Wilsonart Hi-Definition laminate countertops

I think we're going to install this as a compromise between regular laminate and something like granite for our new counters. The designs and colors are beautiful, so I'm curious whether the cohort can offer any big negatives (besides the known issues with putting hot stuff directly on it). Granite or any of the composite surfaces would cost at least $2k more in our kitchen, and I don't think we'd get our money out in our real-estate market (a friend did a high-end kitchen to sell her house and didn't get what she wanted for it), and I think we'd be quite happy with this new-generation laminate countertop.
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I have Wilsonart tops in my kitchen. The countertops were installed about three years ago. I haven't had any problem with mine. I am careful to not set anything hot on it. Mine is Marine Mystic (I think) - a dark blue color and very pretty.
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wrote:

Take a look at the 12 inch square granite tile approaches. You'll have most of the advantages of granite (slab) at a fraction of the cost. Use the thinest recommended grout lines and a sandless (maybe epoxy) grout. It looks pretty nice. You will need to decide how to finish the edges - there are multiple options including standard or custom finish tiles, hardwood molding and more. A decent tile store could give you a lot of guidance.
I've worked with laminate from both Formica and Wilsonart. I think the Formica product is quite a bit better in quality and durability. Others have said the same thing in this forum in the past.
As far as real estate values are concerned (in CA at least) granite will add value for sure. Laminate will not add value in itself although the general improvement to the kitchen might.
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On Mon, 25 Feb 2008 00:04:55 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@malch.com (Malcolm Hoar) wrote:

We considered this, but an undermount sink isn't possible with this approach, and we really want undermount.

Interesting; thanks for posting this.

Maybe in CA, but not here; the friend I mentioned did beautiful granite throughout her kitchen with cherry cabinets and stainless steel appliances and ended up selling her house for $40k less than she wanted. I'm reluctant to pour that much extra money into a house we're not sure we'll be in more than another 5 years.
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Don't let anecdotal evidence be your guide. Lots of people don't get what they want for it when they sell their houses because they ask much more than they are worth.
I don't know your budget, but if you really want granite and have the money, get it and enjoy it. If you are happy with a nice laminate, that is just fine also. Choice is wonderful.
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I think that granite may be more important in a certain price range of homes. In my area that would be $400,000 and up. Below that you may get away with laminate.
I just used the high def laminate as a vanity top in our master bath. I don't think it looks much like granite at all but is a nice looking laminate. I had to get the master bath back together quickly as my wife goes through chemo again. I'll tear the cheap stuff out when she is done and finish the remodel properly.
I agree with Ed. Don't rely on your friends experience. Also if you are going to stay in your house for 8 or 10 years do what makes you happy as granite may not be popular when you are ready to sell.
I have been making sample counters tops from concrete and have come up with a few that will look great in our home. I will post pictures when they are completed.
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KLS wrote:

Where are you pricing your granite? Where I live, granite is by far the least expensive counter top material because there are a gazillion granite stores selling cheap granite from China, i.e. "http://www.besttilesf.com/granite/countertops_colors.html ".
If you're buying granite at Home Depot, or a high end kitchen remodeling store than it can get expensive, or if you're buying Italian granite it can get really expensive.
The downsides of granite are that the color and pattern selections are more limited and that you have to seal it periodically as it's porous.
I just remodeled the kitchen and 3 bathrooms in a rental unit, and all the counters are granite because I didn't want to spend a lot. Somehow builders and many stores have many consumers convinced that granite is some sort of an exotic material that is considered an "upgrade." In reality, some of the synthetics are better (non-porous) but are more costly than granite.
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KLS wrote:

We used Dovae solid counter material -- similar to Corian and the other manmade solids but less expensive. Had it in about a year now and am quite pleased so far...
http://www.dovae.com /
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Looks GREAT! Wow! How did it compare in price with the quartz composites (Silestone, Caesarstone, etc.)? Must be a new manufacturer trying to get in to the market.
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KLS wrote:

Much less but we didn't actually consider any of the "real" stone products. IIRC, was about half Corian from same supplier on sq-ft basis altho the pricing w/ Corian included labor whereas the material cost on the Dovae was material-only. Still worked out at significant differential at, at least superfically, no discernible difference in product or look.
I'm not positive how long Chemcore has been in business but aren't all _that_ new.
I've installed Corian, this stuff works the same way but while an individual can buy Corian (and others), Chemcore sells only to fabricators which they claim is their technique for reducing cost. Don't see how that makes the total difference personally, but then again, DuPont has a big headstart in name recognition so they can (and do) command the premium as the market leader.
As say, I'm completely satisfied w/ the product after having it in the kitchen for a year so far--it does not damage easily (any more than Corian, etc.) as far as scratching, etc., and cleans easily, doesn't stain, etc., either, as the manufacturer claims. I was a little leery at first, but the local building supply that recommended it gave me their favorite installer to talk to and he provided a number of clients who convinced me to give it a go -- I'm now convinced, too.
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