We've had Formica and tile with epoxy
grout previous to granite. Tile does
wear. We had spots where the finish had
dulled. Even the epoxy grout does wears
and does stain. We now have granite.
We have a "pattern" that doesn't show
anything. Actually, you have to either
wipe your hand across it or look at the
reflecting light to see if there is
anything on it that needs cleaning up.
I am a definite granite believer.
depends upon the tile and usage. i've had tiles next to the stove only last
a handful of years if you're in the habit of sliding pots around on them.
my current house has granite tiles. no stains or marks even with items that
normally would: red wine, grease, acids, etc.
you should test a piece of your sample granite with various items to
determine if it needs to be sealed. a lot don't require this.
You're right about much of this, Cindy. I did have the counter itself
re-tiled few years ago, but I made this mistake of having a handyman
do it, so result did not wear as well as orig. installation decades
ago by a real tile-setter. This time I had to go to a special place
to get the matching tiles, as they are from long, long ago. Dunno if
there could be a difference in quality? This job has a lot of dings
and cracks around the sink.
Satisfied? Appearance, yes, but grout got dirty easily , and my
attempts at re-grouting were less than stellar. Still, as you now
retiling the damaged areas might still be the best option. After all,
I am not building for the ages...
However, have also seriously considered the latest in "formica", if I
can halfway match the tiles, and I promise not to put down a hot pot
while screaming. Some people have a sort of trivet built in, of metal
or tile, to avoid this problem.
Thanks for your thoughful response.
Once you consider that quartz countertops (like Silestone) will last 4
to 10 times as long as formica, you realize that it is not more
Silestone is stain proof, requires no sealing, is stronger and more
crack resistant than granite, and calcium deposits around faucets can
be scraped off with a razor blade once every few years to keep it
looking brand new.
It's the closest to maintenance-free as you're going to get.
A hole is cut in the counter top slightly smaller than the undermount sink.
The sink is then supported on two struts that extend from the back of the
cabinet to the front, or side-to-side. It is held firmly against the
underside of the counter top, where silicone caulk makes the joint water
proof. The polishing mentioned is what is done to the cut edge of the
countertop where the opening for the sink was made.
Undermount sinks are way nicer than having a metal rim that looks
silly and traps crud.
Other than bragging rights for it being trendy or natural nobody's
ever shown me a single reason that granite is better than engineered
stone (Silestone, etc.).
Copyright 2010 by Shaun Eli. All rights reserved.
That's probably what I'll use. Some kind of laminate.
For the OP, do you ask yourself or your wife these kind of question?
"Hey honey, I'm going over to Home Depot. Think I'll stop by that
jewelry store next door. You want a big diamond ring or will jade
"Hey honey, I'm going over to Home Depot. Think I'll stop at a couple
car dealerships to order a replacement car for your 4 mile commute.
Should I stop at the Mercedes dealer or the Chevrolet dealer?"
You happen upon a gal wearing a jade ring.
Ask her if she's happy with it.
Now, let's say you happen upon a gal wearing a 3 karat diamond ring.
Ask her if she's happy with it.
Do the same when you get the chance to ask a Mercedes driver and Chevy
Nine out of ten times you'll get the same "Yes" answer.
The sellers of the rings and cars will both say their customers are
happy with the choice they made.
Ask a guy who sells both Mercedes and Chevy what you should buy from
My Chevy is 13 years old. Runs good but rust is starting to show.
Our formica countertops are 50 years old. Look brand new.
My wife usually wipes up spills pretty quick and doesn't often put hot
pans on the countertop.
She has dish rags and paper towels and trivets.
Much comes down to what "status" you want and how much you'll spend
for it. Granite looks good, and so do 3 karat diamonds and Mercedes.
Here's a link to some CR testing. I don't subscribe anymore but this
is the kind of thing CR excels at.
I strongly disagree with these results. My folks had their laminate
ruined by a little heat, and laminates are famous for letting go in
wet areas. When you consider laminates low longevity, laminates end
up costing more in the long run.
But at least they're more scratch resistant than corian.
I had Silestone installed in 2001. Still looks new, and I like the
ability to put hot pots right on it. Easy to clean too.
The only thing you can't get with stone is a sink made out of the same
material, all one piece. You can get that with Corian and other
plastic-like materials but they're not heat- or scratch-proof.
Copyright 2010 by Shaun Eli.
OK, it did not work for your folks, but mine has been in this house for 30
years with no damage. I'll probably replace in an a couple of years just
to freshen up the kitchen, but not because of any damage or wear. I don't
see that costing me more than any other surface.
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