Kitchen Worktops

Are premium worktops such as acrylic, Corian and granite worth the significant extra expense? Have you bought one and been ddisappointed or do you feel it was worth the extra money?
We need to firm up on our new kitchen within the next week or so and would appreciate your advice.
Thanks
Graham
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My granite cost less than 70 UKP for each 2.3 metre length from http://stores.ebay.co.uk/GoldstoneDirect , so there wasn't really any extra expense. It's now all properly fitted and sealed and I have no complaints.
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No.
No.
We once tried slate and then marble but liquid stuff got underneath both of them and the result wasn't very nice ...
I know it's naff but plastic-faced chipboard or MDF does a perfectly good job and when you don't like it any more is cheap and easy to replace.
Mary
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graham wrote:

Yep. Some lovely big slabs of a brownish/pinkish granite stuff. Looks great, feels great, doesn't scratch, been sealed with proper stuff and gets a good old clean and polish every 3 or 4 months.
Really nice job and well worth the money if you are not on a tight budget.
Just make sure you don't get something that will look to 80's. Everyone and their dog has black granite. it's a a bit like the Burbery of kitches IMHO.
:)
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What's wrong with Burberry?
I wouldn't like black anything but because I like lots of light in the kitchen. And everywhere else, come to that. I think black is already become dated.
Mary

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Graham If you have the money, then its definately worth the expense. It only becomes really expensive when you start having belfast sinks or undermount sinks, granite isnt too expensive and non polished cuts dont cost too much either.
I would always advise granite, but know many people who would always advise corian, either is great.
I wouldnt advise wood (I have it in my own kitchen and advise all my clients against it. Its high maintaince, scorches and stains unless oiled each year.
Hoping you make the right choice for you.
Calum Sabey (NewArk Traditional Kitchens 01556 690544)
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graham wrote:

Ive tried most of them.
Chip and plastic is pretty much the best value for money, but its not the best.
We now have a not too expensive bit of RIVEN granite..thats really nice because it takes the knocks and doesn't show slight scuffs. Polished granite works OK, but its a bit too shiny for my taste.
Slate is a possible, but its not as toigh.
Marble is subject to chemical attack - don't.
We also have wood tops - real wood tops. Ruined by SWMBO treating it as if it was laminate. Burns and water marks.
Theres a lot to be said for stainless steel..
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Thanks everyone for your comments. In the end it looks as though there's no overwhelming case for any solution and that it's the usual trade off between personal taste and budget.
Graham
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Quite right.
But the person to ask is the one who will use it most - if you have a wife it might be her and she just might have an opinion, even an intelligent one :-)
Mary

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Don't worry Mary, I'm not being an arrogant male. Perhaps I should have signed my OP "Chris & Graham". We really don't know what to choose and BOTH of us thought that a post here may help us. BTW Chris used to be a domestic science/home economics teacher so is well versed in kitchen requirements.
Graham
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:-)

Let us know what you (plural) decide - and why.
Mary

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graham wrote:

One additional note from me based on last nights kitchen activities... Granite is so tought it is completely un-forgiving to crockery should you be the slightest bit clumsy.
One of our few remaining pyrex lids slipped from a hight of no more than 4" onto the worktop and broke into about 6 large pieces with shards and "dust" going everywhere.
Still, I suppose at least the worktop survived. Easier to replace the odd pot or plate here and there.
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message

That's a very good reason for it not being in our kitchen. Tiled floors are the same. All our saucers are already mended and we're running out of life, don't want to buy new ones to be skipped by the kids when we go.
Mary
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Mary Fisher wrote:

I'm all for frugality but *all* your saucers are mended?

You could buy some used saucers from a charity shop. They go cheaply, because people have usually broken the cups. And when you go, your kids will hopefully donate them back to a charity shop.
Owain
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I haven't counted. We have two complete ones which are kept for Sunday morning cofee. That is, to put the cups on.
There might be some complete ones in the cupboard but a cracked saucer catches drips as well as a complete one.

Where do you think we got most of the ones we have?
:-)

They certainly won't want even whole ones. They seem to think - as many people do - that you don't need one if you use beakers rather than cups. I can't understand that, it's as easy to drip from a beaker or mug as it is from a cup ...
Some of the grandchildren might take the lot though ... they're still living in poverty. The sort of poverty which means they can afford the latest IT gizmos but not stuff for living. Still, that's better than getting into debt to have 'proper' furnishings.
Mary
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graham wrote:

I've seen a company advertising that they can fit a granite "layer" onto existing laminate/chipboard worktops - has anyone either used them or had a go themselves?
Dave
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Following a post by Phil C.
<xpost added to get more help>

beech has also been suggested.
Sounds to me that either of these can be worked DIY. Both probably look nicer than DIY shed "regular" worktops.
Would beech be liable to warp?
What happens when you spill things like red wine or saffron on them?
What other DIY fittable worktops are there?
--
Mike... . . . .
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Part of the idea of contiboard is that it shouldn't warp. In theory the pieces are cut and reassembled so that any warping forces are canceled out by the adjacent pieces of timber. In practice, it may well be that this isn't done with the cheaper products.

Shouldn't get through the oil dressing you use on the worktop. More damaging is when someone puts something like an overheated frying pan down on it and makes a burn ring. You fix this by sanding down and redressing. The dressing will get dirty over time and you need to factor in stripping and redressing it from time to time. This is particularly important near sinks, where the dressing will get splashed with water and detergents, which will wear it out quickest, making the timber there liable to water damage.
One extremely important thing about fitting contiboard - make sure you leave it free to expand and contract across its width. Solid fixings should be in a single line along the length, and any additional fixings across the width must be a loose sliding fit to allow it to expand and contract. Otherwise you risk spitting it when it contracts.

The preformed melamine finished chipboard are probably the easiest and cheapest, but that's why some people don't like them - they don't look expensive enough!
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Andrew Gabriel
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On 26/10/2013 15:35, Andrew Gabriel wrote:

I thought contiboard was the trade name for melamine finished furniture panels?
--
Dave - The Medway Handyman www.medwayhandyman.co.uk

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You're right - I'm using the wrong name.
Can't remember what the right generic name is (and I'm currently sitting at a table with a birch top made of it!)
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Andrew Gabriel
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