Countertops?

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

  1. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt The Liberator Dubiously Honored

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    I have marble in a bathroom, and I shudder to think what it would look like in a kitchen after a year. I have granite. I don't know of Matt would turn up his nose at the color or not.
    If it isn't black, I would. I don't particularly like black, but I cannot bring myself to hate it. Marble has a softer look that I like, and I agree with GDL when he says it combines perfectly with stainless. The two combine perfectly with glossy white lacquer. Maybe I'll try to browbeat my wife into changing it this evening... for the hundredth time.
     
  2. spertia

    spertia Senior member

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    I hate granite but love marble. However, we didn't think the latter would look appropriate in our kitchen, and so we went the opposite route -- 100% synthetic.

    Our countertops are made of a bright-white solid-surface material (i.e., just like Dupont's "Corian," although ours is "High-Macs" made by LG -- better warranty than Corian). I have been extremely pleased with the material. It really looks fantastic (our matching sink is molded into place and looks seamless with the coutnertops) and is incredibly easy to care for. No matter how bad-looking a stain you get on the countertops -- I've had rust, wine, you name it -- it comes off with a little Comet and a scrubbing pad.
     
  3. Sigmatic

    Sigmatic Senior member

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    Dark granite or look into concrete poured in place. It can look really cool if done well. I hate most of the composites as well, and most marble. Course I have the cheapest crap rental Formica so I can't really be picky.

    http://www.chengdesign.com/page/concrete-countertops/

    ^ browse through this for some really sweet concrete countertops. if you hav the DIY itch these can be done yourself if you are moderately handy. I've seen some really cool conc. countertops with tile and glass inlays too...

    I don't personally recommend marble as it tends to be a real maintenance issue.

    If you cook or bake a lot, and can afford it, go with granite - it holds a chill and is virtually indestructable. The quartz composite are good options too, like Zodiaq from DuPont, because the have similar properties and don't show seams.

    Formica or any other laminate will not last and isn't worth the small upfront cost.

    Corian or any other solid surface are mid-range price and very long lasting with easy maintenance. they are also workable with standard woodworking tools so you can shape and buff them very easily. The polyester based ones, while very attractive tend to be pretty brittle though. just remember not to put a searing-hot pan right on them or you'll regret it.

    metals are really up to you - just don't get copper unless you like everything smelling like old pennies...
     
  4. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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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.
     
  5. grimslade

    grimslade 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.

    Some of it (or some of the variations on the theme, like Zodiaq or Silestone, etc), doesn't look that different from some granites. And it's maintenance-free.

    I use Stonetech Maximum BulletProof Sealer on my floors and countertops (used it once, I should say). Manton, you can come by and see the floors for yourself (my contractor thought I was crazy for putting them in), but I intensely dislike ceramic tiles, and my wife is even worse on the subject (YMMV). They are not that easy to keep spotless, but we've had no issues with stains on the floor. If I can, I'll take a picture of the kitchen and post it.

    I sense in this thread a certain backlash against granite, which was probably inevitable, but I suspect in the long run it will prove its value. I'm less sure about concrete, or engineered quartz,in this regard. Soapstone I like, but I admit I don't know that much about it in daily use. Get a dark, dense granite with tight pores. You won't have any staining issues and it will set off the white cabinets really nicely. Something like a dark emerald pearl.
     
  6. 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).
     
  7. 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.
     
  8. 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.
     
  9. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Suitsupply-sider

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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.
     
  10. 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.
     
  11. 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.
     
  12. 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.
     
  13. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Suitsupply-sider

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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.
     
  14. 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.
     
  15. 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.
     

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