Best wood for kitchen worktops?

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) wrote in

Charlie,
Not sure what they would be called elsewhere, but here in the U.K. a 'Belfast' sink is primarily a deep white porcelain rectangle sink, as seen in old Irish kitchens......with the wooden counter tops actually overhanging the top of the sink, and not the sinks set in the countertops.
Ron
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Ron responds:

Yeah. Someone else posted a link. I am pretty sure I've seen those at Kohler's web site in the US. A quick check shows I was right...apron sinks. Some great designs there, too.
I'm going to be doing my kitchen in a couple years, so maybe...
Charlie Self "For NASA, space is still a high priority." Dan Quayle
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I went with maple, covered with poly urethane. (one home built, one bought from Grainger) My countertop is not a cutting board. A year later they still look great. I figure when they finally do get dinged up too bad I can sand them down and recoat them.
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We have wood counters in our pantry, I think maple though they could be birch, 5/4 or 6/4. They've been there for almost 100 years. Never varnished, and not oiled the last 30 years. They've been used occasionally as a cutting board too, and they still look pretty good.
We have a Belfast sink too, though I never knew it until now :-) but it has a stone counter around it. That's been there 100 years too, and it looks pretty good, but not as good as the wood (it tends to pick up stains). Wood would probably have rotted in that location.
Regards, Allen
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I recently upgraded my kitchen countertop after many hours of research and questions. The best overall countertop is Silestone (goes by many other names)which is engineered stone. It Looks and feels like Granite but is not pourous to liquids like granite and doesn't need occasianal sealing like granite. Silestone is hot cold resistant and scratch resistant (uses quartz as engineered material) but is most expensive. Next is Granite is hard and hot cold resistant and somewhat scratch resistant but pourous and needs sealing occassionally. Third best is Corian looks great but scratches easily and not temperature resistant. I have had bad experience with Corian countertops aside from scratching it cracked in couple places so not an option for the wife. The least expensive is Formica or other similar laminates. I chose granite for my countertop but whished I had spent the extra money for the Silstone. Hope this was informative. Good Luck

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I will throw my 2 cents, since nobody else has looked at it from this angle.
Has anyone give any thought to resale value? Or it might convince the misses.. I am pretty sure that wood tops would be a show stopper for most buyers.
Roger

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I'm not so sure. The "in thing" right now is granite, followed by Corian. Wood is ancient and may be considered dated. I've seen a couple of "How To" shows on TV where they got rid of those old butcher block type counters. Ed
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Ed Pawlowski responds:

Ah. If the TV designers think something is cool, I do believe I'd far rather go in the other direction. If I can locate enough hard maple (rough and green) my kitchen remodel will have a feature I hadn't intended.
Charlie Self "For NASA, space is still a high priority." Dan Quayle
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Then by all means I should jump in line and be a sheep.
I think you'll find many people with trophy kitchens (those things on TV) don't actually cook in them. Sort of like someone who builds a shop and fills it with pretty equipment, then beats bird houses together with 12 penny sinkers.
Form follows function in this home. Wife and I wouldn't have it any other way.
--
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Mark

N.E. Ohio
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No, no, always do the OPPOSITE of what they do ! Sheesh. This "the way they do it on those shows must be wrong" attitude is just as moronic as the "as seen on TV" one.

However, Corian(R) is still a fantastic surface for countertops. And no surprise there, since it was designed to be exactly that.
As to kitchen design, the biggest flaws I've seen in "trophy kitchens" is too big a primary work area (sink-cooktop-fridge-oven) and claustrophobic range hood designs.
And any kitchen can be improved by adding anti-fatigue mats (as can any shop).
--
Dennis M. O'Connor snipped-for-privacy@primenet.com



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Dennis O'Connor writes:

I put in a Corian lavatory in our bathroom a few years ago. My wife hated it from day one. I had a tub surround ready to go in, but got rid of it. She doesn't like the matte finish, primarily.
I've got a granite sharpening base here, and cannot imagine using that thing, as finely ground as it is, for a kitchen surface.
As you go down the list of materials for countertops, you find faults. Ceramic tile breaks too easily to be used, IMO. Copper is a PITA to keep polished. Formica and those similar to it scorch too easily, delaminate under some conditions, etc. It keeps on. Possibly the biggest problem: none can be refinished. They all have to be replaced when they're messed up, though some (granite, concrete, Corian and other solid surface resin types) area going to last a long, long time (which is a pretty good reason for not going with trendy colors and shapes--you'll be heartily sick of the dramatic red or black or...in a decade or two).
Wood? Wood works beautifully. Tenderizing? No problem. Cutting? Not much of a problem for the first 40 years. It does scorch, possibly more easily than the laminates but lo. And behold! What's that in his hand? A scraper? Couple hours later, wood is looking great again. The laminate? In the garbage and replace the whole works.
Charlie Self "For NASA, space is still a high priority." Dan Quayle
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Charlie Self wrote:

The whole point of the solid surface materials such as Corian is that they _can_ be refinished--even through-holes can be repaired. Granite can also be refinished but to a lesser extent. Not something that I suspect the average home handyman is going to want to take on, but it _is_ doable.

--
--John
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JClarke responds:

Corian is sandable, yeah. Didja ever see the mess it makes? Respirator time, plus closing off the entire area (which is a good idea with sanding wood in a house, too). That takes out some stains, scratches, minor cuts. Anything else is a specialist's job, IMO. Grinding granite is also a specialist's job, one I would care to attempt.
As I said, wood can be scraped and recoated with very little fuss, not much mess, and quickly.
Do-able and practical are 2 very different things in those contexts. Most of us could make really major repairs to a solid wood countertop without any extra tools or prep or safety gear. I'd hestitate to make much more than the smallest repairs to Corian and would totally forgo messing with solid rock.
Charlie Self "I am confident that the Republican Party will pick a nominee that will beat Bill Clinton." Dan Quayle
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnotforme (Charlie Self) wrote in message
I like the idea of wood countertops and am thinking that beech would be a good choice.

Dunno if he really said that or not but NASA is the National Aeronatics AND Space Administration--the very name kinda implies that space is an afterthought and it is certainly possible for NASA to put a higher priority on Aeronautics than on space.
Of course manned space flight remains the high budget item because it is the most expensive thing that NASA does even when the remaining shuttles are grounded.
--

FF

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Fredfighter responds:

Hadn't thought of that, but it sounds good. Wonder if red gum would work out?

Well, it may have been an afterthought for Quayle, but it was the primary reason NASA was formed. I think it ended up alphabetical...or they were afraid of the acronym: NAAS.
Charlie Self "I am confident that the Republican Party will pick a nominee that will beat Bill Clinton." Dan Quayle
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On Thu, 29 Apr 2004 15:58:16 +0000, Charlie Self wrote:

NACA was formed in 1915 and dealt primarily with aeronautics until 1958 when it's name was changed to NASA when sputnik forced the US into the astronautics game. Aeronautics is still an important part of NASA's charter.
<http://history.nasa.gov/centtimeline/index.html>
-Doug
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depend on the support of Paul." - George Bernard Shaw
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Corian(R) can be refinished. It's the same material all the way through, so you can sand it down and then repolish it to whatever sheen you happen to prefer. many of the solid surface materials are like that. Laminates, of course, not so much ...

Don't cut on Corian, if your knives matter to you. That's what cutting boards are for anyway (NOT for dancing on, no matter what Bobby Flay thinks !). Tenderizing on Corian doesn't seem to be a problem.
And of course, Corian has seamless sink integration.

But with the Corian, it's just sander time. You can patch it too.
--
Dennis M. O'Connor snipped-for-privacy@primenet.com



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