Granite Counter Tops

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Are granite counter tops a fad? Synthetic solid surface materials seem to have a lot more appeal to me, but I don't know much about them.
My wife has indicated that she might want some sort of butcher block counter tops. Are those in vogue any more?
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After more than 10 years we still love the Silestone countertop we have. No maintenance other than a little detergent and water. No sealing as with granite. No problem putting hot pans from the gas stove on the counter. No scratches from cutting veggies directly on the surface.
I like the look of butcherblock, but our kitchen is too small. If you really like wood cutting surfaces (and I do, but don't have them), I'd suggest small or big cutting boards.
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Han
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Not all granite needs sealing. I've never touched ours and there are no stains whatsoever. Silestone is too soft. Quartz is a really nice man-made solid surface.

Or at least an easily replaceable section of a butcher block counter, or better, an island with a prep-sink.
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My Silestone isn't soft, and it is quartz <http://www.silestoneusa.com/docs/frequently-asked-questions.cfm : <quote> 1. What is Silestone? Silestoneฎ is naturally beautiful, durable quartz. Silestone is the world's leading natural quartz surface - a superior stone for myriad interior surfacing applications because of its ideal combination of beauty and practicality.
Silestone features a range of more than 65 unique colors, so no matter what your taste or style, we've got the perfect fit.
</quote>

Yes, that would be fine too, but my kitchen is only 8x14 ft, with an outside door, a basement door, and a dining room door.
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Han
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Han wrote:

    I would just like to say that I too have Silestone and have had it for a few years now. I spent more time than I probably should have trying to decide if Granite or a Quartz top was the best choice. I chose Silestone even though it costs more than Granite after that research. I am glad I decided as I did. Highly recommended.

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Ken wrote:

The thing that confuses me is that quartz is a mineral, not a stone; and yet, the manufacturer seems to imply that it is a naturally occuring stone. Confusing too, is the range of colors offered; quartz does come in some different colors - purple (amethyst) for one - but it is normally colorless; en masse, whitish.
Is silestone made by embedding quartz in a matrix (probably acrylic)?
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dadiOH
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Yes, "quartz" countertops are made by embedding quartz in a "polymeric" matrix. I put 2 photos up on abpw (or will soon), so you can see.
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Han
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Han wrote:

Thanks, Han. Any idea/guess as to what percentage is quartz vs the matrix?
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dadiOH
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Oops, I lost my cheatsheet with your real name, sorry. No I don't know the %. Even the little quartz-less patch in the counter is plenty hard. And the stuff IS heavy. If you want to come by to take a look, just ask. I'm in 07410.
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Han
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Ok, I didn't realize that Silestone was just a brand of quartz. I was thinking it was closer to soapstone.

Granite comes in a lot more than that. ;-)

A drop-in section of a counter would work. This makes it easy to pop out and refinish, or replace as it gets dinged.
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On 2/4/2012 12:04 PM, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

You're an idiot.
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On Sat, 04 Feb 2012 13:11:01 -0600, gonjah <gonjah.net> wrote:

At least you admit that you're a head case.
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gonjah <gonjah.net> wrote in

<<<<snip>>>>
Uncalled for
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On 2/5/2012 1:48 PM, John Carter wrote:

LOL. He is such a nice guy.
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On Sun, 05 Feb 2012 14:07:48 -0600, gonjah <gonjah.net> wrote:

Isn't your mommy proud?
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On 2/5/2012 3:03 PM, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

As proud as she "could" be. Passed away about 15 years ago.
<waiting for the tasteless remark>
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On Sun, 05 Feb 2012 15:38:27 -0600, gonjah <gonjah.net> wrote:

Amazing. ...before you were born.
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On 2/5/2012 3:44 PM, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:

LOL. You're a few decades off.
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When we bought the Silestone, it was much cheaper than granite, now it is reversed. The drop-in idea is good, but for us it wouldn't work esthetically and practically. As I said, my wife cuts veggies straight on the counter, with no discernible bad effects on knives or counter. The counter cleans really easily after that. Nevertheless, I would like her to use a cutting board.
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Han
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It's not going to be good for one of them. Cutting boards were invented for a reason (disposable). ;-)
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