Think first in terms of what counter tops are in similar homes to yours. If
most of the homes in your area use Corain or Ceramic tile, than I'd give
that some strong consideration. It's better to overshoot, though, than to
undershoot and use something like laminate in a neighborhood that typically
I consider solid granite to be the top counter top from a marketing and also
use standpoint. Yes, if you park a lemon slice on it for days, you can get
a dull spot. However, a long term sealer helps, as does the coloration and
particle color of the granite. Yes, if you drop your mortar or pestle on it
from 10' in the air, you can break it. Yes, it's almost impossible to get a
sink of the same material. However, granite is still the standard for
upscale homes and its popularity is justified by its durability and utility.
Having now had a kitchen with granite tops for the past 10 years, I can
honestly say I don't want any other materials.
Second to solid granite is the solid-composite, such as Silestone. I place
it in the same category as Corian-type counter tops. It's good, it's
durable and its less expensive. Still, I place those materials in the
category as "almost as good." If you consider the marginal cost difference
between those materials and granite, I cannot understand NOT going with
The laminates and grouted-type materials are on further down the
desirability list. While they're practical, it's like comparing a Ford to a
Mercedes. If price is the big issue, I think a grouted material would still
be better than a laminate, which I place at the bottom of the utility and
I put in maple counter tops (Grainger work bench tops) just to humor
my wife, thinking they would be firewood in a year and we could get
"real" counter tops.
10 years later they are still doing great.
I wiped the oil off with mineral spirits, shot about 10 -15 coats of
thinned poly urethane on them before I installed them and that was
about it. We are tough on them too. Nothing hurts them and if you drop
a glass it won't shatter like you have with granite.
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