Need some advice on new countertops.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by LDfan, Feb 14, 2002.

  1. LDfan

    LDfan Supporting Actor

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    My wife and I have decided to start remodeling our kitchen. I think a nice place to start would be to replace the countertops. Anyone have Granite or Corian or any of the other kinds out there? Any major pluses or minuses against any of them?

    Thanks,

    Jeff
     
  2. LDfan

    LDfan Supporting Actor

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    Thanks. I love the look of granite but I've heard that it can't be cut in L-shapes and such. You actually have to have 2 sep. slabs made plus granite is supposed to be porous. I've never seen corian but I'm a little skeptical at paying $80 a linear foot for something made of plastic.

    Jeff
     
  3. AjayM

    AjayM Screenwriter

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    Well, I'm not sure on the granite and L-shaped thing, but if that's the case it's not hard to seal a seam. Almost every counter-top has advantages and disadvantages. Tile can be cheap (mostly because you can do it yourself easily), but you have grout issues. Formica/laminates are easy to keep, but you can't put hot stuff on them and when they are scratched it stays. Corian is nice because it's easy to keep, takes heat fairly well, scratches can be buffed out of them, etc. There's also the "fake" granite solid surface's, which is kind of like a ceramic surface with a granite look on it and it's reasonably priced. Drop by home depot and take a look at their selection, they have all kinds of interesting things there. One that caught my eye was a counter top made of a Corian (Corian is a brand name) for the first 1/4-1/2 inch and then wood under that, was a little cheaper than a full solid surface, but still had the look.
    Oh and calling Corian "just plastic" is kind of calling a 4 ct diamond just another rock dug up from the ground. [​IMG]
    Andrew
     
  4. Dave Morton

    Dave Morton Supporting Actor

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    I have a Corian counter in my kitchen and love it. I have the sink that is molded and attached to the counter. The sink is a bit larger than most sinks and if it gets stained, then just a green pad with some soft soap cleans it right up. My counter if fairly long so they had to use 2 pieces. It was amazing watching them install the two pieces. They sand the seam and it magically disappears. You would never know there are two pieces. I love my Corian and would not hesitate to get it again if I ever moved.
     
  5. LDfan

    LDfan Supporting Actor

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    Dave,

    How durable is the corian? I may have to scout out a Home Depo Expo Center and see if they have any on display.

    Jeff
     
  6. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    I have Corian since 1988! It's very durable (and very hard, you must let them delivered with the necessary holes, because it almost impossible to do it "in place").

    We have the white "marble-look" version and it's beautiful, unscratched after more than 13 years! (Of course, it could scratch, that goes for all materials. Just don't cut things immediately on the surface).

    Highly recommended!

    Cees
     
  7. Ron Eastman

    Ron Eastman Second Unit

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    One of the coolest kitchen remodeling ideas I've ever seen was when This Old House did a makeover to a home in Tucson, Arizona. They used black dyed concrete (they can do just about any color) for the countertops and it turned out spectacular. The cost was much less than natural stone and it's extremely durable and attractive. They let the "cream" rise to the top to make a very smooth, shiny surface which you can see in this link.
    I know, it sounds strange to use that material for your countertop but Steve Thomas and Norm Abram couldn't stop raving about it. I bet you could find out more about this technique from your local builder's showcase.
     
  8. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    I think Corian has a temperature limit of ~375&deg. Granite can withstand much higher temperatures.
     
  9. Dave Morton

    Dave Morton Supporting Actor

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    I think the corian is extremely durable. I've put very hot pots on it and it has never made any marks. I found one place that was cheaper than home depot in the chicago area, otherwise home depot was the cheapest. I think it is good for re-sale value of your home too.
     
  10. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    if you can afford it go with Granite. It is beautiful and elegant. Corian is very nice but not Granite.
     
  11. Howard Williams

    Howard Williams Supporting Actor

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    Corian RAWKZ !!!

    I replaced all my kitchen counter tops with Corian about 3 years ago. I got the molded sinks too. Very cool. I'm very happy with it. The only negative is you shouldn't cut on it. I plan to do the wetbar and then bathrooms next.
     
  12. DonnyD

    DonnyD Screenwriter

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    One thing to remember is that natural stones such as granite, marble, etc are not sanitary and must be treated or sealed and sanitized often.... the porous surface soaks up most anything laid on it.....

    Being a kitchen and bath remodeling contractor, we see most informed clients choosing Corian or Hi-Max (same as Corian but less expensive) for work surfaces and granite/ marble for sufaces where you would not be preparing food such as an upper level island/bar surface.

    For down the road value, kitchens, baths and closets are the way to a women's pocket book. Solid surface counter tops are always a winner...... Pick your colors well as it is fairly expensive but well worth it.
     
  13. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

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    Just yesterday we visited Home Depot to plan our new kitchen. We walked in with the notion that we would settle for a laminate countertop, but, once seeing and learning about the solids, made concessions to work it into our budget (no new floor for now, but that can be done later). We went with 'Gibraltar', which is much like Corian but slightly less expensive. Make sure you choose a neutral color. Good luck!

    Jon
     
  14. Kirk Gunn

    Kirk Gunn Screenwriter

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    Donny -

    Thanks for the comments. We just had granite installed on a long bar-type counter that does not get much food preparation. However, seeing how good it looks, the wiff wants to finish the rest of the kitchen.

    What is the process of sealing and properly maintaining granite to keep it sanitary ? Is it something Joe 6pk homeowner can perform ?

    Thanks
     
  15. LDfan

    LDfan Supporting Actor

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    Is there an approx cost per linear foot for granite? I've seen ads in the paper for Corian selling for $89.00 per linear foot. How does granite's cost compare to this?

    Jeff
     
  16. DonnyD

    DonnyD Screenwriter

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    Kirk, A good penetrating sealer will do a fairly good job at protecting your granite although any oily residue can and will still be absorbed and permanently darken the granite.

    Most persons I know with granite or natural countertops have a cutting/ prep board they use for food prep. Also never use knives to cut things on your granite as you'll dull your shiny granite and your knives too !! That kinda changes how you use your tops but due to the cost of granite, a change of habit would be worth it.

    Jeff: Granite is about the most expensive countertop alternative and varies greatly with color and size.... also be sure to check various edge styles as they really add to the looks AND the cost.

    Beware: Before you start remodeling your kitchen, be sure to make a deal with the wife that you get to spend the same amount on your HT. You'll have mucho bucks to blow on your system then cause that kitchen is the biggest expense you'll probably ever have..... LOL
     

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