stone - dont fancy that, waste of resources, hard to work with. Heavy
(I have to be able to move one)
wood - looks durable but scratches? Then there's stains, turmeric or
saffron, beetroot? Hot pans?
laminate over chipboard - the old cheapo solution, but isnt it best?
I'm happy with mine. We tried slate - never looked good and scratched
easily. We originally had pine but the soft parts scrubbed away leaving it
Nothing wrong with laminate as a working surface: durable (I've been using
ours for about ten years and it gets hard, daily use; easy to clean; smooth;
lots of designs ...
Our slate had fossils in it, it had been a bath panel. It's now a bath panel
again at a son's.
No idea of the life of a fitted kitchen, I've never had one, but I bet the
next owner of a house would throw out a stone counter :-(
But use better materials and it will last a lot longer than that. I was
surprised the other day to realise that our kitchen (solid wood units,
granite worktops, limestone floor) is now ten years old, because it
feels as if it's still in its infancy.
Really. Was the house built in 1937, or was the kitchen "refitted"
Any chance of a description or some photos ? I've demolished the back
of our old kitchen to make way for an extension (the old wash-house
and pantry area). There is still an old ceramic soap dish recessed
into the kitchen wall behind the current sink unit, so I guess there
would have been a white sink their originally, but it is quite low
I wish I could go back and see what houses were originally like. It's
a real mystery when you see some of the old lead pipes and rubber
wiring wind around the house and appear in strange places.
My present kitchen came with the house, and must be about 25
years old. The worktops are a slightly textured wood-effect
laminate. No prizes for fashion, but that are easy to clean,
don't show marks, and display no visible signs of their age.
We are planning a re-fit, and if I can get a similar quality in
granite-effect, I will probably use it.
There was one of those recessed soap dishes over our bath but it was broken
when we replaced the bath :-( We do have a recessed toilet roll holder in
the lav wall.
There was a deep Belfast sink with a rotting wooden draining board, they've
been replaced with a stainless steel double drainer sink, still in the same
place. The taps came out of the wall behind the sink, through the tiles. All
the tiles are still there, so are the threaded tap holes but we have a pair
of swan necked taps for the sink now, the originals would have been in the
A floor to ceiling cupboard with glass doors was altered to make an overhead
cupboard for infrequently used items, the counter was shortened so that a
high fridge could be put under the cupboard.
There were shelves along the inner wall, they're still in use but without
the sliding doors, they're just open now. The cupboards under the counter
had sliding doors too, one had to go to accommodate the washing machine so
that has a swing door now. Washing was done originally in a gas boiler with
wringer, they're both in the garden now serving different purposes.
A ch boiler has been added on a wall, a 90cm cooker instead of the old
standard small one and a hood over it. I don't think there were any power
points, there are now eight, so really quite a lot has been done - but it
could be restored very easily to the original. The pantry is exactly the
same as ever, with its green tiles on the stone and two tiers of shelves. I
refuse to remove the tiles, both in the kitchen and in the bathroom and I
wouldn't be without the pantry.
We have no more lead plumbing in the house, it was perforated when we moved
in, I think the fireback boiler is still there though. We also re-wired the
house so it has no more twin flex or rubber sheathed wire - some in steel
conduits. It was an interesting exercise.
I know that most houses in the street have virtually been gutted to make
them 'modern'. I'm not modern so why should I live in a 'modern' house? Some
modern appliances are desirable, their presence doesn't usually interfere
with the fabric of the house.
Yes, It's fascinating. Even more so when you look at a building which is
centuries old - and in ruins! But it's amazing how much can be gleaned from
Just purchasing a kitchen :o( .
The salesman was kind enough to say "don't buy the shiny ones, they scratch
too easily and look rubbish after a while". We have gone for a more matt
effect instead. On inspecting the ones in the showroom, the shiny ones were
scratched and did look rubbish.
Can't afford Corian or other things unfortunately.