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Thread: What is the best surface for kitchen counters

  1. #1
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    What is the best surface for kitchen counters

    I am planning to replace the turquoise formica kitchen counters (house was built in 1963) Do any of you have recommendations?

  2. #2
    Super Member patski's Avatar
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    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.
    Patski
    always learning

  3. #3
    Senior Member Cactus Stitchin's Avatar
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    If I were to do it again I would probably opt for quartz. I have granite now and really like it, but you are not susposed to put hot pots or pans on it as it damages the sealer. Granite needs to be cleaned and resealed every year or two; its not hard to do but it is a bother. Quartz does not require sealing and hot pots and pans do not damage it at all.

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    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Quartz. No maintenance and beautiful.

  5. #5
    Super Member JENNR8R's Avatar
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    I'm having a new kitchen installed as we speak. I much prefer laminate like Formica or Wilsonart, but it is not in style these days. If you dropped a glass on the hard stone surfaces that are popular now, it would shatter. The hard surfaces are VERY expensive. And I just don't care for the cold hard feeling.

    If I had to choose a hard stone, I'd go with quartz because it is more maintenance free.

    It took a while to find a company that still makes the laminate counters, but that is what I'm going with.

  6. #6
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    I vote for quartz.

  7. #7
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    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.

  8. #8
    dms
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    I have quartz on my island and just love it.

  9. #9
    Super Member lovelyl's Avatar
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    I finally decided to stay with laminate and I am happy with it. Wilsonart had a beautiful pattern that was similar to a black granite. We had a carpenter make the edges of the counter out of wood that matches our cabinets and put in a black granite sink. I love my little kitchen!
    Linda
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  10. #10
    Super Member sparkys_mom's Avatar
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    In my condo, which I sold last month, I replaced the counters with Wilsonart formica. They have several patterns that look for all the world like granite. I did the formica in the condo as I did not want to "over improve" and still stand by that decision. Where I moved has granite. I do like it but it IS hard. I'm reminded of that every time I put down a coffee cup. If I were making the decision (I wasn't) I would opt for quartz or corian.
    Pat

  11. #11
    Super Member NikkiLu's Avatar
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    Can't help you BECAUSE I still have turquoise formica in my kitchen - we put it in about 1974 - it isn't even very worn - just not shiny anymore in places. LOL

    Quote Originally Posted by mirish2 View Post
    I am planning to replace the turquoise formica kitchen counters (house was built in 1963) Do any of you have recommendations?
    Nikki in MO

  12. #12
    Power Poster Mariposa's Avatar
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    Quartz gets my vote~
    Be a blessing to others, as you may entertain angels unaware!

  13. #13
    Super Member Wanabee Quiltin's Avatar
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    Go to Lowe's or Home Depot and check everything out. Talk to the experts there and they will tell you the pros and cons. Ask about price: some are very expensive and some are reasonable. Be realistic about what fits with your kitchen cabinets and the rest of the room.

  14. #14
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Size:  215.5 KBI would have loved Quartz or coriann but couldn't justify the cost for my 1950's style kitchen. I decided to go with small white tile and had plexiglass cut to shape to go over it for easy cleaning and rolling out my pie crusts on. The tile and grout stays perfect underneath and the plexiglass is easy to wipe off. It must be 10 years since we did it?
    Last edited by Tartan; 06-25-2015 at 05:27 AM.

  15. #15
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    Laminates are very much "in style". They can mimic granite at 1/3 the price. How I determined what to use in my farmhouse kitchen remodel were these points: IMHO.

    what is the current market value of the house?
    My home is modest and the value is modest too. No way was I going to drop a bucket load of $$ on the counter tops for a house that that does not warrant the investment. I would CRY if I ever moved and I had to leave the counter tops behind! I love my granite look Formica. Believe me, I am ready to move on short notice! i miss the 'burbs! LOL!


    what is the period of the house?
    If you are trying to keep in the period, why not use a nice laminate? 1950's retro house can use the great laminate "period" looks still available, for example. Check out the website Retro Renovation for great inspiration. Lots of renovations on period homes and not all use the hard surfaces.


    what is your budget?
    keep in mind that all hard surfaces will price out at 3-4 times the cost of laminate. I would have loved to have put Silestone or Corian In my kitchen reno but frankly, I did not want to spend the money. We replaced the entire plumbing in this old farmhouse and that was not inexpensive. I would not have installed a dishwasher or laundry room without replacing the old crummy galvanized pipes with new. Those pipes left a rusty film on all surfaces. So worth the $$ investment. My mantra is that the counter top should not be worth more than the whole house! Lol!

    we could have moved to a new house vs. spending the remodeling $$$ we have so far! DH is living his dream. And he is paying out the nose for that dream! . ( waterproofed the basement, replaced windows, put in new sidewalks and patio..the bathroom reno is next year! Won't he be surprised!)


    I am not a hard core cook. I am never going to use a counter top for a cutting surface. I am never going to seal a porous (granite) top. I am not going to set hot pots on top of the counter. I want and love lighter colors where I can see where to clean, etc.

    Ultimately, it is your kitchen. Research the different pros and cons of each countertop option. You will be surprised at what each offers. better Homes and Gardens website has comparison info as does HOUZZ.

    have fun! Post pics!

    sandy
    Last edited by Sandygirl; 06-25-2015 at 05:43 AM.
    Sandygirl

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  16. #16
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Do you know about retro renovation??? Those old counter tops are in vogue now days. Do a little snooping on google and see what you find.
    Never let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.

  17. #17
    Senior Member MarthaT's Avatar
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    We own a custom cabinet shop and most of our customers are going with some kind of stone these days because that is "what everyone else is using". But guess what I have...Laminate. I love it! For the cost difference, ease in care, and beauty of the product, I can't justify spending the extra for my lifestyle, social status, property value, etc. There are some beautiful stone look-alikes in laminates and it is much more durable than it was years ago.

    As for the Corian-type (solid surface) counter tops. It is about as pricey as stone and more subject to cracking. My husband worked for a guy years ago that replaced the Corian in the area over their dishwasher twice because of cracking. They thought it was from the heat from the dishwasher making it expand in that area more than the surrounding areas. Our neighbors had theirs crack under their crockpot. I would not recommend this type of product.

    Sandygirl has some excellent suggestions to evaluate your needs. The other thing I would think about is, if you are just replacing your countertops and not the cabinets, are you spending thousands on new counters when underneath are still old cabinets? If you are not replacing the cabinets, I would suggest not spending the money on stone.
    Thimble and Thread

  18. #18
    Super Member AZ Jane's Avatar
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    We went with Corian when we bought our house, they were the thing then, you know the "design" element, Phooey. If you use you kitchen, they will stain and scratch. ""Oh don't worry, you can buff that right out"" NOT! In the future, laminate!!
    Better to do something imperfectly, than nothing perfectly.
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  19. #19
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    I vote quartz too. I've had laminate, quartz and now have granite and I really miss my quartz counters. Beautiful, durable, and virtually zero maintenance - what more could you ask for?

    If I ever install countertops in a house again, they will be quartz.

  20. #20
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    Definitely quartz!! It is very easy to care for and is impervious to stains and heat. Pricier than formica but will last forever!!

  21. #21
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    I chose Formica a couple of years ago, which is so much better now than in years past. It is so easy to care for and the patterns now are fantastic, and if you like the granite patterns, they come in Formica also. We replaced a yellow Formica countertop after 40 years, and it was still in great shape. Just wanted a new color with a cabinet change.

  22. #22
    Super Member KenmoreGal2's Avatar
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    I would love to see a picture of the turquoise counter tops the OP currently has! They sound super cool.

    I have formica which I'm probably going to replace in the next few years. Only because it was improperly manufactured by a carpenter and the formica keeps separating from the base. I've been spot gluing it back for years. But now it's coming apart in spots that will be very difficult to fix.

    I'm planning to get formica again.

    Sad thing is, I love the color and I'll probably get something similar.

  23. #23
    Super Member sak658's Avatar
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    When we built our home in 1967, after a model home we found, it came with off white corian counter tops in kitchen and baths...the baths counters looks like it did when we moved in 48 years ago...the kitchen did as well, but cracked around the built in stove top...we replaced it with formica in '98 and you would think it's never been used, still pretty as ever...only thing it is blue with white edge trim...I still love it...cabinets are white, and floors are wood...
    My daughter says the blue color might be a draw back if we ever had to sell...but I still love it and have no plans to downsize anytime soon....Good luck with whatever you choose.

  24. #24
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    I have granite in my bathrooms and it's no problem but 2 years ago we redid the kitchen and another bath and went with quartz and I love it. It's beautiful and easy to care for. Would I do it again? You bet! If you can afford it go quartz.
    Good luck with your choice remember you have to live with it for a long time so research your options.

  25. #25
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    My nephew and his wife are real diyrs{?} and they found a piece of bowling alley and are using that as part of one counter top. I realize that probably isn't an option but just thought it was pretty creative.

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