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Flooded kitchen anarchy - episode 2 (AKA what kind of counters to get)


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Next.

 

When the kitchen flooded, the people making decisions for me say the box cabinets need to be replaced. They will reuse the doors. Countertops are 12x12 (inch) marble tiles with grout.

Am I correct in thinking you can't get these off without breaking them? If so.... Which is less expensive: replace 12x12 marble tiles or bullnose granite? Granite would be preferred because I would like a smooth surface for cleaning and cooking (i.e. rolling) on. In the past, I had the quartz tops which I reaaly liked, but wife wants it to look as much like it used to be.

I have the popcorn and beer ready.

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I did my kitchen , new build, with Corian. There are lots of color/pattern options from dupont and other manufacturers.  You get none of the granite,  quartz draw backs and heaven forbid, damage is repairable. It is not "highend" like the stone products but I feel, much better choice.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corian

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3 minutes ago, warbird said:

I did my kitchen , new build, with Corian. There are lots of color/pattern options from dupont and other manufacturers.  You get none of the granite,  quartz draw backs and heaven forbid, damage is repairable. It is not "highend" like the stone products but I feel, much better choice.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corian

I have looked at Corian here and there, and it just doesn't float my boat - no offense intended. I like the hard shiny surface. Just me.

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We went with oiled old growth redwood burl because we have so much of it. Corian works too but it is in the same league as Astroturf. The wife finds the marble and tile tops to be too cold on her tush when the real cooking gets underway. YMMV.

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Just now, El Borracho said:

We went with oiled old growth redwood burl because we have so much of it. Corian works too but it is in the same league as Astroturf. The wife finds the marble and tile tops to be too cold on her tush when the real cooking gets underway. YMMV.

Braggertte........               :)

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Don't forget stone tops weigh a cubic ton!

My buddy went out and harvested a slab of rock in his back pasture, cut and ground it to the desired shape and thickness and when he hauled it in and set it in place the kitchen floor sagged so badly it wracked every cabinet in the kitchen and the fridge door wouldn't swing shut. It took a contractor to shore up and support the floor properly.

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1 hour ago, Borax Johnson said:

I have looked at Corian here and there, and it just doesn't float my boat - no offense intended. I like the hard shiny surface. Just me.

Granted on the countertop selection. Personal preference.  Cabinets?  Save the doors?  Really?  And custom build boxes to reuse the door?  Production cabinets can be obtained in virtually any size WITH doors and finished to your taste.  I have done 2 kitchens and 2 bathrooms and a complete garage suite on my own in the last three years. That makes me an amateur,  but an experienced amateur.  My installs were as good as the pros who built my house. Cabinets of low to high quallity are available from various outlets or on line.  Matching a finish on the doors after paying a custom build might cause you to reconsider.  Insure that whatever direction you go,  your cabinet frames and faces are hard wood and the panels are quality plywood, not dressed up particleboard.  Good luck, send pictures:D

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2 hours ago, Borax Johnson said:

I have looked at Corian here and there, and it just doesn't float my boat - no offense intended. I like the hard shiny surface. Just me.

stainless-steel.jpg

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concrete ... if my kitchen floor could take the weight. I'd do this.. but alas.. going with Corian LOL

 

 

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3 hours ago, Willin' said:

Don't forget stone tops weigh a cubic ton!

My buddy went out and harvested a slab of rock in his back pasture, cut and ground it to the desired shape and thickness and when he hauled it in and set it in place the kitchen floor sagged so badly it wracked every cabinet in the kitchen and the fridge door wouldn't swing shut. It took a contractor to shore up and support the floor properly.

I used a car jack to raise my 100 year old floors, just enough.  People said they don't build houses like this anymore.  I said, yes, now we have codes.

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4 minutes ago, Bump-n-Grind said:

concrete ... if my kitchen floor could take the weight. I'd do this.. but alas.. going with Corian LOL

 

 

I wanted to go bold with corian, Mrs Warbird is a decade older and more sensible (or reserved).

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i am in the business and have been for almost 40 years. I just renovated my place and could have had any countertop I wanted. My main top is corian with a corian sink and the island is granite. 90% of what we install today is quartz. 

The secret to corian is not to polish it. Clean it with an abrasive cleanser, Comet is great, and you constantly renew the surface and it always looks like new.

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there are so many 'brands' of Corian type material now the choices are endless. Its very low maintenence , I think looks great and doesnt weigh 1million pounds. 

I fabricated my Island top,  woodworking tools, cost was -50% less than a contractor needed, there is a fair amount of time involved, I get they need paid. It just wasn't that hard.

I completely agree dont polish it 

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Just my 2 groszy based on my experience.  

I would not replace the marble.  Marble is very soft and prone to staining, and breakage without much effort.  Granite is quite durable.  As @NaptimeAgain points out, granite is great for making any kind of dough, be it for pastry or pasta.  The dough hardly sticks to it.  It cleans quite easily and is almost impossible to stain it. 

Our kitchen floor is concrete covered with porcelain tile (very easy to clean) and the counter tops are granite.   As a bonus, the soil here is mostly sand but deep down the bedrock is a reddish brown and black granite, which is what's on our counters.  It looks nice and I like having something in my house that came with the land as it were.  Heating here is hot water radiators, but because radiators require wall space, there is radiant heat in the kitchen floor as well as the tiled bathroom floors, which is nice.  

 

Nothing to do with your situation, but I really don't understand why people in the US like huge kitchens.  I understand having an 'eat in kitchen', but I have seen so many kitchens that are so big you need roller skates to get from one end to the other quickly.  People in Poland don't have a lot of money, so small apartments, houses, and kitchens are the norm.  Our kitchen is about 100 sq ft plus a small pantry room that's about 10 sq ft.  I have cooked Thanksgiving dinner for 60 people in my kitchen (3 turkeys).  We have had indoor/outdoor parties for up to a hundred people at our house.  Virtually every house here is custom, in that you look on the internet, find a style you like, order the plans and hire a builder.  You have a lot of freedom to modify the interior to suit your taste and needs, of course limited by the exterior walls and interior weight bearing walls.  For example because there are only 2 of us in our 1,400 sq ft house, we eliminated a third bedroom upstairs and made the master bedroom a very large L shape.  We also eliminated a 2nd full bath upstairs and our bathroom is about 280 sq ft.  Now and then, when we have guests staying the night, I almost wish we had a 2nd bathroom upstairs but I love the large bathroom because I am a big guy.  We have a tub for 2 and also a shower that will comfortably accommodate 2 people as well.  The toilet and bidet are around a corner from the rest of the bathroom for a little privacy.

I designed the kitchen and felt an island would be better feature rather than a high counter to eat on as was suggested in the original plan.  The dining area is right next to the kitchen.  There is a sink on the island and a double sink in the corner of the kitchen (hidden by the column in the photo).  I never felt the need for a bigger kitchen.  I can basically stand in one place with minimal movement and do 95% of what I need to do with little movement.  It's very efficient.  I have cooked in a couple of hospitals years ago, for hundreds of patients and staff, and those kitchens weren't that big either relative to how many people we had to feed. 

The refrigerator and freezer are the tall and short doors on the far right of the photo.  That's pretty much the norm in Europe.  Polish people watch too many American movies and the younger generation favors larger side by side American style SS monster fridges that they see in the movies nowadays.   

Kitchen.a.jpg

Kitchen.b.jpg

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12 hours ago, Bump-n-Grind said:

concrete ... if my kitchen floor could take the weight. I'd do this.. but alas.. going with Corian LOL

 

 

Ugh.  My first house had countertops like that.  Utterly miserable.  It was a great day when, after loathing them for years, I took a sledge hammer to them (therapeutic after a hard work day) and forced ourselves into a kitchen remodel.

The problem, mostly, was in the finish.  My kitchen came with (I bought the house slightly unfinished, as the previous owners had a failed business and needed to unload quick) what seemed to be a epoxy finish.  It looked kinda industrial I guess, but with un-dyed concrete it wound up a sort of mottled greenish-brown, which was not overly attractive. After a couple years it started to peel, resulting in mold and mildew getting stuck underneath, and in general being impossible to clean.  Then it really looked like hell.  Also, the sink was an undermount, and just that inch and a half or so extra depth was  surprisingly hard on the back.  
 

As much as I love James May, I can’t imagine this countertop being any better.  With a rough surface and those little inlaid tiles, it’s gonna be a nightmare.  I’ve seen concrete done well.... A local bar has one, but they dyed it and then did a diamond polish finish and looks real sharp.  It still has cracks in it, though.  I guess that’s the rub with concrete.... It uses cheap materials, but can be labor intensive to do well (the diamond polishing takes a lot of time).  Good for DYI if you’re ambitious, but I couldn’t imagine it being at all competitive if done professionally.

 

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Skip the concrete. Too much maintenance and it never stays nice.

I've done almost every different type  of countertop and find there are a number of different materials that are satisfactory. 

I have to say I avoided Corian (Corian as a type not specifically the brand) for years. I recently did a kitchen with it and was very happy with it for the price.

30center-chatham-017.jpg

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We have soapstone and love it. It looks good. It tolerates heat really well, no need to worry about hot pans. It's not easily damaged. Added bonus: it pulls heat out of frozen food like crazy. If I need to defrost anything, I put it on the counter and speeds it way up. 

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Granite. almost no maintenance. Almost impossible to damage in any way. Can set a hot pan right down on it (do it all the time).  Don't do that with Corian.  Really doesn't go out of style, because it's a rock, and humans have used rock forever for things like countertops and statues of dear leaders and whatnot. Can pound the hell out of flattening pork chops/whatever on it. (We use a 3lb dead-blow hammer to make meat thinner...) 

My house is on a slab, weight wasn't a worry.

Rolling dough/pasta is wonderfully easy. As IStream mentions for stone, it's a great defroster too. 

Cleans as easy as anything, most cleansers (including bleach) are fine. It's a rock. Really abrasive stuff (like diamond powder) will indeed remove the gloss. 

 

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I like the stainless idea. Not sure Mrs Borax would sign off. We had quartz counters in our last house (bright red that they initially said they would only sell to non-residential users because we wouldn't like them - we did!). Now that we have our "grownup" house, Mrs. Borax is a bit more muted in colors, so a flat, smooth, shiny surface seems to be the guiding direction. I never liked the 12x12 marble, and it sounds like granite is cheaper. Since it is the insurance company's money, we will follow their direction.

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14 minutes ago, Borax Johnson said:

I like the stainless idea. Not sure Mrs Borax would sign off. We had quartz counters in our last house (bright red that they initially said they would only sell to non-residential users because we wouldn't like them - we did!). Now that we have our "grownup" house, Mrs. Borax is a bit more muted in colors, so a flat, smooth, shiny surface seems to be the guiding direction. I never liked the 12x12 marble, and it sounds like granite is cheaper. Since it is the insurance company's money, we will follow their direction.

Having worked in commercial kitchens where everything is stainless, there isn't much wrong with it.  It's easy to clean, more durable than anything out there, and if you like that modern look than why not.

I'm a traditional kind of guy when it comes to aesthetics and cooking.  My preferred work surface is a wood table but for practical and sanitary reasons, granite is fine for me.  

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Copper sheet counter tops are spectacular. Solid slate is really nice. Cast concrete (with tinting) can be nice if you have a good concrete person.

 Butcher block Maple is my favorite for either side of the stove, but around the sink, and over the DW, I'd personally go with slate, (or soapstone) or copper.

 

copperimage.png.e94f22fd80c2db95f8d8d1d6121b9c54.png

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Copper is spectacular but it'll patina to a dull brown unless constantly attended to. Also, gotta pay attention to that underlayment and adhesive or you may end up with heat tolerance issues.

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2 hours ago, IStream said:

Copper is spectacular but it'll patina to a dull brown unless constantly attended to. Also, gotta pay attention to that underlayment and adhesive or you may end up with heat tolerance issues.

The patina is what you're looking for. An old penny VS. a new penny. Little patches of verdigris. You can also tap in details like a rope border, or a sea shell near the sink for a soap/sponge dish.

 Like saddle leather, it looks good new, but better later.

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That's all fine and good as long as you know what you're getting. The photo above shows a freshly installed or freshly scrubbed countertop and isn't representative of what it'll generally look like.

FWIW, I've specifically chose unlaquered brass fixtures throughout my house and like the look but many don't and complain about having to polish them.

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On 12/16/2020 at 10:17 PM, IStream said:

That's all fine and good as long as you know what you're getting. The photo above shows a freshly installed or freshly scrubbed countertop and isn't representative of what it'll generally look like.

FWIW, I've specifically chose unlaquered brass fixtures throughout my house and like the look but many don't and complain about having to polish them.

This is true. But the woman you married 30 years ago doesn't look like the one you have now either.

 I like wooden counter tops for many reasons, one is the history on each mark. There's the time I pulled the scorching paella pann off the burner directly onto the butcher block and left a crescent shaped burn, Or the time that Klipstein decided to show everyone how to cut bagels properly at 3AM and left a 1/8" deep knife scar down the front edge of the counter top. Not to mention the years of olive oil leaks, and lobster juice spills, and lemon rind scrubbings..... It's all part of the kitchen history. There's no Botox for a kitchen counter top.

 All of the above pertains to copper, or natural stone, or even concrete.

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On 12/11/2020 at 6:45 PM, warbird said:

I did my kitchen , new build, with Corian. There are lots of color/pattern options from dupont and other manufacturers.  You get none of the granite,  quartz draw backs and heaven forbid, damage is repairable. It is not "highend" like the stone products but I feel, much better choice.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corian

My mom did this many years ago cause she is smart...  20 ish yrs later it still looks stellar and none of the marble/quartz fuckery...  

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On Saturday, December 12, 2020 at 9:48 PM, gptyk said:

Granite. almost no maintenance. Almost impossible to damage in any way. 

On the contrary.

20+ years ago installed a beautiful yellow granite counter top for a posh client on a Friday afternoon.

Monday morning angry voice messages about stained countertops. 

They had a party. 

Red wine stains, olive oil rings, lemon etched ring from half lemon left overnight. Sod that. End of my inclination toward natural stone.

Lets not forget the crystal stemware put down too hard either.

Just my opinion. 

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2 hours ago, Lowly Crew said:

That yours?

Stainless is nice, but sterile and cold. Copper has warmth.

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On 12/19/2020 at 10:22 AM, Lowly Crew said:

On the contrary.

20+ years ago installed a beautiful yellow granite counter top for a posh client on a Friday afternoon.

Monday morning angry voice messages about stained countertops. 

They had a party. 

Red wine stains, olive oil rings, lemon etched ring from half lemon left overnight. Sod that. End of my inclination toward natural stone.

Lets not forget the crystal stemware put down too hard either.

Just my opinion. 

That belies most folks experience with granite - if polished stone stains from red wine, it sounds much softer like marble, which will indeed stain quite easy. We've spilled plenty of red wine on our granite - almost daily.  (And our granite was a pretty low-budget pick) Lemon juice doesn't affect it. Tomato juice doesn't. Nothing affects it. SWMBO want's to replace it with different granite because it's 20 years old and thus out-of-date. (I agree with her WRT the cabinets) We've got marble in a bathroom I've just finished, and we've got to be very careful with that because its so much softer, but SWMBO understood that and picked it out. Methinks the stone supplier was less than truthful about the hardness of the stone. 

Very hard stone is very hard to stain. Darker stone is harder to stain than lighter. Marble is quite easy to stain and must be sealed periodically. Concrete stains very easily, once again a sealer is needed. Formica doesn't stain much, but, well, it's a plastic laminate countertop. I'd guess the #1 countertop here in SoCal on higher end houses is Granite. And most folks love em. YMMV, IMHO, DAMHIKT, etc... Advice given is worth the price paid. 

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