Bets countertop surface?

We are going to replace our 10 year old kitchen countertops with something more durable and attractive. We are considering granite, or maybe silstone. We have 42 square feet to replace. The price for each is about the same...around $60 a square foot. Can anyone give me some pros and cons of granite and sistone, or another surface we should consider? Thanks.
Doug and Patty
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:

I almost bought granite (black) recently, and changed my mind at the last minute, to stainless steel. We love the way it looks. Our kitchen is small, so the stainless is really an advantage. It makes the kitchen brighter (reflective surface) and feel bigger. Looks fantastic with the birch cabinet fronts we put in. And it goes great with the stainless appliances we recently got. I can tell you it does not at all feel industrial, and looks very contemporary, without being unapproachable.
Stainless is not for everyone for sure. If you want to ensure you will always have a perfectly flawless looking surface, then perhaps it's not for you. However, we went with what the fabricator called an "orbital finish", which is basically a random buffed surface. Highly reccomended for stainless. You can't see any fingerprints, and it hides any scratches that might occur. Also, stainless is a bit less traditional, although I can't imagine it would hurt resale at all (likely to help). I guess i could imagine a kitchen/house that it wouldn't really work in architecturally.
The one thing I love about it is the fact that the fabricator made the sink, and welded it in. So that, as well as the backsplash, are seamless. The coutertop is essentially one piece, which looks incredible. And I got a coved edge on the backsplash, so it gently slopes up from the coutertop. And when they make the sink, they can make it any size, and make it completely integrated with the countertop.
Other nice things are the fact that it is easy to clean (can be bleached), and is very functional. The minor blemishes are easily removed with Barkeeper's Friend.
Worth considering.
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chester wrote:

What did it set you back??
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yeah sorry forgot to say that. It cost about $2800 (including 8.8% tax) for ~37 sq feet, (including backsplash), BUT that included the integrated sink. A decent sink costs $200-300, plus an extra $200 if you want it undermount for the granite, so overall, I think it was about $800-1000 cheaper than if we went with granite and a 6" granite backsplash (and a separate sink), assuming ~$80 sq ft, which is what we were looking at. Of course there are cheaper granite colors than absolute black.
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Doug & Patty,
We just redid our kitchen this year. I had the same quandry as you about counter tops and explored everything from concrete to stone to stainless to man made stone (Silestone, Caeserstone, Technistone & Zodiaq, which are all the same thing made under license from the patent holder). Ultimately, we went with Silestone, as the variety of colors surpassed what was available in nature.
We initially though about a cobalt blue, but found a fire engine red that we love.
It sounds llike your pricing is exceptional. I went through a half dozen bids and none locally were less than about $110 per square foot when everything was included. We finally went with e-counters.com and were very pleased. For our "tier" of Silestone, it worked out to $65 per square foot, plus things like cutouts ($300 for undermount sink, $20 per hole for the faucet, $40 each for outlets), and bullnose edging ($29 per lineal foot).
What I found is that counters are a lot like a base price car - the initial advertised price is about 60-70% of the real cost.
Disclaimer - I have on financial or other interest in e-counters.com, I'm just really cheap and want to get a good value. The weird thing about e-counters and Home Depot, Lowes etc, is that they all use the same "factory authorized fabricators" as listed on the products web sites. They then mark up their bids to make a profit and everybody is happy. When I had the local guys bid the project they were higher than HD and everybody else.
I really wanted to deal direct with the local guy, but they were all $2,000-3,000 higher. Go figure.
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There is nothing nicer than granite with downlighting - halogen lights iluminating it. It has a depth and look no manmade product can duplicate. I went granite
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m Ransley wrote:

Oh hey I love the look of granite. It is beautiful, and has a great look for most kitchens. I have seen several kitchens with granite countertops, and it almost always looks great(especially variations on the black colors, for me). I have it in my bathroom. I like it a lot better than the manmade silestone (or certainly corian)
Stainless is not a look for everyone, but it can look fantastic in the right kitchen...
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Silestone is man made and lacks the character of granite. I vote granite.
Read that Silestone warranty very carefully. It does and will scratch, contrary to what some of the adds lead the uniformed to believe. It is NOT as hard as quartz ... it can not be since the binders/resins are much softer than quartz.
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if it's only a choice of those two: which would you rather have? stone or plastic? look at the colors of what you're getting to find one you can live with.
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net wrote:

Soapstone http://www.finnishsoapstone.com/about_soapstone.html
-- dadiOH ____________________________
dadiOH's dandies v3.06... ...a help file of info about MP3s, recording from LP/cassette and tips & tricks on this and that. Get it at http://mysite.verizon.net/xico
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