog keep it up ...... your way!

  12. Um....huh? People get mad because you don't like something. Geez. Put it on record that I hate my Venetian Gold countertops and honing is not going to help....a sledgehammer will though:)


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