Granite Counter Tops

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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. ;-)
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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 sink.
Buy what you like, don't worry about the next hot trend.
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On 2/4/2012 10:23 AM, Ed Pawlowski wrote:

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 non-color.
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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.
--
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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 laminate. Oops. 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.
--Vic
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On 2/4/2012 10:37 AM, mcp6453 wrote:

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.
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wrote:

Yep. Crappy paint and worse carpeting. I've seen a lot of it lately.

Don't use a hammer on it. ;-) As I said elsewhere, granite is perfect for baking. After having granite countertops (in six rooms) SWMBO wouldn't be without it.
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On 2/4/2012 1:08 PM, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz 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.
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wrote:

Banks are doing it today to foreclosures.

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).
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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 pretty thick.
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.
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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.
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...
I must not be trying hard enough. I can't imagine how one would go about scratching Corian. Their web site says scratches can be easily repaired.
--
Dan Espen

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A knife.

Sure, by a professional. So can wood and it's not plastic.
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On 2/5/2012 12:52 PM, snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz 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...
--


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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 to granite?

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.
--
Dan Espen

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It will if there are enough.

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.
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I couldn't convince to worry about the radioactivity?
:)
Maybe we _will_ try stone for the next kitchen, if we live that long.
--
Dan Espen

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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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On 2/5/2012 2:58 PM, Dan Espen wrote:

Corian makes a repair kit consisting of two parts, one colored polymer in acrylic monomer and the other a curing agent.
The Corian itself is acrylic polymer with alumina filler.
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On 2/5/2012 1:58 PM, Dan Espen wrote:

people who worship the granite god are not interested in practicality. They are only interested in the 'look at me' syndrome.
--
Steve Barker
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