Countertop Series, Part 5 – Antiqued Absolute Black Granite & Carrara Marble

Hello- and welcome to the final installment of my favorite countertops series!

Today’s countertop picks are antiqued Absolute Black granite and carrara marble. I have a crush on both of them- so I asked my friend, Kim, if she would snap some pics of the pieces she has in her kitchen.

Here’s her antiqued Absolute Black granite island countertop:



It sort of has a soapstone vibe, and Kim said she just cleans it with soap and water. (Apparently most types of cleaners leave streaks.)


And here’s her GORGEOUS Arabescata Carrara marble:


She used in on both sides of her stove, and I love the way it looks on top of her light gray-painted cabinets:


She got all three countertop slabs here locally at Robert F. Henry. They were all leftover remnant pieces, so she got them for a really great deal. Lucky duck!

Feel free to leave Kim a comment below if you’ve got any questions about either of these kinds of countertops. She’s had them for a few years now, so she’ll be able to tell you what they “live” like.

All this talk about countertops has helped me to realize that I’m definitely a black, white, or gray countertop kind of girl.



Or aqua with stainless steel edging. πŸ˜‰

Happy weekend!

PS- To read my previous countertop series posts, click on the links below!

1. Laminate
2. Concrete
3. Eco by Cosentino
4. Quartz

And for pics between posts, join us over on Twitter, Facebook and/orΒ Instagram!

Instagram Pic_Lettered_Cottage

American Blogger: The Movie
Countertop Series, Part 4 - Quartz

Have posts from The Lettered Cottage sent right to your INBOX!


  1. jayne says

    So beautiful! What is “antiqued ” absoulte black granite? Does it refer to the edge style? Or is ia finishing style? And what that is that edge style called?
    I like it all so much. Nice job!

  2. Suzzanne says

    I was right that those are your faves, well I actually said carrara and soapstone….have to say that black granite is pretty nice!

  3. Ter'e Crow Lindsay says

    Little Mrs. Rebellious Nature, here, in sunny Florida.
    I love our black granite Laboradite!!!!!!! It’s like little mini peacocks running across a pond of black sleekness. I love just looking at the bits of color and even a little nick of gold now and then.
    I love your beautiful choices………..but I love black better. LOL
    If you came for dinner at my house, I would sway you a little. Not enough, but a little, I am sure.
    P.S. However, I know I will totally swoon when I see your newly improved kitchen. (I always do)

  4. Vanessa says

    I love your friends kitchen — I’m also a fan of black, white, grey — but where did that lovely photo of aqua counters come from?? I’ve never considered it!


  5. Julie says

    I like the black, too, especially paired with the Carrara. How does the latter hold up to regular usage (staining, etc.)?

  6. Amy says

    It is gorgeous ! But, I have a question… What is the difference between the finishes of honed granite and antiqued granite? They look so similar, but hard to tell from picture. Thanks for all your hard work ! I love your blog and get so much inspiration and info from it and you :)

    • Layla says

      Hi Amy! Great question!
      I did some snooping on Google just now and here’s what I found: “Honing is simply sanding the surface of the stone, white antiquing uses acids and brushes to give the stone a more uneven, worn surface.”
      Hope that helps! :-)

  7. says

    What do you think of butcher block countertops? We’re completely renovating a 1917 house in a cottage farmhouse kind of style and I’ve thought about wood. Is there a reason why you haven’t mentioned butcher block yet?

    • Layla says

      Hi Emily!
      I limited my series to my top 6 picks, but butcher block would probably be in my top 10! πŸ˜€

  8. Mah says

    I usually DO NOT like granite, but the black is beautiful. I would never have granite, just can’t do it, but the black maybe. The marble, oh yes I would do it, wish I had done it, but no, I had to have quartz and I HATE it!!!!! But what I would have and should have done again is WOOD! We had beautiful oak counter tops for years and I loved them, makes me sad to think about them. There is almost no maintenance on wood. If you get a scratch or whatever, it is just building character. If I ever have it to do again I WILL have wood, no one will talk me out of it!!

    • Melinda Ke says

      @ Mah,

      I’m interested to know what you don’t like about the quartz countertop? I really would like to get marble but I’m leaning more towards quartz for it’s durability, can you share what you don’t like about the quartz? Thanks!

      • Mah says

        There are a few things that drive me crazy about the quartz. You never get it really clean, it always looks smeary no matter what you use to clean it with. You can’t just wipe with a damp cloth, you have to dry it as well. Believe me I have tried everything. The only thing I have just found is the fish foam window cleaner which seems to work better. I hate the fact that I clean it, step back and look and think it’s ok, then come through the kitchen and see all the smears!! Also, after cleaning it you can walk by soon after cleaning and run your hand over it and feel a grainy, sandy “stuff” all over the counter. I know I loved my wood counter top and it was always beautiful. Well, I have over 30 feet of the quartz stuff, so I guess I am stuck with it for a long time, because it is durable! LOL

        • Layla says

          What color is your quartz? I have a big (29″x29″) remnant piece of Caesarstone’s ‘Torquay’ sitting on the countertop to the right of our stove right now, and I’m not seeing any streaking when I wipe it off with a wet paper towel. Loving the way it reflects all our windows, too! πŸ˜€

          • Mah says

            Hi, the color is called bamboo, a really neutral pretty color, from Style Stone.

        • melinda ke says

          Good to know! Thanks for the info, Mah. This is the first time I have heard about quartz leaving smears, maybe it does have to do with the color as Layla mentioned. Now I know to make sure I get a large piece to test out before I make a decision… I don’t want to be stuck with a countertop that drives me crazy! :)

    • Monica says

      Marble countertops are beautiful when they are first installed and pictures are snapped, but the love affair ends quickly after that. My countertop guy does a lot of kitchens in the 30-A area here in Northwest Florida. They put them in these million dollar homes, then two years later the homeowners pull them out because they look horrible! They scratch, they stain….. They are fine for a bathroom but not for a kitchen. They sure look pretty in pictures though :) In fact, I wanted to put them in the kitchen for one of the houses I’m renovating. He refused and then gave me this little lesson that I’m sharing with you :) We’re going with granite, but I’m putting that carrara marble in the bathroom!

      Reading your post may have just convinced me to try a wood countertop on the next house….

  9. Lisa W. says

    Oh thank you Layla, this has been SO fun!!! I have a sage green cast countertop (laminate with a decor edge) have to say I LOVE it, but man if I was doing it all over again I too would be LOVING those white ones, black too. Kim your kitchen is GORGEOUS girl (did I spell that right IDK doesn’t look right) BUT you get the I am actually helping a friend do some redorating of her kitchen so this has been PERFECTO!!! Thank you and happy weekend!

  10. says

    I have both of these countertops. We have honed Carrara in our kitchen and powder room and honed absolute black granite in our three full baths and on our wet bar. Love them all.

  11. Rachel says

    The counter tops are fabulous, but I’m also in love with the bar stools, do you know where they are from?

  12. Lynn in DG says

    Here are my two cents on marble. I’d recommend people check out good old USA Vermont marble first. It is LEEDS certified if you are into that type of thing.
    After 6 months of living with my Montclare Danby marble countertops I can give you my pros and cons. They are absolutely beautiful-creamy white with gray, and a teeny bit of grayish green, veining. Mine are honed and I love the soft, smooth, cool texture. On the downside there is a scratch or two. They seems to be less noticeable as time goes by.
    Staining has not been a problem as I am a little careful to wipe up spills, put a cloth under acidic, reddish items, etc. A paste of baking soda covered with plastic and left overnight easily took up a pretty decent red wine stain completely.
    And yes, they do etch. A few spots have a slight wear on the matte sheen that can be seen in the right light. This doesn’t bother me as I’m looking forward to more of a patina but I can see where it would bother perfectionists like my Mom who should stick to granite!

    • Layla says

      Thanks for sharing the info on your Montclare Danby counters, Lynn! Much appreciated! :-)

      • Lynn in DG says

        Sorry bout the iPad typos above! Grrrrrr.
        How far are you from Pickens County, Georgia? I hear they quarry beautiful marble. Field trip?!

    • Andrea says

      We have Danbee White Vermont marble and it is amazing. Love, love, love it. Etching and scratches are present but barely visible.

  13. LauraJane says

    I love this look so much! We’re considering the reverse- antiqued black granite on the perimeter and carrara on the island. I’m curious about backsplash choices now!

  14. says

    Love the countertop series! I’m wondering what your thoughts are on butcher block. It seems very cottage-y to me, and I love the warmth it brings to a kitchen with white cabinets and stainless appliances. I’m thinking of putting it in our kitchen. I’m also considering putting in some laminate that looks like butcher block, which I *know* could look very dated, but I *think* it might look cute with my painted white/gray-blue cabinets, and I certainly love the low-maintenance, low-cost aspects of laminate. Anyway… just curious. :)

  15. says

    friend, I have so enjoyed this series. We are in desperate need of counter tops but aren’t sure which direction we wanted to go. I love all the ones you featured, sure that each one was “the one” for us!!

    Right now I am thinking aqua with stainless trim :)

  16. says

    Hi Kim! Your countertops are gorgeous and I love that you combined the granite with the marble. What I’m dying to know though, is where did you get that fantastic stove?

  17. Ter'e says

    Oh I love that island too…….the wood and the corbels (right?)…….are just so subtlety gorgeous. I also got a glimpse of that beautiful faucet (4 hole). My island is not lovable……..but with these ideas, I sure could grow to love what I am seeing, again, today.
    Awesome series Layla. Every time I read thru it, I see something new.

  18. Anne says

    For those who enquire, I think Lynn has outlined it exactly right about the marble. I’ve had Carrera two years now and I LOVE it! Yes, it can etch a bit if you spill lemon or pineapple juice or acid on it and don’t wipe it up pretty quickly (mine is polished, not honed, because that was the only piece we could find that was big enough), but I consider it the Sophia Loren of countertops and the only thing that is perfect for my hundred+ year old house–it ages and wears with class and style, offering a depth that almost nothing else gives. Don’t believe all the counter salespeople who try to prevent you from buying it–I had to insist and would always have regretted it if I had tried to substitute something that “felt” like marble. Enjoy whatever you select!

  19. beth says

    Love all of your countertop choices! They are all beautiful. Each one had me thinking that I would just LOVE to have that in my kitchen. However, we had been planning on putting butcher block in our kitchen, as we had it in our last home, and it was so beautiful, soft and warm, and easy to care for. And even though your choices here had me reconsidering my plan to use butcher block in our new home, I think we will stick with butcher block.
    I would highly recommend BB to anyone out there considering it. It’s a lovely and cost effective choice.

    • Layla says

      Thanks, Beth! πŸ˜€
      I do love the look of wood counters too. I limited my series to my Top 6, but they’d definitely be in my Top 10! :-)

  20. says

    I love all of your countertop suggestions! We’re closing on a new house in two weeks (yay!), and although it has granite countertops, they are not my style :( I don’t think I can take them out because they are granite, but I just don’t really like them – what’s a girl to do? Are there any options, like selling them? Or do I just decorate around them?

    • Layla says

      Hi Erika!
      Granite came with our new house too, but the colors/pattern just isn’t us AT ALL. VERY loud splatters of mustard, metallic-y gold, deep purple and black! :-O
      Since we plan to live here for a minimum of 10 years (if not forever), we’re excited about replacing them with something that suits OUR personalities and aesthetic…not the builders/designers that chose them 7 years ago- LOL! :-)
      My advice- if you don’t like something, don’t be afraid to ditch it for something that you ARE crazy about! It’s just a countertop, and YOU’RE the one who lives there now! πŸ˜€
      PS- We’re going to put our granite on Craigslist!

  21. says

    I am about to do a complete renovation of my new home. I love honed absolute black granite. It is the closest thing I can find in my budget since soapstone is outside of my reach. I think it is very classic looking. I also was excited to see the faucet in these photos because I have picked one exactly like it in polished chrome for my kitchen. Love your blog!

  22. Shelley says

    Kim, your kitchen is gorgeous! What color are the cabinets painted? I love them.

    • Rachel Carey says

      Absolute Black granite is HORRIBLE to live with. I am a bit of a neat-freak. It showed EVERYTHING….UGH. Next up….Carrera!

  23. Shirley says

    Love your kitchen. It looks so relaxing and love all your countertop choices. I can imagine having a friend(s) over for coffee/tea and getting lost in conversation.

  24. says

    We installed Carrara honed in our new kitchen and absolutely love it. I can’t believe how much anxiety I had beforehand. I was so worried because people make it seem so high maintenance but we have not had that experience. And we are far from careful! We have left coffee, red wine, pickle juice,etc out on it for hours and never staining! Etching, yes, but after awhile the etches all blend together for a wonderful patina. The times we thought we had stains, we just took a green abrasive sponge and “sanded” the mark off. That also works for an obvious etch mark you want to blend sooner rather than later. We really love them, and considering that Carrara is much cheaper than most other options, it made it the obvious choice for us.

  25. Christi says

    Hi Kim. I am actually considering both of these countertops and love them together. I am worried about the maintenance involved–fingerprints on the granite and staining and etching on the marble. I am tempted to choose quartz but would rather go with granite/marble…..just nervous that I will regret it! Is your marble honed? Did you seal your granite? Would you choose both products again? Thanks for your comments.