Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Looking for the Rock

Since the kitchen renovation has been under consideration for a year, I've had 15 samples of granite for a year. All the times I've thought about how to do the kitchen I'd lay this board of samples on the kitchen counter and visualize first one granite and then another. I've collected tile samples that might go with this one or that one. But knowing that there can be some variations in granite slabs even from the same mountain over time, we decided yesterday that we should go to Queretaro to check out the current situation for the samples that I was interested in.

Of the four that I had been considering, two were no longer available. I asked to see larger pieces of the two that were available. They took us back into the factory. There was a layer of white dust on everything......No, not A layer but LAYERS of white dust. The men working back there were covered in dust. Dust in their hair, clinging to their eyebrows and we didn't see any face masks......Not one. Also the noise from the saws was deafening and I use that word literally.

The man in charge of the warehouse went looking for some larger pieces of the two samples that we liked. One had changed from a warm rosy beige to a yellowy brown beige. It would not work for us at all. The other one had moved much more to being a white/white rather than a white/gold. I wasn't too thrilled about the color and while we were looking at that piece I found another piece of granite next to it in the stack that looked like a warmer salmony color with black. You know what I don't understand is why, when we were saying that the color of the current pieces were not right, that we wanted something with a warmer color, why didn't they suggest other colors that they had on hand and that were not among the samples that we had from last year. If I had not noticed the piece for myself, we would not have known that they had that slab of granite at all.The rock pattern was larger than I had wanted but I thought the color might work. So they cut us larger samples from both of these pieces....the white and the salmon. The quality of the granite is probably the same as a middle quality of granite in the USA....not the very finest quality of granite.

The people in the office assured us that they had enough of both samples to do the kitchen so we had them prepare an estimate based on the drawing of the kitchen that we had. The price is a little less than the USA for a mid-level quality.

We now have the two samples in the kitchen and we are looking at them through the day to see how the color changes in different light but I think that the salmon colored one is going to work.....if I can find some compatible Mexican tiles for the backsplash. I've been looking at my Gorky dishes with the salmon sample and Gorky's color palette seems to work with it. It is another instance of I keep repeating the colors that I love. I've also talked to Casal who has moved his shop from Dolores Hidalgo to San Miguel and he says that he will be glad to work with me to make tiles that will work with the granite I choose. The link to Casal isn't a direct link but I haven't been able to find a better one yet. But this one will give you an idea about his work. I like Casal's palette too but he generally uses a little brighter Mexican colors.

I think we are making progress on this Kitchen Project.


Anonymous said...

Do you know about Lucinda Johnson's custom tile company called Animas Tile? Her tile is high end and I do mean high end...higher then stuff you see at Walker Zanger in the USA.......but she has seconds in a shed and I specified her tile when I worked on a residence should go look. Call me if interested in more info.

Anonymous said...

Rock on!
John Calypso

La Gringa said...

You are so wise to go to look at the slabs. The granite we received for our bathroom is completely different than the samples we were shown. Since it was already cut when we saw it, they weren't about to change it.

Another thing to check is how water resistant it is. A wet glass left on the bathroom granite leaves a dark wet stain for hours. Not so in the kitchen, although that granite is black so maybe it's there and we just don't see it.

(I finally figured out that blogger was opening a tab in my browser as well as a pop up window. The tab worked, the pop up window wouldn't. I hope this comment helps, because I had to type it three times and do the word verification 5 times. I'm sure the first comment was much better!)