Best kitchen counter?

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I have to replace the deteriorated tiles around my sink, so might as well redo the whole counter. A while back I researched extensively, but maybe technology has moved on?
I want sturdiness and easy care, not the delicate kind that dings or cracks if something is dropped on it. And definitely STAIN-proof! However, I probably can't go for the very high-end stuff unless its value is really worth the price. Aesthetics, yes, but primarily utilitarian.
When researching earlier, my head used to spin with all the conflicting claims. Surely there is an outside evaluation that truly sets forth the plusses & minuses?
I figured the gurus here have done their share of installing kitchen counters, whether professionally or DIY, and have gotten feedback from their respective SWMBOs.
Any guidance appreciated.
HB
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Too many variables to know what is best for you. It has to "fit" the kitchen dcor and style. If it is an older house and kitchen, the latest fancy stone may be out of place.
Granite and other expensive stones are nice, but the good ol plastic laminate still does a great job in most kitchens. Don't rule it out until you see what is available and how well it suites the overall plan.
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I am surprised you don't know this. You know everything else in this quadrant of the galaxy.
The answer is "granite."
Steve
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On 9/13/2010 11:58 PM, Steve B wrote:

I have a granite table I made years ago, and it's convinced me. Cleans up easily and is indestructible.
My new kitchen, will have granite tile. A fraction of the price of one piece. The old was stainless steel, before that formica. Both disappointed.
Jeff

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Not according to a guy I know in the business. Granite cannot be repaired and if not sealed properly will stain and not recover.
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On 9/14/2010 5:42 AM, Frank wrote:

Not to mention it harbors bacteria and is really just a 'fad' material. Like the stainless appliances. What a pain stainless is, i can't imagine ANY good reason to have stainless appliances except it's 'what everbody likes right now' . <SIGH>
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Steve Barker
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Not according to a guy I know in the business. Granite cannot be repaired and if not sealed properly will stain and not recover.
= I wouldn't use a granite kitchen counter for various reasons. We have granite in two bathrooms and it discolors easily. We have a granite table that stains easily too. Very pretty though.
Jim
Jim
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.
I've got granite next to the stove. It's a pretty wild pattern. A mix of browns and rusts and such. I don't think a stain would show up. No, I don't think I'll hit it with merthiolate just to see what would happen.
Cindy Hamilton
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Well, thank you. That WAS a sincere compliment...wasn't it...??

Been told that granite stains. T/F?
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.
We've had upwards of 100sq.ft. in our house for two years. I didn't seal any of it and no stains so far. I think it depends on the color and the granite itself.
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Granite is the most durable but if anyone manages to drop a sledge hammer on it youll have to replace to whole kitchen to match, with ceramic tile youll only have to replace that piece as long as you have spares, with plastics what I have seen happen is the pan catches fire so the tenant grabs it by the handle lifting it from the top of the stove and placing it on the counter while screaming, leaving a big scorch mark on it.
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wrote:

Granite is the most durable but if anyone manages to drop a sledge hammer on it youll have to replace to whole kitchen to match, with ceramic tile youll only have to replace that piece as long as you have spares, with plastics what I have seen happen is the pan catches fire so the tenant grabs it by the handle lifting it from the top of the stove and placing it on the counter while screaming, leaving a big scorch mark on it.
Reply: we do not allow sledge hammers in our kitchen. For any reason. I had one ex-wife that would qualify for a sledge hammer accident, but she's safely in another. What do you use your sledge hammer for in your kitchen?
Steve
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What do you use your sledge hammer for in your kitchen?

For hanging curtains. I misplaced my ball peen.
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.
Granite is very nice, but you'll be sorely disappointed with grout.
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On 9/14/2010 8:30 AM, keith wrote:

I was afraid of that. No worse than ceramic tile though?
Got a deal on 18" square granite (<$3/ft). I'll push the tile edges away from the work areas.
Jeff
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Jeff Thies wrote:

if you don't have too much edging, you can polish it with some grades of wet/dry paper, or you can buy/rent an alpha granite polisher and then sell on ebay.
http://www.contractorsdirect.com/Alpha-Wet-Polishers
generally it's $1/inch to get them polished.
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m...
The area around the sunken sink has 1/4" round (I think) tiles edging it. How is this handled w/granite tiles? Straight question.
-you can polish it with some grades of

Thanks. What does polishing do, except make it look great? Does it avoid the staining problem? Also, I didn't know granite tiles were available.
TIA
HB
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Higgs Boson wrote:

do you mean an undermount sink? i've never seen an undermount sink with granite (or even ceramic) tiles. they're usually only used with a solid surface counter.
i suppose one could use an undermount sink if you were really careful with sealants. you'd want to cut your tiles into strips, maybe 1", and create a lip over the top of the sink to seal off water intrusion into the subcounter.

polishing makes the edges look better. it has nothing to do with staining. you need either to buy tiles that don't stain, or treat it to seal it.
take a sample tile, seal 1/2 of it, and add a lot of materials on it and let sit overnight. rinse and see if there are any affects in the surface (dulling) or staining the next morning. i tried lemon juice, red wine, food coloring, oils, water.
if it will clean up ok, doesn't dull, and any dark areas from liquid intrusion dry off and become non-visible, you're good to go.

you can probably get almost all colors of granite made in tiles too.

my kitchen with 12" granite tiles:
http://s587.photobucket.com/albums/ss312/chaniarts/House/?action=view&current=DSC00466.jpg
regards, charlie cave creek, az
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? I believe we are talking about the same thing; I didn't know the term "undermount". Yes, it is finished off with those 1/4 or 1/2? round tiles set into the sides. I'll post a pic so you can see what I mean. Excuses in advance for the grisly look of the chipped tiles<g>

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Higgs Boson wrote:

perhaps. sinks come in surface mount, flush mount, and undermount. you can install a flush mount sink in a recess, and use 1/4 round tiles to hide the edge. an undermount is completely under the sink, and is usually glued to the underside of a solid surface countertop. it's rare to have an undermount on a non-solid surface countertop because of sealing problems.

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