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Kitchen countertop preferences
Old 06-03-2006, 10:52 AM   #1
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Kitchen countertop preferences

We're choosing new countertops for a kitchen renovation, and I couldn't think of a more opinionated experienced and educated group than this to advise.

Choosing between Silestone(quartz composite) and granite.

Price is looking close, maybe granite a tad cheaper.

I like the durability of Silestone. Granite is more beautiful, but I hear it stains, scratches and is more likely to break glasses/china (less forgiving).

Any experiences?

kit
(thanks in advance!)
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Re: Kitchen countertop preferences
Old 06-03-2006, 11:13 AM   #2
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Re: Kitchen countertop preferences

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Re: Kitchen countertop preferences
Old 06-03-2006, 11:26 AM   #3
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Re: Kitchen countertop preferences

Recent kitchen remodel, and we went with granite. Black with copper flecks. For us, it was great to have the real deal.

Counter top offerings go through stages. I remember when "formica" was the hot material, on through Corian, now Sialstone (sp?). Granite has always been popular.

My favorites over the years: granite and, yes, wood.
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Re: Kitchen countertop preferences
Old 06-03-2006, 11:53 AM   #4
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Re: Kitchen countertop preferences

We also opted for granite in our new house. Looks great and we've had no problems (18 months) with it.

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Re: Kitchen countertop preferences
Old 06-03-2006, 12:51 PM   #5
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Re: Kitchen countertop preferences

IAre granite countertops sealed to prevent entrapment of material, i.e. bacteria, etc.? I would not choose a natural substance unless it was.
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Re: Kitchen countertop preferences
Old 06-03-2006, 01:06 PM   #6
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Re: Kitchen countertop preferences

I like silestone but I like Corian even better.

Does granite still emit alpha particles from the decay of radon trapped in its crystal structure? Eh, probably not an issue if the room is well-ventilated... just don't lick the counter... no, really, you'll be fine.
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Re: Kitchen countertop preferences
Old 06-03-2006, 04:12 PM   #7
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Re: Kitchen countertop preferences

Concrete.

http://www.concreteexchange.com/gallery_cd.jsp

Cheap, tough, beautiful and easy to repair.
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Re: Kitchen countertop preferences
Old 06-03-2006, 05:31 PM   #8
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Re: Kitchen countertop preferences

We recently remodeled our kitchen and went with granite. We considered silestone but thought that the granite looked better. So far we have been extemely pleased with the results and there have been no problems with stains or scratches.
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Re: Kitchen countertop preferences
Old 06-03-2006, 07:46 PM   #9
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Re: Kitchen countertop preferences

Disclaimer:* I used to make a living selling countertops!* No more, but just wanted to be up front!

I sold a product called Caesarstone,* a competitor to Silestone, and Zodiac.* These three are all the same product, from different factories.* Breton of Italy has sold the patent to many companies around the world.* These products have a uniform look, and won't have the movement of natural stone.* Preference issue...* The manufactured stones are non-porous, several times stronger and more flexible than natural stones, and carry 10 year warranties.* They are very heat resistant but can burn (yellow)if you have a very light color and for some reason a pan that reaches beyond about 550 degrees (I never saw it happen!).* This stuff is not going to help you if you drop a wine glass.* It's hard!

Natural stone is beautiful, and unique.* It is porous and can stain (especially the lighter colors).* FWIW, Nat. Stone is not compliant in commercial food prep areas for this reason.* Sealant about every couple of years is recommended.* It is very heat resistant, but doesn't like shock (hot then cold).* Cracking is unusual, but more likely than with manuf. stone.* Never met a stone fabricator that would warrant the natural stone.

Corian is an entirely different beast.* Non porous, warranty, but plastic, and can scratch.* It can, however, be buffed and even repaired seamlessly.* Stones...no way.* It's hard to scratch 'em but if you do, it's in there.* It'd take alot to resurface stone.* Not usually done.* Corian doesn't like heat (acrylic).*

Ultimately, it's preference (of course).* If you love the look of Natural, nothing man made comes close.* If you're looking for the most durable thing on the market, the manufactured stones are incredible.* If you go the manuf. stone route, check the above suppliers for color, they're all different!

sounds like a fun project. best of luck!
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Re: Kitchen countertop preferences
Old 06-04-2006, 06:49 AM   #10
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Re: Kitchen countertop preferences

thanks so much for the help!

Still not decided;l leaning towards Silestone but if the contracter can come in with a better price, I now feel more comfortable going with the granite. I tend to choose function over beauty...and think the Silestone is a great compromise. but a good price could be a tie-breaker.

My mother has white Corian and it's been no problems- two scratches sanded out, and no staining problems after 2 years.

Best friend has the concrete- from when it was still not used too much, about 6-7 years old. It looks worn, and stains show up- but she said she can have it polished. It still doesn't look "homey" to me...a tad industrial.

and granite, well, to me, the clear winner for beauty-and I'm glad to hear other who love it. I use the countertop for pie crust and doughs, I'know it'll be great for that.

anyhow, thanks for helping, this board is a never ending source of education!

kit
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Re: Kitchen countertop preferences
Old 06-04-2006, 12:03 PM   #11
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Re: Kitchen countertop preferences

Kit,

We just went through this, and chose Silestone.* Looks great, and won't stain, like granite.* Everything we read, heard, and now experience is that this stuff is tough.

Granite ... we have a rental house in Portland, OR.* Beautiful place, and it has granite countertops.* They look great.* Except for those rings, left on the counter apparently by someone careless ... countertop was apparently not sealed properly before we bought the home.* They are permanent.* Granite can and does stain, without question.

One other point.* We bought our Silestone countertops through Home Depot, and we are just about through doing business with that company ... Lowe's seems better.* Home Depot required 100% payment up front (I knew that was a bad idea), and then when the subcontractor didn't complete the job properly, Home Depot took 4 months to make it right, and get the job completed, finally.*

Do your best to hold back retention of at least 10% ... and if they require you to pay 100%, then at least make sure your vendor has some clout with the sub.

Best of luck ... whichever way you go, you'll love the look.
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Re: Kitchen countertop preferences
Old 06-05-2006, 12:05 PM   #12
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Re: Kitchen countertop preferences





Formica...ok there I said it! Its tough and can be recoverd or replaced cheaply compared to granite-like surfaces. Just had the kitchen and bath done for under eight hundred bucks.


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Re: Kitchen countertop preferences
Old 06-05-2006, 05:47 PM   #13
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Re: Kitchen countertop preferences

We went with Silestone. The only thing I don't like about it, is it's really hard to see anything that was missed when wiping it down.
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Re: Kitchen countertop preferences
Old 06-06-2006, 01:55 AM   #14
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Re: Kitchen countertop preferences

How timely, Just completed granite tile countertop (with shiny sealer for the grout lines 1/16"). As mentioned previously it is black with gold flecks. So far no problems with stains, heat burns, scratchs, or other mentioned issues. It does polish up to a high sheen though, and reflects like a mirror. When stainless steel fixtures and appliances are next to it it has a beautiful look. One other thing, for the backsplash, I put in extra receptacles every two foot, and then used the Decora line of black receptacles and wall plates. In dim light they all disappear and you can't tell that they are there. I put in a series of under cabinet Xenon lights with dimmers to lighten up the area, and that's when you can see the receptacles, but then you have the high polished sheen that resembles a mirror reflecting the lights. With the ogees (chair rails for the ends and sides of the cabinets) it provides a relatively inexpensive professional look, compared to the solid sheets of granite.
I like it
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Re: Kitchen countertop preferences
Old 06-06-2006, 06:57 AM   #15
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Re: Kitchen countertop preferences

We've been very happy with silestone (looks and durability) and did actually have a good experience with the Home Depot installation.
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Re: Kitchen countertop preferences
Old 06-06-2006, 08:38 AM   #16
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Re: Kitchen countertop preferences

Quote:
Originally Posted by lets-retire
We went with Silestone.* The only thing I don't like about it, is it's really hard to see anything that was missed when wiping it down.*
Or that could be a good thing.
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Re: Kitchen countertop preferences
Old 06-06-2006, 08:54 AM   #17
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Re: Kitchen countertop preferences

We have marble squares about 6 inches square on our kitchen counter tops and backsplash. I hate them! They are "distressed" which means they are uneven, porous, and are generally unlcleanable. We have to cutting boards all over the kitchen because of the open tiles which trap everything. Needless to say, we have been looking at replacing them or covering them.

Anybody have any experience with the countertops that fit over the existing ones so you don't have to demo. them? I would think this would be much cheaper than starting from scratch.

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Re: Kitchen countertop preferences
Old 06-06-2006, 08:35 PM   #18
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Re: Kitchen countertop preferences

We remodeled a year ago and went with silestone. So far so good and no complaints.

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Re: Kitchen countertop preferences
Old 06-06-2006, 09:24 PM   #19
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Re: Kitchen countertop preferences

I want to replace our formica coutner tops but we have two "garages". Any suggestions?
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