Monday, August 20, 2007

In the Land of Marble and Granite

I think I can safely say that we're starting to have fun. We can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Three weeks into our major kitchen and first floor renovation, our marriage is still quite intact and our kids haven't totally turned into video addicts as we've let them languish in front of the TV, DVD player and/or video game consoles.

We made our decision on the granite counter top today. This is after about half a dozen trips to the fabricator and the wholesale supplier of the granite slabs. We were back and forth to the flooring suppliers more than a dozen times, so we're finally getting the hang of it.

Fascinating world, so foreign to us, we who are used to the sterile, fluorescent-lighted "Office Space" environment. The fabricator's premises almost looked like a junkyard - we passed by it the first time as the signage was up on a chain-linked fence. We were looking for the Rottweilers to come charging out at us any moment, but once we went into the office we met fancy, bubbly Maggie with the funky redstreaks in her hair, cute wedgie sandals and a perma-smile on her face. She loved the kids. When she took us around back we were amazed at the size of the slabs. We reserved a slab called "Nero Angola". Then she suggested we check out a couple of other wholesale suppliers, who actually supply her business as well. This whole process was so new to us, so we happily (after negotiating with Liam a few times, and also arranging impromptu playdates for him) ventured to the wholesale spots.

Who knew that driving along the highways and past the industrial plazas in Concord and Woodbridge areas, there was this hidden land of Granite and Marble. Huge warehouses full of giant stones from India, Italy and various other countries. Huge trucks on the roads in the vicinity as well...presumably lugging around slabs of granite and marble.

The process goes something like this - we tag a piece that we like, give our fabricator a call for her price, she chats with the wholesaler and gives us a price, then this piece is reserved for us for about 10 days, giving us the opportunity to look around before we finalize our decision. We reserved another slab, "Nero Impala", and kept an eye on "Black Pearl", as our third choice. And then Ian proceeded to get very confused as to which stone we had reserved, and which we were still contemplating. The one thing in common was Nero/Black in the name of the stone. And that women were the ones in charge of all the showrooms and administration. Very interesting, as I've always thought of these industries to be so male-dominated.

When all was said and done, and the cabinets were taking shape with the installed floors, we decided we needed a bit more warmth in the granite. The differences among the stones we were choosing were so subtle, microscopic. This one was too "flecky", the other one too "veiny", yet another too "sparkly". I almost started losing patience again. Almost. But now I'm just happy.

The Chosen One: Black Pearl


Family Adventure said...

Been there done that. Weird area of town, like you said. We picked Blue Pearl, btw, very similar. So all I can say is good choice :)

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