A whole lot has happened since my last post so here's the quick update:
-we parted ways with our general contractor (that's another story in itself that I won't go into here)
-we went on vacation and saw tar balls wash up on the sandy white beaches of Tops'l near Destin Florida.
Our counter tops were installed before we left for vacation--as in the day before we left.
We found the countertops on line from a company in Marietta, GA.
Turns out it was TOPSOUTH--going by another name online. We were shocked and delighted when we drove up to the showroom. This is the company that installed the Corian in our old house. They were fabulous 10 years ago with the Corian and we think they'll be just as good this time around.
We went with two different counters in the kitchen. On the perimeter cabinets we chose a black granite that has white specks in it called Nero Africano. The surface has been "leathered". It's a matt finish with a lot of texture. Hopefully this will eliminate the finger prints of polished black and water spots of honed black. Judging by the dust on them right now, I'd say we picked well. Not much is showing up.
On the island we chose white Carrara marble--I had to sign a disclosure that says I realize that marble stains, scratches and generally goes to pot in the kitchen. I don't care. I love it.
I went to the factory to approve the layout. The guy who laid out the template positioned it so that the vein would run across the island--so cool, I'd never approved the layout before. I've never had an island either.
(Remember my old kitchen? the weak link in an otherwise great house.)
Steve and I are just as happy as can be with the counter tops.
I'll get back to you about using Carrara Marble on the island.