"By that metric, stainless steel and granite have to be on their way out;
the only thing more ubiquitous in the American kitchen is the George Foreman
Pointless blather and half truths. Jes another word hack trying to
make a buck.
Granite always has been useless in the kitchen and SS is for utility
and sanitation, which the author correctly notes. OTOH, the cheap SS
we are getting from China is crap. Rusts easily and early.
She's right on. Every fad is trendy at the beginning, which motivates
more and more people to climb on the bandwagon. That very success
spells its doom, because the whole point of being trendy is being
_different_ from everyone else. When everyone's got what you've got,
you don't want it anymore. So you eventually move on to the next new
thing, and over time most of the rest of the crowd moves, too. And so on.
Most people don't use their kitchens for serious, intensive cooking.
They installed the granite and stainless primarily to indicate status
(expen$e), not utility. Anyone willing to spend that kind of money on
status symbols is the same kind of person who'll want to show off the
next latest and greatest status symbol.
Those of us who've followed the 2000s-era housing bubble from its
inception noted that it will become forever associated with granite
and stainless kitchen decor. That right there spells its doom. When
housing revives, nobody's gonna want their home to look like it was
featured on Flip This House.
Stainless steel started with sinks decades ago and is still in style for
that use, granite is a good product and will last longer than green
appliances did. Chrome has made a come-back as a durable long lasting
"Flip this house" specialized in cheap surface treatments, and granite tiles
on counters always remind me of that . Cheap stainless will have a short
life and white cabinets will always look like cheap paint-over.
Interesting!!! We have to replace our ancient tile some day, so
looking for inexpensive but attractive solutions. (Not in the granite
league!) Here are my instructions about what to ask:
How long have you had the laminate flooring?
How does it wear?
How do you clean it?
Can you put hot things on it?
What about stains?
Appreciate your input. Have to make my report soonish <g>
I had some cheap laminate left over after doing two bedroom floors, so, what
the heck! Had to look better than the '60s Formica!
Your basic cheap laminate is layered with the same stuff they make fighter
windshields out of. That said, I figured if it could stand up to dirt,
roller blades, snow, dog scratches, and golf shoes, it would work on a
As to your questions:
"How long in place?" - A bit over a year.
"Wear?" - It doesn't. It gets less abuse than the floors and the floors
still look pristine.
"Clean?" - Just like Formica or tile. You wipe it with a damp rag.
"Hot things?" - Don't know. Earlier experiments with scrap showed it will
char when heated with a cigarette lighter. Therefore, I'm cautious with hot
things. Have a couple of trivets next to the stove.
"Stains?" - It doesn't stain. Coffee, ketchup, etc., wipe right up. I'm
serious - they should make body armor out of this stuff.
"Scratches?" - Again, we're careful to use a cutting board and such. Earlier
experiments on scrap showed it was impervious to a nail, rasp, or dragging a
saw blade across it.
You didn't ask about water. In the leadup to this project I miked the
thickness on a couple of scrap strips then let them sit in a glass of water
for a MONTH. After that time, the resulting measurements were within the
limits of my micrometer, 0.002" ! This stuff is water-irrelevant.
What will tax your ingenuity is 45-degree routing to get the down-trim
pieces to fit. Also constructing the back-splash requires some brain-power
Still, I'm pleased with the results.
I went with maple counter tops. (wife's idea)
They are Grainger work bench tops, sealed with poly urethane.,
I have less than $400 in them and so far so good a decade later. I
really thought they would not hold up. If I do decide they are getting
too shabby an hour or so in the driveway with my belt sander will
bring them right back. Everything else is kitchen grade stainless. The
sink and cooktop counter/backsplash was fabricated at a local welding
shop in one piece with all of the seams polished out. I have a big
maple work surface that rides over the SS between the sink and the
cook top and slides over the sink for more work space if we need it.
On Sat, 08 Oct 2011 12:49:05 -0400, email@example.com wrote:
If I were king of the kitchen, that's what I would do. However, SWMBO likes
granite (well, most solid surfaces - other than concrete or Corian), so end of
discussion. OTOH, granite is great for baking.
Leaving aside my distaste for faux woodgrain, what about the seams? The
laminate may not swell, but how do you keep things or black gunk from
growing in the cracks? That seam is not liquid or gas tight.
Good point. I meant horizontal.
For the backsplash, I butted the horizontal and vertical pieces as tightly
as I could. Then I covered the intersection with small quarter-round,
stained to match and covered with spar varnish. Before placing, the joint
was suitably sealed with silicon caulk.
So far, that methodology seems to have been adequate. I can post a picture
if the description is not sufficient.
<<Hey,thanks for the detailed reply. That really sounds exciting. I
am SO tired of doing a miserable job regrouting existing tile.
<<Also everything surrounding the sink is chipped. I have the spare
tiles, including bullnose, but not the expertise, and don't <<want to
blow $$ on a handyman like the one who screwed up the original
installation. (That was done by a Nazi. He did good <<work. No, I
didn't know he was one when I hired him...)
<<What you said about down-trim and back splash gives me beaucoup
<<Can't visualize how that would work in place of bullnose tiles...?
Some kind of coving?
<<Appreciate your input.
The laminate has some thickness, maybe 5/16". On edge is looks like a thin
layer of the good stuff followed by a dark wood substitute. I didn't want
this ugliness to be visible, so routing the edge of the horizontal plate and
the top edge of the 2" verticle trim piece to 45 degrees seemed the best
I considered using a piece of floor transition for the vertical trim. In my
mind, this transition piece would "hook" over the counter edge and hang
down, resulting in a small "bump" at the counter's edge. This, of course,
would prevent sweeping all the detritus from the counter to the floor. This
was my fall-back plan if the routing of many angles proved to be too
Everything was glued down with 3M spray adhesive.
Who gives a rat's ass about style? As long as they work, aren't a PITA
to keep clean, and won't blow up the house, what else matters? I suppose
it is nice if they are all more or less the same color, but that is
hardly a show-stopper.
If your kitchen is full of visitors, they are there because they want to
see you, not because your cabinets and appliances are impressive. In an
hour, most won't even remember what your kitchen looks like.
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