Who knows of an unbiased discussion of countertops I could access? My
wife and I are going to remodel our kitchen, and the big question is
what material to use... Corian? (My wife likes it), or some other
substance? There's SO much hype out there, it's hard to know what's hype
and what's good info.
Have a look at the August 2005 Consumer Reports (CR) magazine. A countertop
comparative review is one of the featured articles this month. It looks at
countertop types, not brands, so it is a useful primer for the subject.
This and other newsgroups have interesting and useful opinions, which we
often seek, but each person has his own set of experiences, kitchen demands,
and anecdotal but not necessarily objective views. (I include myself as one
of these less-than-objective DIY-ers). CR rates granites and engineered
stone "excellent", and Corian and similar solid surface plastics as "good",
but read the article for particulars. I have friends who have had poor
experiences with engineered stone (plastic impregnated crushed quartz, or
similar minerals), yet over the years CR has favored engineered stone
slightly, vs natural granites.
We just did our kitchen in granite, and so far we love it.
I agree with R.T.. But I would take it one step further. Consider
moving your cabinets 6" out from the walls. "Sleeve" the ends of them
that 6". Add a second row of shallow 3" drawers to the top before
installing your new countertop. That should give you a 39"+ finished
heighth and 30" depth. You've just doubled your storage capacity. Add
a 6" back shelf to the standard countertop with slots in it at
appropiate food prep areas: out of the way knife holders. Wiremould
strip as a capping around the other areas: shallow appliance ledge.
Undermount your sink and route 3/16" drainage grooves to the sink. If
sink has predrilled faucet holes mount high gooseneck type faucet. If
it doesn't, mount the faucet on the back ledge. Winged levers would
An interesting arrangement.
I've used similar arrangements with good results.
I don't agree with 39 inch high counter top, unless the user is tall.
The "standard" 36 inch high counter top is, in practice, a reach for my
wife and daughters.
I totally agree with you, the taller cabinet sucks, and I'm 6'-3". I
bought a place from a guy years ago who was about my height. He had
installed new 39" +/- cabs throughout on a remodel a year before. It
was fine for me but screwed for the rest of the family.
several years ago "Fine Homebuilding" had a very good article on all
the options for countertops. You may be able to find it online by
going to the Taunton Press site and searching.
On Mon, 01 Aug 2005 22:15:00 -0500, Steve Henderson
I reccommend stainless. Maintenance free, looks great, seamless
(integrated sink and backsplash), and is great for small kitchens, since
it is reflective (makes it look bigger). But go with an random orbital
finish (sctraches, blemishes don't show). And it is (usually) slightly
cheaper than granite.
Here's the website that originally steered me to stainless, but
discusses other choices too.
As the other guy said, do a google search on kitchen countertops materials.
Steve Henderson wrote:
On Mon, 01 Aug 2005 22:15:00 -0500, Steve Henderson
I know it is seen as old fashioned but regular laminates are probably
the best choice for a real working kitchen. If you want one of those
show places where nobody actually cooks then granite or corian clones
is probably for you.
I went for stainless and maple but it is a little too "industrial" for
a lot of people's tastes. The "L" shaped SS 20ga counter skin (58x80)
cost me $1200 from a local metal fabricator but I got the rest of the
5'x8' sheet to play with
We are currently remodelling our kitchen, and countertops are the next
big decision, probably last one to make. I too favor corian, except for
the price. My kitchen would cost about $3500 with the undermounted
seamless sink in Corian/LG Hi-Mac. That's roughly 25 linear feet of
counter. Granite is lovely, but too pricy for me, and wouldn't fit the
status of the house or neighborhood. I don't care for the upkeep of
tile, or the industrial look (or cost) of steel or concrete. Laminate
is great for price, but I haven't seen a pattern I like as much as the
corian. I may end up going with laminate for price, we'll see. One
plus to laminate that I read recently was, if you use laminate in your
kitchen, most times you can replace all of it for under $1000, so if you
really want to change the decor of your kitchen, change the paint and
the laminate and it will look very different, and if you have linoleum,
that's pretty inexpensive to change as well. That's a big selling point
for me. But of course you weren't asking about my kitchen. :)
Consumer Reports has a review from about a year ago available on their
website. www.hgtv.com has lots of info, so does www.bhg.com both are
heavy on the pop-ups. Even the Lowes website has a simple pro/con list:
I'm in the middle of planning, and it sounds like we went through the
same thought process. While all of my neighbors have been doing granite,
which I think is out of place for the rest of the home, I am coming down
on Corian or laminate. I tend towards Corian because there's a larger
choice than laminate. Marble is too also too cold of a look, even when
using warmer colors. Corian feels warmer and looks warmer. Yep, I'm
aware of Corian's pros and cons.
Surely you jest...there are 100s and 100s of laminate variations both in
color and texture.
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I have the Ubatuba (solid surface - not tiles) as well on several of my
own tops. I used a biscuit colored 12x12 polished porcelain tile for the
splash(s). I used about a 1/32 joint and light grey grout, keeping the
joint fairly non-conspicuous. Dynamite look mixing the solid top with
jointed splash. So much that I've done near to the same thing on quite
a number of other projects.
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