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Tell me about your countertops! What do you love and hate about them?

 
 
Mon 16 Nov, 2015 09:34 am
We have given up on the idea of expanding our kitchen so we're working on redesigning the space with an emphasis on quality materials and easy clean surfaces.

I kind of had my heart set on marble countertops for the vintage vibe it would lend to a design that leans a bit towards industrial. After reading a lot about countertops I find that marble is a questionable choice. People either love them or hate hate hate them.

Now I'm looking at solid surface and engineered stone. While I don't really love the look I do love the practicality.

What are your countertops made of? What do you love and hate about them?

Thanks!
 
farmerman
 
  4  
Mon 16 Nov, 2015 11:18 am
@boomerang,
engineered stone is neqtI like the gass shards layed in concrete. The problem with concrete is the same as with marble. ITS CHEMICALLY WEAK AND WILL PIT as a function of acids an salts.
Vinegar cn cause it to fizz qnd thaqts a pitting in process.

Weve gone to Corian when we redid our kitchens

we chose a color scheme and we stayed away from "patterned counters".
WQe got rid of "brown wood" cabinets. I built poplar cabinets and bought divided light glass paned doors (an Amishman mde em cause my kills at divided lights is limited)

I then painted the cabinets with several shades and values of blue to make it look like old cabinets that were well taken care of (Distressing is so phony looking to express woods age.)

We love it and we get lotsa compliments because the "built in look of the old kitchen was enhnced.(In the old days many times cabinets qere created out of old door ways an thats what we have.

Quartzite or sandstone is good , tough, and will not deteriorate as quickly s the ptternd "igneous" rock counter tops.

Remember , the rock you pick is in equilibrium with the temp nd pressure in which it formwd. ANy other T/P will cuse chemical erosion.
boomerang
 
  1  
Mon 16 Nov, 2015 11:33 am
@farmerman,
I'm looking at engineered quartz. Everything I've read says it is the most durable. I'm also looking at Corian and it's equivalents. I really like the fact that it can be seamless. I'm still really stuck on marble though. I kind of like the aged patina it gets but I think it would drive Mr. B bonkers.

Your cabinets sound beautiful. I know you have a real understanding of color and I can just picture how great they look.

Our kitchen is so tiny that we're having to go with open shelving and wall mounted racks in order to have enough storage so it will have a practical/functional/industrial feeling. One big splurge is with the sink I picked out - a stainless 50" multi-function behemoth -- so the countertops are really the only place I can put something that has a vintage feel.
dalehileman
 
  2  
Mon 16 Nov, 2015 11:34 am
@boomerang,
Boom there's a color scheme of black, brown, and grey stippling, advt- or dis- depending on one's habits, concealing dirty spots as it does

....while neither am I very interesting
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  2  
Mon 16 Nov, 2015 11:45 am
@boomerang,
Countertops? Love: provide space to prepare meals in the kitchen. Hate: they're not high tech enough to actually prepare and cook the meals for you.
farmerman
 
  3  
Mon 16 Nov, 2015 12:06 pm
@boomerang,
cant have too big a sink or sinks.
Totallyl unasked for aside:

I used to work for the Pa Health Dept many years ago as a summer job. I was a "scientist in residence working on a migrant worker health program and my job was to assure safe water supplies on farms an groves.


The sanitarians who handled kitchen designs for migrant camps used to require 3 comprtment Stainless steel sinks for the workers to wash their dishes in compartment 1, rinse their dishes in compartment2 , and then sanitize their dishes in the last compartment.
Whenever I landed at some big corporate farm where the migrant camps had these kitchens all set up, the migrants were busy using their three compartment sinks to wash 3 separate babies in.

I found it really cute and took pictures. My bosses, who were soma the most non-creative people on the planet, did NOT find the pictures funny at all an I was called into explain why I DID NOT REQUIRE THEM TO CEASE WASHING THEIR BABIES IN THE THREE COMPARTMENT SINKS.

My only respone was that at least the babies were clean.

3 compartment sinks was not my idea an it cost the farmers plenty to comply with the all seeing eye.
farmerman
 
  1  
Mon 16 Nov, 2015 12:08 pm
@boomerang,
Quote:
I'm looking at engineered quartz. Everything I've read says it is the most durable
See what the cementitious material is. If its a silane or a siloxane "gel" its greaqt stuff cause its an all silicon dioxide mix. The only thing thatll breqk thaqt stuff down is HydroFLOURIC ACID. (Noobody has that in their kitchens)

Qe hqve some frinds who made countertops put of walnut crotch wood. Its beautiful but it takes a lot of care.
boomerang
 
  2  
Mon 16 Nov, 2015 12:17 pm
@farmerman,
Ha! I love that story.

I think I could bathe an adult in the sink I picked out...

http://www.seamlesssink.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/m/l/mlr13-50.5_cb_h_black.jpg

I REALLY wanted one like this that had two ledges but it was $4000 and Mr. B said "are you &^%$^$%^ kidding me?"
boomerang
 
  1  
Mon 16 Nov, 2015 12:18 pm
@farmerman,
It's some kind of resin that they use to adhere everything together.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Mon 16 Nov, 2015 12:19 pm
@tsarstepan,
My current countertops provide space but they're 1" tiles and it's impossible to do any work on.

A counter that does the cooking! That sounds like a great idea!
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Mon 16 Nov, 2015 12:20 pm
totally cheap-ass laminate

I got it since my contractor said I should just put in something decent-looking that would hold up til I flipped the house.

well. I've been here almost 20 years. Didn't flip the house. And the cheap-ass laminate is still in good condition. I'm always surprised when I give it a good wash and it looks really fantastic again.

Same thing with the floor tile. If I'd realized how durable that stuff was, I would have insisted he put down something I really liked instead of something so neutral and bland.
farmerman
 
  1  
Mon 16 Nov, 2015 12:20 pm
@boomerang,
wow, that is one big mother. I think you could wash a truck in there. Im always lookin for a big sink to clean a bushel of crabs or clams
ehBeth
 
  1  
Mon 16 Nov, 2015 12:22 pm
@boomerang,
good grief

That looks kinda deep.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Mon 16 Nov, 2015 12:30 pm
@ehBeth,
We talked a LOT about doing a 5 year plan -- doing just enough remodeling to get us through the next 5 years and then really redoing the kitchen. We knew once we got it functional that we'd probably just stick with that for the duration and end up with an okay, but mediocre kitchen. That's when we decided to just make use of the space we have and look for ways to make all the surfaces do double duty.
boomerang
 
  1  
Mon 16 Nov, 2015 12:33 pm
@farmerman,
It's a monster but it solves several problems we have. You are welcome to come use it to clean crabs and clams and I'll even cook them up if you'll stay for dinner!

Do you still like your induction burners? I thought about not doing a cooktop and just getting a few induction burners that I could pull out and arrange when/where needed.

Mr. B thinks this idea is insane.
ossobuco
 
  2  
Mon 16 Nov, 2015 12:40 pm
I've a photo of me bathing in the kitchen sink while wearing a light washable dressing gown in case anyone suddenly showed up in our gallery/studio/home; luckily no one did. They would have had to climb a lot of stairs to our place, so I would have had some warning. We had a kitchen, bathrooms, but not showers (much less a tub) in that 3,000 sq. ft. place. Business partner-friend took the photo. Anyway, ordinarily I would shower at work or at a friend's house.
Those were the days..

The sink was large, white porcelain, no dividers.

On counters - my aunt's place used to have a red linoleum counter. I loved it, but I didn't cook at that age, so I dunno about its sturdiness. My own favorite was not a counter itself but a fair sized butcher block. What wood it was, I don't remember.

A link that can get me interested even now -
http://www.cuttingboard.com/blog/why-some-woods-are-better-than-others-in-the-kitchen/

My favorite counter was in my last, that is, second california bungalow. The counter was made of small white hexagon tiles, and the counter top flashing (is that the word?) was white railroad tile. How I miss that kitchen. It also had a dumb waiter apparatus and a cupboard that was open to the outside via some framed aeration set up.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Mon 16 Nov, 2015 12:56 pm
@ossobuco,
Ah, the word I was trying to remember was backsplash. Oy.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Mon 16 Nov, 2015 12:59 pm
@ossobuco,
There's a certain beauty to a sink you can bathe in, don't you think?

We've talked about wood, since that is a product we can so easily get our hands on but both of our major counter areas are walled in on three sides and I understand that isn't a good use for wood since it has to expand and contract.

Hex tiles on a countertop!?
ehBeth
 
  1  
Mon 16 Nov, 2015 01:01 pm
@boomerang,
I've realized that an ok kitchen is, well, ok with me. Give me a cutting board and good knives and the rest is <shrug whatever> to me. I used to be fussier. The floors are boring but really, how much do I really look at the kitchen floors?
panzade
 
  2  
Mon 16 Nov, 2015 01:08 pm
Love my cammo colored granite tops.
Can't see the dirt.
 

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