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Countertops?

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by chorse123, May 6, 2008.

  1. spertia

    spertia Senior member

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    I should qualify my comments about Corian (and similar solid-surface materials) a bit. I would definitely NOT use anything that is simply made to look like a natural material (i.e., fake granite or whatever). The stuff we used is just a plain solid and isn't supposed to be a facsimile of something else; it's clearly synthetic, and I actually like the somewhat "space age" aesthetic the synthetic countertops create.

    For solid white or other solids -- with no flakes or anything mixed through -- there really isn't anything comparable out there (and don't tell me Formica, because Corian is miles away from Formica in both looks and functionality).
     
  2. Sigmatic

    Sigmatic Senior member

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    I don't get Corian at all. It's more expensive than granite, and looks so obviously fake. Aesthetically, it is hard to distinguish from formica.

    Corian or other acrylic or polyester based solid surfaces are not "fake" because they are not intended to be a natural stone substitute. some are veined or speckled so that they take on a natural stone appearance, but that's not really the point. what's good about them is the durability, ease of maintenance and repair(you can basically sand and buff any nicks or scratches out of them or seamlessly fill any gouges), the workability(including postforming and the lack of shape memory), the lack of visible joints, and probably most importantly - they are non-porous which means they do not facilitate the growth of bacteria or molds. those flecks are also considered "green" as they are mostly made up of recycled solid surface.

    laminates on the other hand are a couple layers of paper on a phenolic backer, coated with a thin resin. they wear easily, show seams, and the prints aren't meant to be super attractive. you'd also be pretty pissed if you knew how much formaldehyde was used in their production. there are, on the other hand, some woodgrain laminates that use actual wood veneer and look rather nice, though they are in the $9-12/sf range.
     
  3. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    My father was a contractor specializing in ceramic tile, marble and granite for many years and currently manufactures stone cutting equipment, also my brother owns a couple of high end tile/stone stores so I've a fair bit of personal experience with the stuff. Aesthetically I prefer marble, though granite holds up a lot better long-term. You can do some great things with tile as well though I wouldn't want to deal with the grout if it were my own house. I can't stand any of the composites.
     
  4. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Senior member

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    I would recommend granite strongly. We have granite in our kitchen with some Corian. Avoid marble, a real pain to maintain. Corian looks okay but not as good as granite. Our granite has proven very durable as well. Our bathrooms have cultured marble which works well there.
     
  5. chorse123

    chorse123 Senior member

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    So you're father's a Stonecutter, A Harris? [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'm not even going to consider tile, as the grout would drive me crazy.
     
  6. spertia

    spertia Senior member

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    I'm not even going to consider tile, as the grout would drive me crazy.

    In our last house, the prior owners had remodeled the kitchen with white tile countertops and backsplashes, with white grout. Needless to say, the grout ended up getting stained and looking awful after a really short period.
     
  7. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    We are remodeling our kitchen on the way out (meaning we plan to rent it and move somewhere else). Our architect recommended silestone over granite for durability and maintenance. The samples we chose looked more or less like slate. Even if we planned on staying, I would have been happy with it.
     
  8. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Senior member

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    We are remodeling our kitchen on the way out (meaning we plan to rent it and move somewhere else). Our architect recommended silestone over granite for durability and maintenance. The samples we chose looked more or less like slate. Even if we planned on staying, I would have been happy with it.

    Silestone is raved about by some of my neighbors.
     
  9. countdemoney

    countdemoney Senior member

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    Stainless for your primary work surface, something else for everywhere else.

    A lot of stone looks nice, but I'm really in the mood to go retro on a kitchen.
     
  10. Parker

    Parker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I'm currently planning a kitchen redo as well. About a 150 sf galley style. I'm also considering white/grey subtly-veined marble with some stainless over walnut or maybe a lighter limed wood cabinet. I've read all the negatives about marble, but I'm such a neatnik I'm not too worried. Plus, I'm just more into the aesthetic, so I'm doing it the way I want.

    I did a quick cosmetic upgrade of our countertops awhile back with light gray concrete over the existing white painted wood cabinets. Everyone warned that concrete was super pourous, would stain like mad and would develop cracks over time. It's been seven years of normal use, and lots of parties, and they are fine.

    FWIW, Consumer Reports just put out a Guide to Kitchens and it ranks all the top countertop materials for stains, heat, cutting, impact, etc. Of course, quartz and granite fare the best, followed by stainless, tile and laminate. Marble and concrete scored pretty low.

    Looking forward to hearing what you go for.
     
  11. Parker

    Parker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Oh, also, check out the latest issue of "domino" magazine. It has a small article on budget kitchens. One of the entries uses white gloss Ikea cabinets with carrera marble counters. I think it looks great.
     
  12. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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  13. rdawson808

    rdawson808 Senior member

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    We have Silestone. It won't stain. It doesn't need to be sealed. It resists heat. And it looks great.

    b
     
  14. rdawson808

    rdawson808 Senior member

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    If you have a big budget, check out EnviroGlass. Looks very very cool.




    b
     
  15. EL72

    EL72 Senior member

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    If money is no object, I would definitely go with CaeserStone or SileStone. I think they look great and they are by far the most durable and low maintenance materials. Marble looks nice but does not perform well. Granite is a good middle ground (only needs to be resealed every year or other year) between durability, look, price... (that's what we have now).

    The price differential could be important though. You could end up paying north of $200/sf for CaeaserStone and they can't produce it fast enough while you can easily get granite for less than $100/sf.
     
  16. penguin vic

    penguin vic Senior member

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    Granite and wood both look great. But I'm a practical person so I have caesarstone. If you get a composite top make sure your cabinets are made so they can take the weight of granite though - in case you change your mind or want to 'upgrade' in the future.
     
  17. yachtie

    yachtie Senior member

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    Marble is horrible as it absorbs oil
    Granite is good
    quartz composites are not heat proof and will scorch
    Wood is not cleanable-think trichonosis
    Soapstone (like those lab benches) is very good although it'll scratch-but can also be sanded (unlike granite)- No sealing as you oil the surface first. We used that in our kitchen.
     
  18. topcatny

    topcatny Senior member

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    Whenever we get around to remodeling our kitchen we'd like to use soapstone. I also like the dark grey and black granites. My wife would love to have marble countertops. However, while she is a fantastic cook, she might be the world's messiest cook as well. I know for certain the counters would be stained in less than 6 months. We have marble countertops in the bathroom she uses and she managed to stain them in less than 6 months.
     
  19. gdl203

    gdl203 Senior member Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    All these myths about marble are pretty tenacious... [​IMG]
     
  20. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    All these myths about marble are pretty tenacious... [​IMG]
    Well, Michaelangelo's David does look pretty shitty after all of these years [​IMG].
     

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