Whelp, we got our counter sample a couple days ago (Specchio White by Hanstone), and we are in love. You know, as you date countertops, some are ill-advised flings (Icestone), some are what-was-I-thinkings? (concrete), some are look-good-but-are-fatally-flawed-(but-still-look-oh-so-good) (Eco), some are yeah-OK-not-exacty-what-I-want-but-it'll-work-when-the-bar-closes (Caesarstone), and some are made out of old toilet seats (EnviroMODE). And there's the one...
The photo above shows the Specchio White on the right and the Caesarstone on the left. They're both very similar (recycled glass bits, including mirrors, lightish pallor), but the Caesarstone has a slight brown tinge that bothered us. The Specchio White doesn't have the brown tinge (maybe a gray tinge), so it's more what we're looking for. It looks great with thermofoil white cabinets (shown above), especially when combined with a concrete floor. Yay! And it fits the budget. Double yay!
Here are some specs:
As it turns out, there are other decisions to make with countertops than just the material. For example, the edge finish:
The good folks over at BUILD LLC recommend an eased edge, although round square looks better to our eyes. BUILD also likes under-mounted sinks (check) and notes that it's good to overhang the cutout 1/4 inch over the sink to hide the sealant in the shadow lines. They also prefer a honed finish, although a honed finish requires upkeep. Wethinks we likes the gloss finish.
We like the edge to just be the 3/4 inch thickness of the slab (i.e., not doubled up to look thicker) and "floated" over the cabinets:
(Note: This is the countertop made out of recycled toilets. Not sure about a countertop made out of recycled toilets...[although it looks hawt! I bet the owners are flushed with pride!]).
Since we want consistency of materials throughout the house, we'll use this material in the kitchen, the bathrooms (including, possibly, the bench top in the master shower), and in the laundry.