Quartz would be my first choice but it's far more expensive than even granite.
Granite works very well and is great for baking. We have ~150 ft^2 of granite
in our house (kitchen, living room shelves, and four bathroom counters).
Some people are turned off by the maintenance of granite (I've found that
there is none). Butcher block is about the worst possible surface, in this
regard. If you're a seasoned woodworker and have nothing else to do with your
life, butcher block is nice. It'll make lousy cookies, though. ;-)
Everything has a cycle. I'd consider some of the solid surfaces.
Depending on layout, if you have a 24" cabinet where you'd like to
prep, make that the butcher block top. I don't have the room in this
house, but in my last one, we loved having that surface next to the
Buy what you like, don't worry about the next hot trend.
But what will my neighbors think? Seriously, we're thinking of selling the house
in the next few years. I always like to consider resale value. We've lived with
neutral colored walls forever for that reason. Thankfully we like that color. Or
In that case, get estimates for what different countertops would cost.
Don't do anything to yours, but supply the estimates to potential buyers.
Then they can choose. If you install something now, you have the mess, and
then you have limited the potential buyers to whoever likes that particular
surface, and eliminated all others. I know, buying a home is visceral, and
if you can put in something that is liked, you got the buyer on the hook.
Doubt you'll ever get your money back going high end on any
renovation, especially in this home market.
Just get what you like.
Personally, what's in the kitchen never mattered to me or my wife when
we were looking for a house.
For us, as they say, it's was mostly location.
When we looked at this house, which I really liked for the location,
structural soundness, and good mechanicals, I thought the kitchen
would kill the deal for my wife.
Small, not much counter space (formica), painted built-in cabinets
with poor drawer fit.
She didn't blink, even when I pressed her about the kitchen.
She said we can improve it later.
I was probably brainwashed by all the bullshit put out by the "home
improvement" marketeers as to how the kitchen had to be just so..
And she's a professional chef.
Not saying she thinks about this like other women though.
BTW, she uses hard plastic cutting boards, and they just get washed
with the rest of the dishes.
We were just talking about finally redoing the kitchen, mostly to gain
more counter space and to add a dishwasher.
Her big complaint is not enough counter space.
Only have counter on one wall, with the sink and dish drain rack
taking all but 3 feet of it.
Which means we'll put cabinets/counter on the other wall and have
to remove the kitchen table. No other way.
Only way to eat in there will be on stools, either on the wall counter
or a small island.
I'll have to tear out the sink wall and have an electrician wire that
up properly, and put outlets in the wall getting the new counter.
She doesn't care what the countertops are made of, and doesn't care if
I pick up used cabinets from Craigslist or off the street on garbage
day. Just wants more counter space.
Gives me a lot of flexibility.
I'll probably get the counters made up at a big box of mid-range
I just asked her, and she said she really likes the looks of granite,
but a granite laminate will do.
We'll see. I'm going to go with whatever she wants.
She's been patient for 15 years, only cussing about it a few times.
What looks good to you may not look good to purchaser. I would tend
away from the color extremes. A real estate axiom I remember was that
it is better to bring color into a room than to color the room itself.
On corporate resales the company would often come in and paint all the
walls off white and put in beige carpeting.
As for granite vs synthetic, I understand granite cannot be repaired
while synthetic can.
On 2/4/2012 1:08 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
When I worked briefly as a realtor, it was done in vacant houses.
Corporate transferee was given time himself to sell house but if he
didn't, they would buy it and transform it to the neutral colors.
Not sure about relative costs of granite vs synthetics but think main
cost is custom fabrication and they may be similar.
Only product I was familiar with was Corian and thought it a good product.
I found that quartz is twice the installed price of granite.
That does scratch easily. I don't really like the "plastic" feel, either.
It's not bad in the bathroom but I wouldn't want it in the kitchen. In any
case, it's quite a bit more expensive than the cheaper granite (granite has
about a 4x price range, depending on color).
Thinner granite doesn't crack? I like the massive look in a kitchen (at
least a larger one, which is much preferred by SWMBO). Even laminate tops are
It's not *that* expensive, at least if it's not a "starter house". The lower
end stuff can be had for $40/ft^2, or so, installed. Even some of them come
with granite, now.
Agreed. Granite has followed the classic pricing curve. It remains expensive to
transport because of its weight, but has gone from something that required hand
cutting and polishing, to something that is essentially mass produced.
They also started out much thicker than standard thicknesses today, which
required reinforced cabinetry and added to transport costs. Today 3cm tops can
go on standard cabinets and some builders are using 2cm.
On 2/5/2012 12:52 PM, email@example.com wrote:
Doesn't take anything particularly difficult nor a "professional" to rub
out a scratch in any of the manmade finishes. All the ones I've had
occasion to either install or have come w/ a small repair kit and
instructions for the homeowner and materials are readily available.
It's nothing magic at all...
I'm using a piece of Corian left over from the counter as a cutting
board. Twelve years so far. Sure the knife leaves lines, but you have
to look really close and it really doesn't look bad.
I wouldn't cut directly on granite. Wouldn't a knife do the same thing
Nope, the web sites say soft scrub and a scouring pad.
We did have an problem with our Corian, we cooked a turkey in our
microwave with the microwave directly on the counter in a corner.
With a loud bang, the counter cracked from the wall to edge.
Corian fixed it for free. It's not possible to see the repair.
Anyway, everyone has their preferences. Stone looks pretty cool but
I'm sold on the practicality of Corian.
I wouldn't either. It'll ruin the knife. Grainite, unsurprisingly, is a
*lot* harder than Corian (plastic).
Not when it's badly scratched. It has to be sanded out and it's not easy, so
I'm told by people with Corian, to make look right. For a kitchen, no thanks!
Granite is cheaper and better. I have no issue with Corian in a bath. I
might prefer it, actually.
Because it *does* damage fairly easily.
That's the big advantage of granite. It's cool. Literally. ;-) It's great
for baking. SWMBO loves the island for rolling out dough.
Nah, she hasn't been a liberal since the '60s. ;-)
Warning, she won't let you go back. We're looking at a new house now (I've
taken a job 75mi from here) and she won't give up her granite. If the house
we're looking at has laminate, I have to remind her that it can be replaced
(essentially promising). It would likely have to be replaced before she even
moves in. ;-)
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