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Old 06-23-2014, 03:24 PM   #21
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You made me curious, so I just went to the kitchen and measured with a caliper.

The slab is 0.85" thick, and the built-up edge is 1.6" thick. I thought that was standard, but perhaps not.
IIRC, two common methods are the thicker slab, and the thinner with built up edges. With all the edges we had (large peninsula, and three separate tops in addition to the main one connected to the peninsula, - the three separate ones have the front and one side edged), I think the cost of building edges up was greater than the thicker slab. I think they might go thicker by default with these heavily veined granite types, as they may have weak spots compared to the more homogeneous, small-grained styles?

-ERD50
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Old 06-23-2014, 03:44 PM   #22
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When we rebuilt a few years ago, we looked at Corian, granite and soapstone. We ultimately went with Corian. It's ok. It generally looks pretty good and has been durable, but the finish is more dull than I would like. We really like the integrated sink and drainboard as it is easy to keep clean.

In retrospect, I wish we had chosen the soapstone and the farmhouse sink, but at the time the much higher cost scared us away.
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Old 06-23-2014, 04:13 PM   #23
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We replaced our 35 year old laminate with granite in a kitchen remodel. It works well for us. Nothing in our house has ever been done to be "in style" so if it goes "out of style" we won't even know. The whole house has probably been out of style for at least a century
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Old 06-23-2014, 04:17 PM   #24
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I think they might go thicker by default with these heavily veined granite types, as they may have weak spots compared to the more homogeneous, small-grained styles?
I do not know how many square feet my biggest piece is, but I saw three beefy guys carry it in to install it. It is heavy, and I do not know how they would handle thicker slabs!
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Old 06-23-2014, 04:32 PM   #25
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Soapstone! I like it better than granite and it works for a 1913 home. Dark gray with emerald green streaks. I pet it daily.
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Old 06-23-2014, 05:18 PM   #26
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We still have the laminate that came with the house and have no urge to replace it. I had no idea that granite was now comparable in cost to laminate though. Still, what we have now does what it's supposed to do so no reason to replace it.
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Old 06-24-2014, 06:56 AM   #27
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We have 20 year old corian in the kitchen and cultured marble in the bathrooms and granite bar.

Plans are to replace the kitchen and 1 bathroom with granite at some point
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Old 06-24-2014, 07:20 AM   #28
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Replaced laminate in my last house with Silestone, a quartz composite. We were very happy with it and it needed zero maintenance. Would use it again.

The house before that had white Corian put in by the previous owner. Generally we liked it, but staining was an issue.

Current house has granite put in by the previous owner. I like it almost as much as the Silestone. Haven't had any problems; I just personally liked the Silestone's look better and the color of the granite isn't quite what I would have chosen, although it's not offensive to me.

I like being able to put hot pans down wherever I like, although DW has never been able to break the habit of insisting on hot pads or trivets. Probably not a bad idea anyway, so I normally use one "just in case."

The current house has Corian in the bathrooms with integrated sinks, and if I had to do those over again I'd choose exactly the same thing. Very easy to clean and looks great.
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Old 06-24-2014, 08:20 AM   #29
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DH and I do a lot of cooking/baking. When we bought our house in 2003, we knew the laminate countertops had to go, and replaced them with granite soon after. We've been very happy with it. You can put down hot pots, a sheet of cookies just out of the oven... no problem at all. We'll downsize eventually and I know we'll want granite again if the counters are laminate or something less durable. Otherwise, one of us will undoubtedly forget and put a cast-iron skillet just off the burner onto the countertop and then we'll HAVE to replace it!

As for style- I like the comment that it's similar to wood in that it may become a classic, although I suppose certain colors may go in and out. DH and I have never been enamored of keeping up with HGTV. Whatever we've done to the house has been for our own enjoyment and considered a sunk cost. I've never figured out what's in style, anyway. On HGTV, if the kitchen cabinets are light-colored they replace them all with dark ones. And vice versa.
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Old 06-25-2014, 06:17 AM   #30
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90% of our counter tops are ceramic tile with epoxy grout. The remaining section is a breakfast bar which we did in granite. This gives us a place to roll out dough when we bake. The epoxy grout works well and is easy to clean but was pricey!
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Old 06-25-2014, 06:31 AM   #31
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We went with Quartz. We were confused by all the choices and simply went with the recommendation by the kitchen design company. Really liked the results!
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Old 06-25-2014, 08:24 AM   #32
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The house we bought 9 months ago to be our retirement home was built 7 yrs ago. The kitchen counters are laminate, but are a pretty good copy of granite, in color. When we bought the house, we made a list of some upgrade projects we would do later. One of them was to replace the laminate countertops with granite or something similiar. I have to say though, that the fake-granite laminate tops look pretty good, and they go well with the tile backsplash that's simliar in color. So....no rush to spend the money just yet. Still on the list, though. Along with extending the driveway & rebuilding the gate to accomodate my eventual boat. Extending the patio, ripping out the fiberglass shower & replacing with a nice marble one. Installing a lawn sprinkler system......it never ends, does it?

Forgot to mention either replacing the carpet with more carpet or with hardwood flooring..........!
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Old 06-25-2014, 09:10 AM   #33
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We did a complete remodel of our large kitchen a couple of years ago, did most of it myself. Our SIL, a builder, and our nephew, a kitchen cabinet maker and installer, both recommended that, for our needs, we go with a good laminate. We are very happy with the results, and we saved big bucks, too.
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:57 AM   #34
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We really like the integrated sink and drainboard as it is easy to keep clean.
This is why we went with Corian (integrated sink), and it was cheaper than many alternatives. We've been very happy. It still looks good 7 years later, and it doesn't have the tiny nooks and crannies that some other new surfaces have (my MIL has some type of manmade quartz product and it is very hard to tell when the surface is really clean). The Corian requires no sealing. It will scratch (e.g.if you drag an iron skillet across it, etc), but that sands right out (if desired). It also is not quite as hard as granite, so a "Daily Fine China*" dish dropped on it is probably less likely to chip/break.

The Formica countertops that were here before were installed in 1959 and were still serviceable, though there was some delamination around the sink. I like laminate, and if it is installed well and not abused it will last decades.

I never had much need to put a pot straight from the stove on the countertop, (decades of conditioning) so that's not much of a selling point to us.

*Corelle
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Old 06-25-2014, 11:13 AM   #35
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We moved in our newer home last winter and just finished the kitchen upgrade this week. Two slabs of granite for counter tops, white subway tile for the back splash, Kraus stainless steel double sink and Kraus faucet. DW is happy, I am glad it's over.
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Old 06-25-2014, 11:32 AM   #36
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We moved in our newer home last winter and just finished the kitchen upgrade this week. Two slabs of granite for counter tops, white subway tile for the back splash, Kraus stainless steel double sink and Kraus faucet. DW is happy, I am glad it's over.
Lots of marital angst over our kitchen project. I, too was glad to finish.
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Old 06-25-2014, 12:12 PM   #37
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Counter Tops

When we went with Quartz, it included a free stainless sink. Been happy with it.


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Old 06-25-2014, 12:20 PM   #38
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Our house, built in 1990, was considered higher-end at the time (it's now middling for our area) and the kitchen had beautiful wood and laminate countertops which were easy to clean and not easy to scratch.

We replaced them in 2008 with exotic, colorful granite. It hurt to see the immaculate wooden/laminate tops thrown away, but I have been a rockhound since age 7, and the granite options in the showrooms simply took my breath away. To me, the quartz, mica, and feldspar patterns resemble letters, numbers, maps, and gold and silver leaf. Six years later, I still love looking at our countertops. I'm careful not to set hot things on them without a trivet (also used trivets with laminate) because of the possibility of a "crystal pop," but aside from that, they require no more upkeep than the laminate did.

Now, I don't care for gray speckled, or head-cheese-looking granite, which builders and sellers install just to be able to say "granite." The difference in price between cheap granite and the good stuff is not that great.

Oh, one disadvantage (could be a big one, depending): I don't dare to climb onto the countertops to paint, clean, hang curtains, etc. the way I could on the wooden tops. Too much risk of the granite cracking where it rests on the cabinet shells.

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Old 06-25-2014, 01:00 PM   #39
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We have granite now and it's okay but requires periodic sealing. Had soapstone in the old house and loved the look of it plus no maintenance.
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