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Thread: What is the best surface for kitchen counters

  1. #26
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    We have Wilsonart laminate (Formica is a similar brand). Works fine unless someone tries to use it as a cutting board. Not a good idea.

    I put quartz (Zodiac) in my former house before I sold it. I loved the color and depth, but I HATED the clinking sound when you set a plate/cup/etc. on it.

    We just had to replace some cabinets, so I was at a kitchen store. They had a new "Luxury" composite called Cambria that comes in dozens of colors. If price was no object (and it was amazingly pricey,) there's no question, I would have loved the white with diamond-like sparkles, one of the most glorious things I have ever seen. But it had no place in our simple kitchen. Only works for magazine-cover kitchens, I suppose.

    My advice is -- look for quality and value; go with your heart, but respect your budget. You will have to look at that counter every day. Get something you like, but avoid spending so much that you regret it every day.

    Good luck.
    "Accomplishment is a consequence of effort" -- Michael Crichton

  2. #27
    Super Member coopah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99 View Post
    Quartz. No maintenance and beautiful.
    YES! When the light shine on the quartz it is just gorgeous...it has way more depth when you look at it than granite. Looks nice and needs no special care. Also, you can sit hot dishes on it with no adverse reaction.
    "A woman is like a tea bag-you can't tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water." Eleanor Roosevelt

  3. #28
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    I have granite and I love it! My granite guy said hot pans are not really a big problem but I still always put down hot pads. Also, the cleaning and occasional polishing are no big deal. We just bought/moved into this 7 year-old home across the road from our farm. I've spent my entire married life (35 years) in an ancient farmhouse with a kitchen straight out of the sixties so I'm thrilled with the the beautiful kitchen in our new house! When I referred to 'my granite guy'...we had an island put in this winter and the local granite place still had a slab of the granite used in the kitchen when the house was built. I asked him a lot of questions about care of the granite.
    Last edited by Pam B; 06-25-2015 at 03:14 PM.

  4. #29
    Super Member meanmom's Avatar
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    We put in new counter tops last year. I priced granite and DH would have bought it if I wanted it. I figured we could replace the counter 3 to 5 times with formica before we would pay for the granite. There are som e beautiful formica tops available. Also Wilson Art. Some people think my tops are granite. Also replace your backsplash with tile. Looks beautiful.
    While granite and Corian etc are gorgeous I just couldn't stomach the cost.

  5. #30
    Super Member Deb watkins's Avatar
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    QUARTZ! I renovated my entire kitchen 2 years ago -cabinets (Maple) floor (bamboo) and quartz counter top. Beautiful, easily maintained and blends perfectly with the cabinets and the floor.
    Deb Watkins - I woke up today on the right side of dirt. It is a good day.

  6. #31
    Super Member Blue Bell's Avatar
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    I have laminate and have a plexi glass sheet on top. Works well for me.
    The best kind of sleep beneath heaven above is under a quilt hand made with love. Anonymous

  7. #32
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    MarthaT...interesting info about the Corian! Wow! Ni am happy where I am!
    Sandy
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  8. #33
    Super Member madamekelly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patski View Post
    truly I would stay with formica. Granite is beautiful but expensive as is marble (which stains) If you want it to last and last stay with a laminate finish.

    I have formica (do hate the black sparkle that I have now though..) and do not ever intend to have any kind of stone or tile counters since I am a klutz and have a full set of Corelle dishes, and if you drop them on a hard surface, they do not break, they explode! Just a thought.....
    If you always do, what you have always done, The results never change. Change is the wings you give yourself.

  9. #34
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    We just remodeled our 1958 house with quartz. Never needs sealing. The only cleaner recommended is Windex, and I found purple cleaning Windex. Better than granite, IMO. And I had done a good bit of research.

  10. #35
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    We had a link in our fridge which ruined the laminate flooring which led to the whole kitchen renovation - we were without a kitchen for three months but it's just about done now and looks beautiful! It is very stressful but now it is peaceful and I still need to finish stocking the pantry and cabinets. Anyway, we got viatera quartz and it is just beautiful too! It is an upgrade from formica and easy to care for. It is in-between pricing for formica and granite. Granite has to be cared for more, sealing, etc. But then again, the whole thing is personal preference. Just remember, as a good friend I lost many years ago told me, never settle. Just be happy with what you choose and enjoy!

  11. #36
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    When we reno'd our kitchen a few years ago we opted for what I think you call quartz (the imitation stone). I love it, but my husband is a little heavy handed and we now have three chips on the edges (they are tiny, but drive me to distraction). We opted for white with a touch of "mica", I love the sparkle when the sun hits it in the morning.

  12. #37
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    Thank you for all of the input. I am not excited about the mess and disruption of a redo. I can live with the turq. color, but we are at an age where we will probably need to sell and move in the next few years. This house has steps every, it is a quad-level. I decided that if we have to redo to sell, I might as well enjoy the new counter for a few years.

  13. #38
    Junior Member scarlet14's Avatar
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    I have Corian---love it---can buff it like a car finish---use a granit cleaner on it---easy to clean--just can't set a crock pot it with out heat shield---installer said it could make it distort and pop up---I just put hot pads under it and no problem---it's 5 years old and looks great

  14. #39
    Super Member donnajean's Avatar
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    I just installed granite countertops. I had been really hesitant because there was nothing wrong with my almond Formica which looked like new. However, I had a draft coming from the back wall that was coming through my cabinets. So, I had more insulation shoved in the walls when they replaced the tiled backsplash. Even though the new counters look great from a distance, I am not happy with the not really smooth surface which they tell me is because I picked the more expensive granite. I thought all the little crack lines would be polished out when I chose the granite slab at the show room. It is also hard to see spills. I've always used a Lucite cutting board, so my adding scratches & stains is not an issue. I don't know why I had not been steered toward the Quartz when I kept telling them I was a perfectionist.

  15. #40
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    Quartz gets my vote! We've remodeled our kitchen three times since we've lived here. I've had formica and granite, now I have quartz and it's the best. Doesn't stain, no sealing required.

  16. #41
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I have formica counter top and island. I had it before. I make pizza crust and pie dough. I would be afraid the cold stone contertops would not work well with cold stone of any kind.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  17. #42
    Vat
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    I just had all my counters tops (kitchen and bathrooms) done and I chose granite and LOVE it. I picked out the slab I wanted (had to have 2 slabs) and they sent them to my granite man and he cut , polished and installed. They are beautiful and I don't regret buy granite , should never have to change them again, love that. They don't stain and don't have the do any maintenance for 5 years and he explained and showed how simple that step is.

  18. #43
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    I've enjoyed my off white corian counters and sink, but put the garbage disposal under the larger half of the sink, which is attached and has no places for mold, etc. to hide. We put it in at least 25 years ago. Looks like new.

  19. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by toverly View Post
    I have off white corian,I love it. The only thing I wish I didn't have was the off white sink. I like stainless sinks so much better, no stains.
    completely agree. I love my corian countertops, not so much the sink.

  20. #45
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    We put quartz on our new countertops - I love it.
    Retired USN Senior Chief

  21. #46
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    I would do quartz -easy maintenance. I have corian with under mount sink that matches the counter top. I have had Formica in three homes, but "dates" fast. It can burn and peel.

  22. #47
    Super Member donnajean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mirish2 View Post
    Thank you for all of the input. I am not excited about the mess and disruption of a redo. I can live with the turq. color, but we are at an age where we will probably need to sell and move in the next few years. This house has steps every, it is a quad-level. I decided that if we have to redo to sell, I might as well enjoy the new counter for a few years.
    That was my thinking when I converted from Formica to Granite.

  23. #48
    Super Member canmitch1971's Avatar
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    I just got a whole new kitchen. I chose granite for the countertop and I love it.
    Besides my family, my pets are the most important things to me. I have had birds, a dog or cats since I was about 8 years old. The cruelest thing you can do to me is take my animals away.

  24. #49
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    I am odd woman out as usual.

    If I get the house in the divorce I will be redoing the kitchen. It is from the 60's and the original counter tops are formica, white and still looking good.

    But when we put in a dishwasher 10 years ago we had to replace the sink cabinet and one beside it. The counter top there is the cheap ready made one from the hardware store. It looks like brown granite, but is very cheap, thin and already wearing out in places.

    On the other side of my kitchen I have a stainless steel topped drawer unit from Ikea. I love this counter top. I have a huge wooden cutting board that covers half of it where I roll dough.

    My new kitchen will have a 4 foot section of wood, butcher block style counters for baking. A stainless steel section beside the stove for hot pots and probably laminate for the balance of the counters. I do not have room for an island.

    I have worked in commercial kitchens/bakeries with stainless and wooden counter tops and I love the function of them.
    Attending University. I will graduate a year after my son and year before my daughter.

  25. #50
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    We had formica when we moved in here about 20 years ago. to me it wasn't maintenance free. I had to watch what was put on it (no hot pots) and worry about stains. I spent a good amount of time polishing it to get it to look the way I wanted. Maybe they have been improved. We had the Formica Brand. About 4 years ago put in granite. I like it a lot. I only sealed it once when it was installed. I clean it with a cleaner/polish all in one and have no stains. Water still beads on it instead of soaking in. I haven't cracked any dishes on it and I do like that if I put a piece of frozen meat or fish on it, it will thaw very quickly. We are redoing a kitchen in a house we are moving into later this year, in another state (son is managing the kitchen redo) and we are going for quartz. That will be even more maintenance free.
    Alyce

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