I went to the second supplier, Arizona Tile, to look at their 3cm slabs. Their Mombasa was much more like the Portland slabs, reading more green than brown and also lighter. Unfortunately, it would cost us $2000 more to use the 3cm vs. the 2cm. Since the 2cm Mombasa was already slightly over budget, we decided to look at alternatives. Yes, I actually got Jim to go with me, even though his opinion doesn't matter ;-)
We separated since I tend to linger, and he returned after five minutes to inform me that he had found a granite I might want to use. He showed them to me, and surprisingly, I did like it. I told him I wanted to look some more before making a decision, however. I walked to another area where sold slabs had been pulled and found a slab I loved. "This is it!" I called over to him, "I like this one a lot more!" He came over, looked at the lot number, and rolled his eyes. Yes, it was the same granite he had shown me - Kodiak. All I can say is that the lighting must have been different in the Sold area...
I made an appointment to come back to select the specific slabs of Kodiak we wanted to use. We were pretty excited because while it was not "Portland Mombasa" (which will be forever elevated in my mind as the gold standard), I liked it well enough for our kitchen. As an additional benefit, it's a less exotic granite and would be $2500 less than using even just the 2cm Mombasa.
So that was this past weekend - cut to today:
I returned to Arizona Tile, and they had pulled slabs waiting for me. This particular lot had a deep, dark vein running through the middle of the slabs, and while I was mulling this over, the salesperson mentioned that I might like Amarillo Gold. They had two slabs left, and she had those slabs pulled for me.
So, after holding up my cabinet door and tile samples up to both granites, I still can't decide. Both the granites work really well with my tile/cabinets, so I couldn't use those as the deciding factor. They're holding both granites for me for now. Some thoughts:
- More peach tones, which I initially would not think to use but it adds warmth and some of the glass tiles have a peachy/rose tone to them.
- Lighter than the Amarillo Gold, which is a plus since there's virtually no natural lighting in my kitchen and the cabinets and floors will be dark.
- Overall "warmer" feeling than the Amarillo.
- Con: There's a dark vein that goes through every slab in the lot. It doesn't bother me too much, and perhaps can be avoided when they fabricate. The peach tones, I suppose, could be a con.
- Appealing color overall - more "neutral". I actually prefer this color, but while not cold, it's not as warm as Kodiak.
- Con: The slabs have a lot of black running through them, so they're overall darker than the Kodiak. This may be an issue in my dark kitchen, but the island will be predominately cream Silestone material which may balance it out.
- Con: The Amarillo Gold is one level up from Kodiak and therefore more expensive. I'm not sure how much (waiting for bid), but it's still going to be less than the 2cm Mombasa.