Corian, Granite, Formica, or ????????

Doing a kitchen remodel soon. Which one would you choose and why? And why not the others?
STeve
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Granite, if you can afford it. Why? Look at all three you will know the answer.

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Save your pennys err twentys and get granite. You will never regret it.
chef
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we have granite, and the only problem is spots........................it requires a little more effort than formica or corian.
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I have granite. Takes hot pots and sharp knives and looks brand new after 3 years. Cleans up with mild soap or 50/50 mix of alcohol and water (for extra shine). And it looks gorgeous - totally unique, a natural beauty. Love it, love it, love it!
Dee
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Another option is soap stone. It is a traditional counter top material in this country going way back. There was a soap stone quary in Vermont that supplied soap stone counter tops and sinks for a 100 years or more. Don't know whay it closed down but it has recently been reopened. A lot of it comes from Brazil (I think) now.
Greg
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soapstone is an awesome choice. fire slate (man made stone) also makes a great counter top.
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until you need to have a chip repaired.
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until you need to have a chip repaired.
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until you need to have a chip repaired.
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until you need to have a chip repaired.
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Cost is a deciding factor for many, both for the material and cost of installation. Style is another. Utility is a third, which includes both the use and upkeep of a surface. I note from the "official" web site that Corian is warranteed for 10 yrs, and that while it can take some "brief" heat, a trivet is recommended, so when you grab that pot of boiling (over) caramel off the stove and set it down, you may have a problem. The same is probably true of Formica -- I have experience only with older versions, which also scratch easily. I think stone would be lovely, but have no experience with it. I have unglazed quarry tile which has been in place for almost 25 years, hasn't stained or chipped, and is unaffected by any heat it's been subject to.
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Granite. It's naturally beautiful, hard and durable. The other choices are man made and look like it.

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I would get granite. If you check the price of corian you'll see that there is not a great deal of difference in the price of the two. Granite looks much richer, and always keep in mind the resale value of your home someday.

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We have decided to go with granite. Now, are there different grades of granite, or things to watch out for?
Steve
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As I recall, darker grained granite is a bit harder than lighter ones. Also, something to consider is a large tile installation rather . I used 18.0"sq granite tiles with the whole tile along the front. I had the front edges bullnosed. I also used very small grout lines with matching grout. Came out very cool. In the regards to "Chief's" repetitive replys about chipping...it's easy to repair in this instance.
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Yes, and yes. There are hundreds of different stones sold as "granite" with widely varying properties. In fact, many (maybe even most) aren't geologically granite at all, but other kinds of rock. Now, this isn't necessarily a bad thing, since many of the non-granite "granites" are superior for kitchen-type use.
Broadly speaking, the best stones are non-reactive, non-porous, and free of defects such as cracks. For a vast array of (somewhat poorly organized) information on the subject, check out
http://www.findstone.com /
under the section Images/Advice for Buyers.
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I went and picked out my own slab. It happened to be from Alaska and cost-wise was on the high end of granite, but I don't regret it because it is very unique. It is non-patterned with some shiny, natural specks in it. It is light in color--grayish. I can even see fossils in it--have a green tinge to them! The closest I can find to it is http://www.monticellogranite.com/granite-colors.html The azul Aran looks very much like it (1st picture) double click to see a larger picture. There are several sights that came up with a google search for granite, stone finder, etc. I'll leave that there, but I remembered the name http://www.igmcorp.com/images/Azul%20Imperial.htm I picked out a slab that had more of the fossilization in it. Now that I looked, again, it's the same as the one above.
I have had nothing but wonderful comments about it and I absolutely love it. Even the installers said they had never installed it before and were amazed at how great it looked. They said they would have been afraid to choose it. Many people stick with the closer designs like Uba Tuba and black. I couldn't be happier with my choice. I wouldn't have anything else, but your taste may be completely different--that's what makes the world go around. If I were you, I'd shop at several different places to get a feel for what you like.
I do have a question on the proper way to clean it even though it looks and feels like the day I bought it over a year ago, now. I have been cleaning it with just vinegar and water after trying a granite cleaner for a short time. It's a shiny as ever, but I'm wondering if I should re-seal it once in a while. I just found this group, again, recently, and will read up in here and I'm sure I'll find my answer. Good luck with your choice. You won't be sorry you chose granite.
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If you can see fossils in it then it isn't granite. Granite was formed in a molten state (igneous rock) so any fossils would have been destroyed. So either you don't have granite or you're not seeing fossils. Looking at the pictures it's hard to see if there are fossils(little shells, ferns etc.)--looks like plain old granite. Nice color, too. Ken
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