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Kitchens: If you were replacing a countertop, what would you choose?

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LooneyLinda
Mantua, UT
(Zone 4b)

February 9, 2006
9:30 PM

Post #2033440

I have heard good and bad about everything from Formica to granite. I want something durable. Where I live granite is about the same price as the poured solid surface ones.

I liked the solid surface countertops that had the sink built in, but I was told that they stain terribly and are hard to clean.

I've heard that unless you "seal" granite occasionally it can stain and it will never come out. Is this true?
dovey
Columbus, OH
(Zone 5b)

February 9, 2006
9:36 PM

Post #2033454

We had dark green granite in our last kitchen.
Although I never found serious stains it would water mark.
We never knew it was suppose to be sealed until we were putting it up for sale. I cleaned it with windex (another no-no)
Considering how well it held up without being sealed properly or being cleaned properly, I'd say granite is very durable and you would have to really mistreat it to leave a stain.

Dove
Dea
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6a)

February 9, 2006
9:50 PM

Post #2033482

We are going with soapstone in our new home. It's pricey on the internet and in stores, but we have found a quarry down in Virginia where we can pick up some slabs and cut it here.

We will seal it most definately ;)

Dea

nannybee
Boone, IA

February 9, 2006
10:05 PM

Post #2033517

I have the solid surface and I'm very happy with it. I especially like the sink. All I do to clean it is spray with a cleaner with some bleach in it. Nothing fancy just the stuff you get at Aldi for 89 cents. I let it sit for a minute and just wipe with my dishcloth. I've never had a sink so easy to clean. I since it's all once piece there are no crevices to clean. I also went with faucets that have what they call an oil rubbed bronze finish. If they go with your decor I would recommend them. They don't show any water spots and always look nice.

Nancy
LooneyLinda
Mantua, UT
(Zone 4b)

February 10, 2006
3:21 AM

Post #2034228

Thanks for the info. Being deficient in the gene that allows decision making, I still don't know what to do.

One thing a salesperson told me about granite is that if you put a mayonnaise lid on it you would have a grease stain that would never come out.

It helps to know that you can clean that sink easily.

I'm not sure I know what soapstone is. I'll have to look that up.

I also need to decide whether to replace, refinish or reface cabinets. To do away with the bar and have an island--hmmmmm? Do I have enough money? EEK! What do I do about the cracks in our ceramic tile floor that happened because I didn't do it right? The base under the floor isn't heavy enough so just replacing the cracked tile might not prevent it from happening again.

It's easier and cheaper to look forward to starting tomatoes!


dovey
Columbus, OH
(Zone 5b)

February 10, 2006
2:08 PM

Post #2034876

It sounds to me like your salesman isn't too keen on granite.
Right now I have ceramic tile counters and I find them and the bloody grout very difficult to keep nice looking.

We are going to replace the counter-tops this year and are considering a mixture of surfaces. We are going to incorporate butcher-block, stainless steel and concrete.

The photo is in the dinning room, my husband made the counter-tops out of ebonized oak.

Thumbnail by dovey
Click the image for an enlarged view.

nannybee
Boone, IA

February 10, 2006
9:41 PM

Post #2035841

We lived in a house while we had our new house built. It was a small 50's ranch. Because it was small I decided I wanted an over the stove microwave. Well, they had to cut the cabinets to have the microwave higher and remove the cabinet beside it. Anyway to make a long story short I ended up having the cabinets refaced and the guy who did it put in a new cabinet next to my stove to make everything work. What a difference it made in the room. We went with an oak refacing and they looked so nice. The inside of the cabinets needed to be painted but since we were going to sell the house I was lazy and just left them. The guy who did it was able to finish the job in two days with a minimum of mess. It was summer so he did all his carpentry work in the garage. I was pleased with the results and think it resulted in our house selling faster. Every woman likes a nice looking kitchen and our really did turn out looking very new and nice. If I were remodeling I would recommend it. Hope this helps.

Nancy
LooneyLinda
Mantua, UT
(Zone 4b)

February 10, 2006
10:03 PM

Post #2035898

dovey - the counter looks great. I have never heard of ebonized oak. I wish I could see your combination of butcher block, stainless steel and concrete. I can understand what the butcher block is for, but how and why are you using stainless steel and concrete? I don't want it to sound like I disagree with you, I just want to understand sooooooooo---maybe I can copy you!

nannybee - I feel a lot better about refacing the cabinets than I do about replacing them. I'm glad you liked yours. I think I could even rearrange and add to the kitchen and still have cabinets that looked alike.

I'm not sure we are going to stay in this house so I hate to spend a fortune, but I agree with you that a kitchen can sell a house.
nannybee
Boone, IA

February 10, 2006
10:20 PM

Post #2035951

Linda,

I'm sure any good cabinet refacer would be able to add cabinets that match. The guy that did ours added a cabinet. He wasn't even a full-time cabinet refacer but a firefighter who did refacing as a side job. I checked his recommendations and they seemed good and he sure did a good job for you. Someone who does it full-time could probably do even more if you needed it. Just look around and call references and I'm sure you'll find someone who can do a great job. I think the biggest advantage besides the price is that is that it doesn't make your kitchen unusable as long as a full cabinet replacement would.
dovey
Columbus, OH
(Zone 5b)

February 11, 2006
12:45 AM

Post #2036322

Oak has a lot of tannin that will react to certain chemicals which turns it black.
It's the poor man's way to get the look of ebony.

My husband is a woodworker and likes doing things the old fashioned way. He takes white vinegar and tosses in anything that will rust, steel wool, nails and in this case my old rusty spade. He let it brew in the sun for a few days and just brushed it on the oak - it turns it a rich ebony. Afterwards he seals the wood, usually with tung oil, but since it was a counter top he used a polyurethane.

The lesson here - Never throw out your old rust garden spade *L*

Thumbnail by dovey
Click the image for an enlarged view.

dovey
Columbus, OH
(Zone 5b)

February 11, 2006
12:55 AM

Post #2036355

Linda,
Concrete counter-tops can be beautiful and hubby is dying to try it in our kitchen.
http://acid-stain-concrete.tripod.com/acid-stained-concrete/id8.html

We have stainless steel appliances and so we would like to combine the two rather than having everything the same
http://www.handcraftedmetal.com/Counters-Intro-Stainless.html

I wasn't too hot on the idea because I thought the stainless steel would be noisy, but after seeing in at a home show I was sold. It's attached to a plywood sub-base and it's not clangie sounding at all.
Posie4U
Mansfield, TX
(Zone 8a)

February 12, 2006
3:58 PM

Post #2040043

I have a granite top on a half-wall. When I had it installed, I asked about sealing it and was told all I had to do was rub in down with good olive oil about twice a year. After being given that advice, I asked about doing this with some marble top tables and was told the olive oil worked equally well on marble. I have had no problems at all. I love the granite and plan on having my kitchen counter tops replaced with granite.
landerlily
Columbia, SC
(Zone 8a)

March 24, 2006
1:11 PM

Post #2135584

Since we're in the process of buying a new house which needs new countertops, I'm reading your comments closely. We looked at several houses with "granite" countertops. My husband is a big rockhound (i.e. collector) and he'd walk in, take one look, and snort. They were never granite. They were rock (mostly labradorite if I'm spelling it correctly) but not granite. I didn't care what they were--they were pretty! But I worry about breaking glasses etc. too easily. We have two boys who are none too careful at best, and I envision them setting things down too hard and spending most of my time sweeping up shards of broken glass! Has this been a problem for those of you with stone countertops? I'm leaning toward something along the lines of Corian. I need durability and ease of cleaning.

This message was edited Apr 4, 2006 10:41 AM
4paws
Citra, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 5, 2006
5:56 PM

Post #2166093

Hi-I thought I'd add two cents, as I went through the same thing last year. I wanted tile at the beginning, then went full circle with everything else to finally come back to the tile that I did myself, but still have some trim work to do. That will happen when the weather is nice outside again, so I can paint the trim first.

We're really glad we stuck with the tile. It looks fabulous (we think) and it's wonderful to not worry about setting hot pans right on the counter. A professional would have done a better job, but for a first try, it was great. I also made an island with a tile top using one of the stainless steel shelf units on wheels available from costco.

Here's a pic of the kitchen. Still some trim and finish work to do, but you can see the tile on the countertop (I did the floor, as well, in a different tile). The hardness - something breaking on it, could be a concern, but so far, it's all been good. No little kids here all the time, however.

Good luck!

Thumbnail by 4paws
Click the image for an enlarged view.

dovey
Columbus, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 6, 2006
4:09 PM

Post #2168569

WoW 4Paws,
Excellent job.. the whole kitchen looks fabulous.
Did you install the pot-filler?
I like the mix of industrial-commercial with traditional.

Dove
4paws
Citra, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 6, 2006
10:06 PM

Post #2169374

Thank you, dovey- you have good eyes to see the pot filler. I had a plumber install it - the first one he'd seen in a home and I just love it. I had him put a shut off valve on it as well as on the line to the ice maker in the fridge, which is just a little further to the left. There is still much to do - like set four last tiles in the floor where I've got an outlet installed. I have to figure out how I'm going to cut the tiles around the brass floor plate. Still have to adjust cupboard doors (they were ready to assemble, all wood, no particle board, purchased online) and put on the very fun spoon shaped handles that I found on ebay. So many details, but everything in good time - like when it's not raining outside! It's a huge change from what it was. It's amazing what such a project takes, especially when one doesn't have a clue what she's doing with limited funds.

dovey
Columbus, OH
(Zone 5b)

April 6, 2006
10:14 PM

Post #2169392

I just watched "Kitchen Trends" today and a pot filler was on their top 3 must haves for todays kitchen.
M needs to move the water-line for our fridge so now I have to ask him to install a pot filler while he's at it.

I think what you've done is amazing. I love the canisters up off the counter top too.
The more I look at it the more I see things I really like.

Dove
4paws
Citra, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 7, 2006
12:03 AM

Post #2169650

:-) (I'm grinnin' from ear to ear.)
Thank you kindly.
The cannisters were also from eBay. They're made by Vollrath and are for some kind of medical use, but they are perfect for this, I think. The SS shelf they're on I bought at a yard sale for $2 (back when the kitchen was but a twinkle in my eye...lol...I know a deal when I see one.) and it fit that space perfectly.

I messed up with outlet placement - I'll know better next time. I've got plenty, but with the way I work, the cords for appliances cross my work area.

I just looked at the other pics I have when the kitchen was "clean" and realize - there's just a lot of dust in this place! (9 dogs!) So if I post it, everyone will know about me...lol
BackyardZoo
Poquoson, VA
(Zone 7b)

April 7, 2006
4:06 PM

Post #2171418

4paws: Your store where you got the tile should have the tools you need to cut the tile. If you need a hole in the center of a tile, you need a masonry drill bit and a carbide tile saw (looks a bit like one of those silver 4th of July sparklers). DO NOT press down on the drill when you're making the initial hole, start on the unglazed side & just let it very gently sand its way through. Otherwise you break the tile (buy a few extras). Then insert the carbide saw in the whole & cut out the size hole you need.

If you can come in from the side of a tile a rented wet saw can make life a WHOLE lot better. I went ahead & bought one when we built our house. I did all the tile for our house (3 tub-surrounds & a wlk-in shower) and it saved me huge amounts of time.
4paws
Citra, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 8, 2006
1:47 AM

Post #2172720

Good advice - thank you, BZ. I do have a wet saw, but truly am not fond of using it...I tend to be sensitive to loud things. I adid some of my curved cuts with nippers, but the edges were hidden under the faucet fixtures. I'll get remotivated soon and take your advice.

I did set the floor outlet up so that it is in the corner of four tiles, so that should be easier. The thought of doing the bathroom doesn't really float my boat, particularly, but I know I'll be doing it. I hope to do the same thing, then tile the floor and the walls about halfway up.

I have lots of extra tiles.

BackyardZoo
Poquoson, VA
(Zone 7b)

April 12, 2006
2:01 PM

Post #2183933

I agree that the saw is VERY loud - a cheap set of ear plugs (or a wad of cotton or tissue in you ears) makes it at least a little better. I like it though because you do not have to simply cut straight lines with it using the table. If you hold the piece in your hands - well away from where you need the cut, then use the blade much as you might see a woodworker using a spindle sander, you can sand away tile in a nice curved area. The steadier your hands, the cleaner the line of the curve. Since your cuts are at the corners, then you can probably have a nice cut tile in less time than it will take you to get the saw all set up in the first place :-)

Holding it in your hands like that is also a nice way to get rid of that little snippet of tile left when you have to make an inside corner without having to go so far past the corner with your straight cuts.

I also like taking the broken tiles and making a matching counter top or table in mosaic style - I hate waste :-)
4paws
Citra, FL
(Zone 9a)

April 12, 2006
2:07 PM

Post #2183950

I hate waste, too, BackyardZoo. I've saved so many little pieces. I used them for drainage in half barrell planters. I'd like to do some mosaics eventually, and I did do one moving counter on top of a stainless steel shelf unit. I'm looking forward to the endless rain here ceasing so I can do some other projects. No inside work space.
digigirl
Sugar Land, TX
(Zone 9a)

April 12, 2006
6:18 PM

Post #2184664

Another option I didn't see anybody mention is Engineered Quartz (i.e., Silestone, Caesar Stone, Cambra, Zodiaq, etc.). It has the look of "granite" but is supposedly a little bit less expensive, and I believe it does not require sealing. I've also heard that it is somewhat naturally anti-bacterial in nature. That is what's been catching my attention. Lots of beautiful colors available.
LooneyLinda
Mantua, UT
(Zone 4b)

April 18, 2006
9:17 PM

Post #2200764

digigirl - I looked at Silestone, but not the others you mentioned. I'll be sure to do that before I make a decision. You're right. It doesn't have to be sealed. I just wish it had more variation in pattern. That's the thing that has me hung up on granite.
obiwan2112
Alexandria, MN
(Zone 4a)

June 26, 2006
4:34 AM

Post #2433997

Linda, digigirl made some good suggestions. It sounds to me that you might want to check into Cambria. It looks like granite,but you never need to seal it, and it's approved by the FDA for restraunts because of the fact that it has no gaps in the finish. But, if you still want granite, check out some companies in Minnesota, granite is plentiful, and relatively inexpensive up here, and I'm sure there are finishes they have that would suit your needs.
somermoone
Las Vegas, NV
(Zone 8a)

June 27, 2006
7:33 AM

Post #2438182

I know a good granite guy in Vegas, any kind of stone for that matter. He'd answer any questions:)
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

June 27, 2006
1:31 PM

Post #2438668

Cambria does have a much more granite-like look than Silestone (in my opinion at least). I love the look of granite but not the sealing and maintenance so when I replace my countertops that's what I'm getting. Some colors are more natural looking than others, and if you look at it real close you can still tell it's solid surface, but a couple of their colors do look very close to the real thing.
LooneyLinda
Mantua, UT
(Zone 4b)

June 29, 2006
4:48 AM

Post #2446130

Thanks, everybody. Hopefully I can find a company that sells Cambria in this area.
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

June 29, 2006
1:50 PM

Post #2446900

I would go to Cambria's website, most companies like that will have a page where you can put in your zipcode and they'll tell you the authorized dealers near you. I have no idea where Mantua is, but if you're close to a major city I'm sure there'll be at least a couple there.
LooneyLinda
Mantua, UT
(Zone 4b)

June 30, 2006
5:01 AM

Post #2450058

Very few people have any idea where Mantua is. We have a whopping 800 people in this small mountain valley. Even if you did know where it was you wouldn't pronounce it right. It is Mantooway. We are about 65 miles north of Salt Lake.

Thanks for the reminder about the internet. I am so computer illiterate!
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

June 30, 2006
1:55 PM

Post #2450829

I'm sure there'll be some authorized dealers in SLC if you don't mind that drive. Maybe even in your town, you never know!

Here's their website...didn't have time to dig around for the link when I was posting yesterday
http://www.cambriausa.com/
ppocket
Bexley, OH
(Zone 5b)

July 1, 2006
1:58 PM

Post #2454287

Noone has yet suggested other wooden countertops, so I had to chime in. We recently decided to add an "L" to our kitchen w/ bar stools, to double as eating place on one side, workspace on the cook's side. Existing counters are Wilsonart - sort of a knock-off Corian , I think, which I do NOT recommend because they are now cracking in odd places, such as the middle of one counter,etc... I got the idea in my head to use hardwood, for aesthetic reasons mostly, but also practicality. To make a long story short, the end result is spectacular...totally transformed the kitchen. I'm not sure how the cost compares to other surfaces since we only added one length, but I think it's in the ballpark. Wood can be sanded if a chip or stain occurs. It is very, very warm and comfortable and everyone goes ga-ga when they see it. I chose a wood called Whitebeam that has great light and dark color contrasts within the grain. We dealt w/ a wonderful co. in Canada who does great quality slabs of all kinds.

http://www.hardwoodcountertops.com/contacts/

Good luck w/ your process - I know it can be arduous! But I think you are really smart to choose carefully, because the wrong product could dog you for years to come!
Polly
Meig
Far Northwest 'burbs, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 5, 2006
9:32 PM

Post #2471312

I love my granite. I have Ubatuba and while it was one of the more "popular" a couple of years ago, I find it to be dateless and just so pretty. It is also one of the more durable granites and doesn't need to be sealed.

I keep it clean with Method's "Daily Granite", and it sparkles beautifully.

ericalynne
Windham, NY
(Zone 4b)

July 12, 2006
7:44 PM

Post #2498020

a friend of mine put in wood countertops. they bought them from a trucking company. apparently, tractor trailer beds are made out of butcher block. it was a lot cheaper but of course they are very handyand cut ,installed.,and finished them . i am going to get concrete counters when i redo my kitchen. i use cast iron a lot and cook alot. i remember the concrete counters in my chem lab in high school were over 50 years old and looked great.
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

July 12, 2006
8:03 PM

Post #2498083

Are you sure the counters in your chem lab were concrete? All the ones I ever saw in high school and college were made of a black material, it was some sort of plastic or composite but definitely wasn't concrete. If you like that material I remember running across some company that made countertops of it that you could have installed in your house.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

July 24, 2006
12:29 PM

Post #2541176

Just stumbled on to this thread. I have many contractor brothers. They are all pushing Cambria countertops. It is being used all over in resturuants. These are made of Quartz, which is solid & not porus like granite.
A kitchen one brother did a few years ago was featured in some of their advertizing. I did not see it on their website, though.
The only drawback for most people is the cost.

By the way, the name Cambria came from a small town on Minnesota River between New Ulm & Mankato. It has a famous hamburger bar. They serve a hamburger, that if you can eat it all there is no charge, or something along that line. The bar-cafe is the only store & only a very small number of people.
Bernie
Tir_Na_Nog
Houston
United States
(Zone 9b)

July 27, 2006
3:21 AM

Post #2553390

Silestone seems to be the best. It doesn't require the maintenance of granite, won't crack like granite/marble can. And it still cheaper.
pepper23
KC Metro area, MO
(Zone 6a)

July 28, 2006
12:31 AM

Post #2556695

I also prefer Silestone and Cambria. I like that they are low maintence and don't break easily.
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

July 28, 2006
12:49 AM

Post #2556773

Quartz surfacing is my personal favorite too. As far as durability and ease of care, I don't think there's a major difference between Silestone, Zodiaq, Cambria, or Caesarstone so it's more which one has the color you like the best. I believe Silestone is the cheapest of the bunch, but in my opinion looks less like real granite than the others.
scooterbug
Tellico Plains, TN
(Zone 7b)

August 5, 2006
11:10 PM

Post #2590527

Hmmmmmmmmmmm , I've been wantin one of dem new fangled ceeeement countertops .

Thinkin of havng it colored the same as da ol ceeement pond out back a ways ;-PPPPP

Seroiusly,
If my old shoulders would take the punishment I would love to try making a cement countertop with a built in sink.

They are too la-te-da right now which translates to mucho $$$$ around here to have someone come in and do it.
claypa
West Pottsgrove, PA
(Zone 6b)

August 6, 2006
9:17 AM

Post #2591830

Scooterbug, you shoud try it! Even really big counters would just be few bags o' ceeement. You don't need much material for forms... maybe supervise a young buck to mix it fer ya, and set it in place ? If you screw it up, you're out a few bucks and you can bust it up for pavers in your garden.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

August 6, 2006
11:57 AM

Post #2591957

I saw one in a resotration type house, IT WAS TERRIBLE! I forget how many $1000's it was going to cost them, when they added the cost of it, taking it out & putting in something decent. It was a lot.
We decided on laminate for our kitchen. It is affordable & still looks great. I can do the whole kitchen & only have a little seam on each of the front & back of the sink.
Bernie
scooterbug
Tellico Plains, TN
(Zone 7b)

August 6, 2006
3:28 PM

Post #2592415

claypa,
This is not the cement you are used to .

It is mixed on site from scratch from Portland, super fine silica and other exotic additives.

It can be purchased on line as a pre-mix from one place I have found but that is mucho money plus mega S&H charges.

I play with cement and 'tufa just for funs so I know a bit about the stuff.

The cement for counter-tops is way different in composition and the preparations are difficult and time consuming. The cement contains air entrainers and plasticizers plus other chemicals and is a very dry mix .The dryness causes the difficulty in finishing because it needs to be leveled compacted very tightly so there are no air pockets .

After proper curing then comes the hours and hours of finishing and polishing done by sanding with progressively finer grits .

I have a few mud slinging friends that have tried to do their own and after watching them (on line) I am officially chickening -out ... lol

I have seen some cement counter-tops and sinks around here in Model homes that are beautiful .

Cement is becoming very popular everywhere for this and complete home construction.

When the homes are finished you can not tell by looking at them ;-)

http://www.concretehomesmagazine.com/
http://www.concretenetwork.com/concrete/homes/index.html



This message was edited Aug 6, 2006 10:41 AM
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

August 6, 2006
4:51 PM

Post #2592703

I agree with scooterbug, I don't think cement countertops are nearly as simple as doing a cement patio, etc. I've always gotten the impression that it's not really a DIY project (unless you're maybe a contractor who installs cement countertops for a living!)
claypa
West Pottsgrove, PA
(Zone 6b)

August 6, 2006
5:34 PM

Post #2592840

I'm not too far from a great old masonry and concrete supply in Philly. If I know what I need, they got it. Dey wone tell youse wut youse need, but dey goddit. The problem with the additives is getting small quantitties for stuff like this. I rely heavily on a couple of retired Italian American characters for advice. One guy in his seventies, 2 heart attacks, still looks like Rocky Balboa from the neck down, just loves to supervise any projects in the neighborhood. He's got the prettiest dump truck you ever saw. He won't let me drive it though...lol I don't think it would be too hard to float a counter top smooth and pretty enough for the girls I go out with

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

August 6, 2006
9:20 PM

Post #2593377

I ordered my laminate today. $245.00. Now I will need a few sheets of dense partical board & some glue. (I have that on hand.) It will take us one day to put it in. Our kitchen is 12ft x 12ft. There will be no seams in the countertop when I am done. Will add a oak strip along the front edge. I'll post pic when done.
Bernie
scooterbug
Tellico Plains, TN
(Zone 7b)

August 7, 2006
1:58 AM

Post #2594239

Sounds nice Bernie.

You always seem to be doing something in your beautiful house.

Wish my DH was so inclined durn it !
Ivy1
Mystic, CT
(Zone 6b)

August 9, 2006
7:34 PM

Post #2604151

I want granite, DH wants Formica. Bottom line for him is price. I told him it's fine if he wants to pay for Formica and then rip it all out in a couple years and redo it in granite. Seems like a waste of money to do it this way, but I know what he is thinking... put in the Formica and then wait and wait and wait to redo it...and conveniently another 20 years has gone by!

By the way, I think the black surfaces in chemistry labs were soapstone.
pepper23
KC Metro area, MO
(Zone 6a)

August 10, 2006
1:43 AM

Post #2605508

The lab counter tops are usually soapstone. We had it at my school and at every school I have been in. They look better in homes though.
Ivy1
Mystic, CT
(Zone 6b)

August 11, 2006
12:01 AM

Post #2608747

It is gorgeous in a home setting. I saw a soapstone counter on a kitchen tour, ad it definitely got the most praise of all the kitchens we looked at. Don't know how hard it is to maintain, though.
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

August 11, 2006
1:00 AM

Post #2608938

I don't think it's that hard--you have to put mineral oil on it to give it that nice dark color, but I think all you have to do is reapply that from time to time, so I don't think it's any more trouble than granite which you have to re-seal.
Ivy1
Mystic, CT
(Zone 6b)

August 11, 2006
2:49 PM

Post #2610830

In my research on counters, there is nothing except quartz that doesn't need some treatment every six months, so you might as well get what you want! I want a nice kitchen that will last till I go into a home or kick the bucket.

I like granite because my DH likes to cut directly on the countertop every night when he makes his snacks. I have 4 or five cutting boards but it is no use. I leave them on the counter, but he will just be slicing away right in front of the board. I can see Formica lasting about two weeks. He thinks I am just angling for a superexpensive counter, but I really am trying to get the best counter for how we use the space. How do I make him see that the cheaper option isn't always the best?
claypa
West Pottsgrove, PA
(Zone 6b)

August 11, 2006
4:57 PM

Post #2611272

Try showing him the math. If it is cheaper in the long run, you might convince him that way.
Granite will scratch with repeated cutting. It shows more on darker colors. I put at least some butcher block in every kitchen I remodel. I look for small sections people have returned at ikea.
garden6
Lansing, KS
(Zone 5b)

August 12, 2006
12:05 AM

Post #2612589

Ivy1, I have 4 young pumpkins who love to snack and abuse the granite. My neighbors use olive oil to keep their granite penisula looking great( no pumpkins though). Last weekend, I resealed our granite island and coffee bar and it was a lot easier than I thought. Sealing the granite allows water to bead on the surface. I was told that one can use a light paste of baking soda and warm water or a diluted vinegar solution for more stubborn stains on the granite before sealing. I did not have any significant stains that required either method so I can't attest to either. I use microfiber cloths to clean my granite with warm soapy water regularly. The cloths are reasonable in cost at Wal-mart, K-mart, etc. I did see some nice ones at a pricier department store, but mine from Wal-mart are just fine. The caveat, is letting the granite air dry for 6-12 hours before sealing. Nearly drove the pumpkins crazy. Next time, I'll do it at their bedtime. Long story short, I wanted granite in our last house and I pined with admiration everytime I saw granite in my friends' and neighbors' homes. Now I am happy with my light gray and beige granite. : ) Maybe if you use glass cutting boards on the granite, your DH wont cut on the granite. I recycled a big round glass from a dinosaur microwave for mine.

This message was edited Aug 12, 2006 12:13 PM
scooterbug
Tellico Plains, TN
(Zone 7b)

August 12, 2006
3:59 AM

Post #2613491

Heeeeeeeeeee ,
Am I the only one that finds the idea of babying million years old granite stone funnier than anything ?
Sorry but I gotta giggle ... GOL

Anyway cutting on glass or stone ??? *shocked*
... my my , hope you have not invested in good cutlery :(


When all y'all get you new stuffs installed post pics 'cause you know how us DG'ers are ... wannaseeeeeeeeeee

claypa
West Pottsgrove, PA
(Zone 6b)

August 12, 2006
4:09 AM

Post #2613530

Yeah, 250 million year old plutonic igneous stone from the center of the earth is pretty tough.

It's the polished finish that needs babying !!!
garden6
Lansing, KS
(Zone 5b)

August 12, 2006
4:46 AM

Post #2613618

Hey... is there a cheaper and easier way to care for granite? Clue me in,especially with the pumpkin patch I have. Here's a picture of the granite I resealed. Hope the photo goes through.

Thumbnail by garden6
Click the image for an enlarged view.

ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

August 12, 2006
3:23 PM

Post #2614534

Unfortunately, sealing is a necessary part of caring for granite. Granite is tough in the sense that it is durable, but if the top's not sealed, it will soak up liquids and become stained. Especially since yours is light colored, if you forget to seal and the pumpkins spill Koolaid, grape juice, etc it can then soak into the stone and create a stain. Darker colored granite is actually easier because if you do get a little staining it's harder to notice. About the only thing you can do to make your life easier is make sure to use the cleaners that are recommended for granite, other cleaners won't hurt the granite itself but they may eat through the sealer faster and cause you to have to reseal more frequently. I love the look of granite, but when I replace my countertops I'm getting quartz because of this--you get the look of granite without the maintenance.
garden6
Lansing, KS
(Zone 5b)

August 12, 2006
5:28 PM

Post #2614887

Thanks ecrane3, I was hoping there was an easier way. The pumpkin patch are not served such staining delights of kool-aid or grape juice, just the white grape juice variety, they just don't know what they're missing! But from personal experience, if you want granite and your heart is set on granite, with proper care, granite can survive the pumpkin patch!
Ivy1
Mystic, CT
(Zone 6b)

August 12, 2006
9:43 PM

Post #2615520

Oh, thanks you guys for making me laugh! Maybe DH won't notice a see-through cutting board, great idea! I can sharpen knives, but cut up Formica is soemthing I can't fix. My pumpkin is 5 and getting messier every day. She is still pretty neat, but I wonder how long tht will last.

I would go for honed Giallo Santa Cecilia. It is a mix of gold, black, orange, yellow, brown, terra cotta, and then has what looks like a few cranberries scattered over the surface. I defy anyone to find a spill on that granite! Hope it doesn't go out of stock before we can actually get to the countertops. Project keeps stalling out. DH keeps trying to find cheaper and cheaper cabs...

garden6
Lansing, KS
(Zone 5b)

August 13, 2006
1:32 AM

Post #2616078

Ivy1, that sounds gorgeous! You must post a picture when done. Hope you have fun with the "cabs" Trust me, with one pumpkin your countertop will survive just fine. My pumpkins are of the strong creative sort, projects galore on the granite and the two older pumpkins feel a strong need to feed the little ones snacks on more than a regular basis. I have learned to go with the flow as they are happy pumpkins. So with proper care, a 5 year old pumpkin will do just fine!
Ivy1
Mystic, CT
(Zone 6b)

August 13, 2006
2:33 PM

Post #2617634

Yup! My pumpkin is a project girl... she always has some paint or glue on her hands and face. I'd rather pay attention to pumpkin than worry about a countertop!
bbinnj
West Orange, NJ
(Zone 6a)

August 14, 2006
12:45 AM

Post #2619204

Hi, We redid our kitchen last autumn. DH wanted granite, but aftyer reading about its care and feeding, we went with a quartz countertop (Silestone, Caesarstone, etc) for the same price as granite. We love it, the color comes out exactly as you want it, no sealing, hard like quartz, really beautiful, easy to clean, can't say enough good things about it.
Ivy1
Mystic, CT
(Zone 6b)

August 14, 2006
3:04 PM

Post #2621023

Maybe I should check the prices again. Last year when we looked, Silestone was more expensive.
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

August 14, 2006
7:35 PM

Post #2621971

I think the prices vary--both granite and quartz have a range of prices but on average, installed prices of quartz and prices of granite are pretty similar (at least out here). I think the price range on granite is much wider though than the quartz, so there are some colors of granite that may be considerably cheaper than quartz. And with granite you have the option to do tiles instead of a slab, which can be way cheaper especially if you DIY and quartz you're stuck with the slab and the professional installation.
Ivy1
Mystic, CT
(Zone 6b)

August 14, 2006
7:44 PM

Post #2622001

I don't want tile, although I started out wanting it more than the other types of counters. Everyone I have spoken to who has tile hates it.
bbinnj
West Orange, NJ
(Zone 6a)

August 22, 2006
1:49 AM

Post #2646172

Check out all the quartz options. We got Silestone brand because our dealer used them and got the huge discount on it and the fabrication (which is a lot of the cost). Where I live, granite and the quartz materials run very close in price. With quartz, if you like the look of the big sparkly chunks, that does cost more (price option 4 or something like that). We decided to go with the finer grained look, and only tiny sparkly chunks, to save on the cost of the countertops. Here's a picture from Silestone of the color we went with (we also went with one of the free finishes for the edges, no ogee, etc- that can add a lot to the cost).
One more thing- you can buy samples of the quartz materials for very little. You can see the color, make them dirty and try cleaning them etc. We bought a few and now they're cute paperweights or extra coasters. If DH hadn't fallen in love with the look of lapis, I woul have gone for the look of Carrera marble for my countertops- and it comes in a honed (matte) finish that's even more like marble.

This message was edited Aug 21, 2006 9:50 PM

Thumbnail by bbinnj
Click the image for an enlarged view.

garden6
Lansing, KS
(Zone 5b)

August 22, 2006
2:25 AM

Post #2646317

BB- very pretty!
bbinnj
West Orange, NJ
(Zone 6a)

August 22, 2006
2:43 AM

Post #2646456

DH says thank you :-D
Ivy1
Mystic, CT
(Zone 6b)

August 22, 2006
6:21 PM

Post #2648380

Thanks for the info!

When we got samples for the floor, I kept squirting mustard and berry juice on them. DH thought I was crazy, but I wanted to make sure about staining! I actually put vinegar and wine on the granite countertop samples and couldn't see any marks or corrosion. Maybe if you left it overnight...
bbinnj
West Orange, NJ
(Zone 6a)

August 23, 2006
1:29 AM

Post #2649639

granite won't be marred or dissolve in acid, so vinegar, mustard are OK. Grape juice will stain it unless it is sealed. Limestone is another story- that will dissolve in acid, even mild acid like salad dressing and vinegar, so beware. And marble is a type of limestone. I did get limestone composite tiles for my floor in the new kitchen. Love the look but am real careful where that Windex with vinegar lands!!
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

August 23, 2006
1:34 AM

Post #2649661

Windex with vinegar may actually be pretty safe--even though it says it's vinegar, it's actually at a higher pH so it probably wouldn't dissolve your marble. Probably better to be safe than sorry though!
bbinnj
West Orange, NJ
(Zone 6a)

August 23, 2006
2:01 AM

Post #2649762

Ecrane3, after the $$$$$ my floor cost, i ain't experimentin' with it. i'm leavin' the experiments in the lab, where I work and where they belong !!
o
o
o
o
o
o
o
I've seen what straight vinegar does to marble chips-- the bubbles, the bubbles
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

August 23, 2006
3:12 AM

Post #2650344

I agree, I wouldn't experiment with an expensive floor! But did you ever wonder why Windex with vinegar doesn't really smell like vinegar? It's because they raised the pH so it's not in the acidic form anymore, at higher pH it's sodium acetate instead of acetic acid, and that doesn't smell (also probably doesn't clean as well!). So I still think it would be safe, but I don't feel like replacing your floor for you if it does some damage! LOL
bbinnj
West Orange, NJ
(Zone 6a)

August 24, 2006
2:03 AM

Post #2653458

Ecrane, the Windex with vinegar sure smells like vinegar (or to be precise, acetic acid) to this lab rat. Congoleum told me to keep it away from the DuraStone so I'll be good and listen to DuraStone (the floor was almost 2 grand, E., we could have gone to Hawaii, but NOOOOO we had to fall in love with this DuraStone tile pattern).
It is beautiful, everyone who visits says so.

See how well it goes with the cobalt countertops that look like lapis? The cabinets are KraftMaid oak with a cathedral arch in a muslin (really light taupe) color, the wall paint is a Benjamin Moore color called Kahlua and Cream with the coordinating trim (Woodland Snow). One day I will have a digital camera to photograph the new kitchen (the carpenters photogrpahed the old one and I have them- good to enter in an ugliest kitchen contest).


Thumbnail by bbinnj
Click the image for an enlarged view.

ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

August 24, 2006
2:27 AM

Post #2653538

Maybe they've changed their formula then (possibly due to people complaining that they didn't think it really had vinegar in it?) I only know what it was when they first started selling it a couple years ago, and back then it was at high pH and didn't smell like vinegar.

I do love your floors and your lapis countertop--you'll definitely have to post pics of your whole kitchen one of these days, it sounds gorgeous! I'm itching to do a kitchen remodel myself--I have white tile counters with brown grout (ick!) and want to replace it with quartz, then I'd like to refinish the cabinets somehow. The floor is OK, it's the same ceramic tile that I have in the rest of the house so it doesn't make sense to change it unless I change the rest of the house too, and that would be way too expensive!
Ivy1
Mystic, CT
(Zone 6b)

August 24, 2006
1:32 PM

Post #2654525

I just looked at Formicaand they had a new kind that looks like granite... I guess DH will now figure I can do without granite! The carpenter said some granites are pretty cheap (?!) now.
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

August 24, 2006
1:59 PM

Post #2654587

Assuming you're referring to the Formica laminate as opposed to their newer line of solid-surface? I've seen the laminates that are supposed to look like granite, and in my mind they still look very much like Formica! And they also perform like Formica not like granite in terms of longevity, durability, etc so I think if you want real granite you could make a good argument to hubby! And if it's the solid surface Formica you're talking about then the price isn't going to be that much cheaper than granite, and the only solid surface products I've seen that even look remotely like granite are the quartz ones and I don't think that's what they have. So either way I think you've got a good case to get your granite that you want (plus isn't the fact that's what you want enough of an argument all by itself?)
garden6
Lansing, KS
(Zone 5b)

August 24, 2006
4:45 PM

Post #2655156

Ivy, ecrane is right, granite formica laminate countertop, looks like, feels like and acts like formica laminate countertop! Trust me from experience, I was not happy even though I indulged DH. In my past kitchen..It was NOT..did NOT look like granite ...nor felt like granite! I can tell you without a doubt, I am much happier with the granite island and bar (pumpkin patch included)!! If you want the granite and you love the look of granite, spend a few more dollars and enjoy the granite. Just a little pearl of wisdom :0)
bbinnj
West Orange, NJ
(Zone 6a)

August 25, 2006
12:34 AM

Post #2656474

I agree with Ecrane and Garden6, the laminates still look like Formica no matter what pattern they are. Once you see the quartz or granite, even the solid-surface like Corian doesn't come close. Considering that your countertops should go for 15 to 20 years or more, IMO it pays to get quality and also what you love and what performs.


Ecrane, I will take pics and post the befores and afters. It's almost a year and I'm still amazed that without moving walls I now have a big kitchen, and a pretty one too.
LooneyLinda
Mantua, UT
(Zone 4b)

August 27, 2006
2:34 AM

Post #2663295

I looked at granite and Caesarstone today. At this store granite was cheaper. I still prefer the look of granite because I like more variation in the pattern. I am very concerned about it being a porous surface, though.

Does "sealing" really seal?

My daughter, bless her heart, makes decisions easily and is far less picky than I am. She remodeled her kitchen and went with a granite-looking Formica. Don't tell her, but I don't like it very much. It truly still looks like Formica--and to me, that's not good.

She also picked out some ceramic tile for her floor in about 5 minutes and it cost 99 cents a square foot and looks great. She has Knotty Alder cabinets that look wonderful and she doesn't seem to be at all scared that they are a soft wood that can scratch easily.

When I grow up I want to be like her.
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

August 27, 2006
3:11 AM

Post #2663465

Sealing really does seal, only problem is it doesn't seal forever, so you have to keep doing it. And some cleaners can eat through the sealer, so if you use one of those and don't realize it, your sealer could wear out before it's supposed to and you won't know it. But there are millions of people out there who have granite and feel it's worth it, so as long as you stick to the cleaners they tell you to use and reseal it when you're supposed to, it should be fine!

I agree with you on the granite look Formica...it totally still looks like Formica and I would not consider it as an option. But if she's happy, that's what matters! Personally, if I wanted the look of granite but wanted it on a budget, I'd do granite tiles. Not crazy about the idea of tiles, but I'd take granite tiles over Formica any day!
Ivy1
Mystic, CT
(Zone 6b)

August 27, 2006
3:34 PM

Post #2664533

Alder is beautiful, and any scratches or dents would probably make it even better...
bbinnj
West Orange, NJ
(Zone 6a)

August 27, 2006
8:27 PM

Post #2665386

Linda,
Seal twice a year and seal twice when you do it, if you go for granite. That's the way to keep stains off. Ecrane is right (as usual), cleaners will eventually clean through the sealant.
Also, make sure you see samples of what you are actually getting. What they have in the showroom may not even be from the same quarry as the granite they sell and install- that's a problem with the variability of granite. Ask the showroom what quarry it comes from.
LooneyLinda
Mantua, UT
(Zone 4b)

August 27, 2006
9:13 PM

Post #2665550

Thanks. I will be sure to do that. Wait a minute, will I be able to do that? Do you mean, go to the quarry and look at it or just go to the backroom of the people who have the granite and ask to look at it before it is put in? I know it's a dumb question. Humor me. I'm old!
pepper23
KC Metro area, MO
(Zone 6a)

August 27, 2006
9:25 PM

Post #2665590

the backroom. No need to go to the quarry unless you love to watch them dig up huge slabs of rock.
garden6
Lansing, KS
(Zone 5b)

August 27, 2006
10:06 PM

Post #2665703

Yes Pepper is right, make sure you select the slab of granite that YOU want in your kitchen!..you'll see some interesting variations in details that will suit your liking, some more than others. Ours have imprints of little flowers, not noticeable until pointed out!... then the flowers just beckon you to check them out! A friend has leaf imprints in hers! Have fun and enjoy your garden, no I mean granite!
bbinnj
West Orange, NJ
(Zone 6a)

August 29, 2006
12:12 AM

Post #2669435

Wherever they have YOUR granite; some place it's the back room, other places no back room and it's the quarry. Insist on seeing YOUR granite though.
garden6
Lansing, KS
(Zone 5b)

August 29, 2006
12:33 AM

Post #2669501

Bbinnj- you sound like the voice of experience, I hope you didn't have a bad experience?
Ivy1
Mystic, CT
(Zone 6b)

August 29, 2006
4:42 PM

Post #2671783

garden6 - I would love to see a pic of your granite. It sounds so cool. That's why I like granite, marble,etc. They are from nature. I love the idea of having a rock countertop!
garden6
Lansing, KS
(Zone 5b)

August 29, 2006
5:17 PM

Post #2671925

Thanks Ivy..look above at the picture I posted for Aug.11... I tried to take a picture of the individual flowers but the light floods out the details, when DH comes home this evening will let him try to take the right angle so the flowers will show then I'll post. I must confess, I love the granite look as well.
Ivy1
Mystic, CT
(Zone 6b)

August 29, 2006
5:34 PM

Post #2671992

Whoops! I didn't remember you posting a pic. It is really beautiful.

I like kitchens, no matter what style, as long as the surfaces relate in some way. I think Candice Olson on Divine Design does this the best of anyone I've seen. Somehow, her designs always come together in an interesting way. She makes sure that a surface is related to something else in the room. I wish she would do more kitchens.
garden6
Lansing, KS
(Zone 5b)

August 29, 2006
8:52 PM

Post #2672529

Thanks Ivy...I agree, I lke Candice as well, very classy and pumpkin friendly in her designs.

So which surface and style are you leaning towards at this time for your kitchen? With the slowdown in the housing markets maybe its trickling down to the costs of stone as well :0)
Ivy1
Mystic, CT
(Zone 6b)

August 29, 2006
9:29 PM

Post #2672663

Gosh, I hope so!

I have always leaned toward a Provencal style, just because our house is small and old. The majority of the house is from 1840. Our floors (except in the kitchen) are old growth pine in real disrepair, and look quite rustic. However, the kitchen is from 1962 with linoleum that I'm sure your grandmother had in her house. I am so sick of dirty cupboard doors that I can't get clean that I will NOT be doing an antiqued finish in my kitchen! I like crown molding, a little ornament, like roping or dentil molding, and feet or legs on a cabinet here or there. Nothing too ornate.

I started out wanting white painted wood cupboards, but have changed my mind, and now like a natural birch finish. Won't show the fingerprints as much.

I like Giallo Santa Cecilia granite, and ceramic tiles on the floor. The tile is a terra cotta color with a light undertone, very large - 16"x16". I don't know what grout I will use. DH wanted wood for the floors, but I found a sale that was too good to pass up on the tiles, so we bought them. I wasn't sure how to clean wood floors in a kitchen, anyway.

We took out our drop ceiling (those yucky cardboard tiles), and like the new height, so we will put a few rustic beams across that and that's it! I hope it all comes together ok.

Now it's your turn- tell me what you like and give me more details on your lovely kitchen! Do you have more than one type of counter, or is that an optical illusion? I can't tell. Looks like you have wood floors??
garden6
Lansing, KS
(Zone 5b)

August 30, 2006
3:00 AM

Post #2673640

Ivy, our U-shaped country kitchen has golden oak cabinets and crown moulding. The granite island is in in the center of the U, with the granite coffee bar and built in desk to the left. Above the desk is also a built in china hutch.To the left of the bar is the oven/microwave and a large pantry with pull out shelving.( I can hide snacks from the pumpkins on the top back shelves :0). The other countertops are a grey laminate suface (supposed to look like quarry stone- HA! HA! HA!) The sink is in the right corner of the U with a corresponding window. The lower cabinets also have pull out shelving for pots/ pans and a rack for the lids and over-sized pans. One cabinet has a built in spice rack that I thought I would like, but it just didn't work for me.To the right of the island is an open breakfast room with bright windows. The walls of both are "Straw Hat " a yellow so BRIGHT that the pumpkins buzz around like honeybees whenever they come anywhere near the kitchen. The color was more subdued in the sample! We plan to repaint them "Cornmeal" in a few weeks...My memory card is full, I guess thats why I couldn't get a good picture of the flowers in the granite...so I'll delete some junk files and take pictures/ post them later. The decor is not quite country but a loose relaxed country feel I would say. Still a work in progress for sure. Just on the simple side considering the pumpkin patch.
Yes, you're right we have wooden floors throughout the kitchen and breakfast room. We have grey tiles with splashes of beige on the backsplash, under the top cabinets and over the coffee bar. I know it's probably hard to imagine without the pics. We have high ceilings as well, it really opens the kitchen. I think you will really be happy with the new height.. you can always look up when you don't want to look at dirty dishes and kitchen clutter.
Ivy1
Mystic, CT
(Zone 6b)

August 30, 2006
2:06 PM

Post #2674929

It sounds prfect!

Our kitchen is 12x12, but there is a walkway going along one whole wall. So really it is a u-shaped 8x12 kitchen.

There is a new window at the middle of the U where the sink is and will remain. The previous window was not centered (like everything else in our house- off-kilter), so that was the first thing DH did. Turns out it is one inch off, but no one will notice! On either side off the window, we decided to leave open space of 12-18 inches, I can't remember which. In the original drawing, we had crammed our kitchen so full of cabinets that it just looked really claustrophobic. We can add shelves or cabinets later if we need to. Then I have some room to put some plants too.

There will be glass fronted cabs on either corner, for plates and glasses. Down below, there will be lazy susan cupboards. On the stove side, above will be a closed cab with shelves, and below will be baskets for potatoes and onions. On the other side of the stove, will be pots and pans drawers because the carpenter said that will give us more room. Then another glass front on top, angled toward the dining room, and open angled shelves on the bottom.

The other side of the room will have the snack area (to keep dad and pumpkin out of my way while cooking), pantry cupboards and drawers. Then the microwave above, and the fridge next.

The best choice (I think) is that we decided to splurge and get a single dish drawer dishwasher. I hope DH doesn't chicken out due to the cost. It will give us a lot more space underneath for a long flat drawer, and since we only run the dishwasher about every four days, it will work better. I do most of my washing by hand anyway.

I hope I;m not hogging the thread here. I am just getting excited that after so long, I am close to getting my dream kitchen!

LooneyLinda
Mantua, UT
(Zone 4b)

August 30, 2006
2:32 PM

Post #2674995

I'm no closer to getting my dream kitchen because I can't make a decision. Good luck Ivy1.
Ivy1
Mystic, CT
(Zone 6b)

August 30, 2006
3:47 PM

Post #2675243

Every so often I get scared that I made a mistake with colors or surfaces... but then other times I feel really good about it- I am on a high right now, but watch out! If you wait long enough, you will change your mind. I have changed mine about seventeen times in the 2 or 3 years we've been trying to do this job!
garden6
Lansing, KS
(Zone 5b)

August 30, 2006
4:36 PM

Post #2675394

Thanks Ivy, your kitchen sounds perfect as well! Sounds like you're putting alot of thought and consideration in your plans. That is a good thing!... understand about choosing colors, they don't always come out the way you want even from sample paint. The good thing is, you can easily go with the flow or re-paint. However tiles and granite are a more permanent color consideration. I'm sure with the details you have share, your kitchen will turn out wonderful as a creative haven for you, DH and your pumpkin. ..Just put on a pot of coffee for us to savor the moment with you when you done! :0)
Ivy1
Mystic, CT
(Zone 6b)

August 30, 2006
6:41 PM

Post #2675776

You are all invited, if we ever GET done, absolutely!

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

August 30, 2006
8:02 PM

Post #2675995

Do like I did, I am hosting a Dave's Garden Round Up. Then you must get the job done!
Bernie
Ivy1
Mystic, CT
(Zone 6b)

August 30, 2006
11:51 PM

Post #2676604

Oh my gosh! DH would flip out! Instead of one obsessed gardener tracking mud throught the house, there would be... hundreds??!!! He would die. He also would get the jitters about moving quickly on the kitchen thing...

For the last three years, he couldn't really commit to the kitchen project because of the amount of money involved. He always came up with a reason not to go forward. I don't want to scare him now that he is finally taking action...

Bernie- Wow. My hat's off to you! Hosting a Roundup must be a real challenge, but I bet it will be a lot of fun!

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

August 31, 2006
1:54 AM

Post #2676982

There won't be hundreds, but hoping 30 or so.
We've went to the Iowa Round Up 2 years in a row & had a great time!
Bernie
Ivy1
Mystic, CT
(Zone 6b)

August 31, 2006
4:14 PM

Post #2678491

Now you don't have to travel, and you still get the great time!
LooneyLinda
Mantua, UT
(Zone 4b)

August 31, 2006
11:41 PM

Post #2679646

Okay, I want granite. I know it is porous and we will all probably have a terrible incurable "Quarry Flu" from it, but I like it the best.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of dark granite or light granite. The one I saw today was black with some dark green and lots of lines. I would have to go to the backroom to see the actual slab to be sure it is my favorite. Picking it from a 4 x4" piece is a little difficult.
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

September 1, 2006
12:47 AM

Post #2679844

If you spill a lot and think you might forget to seal it regularly, dark is probably going to show stains a little less than the light colors would. But really I think it's more important that you're happy with the look and that it blends well with the other colors in your kitchen.
bbinnj
West Orange, NJ
(Zone 6a)

September 1, 2006
1:53 AM

Post #2680036

Hi garden6, no I didn't, but I read about a lot of people who did (last year when we were planning the kitchen remodel). It was a reason I liked the quartz more than the granite and worked on DH until he saw the advantages of quartz for our household.
My bad experience was with the old and cheap laminate that was falling apart before the remodel- and my very DH telling me that we didn't need a new kitchen (sure, the cooktop lit only when it wanted to, the oven couldn't bake a cake, the window didn't open or close all the way, the laminate delaminated and was paper...).
garden6
Lansing, KS
(Zone 5b)

September 1, 2006
2:11 AM

Post #2680109

bbinnj, how funny ;0) I'm glad you were able to convince DH for a kitchen redo... with all that you describe seemed like it would be very easy for the kitchen to convince him! I'm glad you're happy with the quartz and your new kitchen.
Ivy1
Mystic, CT
(Zone 6b)

September 1, 2006
12:53 PM

Post #2681214

bbinnj - are you sure we aren't married to the same DH? Sure sounds like mine.
bbinnj
West Orange, NJ
(Zone 6a)

September 1, 2006
2:20 PM

Post #2681422

I dunno what's with male spouses, why do they no THINK that a kitchen has to be functional? Of course, now that's all over and done with, he loves it. To be sure, I had wanted quartz that looked like Carrera marble, and limestone tiles on the floor to match. But now that I went along with his choice for quartz color, I like it a lot.
Ivy1
Mystic, CT
(Zone 6b)

September 1, 2006
3:05 PM

Post #2681549

Mine would've happily gone along with the 1962 kitchen we have here. Lino that has paint spots all over it (although it's great when my daughter wants to do a project and that stuff is TOUGH), plywood cupboards that won't close or have pieces of wood nailed to the top making it impossible to put anything on the top shelf, shelves that are too small to put even a small cereal box on, drawers that are put together so badly that the front rips off in your hand.

Nine years ago, he made the mistake of telling me when we moved in that we could renovate the kitchen in a couple of years. A few years ago I asked him to think about remodeling (six years had already gone by). He said it would probably be another ten years... I think I must have turned about every color under the sun. I threw a big fit, and it has only taken 3 more years to get started!
LooneyLinda
Mantua, UT
(Zone 4b)

September 1, 2006
4:26 PM

Post #2681842

I agree, throwing a nice fit once in a while does wonders with the DH.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

September 5, 2006
3:35 AM

Post #2692563

We spent the weekend putting in our countertop. We built it from scratch & covered it with laminate. Still have some of the backsplash to finish. I will post pictures as soon as it is done.
Bernie
Lellie
Anna Maria Island, FL
(Zone 9b)

October 3, 2006
3:15 PM

Post #2781948

New here, but since we're in the process of choosing materials to redo our kitchen, I thought I'd throw in my .02.
We're leaning toward slate...our cabinets are white, as is the floor, for now. (We live in Florida)
We'll be going with a farm sink and stainless appliances down the road.

Will try to post of pic of 'the look'...
I'm hoping this works.

This is the company up in PA that was going to do our kitchen there...until we decided to move back home.

http://www.waterburydesign.com/gallery/images/kitchen11.jpg

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

October 3, 2006
3:22 PM

Post #2781968

I like the pig in the picture, does he have a function in that kitchen ?
Bernie
Lellie
Anna Maria Island, FL
(Zone 9b)

October 3, 2006
3:31 PM

Post #2781987

LOL!
I didn't even notice it...
LooneyLinda
Mantua, UT
(Zone 4b)

October 4, 2006
3:21 AM

Post #2783752

Since I posted last we have decided to do the kitchen for sure. I have chosen Knotty Hickory cabinets. I will be using granite for the countertop. Right now it is $5.00 a square foot cheaper than Silestone, etc. I thought I wanted a black pattern, but someone I work with said it would show every fingerprint. Maybe they all do. I don't know. I have white appliances now and I wanted to keep my stove. The refrigerator and dishwasher are antiques so they will be replaced. THEN --- enters the cabinet maker!!! If I don't get black or stainless steel appliances it will not show off the wood or the countertop. Sooooo, I'm taking a deep breath.

I have liked the look of stainless steel in the magazines, but then I went to a large furniture store where they had them all lined up. You could see fingerprints on all of them. There is something called Satina and it is "print free" so I decided on that. NOT!! That only comes in a refrigerator. Because of the heat with an oven and a dishwasher you can't get them in Satina. I would have to have the real stainless. I have talked to several people who have had stainless and they would never do it again! So---we are now looking at black. Shiny black fingerprints and scratches, but I can't find the kind of fridge I want in the textured black. What to do? What to do? Hire a maid and get stainless, I guess. Try to be cleaner in the kitchen. That will never happen. Convection oven or regular oven? That is the question. Tile or laminate or wood for the floor? Water and/or ice in the door? Top or bottom freezer? I'm going nuts.

You're right. I'm stressing about everything. That's what I do best. I am doing it because I have made some BIG mistakes in decorating. My children(and probably my neighbors)will never get over the shiny Walltex with the huge black, orange, brown and gold flowers when we moved here in the 70's. They were accented by the brown carpet and bright orange Formica. Nice!!!! Because of my history I think it's okay to stress. Luckily I have given birth to children who have better taste than I do. I am leaning on them heavily right now. Pretty soon they are going to stop answering the phone.
garden6
Lansing, KS
(Zone 5b)

October 4, 2006
2:33 PM

Post #2784833

Looney~ LOL... I'm sure your kitchen will look great considering the details you've given! You'll have to show your photos when you're done, so we can admire and send bouquets your way. :0)

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

October 7, 2006
11:41 PM

Post #2795027

Just realized I never posted the pics.

Thumbnail by CountryGardens
Click the image for an enlarged view.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

October 7, 2006
11:42 PM

Post #2795036

Closeup of countertop.
Sheet formica on particle board base, 4x4 tiles, with special top finish strip. Front edge is painted wood. (Formica has no seams in entire kitchen.)

This message was edited Oct 7, 2006 6:44 PM

Thumbnail by CountryGardens
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CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

October 7, 2006
11:46 PM

Post #2795046

This is a kitchen we just finished this past week. New doors, drawers, & custom built countertops.

Thumbnail by CountryGardens
Click the image for an enlarged view.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

October 7, 2006
11:48 PM

Post #2795051

A little dark, but the other side. No seams in this kitchen either.

Thumbnail by CountryGardens
Click the image for an enlarged view.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

October 7, 2006
11:49 PM

Post #2795056

Closeup. Oak trim on backsplash & front edge.

Thumbnail by CountryGardens
Click the image for an enlarged view.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

October 7, 2006
11:50 PM

Post #2795062

We renewed both bathrooms, too.
This one got new countertop.

This message was edited Oct 7, 2006 6:51 PM

Thumbnail by CountryGardens
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CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

October 7, 2006
11:52 PM

Post #2795066

Masterbath vanity. New countertop, drawers & doors.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

October 7, 2006
11:53 PM

Post #2795068

Picture.

Thumbnail by CountryGardens
Click the image for an enlarged view.

LooneyLinda
Mantua, UT
(Zone 4b)

October 10, 2006
2:08 PM

Post #2803390

Very nice CG. What brand of appliances did you buy and why? I can't decide what to do.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

October 10, 2006
2:43 PM

Post #2803488

This is a house some people bought at auction to resell. The stove came with the house, I don't know anything about the new ones.
Bernie
Connie_G
Austin, TX
(Zone 8b)

January 7, 2007
1:39 AM

Post #3060421

No one has posted here for ages...but...was bored and reading the arguments for and against granite. Several facts, according to me (my father AND ex were in the homebuilding biz, so I know a little!!) :

1. Granite is definitely the surface that gets you the most "return" for your money IF you ever resell. Ask any Realtor@.
2. Salespeople who want you to buy other surfaces will tell you that granite has to be resealed twice a year. So untrue. If you just clean with plain old dishsoap and water, AND you don't cook 3 meals a day, seven days a week (and WHO DOES nowadays???) you should not have to resurface more than once every 7 to 10 years, if that! I've had granite for 15 years with no need to re-seal!
3. The look of granite canNOT be copied with Formica or Silestone, etc. Also, granite has a neat "cool" and solid feel to the hand whereas Silestone, etc. feels like plastic.
4. Silestone and similar products are bits of ground-up natural material floated in a polymer base...read plastic. It DOES, however, offer the advantage that it can be RE-GROUND easily, in case you get a cigarette burn, etc., but then who does that?
5. Granite has another advantage of having what is called "movement" in the design, which is God's natural way of doing things. Each piece is a wonderful and natural, individual feat of nature. You are buying a work of "art" in a way. (The pieces with the most "movement" are now the most popular as they look more natural/real.)

No, I don't own stock in a granite company. :)
Yes, I have too much time on my hands during my Christmas holiday!

Connie
claypa
West Pottsgrove, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 7, 2007
2:19 AM

Post #3060592

Hi ConnieW, nice to hear you have some slack time, you probably earned it!
I love granite, I worked in a quarry for three years, and I can tell you for sure that there are different granites. Some will stain more easily than others. Supposedly some black granites do not require sealing, but I've seen stained granite tops. I wish I had granite or anything besides the thirty year old formica in this house! Maybe this year.
Connie_G
Austin, TX
(Zone 8b)

January 7, 2007
2:31 AM

Post #3060637

My fixer-upper house had WHITE Formica that was 40 years old, so you can imagine what it looked like! When I remodeled I put in granite. You might go to a granite yard and ask what they would like to "get rid of." Just "humanizing" the sale might make the owner (if you can talk to him/her) give you a great deal!!! Once I was shopping for a huge stone planter, and when I laughingly told the owner of the store that I wanted to make it my "divorce present" to myself, he let me have it for 50% of the marked price!

claypa
West Pottsgrove, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 7, 2007
2:37 AM

Post #3060658

My formica is white with little flecks of gold and brown. It doesn't hide the ring-shaped burn left by a frying pan too well LOL! I didn't do it . . . :)
LooneyLinda
Mantua, UT
(Zone 4b)

January 8, 2007
3:10 PM

Post #3064918

I started this thread a long time ago because I was trying to make a decision about a countertop.

Well, the decision has been made with the help of my "designer daughters". Even if I don't have any taste, at least I gave birth to those who do. I am doing granite. I agree with Connie. I thought I could get by with a solid surface or quartz which have their advantages, but once I went to the slab yard I realized that even the cheapest granite is way ahead of anything else.

Then the problem arises of what granite to choose. Because of the wonderful variations in granite, one piece is never just like another. I found one called Juparana Arandis that was supposed to be gold and grey but the piece I liked had what I called "Big Burgandy Bubbles" in it. I tried to like it enough to install it, but after putting it on hold I decided I didn't want that color in my kitchen.

Actually what I really wanted was called Desert Fire, but SOMEONE erroneously told me that it was too fragile for a kitchen. Later, after the pieces I wanted were sold to someone else, I found out that was not true. Yes, it is the most expensive grade of granite you can get here, and it is more frangile, but when installed it will be just fine. It is a gorgeous combination of rust, charcoal and a muted ivory. I did find some other pieces that are acceptable, but nothing I like as well as the original ones that I gave up because of misinformation. Rats!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am going to start a thread about my remodel as soon as someone teaches me how to put pictures on the threads. Computer literacy is not one of my strong points.
Connie_G
Austin, TX
(Zone 8b)

January 9, 2007
1:51 AM

Post #3066673

Linda,

Has your granite been installed yet? When the installers were cutting my "chosen" piece, they broke it!!! So I was back to square one also...and the piece I had chosen was very rare also. Oh well...such is life! Here is the granite in my bath...the 2nd choice... It has a lot of "movement" in it, so I"m happy.

Thumbnail by Connie_G
Click the image for an enlarged view.

claypa
West Pottsgrove, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 9, 2007
2:17 AM

Post #3066774

Is that a computer monitor on the left? That's gorgeous btw.
Connie_G
Austin, TX
(Zone 8b)

January 9, 2007
2:22 AM

Post #3066790

No, it's my little TV so that I can watch the news every morning while I get dressed (I'm a teacher!). The tub is also to the left, so I can watch TV/movies while I soak also! Here's a pic of the slate wall by the tub...I love my little bathroom...very small but just like I wanted it (we remodeled, and the space that would have gone to enlarge my bath went for a wine area for my DH with 2 wine reffers...what we do for men! ha

Thumbnail by Connie_G
Click the image for an enlarged view.

garden6
Lansing, KS
(Zone 5b)

January 9, 2007
1:56 PM

Post #3067803

Very nice with dramatic details!
pepper23
KC Metro area, MO
(Zone 6a)

January 10, 2007
1:13 AM

Post #3069576

Can I have your bathroom please? lol
Connie_G
Austin, TX
(Zone 8b)

January 10, 2007
2:57 AM

Post #3069858

Thank you both so much!! It is very relaxing, and I'm so thankful for it!
claypa
West Pottsgrove, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 10, 2007
3:08 AM

Post #3069891

I posted yesterday, maybe I didn't hit 'send' or something. I like the storage next to the tub, very practical. The un-matched slate tiles look great; a bold design like that works great in a small space.

Linda, next time you post, try the browse button and see if it brings up a file of pictures on your computer. Then you can highlight one, and click open and it should post a picture for you.
Connie_G
Austin, TX
(Zone 8b)

January 11, 2007
3:06 AM

Post #3073255

Thanks, claypa. The storage used to be part of a closet entered from the opposite hallway, so I took just 2 feet from it and made the 4 spaces. The bottom one is for decorative purposes, the next one is to hide shampoos, shavers, etc., the next one up is doorless , for rolled up towels, and the final one up high is just storage for whatever. I have NO ATTIC space in this house, so I have to use every bit. But the coolest thing in my bath is a hidden jewelry drawer that looks like part of a baseboard! You can do things like that when you have it custom done.
arpan4u
dehradun
India

May 1, 2007
12:25 PM

Post #3451045

Hi Guys
you can have a look at the website related to counter tops:

URL: http://www.countertopskitchenbathroom.com/

Description: Countertopskitchenbathroom is an online resource of Bathroom
Counter tops and Kitchen Countertops along with Granite Countertops,
Marble Countertops, limestone Countertops, Sandstone Countertops.

This message was edited May 1, 2007 1:12 PM

psychw2

psychw2
(Pat) Kennewick, WA
(Zone 5b)

October 6, 2007
5:32 AM

Post #4053761

WOW, I certainly know which thread I want to return to read up on counter tops! Good stuff, thanks!
RobinOrlando
Orlando, FL

November 13, 2008
5:29 PM

Post #5786591

The 'right' countertops really depend on what how much you will use them. If you have a lot of kids running around the house and you use your kitchen quite frequently, then granite probably isn't the best option, since it stains easier and requires more maintenance. Instead a quartz product (engineered stone) would probably suit you better. Alternatively, unless you are dead set on solid surface, you can usually find a quartz product (such as Silestone) for the same price. One way to save money on stone tops is to get 2 cm instead of the typical 3 cm. Often times it ends up looking much better anyway!

Thanks,
Rob

http://www.countertopsorlando.com

This message was edited Nov 13, 2008 12:30 PM

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

November 13, 2008
6:11 PM

Post #5786725

Check out Cambria. It is made near here. A family owned business.
This is a quartz product, the only stone countertop that can be used in a restaurant.

Go here & type in your Zip code to find a dealer.
http://www.cambriausa.com/where_dealer.cfm

Oh, by the way price is about same as granite.

Bernie
gloria125
Greensboro, AL

November 13, 2008
6:23 PM

Post #5786762

As a manager of an historic house and now an occupant of one - I have had a chance to deal with counter surfaces and what they still look like in the 70+ year range

Historically there were a lot of marble surfaces: Still here 100 years later, but marble used on wash stands that had a lot of water slopped on to them have rust stains and sometimes the dirt is hard to remove from the porous surfaces. There are poultice cleaners but usually a bad stain is there to stay.

Tile grout is porous also and usually needs to be re-grouted periodically.

Today there are stone sealers and grout sealers that will help with this problem.

I would say a sealed stone, marble or grouted tile surface is pretty much a forever surface. Be sure to renew the sealer! Also some of the new latex sealers are not as porous as the older type which resembles porous concrete.

Wood can be bleached and resanded. Old kitchens often had "chopping blocks" and they go on for a long time.

I have seen some 50+ year "formica". Eventually the seams will start to give way, but this is also a very long lasting surface.

Another surface seen in old kitchens is stainless steel or copper. These develop a patina over time, but they are very long lasting surfaces.
Connie_G
Austin, TX
(Zone 8b)

November 15, 2008
7:50 PM

Post #5794454

Everyone I know (well, almost!) has granite (solid) and we don't re-seal, but when remodeling (about every 20 years?) you might. Most granite I know that is used today is dark-colored, and I've NEVER seen a stain on ANY of my friends' kitchen counters. ??? Of course I wipe mine dry every day...don't allow juices, etc. to stand on it...just practical,sanitary practices.

Just my 2-cents' worth!

COnnie
garden6
Lansing, KS
(Zone 5b)

November 15, 2008
8:14 PM

Post #5794521

That's true Connie, my light grey granite island and coffee bar remains as nice as the day we moved in. See post above on August 11, 2006. And that's inspite of the 4 pumpkins' arts and crafts, school activities, snacks, juices etc. etc. on the island. LOL!
Connie_G
Austin, TX
(Zone 8b)

November 16, 2008
6:16 PM

Post #5797820

I personally think the advertising for the artificial products (Silestone, Coreon, etc.) do that just to get more business.

I have another interesting experiment in the making. I have slate in my living room, halls, bathrooms, etc. I personally rubbed in the sealer because the stuff the contractor had in the bid was cheap, and I was told by lots of others to use the expensive stuff. To offset, I had the contractor buy the expensive product and I APPLIED IT MYSELF!! It was backbreaking work and I would never do it again. (...Roll it on but then hand rub to remove the excess! ) So...I got tired and didn't finish one area...the entry hall!! I meant to go back...time elapses...and it's been 2 years!! Now I've decided to just leave it and see if there's any difference. I must do this in the INTEREST OF SCIENCE...yeah, sure! :-)

Connie
garden6
Lansing, KS
(Zone 5b)

November 16, 2008
8:40 PM

Post #5798362

LOL!!!
TwinLakesChef
OC, CA & Twin Lakes , IA
(Zone 4b)

December 7, 2008
9:57 PM

Post #5868509

To be honest I did not read all the posts on this thread; in my CA house I have black slab granite with gold flecks and I love it but it does need some care.

The house in Iowa we have gutted the upper level and will be using the black silestone with the silver flecks.
gloria125
Greensboro, AL

December 8, 2008
1:08 AM

Post #5869032

I love it but it does need some care.


What kind of care?
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

December 8, 2008
1:16 AM

Post #5869050

I have granite and all I ever do is seal it a couple times a year. OK, honestly I don't even do it quite that often...if you have light colored granite and kids spilling stuff on it then you probably ought to stay on top of the sealing, but mine is fairly dark and I don't have kids so I don't have to worry as much about it getting stained.
gloria125
Greensboro, AL

December 8, 2008
1:21 AM

Post #5869067

Is the sealer something you can apply yourself? Do you have to take off the old sealer?
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

December 8, 2008
1:43 AM

Post #5869133

Yes, you can apply it yourself. I just give it a good cleaning, let it dry, and then apply the sealer.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

December 8, 2008
3:19 AM

Post #5869401

Quartz countertops need no sealing. In fact they are approved for use in schools, hospitals, & restaurants.
If you ever saw them you would love them.
Bernie
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

December 8, 2008
3:39 AM

Post #5869455

I've seen quartz but still loved the real granite more! I think if I liked granite with the more even pattern in it I would have gotten quartz instead, but my granite has a lot of movement and the pattern is much more irregular and there's no quartz surface that gives that look. When I get around to redoing my bathrooms I'll be doing those with quartz though.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

December 8, 2008
3:49 AM

Post #5869509

Have you saw the "Cambria" quartz ?

It is very different from other quartz.
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

December 8, 2008
3:53 AM

Post #5869518

Yes, that's the brand I was looking at when I was countertop shopping. I didn't like any of the other brands of quartz except for that one, the others all looked too fake. Cambria looked more like granite, but with a finer more regular pattern than the particular granite I got. Here's a closeup pic of part of my countertop so you can see what I mean.

Thumbnail by ecrane3
Click the image for an enlarged view.

garden6
Lansing, KS
(Zone 5b)

December 8, 2008
3:09 PM

Post #5870420

Beautiful granite Ecrane. I have to agree with you ...it's the movement and irregularities of granite that draws the eye to its beauty. Although mine is very light, the pumpkins love looking for unique designs and suggestions of shapes within the granite. The boy claims the dinosaur feet tracks while the girlys swear its a princess bouquet. They also love how cold condensation causes temporary color changes within the granite as well. I love how it gives radiates light in the kitchen and is easy to clean and maintain. Of course, we all have our own preferences, but if one loves a lighter granite, they shouldn't be discouraged by the presence of children in the home.


This message was edited Dec 8, 2008 9:25 AM
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

December 8, 2008
3:19 PM

Post #5870444

Yeah, if you have light granite and children you just need to stay on top of the sealing. I wasn't suggesting you shouldn't have granite with kids, just that you need to stay on top of things a bit more than I do :-)
plantladyhou
Katy, TX
(Zone 8b)

December 8, 2008
3:24 PM

Post #5870459

We don't have to seal the granite countertops.(I grew up calling them "drainboards" and I still revert sometimes. I have always had Formica or a like material after we had the glazed tile which I really, really hated because of the grout and the fact that it always looked dirty. Now we have granite and I really love it. It's dark brown, med. brown and black and you would never know it's dirty when it is because it just doesn't appear dirty.

Ann
gloria125
Greensboro, AL

December 8, 2008
11:50 PM

Post #5872287

My kitchen needs to be re-done but I hope I can fit the counter I have now in somewhere. It is an old old piece of marble. Originally it was a bar top and spent a few decades propped against an old building.

It took some scrubbing to get the rust out of it, but now it looks like frosting on the cake. Im sure there are counters that look newer and finer, but this one suits me fine. Its about 6 ft by 2 & 1/2 ft and just fits one of the old cupboards that is original to my kitchen (painted green).
garden6
Lansing, KS
(Zone 5b)

December 8, 2008
11:54 PM

Post #5872298

"Frosting on the cake..." sounds nice to me!
TwinLakesChef
OC, CA & Twin Lakes , IA
(Zone 4b)

December 9, 2008
5:07 AM

Post #5873335

In the CA house I have white marble around my fireplace and it goes to the ceiling. I tried to find a picture but just can't figure where it is. It is interesting because it is pure white and has no marbling in it . . very unusual and that is why I chose it.

I think marble or granite with the very pronounced marbling going through it does not lend itself to my more modern applications - so I like Silestone for the exact opposite reason you love your granite.

The granite slab counters in the Orange, CA house are black so they really are high maintenance for fingerprints. We still seal them every once in a while but it probably isn't as important to seal them as the lighter colors.

Guess once the silestone is installed here at the lake I'll have to do a test to see which shows the most fingerprints . . black granite or black silestone.

a
Connie_G
Austin, TX
(Zone 8b)

December 11, 2008
4:48 AM

Post #5880355

My granite has been in for 3 years now and still has a very high-gloss shine. HOw would I know when to re-seal? Is it possible that some applications last longer...the commercial type?

Also, Chef...here in Austin, I guess our decorating "trends" are the opposite of yours "up North" as the irregular granite with lots of "movement" (veins of different color, almost like "faults", irregularities, etc.) are VERY much in use with the VERY modern homes here and the more "regular" patterns are used almost exclusively with the "Tuscan" look or traditional homes, although there are certainly a FEW exceptions. :-) Isn't that hilarious? I have the "regular" type granite in my kitchen with the more "modern" ones in our powder room, husband's bath, and my bath.

Cast concrete is also popular here in Austin for kitchen work surfaces and outdoor kitchens.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

December 11, 2008
4:54 AM

Post #5880374

This lady chose granite for her new kitchen.

Thumbnail by CountryGardens
Click the image for an enlarged view.

TwinLakesChef
OC, CA & Twin Lakes , IA
(Zone 4b)

December 11, 2008
10:06 PM

Post #5882628

Very beautiful, Bernie; you do great work!

Connie,
I really don't care what my house looks like or if I makes changes in it how it will affect the resale value; we won't sell our houses anyway so whatever the children get for them after we are dead is their challenge. And I truly expect people in this area would not like how it comes out.

The lower level of my house (which is very traditional) is where my main kitchen is . . formica countertops with some of it lifting . . very junky . . but it works for me. LOL I LIVE in the lower level and I am very messy. Re-doing the upper level will make the lower level look even worse but I don't care . . it works for me.

The only reason we are re-doing the upper level is because DH wants it. He wants it very modern looking and I said . . it's your project so you have to pick everything out; he soon found out he neither had the time or imagination to do it. So I am stuck with it - I know his tastes so it will please him when it is done but NOT the way I want to be spending my time.

Actually, in our area people are very traditional in their decorating and would love the movement of the marbling. It would be too busy for DH. Me, I don't care one way or the other but I know how to make him happy. Interesting that the man of the house here is more interested in having the place decorated than me.

We started a13 months ago and have a long way to go. I just ignore how torn up it is. Can't wait for it to be over.

When it is done I will start a thread and post before and after pictures. I may even get up enough nerve to post pictures of the lower level (We'll have to see about that).

Bernie knows; he's been to my house (and he is still my friend).

Had someone here recently put in concrete counters; very industrial looking to me. Our friends who moved to the Dominican Republic have the concrete with ceramic tile attached. They are facing a big challenge to remove it all to go to something different. Evidently concrete counters are very common down there.
plantladyhou
Katy, TX
(Zone 8b)

December 12, 2008
1:23 PM

Post #5884186

TwinLakesChef, good for you!! I'm with you in living the way you are comfortable. Most of us don't have the experience or knowhow to do things "right" so we just do the best we can and if it turns out beautiful, great - if not:great. I'm all for living easy and not having to fuss. People can take me and mine the way they find us and that's that. If you believe that everything has to be perfect that's your problem. I just don't want to spend my time making everything the way someone else would like it to be. More Power to Us Slobs!!

Ann
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

December 12, 2008
1:46 PM

Post #5884219

I agree with you, Ann, but prefer More Power to us Creature Comfort Lovers.
TwinLakesChef
OC, CA & Twin Lakes , IA
(Zone 4b)

December 12, 2008
5:36 PM

Post #5884937

agreed
plantladyhou
Katy, TX
(Zone 8b)

December 12, 2008
5:52 PM

Post #5884972

me too
Connie_G
Austin, TX
(Zone 8b)

December 14, 2008
3:33 AM

Post #5889456

I agree that "to each his own" and I, like you, wil never worry about selling this house as it's going to our kids too. I have mixed all sorts of styles, so when people ask what style it is, I just say "Mine"! :-)

I recently bought these lamps at a VERY cheap discount store (do y'all have TJ MAXX?) and can't decide whether to keep them or not. They are maybe a bit "busy" for my kitchen...? However, I do want SOME TYPE of lamps here for a "night light." What do y'all think?

Thumbnail by Connie_G
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CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

December 14, 2008
3:50 AM

Post #5889552

Pretty fancy kitchen, Connie! You can keep the lamps, too. They are neat looking.

It's amazing when doing all these kitchens how personalized they become. Everybody has their own ideas & no matter what one thinks they all look great when completed.

Bernie

psychw2

psychw2
(Pat) Kennewick, WA
(Zone 5b)

December 14, 2008
4:08 AM

Post #5889591

Connie, I like the lamps and I'd be tempted to ADD some of the bead fringe that are sold as yardage! (How's that more getting even more busy!!! LOL)
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

December 14, 2008
12:04 PM

Post #5890059

Try this decorator site: http://decorno.blogspot.com/

They show amazing kitchens and lighting I'd never have considered. The full chandelier for a kitchen would work for some people in my area who never cook but it simply wouldn't work for me. Still, it's fun to see the work of decorators.
TwinLakesChef
OC, CA & Twin Lakes , IA
(Zone 4b)

December 14, 2008
6:18 PM

Post #5890952

Connie
Like the way you did your backsplash.
Connie_G
Austin, TX
(Zone 8b)

December 15, 2008
12:20 AM

Post #5891957

Pirl...I went to the "If deco is your porno, this is the site for you" --HILARIOUS!!--and loved it! You are right...the chandelier (black with crystals against the blue cabinets?) is a bit fancy for a kitchen, but it IS different!

Twin...the backsplash is higher in other areas...I 'splash" everywhere when I cook so I need it! :-) The same slate is also behind the stove, as you see here. I don't cook much, and NEVER fry in my house, so the idea of getting grease on the tiles is not a prob, although I had them sealed.

Thumbnail by Connie_G
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Connie_G
Austin, TX
(Zone 8b)

December 15, 2008
12:23 AM

Post #5891962

Psych...I did consider adding at least some black trim to the bottom inside, since the inside (which is visible at least in some places) is crooked (hey, I got them for under 30 each!). However, since most of my house is modern, I'm really trying to go plainer, although I do love fringe! :-)
Connie_G
Austin, TX
(Zone 8b)

December 15, 2008
12:24 AM

Post #5891967

Country...yes, I'd say mine is individualized. It's part contempo, part old. Like me...hehe
TwinLakesChef
OC, CA & Twin Lakes , IA
(Zone 4b)

December 15, 2008
6:02 PM

Post #5894179

Connie your slate around the range is outstanding; I have always loved slate. Hope to keep my new one as bright and clean looking as yours.

I have an electric roto-fryer and do all my frying outside but I still have to fry bacon for DH which is messy. Maybe I should try using the electric skillet outside for that. I do not care for the mess bacon frying makes.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

December 15, 2008
10:34 PM

Post #5895111

Have you ever tried "baking bacon"? It's wonderful.
TwinLakesChef
OC, CA & Twin Lakes , IA
(Zone 4b)

December 15, 2008
11:48 PM

Post #5895384

Hi pirl,

I did it that way all summer and then went back to my pan. For another summer I used a big stove top griddle with indentations on it which made my most favorite way to have bacon but it is so heavy I was lazy and didn't put it away . . . just left it out all summer. It covered 2 of my burners and was always in the way when I wanted those burners for other things. Any way you look at it . . you still have a big mess of grease to dispose of regardless of the splattering.

My best solution was to do a couple or 3 pounds at a time and bag it up and freeze it. Then he could take it out as he needed it. (I am never going to enjoy cooking bacon.)
Connie_G
Austin, TX
(Zone 8b)

December 19, 2008
5:50 AM

Post #5907250

My best idea is to buy that "already fried" bacon and just crisp it in the micro! It works great...haven't fried it from scratch since that stuff can out (Hormel?) about 15 (?) years ago!!

I will post a pic this weekend, but I took those lamps back after I found some with METAL shades!! So much better for the kitchen, and just a bit more money!! Plus, the cords can be fed INTO THE BASE!! I just tried it and they just reeled in when I kept pushing. Coolest thing ever!!!
Diego_J
Linden, NJ

January 20, 2011
3:58 PM

Post #8321163

Well, i'm sure that by now the original poster has found the found the perfect stone for their kitchen, used it and loved it!
For anyone else looking for the ideal kitchen countertop surfface my recommendation is granite bar none. It's always very stylish, almost impervious to heat, scratches and the daily wears and tears of life. Even though it must be sealed every few years it's very, very easy to clean, a paper towel and some water will do the job. I mean, what other surfface is enviorementally sound and still add a good value to your propperty?
You'll be very happy with it, i can asure you!

viggen651
Hudson, WI

February 15, 2011
11:11 AM

Post #8373488

I'm all about stainless counters.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

February 15, 2011
1:08 PM

Post #8373667

Durable, clean lines and sanitary in that it can take bleach. It does leave a room looking and feeling cold. Fingerprints would have me crazed.
TwinLakesChef
OC, CA & Twin Lakes , IA
(Zone 4b)

February 16, 2011
10:55 AM

Post #8375381

Are they expensive?
Trekman27
Suffield Depot, CT

February 13, 2012
6:00 AM

Post #9004886

We have installed Cambria tops on a long double sink vanity in the upstairs bath, then also a small vanity in the downstairs half bath. It is wonderfully easy to take care and and gets plenty of oohs and ahhs from visitors. About 5 years ago we dod a new Wilsonart post-former laminate countertop in the kitchen and this spring we will replace with Cambria. The selling point for Cambria for me was "non-staining, non-porous" and granite is neither.

gardenergal17

gardenergal17
Canton (Pro Football, OH
(Zone 6a)

April 29, 2012
5:06 AM

Post #9102190

If you're looking for something from nature, take a look at solid quartz. It's as durable, if not, more durable than granite, and you don't need to seal it.

If you're looking for something man-made, take a look at recycled glass! It's very beautiful, and you're helping the environment!

Good luck!! =D



This message was edited Jan 13, 2013 9:47 PM
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 29, 2012
9:19 AM

Post #9102472

Quartz countertops are manmade...there is some real (natural) quartz in them, but it's crushed up and mixed with a plastic/resin material (similar to what Corian, etc is made out of) which is what makes it so you don't have to seal it, etc. Nothing wrong with that (I've got my eye on it for my bathroom countertops when I can afford to replace them) but it's not like granite, marble, slate, limestone, etc which are just the pure stone.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

April 29, 2012
10:15 AM

Post #9102526

The quartz is higher quality than any of the stone ones. Only one legal in a restaurant or other commercial kitchen.
yellowTlover
Palmerton, PA
(Zone 6a)

May 27, 2012
7:51 PM

Post #9141145

I was trying to figure out what was best for my kitchen and they had such a good sale at a home center near us on Silestone and Granite was going to be on sale the week after that so I went and looked really hard at them and decided we needed to use quartz for me was 3 good reasons. 1. You can cut right on them and it only dulls your knives some. (I do a lot of butchering and sometimes the meat hangs off the cutting boards and my butcher block doesn't always have enough space to cut and package too. 2. They were giving your choice of edge treatments, (bull nose, half round, etc) free as well as they were upgrading to more choices free.) BUT the thing that sold me was I hated to see the seams on the granite and with them able to make longer pieces of quartz so with my (3) needed spaces I was going to be seam free! Then there was a thing they said that with granite it tends to get tiny problems of tiny cracks when you put hot pots on it..AND the a big problem I saw was you have to reseal granite too. 3. They were giving us a choice of a stainless steel sink of any kind a 2, 1 larger than the other, regular twins, deep or not and it was to be installed too! Plus there was 10% more off the entire purchase that day for the whole store so that we bought the water set of our choice along with a double filter system they drilled the holes for the spout too for us.

I needed to do something because the old counter was falling apart. I had had a long piece of Corian on the side for a while from a counter I bought at Ikea they were getting rid of a kitchen display for only $10.00 and found that was too easily damaged and showed every cut made. It evidently wasn't made to cut directly on. So that gave me a chance to see IT was not for my use lucky for me I learned that cheeeep!!... The photos are during the day of delivery ..The last photo is the entire length of the largest piece I would have needed and it just made it because of the length and the weight limits that the men needed to pick up off the dolly rollers they ran up my handicapped ramp to the back door and bend over and carry in to put in place. It is 1.5 inches thick.. I have loved using it every day since they were put in. Nothing about it have I not liked and this is here now for well over a year.

The HD home centers give away samples of their granite as well as the quartz to see if you like them in your own house. The quartz I chose I had stopped at a few of their stores for pieces leading up to the day of buying that match so I could get a better look of a larger area...and IF I wanted to make a mosaic out of the ones I have (only 1/4" thick) over the sink that match mine I could quite easily. But, I ordered the back piece 4 inches high. I took the remaining, NO ones back to the store! Afterward the installers gave us a sample when they came, full thickness to take to stores to match paint they told me...I just use it for a paper weight!

This message was edited May 27, 2012 11:33 PM

Thumbnail by yellowTlover   Thumbnail by yellowTlover   Thumbnail by yellowTlover
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CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

May 28, 2012
4:28 AM

Post #9141372

I think your countertops will out last those cabinets. Did they come from HD too ?
yellowTlover
Palmerton, PA
(Zone 6a)

June 10, 2012
12:05 AM

Post #9158832

No, they did not come from Home Depot but are cabinets that are made by "Aristokroft" that have solid Oak front frames as well as drawer-fronts and doors, that came with the house. My house I chose Oak because I have all Oak furniture some pieces very old even to over 100 years. The house is a 2 story factory build and delivered 28' x 52' that I designed as a handicapped house. With all the inside doors being 36" wide solid Oak, you can see the steps to the 2nd floor that open at the end of the one side of the photo of the 27' room are Oak also. We took out the butcherblock and rolled it over to the space past the counter and put in a new cabinet we ordered from our local lumberyard that is the exact manufacture next to the refrigerator. Right after the frig is the utility room with laundry as well as food storage shelving, in that photo you see the door to the basement as well. I will be cutting the face board shortly to cover the kick board with matching Oak when the weather breaks from the rain since they are 12' and I have to go outside when I seal them because of the strong fumes from the Polyurethane.

The house was ordered the week after 9/11 and delivered the end of Jan...I know they will last longer than me I'm afraid..age does that if your lucky. My husband told my doctor when I just tore my rotater cuff that I'm always doing something more than I should for my age!


This message was edited Jun 10, 2012 3:18 AM
aditi81
tal aviv
Israel

January 1, 2013
3:25 AM

Post #9372005

hi
there i a few think that you need to concider before you choose countertop.
first, before the colour and desighn things' you need to check the Quality of the material that the countertop made of.
second, you need to check that the company that sale the countertop give you Warranty.
and last, look at the kitchen colour and try to match the best colour countertop to it.
i replaced my kitchen countertops recently, and i choose caesarstone's countertops. you can get ideas from here :
http://www.caesarstone.ca/en/Gallery/Kitchens/Pages/kitchen-countertops.aspx



Thumbnail by aditi81
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Jamesdavis
Agawam, MA

November 15, 2013
3:43 AM

Post #9709368

I agree with your points Aditi. I am also planning to replace counter tops and these points can really help me.

gardenergal17

gardenergal17
Canton (Pro Football, OH
(Zone 6a)

April 24, 2014
3:43 AM

Post #9820205

Yes, ecrane3, there are man-made versions of quartz (and granite) counter tops using the powdered version of the natural material mixed in with resin. The solid, all-natural material is also used for installations. Solid quartz is quite a bit more expensive than solid granite, therefore, it's not installed on a regular basis.

I'm a 23 1/2 year Residential Building Designer, and not only have I specified solid (and man-made) quartz, for kitchen and bath counter tops, in my drawings over the years, but I have also had the awesome opportunity to view beautiful large solid slabs of quartz choices, while at a local supplier with my Mother, when she went there to choose the beautiful solid slabs of granite for her kitchen counter top update.

Best Regards...
Connie_G
Austin, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 30, 2014
6:14 PM

Post #9826551

I bought granite from HDepot and drove to San Antonio from Austin (about 3 hours total trip) to see the EXACT slab I was purchasing. I really recommend this, as the granite I had initially selected from the tiny pieces in the store wasn't nearly as attractive (I like "movement" in granite, the unique swirls that show that it's a "nature-made" thing) as the one I selected after viewing the huge slabs. Real granite comes in HUGE pieces...no problems with seams, unless cost is a factor. They cut your largest pieces from the slab, and then the smaller pieces from what is left over. I have no seams.

Mud_Elf

Mud_Elf
Elfie @ Goodwater,, AL
(Zone 7b)

September 4, 2014
7:05 AM

Post #9932664

I am so glad I found this thread. I am turning a 14x40 prebuilt barn into a house. My DH wanted a restaurant / fish camp style kitchen. This has been a challenge as I am doing all the construction myself. He helps on his days off,,, which are few and far in between.
Anyway we have gone with used restaurant fixtures. We have stainless steel prep tables and industrial sink. I lucked up and got over 200 free cabinet doors and will be building the one full wall length cabinets with those. I also have a huge piece of diamond plate stainless steel that will be a backsplash. I do not have pictures right now. Need a new camera for that. But some of the ideas here are just great as I do need to build a breakfast bar behind the sink and I need a top to go with it. I want pour concrete,, but after reading how hard it is to do I will rethink that one. Great ideas here and it has really helped me with what not to use!!

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Other Kitchens Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
As requested on another thread, here's my kitchen re-do Connie_G 53 Jun 3, 2007 5:32 AM
anyone use Sears to reface cabinets? ssdogwood 15 Aug 3, 2007 10:21 PM
Our kitchen is done ! CountryGardens 24 Oct 13, 2007 3:12 PM
Stainless Steel Appliances - Any suggestions?? azrobin 18 Jun 3, 2010 3:55 PM
Ikea? MitchF 11 Nov 14, 2013 8:23 PM


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