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 Post subject: Re: Kitchen counters
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:01 am 
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I've never had granite, but I also hate it! I feel like if you have granite than your kitchen has to look a specific way, like you need shiny appliances and dark cabinets. Every time I look at a house online (which I do a lot because I am desperate to move), if I see granite I immediately write the whole house off because you can't just repaint the walls to change the kitchen.

I used to always cut on the counter because when I was little, we didn't own a cutting board. My parents didn't buy a cutting board until they built a fancy house and then they bought a glass one which obviously sucked. I didn't own a cutting board until I was like, 20.

ETA: My ideal countertop is anything that is plain so everything else can be bright and fun.

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 Post subject: Re: Kitchen counters
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:01 am 
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Isa, did you know you can paint your formica countertops? Rustoleum makes a special countertop paint, just for this. I am planning to do this myself soon, we have a little bit of ugly pink formica that is gonna go light blue.

http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/whitneys-fabulous-50-makeover-kitchen-tour-159728

We are doing a small kitchen remodel in the near future, and I am planning to get butcher block installed on my main wordspace.

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 Post subject: Re: Kitchen counters
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:11 am 
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I'm not sure what my countertops are. They are some fake granite looking solid surface. I don't mind them because I can abuse them and not have to worry about them. My mom has Corian. I like the clean and simple look of them, and the easy maintenance. She did get them sanded down and resealed after having them for 10-15 years to get ride of the scratches she claimed were there.

I love the look of soapstone. I'm a bit meh about granite. Some patterns are really pretty, but there is a lot of ugly granite out there too. I like some patterns of corian and quartz as well. I think people get so obsessed about granite counter tops plus stainless steel appliances that they think granite is the only choice. Ugly granite is still ugly, plus expensive, plus has to be resealed, and you have to worry about spills. Light colored granites and fancy pants marble can get stained from things like tomato juice. I'm a messy cook so that wouldn't be good for me. I'm more about the overall look.


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 Post subject: Re: Kitchen counters
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:13 am 
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I hate my current counter top. Actually, the whole kitchen is pretty much a mess, but the counter is the bane of my existence. It's an oddly textured olive green plastic with a round sink with a raised lip around the entire circumference. This leads to water splashing out of the sink and pooling on the counter which has led to the back of the counter separating from the wall and mildew gathering in the gap. It's gross and hard to clean. (I always try to wipe up any water that pools there, but it's been a losing battle.)

They may not be the most exciting, but I'd love a stainless steel counter top with a slanted draining board, just for ease of cleanliness.

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 Post subject: Re: Kitchen counters
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:16 am 
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solipsistnation wrote:
NO. Granite SUCKS.

indeed, this is exactly what i was coming here to say. you can put a hot pot on it, but that's about it. know what? potholders work just fine.

Quote:
tile counters

this is like the most sadistic thing I have ever heard of.

Quote:
I'd rather have acres of butcherblock

this is also my preference. i lived in a house with a restaurant kitchen in college and all our surfaces were butcherblock. it was lovely.

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 Post subject: Re: Kitchen counters
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:39 am 
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I'm a big fan of recycled glass countertops. They are beautiful, sparkly, greener than most countertops, and are supposed to be almost as good as quartz as far as surfaces go.

I currently have white laminate countertops and I'm saving up for the recycled glass counters. Corian is cool because there are so many options, but I like the sparkly-ness of the glass. Personally not a fan of granite because it seems so generic these days. But it can be beautiful.

http://www.vetrazzo.com/ - swoon.


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 Post subject: Re: Kitchen counters
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:53 am 
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Currently I have a regular formica countertop that came with the apartment, nothing special but it works. White, because the kitchen is super tiny.
But in the kitchen I built in Italy I used bamboo parquet. It looks lovely, bamboo is super hard so you can cut on it an it doesn't show, easy to clean, doesn't absorb anything, and it was cheap (also because it was the leftover bamboo from the floors). A friend of mine used salvaged massive wood parquet from an old gym, sanded and polished. Super cool. Plus with parquet you can make the counter in the shape you need without too much problems.

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 Post subject: Re: Kitchen counters
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:10 pm 
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Right now we just have some cheap countertop in a really really ugly dark green color, but if I could replace it with anything I want, I would love to have quartz. They look beautiful and they're not suppose to stain or absorb things as much as granite does. Now if only it wasn't so bloody expensive.

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 Post subject: Re: Kitchen counters
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:19 pm 
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I've never cut directly on a counter, nor do I just set hot stuff down without pot holders. You people are savages!

I once went to an open house at a place with the most GORGEOUS poured concrete counters I have ever seen, and I've been lusting after them ever since. I like the look of butcher block, too. I thought I was the only person in the world who didn't care for granite--now I feel that I am amongst my people!

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 Post subject: Re: Kitchen counters
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:29 pm 
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I love my granite countertops. When I was in Amsterdam and thought of my apartment, what I saw in my minds eye was always the shiny granite counter in my kitchen and bathroom.

But they're not my ideal. Just a HUGE step up from anything I've ever had before. My ideal would be something practical and woodsy and perfect that keeps it's sheen, keeps clean and I can do whatever on. And I mean WHATEVER.

For now, I always protect my countertops: never set hot pots directly on it, use cooling racks and NEVER EVER cut directly on the countertop, not even in the shabbiest hovels I lived in with the peeling off countertops did I chop anything directly on it. Sacrilege! In a zillion ways! And I wipe the granite down regularly. But yeah, I have to work at keeping it pretty. And I don't like high maintenance anything so if I had $ I would get my dream woodsy, infinitely unnickable and pristine countertop that I could chop and dice and julienne on to my heart's content, that never needed any wiping or maintenance. Like, maybe once I'm done with one cooking session, it will flip itself over and be instantly clean for me to use the other side and then just repeat and I never have to deal with garbage, clean up, etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Kitchen counters
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:10 pm 
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I have black quartz composite counters (ceasarstone, but there are many brands) and they're rad - easy care, good looking, but they were on the expensive side (not as much as granite/marble, but not cheap). You can put hot pots on it.

I also coveted soapstone, but evidently it's pretty high maintenance if you want it to stay pretty, so I got talked out of it.

I had corian in my kitchen growing up - it kept looking good for 20 years after my parents installed it (it may still look good, they sold the house, so I haven't seen it lately). It does kind of look plastic-y, but if you like the look, it's a solid choice (you can sand out small cuts in the surface).


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 Post subject: Re: Kitchen counters
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:13 pm 
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Rhizopus Oligosporus wrote:
Human flesh counter tops are not vegan! And I think I'm going to have nightmares tonight.


I feel like this will be a plot element in an upcoming "Hellraiser" movie.

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 Post subject: Re: Kitchen counters
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:21 pm 
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I have sealed butcher block counter tops. I like them way better than the painted laminate counter tops in my old house. The paint sometimes chipped off. They didn't do it right. Everything in that house was weirdly painted.

I have a lot of cutting boards. Pretty soon I'll have cutting board counter tops.

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 Post subject: Re: Kitchen counters
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:29 pm 
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Concrete is probably my fave, but corian and vertrazzo are also really cool. When we redid our kitchen though, these things were all out of our price range, so we got some cool looking black and greenish granite tiles for super cheap at a tile warehouse and tiled the counter ourselves. It was a ton of work, but I think the results were worth it.
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 Post subject: Re: Kitchen counters
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:43 pm 
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I'm a fan of concrete and vertrazzo counters too. I think they are so beautiful. Sadly I'm stuck with this 30 year old crappy counter top in my rental. Everything stains it, and the only way to get the stains off is with bleach. I hate bleach so will only do that maybe once every couple of months.


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 Post subject: Re: Kitchen counters
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:45 pm 
Calls "cavemen" on that
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I have granite, and I love it. I would never think of cutting on a counter or putting anything hot on it no matter what it is made out of....it is just ingrained in me to use a cutting board and heating pad i guess.

The main reason we got granite is that this is our first condo, and we made sure to make the kitchen really desirable so it can up the price when we sell it. and people here in Orange County just LOOOVE thier granite and SS appliances. So red walls, black granite slab (with bits of red) and stainless appliances. I really like it. It sounds kind of cold, but it really isnt. It is very warm and inviting

But, when (if? haha) I get a real house someday, one I intend to live in for decades, i would like to look at alternatives just to be different (and more cost effective) like quartz or recycled glass or something. I cant really get down with the concrete, it seems to come off as cold to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Kitchen counters
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:46 pm 
Calls "cavemen" on that
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I have granite, and I love it. I would never think of cutting on a counter or putting anything hot on it no matter what it is made out of....it is just ingrained in me to use a cutting board and heating pad i guess.

The main reason we got granite is that this is our first condo, and we made sure to make the kitchen really desirable so it can up the price when we sell it. and people here in Orange County just LOOOVE thier granite and SS appliances. So red walls, black granite slab (with bits of red) and stainless appliances. I really like it. It sounds kind of cold, but it really isnt. It is very warm and inviting

But, when (if? haha) I get a real house someday, one I intend to live in for decades, i would like to look at alternatives just to be different (and more cost effective) like quartz or recycled glass or something. I cant really get down with the concrete, it seems to come off as cold to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Kitchen counters
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:57 pm 
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I have stainless steel. To reduce costs, it's not solid steel, but a wooden counter that's covered with a thin sheet of steel--but that's invisible unless you get under the counter.

It's a nice look but a pain to keep it looking really good. When you wipe the counter, there will be water stains left. So it must be dried also at the same time. Needs a product like stainless steel counter polish to make itshine, but I've had the same can since I got the kitchen redone in 2003. I keep a bamboo cutting board on top of the counter to contribute to a less cold institutional look. The surfaces have held up fine.

I'm also really not a fan of granite, and my kitchen remodel was held up for months while I was trying to settle on countertops. My second pick was something like a fake terrazo (I think Corian is sort of a brand name version of this, there are others). I couldn't find a pattern that really spoke to me though.


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 Post subject: Re: Kitchen counters
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:26 pm 
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JillW wrote:
I have stainless steel. To reduce costs, it's not solid steel, but a wooden counter that's covered with a thin sheet of steel--but that's invisible unless you get under the counter.


My office kitchen has this, and it looks very sleek and has stood up to a LOT of use over the last 6+ years - including interns who don't know to use cutting boards.


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 Post subject: Re: Kitchen counters
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:35 pm 
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Brett and I just redid our kitchen and got laminate precut countertops at Lowes. Cheap and easy to install and they look great.
http://www.lowes.com/pl_Laminate+Counte ... s_dollar|1

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 Post subject: Re: Kitchen counters
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:07 pm 
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We refurb'd our kitchen. Painted the cabinet doors with a hard metallic paint to cover the formica wood effect pattern. Replaced the formica work surfaces with pine 'springers'. These are strips of pine that are normally used on the sides of staircases; applied six coats of floor varnish and they have worn OK - i.e. little signs of wear and tear in three years. There are a couple of dunts where I've dropped heavy objects, but I figure in years to come I can fill any holes, sand, and varnish for as good as new look. Bonus is the pine springers were a fraction of the cost of conventional work surface and look quite good <IMO>

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 Post subject: Re: Kitchen counters
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:17 pm 
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I have Silestone countertops, and love them. They look like granite, but don't require any special maintenance or sealing. I generally don't cut directly on them, but that's to protect my knives not the counters. You can put hot dishes on them. We had them installed four years ago and they look brand new. As far as I can tell, it's pretty much impossible to damage them. They were less expensive than granite (I was shocked by the cost of kitchen remodeling, so it was nice to save a little where we could.)


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 Post subject: Re: Kitchen counters
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:22 pm 
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I'm not sure what I like, but I know that I hate my tiled countertops. Hate, hate, hate.

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 Post subject: Re: Kitchen counters
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 3:27 pm 
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I have fake granite countertops that are made out of plastic and weren't put on right so the edges don't line up. They are so awful and I didn't even notice until I moved in. I want to replace with butcher block because I like how that looks and you can at least maintain it. I have seen some eco-friendly ones that were made out of recycled paper that looked really neat.

I used to have tile and I hated that. The grout always looked dirty and it was impossible to roll out dough without it getting stuck in the grout so I had to get a giant cutting board for dough, which probably has a name....like a dough board?

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 Post subject: Re: Kitchen counters
PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:30 pm 
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i often cut on my countertops. i am a pig.

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