Counter-tops: What's next after granite?

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Are you guys seeing alternatives to granite these days as something "in"? My eyes are starting to gloss over when I see brand new kitchens put in with this and other stone that just seems somehow (maybe?) ready for retirement only because it's been done and done and done.
The reason I ask this is that already in home improvement shows they are removing Corian to update to stone. And Corian seems to have been big not even 15 years ago. But somehow stone tops are all starting to look the same. At least getting there.
Are you guys seeing stainless steel? Or concrete? Something else starting to get a foothold? I'm updating my kitchen (hopefully) soon.
Or is granite here for a much longer time than I'm pondering?
THANKS!
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Corian is on the outs partly because it looks too plasticky. It's also too easy to scratch, despite it's alleged renewability.
Granite has to be sealed, so that has opened up a market for engineered stone like quartz composites. They don't stain, and many varieties look very much like natural stone. The more natural it looks, the less likely it's going to look faddish in the future, in my opinion.
Stainless is an expensive workhorse that shows scratches. Some complain that it looks too sterile or industrial. Concrete seems too prone to cracking to be ready for prime time. It also needs to be sealed to prevent stains.
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mike wrote:

Sunday papers the last couple of months (since the financial implosion) have been reporting a resurgence in sales of Formica for new construction and remodels. Cheap compared to about anything else, reasonably durable (at least compared to the average time between kitchen remodels for those with excess money), and as long as you avoid the tacky butcher block patterns, can be attractive enough for a real working kitchen (versus a never-used and seldom-seen-by-company show-off room.) And if you do tire of the color, but don't want to change layouts, and the cabinets are in good shape, it is cheap to change out.
-- aem sends...
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I have to wonder about things like slate or even blue-stone. I know of no such installations, but am just thinking out loud. Sorry. ;)
Does the concrete crack from heat applied to it or from curing over time and drying out? Or something else?
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Thomas G. Marshall wrote:

Formica forever for me :o)
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wrote:

While it may get dated quicker, formica isn't a bad option. It's surprisingly scratch resistant, and it's cheap enough to replace when it gets scorched, delaminated, or gets water-swelled joints.
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Granite and silly useless little islands in the middle have just started to work their way into house trailers. Meanwhile, some new trends are appearing in laminates. I look for the best designers to start using the unlimited laminate palette in attractive classical ways, with designs that are pleasant to look at rather than the current clash of metal and stone. Some of the current offerings in plumbing fixtures (kitchen faucets) are outrageous examples of taking the worst Victorian designs and making them even uglier. Checking designs from the major manufactures (Kohler, American Standard) should offer clues to where the design trends are heading. Lean economic times will quickly obsolete the over the top offerings we have now and good taste may prevail. Me? I'm doing laminate, possibly a deep gloss color If SWMBO likes it.
Joe
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Joe wrote:

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Joe wrote:

Don't laugh. I had some laminate left over from a FLOORING project. I was able to transform random planks into a countertop that bears a fair resemblance to butcher-block! Works swell.
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I have had Corian for about 18 months. Wanted it for 20 years. LOVE it. Huge bonus-sink is integrated, no place for crude and not an over mount.
Amy
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I have had Corian for 20 years and still love it. Mine is the light gray granite patterned (Sierra Dusk, I think). I used to worry about the scratches, but they blend right into the stone look.
--
Dennis


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wrote:

Anybody use ceramic tile. I installed it on my kitchen counter 20 + years ago and it still is not scratched and looks good.
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I second ceramic tile. We had ours for 25 years, looks as beautiful as when new. No scratches, no spots, no marks, no chips. Lasts forever and can take just about any punishment including, heat, acidic food, alkaline food. The key is to use good, hard fired, ceramic tile with a neutral but artistic design. Better than any granite top.
To rejuvenate the grout, I wire-brushed it (brass brush) about 10 years ago.
Good idea to keep a few spare tiles, just in case. If something bad should happen, it is easy to plug in a new tile. Approx. 4"x4" tiles are optimum
--
Walter
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Everyone I know who has or had tile countertops hated... no, loathed them. Stuff would get into the grout lines. The grout lines impede wiping the counter. The wet areas would mildew. Tiles can crack. And it's not conducive to undermount sinks.
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Yup. No good way to clean it and it's just plain ugly.
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mike wrote:

I've had mostly tile countertops since 1972 or so. I like them but then you don't know me.

It wipes off.

With a squuegee, yes; with a sponge (or cloth), no.
The wet areas would mildew.
Never had any. And that's in Honolulu and Florida, both known for humidity.

True. So can pretty much everything else. Can't burn them though...

Conducive, no; possible, yes.
--

dadiOH
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The rough, porous grout in a depression is not nearly as stain resistant and cleanable as an uninterrupted, non-porous, glassy-smooth surface that can be wiped right into an undermounted sink. There's no contest. Eventually clean does not equal quickly clean.
It's not the humidity that is the mildew maker in grout. It's the constant wetness near a heavily-used sink. Also tile cracks much, much easier than quartz. Not even the same ball park. It's hard to find a tile installation of any appreciable age that doesn't have cracks and craze lines in multiple locations.
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mike wrote:

I don't remember ever seeing one.
Properly installed time can last centuries.
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Thomas G. Marshall wrote:

Granite last forever. Why would anybody want anything that permanent? You might want to remodel sometime.
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Van Chocstraw wrote:

What's to stop you?
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