For anyone in the midst of a white and grey stone search in Chicagoland, you will appreciate the knowledge I am about to share! Due to our kitchen pipe leak, we needed to have our lower cabinets removed to repair the warped wood flooring. During demo, our existing Super White stone slabs broke in several locations and our grey backsplash tile was chipped; hence, our search for new stone slabs to be used for our countertops and backsplash. We loved the color of our existing Super White “Quartzite”, but wanted something a little more interesting…
The first of many stones we fell in love with was Arabesque White “Quartzite”. It was stunning… mostly white with very distinct grey veining and crystal-like texture giving it a lot of depth. Unfortunately, the day we called to reserve the stone we discovered it had already been purchased! Our search continued…
Stone Specs: “Arabesque White Quartzite”, 120″x72″x3CM thick, Stone City, Chicago
During my continued search, I surprisingly discovered that our precious Arabesque White “Quartzite” and our existing Super White “Quartzite” were not true quartzites. As an interior designer, I have little experience working with quartzite. Quartzite is a relatively new stone to hit the market. A true quartzite is extremely hard and durable (stronger than granite). It is very resistant to any kind of chipping or etching, perfect for a kitchen. Taj Mahal is considered a true quartzite and is gorgeous, but also very expensive (as all true quartzites are) and not the color we wanted. The whiter stones we were most drawn to were labeled unfairly as quartzites, but in actuality considered to be: “soft quartzites”, “dolomites”, or “hard marbles”… definitely not true quartzites. Be wary of this if you are searching for a quartzite! This article does a great job of breaking down the hardness of these types of stones: Brazilian Arabescato, White Fantasy, Super White, etc…
The second stone we fell in love with was Python “Quartzite”. The pattern and color were amazing! The color matched perfectly with our glass cabinets and Benjamin Moore, Wickham Gray HC-171 wall color. However, once the slabs were spread out, a deep crack was visible making it impossible to get the sizes we needed. Especially since these slabs were smaller to begin with. The search continued…
Stone Specs: “Python Quartzite”, 119″x51″x3cm thick, American Granite Company, Elk Grove Village
The third stone we fell in love with was Casablanca “Quartzite”. It had a contrasting, swirly, cool grey and white pattern that was irresistible! However, once we had the slabs spread out to select the four we needed, we discovered there were deep cracks in the whiter portions of the slabs (except the slab we had originally seen that had been in front of the stack). Plus, our stone fabricator said he would not be able to match the pattern like we wanted, which would have resulted in a crazy, swirly, kaleidoscope pattern instead of gentle waves like I had envisioned.
Stone Specs: “Casablanca Quartzite”, AV Stones, Elk Grove Village
The fourth stone we fell in love with was a particular White Princess “Quartzite” lot. Most White Princess “Quartzite” does not have a lot of varying colors and pattern. This particular lot had many details we loved: large green crystal pieces, overall white appearance, and grey veining. Sadly, there were not enough stone slabs for our fabricator to match the pattern like we wanted.
Stone Specs: “White Princess Quartzite”, Stone City, Chicago
The stone we ended up selecting is called White Ocean “Quartzite”. We didn’t fall head over heels for this one like some of the others, but were satisfied enough to move forward. It does not have a strong contrasting pattern, but it still has an interesting linear pattern with soft white and grey veining. Plus, there were plenty of slabs to pick from without deep cracks. We were so relieved when we finally had a stone selected… hauling a two and four year old to suburban stone yards at the end of the day or on busy Saturdays is an actual nightmare! I do not recommend it!
Stone Specs: “White Ocean Quartzite”, AV Stones, Elk Grove Village
The important items to take away from this experience are: if you love a stone reserve it immediately, stone labeling can be misleading, and don’t ever give up (every finish selection is an important one)! Good advice from an interior designer’s perspective, as well!
Other Considered Stones
Chicagoland Stone Yards
- American Granite Company, Elk Grove Village
- Atlas Stone (ASD Marble + Granite), Elk Grove Village
- AV Stones, Elk Grove Village
- Marble and Granite Supply of Illinois (MGSI), Niles
- MSInternational, Elk Grove Village
- Stone City, Chicago
- Terrazzo & Marble Supply, Wheeling and Chicago
- Constantin with Design Granite & Marble, Skokie
Stone Slab Estimated Pricing
- Soft Quartzites, Hard Marbles, Dolomites: $3000-$4000 for an average sized slab
- True Quartzites: $5000-$6000 for an average sized slab