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Jon Peterson

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Kitchen Counter Tops

by Jon Peterson » Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:08 pm

What do most folks like now-a-days: Quartz, Granite, Corian? What's in vogue and, if different, what's best? Liz and I are ready to make a change (it's been 15 years after all) and there's been a lot of kitchen remodeling talk on this page recently.
Thanks in advance and we look forward to your input.
JP
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Karen/NoCA

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Re: Kitchen Counter Tops

by Karen/NoCA » Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:31 pm

We did a kitchen remodel and after much research, I went with granite. So many beautiful patterns and colors to choose from, some almost solid in color, some have a lot of movement and depth, and some speckled with myriad colors. I love the idea that it is a rock like substance and I can put hot pots and pans on it. It is super easy to take care of. All I have to do with mine is wipe it up. I do put a granite product on it, now and then, that helps to shine it up. Mine has more of a matte finish so it is really not necessary. A friend of mine has a solid black, and she loves it but I do notice you can see scratches in it. Mine is more of a speckled and if I have any complaints is that I cannot see the crumbs that gather here and there. Also, I now realize that I love the granite that has a lot of movement....tastes change over the years. There is a white granite out there that has gray, black, and every now and then some gold. It is outstanding. I have seen the gray lean toward a bluish tint, as well.

Redding has several granite shops now, and there were none when we did our kitchen. Folks went to San Francisco or Chico, which is about 80 minutes from here. So if you are in an area with granite shops, take a good amount of time to visit them. New stuff comes in all the time. Of course, it comes in raw, so you need to used your imagination to see it polished. Usually, most will have display areas set up inside their office area, so you can see the finished product.
My dad had Corian all over his kitchen and I did not care for it, it scratched easily. Tile is difficult to care for. Marble is not good for kitchens because it stains easily. I have had no trouble with stains on my granite. I have seen kitchens with polished and stained concrete counters. Kitchen looks very industrial, but it sure is easily cared for. Not familiar with quartz.
Last edited by Karen/NoCA on Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Redwinger

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Re: Kitchen Counter Tops

by Redwinger » Fri Nov 09, 2012 1:33 pm

Jon-
Our old kitchen had Corian tops that were pretty much abused by the previous owners. There were loads of scratches that were unsightly. On the plus side, Corian counters can be easily refurbished and the scratches removed. In the end. this scratchabilty steered us away from this product when we remodeled. Plus, as noted below, we had a preference for the look of natural stone.

Our decision came down to granite or quartz. I believe both are good products and depending upon the stone or quartz pattern you choose, the costs are comparable. We went with granite because we preferred the 'natural" patterns of the stone vs. the more manufactured look of the quartz and NJ found a couple of slabs that she fell in love with.. (FWIW, some quartz manufacturers are coming out with patterns that more closely mimic the look of natural stone. This is purely personal preference IMO.

Some make a major deal out of the need to seal the granite to make it stain resistant. There are sealers that last for years and the actual sealing process can be done in an hour of so and doesn't require any particular skills other than remembering to do it. Sealing is a non issue IMO and should not influence your decision..

Inevitably granite will have some seams and while proper installation and fabrication can minimize these seams, they will still be there. If seams will drive you crazy, the quartz is probably a better option for you. Please note, that no reputable installer will tell you the seams will be invisible...if they do, they're lying.
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Re: Kitchen Counter Tops

by Robin Garr » Fri Nov 09, 2012 2:00 pm

Almost 19 years ago - it feels like last month - we moved back to Louisville after a four-year adventure in NYC and moved into a century-old urban bungalow with a kitchen that had been remodeled in the '70s. Mary quickly replaced an incredibly ugly linoleum floor with simple vinyl ... painted the walls bright, bold colors and the cabinets even brighter colors, highlighted with funny cartoonish images of animals cut from wallpaper intended for a child's bedroom. Later we put in attractive and useful track and pendant lighting that I can crank up to bathe my workspace in about 2000 watts of solar-spectrum glow. :mrgreen: We replaced a cheap builder refrigerator and oven/range with better, but not restaurant-level new product. All good.

But I would not mess with the floor plan in a million years. It's a large room, a country kitchen, with the work space side framed by a U-shaped counter that incorporates sink, stove and fridge with spacious work area in the most efficient space I could imagine. It has windows with natural light over both the sink and the stove. And the counter top is a durable '70s formica. It's a bright, pure yellow that glows like a sunny day under either our new lighting system or the windows' sunlight, and I love it. Retro though it may be, I cannot imagine replacing it with granite or quartz or stainless steel or any other pricey solution.
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Re: Kitchen Counter Tops

by Karen/NoCA » Fri Nov 09, 2012 4:46 pm

Jon,
In reference to Winger's comments about the seams in the granite. I do not have a huge kitchen so the only large pieces I have are the small breakfast bar and a work area to the right of the sink. The seams I have are very small, and actually you have to look for them. They do not pop out at you like tile seams do. They also used small amount of grout which blends very well with the granite. Naturally, you will have a seam between the back-splash and the counters. I went with granite tile on my back-splash because I did not want that totally solid look. I love it, it ads texture and interest. You can always ask for your granite installer to be their most experienced and good with seams. My granite was cut prior to coming to the job site, but all the custom fittings for the corners, and seam work was done on site. If you want, I can take a picture of my largest seam and post it. You can also look in their showroom to see how the seems are done.
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Redwinger

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Re: Kitchen Counter Tops

by Redwinger » Fri Nov 09, 2012 5:43 pm

It was not my intention to overplay the seam issue. Karen is right about them being almost seemless :? but they do exist and become more noticeable if you have a lot of movement in your granite combined with 45-90 degree angles. A lot of this can be minimized if you insist upon laying out the templates on the granite prior to fabrication.
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Re: Kitchen Counter Tops

by Karen/NoCA » Fri Nov 09, 2012 9:41 pm

Redwinger wrote:It was not my intention to overplay the seam issue. Karen is right about them being almost seamless :? but they do exist and become more noticeable if you have a lot of movement in your granite combined with 45-90 degree angles. A lot of this can be minimized if you insist upon laying out the templates on the granite prior to fabrication.

My kitchen is twelve years old, and I am sure the seaming has become ever better. I never thought about the pattern match with granite that has movement but I can see what you mean. Since mine is speckled, there was no matching of pattern to be done. I have not noticed the seams on the solid black granite that my friend has.
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Re: Kitchen Counter Tops

by Jenise » Fri Nov 09, 2012 10:56 pm

Granite remains popular but companies like Pental are sourcing all kinds of stylish new countertop products, and many of them are made from recycled materials. Best I recall, they had a good website you might want to take a look at. Quite reasonable too; on par with similar granites vs. costing a whole lot more, like CaesarStone does/did. When I was doing my kitchen, it stunned me what kind of premium a manmade product I could buy at Home Depot could run. I ended up going with granite--two types, actually--although the matte finish black leather-looking granite in my kitchen doesn't look like granite at all.
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Re: Kitchen Counter Tops

by Mike Filigenzi » Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:36 pm

We're looking into quartz or something along those lines. My wife loves marble but I've managed to talk her out of it due to the problems with staining, etching, etc. I like granite, but we've yet to find one that she really likes - she prefers white or very light-colored counter tops and granite tends towards darker colors. (Not that you can't find lighter ones; we just haven't found one she likes.) Given the variety of styles of quartz (and other manufactured "stone"), we are pretty sure we'll find something we like that retains the durability of granite and which my wife will like.
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Re: Kitchen Counter Tops

by Redwinger » Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:35 am

Jon/Mike-
As we narrowed our choices, one thing that helped was to have a sample of our cabinetry(drawer/toe plate) and flooring along with us as we shopped. It really helped us, so you may want to give it a try.
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Re: Kitchen Counter Tops

by Carrie L. » Sat Nov 10, 2012 11:02 am

I'm in complete agreement with Karen. Granite can be so beautiful in so many ways. It's also easy to care for and versitile. It can have a solid color feel or have extreme variation to provide the look you are after.

We just bought a summer lake home in New England and the kitchen with its custom island pretty much "sold" us on the house. We fell in love instantly. It has a light colored marble top that we didn't inspect too closely. When we closed on the house last month we took a closer look and see that it is quite stained and has a mottled finish. We're not sure yet how we feel about it, perhaps we will embrace its "character," but if not, we may replace the top with a similar light -colored granite slab. We'll be bringing some in anyway for some bathroom remodeling. We do love the look it has now though, with the contrast of the light colored island and dark granite in the rest of the kitchen. See below.
Kitchen.jpg
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Re: Kitchen Counter Tops

by Jenise » Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:47 pm

Mike Filigenzi wrote:We're looking into quartz or something along those lines. My wife loves marble but I've managed to talk her out of it


Very wise. Marble is too soft and porous for kitchens where people really cook!
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Re: Kitchen Counter Tops

by Jenise » Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:48 pm

Carrie, your new kitchen's charming!
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Kitchen Counter Tops

by Daisy D » Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:36 pm

Jenise wrote:I ended up going with granite--two types, actually--although the matte finish black leather-looking granite in my kitchen doesn't look like granite at all.


I loved your countertops. They did not look like granite at all. At least not the granite we see around here in all the houses.
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Re: Kitchen Counter Tops

by Jenise » Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:55 pm

Daisy D wrote:
Jenise wrote:I ended up going with granite--two types, actually--although the matte finish black leather-looking granite in my kitchen doesn't look like granite at all.


I loved your countertops. They did not look like granite at all. At least not the granite we see around here in all the houses.


I love it too. I'm disappointed by how high-maintenance it is (every spot shows) but I do love the way it looks.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Kitchen Counter Tops

by Karen/NoCA » Sat Nov 10, 2012 4:01 pm

Mike Filigenzi wrote:We're looking into quartz or something along those lines. My wife loves marble but I've managed to talk her out of it due to the problems with staining, etching, etc. I like granite, but we've yet to find one that she really likes - she prefers white or very light-colored counter tops and granite tends toward darker colors. (Not that you can't find lighter ones; we just haven't found one she likes.) Given the variety of styles of quartz (and other manufactured "stone"), we are pretty sure we'll find something we like that retains the durability of granite and which my wife will like.

Mike, keep looking for the white. I have seen several that are stunning. Look online too.....if you find one you love, call arounds and see if anyone has it. If and when we buy/build another home, I will have the white granite with lots of movement to it.
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Re: Kitchen Counter Tops

by Mike Filigenzi » Sat Nov 10, 2012 5:49 pm

Karen/NoCA wrote:
Mike Filigenzi wrote:We're looking into quartz or something along those lines. My wife loves marble but I've managed to talk her out of it due to the problems with staining, etching, etc. I like granite, but we've yet to find one that she really likes - she prefers white or very light-colored counter tops and granite tends toward darker colors. (Not that you can't find lighter ones; we just haven't found one she likes.) Given the variety of styles of quartz (and other manufactured "stone"), we are pretty sure we'll find something we like that retains the durability of granite and which my wife will like.

Mike, keep looking for the white. I have seen several that are stunning. Look online too.....if you find one you love, call arounds and see if anyone has it. If and when we buy/build another home, I will have the white granite with lots of movement to it.


We've put a fair amount of time into it, both online and in showrooms, and we've yet to find a white granite that she really likes whereas we have seen some of the quartz versions that work for her. It will be a while before we have to make a decision, though, and we won't give up on it.

And 'Winger - thanks for that advice! I'll remember that.
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Re: Kitchen Counter Tops

by Carrie L. » Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:45 pm

Jenise wrote:Carrie, your new kitchen's charming!


Thanks. I'm kinda giddy about it. :) Can't wait for June.
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Re: Kitchen Counter Tops

by Carl Eppig » Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:05 pm

I'm not a trendy as you all know, but we live our granite. We have it in the kitchen and bathrooms.
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Re: Kitchen Counter Tops

by Jon Peterson » Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:29 pm

I really want to thank everyone for their input! I had no idea I'd garner this many posts! It looks like either quartz or granite for us. We have samples of at home and I think now I'll take a cabinet door and a floor tile to the showroom where there are larger samples. I appreciate the advice regarding the sealing of granite - that it shouldn't be a big decision maker. It'll come down to colors, no doubt. Although price is not the biggest consideration, I have found major price differences (thousands of $$) just in shopping around!
I just wanted to inform you that I find you to be very attractive. Thank you and have a nice day.
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Re: Kitchen Counter Tops

by Redwinger » Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:42 pm

I just thought of one more thing! We had the granite fabricator make us two 14"x14" "cutting boards" from the stone from the sink cut out. They get a lot of use. They should be willing and able to include them at no extra charge. I assume you can do thee same with quartz and corian.
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Re: Kitchen Counter Tops

by Karen/NoCA » Mon Nov 12, 2012 9:25 pm

Redwinger wrote:I just thought of one more thing! We had the granite fabricator make us two 14"x14" "cutting boards" from the stone from the sink cut out. They get a lot of use. They should be willing and able to include them at no extra charge. I assume you can do thee same with quartz and corian.


Great suggestion...there are a good amount of cut pieces that come from doing a granite job. I made sure I got all the useable ones. I use them for all sorts of things.
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Re: Kitchen Counter Tops

by Jon Peterson » Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:01 am

Redwinger wrote:I just thought of one more thing! We had the granite fabricator make us two 14"x14" "cutting boards" from the stone from the sink cut out. They get a lot of use. They should be willing and able to include them at no extra charge. I assume you can do thee same with quartz and corian.


That is a great idea and I will ask when they come to measure. I actually wouldn't even mind paying for them but the place we are dealing with is so down-to-earth, (local, family run) that I bet they give them away.
I just wanted to inform you that I find you to be very attractive. Thank you and have a nice day.
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Re: Kitchen Counter Tops

by Jon Peterson » Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:04 pm

We are going with quartz, signed a contract and put down a 1/3 payment. A matching piece of corian will be provided as a cutting board thanks to Redwinger's recommendation. Installation shortly after thanksgiving. Faucet is all that remains to be selected; we added Hansgrohe to the names to look at.
I just wanted to inform you that I find you to be very attractive. Thank you and have a nice day.
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