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Kitchens: LG Hi-Mac/Corian

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cassie225
Baton Rouge, LA

February 8, 2007
5:57 PM

Post #3169755

Would any of you use this product. Will have my countertops done and really like the solid surface. Looking at almond sand with integrated sink in cream or almond-since it will be free. Will this type of surface go the way of the rust colored couch that I used to own or will they always be around like a classic suit. Should I get a solid and have it neutral.
jkom51
Oakland, CA
(Zone 9b)

February 9, 2007
7:36 PM

Post #3172948

Get what YOU like. Unless you're selling in the next 2 yrs it's futile to try to anticipate what some unknown buyer will want. Solid surface is not the most "trendy" but is certainly a long-proven, reliable countertop. It cleans easily and the seams are invisible.

If you are getting Hi-mac make sure you are comfortable with their installers; both DuPont and Swanstone (which is what I have) are very picky about kitchen installs and will only let their own company reps install. This policy is because both companies had a lot of trouble early on with poor quality installations causing warranty troubles. I don't know what LG's policy is, in comparison.

LG has a so-so reputation for customer service -- they're the old Lucky Goldstar Corporation. Some folks have had good luck with them, some haven't, but that's on the appliances side. Haven't seen much feedback on their countertops although it is the exact same mix as Corian.

With any solid surface, getting a pattern minimizes the surface scratches that occur. Dark solid colors have been know to scratch white, so you should test samples of anything you are interested in. Good luck!
cassie225
Baton Rouge, LA

February 10, 2007
9:55 PM

Post #3175911

Thanks so much-decided to go with Corian aurora-found the fabricator that does work for the Lowes and they are cheaper without the middle man(Lowes). They told me either way I go they are going to do my job. Lowes tacked on so many extra charges. Besides being more expensive,what are the advantages of going with Lowes.
jkom51
Oakland, CA
(Zone 9b)

February 11, 2007
5:02 AM

Post #3177058

I don't think there's really any advantage in using Lowe's or HDepot's services since they contract all that stuff out and as you have found, tack on some pretty heavy middleman expenses. On the other hand though, you personally have to take responsibility for checking references, liability insurance, etc., yourself -- instead of having a big box company with clout (and a name to protect) behind you. Yes, you can save money by contracting directly, but if the install gets screwed up -- and install, on counters as in so many things, is EVERYTHING -- you don't have the leverage the big box stores do. He knows he'll probably never get another job from you personally, but if he screws up a big box project, he'll be off their future list of contractors.

Go with your gut feeling. If his references check out -- and they should NOT be big box project references, BTW -- and you feel you can trust him -- go for it.
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

February 11, 2007
5:29 PM

Post #3178362

That's exactly the reason I go with Sears on things like furnaces, etc, they do the same thing where they contract out the work and if I wanted to I could go find the same contractor and have them do the work directly, but if I get it through Sears it saves me a lot of time researching the contractor, plus if something gets messed up they have more inspiration to fix things because they have a reputation to maintain and they have lots of other things they'd like me to buy from them in the future. Not to mention that they'll probably come down hard on a contractor who messes up because it reflects on them and they have a lot more time & resources to go after bad contractors than I do. So if things go right, you'll be glad you saved the extra money but if things go wrong, I think there'll be less stress involved in getting things made right if you go through Lowes.
cassie225
Baton Rouge, LA

February 12, 2007
2:06 AM

Post #3180143

They say they have been in business for 30 years. Have done work for many big businesses here in town- I just don't know. This is a lot of money I will be saving. This company sells the product and installs. The work in the showroom looks nice .
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

February 12, 2007
2:16 PM

Post #3181060

It's your choice--if you do your homework on them and they're reliable, then by all means go for it and save the money. It's just more work for you up front to make sure they're trustworthy. But please don't base your decision on how the showroom looks, that's no indication of how they would behave on a job. You say they've done work for a lot of businesses--have they also done a lot of homes? I would make sure to check some references of individuals whose homes they've done work in, that'll give you a better idea of how you'll be treated than checking with the businesses they've done work for.
cassie225
Baton Rouge, LA

February 14, 2007
12:16 PM

Post #3187426

They were supposed to come out yesterday and measure. No show or phone call.I called to find out what happened-the receptionist said I wasn't in his book. I had just talked to him the day before and he said see you tomorrow. Front guy called him and called me back and said he got tied up on an out of town job. Maybe they realize they gave me a great price and don't want to do the job.I don't want Home Depot around here,I went in, gave them my measurements-called them a couple of times and they never called me back. New Orleans area here and they can pick and choose-guess I am just the small guy,with the small job.I'm not getting granite(maybe Quartz instead of Corian). So...
hcmcdole
Powder Springs, GA
(Zone 7b)

February 14, 2007
1:01 PM

Post #3187575

My wife wanted Corian countertops when we bought our new house but after we started looking, it didn't appear that granite or quartz was that much more than solid surface.

We went with manufactured quartz (I think it was Avanza) which looks like granite but doesn't have the pores of granite. We got it through Lowe's which was supposed to be guaranteed 21 business days from the order date but turned out to be more like six weeks. Once you pay for it, Lowe's is out of the loop.

It is now the manufacturer and the installer who are responsible for getting it done. The installer had problems just getting to the house for 3 days to take measurements, then the manufacturer in TX (they have the rights to make the stone which is patented or owned by some Italian company) said they were overloaded and didn't know a thing about the 21 day guarantee. I threatened to drop the order if they didn't get it done in a week (four weeks had already gone by). Finally the countertops arrived in GA but the installers said they'd get it done the next week. My wife said it had to be done the next day (we were closing in two days) else we would cancel. They got it done the next day. Anyway it looks great despite all the hassles.

We did get 10% back from Lowe's for all the hassle which we then used at the same store for garage door openers. There should be a penalty clause in all contracts for poor performance.

HD has Silestone which is a similar product but the Italian colors at Lowe's looked better to us.
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

February 14, 2007
2:07 PM

Post #3187811

Cassie--I'm sure they're not avoiding you because they gave you a good price, your price probably isn't as good as you think, I'm sure they're still making a nice profit off your job and I doubt you got a better price than what they give everyone else. Probably what happened is the guy had good intentions of coming out, but then he got caught up with something else and it never got told to the receptionist, and since he probably talks to tons of people each day if you didn't get on the receptionist's calendar then he's not going to remember that he was supposed to come out. So you could give them another chance, or take this as a sign that if they can't be responsible enough to put you on the calendar and come out to take measurements before you've even given them any money, how likely are the to come back and fix problems once they've been paid.

Do you have Angie's List in your area? It's a site where homeowners can write reports on companies/contractors who have done jobs for them, and if you find a company on there that's gotten a lot of good ratings, then you know they're probably more trustworthy (although even trustworthy companies will sometimes need to be bugged a few times on things, and the job will still take longer than they tell you originally).
hcmcdole
Powder Springs, GA
(Zone 7b)

February 14, 2007
4:22 PM

Post #3188407

Ecrane, you are right on the money about the good intentions and what can happen. Sometimes the contractor/handyman may lose their notes (or minds) and if you don't call them back, you will never know if it was you or them. It happened to us one time where my wife called a painter and he did not call back as he promised the next day. My wife called him back after a few days and he was thankful she did because he lost our number. He came right over and gave us a quote. We hired him due to good references and his modest price. He and his crew did a great job.
cassie225
Baton Rouge, LA

February 15, 2007
12:54 PM

Post #3191262

I called them yesterday. The contractor called me right back within 15 minutes. Said he was sorry,put my name down as the name of my street and was hoping I would call and straighten everything out. Said he has been very busy because his boss,who owns the business ,is on vacation and he is trying to handle everything. He was going to come right away,but I said wait until today. He seems like he probably has a lot on his plate right now and would honor Corian free sink deal and edge upgrade even if the offer is over. Hope I don't throw him too much off by maybe changing to zodiaq quartz. I just don't like seeing seams. Corian looks so much better to me.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

March 4, 2007
8:07 PM

Post #3247792

cassie - what did you end up doing? This is my first visit to the Kitchens forum because I, too, am considering Corian. We now have a Corian topped table (7 years) and I'd like countertops to match. They do still make the same color. What are you doing for backsplash? Thanks.
cassie225
Baton Rouge, LA

March 15, 2007
3:09 PM

Post #3284143

I ended up getting vanilla corian with vanilla sink. The guy who owns the company says he thinks I made the best choice and he sells it all,quartz,granite and corian,Lg,formica. I think I will be pleased. Tell me what you decide to do
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

March 15, 2007
4:01 PM

Post #3284271

When I read that long expanses may crack it frightened me. I have one long piece - about 15' 6". I'll need some kind of guarantee that it won't happen. Did you get any guarantee with yours?
jkom51
Oakland, CA
(Zone 9b)

March 15, 2007
10:59 PM

Post #3285583

With any countertop material, not only does it need to be properly supported (which is why install is critical, and DuPont and Swanstone, amongst others, do NOT allow any but certified installers for kitchens) but consumers need to realize that the seams are more vulnerable. This is true no matter what you are installing, whether it is granite, marble, laminate, quartz, engineered stone, or solid surfacing!

Seams in anything except tile counters are done with epoxy, which is more vulnerable to heat damage than the countertop material it is holding together. The danger with solid surfacing is that it is the only surface with invisible seams, so if you don't remember where your seams are, and keep putting hot pans or household appliances on them, you are risking possible damage.

Another cause of cracking is thermal shock, which can happen again to any large expanse. It is why you are safer with the guarantee of a large corporation like DuPont or Cambria or Swanstone, than with your local granite yard. Yes, you can put large hot pans down on granite, but many of the more popular granites are not true granites at all, and they can and (infrequently) have been known to crack or chip. Solid surfacing, however, can be always repaired invisibly and even repolished to look like new again.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

March 15, 2007
11:46 PM

Post #3285729

I really do appreciate your help. I do put hot pots right on my slab of granite now but will have to be more careful if I go with the Corian. I will check guarantees. Thanks!
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

April 10, 2007
1:18 PM

Post #3375829

After two dealers never appeared to give an estimate, yesterday the man from a kitchen firm with high marks from neighbors did come over, measure and sent me the estimate. Thank heavens I was sitting down when I received it!

I still want to call one more company that does Corian just to verify the cost.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

August 8, 2007
2:50 PM

Post #3832325

Sinks have been ripped out, along with the cook top removal, to remove the current tops and put in the Corian Sahara. Hard to believe it's four months.
jkom51
Oakland, CA
(Zone 9b)

August 8, 2007
3:50 PM

Post #3832548

Don't forget to post some pix so we can see your new counters! Good luck!
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

August 8, 2007
3:53 PM

Post #3832562

Ideal sink. No cleaning required.

Thumbnail by pirl
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pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

August 8, 2007
3:53 PM

Post #3832564

Can't burn a thing on the cook top anymore!

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

August 8, 2007
3:54 PM

Post #3832572

This is where the deep sink was (and will be again), which we use for washing vegetables from the garden, big roasting pans, things that have to soak, etc.

Thumbnail by pirl
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pegdog
Winchester, VA
(Zone 6a)

September 20, 2007
7:04 PM

Post #3997951

good luck to you! I have corian and love it. I recommend it to everyone. :)
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

September 20, 2007
8:54 PM

Post #3998448

I'll post photos tonight. I love the Corian!!!
purplepetunia
Savannah, GA
(Zone 8b)

September 21, 2007
12:31 PM

Post #4001050

I am also planning to get corian and am decided about the sink. I like the look of corian sink, but they said you can't put hot pots on it, that would leave a white circle (burn mark).
I recently had silestone put in my bathroom. I chose the same company that does installation for Lowes and HD. They were recomment very hightly and the price is exactly half of the big stores.
I am disappointed in the silestone, due to the fact that it is not as thick as the formica that I had. The sink and countertop seems much lower. I did get a undermount china sink and that accounts for 1" lower, but it makes a difference in the height.
I am anxious to hear from anyone that has the corian sink. It looks great when new, but how will it look in five years.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

September 21, 2007
12:37 PM

Post #4001062

I love the sink. It's so smooth. I realize your concern is the hot pot issue but could you force yourself to put the hot pot back on a cool burner? I was surprised at how I changed from putting hot pots on the granite I had to putting the pot back on the cooktop.

The other nice feature of the sink is the integration with the surface. No ridges to ever have to scrub.

Edited to say: the sink is only a month old!

This message was edited Sep 21, 2007 8:38 AM
purplepetunia
Savannah, GA
(Zone 8b)

September 21, 2007
12:46 PM

Post #4001086

thanks for your instant reply. I really like the look and ease of the sink. I wouldn't have a problem with the hot pots, it is my husband that will have to be trained. He likes cooking breakfast, anything else he puts in the micro.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

September 21, 2007
12:49 PM

Post #4001097

Here's a picture of the sink the way I preferred it:

Thumbnail by pirl
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pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

September 21, 2007
12:49 PM

Post #4001103

But to spoil it all the silly plumber put in the faucet and drain!

Thumbnail by pirl
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purplepetunia
Savannah, GA
(Zone 8b)

September 21, 2007
2:53 PM

Post #4001596

that is pretty much what I have in mind. Looks great! When I saw the first photo, I wondered where the faucet was!
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

September 21, 2007
3:12 PM

Post #4001657

The sink stayed so perfect when there was no faucet! We do have another sink in the kitchen, a deep stainless steel one, that's great for the pots and pans as well as for whipping heavy cream without splattering the walls and windows.

Thumbnail by pirl
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cassie225
Baton Rouge, LA

September 22, 2007
1:22 PM

Post #4004500

I have had my corian since March and absolutely love it. It is easy clean. I have Vanilla counters and vanilla sink. So glad I got it. I will probably do granite or silestone for my bar area but that is in my greatroom and is an entirely different part of my house.But I mught just end up with sand or sahara corian.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

September 22, 2007
1:32 PM

Post #4004514

Sahara is what I have. I think I remember a nice one called Chamois. I hope that's the right name.
purplepetunia
Savannah, GA
(Zone 8b)

September 26, 2007
1:38 AM

Post #4017443

I am looking forward to getting my corian counter & sink, hopefully within the next month. Your replies have been helpful.
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

September 26, 2007
9:27 AM

Post #4018253

What faucet are you getting?
purplepetunia
Savannah, GA
(Zone 8b)

September 28, 2007
12:31 AM

Post #4025058

haven't decided on a faucet, definately one lever. I have seen the pull out spray one piece faucet, but don't have any opinions on that.
What do you recommend. I have always had chrome, but now that I have a brushed stainless front fridge, I am thinking about the brushed chrome.
Any advice is welcome
pirl
(Arlene) Southold, NY
(Zone 7a)

September 28, 2007
12:41 AM

Post #4025087

I have the chrome. The stainless was another $100. or so but $521. (without installation) for the chrome still shocked me! I love it. The name is Grohe.

How close is the refrigerator to the sink? That might sway me and have me going for the stainless steel. I do have a brushed stainless steel refrigerator but it's across from the Corian sink, not next to it. We kept the deep brushed stainless steel sink we use for pots and pans and messy work, like cleaning garden pots, etc.
swson
Richmond, VA

June 17, 2010
1:49 PM

Post #7897330

Several years ago we purchased Hi-Mac countertops from Lowes in Glen Allen Virginia. About 3 years later the seam over the dishwasher popped open. Lowes sent a repairman by to repair the split. Several months ago the split reopened..

My husband and I have taken excellent care of the countertops, but I think because of where the seam was placed, it was bound to fail. Two associates from Lowes came out to photograph the crack. I asked them when they were here why it is that the countertop is hollow above the two seams. (Looking from under the counter one can easily see that the counter is not deep where the seams are joined.) We were told that this was not the way it should be. We're told by Lowes that Hi Mac will not repair the crack.

Now I wonder if the problem we’ve been having is because the countertops were poorly constructed. Why is the thickness of the countertop thinner (or hollow) above the seam?

What does a 10 year warranty means when the counters split apart?

Buyer beware.
jkom51
Oakland, CA
(Zone 9b)

June 23, 2010
11:03 AM

Post #7913697

Again - proper install is EVERYTHING. It's like prep work on paint jobs - some pros skimp, but it's the customer who pays in the end when the job doesn't last.

No warranty means anything when the install is bad. Caveat emptor means precisely that. Most people see the word 'warranty' but don't read exactly what is, and what is not, covered.

You can probably get this issue resolved, but it will take you time and effort. You might even want to get your local TV station involved, if they have a 'consumer reporter' on staff.

Asking here on a public forum is not going to do you any good except to vent emotionally.

When we had our Swanstone counters and sink installed, I tried a third-party vendor but business was booming in 2003 and nobody was interested in our small job. I contacted Swan Corp. directly and they sent out the rep and installers. Did a beautiful job, and no issues after a lot of abuse over the last 7 years. What I love most about them is the matte finish and the invisible corner seams, which you can't get with any other slab-type counter materials.

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urbancowboy716
Johnstown, NY

December 28, 2011
6:20 PM

Post #8945892

My wife and i purchased the LG hi-mac countertop through Lowes. At the time we thought it was a good decision, but 10 months later we are second guessing ourselves. The counter just scratches to easy. We are very careful and clean in the kitchen. But, we have noticed some minor and major scratches in the counter after having gatherings for 4th of July and Christmas Eve.

I would not recommend this product to anyone. Go with a stronger material if your kitchen is a gathering place. It looks nice, but does not hold up to the durable claims.

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

December 29, 2011
9:59 AM

Post #8946582

So sorry to hear of your experience with LG hi-mac, urbancowboy.

We're still very happy with our Corian choice. I took photos this morning to show the surface as it is after more than four years of constant use at the exact area where I do all preparation work for dinner. There are very minor scratches but they don't hold food or crumbs, etc. It is a FAR better product for us than the granite was. It pitted in areas food never even touched.

In 2009 we had Corian installed for vanities in two of the bathrooms and we'll have the third one done in 2012. We'll be doing over the master bathroom shower in early 2012 and two of the shower walls will be Corian, the other two walls being glass.

Thumbnail by pirl
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CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

January 22, 2012
11:48 AM

Post #8977731

We are doing a kitchen right now, new cabinets. The people went shopping for countertops. Corian is not recommended by any suppliers. Either granite or a quartz product are the top choices. If you are going to sell a house, these two are tops for resale.
Quartz is a no maintenance product. Granite needs to be sealed on a regular basis. In Minnesota, Quartz products are approved for commercial kitchens, Granite is not.

Here is a kitchen with Quartz. These are Cambria brand. Cost was $3300.00.

Thumbnail by CountryGardens
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CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

January 22, 2012
11:50 AM

Post #8977733

Other wall.

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Sherrygirl
Pasco, WA
(Zone 6b)

January 25, 2012
11:36 AM

Post #8981909

CountryGardens,
From what I can see, I really like these countertops! I like that color and it looks shiny like granite too. We have been thinking about new countertops, just thinking though, because we really don't need them. I think I could go for something like those!
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

January 30, 2012
6:25 PM

Post #8988707

What about the backsplash? Was it done also? In what? Pricewise, what is the difference? Between quartz and Granite, Corian, etc.

What are you Country Gardens? An Installer, provider, or? You say you are putting it in as in for someone else? Still curious about the backsplashes? It looks wonderful. Love so many cupboards.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

January 30, 2012
9:02 PM

Post #8988911

We are a custom cabinet shop. Everything is made from scratch, as they say "old school". No particle board or manufactured lumber. All hardwood lumber & plywood.
We let the homeowner do their own shopping for countertops.
The one we are working on at present is going with granite.

jkom51
Oakland, CA
(Zone 9b)

February 1, 2012
8:23 AM

Post #8990647

>>Corian is not recommended by any suppliers.>>

Excuse me? There are disadvantages to EVERY material. It is up to the individual to decide what their priorities are, and pick the countertop that best suits them.

I have a U-shaped kitchen with a lot of direct sunlight that creates glare. Open living plan meant noise is also a consideration. Swanstone (similar to Corian, slightly better heat resistance) was perfect for us. It's quiet, has a matte finish, is non-porous, and has invisible corner seams. Since I have two large corner seams in a relatively small (by today's standards) space, this was important to us.

It is also a great pastry surface, but unlike natural stone, a snap to clean and sterilize.

Most of what is sold as 'granite' actually isn't. Nor is granite as hard as most people think it is. The blue 'granites', for example, are mostly sodalite or labradorite, and very soft/fragile. Gorgeous stuff, but it's like having marble to care for. Chipping and cracking is far from unknown with granite, as any perusal of the "other" kitchen forum reveals.

For easy care the best granites are the boring ones: Absolute Black (not the inferior Chinese stuff, BTW), schist, etc.

Granite was too hard, too cold, and at the time we did our countertops, more expensive than the Swanstone. I also wasn't in love with the whole thermal mass issue -- like marble, granite never warms up, so it 'sucks the heat out' of everything you place on it. Not just your elbows, but also coffeecups, dinner plates, casseroles, etc.

I know people who have marble counters and love them. More power to them, I say. But not for me. I like what I have, and would appreciate not being 'dissed' for making what was the appropriate choice for our situation.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

February 1, 2012
10:22 AM

Post #8990779

jkom, what is that 3rd fixture on your sink? On the right?
jkom51
Oakland, CA
(Zone 9b)

February 4, 2012
10:48 PM

Post #8995121

It's the air gap, mandated by the state of CA to prevent backflow.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

February 5, 2012
6:47 AM

Post #8995324

Leave it to California to come up with something to spend money on. Probably does no good.
What would backflow ? Not your water unless the pressure fails. Oops, that don't make sense either!

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 7, 2012
7:15 AM

Post #8997786

MD has backflow preventers (air gap?) too. I think tis required with a dishwasher.

jkom, thanks for the further info on granite. Swanstone is OK for hot pots and pans? Sears rep claimed that granite was the only one OK for hot pots and pans. I am hearing that granite prices are comparable to other solids these days.
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

February 7, 2012
7:21 AM

Post #8997796

Seems to me when I lived in OH they also required the backflow preventer if you had a dishwasher, so I don't think it's just a CA thing.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

February 7, 2012
8:50 AM

Post #8997907

I could see where it would be needed for a dishwasher.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

February 7, 2012
10:00 AM

Post #8997963

Do you mean like an air lock? I don't have one on my sink for my dishwasher. Are you talking like a backflow like hoses have to stop the hose water from getting into your water system in case of fertilizers etc?
jkom51
Oakland, CA
(Zone 9b)

February 10, 2012
6:03 PM

Post #9002311

Corian is heat-resistant to 325 degrees. Swanstone is resistant to 375 degrees. I don't baby my countertop, but it's automatic for me to throw a couple of potholders or a rack underneath anything I take out of the oven. I had Formica counters for a long time, so am just in the habit.

If people would read warranty and installation instructions, they might be surprised to learn that BOTH granite and quartz vendors say the following:

"Unlike solid surfaces and laminates, Silestone is scorch-resistant. It will withstand limited exposure to heat without burning or scorching. The fire of a lit match will not mar Silestone. However, as advised by crock pot and electric skillet manufacturers, do not place these items directly on any countertop. Always use trivets when placing hot items on ANY natural stone or quartz surface to avoid thermal shock."

Thermal shock is something to know about. Granite is actually not that hard a stone (quartz is much harder, but quartz countertops aren't 100% quartz), and many people use a thinner countertop to save money. There was an actual instance of a granite countertop cracking due to thermal shock on the Gardenweb kitchen forum some years back. It was a confluence of factors: she had the thinner stone, she put down a superheated cast iron skillet while doing some blackened fish, and there was a weak fracture line right where she put the skillet down (all stones have them; it's just a question of where they are and how visible).

For most people, what occasionally happens is that a heated casserole dish or pan will break from thermal shock instead of the countertop. Pyrex is especially prone to this, especially as it ages and gets scratched, because most of it is no longer silica-based glass, instead being a weaker glass mix (that's cheaper to manufacture).

What I don't like about granite is that it has considerable THERMAL MASS. That's why it's always cold. It will suck the heat out of anything - your coffee cup, a casserole, a stewpot. If you want to cool something down, that's great! But if you don't...you're going to have use that trivet, because your lasagne is going to be congealing when people are trying to dish out seconds.

In general, tile is really your only true heat-proof surface. The grout doesn't conduct heat very well, giving the tile more protection against thermal shock.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

February 10, 2012
6:21 PM

Post #9002329

Are you calling these granite tops that go right over your current countertop as thin? Is that what you mean? I have the Stilestone, I think it is from HD, or Lowes? in my bathroom. Didn't know that stuff about it. Might look into it for the kitchen. So, you are saying the thin covered stuff isn't very good? They are sure advertising it.

Have you seen the cement? What do you think of those?

I didn't get an answer to my question about airlocks or backflows. Does anyone know?

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 10, 2012
6:26 PM

Post #9002334

Thanks for posting real info here. I myself am debating between "Viatera" quartz, and granite, still. The Lowe's kitchen planner agreed, said, really, one should not put a hot pot on ANY counter, or use sharp knives on either surface (bad for the knife anyway).

So is granite Ok against spills or liquid left on the counter, as long as it's kept sealed? I have teenagers...and I myslef am not exactly what ya call a neat freak.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

February 10, 2012
6:40 PM

Post #9002340

Go to the manufacture for specifications & upkeep of these items. Lowes & Home Depot will be like politicians & tell you what you want to hear.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 10, 2012
8:10 PM

Post #9002408

Well, the HGTV articles so far are pretty lame.
This one seems reasonable.
http://cliffmendrez.hubpages.com/hub/How-to-Choose-Countertops-Granite-vs-Quartz-Countertops
It claims quartz is harder than granite, and lower maintenance (although they seem to just be talking about not sealing it once or twice a year, which is hardy enough maintenance to complain about, to me)

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

February 11, 2012
6:06 AM

Post #9002594

Some quartz products can be used in restaurants. No granite can be because of the porous surface that can be a place for bacteria to grow. No granite in my house.
We have formica. Looks great!
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

February 11, 2012
11:32 AM

Post #9002995

Used the Formica for 13 years, and dropped (not really dropped, but fast as it was hot) a hot pan on it. I thought someone was shooting at me. That is what it sounded like. After I quit ducking I looked for where it came from and found big holes in the Formica. Now I have to replace the whole thing. About 25 feet of counter top. Never again. It only takes once.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 11, 2012
3:12 PM

Post #9003232

From what I read, any counter material is likely damaged by thermal shock that way.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

February 11, 2012
6:15 PM

Post #9003435

I am sure you are right, but I do think some are probably a little more durable than others.

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

October 1, 2012
5:00 PM

Post #9292816

Pirl gave me the link to this discussion. I'm hoping to remodel my kitchen soon. We've had Corian (exactly like Pirl's -same color and same sink color) for over 12yrs. No issues whatsoever except the sink is slightly discolored. No biggie as its off white but with a double sink, the difference shows between the one we use for everythign and the one the dish strainer is in. (And I'm very careful to keep the sink scrubbed clean several times a day).

I was thinking of granite but after Bernie's comments, perhaps Quartz is a better way to go.

Thanks
Tam

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

October 1, 2012
6:33 PM

Post #9292936

I love my granite and costs between the two are same range, depends on the look you like.
Could tell about my other purchases but it may be better to do that in another thread if you are interested ( sink, faucets, etc)

Thumbnail by sallyg
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

December 30, 2012
8:16 PM

Post #9370979

I spoke with a salesperson at Costco a while back and was shocked to hear her say the Corian was a lot cheaper than the granite. My problem is that I live so far from a large city that nobody wants to bother coming up here for my job unless I find 3 other people for customers for them. Good luck. I am not going to be a salesperson for Costco or anybody.

Thought it was very interesting about the granite and the bacteria issue. However, having had formica for so many years I have learned not to use anything but a cutting board for knives and the reason my stovetop is next to my oven is that when I take things out of the oven, they go onto the stovetop to cool. If that is not available due to other things, then whatever goes onto the chopping block to cool. Crockpots etc. sit on the stovetop also.

I did not get an answer from anyone about the fact that so many ads now are putting the new countertop directly over the old one. I assume they are thinner than the regular ones. Please would someone talk to me about these.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

December 30, 2012
8:23 PM

Post #9370983

This is the answer to hot pans out of an oven.
2 tiles, the same as on the floor. They are loose on there so they can be removed for cleaning. The people love it.
They have Cambria counter tops.

Thumbnail by CountryGardens
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

December 31, 2012
6:27 AM

Post #9371179

that's a gorgeous cabinet! My sister in law using special tempered glass trivet/cutting boards on her laminate counters for hot pots and for cutting. I do the stove top method that Jnette uses.

Corian was the same cost as granite when I put in my counters 14yrs ago.

I am now thinking of cultured stone. Seems the most practical option. I signed on with a contractor to work out a design. I hope to start the work early spring!

Tam

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

December 31, 2012
7:47 AM

Post #9371233

That cabinet is made of quarter sawn oak.

Our own cabinets are laminate. We made them ourselves, so we had pieces left. We made boards about 10" x 12" covered with the laminate. We bought rubber feet for the boards. They make great cutting boards & also a place to set hot pans.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

December 31, 2012
10:54 AM

Post #9371390

I love it. Other than one item. I would put 4" casters on it instead of the smaller ones. For the ease of moving it, especially on the tile floors. It may not look as good that way, but guess it's a toss up. Whichever is more important to the user.

Bernard, would you please address my question on the new way of putting counter tops on top of the current ones? I'm sure it is a firm base, but don't they have to be thinner? The new product?

Jeanette

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

December 31, 2012
1:24 PM

Post #9371536

We are not counter top people. We do make a counter top now & then, but not a favorite thing to do. Once we built a Formica one from sheet stock. After it was done, they didn't like the color. We did put a new one on top of the other one. Would be hard to do of a factory formed top.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

December 31, 2012
4:06 PM

Post #9371686

A counter top on top of an existing is going to raise the level. THis may raise it all above the level of the stove and will it change the sink installation?
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

December 31, 2012
4:53 PM

Post #9371751

I'm sure it will. I have not checked into it. Just curious as to whether any of you knew anything about it. Thanks,
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

December 31, 2012
7:31 PM

Post #9371884

The counters that you install over the old ones are thinner. I don't know much else about them, but they are definitely thinner so that it doesn't substantially change the height of your counter. The thinner dimensions shouldn't make much difference if you have a plastic composite surface like Corian, quartz, etc. If it's real stone like granite it might make it easier to crack but I'm not sure.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

December 31, 2012
11:14 PM

Post #9371979

Hi ecrane, are you saying you think that they would be just as strong as if they were built in the factory and put on the normal way? The original way. Thanks for your input.

Have a wonderful 2013 everyone. Jeanette
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

December 31, 2012
11:22 PM

Post #9371982

The Corian & quartz surfaces it shouldn't matter too much how thick it is--it's all/mostly plastic so it's not going to break very easily if you drop something on it, etc. I don't know if they do granite/stone counters that you can put over the top like that, but those are the ones I'd worry a little more about since I would think a thinner layer would be easier to crack.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

January 1, 2013
5:50 AM

Post #9372065

Whats the reason for not removing the old top ?
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

January 1, 2013
11:19 AM

Post #9372396

I can only assume that to add another layer that thickness would make the counters too high? However, they must have to have a base. But then isn't there a base under the current counter? Lotsa questions.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

January 1, 2013
1:39 PM

Post #9372532

This set of cabinets are ready for a granite countertop. It will sit right on top of the cabinets.

Thumbnail by CountryGardens
Click the image for an enlarged view.

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

January 1, 2013
2:04 PM

Post #9372551

"Because Child is 6 feet 2 inches tall, the counter tops were built 38 inches high, two inches higher than in standard kitchens."
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

January 1, 2013
9:23 PM

Post #9372874

Ok Berenard, so the granite, regular thickness will sit right on the cabinets with no supporting base. I saw a commercial tonight on TV from a Granite Transformation place. (That is the name of it). It appeared that they were putting a thinner slab on top of the current counter. I will look closer next time to see if I am right.

Pirl, who are you talking about, Child? Being taller so the cabinets will be 2 inches taller? Someone who will be using them normally?
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

January 1, 2013
9:45 PM

Post #9372884

You're correct, I've seen ads for the granite transformations and it is a thinner layer that's placed over your existing countertop. Also worth noting that although they keep talking about "granite", their "granite" is an engineered quartz surface. Nothing wrong with quartz surfaces, just didn't want you to think you'd be getting actual granite. http://www.granitetransformations.com/

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 1, 2013
11:32 PM

Post #9372903

Julia Child.

I don't quite get where there's any benefit to the thin topper counter, unless less material makes is much less expensive.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

January 2, 2013
10:51 AM

Post #9373216

Not sure who you are referring to as Julia Child, but will answer anyway. I am sure that is the issue. However, if you are saying it is a man made granite, it might be better than the real thing.

ecrane, is that what you meant when you said the granite might not hold up when it is thin? Think it was you.
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

January 2, 2013
11:13 AM

Post #9373240

What I meant was that real granite in a thin layer might not hold up as well--I would think it would be easier to crack if you accidentally dropped something heavy on it. The engineered stone (quartz, etc) is plastic mixed with stone so I would think it would hold up better in a thin layer.

Regardless, I would look at the prices and see how much you really save vs having the old counters removed and a full new counter put on.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

January 2, 2013
2:08 PM

Post #9373361

LOL, just researching. But, from the way they described it, it was not mixed with plastic. Thought quartz or something else. Can't remember. Got a long way to go before I buy anything.
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

January 2, 2013
2:19 PM

Post #9373366

Quartz surfacing (which Granite Transformations does offer) is bits of real stone like granite mixed with plastic to make a composite material. A lot like Corian, except the bits of real stone mixed in make it look more like a granite slab. But it has the same care requirements as Corian (no need to seal, etc) which is why a lot of people like quartz counters better than granite.

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 2, 2013
3:29 PM

Post #9373438

I believe the quartz product is also better with hot things.

Tam
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

January 2, 2013
7:08 PM

Post #9373672

LOL, all those things mean a bigger and better price too. Oh well.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 5, 2013
9:40 AM

Post #9376142

Hi, Julia Child was a well known chef who was a 6' 2 " tall woman.

When I looked at granite, I read that all counters should be regarded as NOT for placing a really hot pot on. And the prices for full new counters ranged such that many granites are cheaper than many man made ones. In the end I chose granite to get a the look at less $$ and I will be able to clear the whole thing off once a year, wipe down with sealant, and be done with it. Is that really such a problem? After eight months I cannot see that any areas are lacking sealant.
GRanite is really hard. Great for cracking eggs, but if you tip over a glass oil bottle for example, yee how, you just cringe. I don't know if manufactured are a bit gentler this way.
Jnette
Northeast, WA
(Zone 5a)

January 5, 2013
5:57 PM

Post #9376601

Yes, I know who that Julia Childs is, but who were you referring to?

Sally, how about some pictures. I love to see how you did yours and how it ended up. If you don't want to, no bigee. Just love to see them. I am so up in the air. Especially, since I am debating about replacing some of the appliances under it when I do. LIke for example, the dishwasher and compacter. So, there is a lot more $.

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