Help! We are updating our old kitchen by installing granite counter tops. We love Verde Butterfly, but on some other blogs I have read that this particular granite was '90s granite? I don't want to update to something that is already out of date!
Please pardon my leading headline and thank you for your question. The answer is yes, my bloggery brethren are correct. Updating to Verde Butterfly or any of its Brazilian kin is probably not the best idea.
This is what's called Verde Butterfly.
It's closely related to Verde Peacock.
And that old standby, Ubatuba.
Technically, all three of these stones are charnocktites. Charnocktite is a granite classification. All three of these stones (and a host of others) have a lot of hypersthene in them. Hypersthene is the mineral that gives them their metallic green color. The opaque, whitish blotches are feldspar. The distribution of the feldspar in the stone is what determines if a particular stone is going to be called Butterfly, Peacock, Labrador, Ubatuba or what ever else someone makes up.
There are no standards for granite's common names by the way. One yard's Peacock is another yard's Butterfly. For the most part that doesn't matter. However, I cannot stand not knowing what something is, so I pour over geology books and websites so I can say things like "Oh look! That's a charnocktite!" Indulge me.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with Brazilian charnocktites. They do their job and they don't cost an arm and a leg. And therein lies the rub. In order for a particular granite to be inexpensive, there has to be a lot of it around. I say if you're going to get a granite counter, get one that nobody else has. In order to get a granite counter that nobody else has, you have to spend more money. Behold the tyranny of supply and demand.
These Brazilian charnocktites have been cut into kitchen counters in the US for the last 20 years; and they were some of the earliest, widely available stones out there. 20 years ago they were exotic. They're not any more.
If you want to be on the leading edge, see if you can't get a finish other than a high gloss on your counters. Honed, brushed, leathered, flamed or any other specialty finishes transform granite's appearance, even pedestrian granites. You might want to look at Caesarstone or any of the other quartz composite brands too.
No matter what you end up with, please be sure you are going to an independent counter fabricator to have this done. Make sure too that you are looking at slabs of stone instead of samples when you're making this choice. Finally, be sure that you're picking the slabs that'll be used for your counters. All stone is a product of nature and no two examples of it are alike. Don't take any chances and good luck!